About Communicology & Ruth Howes
Communicology is the Tele-Therapy Practice of Ruth Howes, Specialist SLT. Ruth is based in France but the practice serves the UK. Ruth worked in the NHS in a variety of roles for 34 years before leaving in September 2019.
Ruth has always worked with a small caseload of Adult clients at a Specialist level, even though her focus as a Leader & Service Manager was with Paediatric Services. In the last 8 years she has been able to concentrate on her adult caseload. Ruth has worked in Specialist roles in Stammering & Voice Therapy in the NHS in the North of the UK and has given mentoring, specialist support to other clinicians working in this field.
Her approach for adult clients is rooted in training and coaching communication skills so they are ‘real and relevant’ in daily life. Skills need to be learnt, consolidated and established at times when there is a higher ‘stress load’ such as calling the doctor or going on a speed date!
Ruth has also undergone much personal change in the uncertainty of several NHS re-structures where, as a manager, her job was always under consideration. This did have positive outcomes in that Ruth ‘came across’ mindfulness. This was in relation to both supporting people and in reducing anxiety and supporting acceptance of a long term communication difficulties. The similarities with traditional relaxation techniques were obvious, but with mindfulness there is both structure and access to materials (Apps & Websites). Ruth’s books on Mindfulness (witha theme) can be seen on Amazon.
Ruth … in reflective mode … shares her thoughts:
I was incredibly lucky in my NHS career. I have worked in nearly every clinical area in Speech Therapy and specialised in several areas. I’ve received national recognition with the Sternberg Award in the 1990s and been priviliged to have been an RCSLT Adviser on ASD, Learning Difficulties and Educational Services.
A forward thnking manager sent all her new graduates on a management & leadership course in the first 2 years of practice. It gave organisational and support skills and was invaluable. My Leadership career has been in Clinical,Service Development as well as Managing people and both SLT and Integrated Team services.
The NHS funded my MA in Professional Training and Development in the noughties and this transformed me as a pracitioner. Reflective learning, Mentoring, Coaching and Support and Supervision became my focus.
I can’t admit to enjoying every minute of my work in the last 8 years. The re-structuring led me to confront my own anxieties and insecurities even though I ‘clung on’ in every re-structure as I waved colleagues who meant a lot to me goodbye when they faced redundancy. What happened at this point was I discovered Appreciative Leadership & Positive Coaching, Positive Psychology approaches and Mindfulness. Mindful Leadership is a growing field of academic study and the answers are there if we can focus and find them.
Now I live in the middle of France, south of the Loire in a small farm cottage with a large garden. There is a Gite in the barn. We took a chance and moved here in September 2019. It is a totally different life, but so far there are few regrets. The dream was to eventually offer a relaxed, holiday experience ….with a short, intensive course in Communication Skills. This is a developing project.
The advent of the Corona-crisis led me to realise that Tele-Health is not a second best option. and to move to practice via a Teletherapy platform.Ruth Howes
Sometimes we need some inspiration:
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss