Robyn Maree Holmes 1951-2021

A tribute.

We announce, with great sadness, that Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Mrs Robyn Maree Holmes, (nee Clark), passed away on 17 August 2021, after a long and brave battle against metastatic breast cancer. She was a lifelong member of both the Australian and UK Psychological Societies, and was admitted to the latter, as a Fellow, in 2012.

Robyn was born in Tamworth, Australia in 1951 and qualified from the University of New England in 1972. She began her working life in the employ of the Australian Health Department, providing clinical support for children and adolescents, in the juvenile correctional system, and within various Aboriginal communities.

In 1981, while on a holiday trip in Ireland, Robyn met her future husband, Joseph, a veterinary surgeon whom she married 1984, before settling down in Grimsby, in the UK. In 1986 she took a professional break to start a family and her only child, Florence, was born in 1987.

Robyn later enrolled in the London University Law Degree course and graduated, with Honours, in 2001. Although she never practised law, she was always happy to have had the legal training because, (as she said), it helped her to “think logically”, to the benefit of her clients, in her career as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist.

Robyn also trained as one of the earliest EMDR practitioners in the UK, and while conceding that it was not a “catch-all” therapy, she was persuaded that it was highly effective and beneficial for those clients, to whom it applied. 

As her committed and successful professional reputation grew, she worked increasingly with adults, providing psychological service in ever more testing cases, such as intractable PTSD and potential suicides. She used the “conversation method” to unlock her clients’ agency and believed compassion was of greater therapeutic benefit than any prescribed medication.

She continued her professional work, despite her recurrent cancer relapses and only finally retired within four weeks of her passing, leaving her profession much the poorer.

Robyn leaves behind her husband and daughter Florence, (a film editor and astrologer), both of whom would like to thank, publicly, all those past clients and many relatives and friends, who have sent cards and letters of condolence and the many floral tributes.

At Robyn’s expressed wish, she has now been repatriated home to Tamworth, as her final resting place.

There can be little doubt that, through her professional skills and personal qualities, Robyn touched the lives of so many clients, relatives and friends. Her legacy reflects and abides in the uniquely grateful and affectionate memories for all who knew her.

Joseph and Florence Holmes

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