Helping Families into the Light

I provide a service for parents who aren’t finding parenthood a ‘walk in the park’! In my former life B.C (before children) I was a high-flying, globe trotting fashion designer earning lots of cash and having a ball! I had freedom, choices, money, and no one to think about but myself….then I had children.

After my second child was born (I was pregnant with the second when the first was only six months old) I suffered Post Natal Depression. I knew something was wrong almost from the day my baby was born, but when I voiced my concerns to my GP he laughed at me and dismissed my feelings as normal. I had been keeping a diary and continued to record my thoughts and feelings. I then went back to my GP and made him read my journal, after reading four lines he said ‘Ok, we need to get you on medication’. I was not offered any other kind of support and I wasn’t monitored by anyone, i was left alone and at times I felt suicidal. My world had fallen apart and i felt i’d plunged into total blackness, where there was no light.

I took anti-depressants for three years; they helped by taking the edge off my mental pain but they didn’t mend me. During that time I had asked my GP to refer me to a counsellor as I knew the incredible benefits of therapy because I am a counsellor myself. Again he laughed and said “What do you need to see a counsellor for? How would that help? You know what your problem is.”

I had to do it on my own. So I found a counsellor and paid for it myself. This was when my healing REALLY began. Just by having someone to talk to who wasn’t judging me and who actually HEARD what I was saying and believed my truth, had an enormous impact on my progress. It was at this point that I decided that I had to do something to help other women who might be suffering in the same way, and to help prevent the length of suffering I had endured needlessly. It was because of how I was treated by my GP, arrogantly and dismissively, that my suffering lasted three years. The feeling of isolation, loneliness, fear, abandonment, failure and guilt, along with the stigma attached to PND was horrific, and as a result of my experience I understand the confusion, terror and the disconnection from the outside world that PND brings.

I enrolled to study The Executive Master Diploma which includes the Diploma ( Nationally Recognised ) with (I qualified with a Distinction) because I felt I could, along with my counselling skills, offer a service to women that would work with the client in a counselling capacity first, to get them to a point emotionally where they were strong enough to then be able to look to their future, which is when I would coach them.

The biggest challenge I have had personally, apart from overcoming PND, was to discover my new identity, learn how to make my new life work for me, get to know who I have become, and I aim to support others achieve this to.

Although the majority of my clients presenting issues around being a parent are women, this doesn’t mean the dads don’t have concerns and problems adapting to life as a parent. They probably don’t want to burden their wife with their concerns ….so who do they have to talk to? Their issues are often quite different to those of women. They may experience depression too, or witness their wife suffering with PND, which can be very distressing and scary, and they may feel totally alone and helpless. Who have they got to confide in? I coach many men and they find coaching very useful, as men naturally tend to seek a solution to a problem so they feel comfortable with the concept of coaching and can identify with it’s techniques.