My friend Nick Luxmoore, who has died unexpectedly aged 63, was a school counsellor and psychodrama psychotherapist. He published 12 books aimed at professionals working with young people, with some eye-catching titles including Horny and Hormonal, and Feeling Like Crap, wrote regularly for Psychology Today, and was widely respected as a supervisor and trainer.
Nick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne to Judith (nee Johnstone) and Christopher Luxmoore. His father was an Anglican priest whose many roles in the church included bishop of Bermuda and archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings. His religious upbringing instilled in Nick deep kindness and care for people. He was brought up in Trinidad, where his father was rector of Sangre Grande (1958-66), before attending Christ’s Hospital, a boarding school in Sussex, where he met his lifelong partner, Kathy Peto.
He read English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, graduating in 1978, and did a PGCE at Oxford. In 1984, he gained a counselling certificate in Oxford and, in 1995, a diploma in psychodrama.
Nick’s first teaching job was at Bicester community college, Oxfordshire, where he taught English and drama. Early in his career he recognised the urgent need for school counselling. From 1987 to 2000, Nick was a youth worker and school counsellor at St Bartholomew school in Eynsham, where he set up a youth counselling service.
He moved in 2004 to King Alfred’s school in Wantage, where he initiated the provision of school counselling and was a constant source of therapeutic support for staff and pupils alike. For many, Nick was a role model and a source of wisdom and safety. His writings, supervision, teaching and therapy had an impact on thousands of lives.
Nick and Kathy lived in east Oxford, where they raised their daughters, Frances and Julia. Despite his achievements, it was his family that mattered most to him.
Nick was a warm, intelligent man with huge integrity and decency. He was funny, irreverent, energetic, and he swore a lot. He was endlessly competitive – whether playing tennis, golf or beach games – and was an ardent English rugby fan.
In 2018, his daughter Julia died in a road accident, aged 27. Over the last year Nick, Kathy and Fra, and Julia’s friends and extended family, worked hard to raise money for charities to commemorate Julia. When Nick died, he had almost completed what will be his final book, entitled Chaos.
He is survived by Kathy, Fra, his mother, Judith, and his four siblings.