I help people become happier, more fulfilled and liking themselves more. I feel privileged that I’ve been part of hundreds of people’s journey to heal themselves.
As a BACP accredited
I feel passionate about doing this job because I love it, because it gives me immense satisfaction helping people out of a troubled mind into a more balanced and fulfilling life.
I work collaboratively with you helping you understand yourself more and make effective choices that could make you feel better and happier.
I’ve always been interested in understanding how the mind works and been curious about comprehending what makes us human, the things we can see with rationality as well as those that elude consciousness.
Most of the things I’ve done in life had an underlying quest for answers. I did a degree in Philosophy, I taught in Steiner schools, lived and worked with people with special needs, I was a parenting adviser and I worked in a community farm. Through this, my constant studying and meeting of many remarkable people, I learned a great deal, but often the answers I got did not satisfy me entirely, they just led to further questions – ‘satiable curtiosities.
My training in psychotherapy started about 30 years ago as a client. Like many of us, I had my struggles in life: anxiety, anger, periods of depression, relationship difficulties, feeling powerless and unhappy. In
In 2001 I started formal training and in 2004 I had obtained my Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, which included continued personal therapy and supervised practice. In 2008, already with several hundred hours of work experience, when I was working as a counsellor for Cogwheel Trust in Cambridge I was awarded Accreditation with the BACP, recognising my demonstrated professional competence through a thorough assessment.
I have studied loads of books and attended many training courses. Through this I learned many useful things about life and the mind, but most of my meaningful knowledge is experiential, it comes from my direct experience.
There are two core elements that define me as a therapist:
- I work extensively with myself. This started even before my formal training and continues every day. I often can see your issues in myself, I am aware of our shared humanity;
- Everything I learn from books and teachers I apply to myself first, before I introduce it to clients.
One of the most important things I have learned from life is that wellbeing and mental health in particular is not something that is ever finished. It is a constant process and endless journey with challenges on the way, it is something that you need to do every day and take full responsibility for. I also realised how compassion, particularly self compassion goes a long way when facing most of the difficulties we have.
My style of counselling
If you have a counselling session with me I will listen carefully to what you have to say and give you all the space you need to talk, but I don’t just sit back and listen with a blank look. I engage actively with you. I am warm and friendly and often use humour. My clients tell me that my consulting room feels cosy and safe.
- I ask you questions to help you stay focused on what is relevant and also to guide you through a process of self-discovery so that you can explore your feelings and the thoughts, including the less conscious ones.
- I reflect back to you what I understood, often in a clearer and simplified way and this gives you a chance to hear your own thoughts and feelings expressed in a more objective way. I find this can help increase your self-awareness.
- When appropriate I take a more educational role and share with you what I have learned about how the mind works. Understanding our inner processes makes them less scary and this is the first step to know how we can change.
- Once you start understanding better what is happening to you, the obvious question is what you can do to change what is not working. Using my personal and professional experience, I will help you find your next step. Sometimes, if that is what you ask me, I can make suggestions about alternative ways of thinking or acting. This can speed up the therapeutic process and get you back on the road sooner.
- I can teach you practical and simple tools that can improve your mental health and general wellbeing.
Accreditation with BACP (2008)
SystemicModel of Family Therapy and Counselling for couples (2007)
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Course, 8-week programme (2011 & 2015)
Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, CBT based (2004)
WPF Certificate in Counselling Skills, Psychodynamic based (2002)
Community Mediation Skills (2002)
Plus Facilitator Training Course (2002)
Non-Violent Communication Foundation Course (2002)
Masters degree in Philosophy (1979)
Summary of Experience
(2004-Present) Counsellor/Psychotherapist in private practice
(2011-2017) Telephone counsellor on the Helpline of an Employee Assistance Program
(2007-2010) Personal Development Trainer
(2002-2007) Counsellor with organisations – Royal Forest of Dean College in Coleford, Mind Psychotherapy Dept in Hereford, Cogwheel Trust, Cambridge Consultancy in Counselling and Lifecraft in Cambridge
(2002-2007) Parenting Adviser and Supervisor with Parentline Plus
(2002) Community Mediator
(1995-2002) Steiner Schools Teacher
(1981-1994) Lived and worked alongside with people with special needs in Camphill Communities
(1976) Worked in a mixed community farm
(1973-1976) Editor of political publications
Some personal things
Originally from Porto, Portugal, came to the UK in the 80s to study and for professional development.
Father of 4 children and 2 step children, all adults now, and one grandchild.
In the 70s was actively involved in the fight for freedom and social justice and against fascism in Portugal.
Still making my contribution for a more peaceful and fairer society, free from oppression and violence, with more co-operation and less competition.
Sing in Natural Voice choirs.
Use cycling as my main means of transport in town, for health and environmental reasons.
Love living in Bristol, a great city to be part of.
Enjoy frequent contact with nature, keen walker, love trees, birds, rocks, the sea and the sky.
Interest in non religious spirituality, drawing inspiration from diverse streams like Anthroposophy, Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism.