Coaching for stress reduction, anxiety, fear, worries, low self-esteem and insecurity. Aimed at developing your positivity, self-care and self-achievement in your life, wellbeing, education, career, relationships & sexuality
I extend a very warm welcome to you.
I am an experienced life coach, mentor and cognitive behavioural coach, practising since 2000. My background is as a Master’s-qualified former integrative coach, counsellor and therapist (2000-2013), and Fulbright Award-winning international secondary and special needs educator (1975-1999). From this background and experience I offer you highly positive, non-judgmental, motivational and warmly supportive coaching and mentoring across all areas of your life and relationships.
Based conveniently for personal coaching in the Inverness, Great Glen, Strathspey, Moray Firth and Highland(s) regions, I also offer distance coaching for non-local and international clients. Please continue reading on through this page for details about my integrative life coaching and cognitive behavioural coaching approaches and options.
My professional focus is on helping you to reduce, manage or eliminate the emotional negativity, stress, anxiety, fear, worries, insecurities or low self-esteem that may be blocking you from achieving goals of self-fulfilment, basic happiness, direction in your life, or even dramatic self-change or self-reinvention. As a coach, I'm happy to work with you on any form of self-development necessary for you to achieve small or significant goals that you desire across any or all aspects of your life.
Some people contact me initially with just a vague feeling that some form of self-change or self-development is desired or necessary in their life, whilst others already know exactly what goals they wish to achieve from coaching and mentoring. Some have even already started out on their journey of self-development or self-change, either self-driven and highly motivated, or with prior help from other coaching or as an offshoot of recent counselling.
It really doesn't matter exactly where along this continuum you happen to be, I'm happy to start work with you. We will clearly identify from our early meetings what self-changes in your life, or what self-development goals you wish to achieve. From that, we will then focus on creating a structured approach to making the achievement of your self-changes or other goals a serious practicality. This includes in your personal, career, educational and family life, and also, of course, in your general self-care, wellbeing, sexual relationships and your sexuality, where desired.
Additionally, I also specialise in guiding, motivating and supporting your self-development, wellbeing and self-care across all areas of sexual relating where there are changes or improvements you wish to make. This might involve self-development in communication, replacing relationship negativity with positivity, or areas of your relating or sexuality that you wish to learn more about.
Ultimately, my aim is that of working with you from where you now are, to support and motivate you in moving forward to achieve your desired goals in any areas of your life. During this process I believe that the quality and warmth of the professional relationship between us, and my unconditional acceptance of you as a uniquely individual person, is the key to a successful outcome to our work together.
What do I offer as an integrative life coach / cognitive behavioural coach, and how do I work with you? Well, since 2000, I have provided integrative life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching (with optional counselling until 2013) to help clients achieve their goals of reducing the blocking effects of stress, anxiety, fear, worries, insecurities and low self-esteem throughout their lives, personal and professional. Equally, I have also specialised in working with clients on their wellbeing, self-care and self-development across all aspects of sexual relationships and sexuality.
My chosen form of life coaching is an integration of person-centred / humanistic coaching with other helpful strategies, particularly cognitive behavioural approaches (see below), which provide a focus on you as a “whole person”, and on your overall self-care and wellbeing throughout. The moving forward towards your goal component is achieved by us together as a team, working directly on your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This is most often by using time-proven and very effective cognitive behavioural coaching strategies (though I do, of course, have many other approaches available as well).
Cognitive behavioural coaching may sound a bit scary, nail-biting or "psychological", but it's really a very gentle, completely unscary, and easy-to-understand approach (and I guarantee you won’t chew a single finger nail!). Cognitive behavioural coaching (CBC) approaches are based on the understanding that, as individuals, how we perceive, think and feel about our lives and problems deeply affects our ability to deal with or manage them. Self-defeating negative thoughts and feelings, low self-esteem, anxiety / fear, insecurity, etcetera, can destroy your emotional and physical wellbeing, and determine failure or a bad result in any or all aspects of your life. And, sadly, because these negative automatic thoughts (often called NATs) are automatic you may not even realise that you have these very distorted and untrue views and feelings about yourself or your life, until we actually root them out and deal with them together.
