It's good to talk. We chat to Claire Dowd, counsellor and lecturer

Claire Dowd, teaches counselling

Claire Dowd divides her time between teaching postgraduate students beginning professional counselling training, and working with counsellors in her private supervision practice.

"Having worked for 25 years in personnel and development, I became interested in what hindered individual performance. I enrolled on a counselling skills course, wanting to enhance my understanding.

I had been inspired by watching a Psychotherapist work as a group facilitator. With very little information, she was able to help us to work out what might be going on either for us as a group or individually. I didn’t know how she did this but I knew that I wanted to find out more. My experience on the course was infectious and before long I knew I wanted to change career direction. If this inspired me to start, then what inspired me to keep going?

I developed an interest in transition, loss and grief. I was drawn to this area because of the influence and exploration of my own life history. One of my student placements was working with people with cancer and their families and I found this client group maintained my inspiration. It was a humbling experience in which my ego had little part to play.

And what of now? Whilst I still maintain my contact with counselling and counselling supervision, I also have a teaching role. I really enjoy teaching students in the early stages of their counselling training. Each student is different and will learning in different ways about different facets of themselves and their skills.  This provides a rich texture to the students’ experience and to my experience of teaching students each year."