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  3. Ms Joy Clarke

I have been in private practice for more than 2 decades, and been grateful year after year. The gift and honour of connecting with people is beyond words, and my clients are also gifts to me.

With a background in spirituality, I went into social work as a mature student, a mother of 3. I chose my husband well (in high school) and he is open to growing, and able to shift the socialised norms and roles and while caring for the family. Working with adults and figuring out relationships and patterns, and steps towards fulfillment, has always been my interest. I chose to study Imago Relationship Therapy because of their premise that I need to be working with the tools in my own relationship before, and during, and after, my clinical training. Jette Simon, my mentor, practices in both Copenhagen and Washington, and invited us to The Psychotherapy Networker Symposium organised annually by her husband Rick Simon. There I met Dr Dan Siegel and John O Donahue, Jon Kabat Zinn and Tara Brach, and have continued to expand my understanding of interpersonal neurbiology, mindfulness and resilience, and my love of poetery and books.

My early days of counselling as a volunteer showed me the value of on-going supervision. This keeps me and my clients safe. I also trained, and now work, as a clinical supervisor with Jette and a wonderful international group, with whom I stay connected, in Copenhagen.

It is also relevant to say that grief and loss are a part of my life, and a process that I honour in my clients. We lost our son as a small boy, so the well of grief is familiar and a place of depths where I reside too. Each journey is unique, but the world is so averse to the idea of grief and death that it's not always easy to feel open as we walk this un-chosen path. This adds loneliness to the horror and bewilderment. Matthew Fox says that the enlightment stole from us our comfort with darkness and mystery.

Children growing up, dealing with the teen years, the upheavals of job losses, moves, let downs, losses and anxiety are all within my daily ambit. Life is not easy, but it can be rich when someone walks alongside, for a while, to help you process the troubles and find your fulfillment.

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