Working with sexually active young women and their families I began to understand what makes a relationship work – and also what gets in the way. Thus, 20 years later and still training adults in counselling and counselling skills, I was able to use my ‘helping skills’ in sexual health training.
In 1995 I took on a research project, and, using my counselling skills, I interviewed young people about their sexual health needs. This project changed the face of sexual health care and support for young people in the Bristol area. (Young People and Clinics – providing for sexual health in Avon).
As a result of this research I was invited to take on the training of personnel in young people’s sexual health clinics. The basis of this work was counselling skills which I later called ‘Effective Listening’. This training became very popular since it focused not just on their work with young people but also on how to improve their own personal lives and relationships.