Okay, you know by now that I'm passionate about stress management, emotional self-care and overall wellbeing throughout all aspects of life, including intimate relationships and sexuality. 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 a global citizen of European origin, and I'm very internationalist in my approach to life. In addition to my long experience in the UK as an integrative counsellor 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, adventurous, 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
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 yoga, especially Strala Yoga, has become a crucial part of wellness for me! In fact, deep breathing exercises, positivity and yoga were, and still are, central to me managing my blood pressure at optimum / good levels since 2014. Yoga 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 (much of this Strala) in my daily practice. In fact, I do Strala for at least 30 minutes every day, often much more, including those spontaneous outbreaks of Strala which occur unpredictably anytime, anyplace, several times each day! Each week, along with my partner Lynne-Marie, I also complete three intensive music / movement-based non-yoga cardio sessions, based on both linear and non-linear movement, working for 60 minutes per session at 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, I have a decades-long interest in present day international, and historical, variations in social and legal constraints on traditional and alternative / non-traditional sexual expression and intimate relating. I also have a strong interest in the history and psychology of discrimination and oppression regarding women’s sexual rights, and other discrimination based on gender or age. I'm equally engrossed in the history of social and technological change, and also in the stressful, anxiety-creating and life-threatening impact on humans of climate change and extreme anthropogenic or natural events. Not surprisingly, I'm politically active in these social and environmental areas. Within all of this, 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.
and certifications earned
and certifications earned
*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).
Examples of my occasional
writing and research
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 international print / peer review publication, 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 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 American journalist Michael Goldfarb, I published this long article exploring these educational and cultural themes.
Fulbright / international
*Fulbright Award: In 1982 I received a prestigious US-UK Fulbright Award. This was awarded in international recognition of my teaching and leadership in Essex, UK, 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.
*My historical and current-day research on sexual expression and the law, was adopted by Osgoode Hall Law School Library, Canada, and by the Smithsonian Libraries, USA: In 1994, as an aspiring counsellor and coach with special interest in intimate human relationships and sexuality, I completed my History MA, specialising in legal and social constraints on sexual expression. My research focused particularly on US court decisions regarding sexual censorship across the US arts and media between 1821-1994. Many of the judgments throughout this period – because of overbroad interpretation -- resulted in widespread seriously chilling, stress and anxiety-creating constraints on sexual expression, sexual relating, and sexual knowledge dissemination in everyday life. This was especially so for women, particularly 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.