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I grew up in the 50's and 60's in a Surrey village but left home to attend University in Swansea. In those days the Welsh universities didn't make you commit to your Honours subject until the end of the first year. I didn't know what I wanted to do. At one time I had wanted to join the Diplomatic Service but when I discovered that women were expected to leave if they married I decided it wasn't for me. Polite society would shun you if you lived with a man to whom you weren't married!
My 'A' Levels were in French, German and Latin. I'd wanted to do Maths but in those days you couldn't mix arts and science subjects. So in my first year I studied French, Politics and took Psychology simply because I was curious about it. And I never looked back. After my degree I went on to do in-service training in Clinical Psychology. I currently work for the NHS.
I raised five children, learnt to sail yachts in races and on long trips across the world, kept and still have horses, ring church bells, and could once do the Highland Fling and the Scottish sword dance. I have just about finished a three-year project renovating an old cottage to be my new home. This entailed learning to do lime hemp plastering among other things as my restricted budget meant I could only employ others for those things which I really couldn’t do myself. It was hard work and it felt never-ending at times. But now I sit and bask in the self-satisfied glow that comes from achievement and the knowledge that I personally know every inch of this building I call home.
At one time I attempted to write romantic fiction. I did get one title published by Rainbow Romances but I soon realised that I was unable to make my characters suffer sufficiently so reluctantly I gave up. I do still have a steamy novel about a riding school lurking somewhere on my hard drive and maybe one day I might feel a desire to revisit it and see if I can adapt it at all . . . I have contemplated writing a psychological thriller, but never seem to find a plot that satisfies me. So for now I stick to what I can do —writing psychology self help texts when I feel inspired.
Fortunately from childhood I had my own anxiety and obsessive tendencies. These later enabled me to use my own experiences to work out what did and didn't work therapeutically. When Jon Kabat Zinn introduced the concept of Mindfulness I took it up and then later when Acceptance and Commitment Therapy developed I felt I had come home.
I am about to retire from my NHS post where I have most recently been helping to launch the primary care mental health service in the area I work by developing psycho-educational courses among other things. I will be sad to leave as it will be the ending of another chapter in my life. But I will continue to offer my expertise to a wider audience through my website —what-to-do-about-anxiety
On the other hand the change is exciting because I will then have time to devote to my other passions. First there are the other self-help titles which are desperate to escape from my head, along with my digital magazine, “U Can Just B”. But I also have itchy fingers just waiting to make more of the necklaces, knitted baby garments, dolls, photography and other more artistic ventures which I have only had time to dabble in up to now.