Gillian Thomas worked for the NHS for over thirty years as a counsellor in the gastroenterology department of the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Her work entailed counselling people affected by ongoing gastroenterological conditions and providing training and information to nurses about the psychological care of patients.
Gillian was a founder member and founder committee member of Crohn’s and Colitis UK (formerly NACC), where she co-created ‘NACC in Contact’, a telephone listening and support service for members. She devised and delivered the training to the volunteers who staffed the service, strongly advocating for the importance of psychological care for people affected by Crohn’s and Colitis, and spoke at conferences nationally and internationally on behalf of the charity. Gillian was an early member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and served on both their Research and Counselling in Medical Settings committees.
She holds a PhD from the University of Reading and her PhD thesis was published as Counselling and Reflexive Research in Healthcare; Working Therapeutically with Clients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). Gillian has also written numerous articles and chapters in both professional and lay books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
Gillian has danced Argentinian tango for many years. She has recently started to relearn liturgical Hebrew and is interested in philosophy and astronomy