Since 2008, I’ve helped my clients break through the obstacles that seem to be holding them back in life.
I am one of the early pioneers of neurodiverse counselling. I am also one of the early pioneers of video counselling, for back in 2008 I realised that a vast number of autistic/Asperger’s individuals were so debilitated by their social anxiety, that they were living lives – essentially – stuck in their bedrooms, too afraid to leave the security of their homes. Video consultations opened those doors, and the healing began.
In 2016 I was the first person to receive a Queen’s honour for services to Asperger’s syndrome, having created the counselling charity that is Action for Asperger’s (www.actionforaspergers.org). Action for Asperger’s was a world first, and, to my knowledge, remains the only charitable institution of its kind to this day.
In addition to being a MBACP registered counsellor, I hold a master’s degree in autism – my dissertation title: “An evaluation of a bespoke model of counselling for lives that have become adversely affected by the experience of Asperger’s syndrome” – and a PGC in Asperger’s syndrome. I also have a quarter of a century’s experience of autism (Asperger’s) affecting close family members.
I have maintained a busy counselling training schedule over the years, and have trained in numerous counselling modalities: CBT, EMDR, ACT, and Hypno-psychotherapy to name a few. I remain forever curious about the field in which I work.
In 2017, I could see a synergy between the therapeutic model that I had created for “lives affected by autism” and body psychotherapy, and so I enrolled with Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre as a pupil. I am in my final sixth year of psychotherapy training with Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre, and in July 2021 received formal approval to practise as a trainee body psychotherapist. I am currently registered with the UKCP for my body psychotherapy work, which I undertake on certain days of the week, and which is separate to my autism-specialist counselling work.
I have counselled hundreds, possibly thousands, of individuals of all ages from 3 years upwards with a formal or suspected diagnosis of autism and Asperger’s syndrome. I have also counselled the close loved ones of autistic/Asperger’s individuals and am particularly expert in neurodiverse couples’ work and can relate to the difficulties that exist in such relationships as someone who has trodden that path personally for many years.
I am a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. I am also current chair of Kettering and Corby (Northamptonshire) Police Independent Advisory Group. I work privately from Weldon in Northamptonshire, 1-3 days of the week, the remainder of my time is spent working charitably in the organisation that I lovingly founded.
Since the pandemic, I have conducted approximately half of my sessional work via video, and, as mentioned, as a pioneer of this form of therapy, I am well versed in this style of working. I do, however, prefer to see my clients in person when and if they are able.
As a side occupation, I also give talks on “What works when counselling lives that have become adversely affected by Autism” to fellow counsellors and psychotherapists. Additionally, I have been contracted by major organisations such as Storm Aviation, HM Prison and Probation Service, Rank Organisation, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Governmental & Public Policy (IGPP) to name a few, to deliver talks on various autism related subjects, such as BAME and Autism, Autism in the Workplace, De-escalation Strategies for Autistic Individuals and so on. Occasionally I write for BACP Healthcare magazine, Autism Eye, Living Autism and SEN Magazine.