I’ve lived in Oxford since 1993 when I arrived as a student and fell in love with the place. I now live in Florence Park with my family.
After my degree in Psychology and Philosophy I trained as a clinical psychologist. I worked in the NHS for 14 years initially, specialising in how people adjust to the life-changing event of a spinal cord injury. During this time I became interested in how mindfulness meditation can help people find acceptance, resolve emotional problems and manage chronic pain. As I learned more about mindfulness I realised also what it could do for me as a mother of young children, and began a life-changing personal mindfulness practice. I took a career break from my NHS role to be able to fit work around my family better, and enjoyed all the other things I did so much that I didn’t return for seven years. But since 2018 I have been very happy to be working within the NHS again at the John Radcliffe Hospital, at first in the Children’s Hospital, then in the neuropsychology mindfulness service, and now within gynaecology in chronic pelvic pain. Working in this specialism kindled my interest in EMDR trauma therapy which I am really enjoying being able to offer.
I gained a lot of support from other mothers and voluntary organisations for new parents when my daughter was born in 2004. This inspired me to give something back to help other new parents and helped me discover my passion for working with pregnant people, parents and babies. I volunteered as a breastfeeding counsellor with La Leche League for 10 years, for Oxford NCT running the Home Birth Group, and with wonderful and committed co-creators set up Oxford Sling Library, Positive Birth Movement Oxford (now Birth Space Oxford), Oxford Pregnancy and Parenting After Loss Support, and The Motherkind Café as charitable organisations focused on parent-to-parent community support. I also worked in birth preparation and postnatal group facilitation, offering mindful hypnobirthing workshops with Mindful Mamma, teaching on the NHS midwives’ Mindful Birth course, running postnatal groups and baby massage courses for NCT, and leading a mindfulness meditation group for parents with their babies and toddlers.
It has been wonderful to combine my passion for women’s health and the psychological transitions of parenthood with my NHS career, and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore this rewarding area.