Here are some commonly asked questions, if you cannot find the answer you need from this list feel free to get in touch!
What is your background and approach?
My training is in holistic coaching and I also have a background as an alternative therapist. I have studied different self-development and healing techniques over the years and I have quite an eclectic approach. I am not a doctor or a counsellor – if you need one of those you should seek one out first. My approach is that each person is unique and whole, but that we all need some help sometimes in finding the resources we already have within us, or learning to use or express them. I see the client as the expert on themselves and myself in a supporting role, helping them to achieve their potential in themselves and in life.
What is self-development for?
Generally speaking it is for people who feel that they would like to have more connection with, and expression of, their inner self, creativity or strengths. Sometimes people have a particular issue that they want to work on, but you do not need to have a problem to want to be more yourself – there is immense value in deepening our self-knowledge and self-love just to be more authentic and present in the world.
Is there a good and bad amount of self-development work?
Yes – just as with anything, even water or sunlight; too much or too little can be bad. With too much self-development work we can be like a restless spirit, always searching, never content and not giving ourselves the time we need to integrate what we learn. With too little we can become stuck, fearful or age prematurely. Learning about our own rhythm and the rhythm of nature is useful in understanding the natural cycles of growth and rest that we all go through, and working within that means we are not fighting against our basic needs or the way that we grow.
Do you offer sessions?
Yes, I offer one-to-one sessions in person in London and via Skype. They are by appointment only and to enquire you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a very brief idea of the type of thing you would like to work on. Please note I cannot offer support outside of sessions as my time is very limited – if you need that kind of support you should contact an organisation or counsellor who can offer that.
What is a session like?
In a one-to-one session in person we have a chat and I may do some energy work (sometimes with my hands over your body, occasionally lightly touching your body) and talk to you about your experience and then explain some tools you can use. The Skype session is exactly the same, its just that the energy work is done without me physically touching you, of course. Each session is different according to what the person brings.
If I cannot afford a session is there another way to engage with this work?
Yes, you can use the articles in the blog, and there will be more and more resources available and the book will also be coming out in the near future.
Do you have any plans to offer workshops or teach?
I have no plans at the moment because things have been very busy, but if you are interested in having me come to give a talk to a group you run or are connected with, please email me to enquire.
Are there any conditions or issues you think should not be addressed with self-development?
Although I believe it is a wonderful thing to do, if you have a serious mental, emotional or physical issue you should see a doctor, psychiatrist or counsellor first and not stop taking any medication without their say-so. There is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes you need to make sure you are in a fairly good place before you introduce more challenge into your life. However, if you are having a hard time, you may enjoy the chapters on self-love and self-compassion alongside receiving the proper attention or treatment from a suitable professional.
Do you have a particular religious background and do you have any preferences in terms of which clients you work with?
I was raised Christian, but now I identify as spiritual rather than religious. My clients have a wide variety of backgrounds, from many different cultures and religions, races, ages and genders. I see an almost equal number of men and women, who tend to be between 20 and 65ish, with a few people outside of that age range. I am mainly interested in the individual, rather than their culture, although it sometimes has an influence on a particular issue we might be looking at.
However, I have no preference in terms of what people choose to believe, I may just challenge areas where I feel there is some fear or something is stuck, but I am not promoting a particular belief or way of life. My personal preference is for variety, so I enjoy differences in culture.
Do you offer discounted sessions for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or on low income?
I have found that invariably when I have discounted sessions in the past they have always gone wrong in some way – I do not know exactly why, but it just does not seem to work. Therefore, I suggest that if you are low on money you engage with the free and lower-cost resources, and if you really want a session then you could save up and just have one very occasionally. You may even find that your local library will agree to stock my book when it comes out so that you can read it for free.
If you do choose to have a session we might be able to look at any issues you have that may be blocking cash flow, outside of obvious reasons. It is important not to overextend yourself financially, of course, and this is an important aspect of taking care of yourself. So please do not book a session if you cannot afford it.
Do you have a particular goal for people in mind when you are working with them?
I feel that each person’s potential lies in their own unique direction, so it is not for me to say what people should be working towards. I am mainly good at spotting blockages as well as unexpressed emotions and talents and I have found that by working through those things, people’s lives tend to start unfolding more organically in the way that is right for them. Often in ways I could not have guessed and which pleasantly surprise me. So I have no set goal for people, I do like to see people becoming happier, more expressive of their talents and themselves and more centred and grounded – I tend to think those things are natural and healthy for everyone, yet the actual manifestation and changes in their lives and selves tend to be individual to each person.
