I’m a dad of two wonderful girls who, I’ll shamelessly admit, I’ve tested all my theories out on! So far, even with a marriage break-up, one child with a severe chronic disease and one hitting adolescence we are all doing just fine. My kids are fantastic, we enjoy each other, we have a lot of fun and they are happy contented kids.
I did a psychology degree in New Zealand in 1986 and then worked and studied in the United States. There I worked as the Assistant Director of a residential therapeutic high school for disturbed teenagers and young adults. These were kids that other institutions had given up on and they taught me so much. I did one-on-one therapy, family therapy and ran the most intense unit for kids with severe behavioural difficulties. In 1989 I graduated with a MSW (which allows me to be a psychotherapist in the US) from Adelphi in New York and moved to London to work as a child psychotherapist and family therapist for the London Borough of Ealing.
I moved to Sydney in 1993 and set up my own consultancy. As well as working with families and children I also consult to the corporate world in the areas of teams, negotiation, leadership and change.
Working in these professional roles taught me a great deal about what kids need and how to provide it. Being a parent has deepened the knowledge and taken it from the theoretical through to the practical.
Parenting is the most important job we can do, it really matters! Being a parent is the most challenging and most satisfying role, it pushes our buttons and holds a mirror up to us in ways that we’d prefer it didn’t and often demands that we really look at ourselves and what we stand for. The richness of the relationships and meaning that it gives to life is amazing!