This is me and my ‘therapist’, enjoying each others’ company in the Shropshire countryside where we live. One of the lessons I have learnt over time is that it is important to allow myself to enjoy life, for my own well-being. This enables me to function effectively so that I can then support others in their lives.

I have lived around the country and abroad (the result of being an RAF child) but choose Shropshire as the place to make ‘home’ 30 years ago, one of the best decisions in my life.

My work careers have been varied, from senior management in fashion retail, working in Local Government, and Counselling. I recognise I have achieved positive results in each role by listening to people, really listening to what they are saying. This could be customers wanting the ‘perfect’ outfit for a special event, families desperately trying to find solutions that will work for their own issues, or individual clients anxious about how to move forward. Irrespective of my ‘role’, I’ve always been a people-person.

Life has thrown me opportunities, disappointments, good times, bad times. I have experienced the joy and happiness of parenthood, with the fear this can also bring. My life has included bereavement, suicide, redundancy, loneliness, depression, fear, anxiety, as well as pleasure and contentment from people and events around me. All of us have our own exclusive life experiences and perceptions; I hope that my own help me to perhaps have a window into yours too.

The latest curve ball in life has been my (successful) fight against cancer, involving chemotherapy, out and in-patient treatment. Shock, fear, honest conversations, trauma, kindness; I experienced them all and I am very aware of the impact this diagnosis had on me and those around me. Thankfully I am now cancer free and moving forward. Life has given me another opportunity to do what is important to me to feel fulfilled and, through personal reflection, I recognise this is by helping others, in whichever way I can.

The pandemic has impacted everyone, all in an individual way. Loneliness, anxiety, fear, loss, disappointment, change – all of these are recognised stressors for many people. It has been a hard time, and many people have found it difficult to understand the new emotions they have been experiencing. One client found herself feeling depressed, anxious, and lacking self-confidence by the end of the first lockdown in summer 2020. By listening carefully to her fears and allowing her to openly express how she felt, her new emotions, she managed to untangle the root of her anxiety. This understanding allowed her to recognise what she could and couldn’t control in her life at the moment, and to place her energies positively. Through subsequent lockdowns she has confidently tackled her restricted choices, feeling more the confident self-employed woman she has always been.

I always feel privileged when clients speak to me, sharing a little or a lot of their life stories, whatever they are comfortable with. Like many other people, I have missed human contact, but I hope that a new ‘normal’ will be established allowing each of us to move forward. I look forward to meeting clients in whatever environment suits you – in person, via Zoom, or on the telephone.

Thank you,