Here are some things you might be interested to know about me.
I first got interested in psychotherapy while studying Freud for my English Literature degree. Later I read lots of R. D. Laing, whose criticism of conventional views on sanity and madness really chimed with me, and Carl Jung, whose idea of a collective unconscious opened up a vaster and more soulful psychic world.
I lived in Paris for five years, earning my living teaching and translating. During that time I became more concerned with spirituality, and with ethical and environmental issues, and when I left the city in the summer of 2009 it was to spend time in retreat environments and to work on farms in the Pyrenees mountains. I had no idea what I was going to do next.
The first time I remember hearing of Carl Rogers was while learning about Marshall B. Rosenberg’s process of Nonviolent Communication. Rogers was a radical psychotherapist whose ‘person-centred’ way of working extended well beyond the bounds of individual psychotherapy and challenged many social institutions and conventions. I was at a juncture in my life where I was looking for a way to live more fully from my values, and this approach to helping seemed a perfect fit.
Something that has been important to me from a young age is writing - more important than the thing called ‘literature’, with which I’m learning not to confuse it. In 2016 I wrote an article called ‘Reapproaching Rogers’, which was published in the journal Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, and more recently I wrote a chapter for the 2018 book Re-visioning Person-Centred Therapy: Theory and Practice of a Radical Paradigm. Both feel like part of an attempt to ‘individuate’ in regard to my first training.
Despite my university degrees and the pieces I have written for academic publications, in many ways I’ve never felt at home in academic institutions or institutions generally, including those of psychotherapy. For lots of reasons I’m uncomfortable belonging to the BACP and go on thinking about ways my work can have integrity without recourse to such remote authorities.