In 1982, aged 23, I dropped out of a lucrative corporate career because I wished to live my life on my own terms, unencumbered by the expectations of family and society. Two years later, after a spell of travelling, I discovered yoga. I then lived on a commune until 1986 during which time I supported myself working in factories and restaurants. During this time, I practiced yoga and studied the canons of eastern philosophies and western psychological techniques.
In 1990, I relocated to Colchester where I qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse with Diploma in Nursing. Over the next ten years, I worked in acute admission wards, day hospitals, and in a semi-secure unit. My professional evolution moved in the direction of therapeutic groupwork and individual counselling. I devised and ran groups across five Mental Health Trusts; supportive therapy, yoga, relaxation, men’s issues, forensic issues and self-awareness.
My first encounter with psychotherapy came in 1995 when working as a senior staff nurse in the therapeutic community in Guy’s Hospital, London. The work entailed working alongside three psychodynamically-trained psychotherapists in large-group settings. My passion for the work led me to train in psychotherapy at the Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy (MIP).
I was endorsed to practice from 1997 and ran clinics in MIP and in Hebden Bridge until 2017. In 2007, I was endorsed to supervise and train psychotherapists to UKCP registration level under mentorship.I underwent a second psychotherapy training with Mark Forman in 2015 in the US and graduated as a Certified Integral Psychotherapist.
In 2017, I qualified as an Associate Life Coach from Integral Coaching Canada and, since then, have worked in private practice.
Regarding yoga; in 1990, I trained as a yoga teacher in York under the tutelage of Diane Kendall, then the Chairperson of the British Wheel of Yoga. I had personal input from her from 1988. I gained my Teaching Diploma in 1992. Since then, I have run yoga classes on a more-or-less ongoing basis with a three year sabbatical following the birth of my son in 1997. In addition, I have run classes in mental health day hospitals, a chronic back pain clinic, an elderly assessment unit, a junior school and at several psychotherapy conferences. I have, since 1992, trained with many leading yoga teachers in varying traditions.
Between 2001 and 2007, I practiced Theravadan Buddhist meditation intensively, daily practice augmented with one ten day silent retreat per year, chiefly at Amaravati Monastery. From 2007 to 2011 I studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhist meditation under the tutelage of Martin Vermasse, senior student of Kenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in the Mahamudra Tradition of the Karma Kagyu lineage. I am endorsed to teach elementary Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices.
In 2009, I founded the Calderdale Yoga Centre in Hebden Bridge which is a regional hub of yoga activity. Well-attended classes ran daily, catered for by eight teachers, including myself. Yogacampus, one of the foremost UK yoga organisations ran a modulated training programme there at weekends. I taught the (yoga-based) meditation module. I also ran quarterly workshops in meditation from the Yoga Kula studio in Leeds.
I divested the Calderdale Yoga Centre and my two psychotherapy and supervision practices in 2018 and relocated to Brighton in the same year.
I served a 4 year apprenticeship with John Hawken, a leading teacher of neotantra, shamanism and bioenergetics beginning in 2016. I am now a member of his Paths of Transformation Teaching Faculty and, together with my wife Rose, run personal transformation workshops and retreats under the name of Shivashakti Embodied Awakening.
On a personal note, these days I live quietly with Rose, playing the ukulele badly, studying Classical tantra, enjoying all kinds of electronic music and devouring romantic comedies now that my son has left the nest and I don’t have to do Marvel films anymore. I love to travel, sip red wine with friends and rest meditatively in my heart.
In 2020, the coronavirus lockdown gave me the space to reflect upon how I wished to take the learning from 10,000 hours on a yoga mat, 8,000 hours on a meditation cushion, 24,000 hours offering therapy and life coaching, 15 years of personal therapy, 23 years of parenthood and approximately 3000 digested books as well as 62 years of enjoying the challenges of learning how to be fully human. The result forms the offerings of this website and the one I share with Rose.