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 environment and background of people in the Military (and 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 and noticed the behaviors of young people using the internet and had lots of long and intrusive conversations with her children, their friends, and relatives (apparently she asked too many questions). Based on her experience of technology Catherine began to develop her theory of #Cybertrauma around 2011/2012 (for the up to date academic definition see the page labeled Cybertrauma)
As Catherine qualified after 1200* hours of 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, also another first in the UK under the membership body. She was now an accredited Psychotherapist with UKCP. (She also gained her BACP accreditation in 2016 but decided to leave this to lapse as she gained the higher level qualification via UKCP)
(*600 for Child work and 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." 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 now calls Epigenetic Psychotherapy: you can find out more here: www.epigeneticpsychotherapy.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 labeled 'Adverse Child(hood) Experiences,' and I find this an underwhelming way to describe these events that can impact health to 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 the 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 drive 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".
Publications: Click here
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 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 Epigenetic Psychotherapist & Coach
I am an e-safety Consultant
I am an Engineer
I am me
You can download my CV if you really want to look at my credentials