I began my counselling journey working at Rape Crisis, an all-woman NGO. Men were not left out, we counselled them and men were included in advocacy programs. Yet, it was witnessed to the power of women to exhibit both resilience and empathy in the midst of difficulty and pain that inspired me
Moving on to another area dominated by women, I began learning about alternative therapies. At that time, women in the field of what was thought of as unconventional therapy outnumbered men. Now, the involvement of men is increasing and thankfully, the status of these therapies is changing. Somatic therapy, breathwork, tarot readings, the use of energy points, meditation, mindfulness and yoga in healing, are all becoming more acceptable and understood. It was with the support, guidance and training of women that I gained the knowledge of a number of transformative processes that can augment counselling.
While still working in these fields, I became the cofounder of a woman-run NPO that began working with women caring for orphans and moved on to working within prisons, counselling and running programs for men caring for vulnerable children, and helping women prisoners make choices which would impact their lives positively when leaving their place of detention.
Next came a period of working at an upmarket residential establishment, where we concentrated on how past and present trauma informed the life choices of the many patients coming through our doors. The centre was headed by men yet women were the backbone.
The value of women in my life has always been present. In raising my three children, supporting me through changes in my life, supervising my therapy journey, in listening to me. Women have made me laugh, have made me question myself, and have motivated me. We have shared vulnerabilities, ideas, and goals.
Women are present in my life now. It is not entirely serendipity that has led me here, to work within a woman-owned business, TherapyNow. As counsellors, both women and men at TherapyNow, we show that same resilience and empathy that inspired me at the beginning of my journey and which continues to inspire me as we model this for our clients of all genders.