creating a bridge between professional practice, research and lived experience communities

what I offer

Training, advice and consultancy on:

  • Embedding co-production and 'Patient & Public Involvement' (PPI) into research, services, projects and events

  • 'Trauma 101' training - understanding the basics of what trauma is, the impacts and how to work in a trauma-informed way

  • Helping without hurting - how to support trauma and abuse survivors (for people in healthcare and any helping roles)

  • The use of self & creating safety when engaging with trauma survivors (for those in research, service development and frontline practice)

  • Peer support - benefits, issues and models

  • Barriers to assessing and treating trauma

  • Reforming counselling & psychotherapy training and practice: seeing through a trauma survivor lens

My Background

In addition to my psychotherapy practice, I write, lecture and provide advisory and consultancy services to a range of organisations (see below). I have over 25 years of professional experience beginning with my training in social work (which at that time included two years of counselling skills training), qualifying in 1996. During a break from frontline practice while I raised my children, I established a mosaic art studio and explored the link between creative making, mindfulness and mental health. I then trained in mental health research and in counselling/psychotherapy, gaining an MSc in Mental Health Studies from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and a PGDip in Counselling & Psychotherapy (both with distinction). My thesis was in the assessment and treatement of trauma and PTSD. I am an honorary Research Associate with King's College London and the University of Bristol.


I spent most of my social work career working with young people (and their families) in care and prisons/secure settings. This included managing advocacy services to open and secure children's homes with Coram Voice (then Voice for the Child in Care) where I also set up and ran their Learning & Development Department, devising and delivering training and consultancy.  In 2000 I also began running groups for people who had experienced abuse and trauma, which eventually became Survivors' Voices, the peer-to-peer organisation I co-founded and continue to work with. I have helped facilitate over 50 peer-to-peer groups and events over the years, supporting people who have experienced violence and abuse and untapping their lived expertise in order to change responses to trauma. I help to moderate the online forum and am co-author of the Survivors Voices' Charter for Organisations Engaging Abuse Survivors in Projects, Research & Service Development.


Recent work, presentations & publications
  • I am co-founder of Survivors' Voices and act in an oversight and consultancy capacity for the organisation

  • I sit on the steering group for the NIHR funded MiMoS study into the mental health needs of people who attend NHS Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC's)

  • I am on the steering group of the University of Bristol's Supporting Survivors project exploring the role of peer support for people who have experienced sexual violence and abuse

  • I am an advisor on the Mesarch study evaluating the work of SARC's across the UK

  • I am a consultant with the Barnado's Centre for Expertise in Child Sexual Abuse

  • I am a lay member of the Board for the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine

  • I acted as a consultant with the McPin Foundation and Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network (VAMHN) to create Survivor Priority Themes and Questions for Research which is being used to guide this UKRI funded network

Recent Presentations

  • Royal College of Psychiatry, Women in Mind Conference on Sexual Violence and Abuse (December 2019)

  • VAMHN National networking day on Survivor Priorities for Research

  • Barnado's Centre for Expertise in Child Sexual Abuse on involving trauma survivors in research

  • MiMoS and Mesarch studies on the use of self and creating safety in research with trauma survivors

  • 2nd International Conference on Pluralistic Counselling & Psychotherapy on involving trauma survivors in research and practice development

  • St Mary's SARC 16th Annual Conference on involving trauma survivors in research and services

  • 2018 and 2019 Women's Mental Health Summer School at King's College London on trauma, PTSD and research

  • The Havens SARC/King's College Hospital Annual Conference 2017 & 2018 on involving trauma survivors in research

  • University College London Medical School 2018 on effective support for patients who are survivors of abuse

  • Margret Pyke Trust Conference at the Royal College of Physicians 2017: the sexually abused patient and effective support