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I first became interested in counselling as a career in the late 90s after having my own personal therapy, which helped me to address the violence and bullying I experienced in school. My interest in specialising in male abuse grew after attending further counselling which helped me address my own physical abuse, sexual assault and sexual exploitation.
As a male, I believed that talking to a counsellor about these issues was something I shouldn’t be doing and meant that I was weak and ‘not a real man. I felt pressured to “just get on with it” and behave in certain ways which included not showing my emotions, using humour and trying to appear unaffected. The longer I maintained these behaviours, the harder it was for me to live a functional life.
I am a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist
I am accredited with The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy meaning my practice has been deemed sufficiently ethical
Since 2004 I have provided one-to-one counselling and psychotherapy to children, young people and adults of all genders
I am experienced in working with anxiety, stress, trauma, bereavement, anger, low self-esteem, sexuality and more
I have significant experience in working with those who have experienced recent and/or historic rape and/or sexual abuse/violence/exploitation
I specialise in working with boys and men affected by recent and/or historic sexual abuse/violence including males from the world of sport
I have over six years' experience of counselling those affected by bereavement via Cruse Bereavement Care
I have over three years' experience of counselling those struggling with their sexuality via Terrence Higgins Trust and Freshwinds Birmingham
I have over two years' experience in working with children via Relate’s Time for You service and a number of secondary schools
Since 2007 I have worked in private practice and ran a counselling service in the Midlands
I have provided counselling for ITV and a number of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)
I am a qualified supervisor
Since 2010 I have provided supervision to practitioners working with children affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Since 2012 I have provided supervision to qualified and trainee counsellors
I am experienced in providing Person Centred and also integrative/eclectic supervision
I am experienced in supervising those working in schools, colleges, GP surgeries, voluntary sector services and other counselling organisations
I have significant experience in working with safeguarding issues and supervising those working with vulnerable children and adults
I am experienced in supervising those counselling clients affected by trauma and expressing suicidal thoughts
I also provide supervision to practitioners working in other organisations such as youth services, sexual health services, domestic abuse services, children's charities, CSE services and sexual abuse counselling services
I also with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) regarding the development of new resources
I specialise in working with males affected by recent and/or historic rape and sexual abuse/exploitation
I have significant experience in working with boys and men affected by recent and/or historic sexual abuse
I have provided counselling/support to boys and men affected by rape and sexual abuse since 2004
I have over nine years' experience of managing a male only sexual abuse/exploitation service
I have developed and implemented various national initiatives and campaigns aimed at tackling the sexual exploitation of boys
Whsilt at The BLAST Project I was instrumental in in the Jack CSE serious case review where it was highlighted I provided good/consistent support
I have appeared on TV and in local and national media highlighting the issues faced by boys and men who are raped, abused and sexually exploited
I have contributed to various research, reports and publications on the issue of male rape and sexual abuse/exploitation including 'Children and Young People Now' and 'Inside Man' by Dan Bell and Glen Poole
I am an experienced trainer and public speaker addressing male rape and sexual abuse/exploitation
Since 2009 I have delivered training to thousands of professionals across the country addressing the rape and sexual abuse/exploitation of boys and men and the difficulties they face in asking for help
Between 2013 and 2015 I managed the national male CSE development project ‘Excellence for Boys’ which saw male referrals to 20 CSE services increase from 91 to 249
In 2014 my work in the field of male sexual abuse was acknowledged when I was also nominated for an' Unsung Hero Award' and was a finalist in the category, 'Longest Journey Under Challenging Conditions'
My article on male sexual abuse was also published in October 2017's edition of 'Therapy Today'
I featured in the 2017 publication 'Child Sexual Exploitation After Rotherham' by Adele Gladman & Angie Heal
In December 2017 I featured in the BBC documentary 'Male Rape: Breaking the Silence'
As someone who has experienced rape and child sexual exploitation (CSE) and supported boys and men who have experienced sexual abuse I am appropriately placed to provide training addressing male sexual abuse and exploitation
I have significant experience in public speaking and training professionals addressing issues related to male sexual abuse
I have developed nationally recognised male sexual abuse/exploitation training
Since 2009 I have delivered male sexual abuse/exploitation to thousands of professionals across the country
Training is informed by my many years of practice, working with boys and men affected by sexual abuse/exploitation. This ensures that the content is kept up to date and that the voices of males are heard
I deliver high quality training in a dynamic and engaging way, using interactive methods and anecdotal stories from personal and professional experiences
I provide training that focuses on achieving realistic and measurable outcomes, aiming to make a real difference to boys and men
I have developed and delivered training aimed at identifying boys at risk of sexual exploitation and challenging gender biased practice
I have worked with various organisations and practitioners to help make their services and practice accessible to, and inclusive of males.
I have delivered training to large children's charities, voluntary sector organisations, child sexual exploitation services, youth provisions, counselling organisations, CAMHS services, educational professionals, sexual health practitioners, other health professionals, housing workers, children's social care, safeguarding children boards and various police forces and local authority work forces
I have delivered bespoke training addressing various aspects of male sexual abuse/exploitation
I have also delivered training to various groups of professionals on other issues such as basic counselling skills and sexual orientation
Qualifications and Accreditation
2012 - Post-Graduate Certificate in Person-Centred Supervision by Temenos, Sheffield
2009 - BACP Accreditation
2008 - BACP Accredited Practitioner's Course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) University of Birmingham
2006 - BACP Accredited Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Warwick
2003 - Level two certificate in counselling skills and studies, Thomas Danby College, Leeds
2002 - Introductory counselling certificate, Thomas Danby College, Leeds
Talking about these issues in counselling was difficult at first, but they were stopping me from living my life in the way I wanted to. I realised that seeing a counsellor and talking through these issues was not a sign of weakness; I’d done something that I found difficult to do. This was a sign of strength! Talking about being raped and groomed wasn’t easy but my counsellor made it comfortable enough for me to talk about my experience. I addressed these issues in counselling, which eventually helped me to live my life in a happier, healthier and more functional way.