It can get lonely as you move up your career ladder. Colleagues become boss-pleasers, your every thought is taken as policy, and the number of people you can turn to for advice and support dwindles as you rise.
Executive coaching fills this gap. Your coach gives you a safe environment to explore where you are going: a place to talk things through with someone who really understands. At SherpaNLP, we have more than 25 years of international management and coaching experience, From one-person-businesses to federal governments, there are not many situations we haven’t experienced!
Your coach will be empathic and encouraging, but will never flinch from telling you the truth in a way your colleagues cannot. It’s impossible to see yourself from the outside - only your coach will tell you non-judgmentally how you really come across and be able to help you develop the areas you need.
By exploring your career and ambitions, you will gain a better understanding of what is really important to you, what your values are, and what might be holding you back. It’s too easy to get pulled onto the career hamster wheel of moving onward and upward; spend time with your coach and you may be surprised to find that your goals are not as important as you thought. Changing direction could bring you more personal success and happiness. Or maybe the way you are heading is perfect for you: in which case, an executive coach can help you get there faster.
Your coach can also facilitate 360 degree feedback, and help you improve relations with your team. In addition, a coach can show you how to build skills in areas you want to develop, such as communication, leading change, taking risks and so forth.
At SherpaNLP, we are passionate about coaching. It gives us the biggest kick to help successful people become even more successful by improving their motivation and tackling whatever’s holding them back. We offer a wide range of services but every programme is designed for the individual client. With SherpaNLP, it’s never one-size-fits-all, but bespoke sessions aimed at achieving exactly what is important to you.
Find out how coaching can help you move forward in your career and change your life for ever.
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One of the most fundamental aspects of coaching is finding the right coach for you and we believe that by offering a Skype coaching directory, you can have greater choice in terms of language,culture and location.
By using a Skype coach, you can alleviate the stress of location and time. By connecting to a coach via Skype, you have a wider scope of coaches to choose from, giving you the chance to connect to the right coach for you.
By Judith BurnsEducation reporter – BBC
More children have mental health issues than two years ago, a survey of school teachers suggests.
More than half of 850 staff surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) agreed more pupils had developed problems.
On Monday – March 30th, the ATL’s annual conference will debate a call for more support for vulnerable pupils in schools.
General secretary Dr Mary Bousted blamed “poverty, poor housing, unemployment and financial insecurity”.
School staff have had to “plug the gaps in social care as best they can”, said Dr Bousted.
Some 861 ATL members responded to the survey earlier this month.
More than one in six said they believed at least a quarter of students in their school or college were affected by mental health problems.
Almost 90% said staff have had to provide more support for these pupils over the past two years, while 43% said they had been finding it harder to access services for pupils with mental illness.
One head of department at a Reading secondary school said local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services were “completely overwhelmed”.
“Unless there is significant risk of harm to either the child or others, there is pretty much no point in contacting them.”
Almost two-thirds (59%) said their school did not devote enough time and resources to mental health issues.
Only 9% felt they had been given enough training to help them spot the signs of mental illness in pupils, 45% said training had been inadequate and 32% said they had received no training at all.
All pupils should learn about mental illness to combat stigma, say education staff
The conference motion calls on the union to lobby the government, after the election, for more investment in measures including havens for vulnerable pupils and better funding for specialist staff.
“Where are the school nurses? Where are the school counsellors? Where are the expert social workers who have the time and resilience to support families in crisis? They have been made redundant!”
Some 91% of respondents said it was important to make children aware of the issues surrounding mental illness, with better personal, social and health education to combat stigma.
“It comes as no surprise that so many education professionals are feeling so utterly let down on all sides when it comes to support for children’s and young adults’ mental health,” said Dr Bousted.
Cuts to services had left pupils “dangerously at risk”, she added.
Lucie Russell, campaigns director of the charity Young Minds, said the survey demonstrated the “huge burden” teachers were under.
“Having to manage a growing crisis in young people’s mental health and decreasing access to expert support makes their jobs so much harder.”
Ms Russell promised the charity would hold the next government to account to ensure Department of Health proposals to overhaul children’s mental health services were implemented.
Following the publication of a taskforce report earlier this month, the coalition government announced a five-year plan to improve services.
