Increasingly, academics are encouraged to think about their impact and esteem indicators. In the process of doing so, we are encouraged to focus on the public image we portray. There is a danger in this process of beginning to "believe our own marketing". By way of counter-balance, I would like to acknowledge a number of people who have been pivotal in my career. They have been supportive, generous, encouraging and have each believed in my potential to succeed; they each gave something to me without expecting anything in return.

David Ambrose was my first counsellor in the 1980s. he introduced to me the world of counselling and psychotherapy and without his influence I would never have pursued a career in that direction. Brian Samways invited me to teach counselling as soon as I acquired my Diploma in counselling, this gave me the experience required to enter University teaching a little later.

I am indebted to Bev Johnson for giving me my first nursing job, she also encouraged me to author my first published article and supported me to do a Masters that opened the door for everything that followed. Belinda Harris was a wonderful tutor and role model on the Masters in Counselling Studies course.

One day, Sarah Owen visited me at my work-place and invited me to do some sessional teaching on the Bachelor of Nursing programme and this gave me experience and confidence to apply for a position when it came up. Mark Avis, Julie Repper and Martin Anderson interviewed me for my first ever job in the University and as Head of School for a number of years, Mark always had a belief and respect for my work and he supported me to get promotion.

Dawn Freshwater and Julie Repper were an inspiration when I first entered the corridors of academia and they have remained inspirational as collaborators ever since. Dawn and Carol Hall were an excellent team for supervising my PhD. I can truly say that I am indebted and humbled by the support I have received and I would not have achieved what I have without this kindness of others. The people mentioned on this page will always be giants to me.


Dr Theodore Stickley

On the shoulders of people who would never consider themselves as giants...