Specialising in Stress, Anxiety/Fear/Worries, Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, Relationships & Sexuality
(Please note that my practice in Scotland will not open until early 2020)
I extend a very warm welcome to you.
As an experienced integrative life coach & counsellor, soon to relocate into the Inverness region, I offer you highly positive, non-judgmental, motivational and warmly supportive life coaching and counselling. Please continue reading on through this page for details about my coaching and counselling.
My focus is on helping you to achieve your goals of coping with, and reducing, the effects of stress, anxiety, fear, worries and low self-esteem across all areas of your everyday personal, work / career / professional, educational and family life. This includes in your sexual relationships and your sexuality in general, where desired.
Additionally, I also specialise in guiding, motivating and supporting your self-development across all areas of sexual relating where there are changes or improvements you wish to make, potential issues to resolve, or areas of your relating or sexuality that you wish to learn more about.
Overall, my aim is that of working with you from where you now are, to support and motivate you in moving forward to your desired personal, emotional and, or, sexual relationship goals.
It is the absolute core philosophy in all my work 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 & counsellor, and how do I work with you? Well, since 2000, I have provided integrative coaching, with optional counselling where helpful, to help clients tackle stress, anxiety, fear, worries and low self-esteem. Equally, I have also specialised in working with clients on their problems and self-development across all aspects of sexual relationships and sexuality. My chosen approach to both life coaching and counselling is a person-centred / humanistic one where my focus is on you as a “whole person”, and 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 feelings and behaviours, most often by using time-proven and very effective cognitive-behavioural strategies (though I do have many other approaches available as well).
Cognitive-behavioural may sound a bit scary, or "psychological", but it's really a very gentle, completely unscary, and easy-to-understand approach. Cognitive-behavioural approaches are based on the understanding that, as individuals, how we perceive and think about our lives and problems deeply affects our ability to deal with or manage them. Self-defeating negative thoughts, low self-esteem, anxiety / fear, insecurity, etcetera, can 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 of yourself or your life, until we actually root them out and deal with them together.
These negative thoughts (and the negative behaviours and outcomes which they create in your life and relationships) can be changed into positive thoughts, positive beliefs, and better or good outcomes by you being taught how to create your own thinking 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 cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in counselling, and cognitive-behavioural coaching (CBC) in coaching is not new. In fact, cognitive approaches have been in use around the world by psychologists, doctors, nurses and counsellors since the 1950s (REBT) and 1960s (CBT). More recently, cognitive-behavioural training has become available for coaches.
In my case, however, I trained in the basics of cognitive-behavioural approaches at UEL in London over twenty years ago, in my early integrative counselling and psychotherapy MA training. I’ve developed my skills and approaches in this area throughout all of my 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. 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 and self-care.
What professional background do I bring to my integrative life coaching & counselling? Supporting my work with you as a life coach & counsellor 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 American 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, integrative counselling, and mind & body self-care. This has all been related to stressful or self-development contexts in life, sexuality and relationships, with specific attention to anxiety, low self-esteem, and insecurity.
You can read listings below of all the areas that my coaching or / and counselling work can cover with you from my forthcoming new base in the Inverness / Great Glen region.
Life Coaching & Counselling
Stress, Anxiety, Fear, Worries, Low Self-Esteem, and Insecurity
*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 through CBC
*Understanding and managing low self-esteem
*Positive thinking as a way forward
*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.
For Stress Reduction and for Self-Development in
Sexual Relationships and Sexuality
*Understanding and self-validating your sexuality and relationship needs
*Managing stress between sexual partners
*Negotiating your relationship boundaries or sexual boundaries
*Maintaining relationship or sexual boundaries against coercion
*Self-care 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 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 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 & counsellor 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 & counselling 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 / Great Glen based office, or by some other medium, please be reassured that as either a life coach or counsellor 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 & counsellor 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 health sciences. And, in the spirit of sharing, both as an educator and as a coach & 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 relationships and sexuality. 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 life coaching & counselling
Shortly to be relocating to the Inverness region, 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 & counselling 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 sessions 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 as a life coach or counsellor, your needs in coaching or counselling, 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.