January was a busy month. I have had new referrals and continue to work with ongoing clients as they progress. The nature of my work is increasingly varied as I work around issues of weight management; workplace stress; anxiety and mood disorder; and loss and grief. This is good for me in terms of a varied practice and requiring of me to be ever open to new ideas, research, and therapeutic interventions. I trust both past and present clients value the ‘dynamic’ element to practice and the individualised nature of my work.
In this newsletter I am delighted to share with you the story of ‘I’ who has had quite a journey since coming to see me in 2013. She prefers to remain anonymous and I am absolutely fine with that. I appreciate her allowing me to post her story below re how therapy changed her life. I am also introducing some new initiatives into my weight management programmes including the option to add expert nutritionist advice in the programmes I offer.
Otherwise I announce a potential new clinic in a Health and Fitness location in Preston.
So again I hope you find this newsletter of interest and for the first time I include a contribution from a lady ‘across the pond’, Jane Moore. US based Jane has kindly submitted ‘4 Strategies for Getting Through Bad Mental Health Days’
If you have any queries or wish to contribute please get in touch and please do follow me on Twitter where I regularly Tweet!
This Months Story: Engaging in Therapy Can Change your Life!
Last month I was contacted by a client who I worked with in 2013. She called me after receiving my 16 Jan 2017 newsletter and subsequently wrote a testimonial for my website. Her’s is a story of making significant life changes after engaging in a course of counselling and life coaching. It demonstrates that the initial reason for engaging in therapy, in her case ‘overeating’, often leads to exploration the reasons behind dissatisfaction and unhappiness with oneself and life. In doing so radical change can occur which can be both scary and exciting. This underlines why anyone contemplating any type of therapy should engage an experienced competent therapist who is equipped to guide and enable you to navigate change in a supportive, skilled manner.
With her permission I share her comments with you:
It was great speaking with you and I’m glad I called to say thank you. Russell you made a profound difference to my life and I will always be grateful. I am pleased to provide this testimonial for your website:
”I met Russell at a time in my life in which I was over weight and struggling to manage my over eating. I told myself I just needed to sort out this area of my life and everything else would fall into place. I truly believed that my unhappy oppressive marriage and depression would be fixed if I got Russell to help me “get a grip and loose weight”.
When I met with Russell he gave me the opportunity to stop and really consider what I wanted and what I wanted my life to feel and look like. This process helped me to understand that I had simply settled with a very unfulfilled life and the eating was just a symptom of my frustration, anger, boredom, confusion and anxiety. I started allowing myself permission to connect with my deeper feelings and emotions. In doing so I tuned into the feelings of isolation, anxiety and powerlessness, however I also acknowledged that I had strength and power that I had also buried the memory of. I felt empowered to change my life and that of my children for the better. It has taken me 2 years but I am now unrecognisable both physically and emotionally. I have lost weight and feel beautiful and attractive. I divorced my emotionally oppressive husband, I sought and got a senior management role and have brought my dream house. I now know that the only thing that can hold me back is me. I have allowed myself to dream big and expect bigger. Thank you Russell for helping me to start my journey and giving me the tools that I needed to continue to develop and be the best I can be!”
Weight Loss Surgery or Not?
During December and January I have had a number of enquiries where the person was contemplating surgery in order to lose weight. Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who have obesity. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery). Other procedures include the gastric balloon.
As I advocate losing weight ‘the thinking way’ and have a great deal of success with my approach potential clients often assume I will have a negative view of surgery. I don’t. Wikipedia references long-term studies showing the procedures cause significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality of 23% from 40%.
However there is much to consider as some procedures are not reversible and I like many would choose to avoid surgical intervention if at all possible. When all approaches are considered and an informed choice is made then typically the right choice for each individual is made. However a considered and informed decision is more credibly made where someone has been counseled and advised not only re the actual procedures but also regarding the emotional/psychological implications post operatively. Given this I have worked and am presently working with clients who are having difficulty adjusting to the new ways that they are able to and must eat. This can be a difficult journey and I recommend seeking help if you are having difficulty.
Of the clients who enquired re my weight loss programmes some ahead and have gone down the route of surgery. They know I remain open to working with them and supporting them going forward. That support is not only around weight loss and new ways of eating and behaving around food. As people lose weight new options open up. The ability to exercise and to lead a more active life does not always easily progress to actually being active and exercising, especially if life has been historically sedentary and if self esteem and confidence is low. Going to the gym or walking around the park can be a major issue and support with motivational and ego boosting therapies can help a person make a next step.
Of clients who enquired and joined my weight loss programme their initial stance was typical in that they preferred to avoid surgery and especially irreversible procedures. Skepticism and a kind of ‘you’re my last chance’ mentality (other to surgery) is common in my experience of these instances. However when a ‘thinking way’ approach is explained clients warm to its logical and insightful qualities. It’s not right for everyone but if in the initial consultation clients ‘sign up’ to the ideas and concepts then I expect them to succeed. With some tweaking for 2017 ( see below ) I expect the success levels to be maintained.
One of the clients on who was on the cusp of surgery wrote this testimonial for this newsletter:
”I went to see Russell pre xmas 2016 with initial thoughts to see him alongside bariatric surgery as I felt after years of battling with my weight surgery was my only option. NO ONE was more skeptical than me about the effects of hypnotherapy and life coaching. Having had the first consult with Russell I believed there was another option aside from surgery . I cancelled the surgery and exactly a month to the date I have lost a stone . Not hard work , just a whole different thought process. Definitely tools for life and although I still have a way to go with my weight , my self esteem and confidence are through the roof & I have never been more positive . Russell is worth his or my weight in gold always at the end of an email phone or text. Cannot praise him enough.”
