Please help me raise funds for a Masters degree

£850 of £7,200 goal

Raised by 8 people in 4 months

Why Im asking for help...

(** Please be aware that I am not able to accept donations for this cause from clients. Thank you!**)

Personal background
was born (1964) and raised in Israel. I left that country with my first husband and moved to Australia in 1991 at the age of twenty-seven. I don’t believe I would have survived if I hadn’t left when I did. lived in Australia for eighteen years and then moved to the Scottish Highlands in January 2010. I am a British and Australian citizen. I renounced my Israeli citizenship in 2001 in protest. I am fifty-four, I don’t have children and am fortunate to finally be in a loving, stable and supportive relationship with my partner, Brendan.

I was repeatedly abused in my family of origin throughout my childhood and adolescence and as a result suffered from the impact of trauma, which among other things held me back with my education. 

I started out a straight ‘A’ student throughout my primary and secondary education. School and learning were always a welcome refuge from an unsafe home. But by the time I finished my military service at age twenty and lost the last stable formal structure I could rely on, my trauma caught up with me. In my early twenties I struggled just to cope from day to day while holding a job to earn a basic living. I survived two serious suicide attempts and as a young woman just emerging into adulthood, I could not see any kind of future for myself.

My parents continued to be a source of distress and abuse in my early twenties and were actively involved in sabotaging everything I tried to do to get better and make something of my life. I had no choice but to rely on myself but felt frightened and alone much of the time. Even if I did have a sufficiently untroubled mind, and even if I was able to concentrate on academic studies, I did not have the financial means to pursue a university degree at that stage in my life. University fees in Israel were prohibitively high and were expected to be paid upfront.  At the time I just didn’t believe university studies would ever be possible for me. 

I eventually started university when I was twenty-five, and it was only thanks to my first husband who valued higher education, recognised my abilities, encouraged me and made it possible for me financially. I will always be grateful to him for this. But it was still against my parents’ strong opposition. Their approach was that a young woman should work hard and save money until she found a husband and then she should concentrate on having children. My father told me in clear words that I am a failure as a woman and a human being because I don’t have children. To my mother I was always a disappointment because I wasn’t born with the right body type or looks to be a model or beauty queen. Instead I turned out to be interested in knowledge and learning. My mother has always evaluated women by their physical appearance. Intelligence or academic abilities are irrelevant to her. I have been held back in my higher education precisely because of this.  My parents considered higher education a complete waste of time, especially for a female. 

I left Israel to Australia when I was two thirds into my BA  in the Combined Social Science programme at Bar-Ilan University where I studied for three combined majors in Sociology, Economics and Political Science. I had to leave when I did because there was no future for me in Israel. If you follow my pro-Palestine politics you will understand why.

I was fortunate to be able to finish a BA(Hons) at Macquarie University in Sydney thanks to a government student loan. I then continued to complete my Graduate Diploma in psychotherapy at Jansen Newman Institute (JNI) in Sydney. I have always worked while studying and paid for my JNI qualifications upfront. JNI was an excellent school and my psychotherapy studies were lifechanging. 

Professional background & interests

I have been able to get sufficient qualifications (a Grad. Dip.) in order to qualify as a psychotherapist and have been in private practice since 1999. Since 2008 I have also gained Accredited Status with the BACP — British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy  and I am also on the Government-Accredited Register .

My first eleven years in practice were in Canberra Australia. Since moving to Scotland in 2010 I have been practising near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. I work from a counselling room in Inverness one day in a fortnight and the rest of the time I work from home to minimise room hire costs. My practice’s name is Fully Human Psychotherapy. (Please see my website )

In the UK private psychotherapy isn’t a high earning profession and I have been on low-income since I established my practice back in 1999 in Australia. I am not comfortable bragging but I know I have always tried to make a difference to my field and have always donated plenty of my time for free. I still do.

After arriving in Scotland, I founded the ‘Highlands & Islands Counsellors Forum’, a network of psychotherapy and counselling professionals that is also open to therapy students. The Forum is intended for networking and professional support and for sharing information about professional development and other issues relevant to our profession. In 2016 a colleague and I established an offshoot peer CPD (Continuing Professional Development) group that meets every 6-7 weeks. 
 I am an occasional guest  speaker at the University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI) Diploma in Person-Centred Psychotherapy course but this pays very very little (They are only prepared to pay a £40 flat fee regardless of how many hours you give, any resources you share or preparation time.)

I love my work and my passion for psychotherapy has not diminished over the years, quite the opposite. The older I get and the more experience I gain, the more effective my work with clients is and the more rewarding I find my profession to be. 
I am passionate about sharing knowledge with the general public. I believe that knowledge from our field can be useful to everyone and should be shared widely. One of the ways I attempt to do this is by organising and delivering public talks on issues that can be useful to people. These talks do not add to my income because when I prepare for them I have to take time off my client-work, which for a self-employed individual like me means a loss of income.  Also, I can’t charge too much for these talks, so whatever I make ends up being the same as if I just worked with clients. 
I have recently begun to publish my own material in short booklets in the hope that this will be useful to the public. For the moment I am self-published. Because I don’t have a PhD it’s really hard to be taken seriously by mainstream publishers.

I aim to make psychotherapy more accessible to the public and less of a mystery or a source of fear. You can find information about my publications  on my website and on Amazon. 

Why this degree and why now?

I have been looking for some time to upgrade my academic qualifications in the hope that at some point, before I am too old, I might be able to complete a PhD. This will enable me hopefully to publish with mainstream publishers and also to develop the Centre I am dreaming about . I have successfully applied for an MSc in Psychotherapy Studies with the NSPC — New School of Psychotherapy & Counselling.

The NSPC offers a programme that is validated by University of Middlesex in England so it’s a good degree that can be the stepping stone I need for a PhD. The course is offered by distance education. I live in the north of Scotland and to study I would have to go out of area. There are no postgraduate qualifications in psychotherapy offered here. This means that in addition to the high tuition fees, there is also loss of income, travel and accommodation costs to factor in, to attend a postgraduate course at any university in Scotland. 

The NSPC’s MSc in Psychotherapy Studies requires the completion of 10 modules and the fees are £920 per module. I therefore hope to raise the full £9200 to pay for the course. I just don’t have the income to pay out of my own pocket and taking 
a commercial loan will be a huge financial burden. I do not qualify for a government student loan. I tried to apply but was told that because the NSPC is a private institution and not a University I don’t qualify. So I am asking for help through crowdfunding.

All I can promise in return for donations is to continue my work to share my knowledge and give back in any way I can. I will also send copies of my booklets to anyone who makes a donation as a thank-you gift if you email me your postal address. 

I would like to help as many people as possible heal from their pasts and from anything that holds them back from fulfilling their potential. To me psychotherapy is not about symptom management or compromise. It is about helping people get back on track towards  becoming more of who they are and removing any obstacles that might have been put in their way. Happiness and inner peace come directly from a sense that we are fulfilling our potential and that our lives matter. Humans were never meant to just survival. A human life forced into mere existence or survival — as I know from my own personal experience — is a miserable life filled with psychological distress. I’d like to help people become the best parents they can be so they can help their children not just survive but develop to their full potential. This will prevent mental health problems in subsequent generations. I generally would  like to contribute to making our world better and safer for everyone everywhere. Better academic qualifications increase the scope of my reach and the effectiveness of my work, both paid and unpaid. I would be deeply grateful for your donation.

Thank you for reading! 

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£850 of £7,200 goal

Raised by 8 people in 4 months
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Don Mcfeat
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