Wow, as I pause to think about my life, I’m reminded of what a very chequered life and career I have had.
Due to the joys of being a “military brat” I spent most of my growing up years moving all around the USA and when I was 17 years old, my family moved to Germany. Though my family moved back to the states, I stayed in Europe and have worked and lived in many different countries and have been calling England my home since 1991.
As far as my career is concerned, I worked as a teacher for some years, before deciding I wanted to study to become a psychologist. So 15 years after my first Bachelor of Arts I was back at University as a ‘mature’ student. I had a job, two young children and my friends thought I was nuts! I remember saying to them: “six years of my life will pass anyway.” I’m so glad I listened to me and not them!
I became a psychologist because I am passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and for me it’s such a priveledge to be part of someone’s journey and to be able to celebrate with them, when they emerge at the end of that journey.
It’s unfortunate, however, that “therapy” still carries a stigma of people who have ‘failed’ or are ‘broken’ and need ‘fixing.’ And it certainly doesn’t help that the therapy industry has aligned itself with the medical profession, where ‘patients’ get diagnosed and need treatment by ‘experts.’
I personally don’t believe that people are ‘broken’ and need ‘fixing.’ I believe that people simply get stuck at times in their lives. People have all the resources they need within them, but when they get stuck, an outside, objective view helps them to better access and use those resources. It’s a bit like when you are looking for something in your cupboard and can’t find it, only to have someone point it out to you – “it’s right in front of you!”
As Coaching was gaining popularity in the United Kingdom, and after 10 years working as a psychologist, both in the public and private sector, I went on to do my coaching training, absolutely loved it, and realised that my psychology skills and my coaching skills were a powerful combination.
My own personal life has also been a bit chequered. I was married for 20 years, had two children and then ended up as one of the divorce statistics you read about. I was then in a five year relationship which also didn’t work out and since then I’ve been in some short term relationships and I’ve also spent a good amount of time as a single.
I can clearly remember the painful journey and the huge transition in going from being in a 20 year marriage, only to have it ‘fail.’ At the time, the impact it had on the rest of my life felt overwhelming. My confidence took a beating. I didn’t know what the dating ‘rules’ were anymore. I hardly knew who I really was anymore either!
And then I went an did it all over again! At that point, sitting on a concret floor of my new little home, with no furniture, and feeling I had hit rock bottom, I decided I was going to embark on a journey that was about me – after all, I was the common denominator in those ‘failed’ relationships.
The thing that struck me while I was learning to live my life as a single, was that so many of the self-help books and resources for singles on the internet were disappointing and not really helpful. The kinds of things that were being offered – “how to flirt” just seeemd like another setup for failure. I mean, once I learned to flirt and caught his eye – well, what then? How did I even know I’m flirting with the right kind of person for me? How could that help me make a relationship really work? How could I be sure I wasn’t going into a relationship for the wrong reasons?
So here we are. The Singles Gym is the newest string to my bow, where I am able to combine my skills and expertise as a teacher, psychologist, coach as well as my own relationship experiences, in doing what I love most – working with people and fulfilling my passion of making a difference in people’s relationships.
As an international speaker, I have held seminars and workshops for singles, married couples and families in countries such as Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and England. Taking this passion online is my newest challenge where I hope to be able to reach many more people than I ever could in my private practice.
I hope you find The Singles Gym to be helpful to you – wherever you are on your relationship journey! My dream is to create a community of genuine people who are looking for authentic and meaningful relationships. Welcome! I look forward to any feedback, ideas, suggestions and stories you might want to share.
I enjoy traveling, meeting people and experiencing different cultures. I love reading, learning, ceroc dancing, good food and wine (prefer eating it to cooking it), theatre, walking, skiing, the outdoors, scuba diving, jet skiing, gym and my new fish tank!
This year, I am planning to learn to rock climb and I will start looking for a place, in Italy, to be able to escape to, in order to get all this amazing stuff I have in my head into the written form.