These negative thoughts (and the negative feelings, behaviours and outcomes which they create in your life and relationships) can be changed into positive thoughts, positive beliefs and feelings, and better or good outcomes by you being taught how to create your own thinking, feeling and behaviour patterns. Positive thoughts are used in this process to challenge, and replace, your negative thoughts with something much more realistic and useful in your life.
This process, called CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) in counselling, and CBC (cognitive behavioural coaching) in life coaching is not new. In fact, various cognitive approaches have been in use around the world by psychologists, doctors, nurses, social workers and counsellors since the 1950s (REBT) and 1960s (CBT). More recently, since the 1990s, cognitive behavioural training has become more available for life coaches.
In my case, however, I trained in the basics of cognitive behavioural approaches over twenty years ago with one of England’s foremost CBC creators, Gladeana McMahon, in the UEL School of Psychology, during my early MA Counselling and Psychotherapy training. I’ve developed my skills and approaches in this area throughout all of my coaching work, and my former counselling work, with private clients ever since. Since their introduction, cognitive behavioural therapy and coaching have proved incredibly effective over the past half-century, including when used for stress, and stress-related areas.
Such stress-related areas also include anxiety, worries, fear, insecurity and low self-esteem, which is why this is usually my main chosen approach for self-care / wellbeing improvement and self-development in all aspects of life, relationships and sexuality. I do, however, also use other strategies that I’ve been trained in, wherever they may be helpful to clients. This is particularly the case, of course, in my work with relationship and sexuality self-development, wellbeing and self-care.
What professional background do I bring to my integrative life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching in Inverness? Supporting my work with you as a life coach focused on your self-care is an extensive international helping-professional background, acquired through my work on both sides of the Atlantic since 1975. Between 1975-1999 this was originally as a Fulbright Award-winning educator, working in English and Californian secondary / special education, predominantly with socially disadvantaged, stressful, anxious and insecure young people experiencing significant emotional, social, behavioural and educational problems. Since completing my integrative counselling PG Diploma / client work requirements in 2000, and my MA Counselling and Psychotherapy degree in 2002, my private client work has centred on various combinations of life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching and, from 2000 until 2013, integrative counselling. All of my work with clients has been, and still is, related to stressful or self-development contexts in life, sexuality and relationships, with specific attention to anxiety, fear, worries, low self-esteem, and insecurity.
You can read listings below of all the areas that my coaching work can cover with you from my base serving the Inverness, Great Glen, Strathspey, Moray Firth and Highland(s) regions.
Integrative & Cognitive Behavioural Life Coaching
understanding and reducing the negative effects of stress, anxiety, fear,
worries, low self-esteem, and insecurity
*Identifying goals in any area of your life, relationships, etc., with clarity
*Making goal achievement / self-development accessible to you
*Learning how to feel in control of your life and events
*Identifying toxic elements in your life, and then devising strategies to minimise their effect on you, or even removing them if possible
*Reassessing your priorities in life to relieve stress, anxiety and fear
*Improving your communication skills
*Assertion training and learning to take, or regain, control over potentially stressful and anxiety and fear-generating situations in your life
*Stress, anxiety and fear management
*Understanding and managing low self-esteem
*Positive thinking as a way forward to wellbeing, self-development and goal achievement
*Mindfulness training as a way to create inner focus and calm
*Understanding and managing insecurity
*Review of your decision-making and life-choices skills in life, at work, in relationships, etc.
For more details specifically on my stress work, please see stress management.
in your sexual relationships and sexuality
*Understanding and self-validating your sexuality and relationship needs
*Managing stress and anxiety between sexual partners
*Negotiating your relationship boundaries or sexual boundaries
*Maintaining relationship or sexual boundaries against coercion
*Self-care and wellbeing for yourself and your intimate relationship
*Dealing with emotional conflict in relating and sex
*Developing or re-discovering your physical / sexual intimacy
*Developing or re-discovering emotional intimacy and wellbeing in sex
*Improving / developing communication skills in sexual relating
*Establishing common relationship goals – what is your relationship about?
