About Me and Testimonials
Online Harms & Cybertrauma Advisor, Consultant, Author and Gaming/TechTherapist.
Epigenetic and Trauma Child/Adult Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor.
Functional Health Practitioner. Podcaster, Vlogger, Blogger. Polymath.
Clinical & Academic Researcher, PhD. Candidate, MSc, PGDip, BSc (Hons)
Director for Privacy4 Ltd
Director and Mental Health Advisor for GamersBeatCancer
Catherine is an Interpersonal Neurobiological practitioner using theoretical integration of Neuroscience and Attachment and synthesising this with Transactional Analysis and Functional Medicine approaches with Technology. She is one of a kind in this field!
She is a critical thinker and will challenge even the most robust research and theories and often explains this to her clients, as she is fully aware of the changing landscape of sense-making in a word of information, misinformation and disinformation. She is an advocate for the rights of children and adults in a digital world and has a high level of integrity in this area. She is a disruptor and often pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking and biases.
Catherine's past includes training as a Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics Engineer in The Armed Forces as an Instrument Technician, and in doing so was the first female to complete this role in the UK. This meant she trained with a male-dominated workforce with much to "prove' about her abilities and capabilities, or so she thought.
After leaving the Army she was married with two children and raised them as a single parent not long after this. It's fairly common for marriages in the Forces to end this way due to the high-stress environment and backgrounds of people who find their early employment in the Military (perhaps when people are too young).
Catherine found herself working in the world if IT, Technolgy, Cyber related industries including working for large technology companies when home computing was just taking off (and you would be paying thousands of pounds to own one!) This was also a male-dominated environment and she would often be met with a blank face where the expectation was the I.T. "Guy" would be carrying out the job! Catherine remained unphased by this and has to date found that this is a societal message that she embraces to her advantage rather than becoming embroiled in battles around the issue.
Catherine decided that perhaps she could move her learning to a field she had an interest in after a family member presented with Mental health issues and she wanted to understand why. Armchair Psychology only gets you so far and there was much to discover! After completing her Psychology undergraduate Catherine set off to study MSc Cognitive Neuroscience but alas as a single parent, there was no funding available to do this and bring up little ones at the same time without huge sacrifices. So back to the world of technology and gaming where she stayed for a number of years. The building she worked in contained a few therapists and after many a conversation, Catherine decided to retrain as a therapist for many reasons, the main one being that she noticed support for children was insufficient, and lacking or had such long waiting lists. Empowered to make a difference she set out on her journey.
Along the way, Catherine worked as a Relationships and Sex Education Tutor to fund her training and noticed the behaviours of young people using the internet and the issues they faced. She had lots of long and intrusive conversations with her children, their friends, and relatives about their use of devices and online spaces (apparently she asked too many questions!) Based on her experience of technology Catherine began to develop her theory of #Cybertrauma around 2011/2012. Catherine has been working with clients with issues relating to technology and harms since this time and has heard so many in-depth stories and witnessed the impact of technology on her client's wellbeing that she was determined to specialise and share this knowledge beginning with a handy guide in 2016, journal articles and now a completed book with a few more articles and books to follow...
Catherine qualified after 1200* hours of unpaid and voluntary practice and lots of written work, including a peer-reviewed journal article, which wasn't a necessary part of the qualification, yet a necessary part of #cyberbullying research. She completed her dual MSc for both Adult and Child registers, also another first in the UK under the membership body she is accredited with; UKCP (She also previously gained her BACP accreditation in 2016 but decided to leave this membership body)
(*600 for Child/600 Adult)
As Catherine began to develop her practice she noticed that her trauma clients presented with medical issues more often than not and this became much of the dialogue between herself and the client, regardless of age. Even with a wealth of knowledge about childhood trauma and abuse through her clinical practice with children and adults, something was missing from this integrative approach she had trained in. Even after attending many conferences, she couldn't quite put her finger on what it was. No matter how much work happened in talk therapy, clients could not fully "talk their way out of trauma, nor would working with the body alone provide the full healing" Catherine embarked on a flurry of courses, conferences, and trauma marathons to educate herself and improve her 'toolbox' of methods and interventions. This included integrating technology into her practice.
Catherine's story really begins with the blending of Functional Health and Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Psychotherapy, something she calls Epigenetic Psychotherapy and Integrated Health: you can find out more here: www.integratedhealthclinic.co.uk
Catherine says "I was listening to some of the great names at a trauma conference many years ago when I had several light bulb moments (what I call a fizz buzz). One of these was as I listened to Stephen Porges, who led me to look into the Polyvagal Theory (PVT) profoundly and how this explained many of the responses I was seeing in my client's verbal and non-verbal body language. PVT gave me the theoretical foundation with which to work with my clients. Enabling to help them understand their responses to horrific events, and to work with them using biofeedback and somatic (bodywork), and, yet, it still did not complete the puzzle of all of the physiological illnesses that clients presented with. I could pinpoint why they likely had specific health issues related to their bodies' response at the time of the trauma. However, it didn't go deep enough.
