Just Ask is our new section within the magazine in which you are free to ask questions for some help and guidance. Below is an introductory from Darcy Clarke, writer and contact for this page.
I was born in the UK and attended comprehensive schools attaining the usual handful of ‘O’ levels by the age of 16. Considered the police force at this stage, but oddly ended up completing a course in computing. This led me down a 16 year career path in computer related work, latterly involving me running my own IT recruitment agency. Financially this was a very beneficial period, but something told me this was not my true calling.
In the early 1990’s after some personal therapy, which long term became life changing, I started to study counselling. Immediately hooked, I progressed through the Certificate and Diploma courses, which included a placement at a GP surgery. I left recruitment and began working for a mental health project providing keyworker support to women who were survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This financed me whilst I also continued to provide voluntary counselling to build up my hours and experience. The work here was intense and developed my understanding of suicidal ideation, self-harm and mental health conditions.
I was then approached by the NHS I had previously worked for as a volunteer counsellor to set up and manage a counselling service for 14 GP surgeries in the locality. I recruited 8 counsellors and in addition to the management role I also provided counselling in one of the surgeries. Over the next 10 years I completed this role on a part time basis and also set up and ran a private therapy business with my partner. The counselling issues addressed covered work related stress, depression, anxiety, OCDs, relationship problems and all ranges of abuse including financial, physical, emotional and sexual. In this period I also formally supervised other therapists in their work.
The latter years of my working life in the UK were a combination of senior management roles in the NHS and finally a supported living company for individuals with learning difficulties, plus private counselling. Yes I worked long and hard, but there was always a long term goal and that was to retire early and live in Spain. I am now here in this spectacular country enjoying the people, sun and prices!
What I hadn’t accounted for was the Covid-19 pandemic and all of the consequences and impact it would have on everyone around me, including me. It’s been hard and for those of us who got through it we now need to find a way to move on with our lives knowing the virus is still around. Whatever issue this, or any other experience may have brought up for you, I am here to help…….……………just ask.
On a personal note I am a mother, partner, sister, step mum, friend and animal lover. I believe in all humans being equal and that everyone should have the same opportunities to live their lives to the full. However, I am realistic enough to realise this isn’t always possible when history and life events seem to conspire against us and we feel held back from living our true lives. I don’t have all the answers, but I do believe every individual has their answers inside of them and I aim to tap into those resources and enable people to find their best way forward. So I hope my personal and professional experience will enable individuals to find their own path in life and be as true to themselves. So…………………………………just ask.