Dr David Mair has been appointed as Bishop John’s new Adviser in Pastoral Care and Counselling. He will start in the role from 1 August, taking over from Sarah Cooke.
David originally trained as a counsellor with Relate in the 1990’s. He then studied for a master’s degree after which he spent 25 years as a student counsellor. Until 2017 he was Head of Counselling and Wellbeing at the University of Birmingham. He completed a doctorate in psychotherapy in 2010 and is a Senior Accredited Psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
David will become the lead clinician in the diocesan counselling team. He has been part of the team for the past six years and before that was part of the parallel team in the Diocese of Birmingham.
David said: “I have always found my work with clergy and their families really fulfilling and this post came up at an opportune moment in my career. I left the University of Birmingham four years ago and am now an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and the Adviser role will fit well alongside this and my private practice. It is a good way of using my professional skills and knowledge with the understanding of the Church of England’s ethos that I’ve acquired over the years.”
David will become the main point of contact for clergy and their families who are concerned about their mental health. He will help assess their needs and put them in touch with a member of the counselling team as appropriate. He is also planning to set up a new reflective practice group for clergy alongside the one already run by Sarah Cooke and will be offering input for clergy on subjects such as handling difficult people and dealing with stress.
He continued: “I would encourage any member of the clergy or their family who might be worried about their mental health to approach the counselling team for help sooner rather than later. This includes anything that might be worrying them, causing stress and anxiety or that they feel is interfering with their relationships. It is hugely important that clergy take good care of themselves and are able to recognise when help might be needed. If something feels wrong – come and talk about it.”
David lives in Worcester and enjoys contact with Mucknell Abbey. He is a keen walker, gardener and enthusiastic owner of two very lively cockapoos!