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Rt Revd. V. John Payne BA, MPhil, DCC, PhD, CPsychol, CSci, AFBPS, AFHEA, AMISPC, FISCP

Bishop of Caerleon and Cardiff and Metropolitan of Wales

Order of Corporate Reunion


I offered myself for ordination when I was nineteen years old and was accepted and sent to Coleg Harlech and later gained entry to St Michael’s College Llandaff and enjoyed my four years there. During vacations I worked as a nursing assistant at Parc Psychiatric Hospital, Bridgend. Once ordained I served first as curate of Ystrad Mynach and then Whitchurch, Cardiff. I continued my interest in helping people with psychological problems and was part-time Chaplain at Whitchurch Psychiatric Hospital.

I joined the Army as a Chaplain, initially for three years but stayed for seventeen. I was encouraged by the Army to study psychology and develop counselling skills. I took a number of short courses during my time in the Army including a Families Therapy course run by Bristol University.

I was full-time Senior Chaplain to the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital, Woolwich from 1989-92 and followed a course in counselling people with HIV and AIDS. I was responsible for recruiting and training staff for the hospital chaplaincy team. I organized and ran courses in Spiritual Care for new doctors and nurses. I was Staff Counsellor to the St John and Red Cross Welfare Services and ran a bereavement group with CRUSE counsellors at the hospital. I was also, at this time, National Secretary for the Association for the Pastoral Care of the Mentally Ill and helped design and run their training courses for volunteer befrienders I have been concerned for many years with issues of justice for people with mental illness. The military hospital I was attached to was deployed to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. Part of my pre-war training involved being trained in therapeutic treatment of people suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by Commander Morgan a psychiatrist of the Psychiatric Department at Haslar Naval Hospital. I assisted the Psychiatric Department of the Hospital on my return from field service in their programme of therapy for PTSD sufferers. I have continued to provide treatment to PTSD and dissociation suffers in my private practice since 1995.

During my time in the Army, I was involved in helping people with a variety of problems including bereavement, abuse, depression, psychotic episodes, failed suicide attempts, marriage breakdown, stress, HIV, drugs, problems of identity arising from homosexuality, and victims of bad occult experiences. I also designed and ran courses for soldiers in spirituality and ethics.

I have continued to counsel people since leaving the Army and have continued to extend and update my knowledge of counselling theory and practice. I wrote a paper on the contribution to counselling made by Carl Rogers under the guidance of Professor Paul Ballard at Cardiff University in 1990. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recognises the course I followed in practitioner skills for eating disorders.

I have worked with Professor Leslie Francis as part of his team teaching on the provincial programme of Continuing Ministerial Education for the Church in Wales since 1994 and have worked as a research associate for his Department at the University of Bangor working under his supervision on a number of projects. I have been part of a team delivering Myers Briggs workshops. I have also worked for a number of years as a counsellor and trainer for the Churches Counselling Service in Wales. I was a Lecturer at Cardiff University for three years designing and teaching two modules to final year undergraduates. I taught on the Llandaff Diocesan Traveling School to lay and ordained and was part of the “Together” lay training team designing and delivering courses for parishes. These courses were designed to help equip lay people in their ever increasing responsibilities for pastoral care within the Church. I am a Sessional Lecturer at Glyndwr University. In that role I have designed a module on Counselling Psychology and have run this module successfully for three years with good student feedback. I was also part of the team setting up a Masters course in Business Psychology. For this course I designed a module on Coaching Psychology. I am also a Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwr University researching into psychotherapy, stress and burnout.

I have been working part-time in private practice since 1995 and full time since 2010. I chiefly work with clients suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD and dissociation as a result of trauma.

As part of my CPD I am currently working on extending my theoretical knowledge of CBT and Life Coaching and recently attended PODS training in trauma recovery.