Born and bred in County Durham, I am trained teacher and counsellor accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). My compassion and insight are the outcome of personal experience over 28 years living with and recovering from the aftermath of childhood trauma, and the following multidisciplinary study:
- Training as a counsellor to Masters Degree level & as a teacher of adults & young people
- Studying in Thailand Mindfulness (meditation) practices endorsed by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (N.I.C.E) & the Mental Health Foundation in the treatment of difficulties associated with stress & anxiety
- 13 years researching the role of breathing in assisting recovering & optimising well being (this culminated in the creation & pioneering of Breath Perception®)
- Serving as a Reiki Apprentice in Thailand in preparation to teach
- Training in massage & bodywork
- 24 years of yoga & meditation practice
Breath Perception® is my life’s work. The outcome of personal insight and 13 years researching the role of breathing in assisting recovery and optimising well being and quality of life.
My early life was defined by a close connection with nature and ponies. A near-death accident at age 12 catapulted me into adolescence in which I learned what it means to live with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and episodes of depression. Thankful to be alive, I adopted an attitude of intense gratitude and got on with life.
In the 12 years that followed I underwent numerous operations and walked for a period with a stick. Through surgery my mobility was restored and my physical pain ended. During this period I became a student of yoga and meditation.
Receiving my under graduate degree in Human Communication from Manchester University in 1999, I trained as a teacher and worked internationally throughout my twenties. This enabled me to develop insight into different cultures and the sensitivity required to create safe spaces in which people can relax, learn and grow. Over time it became apparent that I could no longer keep a lid on a struggle I had endured for years. My self-esteem hit an all time low and my eardrums began blowing out with anxiety.
Studying in Thailand
Unaware of who could help me I boarded a plane to Thailand with the goal of developing equanimity (balance). Aware of South-East Asia as the home of ancient meditative practices known to support well being, I dedicated the next two and a half years to the multidisciplinary study of yoga, reiki, massage and meditation (mindfulness) practices endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (N.I.C.E) and the Mental Health Foundation in the treatment of difficulties associated with stress and anxiety.
Through this process I intuited the breath as a resource for assisting recovery and optimising well being and quality of life and foresaw a need to develop a methodology to facilitate this outcome. I recognised that by enabling me to help myself, such an approach would have prevented my own unnecessary distress earlier in life and resolved to use this insight to help others. The seeds for Breath Perception® were sown and I returned to the UK in 2007 to train as a therapist.
The creation of Breath Perception®
I continued to study the body undertaking a year of training in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology and completed my Masters Degree in Integrative Counselling in 2011. I used my counsellor training to re-visit my under graduate passion for infant attachment theory and found new passions in neurobiology and trauma theory. For my thesis I researched Breath Perception® as a Self-Care Tool for Counsellors, the results revealing an unequivocal need for me to establish Breath Perception® as an official method. In 2011 I created Breath Perception® and founded Breathe4wellbeing Consultancy to serve the people of County Durham.
Since then Breath Perception® has gone from strength-to-strength, benefitting over two thousand people throughout the UK, from athletes striving for excellence through to people living with chronic illness and those facing the end of life and seeking peace of mind.
I owe my quality of life today to my determination to help myself, the unconditional love of my family and friends and the skill and kindness of professionals. Together, they have helped me find freedom and I am committed to helping you find yours.
I am passionate about relationships and love working with groups and individuals of all ages.
At home in nature
I derive my own well being and peace from being as close to nature as possible with those I love. I also enjoy travelling, new experiences, constant learning (!!) and celebrating the Arts. My favourite form of movement expression is Contemporary Dance and my spiritual home is in the sea. Preferably in a bikini in cold water!