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14th June 2021 
About Me. Library Image: Leaf and Water

About Me

I originally worked in electronics and electrical maintenance, then domestic appliance repair and servicing, before changing direction and moved into lecturing in FE firstly in electrical maintenance before I moved into the area of teaching media studies and performing arts before beginning my counselling training in 2000. In 2004, I then changed direction again and worked in a dedicated NHS service working with sexual, emotional and mental health for vulnerable young men.

Since 2003 I have continued my professional training to include dance movement psychotherapy as well as gaining experience working in a number of settings including the NHS, charity and voluntary sector as well as private practice. I have experience of coordinating and managing a dedicated NHS counselling and psychotherapy service for a brief period providing staff cover. This also included providing psychotherapeutic counselling for patients with HIV at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

I began my career in counselling and psychotherapy by volunteering for a NHS and MIND mental health setting, and in GP surgeries in North Warwickshire, before moving into paid employment in the NHS. I worked there for 10 years with individuals and couples often with complex difficulties whilst continuing my psychotherapy training. Alongside this I worked freelance for the Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies (BCAT). At the same time, I completed a doctorate at Coventry University with a view to getting a career in Higher Education and in 2013 I became involved the professional training of dance movement psychotherapists and creative expressive therapy facilitators at Derby University as an associate lecturer.

As well as having extensive experience of working with whatever issue or issues people bring to counselling or DMP, I do have an interest in working with difference and diversity in all it's forms. I have a deep respect for the differences that exist in people and it is this that reinforces my commitment to promoting equal opportunities as well as working with people in an anti-discriminatory and respectful way.


Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - (2014)
Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Movement Psychotherapy - (Roehampton University, London, 2005)
Post Graduate Certificate in Dance Movement Psychotherapy - (Roehampton University, London, 2004)
Diploma in Humanistic Counselling - (Accredited by Warwick University and BACP, Tile Hill College, Coventry, 2003)
Certificate in Counselling Skills - (Tile Hill College, 2001)
Introduction to Counselling - (Tile Hill College, 2000)


Professional Training

A series of workshops in Relational Living Body Psychotherapy developed by Julianne Apel-Opper, Berlin.
Two year training in Developmental and Somatic Psychotherapy developed by Dr Ruella Frank, NYC, USA. (2011-13).
Four year training in Gestalt Psychotherapy - York Psychotherapy Training Centre, a member of the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute (GPTI), UK, (2008-12). I now hold their Certificate of Completion (2016).


Professional Memberships

Fellow of the Higher Education Association (HEA).
Member of the Association of Humanistic Psychology GB (Click Here).
Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (RDMP) on the Private Practice and Supervisors Register with the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMP-UK).
Triple Fellow of the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA).
Friend Member of the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute (Click Here).
Associate Member of the U.K. Association of Gestalt Practitioners (UKAGP).
Dance UK's health care practitioners directory offering my services to dancers in the UK. http://www.danceuk.org/medical-practitioners-directory/md/profile/1622/


Academic Qualifications

PhD in Dance, Cultural Studies - (Coventry University, 2012)
MA in Media & Culture - (Coventry University, 1998)
BA Hons in Communication Studies - (Coventry University, 1996)
Certificate in Education - (Warwick University, 1992)
C&Gs 730 Adult Education (Tile Hill College, 1991)


Publications

Chapter titled “Configuring the personal/professional self” in Taylor, J. & Holmwood, C. (Eds.) (2018). Learning as a Creative and Developmental Process in Higher Education: A Therapeutic Arts Approach and its Wider Applications. London. Routledge. Published 18 October 2018.

Research project seed funded by Derby University, “Personal and Professional integration of Gestalt Psychotherapy into Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) practice and the impact of that on teaching and learning on a MA DMP Programme”. Intended to be published in The British Gestalt Journal.

Quick project for seed funding 31/7/18 at Derby University, “Clowning as a creative method in guidance and Counselling: a Dance Movement Psychotherapist’s approach”. Intended to be published in The British Journal for Guidance and Counselling, A Symposium on Creative Methods.


