As a psychologist, my job is to help people to feel better, and during my time in this role I have had the privilege of helping thousands of people by teaching them skills and strategies that place them in the ‘driver’s seat’ of their emotions.
I have always had an interest in psychology. Even in previous occupational roles such as office administrator, retail assistant, trainer and manager, and the more general roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, I have always found people to be fascinating. From watching how customers choose their purchases to observing the obsequious behaviour of lower-level managers at business meetings, human psychology seems always to have been my main focus.
I’m probably not your typical psychologist, having been born and raised in a working-class area of Liverpool in North-West England, a place where life opportunities (at that time) were limited. Any ideas of going to university or having a career were never even considered as possibilities and it wasn’t until later on in life while living in New Zealand that I began to think about an education for myself.
By the time I was twenty five I had emigrated to the other side of the world with my husband and two young children. New Zealand is a beautiful country and has been my home for a long time now. In many ways life has not been easy, but being raised in Liverpool provided me with a quirky way of looking at life and that special Liverpudlian brand of humour that encourages people to laugh at themselves.
While working full time and raising children, over the years I gradually gained a tertiary education at New Zealand’s Massey University, completing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, two Graduate Diplomas (one in Business Studies and one in Psychology), a Masters Degree with First Class Honours in Psychology (for which I was awarded a Doctoral Scholarship) and finally a PhD in Psychology. The latter qualifications provided me with the opportunity to train and register as a psychologist. At the Auckland Institute for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapies, I completed a final Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, this being the particular therapeutic approach I mostly use in my work.