My Professional Commitment:
I am a member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) and abide by their code of ethics for best practice. As part of these ethical guidelines I am in regular supervision. I am passionate, driven and committed to furthering my professional knowledge and development and regularly attend courses, meet with peers, read, research and write.
Bachelor of Counselling - Laidlaw College, Auckland, NZ
Graduate Diploma Child Centred Play Therapy - ChildPlayWorks, Hamilton, NZ
Diploma of Counselling - Laidlaw College, Auckland, NZ
3 years training - Person-Centred Therapy - Metanoia Institute, London
Certificate Psychotherapy and Counselling - Regents College, London
Somatic Experiencing Therapist in Training
It was during my training to become a Person-centred therapist in London, when I experienced first hand the transforming power of a relationship shaped by unconditional love. In this relationship I didn't need to conform to, or fight against other people's ideas about how I should be, but felt free to explore, express and allow my own life giving uniqueness to unfold. I felt liberated and empowered and there was no turning back!
Carl Rogers, the founder of Person-centred therapy stated that the relational conditions of unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence were 'necessary and sufficient' for constructive personality change to occur (Rogers, 1957). Rogers believed that given certain conditions, an individual would learn to trust, accept and depend on their internal judgments to guide them, would regard themselves more positively and be released to move towards fulfilling their potential.
As I furthered my studies, I realised that attachment theory, psychology, play therapy and trinitarian theology all supported the belief that the provision of a relationship shaped by these conditions provided the most fertile ground for healthy development and the fulfilment of one's potential to occur.
Alongside Carl Rogers, of particular influence to my knowledge and practice has been David Howe, Tony Merry, Dr Gordon Neufeld, James Olthuis, Edward Teyber, Gary Landreth and Virginia Axline.
I have found that the postmodern approach of Narrative Therapy also integrates well with these beliefs and has been an invaluable asset to my practice in enabling one's life giving uniqueness to unfold. Narrative therapist's work collaboratively with indivduals positioning them as expert in their life, as senior author and narrator of the meanings they make of their actions. They are curious about those values and beliefs that are implicit in a person's actions, that represent what is important to that person, but that often go unnoticed and can thus invite misinterpretation and unhelpful labels. Remembering and storying other times when these important values have shaped the person's actions can help to narrate a preferred identity that the person would rather live by.
The individual has opportunity to be reunited with their resourceful life-giving, self that can get hidden by the different meanings that other people make of their actions, by the various beliefs, ideas and practices that are dominant in the culture and society in which they live. Of the greatest influence to me here have been Michael White the founder of Narrative Therapy, Alice Morgan, Gerald Monk, Jill Freedman, Gene Combs and Dr Donald McMenamin.