Dr Sue Palmer-Conn C.Psychol

Qualifications (Academic)

  • BSc Geochemistry Liverpool 1973
  • PGCE Liverpool 1974
  • BA Psychology Open University 1992
  • PhD Manchester 1997
  • Chartered Psychologist 2001
  • MBA Open University  2009
  • National Teaching Fellow 2004
  • International Teaching Fellow 2016

Qualifications (Coaching)

  • Life Coaching – Coaching Academy
  • Licensed Master Practitioner – NLP
  • Licensed Practitioner – CBT
  • Licensed Practitioner – DBT
  • Accredited DISC Profiler
  • Certified Health and Wellness Practitioner – IAWP
  • Member of World Association of Women Professionals

This is me

  • Born November 1951 in Wrexham North Wales
  • Started University of Liverpool 1970
  • Graduated 1974 with a BSc and PGCE
  • Married to Nick, a dentist, in 1976
  • Left teaching 1978 to have my children
  • Son Alex born 1978
  • Son Dan born 1980
  • Resumed teaching 1986 very part-time

The year 2001

  • April 25th wedding anniversary
  • November Dan 21
  • November Me 50
  • November Decree Absolute granted!!

What a year that was – 50, never had to think about money, been used to at least three lovely holidays a year, never had to work if I didn’t want to.

I’d given up my career first of all to look after the children, then to support my husband get to the top of his career – he became the youngest ever president of the BDA!! I loved being at home but once the youngest started school I went back into teaching 2 days a week so I could be there whenever the boys had something on at school.

Although I thought my marriage was happy, looking back, I always felt inferior, and decided to do a part-time distance learning degree in Psychology. I was hooked. I then had the opportunity to do a PhD which made me so proud and excited. At last I felt I had something to talk about other than the children and my husband’s work.

Little did I know, my husband’s ego took a battering. He got himself a girlfriend (Much later I found out this was the latest in a series of girlfriends) I still didn’t suspect anything until millenium eve when we were at a party and at 11 o’clock he disappeared on the pretence that there was an emergency at the surgery. He got back at 1. I had spent the biggest new year celebration on my own. Even then I didn’t say anything. I was in total denial.

After finishing my PhD in 1997, I was offered, and accepted,  a full-time lecturing post in a University 50 miles away. I loved it and came alive in the classroom. I had found my destiny. Just as well too because that would be my lifeline.

To ease the burden of early mornings and late nights travelling, a couple of nights a week, I stayed over with a colleague. That was the green light for him to stay out overnight too. By this time both the boys were in University so there was no way of me knowing what was going on. This went on for three years until I couldn’t deny what was happening any longer.

After that awful new year, I had to face facts. My marriage was on the rocks though I did not want to file for divorce. To me marriage was for life. We did have a try to get back together in December 2000 but she kept phoning and he kept answering.

In January 2001 my humiliation was complete. I went to see a solicitor on January 8th – commonly known as ‘divorce day’ – and was told because I had known about his affair for so long I couldn’t use that as grounds for divorce. I would have to either wait for 2 years, or let him divorce me. I didn’t want to wait 2 years and so he was divorcing me on the grounds of a non-existing affair with person or persons unknown!!

I had no-one to turn to. My friends disappeared as most of them were wives of his friends. My mum was too old and frail to be burdened with my problems. I was alone, frightened, in despair and terrified of what the future would bring. I had very little pension in my own right, I didn’t have the where-with-all to buy another house, I was on a junior lecturer’s salary so might not qualify for  a mortgage. As it turned out I got the house with the mortgage as part of the divorce.

I’d never had any ambition. Why would I? I didn’t need to. However, I found myself a mentor who told me what I had to do to get promotion so that I could build my salary. One by one I met those goals. After one year I got my first promotion. The following year I was promoted to senior lecturer. Two years later I was head hunted for a senior managers position in a new University. I was successful. I could see light at the end of the tunnel.

I made so many mistakes along the way – money, unsatisfactory relationships, poor decisions but I was recovering. In 2004, I was contacted by a lovely man I’d met back in 1971 when, as students, we’d worked as lifeguards at a holiday camp. We lost contact for 33 years but we had so much in common – both married 25 years, both divorced following spousal affairs, both loved singing and swimming. We eventually met up and it was instant love. We married later that year despite both earlier saying we’d never get married again after such a horrible experience. We’ve now been married 14 years and have a large extended family with 6 children between us and 15 grandchildren and step grandchildren.

Despite being nearly 67, I am still working to pay off the mortgage and building a pension but I’m planning my retirement and have decided to spend some of my time helping women over 40 who find themselves in the position I was in. Hopefully with my support you will thrive and bounce back faster with less trauma and be happier and fulfilled being a strong independent woman who can chose the path to her own future destiny.