After 2 years studying & on placement I took my Viva today and passed! I am SO happy & I wanted to share that lovely sense of achievement here.

For the past 2 weeks I've been really nervous (it's been over 20 years since I last sat an exam!). I've had a few sleepless nights and those ever-present butterflies dancing in my stomach.

Then yesterday, out of the blue a tutor from my certificate course emailed me and wished me luck for the morning. The email said: 'I have a great belief in you and your qualities'. These kind and thoughtful words gave me such a boost I slept like a log last night and awoke this morning with just the one butterfly doing the okey cokey as opposed to the entire flock. It just shows what an impact such few words can have on another person.

In preparation for the exam I had re-read all my essays - all that work which I'd almost forgotten I'd written! The opening page of one of the essays struck me as a lovely summary of everything my practice is about:

"Each human being is born with something new, something that never existed before. Each is born with the capacity to win at life. Each person has a unique way of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and thinking. Each has his or her own unique potentials - capabilities and limitations. Each person can be a significant, thinking, aware and creative being - a productive person, a winner". (James & Jongeward, 1996).

Everyone encounters the world in different ways. What we bring to that encounter depends on who we are, our physical make-up and what our past experiences have taught us to believe about the world.

Understanding a client's unique phenomenological experience is always my starting point in a counselling relationship and at the heart of my practice is the following fundamental enquiry:

"What has happened to this person, especially in their early life, which has caused them to make adaptations in order to survive?".

I believe in our 'presenting past' - that what went on in our childhood or younger life has had a profound impact on the way we feel and experience our world now.

I believe much of our unhappiness stems from being moulded into a person that were not via our environment, relationships and unique set of early circumstances. Happiness or recovery lies in discovering our true selves and becoming an authentic person with purpose, value and meaning - the person we were always meant to be.

I'm off to celebrate my result now, basking in that lovely warm glow of achievement and just a little Prosecco. #Winning.