I’m an eating disorder specialist counsellor because I’ve been there. I haven’t been given a formal diagnosis (I spoke to my GP about my eating once – the result wasn’t very supportive!). Still, I would have met the diagnosing criteria for binge eating disorder. I would now class myself as being in recovery from binge eating.
Your experience of having an eating disorder will be different from mine, and that’s okay. We’re all individuals and have unique experiences. I don’t know exactly what your experiences are, but I know what it’s like to obsess about food and experience overwhelming compulsions.
My story is fairly typical for someone who uses food as a coping mechanism. I grew up believing that I wasn’t good enough. I attended a highly competitive school where perfectionism was the standard. This destroyed my self-esteem and self-worth. I struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my teenage years and into early adulthood.
I would overthink everything, compare myself to others and constantly criticise myself. I did what many people do and used food to try to manage how I was feeling. Stressed? Eat. Upset? Eat. Happy? Celebrate with food. It was a nonstop cycle! I was lucky in that I found a way through this while I was quite young. I received a lot of support from family members, friends, and counsellors.
I found a way through my problems, and now I can live a much happier life. I’ve taken what I learned, and now I’m using that to help other people who are also struggling with life. It’s so easy to find yourself in a dark place, without a light and unable to find a way out. I’m here to support you and help you find a way to live a happier and healthier life.
I am a qualified and accredited counsellor. I have also undertaken substantial additional training to enable me to help people who are living with an eating disorder. I absolutely love being a counsellor. I firmly believe that it is the best career in the world! I’ve had my fair share of counselling over the years, some was very helpful, and some was less so. Something that has always been really important to me is to practise in the same way that was helpful to me and that clients have told me they find helpful.
If you’ve never had counselling before, you may believe that counsellors don’t do much other than sit opposite you and make noises while nodding their head wisely and trying to look sympathetic (that seems to be how the media likes to depict us). Nothing could be further from the truth! I, and all counsellors, work incredibly hard to support our clients to make the changes they want to make. Sometimes I will sit back and listen while you talk, sometimes you’ll sit back and listen while I talk, and sometimes we’ll work through exercises together. Throughout your sessions, I’ll tailor your counselling experience to help you get the most out of it.
These are some of the values and qualities that I bring into my work:
Now for the more technical information:
I am a qualified and professional counsellor, accredited by the National Counselling Society.
The National Counselling Society (NCS) is one of the largest professional organisations for counsellors in the UK and, more importantly for you, they are part of the Professional Standards Authority‘s accreditation scheme. What does this mean for you? There are unfortunately a lot of unqualified counsellors practising in the UK. Being accredited by the NCS means that the NCS have checked my qualifications and have ensured that I am fit to practise. You can be confident that I have the right skills and experience to help you effectively and safely.
Initially, my work focussed on helping clients (mostly young adults, but I’m not defining what ‘young’ means!) who struggled with anxiety. I developed a passion for working with people living with eating disorders because of my personal experiences and working with several clients who had eating disorders.
I offer an initial consultation, which is free of charge. This initial consultation is a chance for us to discuss how you’re feeling, I’ll explain how I work, and you can ask any questions you have. To book your initial consultation, please click here.
I am fully qualified with a Level 5 Higher Diploma in Counselling. I graduated in 2015 after four years of training and various clinical placements.
Since qualifying, I have completed further training in relationship counselling, counselling supervision and a post-qualifying diploma in eating disorders.
I am currently studying for a Master’s degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice at Bath Spa University.