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Meet the Team

Susie Ward

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"I have over 20 years of experience working in Psychology, Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching and Training.  I graduated from Loughborough University in 1988 and have a degree in Social Psychology and an MSc in Psychotherapy. It is a real privilege to get alongside someone who is doing their best to face challenging/painful feelings, behaviours, experiences and difficult choices. To witness students I am working with develop greater self- awareness and new insights, learn tools and strategies to make positive changes in their lives or to reach a place of self acceptance and self compassion is quite amazing.  Seeing students acquire resilience, tolerance and bravery to ride storms and surf waves is BRILLIANT…

I lead on Self-help and Wellbeing programmes and on the Supervision Framework provided within the team and am involved with the full range of services that DMU Counselling offer."

What puts a smile on your face?

"I have been learning to ice-skate and I love it, although bodyboarding in Cornwall is right up there too.

At work I cherish ‘sparkling’ moments with students which might represent ‘light bulb’ realisations or positive changes to thinking/ behaviour/feelings and wellbeing."

What do you find challenging?

"Currently, it is probably taking on some of the social media developments within the team. I am learning to foster an attitude of curiosity instead of my usual techno-fear response! I am really warming to Twitter."     

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?

"I run, have long soaks in the bath, meet up with the girls and talk quite a bit!"

What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

"‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. ‘Live the moment’ helps me to stay in the present rather than dwelling on the past or thinking too far ahead."

 

Mark Evans

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"I lead on the coaching program. I have worked at DMU for 12 years. Prior to DMU I worked for MIND as a Mental Health Advocate and before that in national press advertising and marketing. I graduated from Leeds University in 1993 with a degree in Cultural, Communication & Media Studies. Working at DMU is the most rewarding job I have had and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than supporting a student through difficult times on their way to graduating."

 

What puts a smile on your face?

"Watching ‘You’ve Been Framed’, Indian food and hearing that students I have worked with have graduated."

What do you find challenging?

"Trying not to be a perfectionist."

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?

 "Talking to friends, a counsellor or coach."

What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

 "‘It won’t always be like this’."

Carol Dawson

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"Hello, my name is Carol and I have had the pleasure of working as a Counsellor, Trainer and Coach for over 18 years. I have worked in a wide variety of settings including: HE & FE settings; Young Peoples Services; Substance Misuse; Mental Health and Dual Diagnosis. Prior to this I worked in the commercial sector having originally graduated with a Business Studies Degree. I joined the DMU Counselling Team in October of last year, and in this short time with the University every single DMU student I have worked with has been inspirational. Coming to talk to a counsellor can feel like a big step for many people, especially if they have not sought help before. I believe passionately in the transformational possibilities counselling has to offer and feel especially privileged when people trust me and agree for us to work together.

 I work across the full range of services provided by the Counselling Team including:  1:1 Counselling sessions; e-Counselling; 1:1 Coaching sessions and deliver Workshops and Training sessions. I am also the Lead for the current Research and Consultation Project, which will be looking at ways to ensure our services are inclusive and meet the needs of our wonderfully diverse student population here within DMU."

 

What puts a smile on your face?

"Hearing that students I have worked with found our sessions helpful or enriching; seeing them leave with renewed strength and confidence ; music festivals; being in a field, on a sunny day with friends listening to live music"

What do you find challenging?

"Writing about myself! Asking for help sooner rather than later."

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?

"Talking with loved ones and taking time out for the things that recharge my batteries and help me to reconnect with my inner strengths: walking, outdoor cookery and camp fires."

What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

 "‘Never give up…above these clouds the sun is shining’.  I also use music and lyrics to help me. Selecting my favourite tracks lift my mood or chill out. I especially like the lyrics to ‘Affirmation’ by Savage Garden."

 

Trevor Butlin

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"My name is Trevor and I am the counselling team leader.  I have been at DMU since 2005.  I split my time between managing the team and seeing students.   Managing is demanding as we are a very busy service and it is challenging to offer a service that meets demand and is of a high quality.  I have a degree in Psychology which I then added to with various post –graduate courses including the Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling.   I am an integrative therapist which means that I weave together various approaches that seem to work (based on student feedback).    I call it my therapeutic tool kit.    My hobbies include acting, going to live events (theatre, comedy, music) and walking."

 

What puts a smile on your face?

"Apart from a really good comedy act, I smile when a student tells me that I have said or done something that they have found really helpful."

What do you find challenging?

"Answering this! When IT systems go wrong or I can’t make sense of them."

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?  

"Talking about it to someone supportive and going for a walk or a swim to clear my head and get rid of muscle tension."

 
What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

"For a team leader it would have to be the classic “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” or “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”."

 

Claudia Kempinska-Hill

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"Hello, my name is Claudia and I’m a counsellor and psychotherapist. I have an MA in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Leicester and am also a qualified teacher. I have previously worked in schools, FE and HE settings as a counsellor, supervisor, lecturer and tutor on various counselling and therapy programmes. I was also previously a Director of a large counselling service in Northampton. I have worked in various guises at DMU since 2013, firstly as an associate counsellor, then as a sessional counsellor before becoming a permanent member of staff. I really enjoy working with students and feel very humbled to be witness to such positive changes students can make during their time in counselling.

I am the Counsellor Duty Officer here at DMU and I am currently leading the Mindfulness project for the Welfare Team."

 

What puts a smile on your face?

"Hearing that a student has really benefitted from counselling, and being out in the sunshine!"

What do you find challenging?

"Making sure I find a time for Mindfulness at least twice a day with a busy schedule."

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?    

"Finding some time to myself in a quiet place- usually in the open-air- to reflect and relax and gather my thoughts. I also like to listen to relaxing music in the bath, with scented candles and lots of bubbles."

 
What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

""Sometimes good enough is good enough!""

 

Wendy Jones

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"Hi, my name is Wendy. From an early age I wanted to understand mental health and so studied at Sunderland University where in 1986, I gained a joint honours degree in Psychology and Religion; followed by a PGCE and later an MA in Counselling. I have nearly 30 years of experience working in psychology, counselling, and teaching. 

My passion is to work alongside people, enabling them to find their own inner strengths and regain a sense of direction. Although I have worked in GP practice, my heart is in education where I enjoy the privilege of working with students both one to one, but also in workshops, where issues can be explored in a more energetic way. I love to work creatively and use various practical methods with students who struggle with the intensity of talking face to face. I lead on the workshop programme and proactively link with other services and teams including the chaplaincy so that space is made for spirituality. I am involved with the full range of services that DMU Counselling team offers."

 

What puts a smile on your face?

"Most dogs and reading Terry Pratchett’s Disc World novels which makes me laugh out loud, I think this says something about my love of satire and the ridiculous. 

At work I value the sweet/sad moment when a client has made progress, confident they are able to continue without further support."

What do you find challenging?

"Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the risk of making a bad choice."     

What helps you when you feel overwhelmed?    

"I need and value being with friends. But if I need time out just for myself, I like to feed my senses using good food, aromatherapy, massage and listening to jazz."

 
What mantra/affirmation or quote gets you through rough times?

“If the two thieves of joy are a hankering after a perfect past and a yearning for a change of some kind in the future, what have they stolen from us? They steal our only opportunity to find fulfilment, happiness and peace – they steal today. (From The Wisdom House by Rob Parsons, 2015).” 

 

 

 

And here’s a photo of our wider team...

 

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