GoFundMe

Please help me get a Masters degree

Why I’m asking for help…

Personal background

 
I 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 and harassment and were actively involved in sabotaging everything I tried to do to get better and make something of my life. I had to rely on myself in every way at least until I got married for the first time. Even if I did have a sufficiently untroubled mind at that time, and even if I was able to concentrate on academic studies, I did not have the financial means to pursue a university degree. University fees in Israel were very 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. 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. They considered higher education a waste of time.

I left Israel to Australia when I was two thirds into my BA. I had to leave when I did because there was no future for me there. 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 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 Goverment-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.

In the UK private psychotherapy isn’t a high earning profession and I have been on low-income since I established my practice. I am not comfortable bragging but I know I have always tried to make a a difference to my field and have always donated plenty of my time for free. After arriving in Scotland, I founded the ‘Highlands & Islands Counsellors Forum’, a network of psychotherapy and counselling professionals that is also open to 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 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. I organise and run 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. (See: visions-dreams-plans)

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 offered by distance education. I live in the north of Scotland and to study I would have to go out of area which means not only tuition fees, but loss of income, travel and accommodation costs to attend a postgraduate course at any university in Scotland. 

The course 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 and continue 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 if you send me your postal address to: avigail@fullyhuman.co.uk

I would like to help as many people as possible heal from their pasts and fulfil their potential. I’d like to help people be the best parents they can be to prevent mental health problems in the next generation and generally I’d 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.

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. (see: http://www.fullyhuman.co.uk/colleagues/visions-dreams-plans/)

 I have successfully applied for an MSc in Psychotherapy Studies with the NSPC — New School of Psychotherapy & Counselling (https://www.nspc.org.uk/course-directory/nspc-courses/msc-in-psychotherapy-studies/).

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 send me your postal address to: avigail@fullyhuman.co.uk

I would like to help as many people as possible heal from their pasts and fulfil their potential. I’d like to help people be the best parents they can be to prevent mental health problems in the next generation. 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!