The move followed the allocation of £1.25bn to mental health services in England which will mainly go towards helping young people.
For many people on the Autism Spectrum, everyday life can be a challenge. The frustration they feel at being misunderstood often leads to meltdown which causes them a great deal of stress and anxiety. For those with a diagnosis of Classic Autism – which is normally accompanied with a learning disability – they may have difficulty communicating their needs and desires, and this frustration will either manifest itself in what appears to be unmanageable behaviour (often called ‘meltdowns’) or they may retreat into their own world. They may use echolalia, repeating what is said to them in the hope that they are communicating effectively, or they may point, or use PECS (picture exchange communication system) to get their message across.
Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) comes under the autism spectrum umbrella, but does not go hand in hand with a learning disability as many assume. AS is a ‘Socialisation and Communication’ difficulty which can be debilitating in that sufferers are often misunderstood. ‘How can he be so intelligent but talk incessantly about dinosaurs?’ Or ‘Why is he standing looking bewildered when asked to choose between two sandwiches?’ AS or ‘Aspies’ often suffer from enormous pressure to ‘fit in’ with society. This can manifest into depression with as many as a third regularly suffering from it. Another third will experience repeatedly from ‘episodic sadness’ as they are aware of their social faux pas.
They are often ostracised in their communities and even within their own families at times and seen as ‘weird’ or ‘quirky’ never quite understanding the social cues and this often leads to isolation. At times even their own parents will ‘assume’ they want to stay shut off in their rooms and don’t encourage them to participate in family gatherings and activities. Playmates/teachers/colleagues ‘assume’ they want to sit alone or do not want to join in so never actually invite them to. They do want to but just don’t know how or have given up, embarrassed that they make a fool of themselves or say the wrong thing.
Imagine how it feels when you go for an important job interview You feel nervous, you go over the potential conversation in your head before you even get there, you imagine everything that might go wrong. What if you trip going in the door? – What if they want to shake your hand and will realise it’s all sweaty? – What if you misunderstand their questions and say something really stupid? – Worse still, what if your mind goes completely blank and you say nothing? I assume you are getting the picture. Now, imagine feeling like that every time you want to interact with anyone, every day in every situation from talking to your classmates about what you did last night or going into a shop to ask for a pint of milk. Can you imagine your stress levels remaining that high for so long?
That is why an Aspie often refuses to interact in the first place as they know the consequences of trying time and time again. They need time to unwind and that is why they will go into their room to be alone or they may ‘stim’. ‘Stimming’ is an action they do to calm themselves down when they feel anxious or even do when they just want to stimulate their senses. It comes in many shapes and forms from hand flapping, finger flicking, rocking, humming, facial tics etc. It is more common in Classic Autism as Aspies tend to learn to control the urge as they realise it is not always socially acceptable. Think of times when you are nervous or agitated, you may tap your foot or fingers on the desk or cough nervously or chew your fingernails.
Some people on the Autism Spectrum (especially in the US) take medication to alleviate their stress and anxiety, however this only masks the issue and does not address the underlying causes of the presenting problem. The effects of long term usage are also unknown in this client group. Hypnotherapy is a safe, natural alternative in helping Aspies overcome many of the challenges they face on a daily basis. Teaching them relaxation techniques through self-hypnosis can allow them to feel more in control of their lives and increases their self-esteem and confidence. Bypassing the conscious mind allows the therapist to reason with their overworked conscious thoughts allowing them to reassemble and slow down. The Aspie often suffers from sensory overload which can greatly impact on their wellbeing, therefore teaching them how to manage their thoughts and emotions and learn to worry less will greatly reduce their anxiety levels.
At a recent Autism Conference a prominent psychologist in Autism stated that there are good therapists out there and there are people with in depth autism knowledge. However, it is important they have both skills to ensure the best possible outcome for the individual.
Article by Written by: Biodun Ogunyemi ANLP,BNLP,SNLP,C.H,Dip.Hyp
This reaction is known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short, a condition which manifests both physically and psychologically and is thought to occur in approximately 30% of individuals who experience traumatic events.
The term PTSD is used to describe a range of symptoms which occur following on from involvement in a traumatic event. These events are considered to be both beyond our control, and outside of our normal human experiences. The event itself could be anything from witnessing a road traffic accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack, through to being the victim of a mugging, or witnessing harrowing scenes whilst serving in the armed forces.
