Help employees thrive (rather than just survive) ...
Back when I worked in a large corporate environment, I felt a complete disconnect between who I had become as a new mother, and the role I was still trying to hold together at work. Eventually that growing incongruence and lack of support meant that I left to forge my own path.
That was over ten years ago, and while some things have improved for working parents since then, many of my clients are facing the same problems today.
A recent report by the Fawcett Society found that a lack of flexible working arrangements and affordable childcare combined with 'outdated and toxic attitudes around motherhood' were holding women back in the workplace. They estimate that about a quarter of a million mothers with young children have left their jobs because of this 'motherhood penalty' (based on survey data from November 2023).
The mothers / parents I work with feel as though they are failing in all areas of their life: unable to keep up with a career they once loved, and unable to be truly present for their children. My view is that there are lots of reasons for this and it's not just about flexible working policies or access to childcare, although these are important factors.
I can help you to support your employees to thrive and integrate the important aspects of their lives, rather than simply existing in survival mode between the demands of work and home.
I can help with ...
Individual coaching: I bring both a therapist's lens and coaching mindset to my client work. I work with clients on a wide range of issues, including but not limited to, my specialist area of pre and postnatal mental health.
Return to work: With my knowledge and expertise in Matrescence (the transition to motherhood) I am uniquely placed to support employees both before, during and after maternity or parental leave.
Team coaching: Team dynamics make a huge contribution to both overall performance and individual wellbeing. I have experience managing and coaching cross-functional teams in a corporate environment.
Group workshops: I can design and deliver group sessions and workshops on topics such as managing stress, developing resilience, work-life balance, dealing with conflict, and generating creative ideas.
Leadership development: I have worked with both seasoned and emerging leaders around a variety of themes such as imposter syndrome, growing visibility and confidence, embodied leadership, and career transition.
Organisational culture: As well as individual and team level intervention, I have a background in Organisational Psychology and take a systemic approach to change.
Ali and I have worked together over the last 6 months to help me show up more regularly as the mum I want to be. Our coaching conversations have been incredibly validating and affirming and given me time and space to unpick some of my triggers and test out new ways to reframe and respond to them. Ali is so empathic and kind and has really made me feel seen and heard. I've learnt a lot about myself and how to live by my values and have more self compassion along the way. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work with Ali.
There were so many 'aha' moments in all honesty. Exploring the shame-isolation-burnout cycle in relation to the idea of being a perfect mother really resonated with me. It allowed me to see how easy it is to stay trapped in that cycle, never feeling like enough however the concept of being 'good enough' alongside being compassionate to myself, feel like great methods to try to improve the levels of exhaustion, burnout and anxiety I have been feeling.
Since my sessions with Ali, I am finding it easier to sit with the difficult feelings I have around my parenting, and feel compassion for myself. I have been very anti 'giving in' to motherhood, and have wanted to keep driving on my career, in order to prove something to someone. However, I’ve realised that there is no shame or weakness in accepting that actually my values have shifted and that I do want to step back a bit at work, and be around more for the children - not out of obligation, but because I want to. I feel like Ali just ‘gets it’ in a way that I think others (even excellent professionals), don't quite get.
Why work with me?
The best way to find out if I'm a good fit for your organisation's needs is to have a chat with me (please book a Discovery Call to find out more). Meanwhile, here's what I can tell you about why I am a bit different from your average coach ...
1) I am a Therapeutic Coach.
To facilitate lasting change beyond a tick box exercise, I believe people need to explore issues at psychological depth and be supported to implement and sustain changes. As a qualified counsellor and coach, I offer a blend of psychological insight (therapy) and goal orientation (coaching). This enables me to be flexible and bring the strengths of both approaches in meeting your organisation's needs.
2) I offer a trauma-sensitive and body-oriented approach.
