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, I was fortunate to complete my secondary education at Whitworth Community Secondary School and Tameside College. In the year following my A-levels, I spent many months in hospital fighting for my life against a potentially fatal illness. Only months after leaving hospital, I embarked on the first of my primitive-living travel adventures! This was a part train, mostly hitch-hiking trip, across France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, ending the outward leg on the beautiful shores of the Ligurian Sea with only a sheet sleeping bag as my home! This was to be the start of my personal identity as a European, and a life-long fascination with Europe as a whole.
Following my return from Italy, I spent four years completing Qualified Teacher Status and my Bachelor of Education (Hons) Geography, awarded by the University of Keele, including many coaching-relevant areas of education and psychology studies. Later, I earned my second coaching-relevant degree, my MA Counselling and Psychotherapy from the School of Psychology, University of East London, having completed BACP-accredited training as an integrative counsellor focusing on humanistic and cognitive behavioural approaches.
From this combined background, and from later life experiences, travel in four continents, long-term overseas residency, and other personal development across many life areas, I have learned the value of proactivity, consistent effort, determination, and of developing self-understanding of one’s deepest emotions and feelings. This includes developing positive emotionality in one's self-perception; self-acceptance; positive 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.
For improved wellbeing, since my mid-twenties I’ve completed a minimum of three hours high-intensity cardio workout each week; now focused on fast-paced, music-driven, non-linear movement. In my early thirties I began moving towards veganism, nowadays consuming only nutritious organic unprocessed plant-based food. By my early fifties, I realised the very significant wellbeing benefits of incorporating controlled deep breathing and mindfulness practices into my daily life. And, since my late fifties, I’ve added to the above a daily breath-fuelled non-linear movement, stretching, balancing and mindfulness session, inspired by various mind-body movement forms, particularly Strala Yoga.
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.
In addition to my long Europe-based experience as an educator in secondary and special education, a former integrative counsellor, and as a stress and anxiety management coach and sexual relationship 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 middle-management educational 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 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, lifeguard, water safety instructor, and sports coach. 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 Los Angeles beach areas.
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).