'Mental Health' Wellness Coaching for Clinicians with Personal Experience of Breakdown and Trauma.

Coaching for Clinicians with Personal 'Lived Experience'

'Mental Health' Wellness Coaching for Individuals & Groups of Psychotherapists, Clinical Psychologists & Psychiatrists with Personal Experience of Breakdown and Trauma.

Good conversations are not just about the words.

One of the goals of SensitiveBeing is to see the quality of care offered by mental health services evolve to better reflect the needs of human beings experiencing extreme distress.

From my perspective, any clinicians, whether trained as psychotherapists, psychologists or psychiatrists with personal experience of breakdown and trauma are key people for this to happen.

I remember hearing a German clinical psychologist, who I found very compassionate and professional in his work, communicate his realisation upon personally experiencing panic attacks and dissociation that in all the time he worked with people experiencing these kind of things, he never grasped what it actually felt like and how difficult it was for the individuals to work through it. There is nothing like personal experience! No teacher, book or clinical experience will ever provide insight like experiencing it oneself.

The issue though is whether you have the resilience to meet others in distress after having a personal breakdown, or activating personal early traumas or difficulties.

You may have personal doubts yourself about whether you can continue with or restart your work after a period off. Your current or potential future employer may also have reservations. And in truth some environments may be unsuitable if the employer can't adjust and allow greater flexibility so you can work in ways which nourish you with your personal needs as they are.

My personal experience may be helpful to you in this case.

I do not know what it is like to work as a clinician in a medical environment. What I do know is how to navigate through and recover from extreme states of 'mess', whether that be total energy burnout, emotional meltdown, anxiety, depression, despair, suicidal urges or psychosis / non-ordinary states.

I also know how to turn all of this lived experience into a resource for supporting others in a way which 'professionals' without such experience will lack, irrespective of good intentions, compassion and training.

As an individual with a dual resource of training and lived experience, you will have a lot to offer when you have worked through your own difficulty.

No doubt your personal mental health education has already massively evolved from your experiences.

Do you really see yourself as someone with a chemical imbalance in your brain needing pharmacological treatment? I doubt it.

Do you now believe medications are the best way forward for you, potentially for life?

Do you believe a short CBT course on how to manage your responses to the situations life presents you with is all you need to get back in there and thrive?

A now-retired psychiatrist came to me seeking help for a personal trauma. She wanted emotional bodywork and embodied mindfulness practices to help her relax and integrate what had happened to her which was extreme. I didn't see any interest from her in framing the experience in a pathological way or seeking medications to numb the emotional system. I felt like saying, "Don't you realise, your patients were mostly experiencing the effects of chronic and acute traumatising experiences also!", though this wasn't my role. Presumably the insight will be coming to her.

I remember watching a GP in a television documentary going into depression from dealing with her husband with a 'bipolar' pattern of symptoms, saying the antidepressants don't 'f******' work. This was 'frontline' research. They may have numbed her a bit, but did nothing to resolve the emotional distress and confusion that she was continuing to experience from the awful situation she was in.

If someone has a broken leg, then a pain killer might be useful briefly if there is nothing better, but to leave the leg itself unattended would be seen as insane on the part of the attending doctor.

And what about the idea that all we need to do is to talk about what happened?

Its a good start, acknowledging that something happened to us, rather than identifying ourselves as permanently 'damaged goods', but emotions and trauma are held as patterns in the body and you need to support it to get your vitality back.

As you may be realising, real recovery takes time. It doesn't necessarily happen just through avoiding stress, resting and healthy food though this is a start. You may well need to support your journey back to resilience with daily embodied practices to revitalize the system and may possibly need emotional bodywork to help you release the emotions and come out of the freeze state.

How do I write all this with such confidence? Because it is my life. And it is becoming yours and what you learn on your journey of recovery will be a gold mine for helping your patients when you get back to work.

And if your potential employer doesn't realise the value of this resource, they may need to update their view of reality!

A conversation can be like a journey. When you come to its end you may no longer feel like the same person.

One to One Coaching

I see two ways in which I may be able to help:

1) First and most important is in supporting your own recovery journey.

I share embodied practices to help free our body and mind from past emotional patterns so we can regain our original vitality.

At the same time, they serve as tools to help us consciously regulate our nervous systems and bring them back to a warm, connected frontal vagus state.