Whether you are present during a traumatic event, a witness, or a direct victim, the intense distress and helplessness you felt in the midst of that situation can have a deep and long lasting psychological effect and can trigger a series of symptoms which can seriously impact your life.
In some individuals the symptoms will develop very shortly after the event, but for others the onset may be delayed by a number of months, or even years after the trauma first occurred.
Some sufferers are not comfortable with the use of the term ‘disorder’ as used in the term ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’, as they consider their reactions to be natural and understandable responses to events that are abnormal, and would thus prefer the use of the term ‘syndrome’. However, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the official medical terminology which is used to describe the condition by organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and for that reason we will continue to use the above terminology throughout.
Awareness of PTSD has grown rapidly during the past few decades but up until the post Vietnam War period (after 1975) was largely disregarded. Even though as a species we have been experiencing traumatic and life-threatening situations for centuries, the condition went under the radar for years until it was officially recognised as a medical disorder.
During World Wars I and II, soldiers who had disturbing experiences whilst in the trenches and were suffering from what we now know to be PTSD, were said to be suffering from battle fatigue, shell shock, soldier’s heart or gross stress reaction. At the time, none of these conditions were recognised by the medical community as viable emotional disorders and were actually considered to be a mark of cowardice or personal weakness by many.
It was only after the Vietnam War ended and doctors began to diagnose veterans with post-Vietnam syndrome that the condition came to the attention of both the public and medical professionals. Vietnam War veterans pushed both the medical world and the military community to recognise the condition as legitimate, and in 1980 post-traumatic stress disorder became officially classified as a mental health condition and was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (established by the American Psychiatric Association).
PTSD will usually occur after an individual has been involved in, or has witnessed a traumatic event such as a serious road traffic accident, a natural disaster, being held hostage, a violent death, military combat, a sexual assault, or another situation in which an individual feels extreme fear, and or helplessness.
After events such as these, PTSD will usually develop fairly quickly, though for some (below15%), the development of symptoms will be delayed by a period of weeks, months, or sometimes years.
Symptoms will vary from person to person, but often involve the sufferer ‘reliving’ the event to some extent through a combination of flashbacks and nightmares. Re-experiencing the trauma can lead to sleep problems, concentration difficulties, feelings of isolation and depression and a variety of additional symptoms.
The severity and persistence of these symptoms will vary greatly from person to person. For some sufferers, symptoms will be interspersed with periods of remission and for others they will be constant and acute enough to considerably impact quality of life.
It is quite common for individuals with PTSD to relive parts of the event through vivid flashbacks and nightmares. It may be that something in everyday life such as a sound or image has triggered this response, or this may occur for no identifiable reason. Flashbacks, intrusive images, thoughts and nightmares can be extremely distressing for sufferers as they can make them feel as though the event is happening all over again, even if only for a brief moment.
Often, sufferers find that after a traumatic event they remain constantly alert and vigilant to potentially threatening events, and are extremely anxious and easily startled.
This ‘hypervigilance’ can also come coupled with irritability, angry outbursts, aggressive behaviour, sleep problems and concentration difficulties.
Reliving a traumatic experience is extremely upsetting, so understandably some sufferers attempt to avoid anything and anyone which may trigger a response. Sufferers sometimes believe that feeling nothing at all is better than the negative and upsetting feelings they keep experiencing so will try to numb themselves emotionally.
Avoiding situations, people, conversation, activities and thoughts that directly relate to the trauma or are a reminder of the trauma is a common reaction.
Sufferers often try to keep themselves busy so that they don’t have time to think about the trauma and thus it becomes easier to repress those very difficult memories. Many sufferers will develop an extremely pessimistic outlook to life, losing interest in activates they once used to enjoy, disregarding the idea of making plans for the future, finding it difficult to keep or form close relationships and generally detaching themselves on both a physical and emotional level from others.
Other common symptoms and indicators of the condition include inexplicable physical symptoms such as severe headaches, dizzy spells, upset stomach, sweating, the shakes and chest pains, as well as mental health problems such as depression, phobias and anxiety. PTSD is a mental health condition in itself and the symptoms and side effects experienced can result in a breakdown of personal relationships and work relationships which can lead to further distress and upset.
