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Hello

My name is Ian, I am 54 years of age and married with 2 adult daughters. I live in Ayr in Scotland and work at home - online, via phone, text or face to face.  

After having overcome some confusing and difficult times in terms of depression and anxiety, I decided I needed to rethink what was important to me.  This led me to learn more about Buddhist psychology and meditation  As a consequence o this I decided to train as a counsellor to work more directly with people, having spent over 20 years in mental health and social work services.

 

I have spent my career helping and supporting people, from all walks of life, who have experienced a variety of trauma, difficulties and challenges. I’ve now been a qualified person-centred counsellor and a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) for 4 years. I seek to offer an empathic space in which you can tell your story without judgement and feel supported. 

I am a person centred theraist but also draw on my understanding of mindfulness and Buddhist psychology.  The ideas are easy to understand and can be put into practice very simply by anyone.  This is easy to access therapy, designed for anyone who wishes to talk through their issues, talk about where their life is going or learn a little more about themselves. 

My Experience 

In my career I have worked in children's social work services, learning disability services and latterly mental health services in social work.  This was challenging but rewarding work. As well as understanding some of the issues people needing this support face, I also have a good understanding of what draws people to work in the public sector as well the anxiety and stresses it can bring. 

Since qualifying as a person centred therapist in 2020, I have taken the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and with different client groups. This has been, in part, me taking advantage of the freedom self employment offers but also, importantly, to widen and deepen my experience as a therapist and hone my skills.

I have worked in a university with the student population as part of the university's in-house welfare provision. I have also worked for one day per week in a secondary school with 11-18 year olds.  I have worked with under 18's in private practice too and am aware of the unique challenges and rewards this brings.  I have seen the pressure from many parts of life that students and school-aged children face and have supported them in looking at ways to release that pressure whenever possible.  I have supported with, for example, anxiety regarding Covid, anxiety about exams or friendship groups and recently fears around the impact of the war in Ukraine. 

I worked with a charity supporting professional athletes and the specific issues this brings to those working in this sector.  This has led me to become increasingly aware of the issues faced by those who need to be ready to perform,  often publicly, and remain mentally strong however they may be feeling or what else may be going on in their lives.  This is challenging not just for elite athletes but for those who are needing to stay fit and employed on lower incomes to pay mortgages and their bills.

I have also worked with a charity that supports victims of, carers of and those bereaved by, cancer.  This is challenging work and does require a deeply empathetic approach and acceptance of the client's lived experience - there is no "right way" to cope with the impact this condition has and I see my role as walking alongside those I work with on their journey of grief or loss. 

In private practice I work with a wide range of clients in the therapy space I have at home and online - either via videoconferencing, telephone or text.  I also work for an online occupational health agency.    This means I work not only throughout the UK but with clients all over the world.  I work with people from the BAME communities and LGTB+ communities too.  I have and do work with those with both visible and invisible disabilities.

It is a challenging and, on a daily basis, interesting working life.

For all these varied groups, agencies and clients I bring my sense of empathy, non-judgemental approach and acceptance.   Of course, I understand that some will seek a therapist with a similar lived experience to theirs and I may not be able to provide this. However, for others my experience, use of mindfulness/Buddhist philosophy and person centred approach proves helpful in supporting them with the issues they bring to therapy.  I accept that I will not be the right person for everyone and will help those who I am not right for to find someone who is. 

If I sound like someone you think could help you please get in touch.

Education 

  • University of Aberdeen -October 2018 -2020 - Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy

  • Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling February 2021

  • BACP Membership Number: 00949881

  • Qualifications in Social Work, Mental Health and Child Protection also completed and I have over 25 years of social work experience.

Specialties 

  • Adults of all ages

  • Relationship Issues

  • Anxiety and stress

  • Mental ill health and wellbeing

  • Mindfulness and meditation focused approaches

  • Life choices and direction

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