I have worked in the mental health field for over forty years, beginning work as a mental health nurse in 1980. From 1986 I managed a very busy mental health ward in Inner London, and later worked as a Community Psychiatric Nurse. At this time I was involved in one of the first NHS Crisis Intervention teams, and also one of the first open-access NHS counselling and advice clinics. At the same time I began training as a hypnotherapist from 1987 onwards. I was a registered nurse for 30 years in all, but have practiced full-time as a hypnotherapist since January 1994.
Over the years I have trained in person or online with many experts from Britain and America, such as Dr Brent Geary of the Milton Erickson Foundation in Arizona USA, Dr Geoff Ibbotson, Adam Eason, Freddy and Anthony Jacquin, and the late Peter Savage. I have also studied the European tradition of Mesmerism with Lee Gerrard-Barlow, who is the UK representative for the Italian expert Dr Marco Paret. I also have a BSc Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Plymouth.
While providing help for a very wide variety of problems, I specialise in helping people to overcome all kinds of phobia. I have a special interest in this topic partly because I previously suffered from a phobia myself. From early childhood I was afraid of dogs. As you can see from the photograph I am now very comfortable around even very large dogs, indeed I now like dogs and they like me!
But I can still remember the inconvenience, worry and embarrassment, and the unhelpful comments from people who had never had this phobia and could not understand it. This makes me all the more determined to give clients useful and practical help, and to understand that their fears are very real and distressing even when the thing they fear is totally harmless.
TRAINING AND REGISTRATION.
During my previous career in the nursing profession I saw the importance of belonging to a professional body with a code of ethics and standards. In hypnotherapy there is no legal obligation to belong to any register, however I choose to be registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and to abide by their code of conduct. The NHS recommends the CNHC for people seeking alternative or complementary therapies.
I’ve trained in several methods of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Mesmerism with British, American and European institutes. One of my trainers, Dr Brent Geary, studied with Dr Milton Erickson who was the pioneer of modern hypnotherapy. I belong to the British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis where I continue to attend workshops and meetings to share knowledge with professional colleagues including doctors, dentists, and psychologists.
Improving standards in the hypnotherapy profession requires that hypnotherapists should do their own research as well as learning from doctors and psychologists. At the University of Plymouth I researched the psychology of smoking. More recently I have researched the hypnotherapy profession in the UK, publishing my results in a map showing the distribution of hypnotherapists and a diagram showing how long most hypnotherapists have been practicing.