I work on the Isle of Dogs in the borough of Tower Hamlets. The island is a very unique place, where poverty and wealth overlap, and water meets the edges of the banks of London. I feel very privileged to be in my role – being able to bring coaching into the lives of many people who would not consider it an option for them. I also feel the richness of working in a non-clinical role in a clinical world.
People are referred to me from GPs via the social prescribing service. They come to me for many different reasons – anxiety, stress, pain, sleep issues and everything that being human can incur.
I offer people a space, a calm, non-clinical environment where they are able to explore what is happening for them at that moment. Often this involves working with the impact of past trauma or debilitating anxiety or even a hectic morning trying to manage a family. Whatever they bring is what we work with. The first session is always about their story – whatever they have been referred ‘for’ is rarely what is troubling them. I work with the autonomic nervous system as a mirror for their thoughts and feelings and experiences and, alongside this, use the growth mindset model and the wheel of life to put some tools in to the session. I also work with silence – often in silence people realise what they need to do.
I like to think I make a difference to people’s lives – the feedback I get is positive – most people end the sessions in a different state to when they started. Being heard and also having their words reflected back to them so they know they have been heard is enormously powerful.
Examples of my interventions : the 86-year-old man who increased his sleep by three hours per night; the woman who was able to travel alone on the tube again; the woman who remembered how dance made her feel and began to dance again; the young woman who told me I was the only person who had been able to help her heal her inner heart.
I am very proud to do the work I do.