My journey so far and an outline of the various tools and techniques I have to help clients resolve their issues.
It may surprise you to know that I didn’t set out to be a therapist and coach. When I was at school and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I think I said, teacher. I can just imagine the look on the teacher's face if I’d said I was going to be an hypnotherapist! I wonder if the questions I addressed in an earlier blog post, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hypnotherapy, would have been on their mind.
I may have forgotten that early pronouncement as I went on to train as a fashion designer and I have a BA in Fashion!! And at one time had my own business designing and producing knitwear. But that’s another story.
I eventually ended up living and working in the Highlands of Scotland. It was here that I worked as a fundraiser. Whilst working at the Highland Hospice I started studying with the Open University Business School for my MBA. During this time I first came across NLP and Coaching. This started me on a life-changing journey, which isn’t over yet.
As I mentioned, I used to work at the hospice and it was a fantastic place to work, full of hope and love as well as sadness and disappointment. You might think that sadness and disappointment are bound to be found in a hospice. In many cases it wasn't caused by the illness itself or the consequences. It was because people had unresolved issues or unfulfilled dreams that now they wouldn't have the chance to achieve.
One of the things that you become aware of when working in a hospice is that you never really know what the future holds. And that it is important to make the most of what you have now and enjoy the time you have, however long or little that may be.
As a fundraiser and manager I had to learn why people support a charity? And how to motivate and manage volunteers! The answer to both those questions is manyfold ranging from the desire to help to needing to be part of a bigger group to companionship. Therefore, my interest in personal development and leadership grew.
When studying for my MBA there were two modules that led to my change in direction, one about Creative Thinking, the other on Strategic Human Resource Management. These introduced many different concepts about motivation, personal and team development, problem solving, and the concept of coaching and NLP and things started to come together.
I explored what coaching is and, you know when you just ‘know’ that something is ‘right’ – well I ended up training as a life coach with The Coaching Academy, one of the premier coach training organisations in the UK (passing with Distinction). In 2002 I started working for myself as a coach. Later I achieved my NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner with Jonathan Clark in Glasgow, who is also a first class life coach and NLP Trainer and founder of HGE.
Two memorable events during this time were achieving a Board Break as part of my NLP training. And the Fire Walk at Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within Weekend in London. Amazing experiences.
I went on to study with the London College of Clinical Hypnosis and am now a qualified clinical hypnotherapist and cognitive behaviour hypnotherapist. I've trained with Dr Michael Yapko, a leading US psychotherapist, who uses hypnosis to help his clients with depression, anxiety and other issues. I trained as a Couple and Relationship Counsellor with Relate, working for Relate for two years. Most recently I qualified in BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT®). I not only use this process with clients but am an assessor and supervisor. I'm also a supervisor for the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis.(BSCH)
Just for a bit of background, BWRT® is a cutting edge therapy, created by one of the UK’s leading therapists and trainers, Terence Watts. It’s a ‘content-free’ process that doesn’t rely on a therapist saying the right things or discovering private information or personal secrets. In fact, all the therapist needs to know is what the client wants to be able to do, or to be able to stop doing.
Personal problems, fears, anxieties, even severe difficulties that have lasted for years can be helped with this therapy. All the work is done in a completely ‘awake state’ - it’s completely logical, practical and down-to-earth, and all it needs to be successful is for the client to want something in their life to be different
Because I have trained in a variety of areas I am able to bring a wide range of techniques to help people make the changes they want to make.
And that brings us to ‘now' where I help people change self-limiting beliefs, tap into their personal resources and develop as human beings.
I mainly work with people who are experiencing anxiety, stress, panic attacks or fears of one sort or another. Sometimes the reason people come to work with me is because of a behaviour they wish to change, such as comfort eating. Other times it may be because they feel they can't control what they think about and all they think about is 'stuff' that upsets them. Whatever the reason they come to work with me, they can be sure that I'll do my best to help them. But it's not a one way street - they also have to want to change and be willing to help themselves between sessions.
Apart from working with clients individually, I have also created a number of self help audio programmes which can be an equally effective solution for some people. This includes my popular How to Stop Comfort Eating programme designed specifically for those who turn to food either when happy or upset.
Most of the therapies I provide are effective online and I have worked with numerous clients over the years from within the UK and internationally. Working via Zoom, WhatsApp or phone helps clients access support at times that suit them. It can also help those who currently may not wish to work face to face or want to cut down on travelling for environmental reasons.
Sometimes people can be a bit nervous about seeking help. It’s important whomever they may work with that they feel comfortable with the therapist they work with. It’s also important that the therapist feels they can help the prospective client. I always have a chat with someone before booking their first session. Booking an initial conversation about their issue is a good way to help dispel any concerns and help them start on their journey of change.