Professional Psychological Coach
A bit about Me And Possibly You...
Hello, my name is Denise Collins.
And I'm sincerely interested in YOU.
My guess is, the reason you're reading this is either because you're facing a problem or challenge that's making you stressed, anxious, or unhappy.
You have a sense that there must be more to life.
You know you're capable of being, doing, or having more.
Let's meet for a virtual coffee and talk about it.
You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
A bit about me
I understand on both a personal as well as a professional level about adversity and what it takes to develop resilience.
Born into a working-class family in South East London, I left school with few qualifications. Married for the first time at 18, I had my first child aged 20 and was a single parent living on state benefits by the age of 21. Diagnosed with clinical depression as a teenager, it was many years later I realised some of the challenges I faced were probably due to my neuro-diversity. Which was not recognised.
A series of chance encounters and a tough-love talk from my dad led me to discover the power of personal development. I returned to education as a ‘mature' student aged 26. By that time I was married to John and we had a second child. My third child was born while I was a full-time student at South Bank Polytechnic (now South Bank University). Although I had a lot going on I managed to achieve a 2.1 BSc (Hons) in social sciences (majoring in psychology).
Some years later I undertook a postgraduate degree. An MSc in Coaching from The University of East London. During the intervening time, I did all kinds of training, including qualifying in cognitive and analytical hypnotherapy, and NLP at practitioner, master practitioner, and certified trainer levels.
In the year 2000, after a 10-year career as a manager in the charity sector, I decided to branch out on my own and established a successful private practice offering hypnotherapy and coaching to a variety of clients experiencing a diverse range of issues. For almost two decades alongside this, I also designed and delivered training and development programs for both organisations and individuals. I trained and supervised therapists and coaches. I taught NLP, mindfulness, and hypnotherapy here and overseas. I delivered soft skills courses for the University of Essex business and management school. I ran a women's circle for RWL. And set up a pilot project offering coaching and psycho-education to women with addiction issues who were fleeing domestic abuse.
In 2018, life as I knew it ended when John my best friend, and my husband died by suicide. The fallout from his sudden and unexpected death resulted in a reevaluation of many things in my life, including my career.
I made the decision to cut back on the training side of my business to focus on coaching, specifically women. Many of the women I coach are at a crossroads in life. Some hold senior management and leadership roles. All are intelligent and inspiring. But they've lost sight of what they actually want. Often they undervalue their achievements, and just how wonderful they really are.
Some are juggling the demands of aging parents, adult children, and even lending a hand with grandchildren. While their own wants and needs are neglected.
The women I coach are sometimes impacted by the effects of menopause but do not always join the dots. Not realising that the sudden brain fog, anxiety, or a lack of confidence are connected to the psychological symptoms of menopause.
Many have been impacted by various changes and losses, not just bereavement.
Empty nest syndrome; is that feeling of being unsure of your place once your offspring become adults.
The retirement of a partner can unsettle the domestic situation.
Loss of youth in a society that values it over experience, especially for women, can be hard.
Re-structures at work can result in a loss of status or income.
Shifts in friendships and relationships can lead to a sense of uncertainty.
So many things can contribute to a crisis of identity.
All this while simultaneously occupying a challenging professional role, with everything that entails.
The women I coach commonly underestimate their abilities, downplay their successes, and doubt their personal power.
They often neglect the importance of genuine self-care making them vulnerable to overwhelm and burnout.
Although all are unique individuals, they often face common issues such as
lack of self-belief,
and problems with work-life balance.
As well as trying to decide what they want next from life?
More mature women like us are the first generation to expect and seek a fulfilling, satisfying, and challenging life into middle age and beyond. The expectations and experiences of previous generations of women are simply not comparable. Therefore we have a lack of role models to emulate.
We have to make it up as we go!
The coaching I offer is of course, specific to each woman's situation and desired outcomes. But it's underpinned by the philosophy that your UNIQUE PERSONAL POWER = UPP is the foundation of your success and happiness. And holds the solution to many challenges in both personal and professional life.
How to journal in order to manage stress, and for personal development is just one thing I teach my clients. There are many ways to do it and many uses for it. It's a deceptively simple yet very powerful way to help process thoughts and feelings.
Simple is not the same as easy, and you do need to be taught how to do it effectively for it to work.
Over the years I'd always written;
thesis for my academic studies.
training courses, manuals, and a multitude of supporting materials.
and a couple of personal development books.
When John died suddenly and unexpectedly, writing was one method I used to process the shock, trauma, and resulting complex grief. I truly believe journaling saved my life during this most devastating time.
A bit about the memoir - 'What Happened To John?'
My journaling eventually became a book; "What Happened to John?'
Writing and undertaking research gave me a focus. I decided to share what I'd learned in the aftermath of John's death, in order to raise awareness and hopefully prevent others from suffering. The book looks at how more and more these days people struggling psychologically, are offered pills. People with problems are turned into patients on 'medication.'
When someone dies by suicide, the automatic assumption is they must have been mentally ill. If they were taking antidepressants, this is seen as evidence of that. BUT these mind-altering drugs are frequently prescribed not just to people who are mentally ill, but to anyone feeling stressed, unhappy or anxious - for whatever reason.
I am not anti-medication, but I strongly believe pills alone are never the answer. And not enough information is provided about the negative side effects of common anti-depressants, which in some cases can prove fatal. I was shocked to discover this, and it's the main reason I felt compelled to publish the book. If just one person is helped, one life saved, that's John's legacy.
The book is not just about John's death. It's about the life we shared for over three decades. It's about love and laughter, heartbreak, and hope.
And how wonderful ordinary everyday life truly is.