As discussed in the above, a very common symptom of PTSD is avoiding memories and repressing emotions, so it is often friends, family members or colleagues who identify warning symptoms and signs of the condition before the actual sufferers themselves.
PTSD is a very sensitive issue and often sufferers may feel uncomfortable opening up about their experiences and may not be able to recognise that they require extra support. If you are concerned that one of your loved ones may be suffering from PTSD then below are some useful tips, formulated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH) which could help you broach the topic:
Anyone who has witnessed a severe trauma could be susceptible to PTSD and it is estimated that up to one in 10 individuals may be affected by the condition at some stage during their lives.
However, some individuals who work within certain professions, and some individuals who exhibit certain risk factors may be more prone to develop the condition than others.
According to some studies the condition is present in approximately one in two female rape victims, one in three teenagers who have survived a car accident, two in three prisoners of war and one in five fire-fighters.
Those who have previously suffered from a mental health condition or who have a family history of mental health concerns are also considered to be at a ‘high risk’ of developing PTSD after being exposed to a harrowing event. It is estimated that up to four in five PTSD sufferers are affected by other mental health problems.
PTSD diagnosis can be problematic for health care professionals because very often sufferers will not feel comfortable talking openly about how they are feeling, and in a large number of cases may not even seek treatment until weeks, months or even years after symptom onset.
Visiting a GP can be a very difficult ordeal for sufferers, as discussing how they feel is required in order for a diagnosis to be reached. However, confronting these emotions and asking for professional help is the first step towards overcoming the condition so that sufferers are able to move forward in their lives.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH) have developed several sets of criteria in order to help medical professionals reach an accurate diagnosis, including many of the symptoms mentioned above (in ‘What are the symptoms?’) such as flashbacks, nightmares, irritability, mood swings, exhaustion, depression and relationship difficulties.
If symptoms such as these began after a traumatic event but have started to ease off and improve in the six week post trauma period, then it may be that they were part of the body’s natural coping mechanism. However, if the symptoms persist for longer than six weeks and show no signs of improving then it is advisable to seek medical advice from your GP.
Because each sufferer will experience their own unique PTSD symptoms, your GP will usually wish to discuss your symptoms with you in depth. They may ask you whether you believe the trauma is a result of a recent event or as a result of something from a long time ago, what symptoms you are experiencing, your physical and psychological health background and your current overall health status.
After completing an in depth assessment, a GP will have collated enough information to diagnose PTSD and refer you for specialist help.
PTSD is a condition which manifests itself both a physically and psychologically, and therefor treatment is required for both aspects. Effective treatments for the condition are still being researched as different types of trauma can have different impacts, and treatment for single incident trauma will usually differ to treatment for long-term trauma.
Your GP will take into consideration your specific circumstances in order to ensure that they refer you to a treatment option which they believe will prove the most effective for you. The treatments which follow have all been found to be helpful in improving PTSD symptoms and are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
In their treatment guidelines NICE recommend that individuals undergo talking treatments such as psychotherapy, before medication is prescribed.
This is a form of talk therapy that involves focussing on the traumatic experience in a bid to help you think differently about it and about your life. Though it is not possible to forget about the event entirely, psychotherapy helps individuals to reach a stage where they feel safer and more in control of their feelings so that they will no longer need to avoid these memories and are able to control when they think about them.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a branch of psychotherapy which is based on the premise that the way we think (cognitive) determines how we respond to those thoughts (behaviour). Over years these negative thinking and behaviour patterns become fixed, and cognitive behavioural therapy hopes to challenge those behaviours, bringing about positive feelings and behavioural changes.
CBT for PTSD is aimed at teaching sufferers ways to help them modify negative thought patterns so they are able to gain control of their fear. Though techniques will vary from practitioner to practitioner, often-mental imagery is used to help individuals through their trauma.
Please note: Some medical professionals argue that general counselling may actually be detrimental in some PTSD cases, as encouraging ‘feeling’ work during such a fragile stage could embed the trauma even further. The condition and its treatments are very complex and that is why if help is sought from a counsellor, psychotherapist or another talk therapy practitioner, it is advisable to ensure they specialise in PTSD.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of treatment which has been found to benefit a variety of behavioural and emotional issues in both adults and children. The treatment itself involves performing a series of right to left eye movements whilst simultaneously recalling a traumatic event.
