From involvement with the Samaritans in their early days, through counselling training at Newcastle University and Leeds (St John) University, seminars with Joseph Zinker, work with drug and alcohol addictions, senior accreditation with BACP, primary and secondary care responsibilities in the NHS, advanced counsellor training and management, to the creation of a retreat centre in the French Pyrenees - it has been a passage of over 30 years.
Central through all this has been my adherence to the humanistic philosophy and approach to the way I work, grounded in the classical person-centred Carl Rogers tradition, while acknowledging the value of a broad and pluralistic view of the way we work as people and the difficulties we encounter as we try to lead organised and rewarding lives.
Increasingly over the years I have come to draw on the insights of Martin Buber, a Jewish visionary who escaped Hitler, spoke at the United Nations and left behind the diminutive but momentous work - "I and Thou". I have come to believe that, aside from diagnosable psychiatric conditions, our struggles as human beings derive from the way we relate - to ourselves, to others, to our planet - and that the way we encounter every aspect of being alive, the attitudes which we form and the veil which those create between ourselves and a present and true awareness of what is really happening... that this is the ground we are given for redeeming and recovering the person we can genuinely be.
I offer short and long-term counselling to individuals and couples from our retreat centre Le Sentier Tranquille in the French Pyrenees. This can be residential in the form of a fully-catered 'therapeutic stay' - look under 'Meditation & Retreats' for this. But if you are within reach of us - you can locate us as 'Le Sentier Tranquille' in Google - then you can visit for a session (€45) or for a half-day. The half-day (€100) starts around 11am, breaks for a light lunch and a wander around the grounds, and takes up the counselling again after that, finishing around 3pm.
I also offer counselling via Skype or telephone. It is not appropriate for all work, so we would have a half-hour complementary link-up to assess this. I base charges on €45 or £40 for a one-hour period.
In all cases you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on +33 (0)561 01 52 08 to express an interest.
There are many activities which make demands on emotional and psychological resources and for which 'supervision' in the form of recourse to consultative support within a professional relationship can be beneficial, whether or not required by a code of practice. Over the years I have provided this sort of supervision, which for some is seen as mentoring, to researchers, students, teachers, teams and team leaders, as well as fellow counsellors and counselling supervisors. Whilst I have ongoing arrangements of this kind in France which are face-to-face, online methods are normally perfectly satisfactory for this type of work. Once again I base charges on €45 or £40 for a one-hour period, though often sessions of an hour and a half are more beneficial. Please contact me by email or telephone to express an interest.
"There is nothing I can teach you, there is only what you already possess and I can help you to discover"
I hope that has been the characteristic of all the 'teaching' scenarios in which I have found myself over the years. At Le Sentier Tranquille we provide residential courses for groups, which are centred around mindfulness, meditation and relationship. Look under 'Meditation and Retreats' for details of this. I also offer day-courses in mindfulness, incorporating (as I do in our group events) an element of walking, because we are right on the edge of the foothills and forests of this part of the Pyrenees.
In addition I visit the UK, where I have existing arrangements with university and study/interest group providers, to offer seminars or talks on mindfulness, meditation, relationship, counselling and therapeutic philosophy. There are different ways in which I cover this and so I would invite you contact to talk about possibilities and options.