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It was while studying applied biology in Liverpool (1978-82) that I came across a bust of Jung in a tea shop. The bust had an inscription which referred to a dream of Jung’s in which he dreamed of Liverpool as “the pool of life” (see Memories, Dreams, and Reflections – an autobiography of Jung). I had heard of Jung but knew very little about him, but this piqued my interest. After reading his book ‘Man and his symbols’ I was hooked. But my feet were firmly set on another path, and I had no thought of training as a psychotherapist at that time.
However, some years later circumstances changed in such a way that I felt forced to make a career change, following a very powerful dream. I spent two and a half years as an assistant psychiatric nurse gaining experience of severe and chronic mental illness in the acute admission wards of Springfield and St. Charles hospitals, prior to commencing training in integrative psychotherapy training in 1990. This training took six years in all, and while I was training I was working in therapeutic communities, and then later as a mental health worker in homeless hostels. I have been in private practice as a psychotherapist for twenty years now. In 2008 AJA advertised a training in Jungian analysis for experienced psychotherapist – I began training on the first intake and graduated in 2011.
Looking back, while they have been times when at a conscious level I have had no idea how things might turn out and chaos seemed to reign, at a deeper level there has been a knowing wisdom guiding me, which I was unaware of at the time. Jung called this inner wisdom the Self – and his psychology involves developing a closer relationship with it.
My studies in biology, which on the face of it might seem completely other than psychology, has given me a perspective from which I can appreciate the marvellous diversity of life, and the impact of a life divorced from our place within this reality. This is particularly relevant to the development of eco-psychology in which I have an interest, and shamanism: the oldest form of healing going back over 35,000 years. Shamanism is a subject Jung was particularly interested in, and there is an overlap between shamanism and Jungian analysis which I am intending to research.
About my practice
I am an experienced integrative psychotherapist with over twenty years’ experience. My integrative training has given me a mixed tool bag of techniques and perspectives to draw upon to meet the needs of who-ever I am working with. My training in Jungian analysis has given me a deeper understanding of the role of the symbolic in the psyche, as revealed particularly through the exploration of dreams, and a focus on the underlying individuation process as described above.
I was on the training committee of the Association of Jungian Analysts for over three years, and I am still involved in the training program to which I periodically contribute.
I have written on anorexia as seen from an alchemical perspective in the book ‘Psychotherapy and Alchemy’, and this chapter was chosen to be published in a Russian journal and has been well received.
I have experience of working with a broad spectrum of problems, but specialise particularly in working with trauma, abuse, eating disorders, depression, .and relationship issues. My Jungian analysis practice is in north London, upper Holloway Islington, within easy reach of Hampstead and Finsbury Park.
Flat B, 48, Marlborough Road, London N19 4NB UK