What fascinated me most about my clients, the trainees, supervisees and their clients, and young people that I have worked with over many years was the impact of childhood trauma on health and wellbeing in later life. Many of those childhood trauma's are labelled 'Adverse Child(hood) Experiences,' and I find this an underwhelming way to describe these events that can impact health at a cellular level. During training, I had been introduced to the field of epigenetics, and at the time, this was a new concept in psychotherapy literature/training. An area in which I was informed that 'Trauma Methylates DNA' without a full description of what this is, was or how it worked. I was curious, what was methylation, and what was its purpose? It seemed no one had a definitive answer in the world of therapy, and so off I went to find out...
I found myself looking at the work of Rachel Yehuda on holocaust survivor epigenetics, and found that I was fascinated with biochemistry and wanted to find out more. And so began my journey into the realm of functional health, without knowing that this would soon become the key to my lock and open up many doors of new ways to integrate functional medicine principles into my practice and create precision-based psychotherapy that looks deeply at those epigenetic markers, and how this ties into mental and health issues that are often the driving factor to people seeking therapy in the first instance. This was the linchpin to my new passion, drive and purpose to bring the world of psychotherapy together with functional medicine.
I am a certified DNA life practitioner that allows me to do nutrigenetic and functional testing with my clients to do this in my practice"
"I can highly recommend Cath Knibbs as a practitioner and as a trainer. She is a fount of knowledge, always several steps ahead of the curve, both in terms of tech and Cybertrauma and also in functional medicine and holistic approaches to health. She is someone who gets to the heart of matters, carefully evaluates and uses the most current findings and is someone I would turn to for advice without reservation" Graham Music (PhD), Author, Trainer and Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Centre, London
I have known Cath for a number of years having first met her when she was leading a training session on cyber trauma. I was really impressed with the range, breadth and depth of knowledge that Cath had for the subject, as well as her ability to discuss complex issues in a way that anyone can understand with plenty of real examples to give impact. Cyber trauma and online harms is a continually developing area and the work I do in child protection relies on clear, up-to-date information from academics working in the field. Cath is always the first person I turn to for advice and guidance. Highly recommended for all your training and information needs. Alan Mackenzie: E-Safety Adviser and Founding `Member of Association of Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists
I have known Cath for a number of years having first met her when she was leading a training session on cyber trauma. She subsequently helped me build coherent child-facing communications on our trial product Oyoty. I have been impressed with the hands-on guidance Cath provided for our project as well as her knowledge, passion and pursuit for impact in the domain of online wellbeing of children. Cyber trauma and online harms is a continually developing area and the work I do (in child protection)builds upon up-to-date research and guidance from academics as well as other actors closely working in the field. I highly recommended Cath for all your training and information needs. Deepak Tewari CEO of Privately and Founder of Oyoty (precursor to Own It App)
“It’s not often you meet someone who has such a depth of knowledge on all matters related to physical, mental, and emotional health as Catherine has. I was initially drawn to speak to Catherine as I was keen to improve my physical wellbeing, but quickly her knowledge enabled me to increase my mental capacity too, which had a dramatic impact on all areas of my daily performance.
Catherine’s approach is professional, approachable, and applicable to anyone looking to improve their lives. Her knowledge is second-to-none, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who needs to improve any aspect of their lives.
People like Catherine don’t come along very often. Don’t pass up the opportunity to speak to her.” Gary Hibberd, The Professor of Communicating Cyber @ The Cyberfort Group
Cath was involved in helping develop short interventions for local practitioners to deliver to the children and young people they work with. These were to be used as part of the Resilience Framework and to be hosted on the website. Cath’s wealth of knowledge and practical experience enabled us to think creatively (and therapeutically) when creating these.
I have attended Cath’s training twice and find her delivery style unique and engaging. She’s a wealth of theory and practical knowledge around social media, gaming, trauma, and the impact and shares this during her training and you always come away feeling informed and enthused. Denise Wheatman: Health Improvement Specialist- Resilience Strategy and Specialist Support Team Public Health- WMDC
"Home-Start Wakefield & District offers on-going training to its staff and volunteer team to support their personal and professional development. We approached Cath to ask if she would facilitate a session for us. We were not disappointed! Cath delivered a fantastic training session. It was very informative and well-prepared with relevant hand-outs for us to take away. It was very apparent that Cath knows her subject very well indeed and was able to pass on information in a clear way. Not only that, she is clearly passionate about it and this came across very much during the training. The feedback we received from all those who attended was extremely positive. Everyone really enjoyed the session and came away with lots of information and lots to think about! I would not hesitate to recommend Cath to other agencies who are looking for an excellent training opportunity for their team." Belinda Colton- Homestart Wakefield
For the purposes of confidentiality, I cannot use Psychotherapy client testimonials
I am a voice for children, young people and adults,
I advocate through stories from my research,
I challenge and I am a disruptor of the persecutory narrative,
I make the complex easy to access and understand,
I take the dark and macabre subjects and make them accessible
I bring humour, enthusiasm and passion to deliver the information to you in a way that will inspire and motivate you,
I am a realist and what matters is the story of YOU
I am a human being, Mum and a compassionate activist for those who have no voice.
I am a Cyber Specialist, Theorist and Author
I am a PhD Clinical Researcher
I am a Child and Adult Trauma, Psychotherapist
I am an online and offline Clinical Supervisor
I am an Epigenetic Psychotherapist & Coach
I am an e-safety Consultant
I am an Engineer
I am me