I studied Psychotherapy and counselling at WPF in Kensington and then went on to study the psychology and practicalities of mindfulness and meditation. I am now a solution based counsellor and personal coach. I believe mindfulness is the “owners manual” that we need to live a fulfilled life of ease and wellbeing. It is where ancient wisdom and modern science meet.
Mindfulness has certainly become way more popular in the West since the neuroscientific evidence that regular mindfulness and meditation can change the way the brain functions.
I have spent the last twelve years studying how the mind works and working to help people find clarity and solutions. One of the most useful things I have discovered is how the mind can be a real trickster. It doesn’t matter how emotionally intelligent and self aware you are – the mind can keep you ‘in the dark’ in its effort to protect you. I can point out what the mind is doing because I am outside of your mind and I know how’ve it works.
I am fascinated by the mind and the science of happiness. I don’t necessarily mean that giddy happiness and exhilaration (although that is fun), I mean a deep sense of security and satisfaction. I had become so used to low level feelings of stress and apathy that I had almost forgotten what it felt like to feel happy and free and completely stable.
I pondered the thought that it was completely possible to feel free when in prison, if you could get the your mind right, and I considered that I had enough good in my life to create some hope and maybe even some enthusiasm. I thus went about learning how the mind works, why it works the way it does and how to gently discipline it so that I was in control instead of my fears.
I now help people with all the experiential knowledge I have gained in the last 12 years. I work on a one to one basis counselling and coaching people, and I hold mindfulness workshops. Practical mindfulness improved my life significantly and I have a deep satisfaction in using mindfulness psychology and principles to help people create a better quality of life..
My youngest client is 11 years old and my oldest is 85 years with a variety of reasons for coming to me – from fear and anxiety to a simple desire to improve their quality of life. Some have come as a once off – or perhaps two or three times – and many come on an ongoing basis. Of course every single person is completely different and utterly unique but the problems always fit within the same dynamics.
Part of my job is to help people see what the dynamics are that are at play. I feel it’s is imperative to listen to my clients with empathy and compassion, to point out the dynamics that are going on and to help them find solutions.
I really don’t believe therapy has to necessarily be a painful process, in fact I think solutions can be found in a gentle, compassionate and even fun way.
‘Shirley is incredibly insightful – in one session she explained what was going on with my mind. It doesn’t matter how astute and self aware you are, a clever mind can trick you in an effort to keep the status quo. ” T. Graham