The Longer Story…About Me
Hi, my name is Lisa; I am in my 40’s and a mother of two. When they were very young I accessed a course that helped me to develop positive parenting skills. This helped me tremendously, on so many levels.
I also became very aware and appreciative of my environment at this time, and the needs of the planet, to which the ways of our world, it seemed, didn’t care. There didn’t seem to be enough care about trees, recycling or global warming. In fact, I realised, we hardly cared for ourselves.
In the self help books I was reading then, I learnt that that first you must find self-love – a concept that is still difficult for most of us to comprehend to this day. This is how and why I decided to enter the ‘caring industry’ and started my counselling training in 1999. I qualified with a CPCAB European Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling in 2002 at Redlands, Bournemouth, Dorset.
In 2001 I started a volunteer course for HomestartUK and for two years, I supported families in crisis, with at least one child under five years old. My role was to ‘befriend’ the family, be a listening ear and assist them in accessing community based services to establish an independent support network.
Whilst I was at my final counselling placement, I became acutely aware that drugs and alcohol could affect a person’s ability to heal through therapy, so I trained at EDAS – Essential Drug Advisory Services. I also volunteered for them as an adult service-user advisor.
In 2003 I was invited by the Chief Executive, to start employment in their young people’s drug and alcohol service, as an Outreach Worker. I gave education in the youth clubs and schools as well as providing one to one counselling. Many of the young people had complex needs; their issues sometimes included self-harm, peer pressure, bereavement, depression, anger problems, and family difficulties. Poor school attendance, employment and housing problems were also common issues. Sometimes it was appropriate to access other services such as CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service.) or Social Services to provide a stronger supporting network.
I have seen many different kinds of people through my one to one work; age range being from 12 years up, my eldest client being 83. Everybody’s life is unique but it seems each of us reach points during our time where it becomes overwhelming, and to talk to someone, safely and privately, outside of our close ones, can really help to clear the mind, release painful feelings, come to terms with our losses; find strategies that help us deal with difficult circumstances or relationships and move through to a freshfocus with more positivity, resilience and confidence. I love this work; it feels an honour to see people grow stronger and happier.
My additional roles to the one to one work has varied over the years and I had the opportunity to set up projects such as an after-care programme, self-esteem group workshops, good practice team training/consultation meetings, activity programmes and piloted a parent support service.
To under pin my work with parents & carers, I achieved my Accredited AFT Foundation Certificate in Family Therapy and Systemic Practise in 2009. I then established and piloted my second family support service. My role was to work for the family unit, maybe with one parent or grandparent but would frequently involved mediation if both parents attended, and often included the siblings.
Significant changes to styles of communication within the family can strengthen the executive decision makers’ position (carer(s) in charge) and their delegation of responsibility; it can enable safer boundaries implementation for the young person(s), and empower transitions of the life stages for each member. I feel passionate about family life because no matter how a family is made up, the way we treat each other will shape our lives, impact on how we relate to other people and how we feel about ourselves.
As I have trained and worked in the caring profession I have experienced many supervisors and styles of supervision. Right from the beginning I realised just how important supervision was in checking my input with my clients; developing my personal awareness and internal observer. Even more importantly, experience has taught me that the supervisory relationship itself can be a catalysis for open and honest reflection and is paramount to professional practice and level of capacity to be there for the clients. This led me to qualify as a Humanistic Counselling Supervisor, with a CPCAB Level 6 Therapeutic Supervision qualification that is not yet legally required, but demonstrates commitment to provide this essential service.
After being made redundant back in 2010, I decided to continue to offer support and counselling and have invested in freshfocus, a service created with you and me in mind.
My aim is to be there for clients who wish to find and sustain a way of living that enables them – you – to take care of the matters that are important and to discover ways that can help to maintain healthy positive energy and mental health.
Nearly 15 Years in…
As from April 2016 I am BACP Accredited in Psychotherapy & Counselling – that means I have the rubber stamp approval from the British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling and deemed to ‘meet the standard for a competent, ethical and independent practitioner’.