As a result of an industrial accident in 1999, I became a wheelchair bound paraplegic, experiencing excruciating pain seizures, with morphine as my constant companion, I felt a total loss of identity, and truly was ‘in crisis’. In 2004, after being in a wheelchair for five years, I reached a crossroads; I could let this condition control my life, both physically and emotionally, or learn how to take back control.
I had always had an interest in human behaviour, and this lead me to enrol as a mature student to study psychology. I had a voracious appetite for knowledge, and even kept coming off my pain medication to study as the meds made my brain ‘fuzzy’. Over the next few years I gained many qualifications, including a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology, specialising in Behavioural Psychology. I completed the Masters Degree studies at Sheffield and finished my research studies two years later. Through this long journey I began to find my true identity and came to the realisation that it wasn’t just the additional letters after my name that determined my ability as a therapist, but my own particular life experiences.
I have a unique approach to therapy. I’ve been there, I’ve sat in ‘the therapy chair’, I’ve experienced the terrors of panic, and the utter loneliness you feel. Obviously, everyone’s emotional journey is different, but understanding my own path has given me a unique insight and empathy towards everyone I work with. The phrase ‘physician heal thyself’ epitomises my life. Yes I had the qualifications, but before I could heal others, I had to learn how to heal myself. Sitting in the wheelchair day after day, staring at the same wallpaper, no longer the provider for the family, I’ve known the darkest of days.
Having been in a wheelchair for 11 years, in 2011 I had surgery to remove scar tissue and after a three year struggle to walk, I gained my independence from the wheelchair, and I am now a prolific rambler. Would I choose to spend eleven years in a wheelchair, of course not. However, I now live every day to the full, and feel truly blessed for the life that I have, and if I can share my knowledge, experience and expertise with you to help you find peace, happiness and fulfillment in your life , then my life’s journey has not been a wasted one.