Upon leaving school in the 1980s, Gordon’s first opening was as a reluctant Clerk in the Civil Service. In the evenings, he hung up his suit to volunteer as a Youth Worker in the stark penumbra of Muirhouse, a notoriously (Irvine Welsh’s – Trainspotting) squalid and depressing district of Edinburgh. This baptism of fire enabled his placement as a full-time volunteer (CSV) and boarder at a therapeutic community for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Gordon often describes his experience at this rather magical oasis in Dumfries & Galloway as his “having arrived at ‘Hogwarts’!”.
Moving to London in 1988, Gordon worked at an ILEA special needs boarding school where he discovered his proclivity for the counselling aspects of the work. He began his foundational training at the Roehampton Institute in Surrey.
Following the abolition of the ILEA in 1990, Gordon went on to work more expansively in the community with children, adolescents and their families. As a Youth Justice Social Worker, he focused on tailoring alternative to custody opportunities for the young offenders under his charge.
Gordon founded several social and community projects during this period, including a Community Home with Education, a Regional Resource Centre, and a residential supported community for Gay men who were HIV+.
In 1999, aged 33, Gordon attended ‘night school’ and undertook an undergraduate Psychology degree at Birkbeck College, University of London. Then, a Postgraduate Diploma with the British Association of Psychotherapists (BAP), a thorough and intensive clinical coaching of psychodynamic aspects of human development and encompassing participation in a year’s ‘Infant Observation’.
This was followed by a PGCE at the University of East London, where Gordon qualified as a Teacher/Lecturer in post-compulsory education. Working at a range of Inner London Colleges and Universities, he taught Psychology, Counselling, Health and Social Care, and Early Years Childcare, and was a group and personal tutor.
Students’ welfare and their personal development was Gordon’s predominant interest and concern. He pursued further postgraduate clinical and pedagogic research at the Institute for Group Analyses (IGA), the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, exploring ‘affective’ learning domains, and at the University of Cambridge, where he researched ‘conflicting diversities’ in education.
Following a motorcycle accident in 2011, this ‘fall’ provided a period of rehabilitation and reflection for Gordon. He embarked upon a four-year clinical training – ‘Psychodynamic Practice’ at the University of Oxford, which incorporated a 2-year placement at MIND in Islington. Following his graduation and registration with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), Gordon was honoured to join the prestigious ‘Farringdon Practice’ where he worked until the Covid pandemic in March 2020 sadly forced its temporary closure.
Continuing his practice ‘remotely’, by video conferencing, In April 2021, Gordon founded ‘Clerkenwell Counselling & Psychotherapy’, which is now fully open for clients to meet in-person.