Although not every client will want to explore the roots of current patterns, my therapy background means that I am able to support people to work at much greater depth, and safely hold space for any traumatic experiences, which can often re-surface in sessions. I am also trained in somatic approaches, including mindfulness and breathwork, which can help clients who are stressed, anxious, or always 'in their heads' become less reactive and more grounded.
3) I have a corporate background.
I'm familiar with the challenges of working in a large global corporate environment. I spent 15 years working in Financial Services, starting as a Management Consultant with Accenture and progressing to Director level roles with American Express. This experience lends credibility and genuine insight when I am speaking with Senior Leaders today.
4) I am skilled in facilitating groups.
One of my key strengths is holding space for groups, both in person and online. I have extensive experience designing and facilitating courses and workshops in my own business. In the corporate space I delivered a programme of mindfulness sessions for Manpower Group (see case study below).
5) I work with a wide range of issues.
My focus on perinatal mental health means that I can offer a real depth of experience and understanding on issues impacting working parents. However, I have also worked with a wide variety of different groups and issues, including navigating grief, relationship difficulties, cultural integration, imposter syndrome, and so on. Clients don't have to compartmentalise when they come to sessions with me.
Background & Qualifications
I have over 10 years' experience working with clients in private practice. My core training is in Cognitive Psychology, but I went on to study humanistic and mind-body approaches, most recently Somatic and Polyvagal Informed Coaching.
I have a corporate background with over 15 years' experience in management and leadership roles in Financial Services.
I started my career as a Management Consultant (Accenture) with project management roles at client sites. I then transitioned to working directly for American Express and gained experience across different areas of the business. After completing my Masters in Occupational Psychology I chose to focus on Talent and Leadership Development.
My previous experience continues to inform the work I do today. I am open, empathic, pragmatic, and forward-looking in my approach. Having managed and coached diverse teams, I am able to relate to the complexity and challenges of balancing individual needs and business goals in a global corporate environment.
- BA (Hons) Psychology (First Class)
- MSc Occupational Psychology (Merit)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Humanistic Therapeutic Counselling (Distinction)
- Accredited Diploma in Body-Oriented Coaching, The Somatic School
- ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
- Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP)
- Polyvagal Informed Coach (PVI)
- Motherhood Studies Practitioner
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Practitioner
- Rewind Technique Practitioner
- Hypnobirthing and Perinatal Yoga Teacher
- Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) Teacher
Mindfulness at Manpower Group
I designed and delivered my 'Micro Mindful' programme for virtual employees at Manpower Group. I ran 15 live online sessions over the year and incorporated themes that the Senior Leadership team wanted to focus on.
The intention of the programme was to introduce practical psycho-education and practices to enable employees to build resilience and cope with the demands of high pressure working environments.
The programme combined theory and practice to give a clear sense of WHY to bother doing this, and HOW to incorporate the tools and ideas into everyday life. So a typical session included:
- neuroscience behind a particular practice
- short guided mindfulness experience
- handouts for each session to build a toolkit of support
We used both leadership team feedback and an anonymous survey of participants (with 67 responses) to assess outcomes:
- 81% reported reduced stress
- 76% reported increased focus
- 75% reported enhanced mood
- 78% reported greater creativity
Overall, 91% of employees felt that attending the sessions helped them to be more productive at work.
Here are some of their comments about the benefits:
“Sessions have allowed me to think clearly and calmly about tasks, not become stressed and overthink problems.”
“They have helped me to focus on one thing at a time with clarity and purpose.”
“I feel more confident when outside of my comfort zone in specific work environments (i.e. presenting to large groups).”
“I've been able to reflect more in dealing with issues that my team come to me with. Give myself the ability to take a step back and breathe before committing to a decision and providing clearer focus on the outcome.”
“The sessions have provided me with techniques that I have incorporated into my daily routine and I have noticed a significant improvement in my overall mental health and wellbeing over the last 4 weeks.”
“Understanding techniques on how to take a short mental break is really useful, particularly in this time of remote working where it feels as if we're in constant back to back virtual meetings and working from home.”