Contemplation in Conversation


I’ve been an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Plymouth University for nearly 15 years and have offered spaces for consultation, supervision and support, in a wide variety of contexts and with people from all walks of life, over nearly three decades of Practice. In recent years I’ve worked a lot with colleagues in the Public Sector trying to make sense of the relentless stress and de-moralisation that many have found there.

Modern life can feel both hyper fast and full, and at the same time painfully ‘stuck’ or empty of things that really nourish us. It’s tempting to look for ‘fixes’ (and I’ve tried a few) that offer solutions.

A different approach can be to ‘lean into’ the disappointments and find our own, personal, creative, ways of living with ourselves and our life situation. And sometimes we might want spaces for conversation alongside those offered by friends, family, and work colleagues, where we can explore our own creative ‘way’.

Contemplative spaces emphasise listening – listening to the quieter wisdom that can sometimes get submerged in the modern world, and also not-knowing, in other words being willing to sit with uncertainty and stay curious to what may emerge.

Lots of things have influenced my work. In particular I’d recommend the writings of American Buddhist Nun: Pema Chodron.

I’m also passionate about the power of photography to help us pause, drop our preoccupation for a moment and perhaps then appreciate the fragile, momentary nature, of our ordinary lives.