Shelly Reynald

After completing my first degree in Psychology and Health Studies, I realised what I really wanted was to become a counsellor who works with people, rather than the illness they suffer from. So I went on to get, first my Certificate, then my Diploma in Integrative Counselling. That was 15 years ago. While I was studying in Lancashire I worked at The Progress School, which was a school that supported children with learning disabilities, aged 13 and 16, learn how to live in the community. I then worked as a carer with the elderly while I was completing my training, where I was able to use my counselling skills tosupport people nearing the end of their lives. I was so glad I was able to be there with them to make their time easier and to be a person they could talk to. They too helped me learn more about life in Harlow and England by sharing their memories. They reminded me of the importance of having a network around to support you. Later on I started working for Young Concern Trust, where I worked with and in Secondary Schools in Harlow, Essex and then later on with primary school children, supporting them with any issues that came up as well as finding out who they really were. I also had the pleasure of running many groups, from Anger Management to Self Awareness to Desire to Aspire Groups, where teenagers learned about the trials of being a teenager, allowing them to make more informed choices about what they wanted for themselves. At the same time, I got a job working at the Well Woman’s Centre, later known as the CALM Centre in Harlow. Here I worked with many adults counselling on a one to one level, doing couples therapy, as well as running groups on Self Esteem Enhancement.

Over the last 5 years I started working at Churchgate Primary School where I work as a Learning Support Assistant supporting children with learning disabilities, who find it hard to work within the constraints of the school system. I also work with children who find it hard to see what they can achieve and I supported some of the teachers with their aims and goals and what stops them from achieving those. One of my greatest passions is in waking people up to the realisation that they have everything they need inside of them. No external person can tell you what’s best for you. The answers are inside you, it helps to have someone to guide you to those truths and that reality. I have completed a training programme in delivering Self Esteem Courses and this is where I met my other three colleagues atIntegrity. Together we formed an amazing connection and continue to give each other very clear, precise, loving support based on all the trainings we have had together. We are always supporting each other with life as it comes up. I feel that my experience over the years working with the elderly, then teenagers and now with Primary aged children, as well as growing up in Trinidad in the Caribbean and then moving here to England, has supported me to have an all rounded vision and wisdom that I use on a daily basis in my life as well as while supporting others. I also have great teachers in my husband and two sons, who remind me every day about love, commitment, communication and following my dreams. They remind me of my goals and keep me focused and grounded. One of my life purposes is to assist people to realise who they are and to support them to find a way to create what they want out of their lives. That is why I do the work I do.