*Overcoming shyness, anxiety, fear and insecurity in sexual and intimate emotional situations
*Negotiating change within your relationship
*Learning to relate and understand and support each other’s emotional and sexual needs
*Learning how to develop sexual skills and emotional wellbeing together
*Negotiating changes in relationship structure (e.g. changing from monogamy to non-monogamy, one or more partners exploring a same-gender interest outside of the opp-gender couple)
*Mindfulness training as a way to create inner focus and calm in sexual situations
*Maintaining sexual pleasure and emotional intimacy as you get older
*Evolving away from emotional and behavioural rigidity in your relating and sexuality
*Getting unstuck from relationship worries, anxiety, and insecurities
*Developing your communication and partnering skills further in your sexual relating (working with either an individual, couple or small group)
*Enjoying sex as older partners and staying connected to, or re-developing, sexual intimacy
And, of course, as a life coach / cognitive behavioural coach focused on your self-care I am also always pleased to answer difficult, embarrassing questions about sexuality and relating, concerning absolutely any kind of consensual sexual context. Nothing shocks me, embarrasses me, or causes me to judge you in any way whatsoever.
For more details on my specialisation with sexuality and relationships please see relationships and sexuality.
Who do I work with?
Since 2000, my integrative life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching practice has always been very international, cosmopolitan, and widely welcoming to fellow humans from all socio-economic backgrounds. I have worked face-to-face with adult individuals and couples of all ages, from dozens of countries, and by phone and internet with persons from as far away as Vietnam.
Whatever areas of your life and self-care we may be working on together, whether face-to-face within my Inverness based office, or by some other medium, please be reassured that as an integrative life coach / cognitive behavioural coach I'm very comfortable working with adults from all sexual lifestyles, sexualities and orientations. This includes traditional monogamous, LGBT, ethically non-monogamous / polyamorous, polysexual, demisexual or asexual, whatever. In fact, I am completely friendly and welcoming to, supportive of, and knowledgeable about all gender combinations, sexualities and lifestyles involving adult, mutually consensual, informed sexuality and relating. All are very natural and normal examples of the wide range of human life experience.
and sharing with others
As a professional life coach / cognitive behavioural coach I keep myself well updated on relevant research coming from practitioners and researchers in coaching studies, psychology, sexuality and relationship studies, and broader areas of the social sciences. And, in the spirit of sharing, as an educator, as a coach, and as a former counsellor, I have written many articles for the internet on counselling, educational, coaching, sexuality, relationship, stress and anxiety areas, yoga and stress management. I have also published occasional printed articles and peer-reviewed research internationally, including in The Guardian Weekly and Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
and personal background
Please click on these page links to find out more about my stress management specialisation, and similarly for my relationships and sexuality specialisation. If you'd like to find out more about the dangers of stress, then this link will take you to my short article focusing on the emotional and physical dangers of stress. Finally, to find out more about me, my general background, philosophy and professional qualifications, please click here.
for integrative life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching
As an experienced practitioner of life coaching / cognitive behavioural coaching in Inverness, I aim to keep my fees affordable, and my charges range from £50 down to £10 per session or per contact. This depends upon what work we are doing, how we are working (in person, by phone, by email), length of our session together, and whether I’m working with you as an individual, a couple, or as part of a small group. Currently, a 60 minute face-to-face one-person or couple session is £50, increasing to £60 for small groups. A 90 minute session is £70 and £80, respectively. My services by phone or email, of course, cost far less. The first session is paid for at the session’s end, and all subsequent sessions are paid for seven days in advance. I accept payments please by electronic bank-to-bank transfer, cash or by cheque. Paid-in-advance sessions are not refundable, nor transferable to another date or time, unless cancelled more than 48 hours in advance.
I have always provided a significant discount for university and technical students, and will always do so. Currently, a valid student photo identification card will entitle you to a 40% reduction on my coaching fees. And, as mentioned above, shorter follow-up life coaching sessions, or “top-up” motivational sessions by phone or email with me can also be an area where you can save money. So, life coaching with me in Inverness may be far more affordable than you might think.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me: If you would like to chat with me about any aspect of my client work in life coaching, your personal coaching needs or goals, or anything else related to this, then please contact me. Details for contact by email or phone are displayed on each website page. I’ll be glad to respond promptly to your enquiry.