After a successful 27 year career in business, I decided that I needed to change direction. Having already earned a BA in Psychology, I decided to enrol at the Abertay University, in Dundee in the part-time Counselling Skills Course. I soon realised I had found my spiritual home. Forging a new path after so long proved to be a difficult task. However, I found a way to leave work and enrolled full time at Abertay University. I found the work so exciting and energising that I went on to complete a Masters in Counselling.
At Abertay University they were teaching a new way of offering counselling formulated by John McLeod and Mick Cooper. These Scottish professors had found a way to respect the different counselling methods developed over the years and at the same time make them available to people in a fresh and accessible way. They called it Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Counselling using Pluralistic Therapy meant that the person seeking counselling was considered to be the expert on themselves. There was no one right way to help people but instead that people could be helped in different ways at different times in their lives. This meant as a counsellor I was a fellow learner, working with the person seeking counselling, to find a solution to what had gone wrong or become stuck in their lives. Pluralistic Therapy allowed new ideas and the subsequent new answers to come from many different theoretical perspectives. It made sense because it was the way I had been living my life.
In Pluralistic Therapy, my role as a counsellor was to create a learning environment that made it possible for new ways of thinking to be considered and put into use. I would first seek to fully understand the person seeking counselling. Only then could I suggest what I felt would be a new and useful possibility for solving the problem. The final solution always remained in the hands of the person seeking counselling.
My counselling practice and Pluralistic Therapy have both developed over the years. Pluralistic Therapy is now an established, respected and evidence-based way to help people. (see Cooper, M and McLeod, J (2011). Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.) I have over 13 years of experience counselling adults, young people and children. I have continued to add to my personal knowledge base through continuous professional development. Most recently I have undergone training so that I can also offer internet counselling. Now I can be more flexible in supporting people who find it difficult to attend face to face counselling.
I am a registered member of the BACP (the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and a practitioner member of COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland)’. I adhere to both the BACP's and COSCA's Ethical Frameworks and Codes of Practice. Both the BACP and COSCA have complaints procedures for anyone to use if required.