• Coaching

    Being the best version of ourselves doesn’t just happen by itself. Sometimes it takes a bit of working at. When the pressure of work and life-stuff gets too much, we can begin to derail. But working one-to-one with a coach will give you precious thinking time to draw breath, reflect and take control of what you want and where you want to go. I believe that we all have all the resources we need but that sometimes, those resources sit just out of reach because of our past, or because of what we think is possible or not. I like to challenge my clients’ perceptions to create new horizons and richer possibilities

    Coaching typically takes place once a month for two hours. There is no set ‘programme’ because your challenge won’t be the same as anyone else’s. We start where you want to start and quickly build a sense of movement towards goals that we set together. Between sessions you will begin to put some new behaviours into action, and you’ll have the chance to reflect more deeply as is helpful. And you will have support by phone and email right the way through our journey

    You’ll soon be excited by what’s possible rather than weighed down by what’s not. And you’ll learn some approaches and skills for yourself that will equip you and fuel your motivation way into the future

  • Coaching after physical or mental health absence

    Coaching to support you back into work, or back at work after a mental or physical health challenge starts with where you’re at, allowing us to set goals together that are right for you. Being absent for physical or mental health reasons can wipe away confidence leaving us feeling a shadow of our former selves. The coaching will help you gently find your new normal at a pace that’s right for you and in a way that’s sustainable. We will work on strategies to help you manage yourself better, and explore ways for you to manage your key work relationships to ensure you stay vital and contributing all your talents

    For some people, a significant absence for mental or physical health reasons can trigger a wholescale re-think of what life is all about and whether returning to the same work routine is really want you want to do. This can be an exciting and energising time, but it can also be quite scary as you contemplate stepping into the unknown. Coaching can help you review your skills and strengths to explore the route you’ve been thinking about and perhaps even a route or two that you hadn’t considered. We will work through a number of exercises to help you get clear on your vision for the future, and how it might shape up from here. You will leave with a renewed sense of purpose and a practical plan

     

    I have been a coach for over 15 years and am trained in a range of approaches including Gestalt, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Solutions Focused Coaching, Co-active Coaching, The Thinking Environment and mindfulness. I encourage deep reflection, exploring emotions, meaning making, and building strength from our core beliefs. I always work towards practical actions

  • Consulting

    Healthy businesses are ones where people are themselves and where they are motivated to contribute their best. Diversity is likely to feature quite highly because in inclusive organisations, people don’t feel that they have to conform to a particular ‘type’ allowing them to use their creativity and all their talents. Diverse and inclusive organisations are successful too: these businesses are often better able to reflect what their customers need and want, react to new trends, and make innovation successful. Don’t take our word for it – many rigorous research studies including longitudinal comparisons bear this out

    Creating and sustaining a healthy culture is not just about diversity though. It’s also about supporting people who have, or who have had, physical and mental health challenges; or who are supporting a member of their family through such a challenge

    We work with organisations to help raise awareness about mental health in their business. This encourages individuals who need support to reach out and ask for it. Crucially, it also involves training colleagues and managers to know how to respond when a member of the team takes the brave step to reach out. It’s not enough simply to talk more about mental health in the organisation – it’s only half the picture. The other and necessary half is to give people the skills to respond to someone who needs support. Without it, the organisation may in fact be doing more harm than good by raising expectations that it can’t support

    Individuals who are themselves going through a mental health challenge or who are supporting someone who is, typically want to work. Work is a good thing. Work is much more than the means to earn – it’s validating, satisfying and gives purpose. When people can be open about what’s going on for them, and create a work pattern that meets their needs but that don’t compromise the team or the organisation’s performance, everyone benefits. But when people have to struggle on without the appropriate support, they can feel overwhelmed, their performance can drop significantly and this can in turn, lead to further extended time off. As a consequence, the rest of the team may need to shoulder additional work at short notice and for undefined periods of time. If this pattern continues, the team can build up resentment against someone who needs their support and not their judgement. It’s also demoralising for the person with the mental health challenge to feel that they’re not coping, and that their absence is increasingly discussed within a ‘performance’ framework rather than as necessary support

    Organisations have the power to help society overcome the stigma of physical and mental health, and support all employees to help their colleagues

  • Campaigns & Workshops

    Developing mental health muscle in your business requires two interlocking strands:

    • An engaging and informative campaign based on deep knowledge about mental health and matched to the culture and people in your business. This educates employees about mental health, convinces them that there is a need for action, and encourages employees’ confidence that they personally have a role to overcome the stigma and help their colleagues
    • A series of activities that bring people together to dispel myths about mental health, give individuals the language and confidence to talk about mental health, and develop the skills to support a colleague when it’s needed

    The workshops that we run encourage team members to practice and apply the following skills:

    • Create a team or department culture that is open and authentic about mental health and that does nothing to prejudice discussion or speaking up
    • Spot individuals who might need more support
    • Understand the difference between appropriate work-based support and any attempt to tackle the mental health issue itself which is only to be addressed by an appropriately skilled mental health practitioner
    • Know where to direct the individual for further support including how to talk with their line manager
    • If they are the line manager of the individual, know how to talk with them about what they may need, have knowledge about relevant policies or procedures in the organisation, and how to manage their work structure in a way that supports the individual
    • Provide practical tips about on-going support

    In addition to workshops and seminars, we also help to set up, as appropriate for the organisation, networks and topic specific support groups. Integrated with existing structures or networks, these help embed knowledge and support for mental health into the day-to-day fabric of the business

    We also encourage senior sponsorship of mental health with separate education and skill development for the top team

  • Public speaking

    Alison is an inspirational public speaker on the subject of tackling physical and mental health challenges. She draws on her own experience underpinned by deep knowledge, and educates with humour, authenticity and passion. She has been a key note speaker at AGMs, conferences and leadership events, and is a regular speaker to employees wanting to understand more about what it’s like to go through physical and mental health issues. She has spoken on live television and on the radio.