So to conclude. It is a big decision and there are options and combinations of approaches that can help you get where you wish to be! If you wish to discuss this you are welcome to contact me.
Adding Expert Nutritionist Input to my Weight Management Programmes
I have decided to routinely offer the option to add expert nutritionist consultations to my weight management programmes. Where appropriate I have always sign posted clients to their GP or to a local nutritionist where indicated be a client is wishing to lose weight, gain weight, or address eating disorder. I am used to multidisciplinary working over the years and an opportunity has presented to work alongside a colleague who practises at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital and at the FA’s St Georges Park. This will add another dimension to my programmes as I formulate a way forward for each client.
The reason for this is that whilst for some people the reason they carry or lack weight may be apparent…snacking, large meals, junk food, sugar cravings etc … or may be subtle and couched in emotional issues and historical events… for some the way their body responds to certain foods or the make up of a persons diet may be compromising their health and this can be addressed by expert nutritional advice. This will enhance each clients potential to achieve their aims.
If you are interested to know more do contact me.
An Audio Testimonial from Alex
Alex came to see me in Oct 2016. He was suffering debilitating OCD and social anxiety. He is free of both now.
Click on this link to listen.
New Health and Fitness Clinic
I have been asked by Lifestyle Fitness and Health to offer services at their Preston Deepdale Gym/Health Club. Changes in the club offer the potential for clinical practice. The new manager has a positive attitude to introducing therapies and life coaching into the club services. Obviously the work I do and the client group such a facility attracts match up. Promotional work and the detail is under discussion at the moment and I will update you in forthcoming newsletters as to progress.
Fairfield Independent Hospital
Many thanks to Andrew Hatfield in the marketing team at Fairfield. Andrew has been particularly helpful regarding my profile and presence on the hospital web site. He has also facilitated in house promotional material which is helping my Saturday morning clinic to build. See the ‘Consultants’ and ‘Services’ pages and also very shortly the ‘conditions’ pages at https://www.fairfield.org.uk/
Jane Moore: ‘4 Strategies for Getting Through Bad Mental Health Days’
Many people take one day at a time when it comes to mental health, particularly if when living with a mental health disorder. While everyone has good days and bad days, people coping with a mental health disorder may experience more severe highs and lows compared to those who don’t have a mental health diagnosis. In either case, there are some helpful strategies you can employ to get through the not-so-great (and downright bad) days.
1) Learn to Recognize Things That Impact Your Mental Health
Some people have a game plan for getting through down days. When you first realize that your day isn’t going as well as it could be, run through a checklist of the usual things that impact your mental health, such as being hungry, tired, dehydrated, or when your home or office is a disaster, or you haven’t had time to exercise in a week.
Once you learn to identify the things that tend to throw you off, you can run through your list when you start to feel down and then work to implement coping techniques. If you’re unsure of the different things that may be triggering bad mental health days, journaling can help you identify patterns.
2) Turn Up the Volume on Your Favourite Playlist
Music is incredibly soothing for the soul and has tremendous potential to impact your mood. With many different genres to choose from, you can create a playlist to suit every mood. If dance music or hip-hop gives you an energy boost, create a playlist for the days when you’re feeling exhausted.
Maybe you enjoy listening to classical music to reduce stress, or alternative rock music helps you release feelings of stress. There are no rules; choose the music that has the desired effect depending on your mood at the moment.
3) Embrace Your Furry Friends
Dogs and other animals have a unique way of understanding human emotions and helping people in all kinds of emotional states feel better. If you’re living with depression and having a down day, taking a dog for a walk is good for both the body and the mind. Maybe your pup can detect when you’re feeling down and out and knows it’s time for a snuggle on the couch.
These and other things make dogs suitable for therapeutic uses. For instance, service dogs are trained to help their handlers cope with the various issues they encounter on a day-to-day basis. Therapy dogs are often used to lift the spirits of seniors residing in assisted living and other long-term care settings. Simply spending time with a dog has mood-boosting effects for many people.
4) Take a Mental Health Day
Sometimes, you just need a break from the mundane activities of your day-to-day life. If stressors at work are making it difficult for you to manage your mental well-being, don’t be afraid to take a mental health day.
You may feel guilty about calling in sick, but taking a day to pamper yourself and pursue activities that feed your soul can be just what you need to return to work refreshed, revitalized, and ready to tackle whatever your job throws your way. In other words, taking a mental health day may mean skipping out on work duties for a day, but the rewards are well worth it not just for you, but for your employer, too.
Taking care of your mental health needs is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Learn to identify your triggers and work to develop coping strategies that are most effective for your personal needs, and don’t include addictive substances. The next time a bad mental health day starts to get you down, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to take back the day.
If you would like to contact Jane simply drop me a line and I will pass her details on.
And Finally…Sugar Free February
for Cancer Research UK!
Do you crave chocolate, sweets, biscuits or cake? Are you struggling to kick your sugar cravings?
You’re not alone. Let me help you ‘kick’ your cravings and reprogramme your thinking.
I will help you:
to stop sabotaging and blaming yourself
develop new ways of thinking, believing, and behaving around those sweet foods
to see yourself differently, to love and respect yourself and your body, and nurture a healthy relationship with food that prevails in the longer term
During the months of February and March I am offering a ‘one off’ individual face to face session to help you kick your sugar cravings. The session will be tailored to your individual needs and will be recorded and sent to you in a MP3 file (or on CD). The recording will help you embed the changes you make.
You can book a session at any of my clinics for a reduced one off fee of £80 given you consider making a donation of your choice to Cancer Research UK: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/find-an-event/sugar-free-february
To book please call me on 07921 212728.