Stephen's experience includes private practice, youth work, Higher Education, counselling in medical settings and numerous other roles.
He trained in person-centred counselling with Prof Dave Mearns at the University of Strathclyde in 1993 and now works from a pluralist theoretical position, an approach he helped to develop with regard to research, epistemology and as an approach to understanding counselling and psychotherapy. He qualified as a supervisor in 1997 and received his doctorate (also from the University of Strathclyde) in 2000.
He is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (membership number 503624) and has extensive experience as a practitioner, trainer, supervisor and consultant.
Specialist interests have included suicide prevention, especially among young men and he was Service Development Director with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), among others. Stephen was Chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Committee, after which he founded the BACP Research Department and became its first Research Development Officer.
Stephen has taught at the Universities of Strathclyde, where he was the Counselling Unit's first Research Fellow, at Abertay-Dundee and at Middlesex (via his role at the Metanoia Institute). He has published more than 100 items, including two symposia on online counselling, psychotherapy and guidance with Drs Kate Anthony and Tristram Hooley. His books include Evidence Based Counselling and Psychological Therapies, Research and Applications (Routledge, 2000), Technology in Counselling and Psychotherapy, A Practitioner's Guide (Palgrave, 2003) and The Use of Technology in Mental Health (CC Thomas, 2010; 2nd edition 2016). He is also Associate Editor for Research for the quarterly journal Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology and a member of Faculty at the Online Therapy Institute.
In 2009, he joined the Metanoia Institute as Principal Lecturer for the Post Qualification Doctorates Department where he teaches and supervises research for Doctoral candidates from all kinds of psychological services backgrounds. He has also lived and worked in Africa and published 2 symposia on Counselling and Guidance in Africa with Dr Olusegun Adebowale. His other specialist interests include pluralism, online service provision and uses of technology in mental health in general as well as the needs of counselling and psychotherapy practitioners and services on which he also offers consulting services to support their strategic development.
He also has a strong interest in the promotion of happiness (and has been a member of Action for Happiness since its inception), both professionally and otherwise. Away from work he enjoys cooking, often with wild abandon, sailing, outdoor pursuits and cats.