Do you have a set framework, system or ideology that you work within?
I do not, I have a very eclectic approach that allows me to see each person and session with fresh eyes, but I have learned a lot through my experiences as an alternative therapist. I know this can sometimes make it a little harder for people to get their heads around what I do, but the freedom and openness of mind helps me to think outside the box in a way that seems to be very helpful for people. If you feel that you need something quite regimented right now, I may not be the right person for you, as I have quite an intuitive approach.
I also do not use personality typing systems such as Myers-Briggs or other, as I feel that self-discovery is a process that is best conducted from the inside – out, rather than having chunks on information delivered from the outside-in. Often knowing that we do not know is much more valuable that assuming we know something, when we have not deeply understood that thing. I know that may sound a bit abstract, but an open mind is much better for learning.
How did you learn this approach?
Just through working through my own self-development process, reading a lot, gaining a lot of experience working with clients as an acupuncturist, stretching trainer and energy worker. Within each person’s state (which includes the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical) there are patterns, structures, overused bits, blindspots and beliefs that are supporting, neutral and, or hindering the person. I have been observing this interesting pattern within each person and seeing how that ripples outwards affecting their demeanour, posture, relationships, opportunities (or a lack of) and whole lives. Through learning how to help people work with their state in some way I have watched people learn how to release old issues, grow in their belief in themselves, become more loving or expressive, or even more creative, or other. It is an interesting journey for each person and I feel honoured to be able to assist in that.
What is your key skill?
My personal specialty is that time when people are ready for change and almost fully leaning into it, because I have an understanding of the process of inner transformation. I believe that is why people often come to me when they are at a crossroads, one of the most interesting, difficult and powerful times of life! And I do not necessarily believe so much in wrong decisions, but in wrong attitudes – or rather attitudes that are not truly us. So at these points my job is really to support the person by helping to connect them to resources they already have but don’t know how to use and to help them to stay authentic, even though many people fixate on external practical decisions. Yet I find that if things are lined up correctly within us, everything else tends to fall into place.
So I would say my key skill is in supporting people in growing when they have outgrown their current way of being and they feel cramped and dissatisfied in it, and a part of them is reaching for a newer, more authentic, bigger way of being, but they are finding it scary or unfamiliar and maybe even losing their sense of what is important, because their values are shifting. Of course the only thing worse than facing that new scary reality is continuing to live in the dissatisfying, cramped one, so let me reassure you that I have not seen anyone whose inner self is pushing them to grow that did have the inner resources and strength to meet that challenge. It’s normal to be scared of the unknown. I would just caution you that in moments of big inner change you may be in a slightly more vulnerable state, possibly searching for guidance or meaning so I recommend you do not to leave your family, give away all your worldly possessions, accidentally join a cult or other. Just take your time, breathe, do some nice things like exercise and self-reflection and get some guidance from someone you trust because even big inner shifts do not have to be mirrored by dramatic changes in your lifestyle necessarily. And if you feel that maybe it is closer to overwhelm or a breakdown, then you need to seek professional help from a counsellor, for example.
How often do people have sessions?
Some of my clients only see me occasionally because they are so busy living their lives, and in many ways this is the ideal. I do support some people on a more regular basis, especially those going through a tough time or a period of a lot of change, but the important thing is to live fully rather than fixating on self-development all the time. Therefore the focus is always on our life, and self-development is in service of that. So, if you would like a session there will not be any pressure to have a set number of sessions, I may make a suggestion, but I’m fairly busy too, so there’s no hard sell, we can just figure out something suitable for you.
Do you do Skype sessions in different time zones?
I do, there just may be a bit more of a restriction on the hours I am available. Feel free to email me for more information and please include some times you are often free and your time zone so I can get an idea of what might work for both of us.
Do you accept insurance?
I am sorry, I do not. This type of session is not commonly covered by insurers, however if your insurance company or employer has a budget you can use for self-development work I am happy to send you an invoice. Please check with your provider/ employer about this first as I cannot give any refunds for sessions that have been given.
What payment do you accept?
Via Skype I accept bank transfers and PayPal in advance, details will be included when we email to schedule your session. In person I accept bank transfers, cash and cheques.