This first blog series is by way of introducing me to you – so that you can see where my range of experience may be relevant to your needs and help you to make that first step of making contact. I firmly believe that effective work is established through shared values, rapport building and strength of relationship. By sharing my own journey with you, you will be able to see my values and skills, and so judge whether you believe you could work effectively with me.
A major influence in becoming the person I am today was completing my degree in Counselling Studies at York St John University. I studied as a mature student – something I highly recommend. Having already established my family, I stepped into the role of student with an enthusiasm and hunger for knowledge and experience that I didn’t have as an 18 year old …
My degree exposed me to a wide range of experiences – working alone developing self-motivated study skills, working in groups devolving roles across the team and encouraging accountability between equals, learning about and then practicing counselling skills from varied schools of therapy, learning to give and receive feedback on written work and practical skills of my own as well as between my peers and our tutors as a student rep, working with academic and administrative staff on the evaluation of existing courses and development of new courses, …
The course also demanded a minimum number of hours per academic year volunteering within the mental health sector. This led me to volunteering as an advocate and then also as a mentor within a local mental health charity. There followed further training, support, and feedback experiences both from staff, fellow volunteers, and for me – most importantly – from my clients. Listening to vulnerable clients struggling to express what most concerned them, building rapport and showing that I understood the enormity of the challenges they faced at the time, and then working collaboratively with them to identify what they wanted to say, how and who to, sharpened my interpersonal and active listening skills whilst strengthening my passion for ensuring that whoever I work with is at the heart of any work I do with them. None of this is, or has been, about my opinion or what I thought would be best for someone else. All the focus was client-centred – giving the client their voice back in the decisions they faced.
Setting up Finding Perspectives has been a natural extension of my experience to date. It is about enabling, equipping, encouraging and supporting others – individually or in groups – to discover their strengths, face their fears, work on areas for development, and become more comfortable in being true to their own values and abilities.
Within a working environment this might be through group work – encouraging stronger, more open communication across a team and embedding peer mentoring for key tasks or projects. Alternatively, it might be by mentoring/coaching a team leader in effective leadership skills, including learning how to work more constructively with feedback from the team.
From a personal perspective, sometimes we hit a point in our lives when we want to make different choices, but may be bewildered by the range of options available, or alternatively may be unsure as to whether there are any choices open to us.
Using all the skills I have honed over recent years from counselling, mentoring, coaching and advocacy work, I am able to work with you 1-2-1 to help you identify what you are dealing with, what options might be open to you, ways in which to explore options and clarify some goals to aim towards. I can work with you to develop an action plan with manageable steps to take you from where you are now to where you would like to be, and together we can review progress, adjust plans, and keep you moving in your direction of choice.
For an initial discussion please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dorothy-hodgkinson or Facebook @findperspectives