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Newsletter vol. 33 - Have your fingers and toes crossed for us! (Nominated for award)

Thank you so much to everyone that has contacted me to say how helpful my recent emails have been. It means so much. I never know whether what I’m writing is of any use but I do know that I find them helpful as they make me stop and reflect where I am, how I’m feeling and what’s been going on! Sometimes the weeks just whizz by, it’s hard to get a breath. If what I write helps only one other person that it’s an absolute winner in my eyes.

As many of you know, my approach to therapy and coaching is that of openness. My initial counselling training was in Psychodynamic Counselling where the counsellor shares very little of themselves and is seen as a ‘blank sheet’ in order for the client to project their fears and insecurities on them. As much as I absolutely love Freud’s ideas and theories of dreams and the unconscious mind, this way of working didn’t suit me. I was forever worrying about whether I was being too friendly, smiling too much or sharing too much of myself.

I remember my Psychodynamic Tutor at University saying adamantly that one of my clients must have changed the times of our appointments as they were unconsciously avoiding something, when in fact, they had changed their job, now worked shifts and just couldn’t make that time anymore. I love being a detective and piecing things together, working out the unconscious links between why a client feels the way they do but sticking purely with this modality just didn’t feel right for me. It felt it sometimes lacked the human element to it. Over the years, I’ve trained in other counselling modalities and then gone on to do training in others areas and I have now created a modality that suits me and my clients. For me, one style of therapy and support doesn’t suit everyone. There also isn’t one coach or therapist to suit everyone. One thing I have learnt over the last 10 years, is that a combination of different interventions is useful but most important, is the openness, authenticity and congruency of the therapist/coach. You can’t help someone to embrace who they are, if as a professional you are not able to do the same yourself. You can’t give someone what you don’t have yourself. I think it is incredibly important that my clients see me as a human. I am an expert but I am not an expert in their lives. My job is to help them to feel comfortable and relaxed enough to explore the barriers, the painful emotions and fears that lie beneath the surface. Sometimes the most effective and powerful way of helping people to do this is by letting them know that you understand as you’ve experienced something similar. We all just want to feel as though we’re normal, like we fit in, that we’re not crazy and don’t need locking up! By hearing other people’s stories it helps us to put things into perspective and have hope that how we’re feeling will pass. Professional boundaries are essential but that humanness is also incredibly powerful in helping people to make courageous steps towards changing their lives. I always encourage our trainee counsellors to do the same - first and foremost to be themselves and the interventions, theories and strategies will follow.

When I set up in private practice 5 ½ years ago, I never imagined that I would have a team working for me. All I knew was that I didn’t want to rent someone else’s room! I wanted my own room, with my own things in it so that I could set it out how I wanted it! I thought this was just my inner perfectionist coming out but I have realised from the start that I wanted to create an experience for our clients, not just a room for counselling. The majority of people don’t access counselling/coaching support as it can feel blinking terrifying sitting across from a stranger, telling them your inner most secrets and feelings. So, I wanted to make sure that our clients enjoyed coming to their sessions, as well as doing the hard stuff. I wanted them to feel comfortable, listened to and cared for in our presence. I also know that the more relaxed a client is, the more able to they to make changes on a deeper level as they are not on high-alert. I have had plenty of counselling myself in the past in sterile doctors’ surgeries or in a make-shift room, no bigger than a cupboard with 2 chairs in it! This what not what I wanted for MY clients! My perfectionist tendencies have been put to good use from the feedback we’ve received, where our clients feel they receive a professional service but one where they feel comfortable and cared for.

Leading on from this, it brings me so much pleasure to tell you that we have been nominated for the 🌟East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire Business Awards 2022🌟, in the category of 🌟‘Best Customer Service’🌟. This means so much, as our clients’ experience and results are obviously at the heart of everything we do and it is amazing that this has been recognised by others. So we are FINALISTS! We have been invited to a black tie awards ceremony in November and I cannot wait! I’ve already got my dress ready and cannot wait to go and celebrate with lots of other amazing businesses.🎉

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and kindness. As I said at the beginning, so many of you reach out to me to share your thanks or to check in with me when I randomly disappear from social media! Our clients are the most amazing people on the planet. They are so brave to show up week after week, face their fears, breakthrough whatever barriers they have and put changes in place to create a better life for them and their families. I’m sending you all so much love. For those of you that know you need a little support but are too scared to reach out – please do! I’d be more than happy to arrange a free call with you to answer any questions you have and put your mind at rest.

I will be meeting with the judges this week to discuss our nomination and tell them a little bit more about what we do. If you have used any of our services and wish to provide any feedback then we would be SOOO grateful. If you have read my book and found it helpful, again I would appreciate any feedback, positive or negative, that will help us to make things even better for you guys. I have attached a link below to a short questionnaire, if you have a few minutes to spare….

Please have your fingers and toes crossed for us! I’ll let you know how we get on!

Have a magical week, you beautiful people 🌈💜🎉

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