This combination of practices to both recover to a healthy resilient functional state and to maintain good nervous regulation while being 'knocked around' by life can make a big difference!

2) Second is to share ways I make use of my own personal journey and sensitivity to support the people I work with myself.

I am very aware this challenges the mainstream view of professional clinical practice, but this is exactly what needs to change!

People experiencing trauma and distress need authentic connection with people who are well connected to their emotional selves, not clinicians who project a powerful, confident presence while being disconnected from their heart feeling and shadow selves.

The more resourced you are within yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually, the better able you will be to hold space and support others in difficulty while taking care of yourself at the same time.

All of the embodied mindfulness practices I share, based on Chinese Martial Art & Japanese Hara training are relevant both to the needs of the therapist and the client or patient.

Contact me if this sounds of interest.

I can also work with small groups if there are several people who want to learn together.

I am also interested to run some workshops for people in this situation, so again please Contact me if you would be interested to attend one.

Important Notes:

Wellness Coaching: I am offering 'wellness / life coaching' sessions as an 'expert by experience'. I am not a regulated psychotherapist or counsellor. I have professional training and up to date insurance to work with individuals as a Mindfulness teacher, a Bodywork therapist and as a Tai Chi teacher.

This is a legal disclaimer: What you take from a session and put into action in your life is your personal responsibility. By engaging my services, I will assume you understand and accept this.

Personal Responsibility: I expect individuals to take responsibility for themselves. I cannot take this on myself, though I will support people as best I can. If the individual cannot do this then family members need to take responsibility. If there is a situation in which no one is able to take responsibility, then sadly this is where the mental health services play an important role in our society.

Psychiatry: In my experience the psychiatric profession plays an important health and safety role for the society. I must acknowledge that for some people the use of some form of anti-psychotic medication may be appropriate despite the side-effects. When something better is available the treatments should be updated.

But I also believe that there are individuals with more sensitivity who could be helped in other more gentle ways and right now these options are not available to them. Treatment with anti-psychotic medications may prevent them from living out their full potential in life and this is very, very sad. Most people will prefer to look away unless it is their own life being ruined or that of someone they love but this cannot be ignored and needs to change in our society and mental health systems.

So while the pharmacology path may be the only option for some people, as a kindly psychiatrist once told me, if you can find any other path, take it...

Dangers - I am not naive as to the dangers inherent in non-ordinary experiences, but am not afraid of them in the way perhaps the majority of humanity are, including psychiatric professionals. We will discuss this, and if in the end you need 24hr support (which I did the first time), then the options will include psychiatric care, hopefully for a short time.

Trauma & Suffering - In my experience, people experience mental health difficulties for a reason, not because of a random 'act of God'. Whether anyone wants to face the 'reason' is another matter. A benefit from having been 'cruxified' in my own journey is that I have a capacity to be with suffering in others. We may even be able to make light of it...

Practical Details & Fees

I would suggest people make an initial contact with me through this website.

We can then arrange a first paid session if you are clear you want to work with me.

Session Fee: £80 / hour, £120 / 1 1/2 hrs.

For small groups, I will charge £40 / hour each for two people, £30 / hour each for three, £25 / hour each for four people.

Please contact me for large scale events in person or online.

I charge £90 for Sei Ki Touch and coaching sessions combined in person usually lasting 1 1/4 hours though this may vary with the venue fees.

Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit card via Wise or Paypal. I will send details. I request payment to be made before the agreed session.

Contact Me...

Support Resources

HeartTouch: Mindfulness & Compassionate Touch Training for Anxiety, Emotional Pain & Trauma.

These workshops are open to people experiencing extreme human states, whether that be labelled as psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar, manic depressive along with people with personal histories of sexual or emotional traumas.

They are also open to people experiencing milder forms of anxiety and emotional pain, however it expresses itself.

This can include co-issues such as addiction or eating disorders, though I would request people to find additional support for the side-issue as this is not part of my experience.

The workshops are also open to people interested in enhancing their capacity to work with people experiencing this kind of distress, whether as a bodyworker, psychotherapist, clinician or family member.

Visit easternpeace.com for more...

Tai Chi & Qi Gong Online Foundation Course with Anthony

I have also created an online Tai Chi & Qi Gong course to help people maintain their physical and mental health. Enjoy.

Weathering Storms Mental Health Resilience Training with Anthony

This is a series of videos detailing practices I share in my Weathering Storms Mental Health Resilience Workshops.