About Me. BACP Logo 2019


Publications

1) Chapter titled “Configuring the personal/professional self” in Taylor, J. & Holmwood, C. (Eds.) (2018). Learning as a Creative and Developmental Process in Higher Education: A Therapeutic Arts Approach and its Wider Applications. London. Routledge.

2) Research project seed funded by Derby University, “Personal and Professional integration of Gestalt Psychotherapy into Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) practice and the impact of that on teaching and learning on a MA DMP Programme”. Intended to be published in The British Gestalt Journal.

3) Quick scholarly project for seed funding 31/7/18 at Derby University, “Clowning as a creative method in guidance and Counselling: a Dance Movement Psychotherapist’s approach” intended to be published in The British Journal for Guidance and Counselling, A Symposium on Creative Methods.


International Experience

European Association of Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT) Conference 2018 - “CROSSING BORDERS AND THE IN-BETWEEN: Gender and Sexuality”, Athens, Greece. This workshop was accepted by the conference organising committee, but for reasons beyond my control I had to withdraw from the conference itinerary.

Summer School - Creativity and Learning: "Courage and Sensitivity" 6 - 10 June 2016 in Jyväskylä | JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Teacher Education College delivering a PM experiential workshop "Exploring Courage and Sensitivity with the Body in Movement". (Click Here)

Summer School - Creativity and Learning: “Joy” 8–12 June 2015 in Jyväskylä | JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Teacher Education College delivering an experiential workshop "The potential of "joy" in creative expressive movement: A Humanistic (primarily gestalt) approach".


Academic Work

Both my dance movement psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling practice has been deeply influenced by my PhD.

The title of my doctoral thesis was "White men don't dance: The politics of the Latin look as evidenced in competitive International Style Latin American dance". It was a critical study of competitive International Style Latin American dance, from a cultural studies approach. As a highly stylised and constructed 'text' it raises important issues around social class, race, gender and sexuality. In short it looks at the last taboo of white men dancing, an issue partially addressed on Strictly Come Dancing. Or so it seems...

This is a unique piece of academic work and my intention is to publish the work in a book in the future. Part of this work has included lectures and seminars on the 'Dance in Everyday Life' module to second and final year students of the Communication, Media and Culture degree course at Coventry University.

I first started work on this back in the 1990s, and presented a paper on "The Latin look - Representation and Competitive Ballroom Dance" at the AMCCS Conference 11-12 December 1998 - "Moving On - Changing Times / Changing Cultures". It involved trips to Cuba (2000) and Argentina (2002) and many interviews with dance professionals and coaches.

This was before Juliet McMains published "Brownface: Representations of Latin-ness in DanceSport" in Dance Research Journal 33.2 (2001)p.54-71.

Where McMains "ethnographic data is drawn from 12 years as a critical observer and a participant in the DanceSport communuity between 1991 and 2003" (p.13, 2006), mine is drawn from over 30 years in the ballroom dance community from 1978 to the present day and 20 years as a critical observer from 1991 to the present day. I'm amazed that Juliet was also thinking/writing about these issues around the same time as myself albeit thousands of miles apart.

Juliet McMains produced her book called "Glamour Addiction" in 2006 and a book was also written by Caroline Picart (2006), both of which were closest to my PhD.

Useful Links: Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapists UK (Click Here)


News

Member of the Professional Development Committee (PDC) of ADMP-UK, and then Chair 2017-18.

Chair of the Education and Training Committee (ETC) of ADMP-UK, 2016.

ADMP-UK is now an Organisational Member (OM) of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) (@03) and many senior RDMPs were able to apply for Direct membership of UKCP as UKCP DMPs immediately. Many other DMPs including myself will be able to apply by various pathways to become Direct Members of UKCP should we wish to.

As a Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (DMP) on the ADMP-UK Private Practice Register, I offer trainee DMPs personal therapy (in accordance with UKCP guidelines for DMP trainings) with a few low cost places available.


New: Book

My book, an accessible version based on my PhD. Enjoy! @03