I became interested in psychology in my late teens and went on to study psychology at UCL where I met fascinating and knowledgable teachers. I was given the opportunity to put what I had learned into practice when I took on the role of co-therapist for an NHS psychotherapy outpatient group. This was an extraordinary experience for a young person in their early 20s and I did not feel ready for it in terms of my life experiences. The impetus to change tack and study Chinese medical theories of health and illness, instead of pursuing Western psychology, came later, when I was 30, and when I became seriously impressed by how a friend who had been suffering with depression responded to acupuncture treatment. I began having treatment myself and felt a sense of well-being that I could only attribute to receiving acupuncture. I decided I wanted to learn more about this therapy and began my three year training in 1989 at the College of Traditional Acupuncture. Since then I have studied in the UK, China, Vietnam, Europe and Japan.
In the mid 1990s I studied Chinese herbal medicine (Kampo). I chose this approach because of the apprenticeship training program that enabled students to gain extensive clinical experience, and I qualified in 1996.
I was one of the first UK practitioners to train in Japanese acupuncture methods with Stephen Birch and Junko Ida, qualifying in Toyohari in 2000. Shortly after this I studied for a masters in complementary therapies at the University of Westminster.
In 2003 I moved to York to undertake a PhD researching acupuncture for depression, which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research. I wanted to help make acupuncture more accessible to those that cannot easily afford it. My research was used to develop a definitive large scale clinical trial that found acupuncture to be equally beneficial to counselling for depression.
In 2013, I completed a 2 year training in biodynamic craniosacral therapy at the Craniosacral Therapy Education Trust.
Over the years I have supported individuals with a wide range of health conditions in many different settings including: the BBC; the Belgravia Surgery; the Stress Project; the Core Trust; the Angel Drug Project; the Hoxton Health Group and numerous complementary health clinics. For the past sis years I have worked at the Serenity Clinic in Harrogate and Miller’s Yard in York.
I have completed postgraduate training in mental health, stroke recovery, trauma, developmental trauma, addiction, prenatal and antenatal care and fertility support and working with babies and children. I have ongoing supervision with Franklyn Sills with whom I collaborated for the first Share Ideas film project.
I feel so fortunate to have discovered the healing potential of the therapies I work with and it is very humbling to know I have been able to help someone to feel more able to cope with whatever it is they must deal with.