Though it is not known exactly how the treatment works, it is thought that it may be linked to the left and right stimulation of the brain whilst we are in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, during which our eyes rapidly move from one side to another.
The eye movements are designed to help the brain process unconscious material and flashbacks so that in due course, sufferers are able to come to terms with the harrowing event they experienced and are able to adopt a more positive thinking approach moving forward.
Antidepressant medication is prescribed in many PTSD cases because not only does they help to treat depression, but have also been found to reduce other symptoms of the condition. For this reason among others, NICE have suggested that a form of medication known as paroxetine (belonging to the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) group), or mirtazapine (another form of antidepressant), be considered as a treatment option for adults with PTSD.
However, NICE also state that these drugs should only be prescribed when all other treatment avenues have been explored and none are deemed as suitable. For example:
– If a sufferer has chosen not to undergo psychological treatment.
– If they have had psychological treatment but experienced very little to no benefit.
– If they are at further risk of trauma.
– If they have severe depression that would make it unlikely for psychological interventions alone to be of benefit.
In any of the above incidences it may be that antidepressants are the most suitable option.
It is important to note that the effects of antidepressants will not begin instantaneously and it can take between two and four weeks for the effects to start being felt and up to three months before the benefits really become clear. Of course, with every positive there is a negative, and antidepressants don’t come without their downsides. They come with a long list of possible side effects, can be addictive, and can also be difficult to come off. With this in mind they should be taken with caution, with full knowledge of their side effects, and with regular supervision and check-ups from your GP.
Sertraline and Paroxetine (SSRI) are medications which have both been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the treatment of PTSD, but there are several other medications (both SSRI and Non-SSRI) which are also used, including the following:
– Benzodiazepines – Medications such as diazepam are sometimes prescribed with the intention of being a short-term solution for issues such as irritability, sleep problems and anxiety. They can be addictive and begin to reduce in effectiveness after just a few weeks so only a short course should be prescribed.
– Betablockers – These are being examined as a treatment option but further research is needed to prove their efficacy.
If you are prescribed medication to help treat your PTSD and you have found it to be effective then you can expect the course of treatment to continue for a period of around 12 months before your healthcare provider gradually begins the withdrawal process.
NICE have developed a set of guidelines which outline the recommended treatment procedure for children and young people affected by PTSD. According to the guidelines, older children exhibiting severe symptoms should undergo a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), preferably within a month after the traumatic incident.
For cases that occur three months or more after the event first occurred, NICE recommend the following:
– Regular and on-going psychological treatment conducted by the same medical professional each week.
– Families playing a role in the treatment programme if appropriate.
– A course of CBT which is age and circumstance appropriate.
– Parents are informed that no evidence has been found proving the efficacy of play therapy, family therapy or art therapy to treat PTSD.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have developed a set of guidelines which they hope will help to promote the proper care and treatment of those suffering from PTSD.
The clinical guidelines include the following:
– The standard of care a sufferer should expect from both their GP and other healthcare professionals.
– The level of information a sufferer should expect to receive about their condition and treatment options.
– Information about the services that are available to help them recover from their condition, such as specialist mental health services.
– Guidance and information about recommended treatments and medications.
View the full NICE guidelines on PTSD
As well as undergoing the treatment recommended by their health care provider, some PTSD sufferers also find that hypnotherapy treatment is beneficial. Though there is no solid evidence to support the efficacy of hypnotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, many sufferers have experienced success with the treatment.
The aim of hypnotherapy is to unlock stored emotion so that the trauma can be revisited and explored from a different perspective.
There are various forms of hypnotherapy a practitioner may use and in order to determine which is the most suitable for you, a practitioner will usually begin by performing an assessment of your personal circumstances.
In most cases practitioners will tend to use cognitive hypnotherapy or analytical hypnotherapy, both of which function on a deeper level than suggestion hypnotherapy and are able to work with the unconscious mind so that negative beliefs which were built up during the trauma can be explored and alleviated.
A hypnotherapy practitioner will treat you and your problems with sensitivity and understanding and will discuss and explain any decisions regarding you treatment plan with you thoroughly before treatment begins or any changes are implemented.