I was born in the 1950s, into a lower working-class family in the war-damaged, industrially and economically impoverished north west of England. From this stressful, insecure and anxiety-creating background, and from later life experiences and personal development, I learned the value of proactivity, consistent effort, determination, and of developing self-understanding of one’s deepest emotions and feelings, and positivity in self-perception, self-acceptance, self-belief, thoughts and behaviours. All of this greatly improves emotional and psychological balance, and promotes self-development, goal achievement and self-fulfilment in life, sexuality and relationships.
In my twenties and thirties, I began to incorporate into my life three-times-weekly intensive cardio training and consuming only nutritious natural food (eventually becoming a wholefood vegan) for improved physical and psychological wellbeing. Later, I realised the very significant wellbeing benefits of incorporating controlled deep breathing and mindfulness practices into my daily life. And, later still, yoga-based breath-fuelled non-linear movement, stretching and balancing, inspired by various yoga forms, including Strala yoga (its elitist origins notwithstanding), became a daily foundation of my mind-body self-care and wellbeing.
I love reinventing myself as necessary, and I'm a very autodidactic, individualistic and nonconformist person across all areas of life. I am active in supporting human rights; effective political and social action to alleviate climate crisis and environmental degradation and threats; sexual rights and full recognition of all informed consensual sexualities and relationship preferences, including self-assigned genders; unrestricted right to abortion; and ending of all discriminatory practices. I also actively support those who choose to explore alternative forms of sexual relating, of whatever gender or sexual orientation combination, including ethically non-monogamous sex and relating of various lifestyle types.
I've always strongly identified as European in origin, and in addition to my long Europe-based experience as an educator in secondary and special education, an integrative coach and counsellor, and as a stress and anxiety management coach, I also resided for many years in California.
My Fulbright year
I first arrived in California in 1982, as the recipient of a prestigious UK and US government Fulbright Award, to teach on international exchange for one year at Hamilton Union High School, Hamilton City. My Fulbright award was in international recognition of my motivational teaching and leadership at the school in Essex, England, where I had worked for seven years, predominantly with stressful, anxious children and young people mostly experiencing significant levels of socio-economic deprivation and educational disadvantage.
It was in my Fulbright year that I also met my Pilates and sports yoga teaching life-partner, Lynne-Marie, then vice-principal at Hamilton, and formerly a PE and biology teacher, state lifeguard, sports coach, and water safety instructor. Later on, before re-settling together back in Europe, we spent many years in 1980s and 90s southern California, residing for eight of those within the exercise-lifestyle community of the beautiful LA urban beach areas.
my coaching and counselling
MA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Between 1998-2002 I trained in integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy in the School of Psychology at University of East London. My training utilised a three stage process-based integrative framework which I still currently use with my clients because of its effectiveness and equal applicability to all coaching and counselling contexts. As an evidence-based practitioner my chosen integration of approaches to coaching and counselling centre on holistic / humanistic approaches, where the quality of the therapeutic relationship is considered central to a successful outcome for my clients. Frequently, I also integrate into this holistic / humanistic approach very effective additional strategies from cognitive behavioural coaching or therapy, as appropriate.
Bachelor of Education (Hons)
Specialising in Geography, I completed this broadly-based qualified teacher’s degree at Keele University in 1975. Many areas of this professional teacher training are highly applicable to my present-day coaching and mentoring; particularly themes from human developmental psychology, psychology of learning, cognitive psychology, psychology of personality, and pedagogic skills (practical teaching / coaching / mentoring). My Geography background equips me with a deep professional understanding of environmental issues, climate change, medical geography, migration patterns, and associated socio-economic issues. This is highly relevant at a time when human-created environmental degradation is exponentially increasing environmental hazards, threatening life and social stability across Earth. This results in pandemic illness and fatality, and many other environmental threats as time goes on, thereby seriously disrupting our individual and mass emotional, psychological and general wellbeing, through creating stress, anxiety, fear and widespread disruption.
I’ve written many internet articles about stress, anxiety, cultural differences, sexuality and relationship areas, as well as producing occasional internationally published or publicly shared print articles or research where one or more of these areas comprise the core theme. These latter include writing on such diverse topics as, for example, the causes and dangers of American parochialism (Guardian Weekly International Edition); research on social and legal constraints on sexual expression in the US arts and media from 1821-1994 (adopted by the Osgoode Hall Law School Library, Toronto, and Smithsonian Libraries, Washington DC); and public health disinformation regarding HIV transmission in opposite gender sexuality (Sexual and Relationship Therapy).