Executive committee

Chair and Scottish Representative

Anne Chien – chair@bica.net

Anne originally trained as a nurse in 1982 and worked in a variety of specialities as a Staff Nurse and Senior Charge Nurse within the NHS. After completing an Msc in Counselling and Health, she left nursing and began her career as a counsellor.

She was employed as a Staff Counsellor in Occupational Health for NHS Tayside and Fife for 10 years, but also has experience as a Counsellor in GP practice and as a Student Counsellor within the University. She taught on the Post-Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Counselling at University of Abertay, Dundee for 5 years and has also worked in private practice as a Counsellor and Counselling Supervisor.

Since 2010 she has been employed as the Infertility Counsellor in the Assisted Conception Unit in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. This is both an NHS and a private licensed clinic. She works in the Dundee Fertility Associates Clinic and is also the Specialist Counsellor for the Scottish Molar Pregnancy Follow-up Service.

She is a Senior Accredited Member of BACP and an Accredited Member of BICA and has been on the Executive Committee as the Scottish Representative since 2013.She also serves on the committee as a member of the training group and the journal sub-committee.

Deputy Chair

Tracey Chester – chair@bica.net

Tracey has worked for 32 years in the NHS as firstly a Mental Health Nurse, then counsellor within Mental Health Services, Women’s Health and Reproductive Health.

Initially working in the field of alcohol & drug misuse, managing a drug service, Tracey became involved in HIV testing & counselling and this led to her specialising in HIV in Maternity Services. Tracey’s research in this area resulted in the introduction of routine antenatal testing in the maternity setting and she is widely published on this subject, having lectured extensively both nationally & internationally. Tracey has established and managed 3 HIV services within Maternity settings at large teaching hospitals.

Subsequent to this Tracey went on to establish and manage two Women’s Health counselling Services within maternity and gynaecological services within two large London teaching Hospitals. In doing this, Tracey further specialised in trauma bereavement and loss.

Over the last 7 years Tracey has focused on the field of infertility and is currently working as the fertility Counsellor at the Assisted Conception Units of Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London

Honorary Treasurer

Post vacant

Honorary Secretary

Jill Whittingham – secretary@bica.net

Jill is an accredited counsellor (BACP) based in Cheshire where she runs a busy private practice providing one-to-one counselling, workshops, groups and counselling supervision.

She has two special interest areas – addiction and fertility.  Her interest in the fertility field began when she was invited to work within a private clinic in Cheshire five years ago, providing implications counselling for patients seeking egg donation.  From there came additional work with other clinics in the North West and a new found interest in this field. Jill currently works for Cheshire Fertility & Gynaecology in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Jill is relatively new to the fertility world and is keen to use her extensive experience and knowledge of counselling to develop this essential support to patients considering or receiving fertility treatment.

Membership Secretary & Publications

Angela Pericleous-Smith – membership@bica.net

Angela Pericleous-Smith has worked as a Counsellor for 17 years, specialising in infertility counselling for 12 years. Previously, working with one-parent families, survivors of rape and abuse and as a Children’s counsellor for the NSPCC. She currently works as a fertility counsellor in Leeds alongside her Private Counselling and Supervision Practise in York. She is the Clinical Lead Counsellor for the Fertility Control Unit in Leeds.

Angela has a BSc in Therapeutic Counselling (Leeds Met), MA in Psychoanalytical Studies (Leeds Met) and PG Certificate in Supervision (St. Johns, York). Angela is a member of BACP, an Accredited member of BICA.  Currently she is a Trainer with the BICA Training Group and Deputy Chair of the BICA Accreditation Board.

 Accreditation Board Chair

Jim Monach – accreditation@bica.net

Jim Monach is now a consultant in mental health based in Sheffield, after a University career in social work, mental health teaching and research. He wrote his PhD on the ‘psychosocial impact of childlessness’ published as ‘Childless No Choice’ and has published widely on both infertility issues and mental health. Jim is a past Chair of BICA and current Chair of the National Accreditation Board.

Jim was asked to lead the development of the Infertility Counselling Award and the accreditation scheme for BICA some years ago and is pleased that it has now become a reality for the whole profession. He has wide interests in voluntary and community organisations as well as membership of Mental Health Tribunal and local health service governing bodies

Journal Editor

Kate Brian – journal@bica.net

Kate Brian is a former television journalist who began her career at the BBC as a news trainee and went on to work on Panorama before leaving for ITN where she spent ten years, working mainly as Home Affairs Producer for Channel Four News.

Kate is the author of ‘The Complete Guide to IVF’, ‘The Complete Guide to Female Fertility’, and ‘Precious Babies’, a new book aimed at those who are pregnant or have children after infertility. Kate is a former trustee of Infertility Network UK, and worked for the charity as a regional organiser for two years. She now works freelance as a writer, journalist and editor. Kate has two children who were both IVF babies.

Press Officer & South East representative

Vicky Parkin – pressoffice@bica.net

Vicky has been working as a counsellor since 2005, she specialises in infertility and now exclusively work in this area.  She holds a BA in Early Years. Vicky sees clients for support and implications counselling, she also works with surrogates and commissioning couples.  She is a member of BACP and an Accredited Member BICA.

Vicky has a Diploma in Counselling and currently works for several private & NHS clinics in London and the Southeast.  She sees clients on a face to face basis, via Skype and telephone. Recently Vicky undertook additional training to support her working with clients remotely.

Vicky is the South East area representative and as this area is logistically widely spread out they meet bi monthly via Skype.  In fact the popularity of CPD via Skype has meant meetings now involve counsellors from all over the UK and indeed several different countries!

Vicky welcomes requests from the press and is passionate about ensuring good support is available to all people affected by infertility issues.

Member & Central England Representative

Suzanne Dark

After working in a variety of settings Suzanne qualified as a counsellor in 2002 and worked for many years in a NHS Women’s Health clinic and with survivors of sexual abuse in the voluntary sector.  She stated working as an infertility counsellor at Jessop Fertility, part of Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Truest in Sheffield in 2006, taking on the Senior Counsellor role in 2013.  Suzanne is a Registered Member of BACP and AMBICA.  In recent years she has been an active member of BICA Training Group and co-ordinator for the BICA Central England Regional Forum.  Suzanne is joining the BICA Exec and hopes to contribute to the committees work access all aspects

BICA Training

Contact: training@bica.net

Janet Owen

Jennie Hunt

Angela Pericleous-Smith

Anne Chien

Gerry McCluskey

Suzanne Dark