A little about me, and how I became a psychologist, coach, and NVC consultant.
I was born with an ultra-rare (less than 2000 known cases globally) genetic skin disorder. In those days being a “proper boy” was defined by contact sport, play fighting, and “strength” – none of which I had; so by the time I was 19 I had grown some fairly major doubts about myself. These doubts led me to see a psychologist, a woman who changed my life. So that was part one of me becoming a psychologist; I went to see one, it helped, and I thought “I want to do that”.
Part two, was that psychology is the knowledge home of body language, something I had had an interest in since I was a teenager. For most humans, the body is something taken for granted, something that works in unison with our environment, intentions, and thoughts. This unison is something we only really notice when there is a gap between what we intend/think and the result: for example, when our intention is to step forward and we trip; or when our wish is to be warm, and we are, in fact, cold.
For me, my skin condition has meant that the aforementioned “gap” is always present; I have always needed to consider carefully the motions of my body, and have had to use it in fundamentally different ways to the norm. I therefore grew up extremely aware of my body in the world.
When I was 16, one of my sisters bought a book on body language, which I read once she had finished it; I was fascinated. At first, I think I read it because a sibling rivalry meant that I didn’t want to lag behind in understanding the world; but my quotidian focus on body movement meant that the book really resonated with me. This lead to a lifelong interest and study of body language or non-verbal communication (NVC).
Eventually I wrote my doctoral thesis on NVC; this looked at how empathy and facial expressions of emotion are related. My thesis showed how an understanding of facial expressions can be used to enhance the empathic – and by extension therapeutic – process. As a psychologist I know I have used NVC to enhance the therapy I do; as a coach and consultant I know that being a psychologist has enhanced the sessions I deliver.
I have a Professional Doctorate in Psychology; I am a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered, and British Psychology Society (BPS) chartered, psychologist. As my client, you would have:
- The security of knowing my knowledge base covers more than just non-verbal communication
- The confidence that my work is firmly rooted in confidentiality and ethic; based upon:
- The protection of the ethical framework and underlying safeguarding measures of the HCPC and BPS
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