I can recall as a child discussing the subject of Transactional Analysis with my Mum (a model used in psychology that examines the interactions or 'transactions' between a person and other people). She was a Relate marriage guidance counselor and would often share what she had learned with the family. It was clear that helping others through difficult times gave her a real sense of purpose. Both my Mum and Dad have always been great examples of the joy and wealth that comes through helping others.
As a young man I studied the sciences, eventually focusing on Microbiology at University, but during that time I joined a church and ended up with the responsibility of leading small student groups. It became clear that working with people, rather than in a lab, was where my heart lay. In 1994 I began working for the church I was part of.
I met Sara, my wonderful wife, in 1996 when working together in London and soon after we married in May 1997 - when you know, you know! After leading congregations in Cambridge (where my son Ethan was born) and Manchester (where my daughter Izzy was born) we decided to step out of the ministry but continue working together. In 2003 we set up Cambridgeshire Sports Physio and Back Care in Abbots Ripton; Sara treated her clients while I looked after the other aspects of running the business. It afforded us flexibility with our schedule so we could focus on being the best parents we could be - to this day it remains our top priority. But during the first couple of years of running the physio clinic it became clear to me that what I enjoy most is working with people on a one-to-one basis and I really missed it.
So I investigated various therapies that would enable me to help others to make real and significant changes in their lives and in the end decided to study hypnotherapy; this type of therapy targets a particular behavioural trait and does not necessarily involve analysing ones past or the reason a particular pattern may have come about. This approach of targetting a specific issue and making a big difference in a short number of sessions appealed to me and I still find it incredibly rewarding and challenging.
Over the years my approach to therapy has changed as I have studied various techniques such as cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy and attended many courses. The influence of my original tutor, the late Rod Piggott, has been huge, his vibrant spirit, positivity and understanding of human tendencies changed me - during that initial course we discussed and examined our own belief systems and their influence; it was a transformational time that I am so grateful for.
More recently my personal practice and study of mindfulness has been a revelation. It is incredibly well researched and the benefits, often clinically proven, are many. I now incorporate mindfulness into most of my therapy. I cannot recommend it enough and strongly believe it will be a commonplace practice throughout western society in the near future.