I grew up in a small, friendly village community in the Oxfordshire countryside. This developed in me a strong connection with Nature, which I now use in my work.
As a teenager a wise Uncle of mine, with whom I used to enjoy many long conversations about life and being human, lent me a book called ‘I’m OK, You’re OK’. This was the start of a lifelong fascination I have had for understanding what makes people happy and successful; how we learn and overcome challenges, but also how we frequently create our own suffering and get in our own way!
Having studied psychology at University I went on to gain an MSc and Chartership with the British Psychological Society (1995) and I am a founder and Principal member of the Association of Business Psychologists. In the early 90’s I worked as an Occupational Psychologist, helping people fulfil more of their potential at work. I qualified and became proficient in a wide range of psychometric profiling tools (personality, ability, motivations & interests). I also embarked on a deep personal development journey, becoming a self-confessed ‘workshop junkie’ and gaining a very wide range of skills and perspectives, including becoming an NLP Master Practitioner. I have studied with many great teachers in the World of personal and spiritual development. I believe we never stop learning. Ofcourse I include myself in this and continue to believe in the importance of ‘doing my own work’, not only for myself, but in order to be more fully of service to others.
I have been helping people for over 20 years and am now a qualified coach (International Coaching Federation), trained counsellor (Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education) and experienced facilitator.
In 2014 I went on a life-changing trip to the Amazon with an organisation called the Pachamama Alliance. We stayed with indigenous tribes in the heart of the rainforest – as remote as I have ever been from what we know as ‘civilisation’. One night I was transported back to the feelings I had as a child of awe and wonder at the beauty of nature around me. I realised how profoundly we all depend on this connection for both our physical survival and our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. This led, not only to a commitment to help us live in a more harmonious and sustainable way, but also to a realisation of the power of nature as a teacher, healer and facilitator of our own inner transformation and growth.
I believe we are all continuously discovering more of what is important to us and engaging in an ongoing refinement of both our dreams and the resources we have to draw upon. Many of my clients come to coaching to move forward on their ‘to do list’, but I believe coaching is more than that. Coaching addresses who you are being, how are you are choosing what to take action on and how movement in that area will affect the rest of your life. Being able to learn is probably the greatest gift any human being can have because it makes everything else possible. The better you are at learning the more choices you have. I love coaching because I have the privilege of helping people learn – more about who they are, how they relate to the World, what they want in life and how to get there.
Coaching is a process of growth and learning that is about maximising your potential, enhancing your self-awareness, opening up to possibilities, and increasing personal choice. I see coaching sessions as a meeting of equals – myself as an experienced facilitator and my client as an expert in his/her own life. I build a partnership with you, focussed on moving you from where you are now to where you want to be. It is a relationship built on trust and a belief that you have the answers inside you; I do not advise you or tell you what to do. I will challenge you, expand your awareness and thinking so that you can find the right solution for you, as well as champion your success and support you on your journey. Coaching helps you to ask the right questions, generate new insights, provide guidance and help you to focus on the right things. A coach can’t do the work for you but they can save you time!
One of the things which I have consistently been told over the years is “you are a good listener”. People often say that I have a calming influence on them. I will make you feel truly listened to and understood as I believe the only way people can fulfil their true potential is to feel accepted for ALL they are, not just for the way they feel they ’should’ be. I listen attentively both to your current situation and goals, but also for the potential that you may not have spotted or fully acknowledged in yourself. I am good at asking questions that get to the root of the matter and reflecting, sometimes challenging, in a way that is powerful and loving at the same time. I sensitively hold up the mirror to help you see things that you may not have been previously aware of – to help you make more informed choices, guided by your true talents and inner wisdom.
I have a flexible approach – helping you progress towards your current goals at the same time as being alert to new opportunities and new awareness being developed in you. I think goal setting can sometimes be too rigid. As John Lennon said “life is something that happens when you are making other plans”! In the process you develop your ‘leaning agility’ – the ability to step into the unknown, develop new habits at the same time as letting go of old attitudes and behaviours that no longer serve you.
My experience is that we tend to be our own worst critics and that what we achieve in life is often more about our attitude, self belief and how we react to situations than about developing any specific knowledge or skill. I love watching people have ‘light bulb’ moments and I try to help you ’get out of your own way’ – helping you to show up and become more fully who you are.
I believe that the starting point for any change, paradoxically, is to be exactly where you are. This means learning to having real curiosity and compassion for what ever is arising in you and the current conditions of your life. Living everything fully can then lead you to a strength, clarity and inner resourcefulness that would not be possible by avoiding or attempting to ‘leapfrog’ uncomfortable emotions. I also help you to discover the sources of your joy and inspiration, uncover your dreams and aspirations and work with you on practical steps for how to bring about desired changes in your life. It is my aim that anyone I work with feels safe and fully heard and at the same time is inspired and stimulated to live up to his or her full potential.
In my wider life I have a passion for gardening, garden design and the health and wellbeing benefits of being in nature. I am a Trustee of Thrive – a charity that uses gardening to help the lives of people living with disability or ill health.
I currently live in leafy Surrey and am engaged to be married to a wonderful woman who works as a Psychotherapist and also works with clients in nature.