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22nd May 2019 


Okay, you know by now that I'm passionate about stress management, emotional and psychological self-care, and overall wellbeing throughout all aspects of life. But what about my background?

Well, I was born in 1951, into an unskilled working-class background in the war-damaged, industrially and economically declined north west of England. From this I very quickly learned the value of positivity and determination in life!

I've always strongly identified as European and I'm very internationalist in my approach to life, soon to relocate to gorgeous County Galway, Ireland. In addition to my long experience in the UK as an integrative counsellor / therapist and coach, specialising in relationship, sexuality, anxiety and stress areas, and as a secondary level and special education teacher, I also resided for many years in California. I first arrived in northern California in 1982 as a teacher recipient of a prestigious US-UK Fulbright Award. It was in this Fulbright year that I also met my incredible Pilates and Sports Yoga teaching life-partner, Lynne-Marie, then vice-principal at my Fulbright assignment high school, and formerly a PE and biology teacher, state lifeguard, sports coach, and water safety instructor! Later on, before re-settling together in Europe, we spent many years in Los Angeles, residing for eight of those within the dynamic exercise-lifestyle community of the beautiful urban beach areas.

At heart I’m a very individualistic, nonconformist and autodidactic person. I love feeling free to explore and reinvent aspects of my life, and encouraging this degree of self-development and self-expression in others also.

My mind-body wellness lifestyle
and personal fascinations

Obviously, in order to enjoy life to the fullest in the second half of my sixties and for decades to come, and to be able to work effectively and in a relaxed way with my clients, I need to be aware of maintaining my own emotional and bodily wellness. So, how do I achieve this?

Well, a central element of my life since the mid-1970s has been developing a consistent and fun involvement with regular intense cardio exercise and, since 1983, a healthy, well-researched and informed relationship with food. In addition to the organic wholefood vegan lifestyle that Lynne-Marie and myself have evolved together, since 2011 daily Strala Yoga has become a crucial part of wellness for me! In fact, deep breathing exercises, positivity and Strala Yoga were, and still are, central to me managing my blood pressure at optimum / good levels since 2014. Strala has created balance, flexibility and a range of movement which I’ve never had before. It's also rebuilt my physical core, creating a pain and sciatica-free lower back, and has increased my pelvic stability and pelvic strength. Consistency is the key here, and since 2011 I’ve completed in excess of 2,400 hours of personal yoga, mainly Strala, in my daily practice. In fact, I do Strala for at least 35 minutes every day, not counting those spontaneous outbreaks of Strala which occur anytime, anyplace, several times each day! Each week I also complete three intensive music / movement-based cardio sessions, working at vigorous levels between 75%-85% of maximum age-adjusted heart rate.

In addition to my enthusiasm for the above, I'm a passionate photographer, I love living by the ocean, sea, or river mouth, and coastal and beach walking. I also adore music -- especially new age, smooth jazz, rock, alternative, Patty Larkin's folk music, electro-swing and other electro(nic) music of many kinds. Additionally, from my earlier and current-day combined personal interests and professional roles, I remain deeply interested in modern-day alternative concepts of relating and sexuality, and the history and psychology of sexual, gender and age discrimination and oppression. I'm equally fascinated by the history of social and technological change, and by climate change and other extreme geographical / environmental phenomena. Not surprisingly, I'm politically active in all of these areas. Above all, I always bear in mind to focus consistently on making sure that the quality of life's journey, not the final goal, is uppermost in my mind.

My professional degrees
and certifications

*MA Counselling and Psychotherapy (School of Psychology, University of East London).
*Social Science Teaching Credential and MA History (California State University, Long Beach).
*BEd (Hons) Education and Geography, with Qualified Teacher Status (Keele University).

Strala Yoga Leadership training completed to date, or in progress:
In 2013 I retired from providing counselling / therapy to further develop my coaching interests in helping others improve their stress management throughout their entire life experience, including, where appropriate, in their intimate relating and sexuality. As part of this my intent was to offer Strala Yoga to help develop improved overall mind-body wellness. My Strala training is ongoing, and all Strala courses completed by me, or currently in progress, are listed below. All of my adjunct Strala Yoga training has been designed, taught and assessed personally by Strala NYC founder and creator Tara Stiles, and by co-founder Michael Taylor.

*Strala Yoga Online Leadership Training (to be completed 2019: 100 hours training).

Examples of my occasional
writing and research

On various occasions I become concerned enough on an issue to write an article about it, usually for internet sharing. Occasionally I also write for local or wider print / peer review publication, two examples of which are...

"Heterosexual HIV transmission: ethics of disinformation and the importance of adhering to an evidence-based approach in psychotherapeutic practice", Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 23:4, 419-432 (2008). In 2007, as a counsellor / therapist and coach, concerned by the stress and anxiety-creating content of public health disinformation regarding HIV transmission in opposite gender sexuality, I researched and wrote my peer-reviewed evidence-based debate article on this topic.

"The causes and dangers of American parochialism", Guardian Weekly international edition, February 15, 1987, p8. As an educator living in Los Angeles, I was unsettled by the focus in US schools on being -- or becoming -- American, and the almost non-existent wider-world geography curricula. This seemed to go hand-in-hand with a widespread uninformed, stressful, anxious and dismissive view of other countries, peoples and cultures exhibited by so many Americans. Because of this, and in response to an earlier Guardian Weekly article on this topic written by London-based Michael Goldfarb, I published this long article exploring these educational and cultural themes.

International recognition
as an educator

*In 1982 I received a prestigious US-UK Fulbright Award. This was awarded in international recognition of my UK teaching and leadership with disadvantaged, stressful, anxious and insecure children and young people experiencing significant emotional, social, behavioural and educational problems. My Fulbright year took me to teach on a fully-funded US-UK government exchange during 1982-1983 at Hamilton Union High School, Hamilton City, California.

*As an educator, my history of law MA research focused on US court decisions regarding sexual censorship across the US arts and media, 1821-1994. Although my work analysed the legal basis and decision-making processes for these judgments as applied particularly to the arts, many proscriptions were constitutionally overbroad, and instituted a priori. As such, they had a seriously chilling and anxiety-creating effect on sexual expression, sexual relating, and sexual knowledge dissemination in everyday life. This was especially so in areas such as sexual health and birth control information. My dissertation was selected for inclusion as a history of law reference source in the Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University, Toronto, and in the American Art collections of the Smithsonian Libraries, Washington DC.

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