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It has been almost two years since I last blogged here, give or take a month. It’s not been an intentional break, it just… happened. I think I’ve needed it. Life and work and kids got busier, the grief of unexpectedly losing my Dad in February 2015 impacted on me far more than I realised, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to another project very close to my heart and I had to let go of something in order to be able to balance all of that. Blogging here was pushed further and further down the list of priorities until eventually I simply gave myself permission to put it down completely for a while, knowing that I could pick it back up again when I was ready.
And here I am.
There have been a few changes happening behind the scenes in recent months so I thought I’d write a little update with what’s been going on in my life lately, for those who are interested.
As many of you know, every January I ask each of my clients to set an intention for their year, a deliberately chosen way of being and way of living their lives over the coming twelve months. I always set one for myself too: partly in the spirit of authenticity and practising for myself what I teach others; and partly because it really does help me focus on making changes that I want to make and becoming more of the ‘me’ that I want to be. 2017 was my year of ‘letting go’. I let go of many things last year but perhaps the biggest one of all was making the monumental (to me) decision to let go of my therapy room in Harley Street at the end of December.
After practising there for over five years in total, working with hundreds of incredible clients and learning as much from them as they did from me, I eventually realised that commuting down to London every week (a six hour round trip), working ridiculously long hours and seeing clients back to back simply wasn’t working for me any more. It was impacting on my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, my clients weren’t getting the best version of me, and neither were my husband and daughters. I’d known for months that something needed to change but it was scary to think of letting go of what I’d worked so hard to create and build. Despite being in the industry of helping people change, I’m not actually all that good at it myself.
With the support and guidance of a wonderful colleague of mine, who also happens to be a good friend, I made the eventual decision to move my entire practice online, working with clients via Skype instead of face-to-face in an office. I knew it could work – I’ve experienced successful therapy online myself and I regularly work with supervisees via Skype. All I needed to do was let my existing clients know about the change and explain to any new clients the way in which I now worked.
I’m pleased to say it has been a huge success. The vast majority of my existing clients were more than happy to make the move to online sessions and are continuing to make good progress as we carry on working together. I helped those who chose not to accompany me in the shift online to find new therapists that they are happy to work with. And new clients I have taken on since I moved my practice online have been more than comfortable to work with me in this way.
So much of our world is conducted online now that to me it makes perfect sense to offer therapy in this way too. The personal connection is still there, the techniques I use with my clients are the same, and it can all be done from the comfort of your own home without the time, energy and finances needed to travel into the city. I can also be much more flexible with the days and times I can offer sessions to clients, rather than being limited to the one day I was in the office.
You can find out more about my new way of working here.
For those of you who used to follow along with my Project Happy blogs, you can now find them on my personal family and travel blog. I’m now into my fifth year of taking daily photos of the moments that bring me joy and intend to keep going indefinitely. I also share my thoughts and feelings about my journey through motherhood over there, if that’s your thing, as well as our family travels and adventures. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest as well as the blog itself.
It felt right to have a separate online journal for those parts of my life, away from this blog, as the two were becoming a little bit blurry around the edges of the boundaries that I think it’s important to keep in place. My family blog is for matters of a more personal nature and I want this space here to be for providing useful and positive resources for personal development, therapy and coaching. That’s not to say I won’t still share aspects of my world here – of course I will, it’s part of who I am. It’ll just be far more relevant than perhaps it has been in the past.
Many of you are well aware of how passionate I am about photography. I’m currently in the process of setting up as a family photographer under the name Moments In Between Photography. A website will be created as soon as I find the designer and developer that I feel fits with me and what I’m looking for, and I can’t wait to start capturing magical moments of connection and emotion for families who trust me to document their joy.
I’ve always been an open book with my clients, sharing my own struggles and difficult times with them (where appropriate) because we’re all human and I truly believe that connecting with others is a key part of overcoming issues such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders which can often make us feel incredibly isolated. So it only seems right to continue with that transparency here. My girls are growing up. They’re now eleven, almost ten and eight years old and my eldest starts high school in September. Where I used to think (hope?) that things would get easier as they got older, it turns out that the challenges of motherhood are still there, they just manifest in different ways. I only have a few short years left with them before they get even more independent and need me less and less (and rightfully so!), and I want to soak up as much of them as I possibly can whilst I have the chance.
This has led to a much better balance between work and home – I now have dedicated times where I respond to emails, messages and phone calls and when I am on holiday my phone is switched off. So if it takes me a couple of days to get back to you I promise I’ve received your message and I’ll respond as soon as my family allows. Of course, if it’s an urgent matter I’ll reply asap.
So as you can see, it’s been a busy couple of years. My intention for 2018 is ‘taking action’. I lost myself a little bit for a while and although I’ve still been very much here, dedicated to working with clients and remaining focused on all the other things that are important to me, I’ve not felt like myself for some time now. Spread too thinly perhaps? Or maybe just needing a little bit of space and a different perspective. This update is the start of changing how I have been feeling, taking action to create a way of working that fits with my family and rediscovering who I am and who I want to be as I go along.
I hope that this post goes some way towards explaining my absence from here and gives a little bit of insight into the new way of working with clients that I’m offering. I hope to be a lot more present from now on, though it may take me a little while to get back into the swing of things.
As always, please know that if you have any questions, want to share your thoughts or simply want to say hi because it’s been a while since we were last in touch, you can leave me a comment below, call or text me on 07794 595783, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook either here (my profile) or here (my business page).
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you soon.