Meet the team

Training to be a counsellor or psychotherapist is all about relationships and the people you will learn with, so here’s an introduction to the Physis people you will get to know on your journey:

Barbara Clarkson – Director of Training

Barbara Profile PictureBarbara has overall charge of the Counselling and Psychotherapy training programme, its syllabus and accreditation with UKATA, UKCP and COSCA. She also plans the annual training calendar and arranges Physis TA 101 and CPD workshops.

She teaches at least one year group within the training programme and liaises with all other trainers involved in delivery of the courses offered at Physis.

Deirdre Gillespie – Programme Manager

Deirdre Gillespie 1Deirdre has responsibility for the day to day running of the training programme and for organising the practicalities of programme delivery.

She is in the office (Edinburgh) during the week and is often the trainees’ first port of call, answering queries by email or phone, liaising with the Director of Training or Clinical Director as appropriate.

Paul Redpath – Trainer

Paul Is a TA psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor with a private practice based in Edinburgh. He also offers TA training and supervision in Edinburgh. He worked in secondary education in London for many years as he developed his interest in counselling and psychotherapy.

He trained in humanistic psychotherapy at Spectrum in London as well as studying psychodynamic counselling in Vancouver and mindfulness psychotherapy at The Karuna Institute in Devon. Transactional Analysis is the foundation of his work because of its accessible and sophisticated theoretical framework which provides for him a clear way of thinking about human personality and growth.

Matthew Elton – Academic Student Support Advisor

Matthew EltonMatthew Elton has been working as a counsellor / therapist using the TA approach since 2005 and is qualified to Diploma Level. He has a particular interest in working with writers and artists and also provides a writing coach service. His previous experience includes management in the third sector and 8 years as a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He is based in Edinburgh.

Matthew is responsible for supporting students meet their academic requirements and helping them acclimatise to the challenges of the written aspects of the training course.

Guest Trainers

Alison Ayres – Trainer

Alison AyresAlison is a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer in Edinburgh where she lives.

She was a trainer with CPTI for many years and has continued as part of the Physis team. She has delivered the Foundation Year programme and taught advanced year one, as well as running many of the 101 introduction to TA training weekends.

She has a special interest in understanding and working with issues of shame, and most recently in exploring the latest developments in script theory.

She is married and has lived in the same house for more than 20 years, where her husband runs a Bed and Breakfast. She has two children and, at the last count, four grandchildren.

Morag Highet – Trainer

Morag HighetMorag is a TA psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice in York Place, Edinburgh. She also trained as an integrative counsellor and has ten years experience training and supervising counsellors. She is a COSCA accredited diploma trainer and has worked for COSCA as a counselling course assessor.

For many years she worked as a freelance trainer in statutory, voluntary and private sectors, delivering personal development training. She still enjoys the Ah! Ah! moments when something becomes clear to someone using a TA model!

Dr Mark Widdowson – MSc Final Module Co-ordinator

Mark WDr Mark Widdowson PhD MSc (TA Psych,) ECP, GradDipCouns, PGCertTLHE, FHEA, TSTA(P)

Mark is a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst and UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, and holds the European Certificate in Psychotherapy. He is also qualified in integrative counselling and is a COSCA accredited diploma trainer.

Mark is an international expert for the Training Accreditation Council of the European Association for Psychotherapy and teaches at a number of TA training institutes throughout Europe.

Mark is the author of Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques, published by Routledge and has published his doctoral research on the process and outcome of TA psychotherapy for the treatment of depression.

Mark is qualified in higher education teaching and is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently a lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy with the University of Salford.