KATE's return to physical and emotional wellbeing after a lifetime of social anxiety
I was put in touch with Clare by a friend and mentor after suffering with anxiety. Finding it almost impossible to function in group situations and experiencing severe performance anxiety, I have lived most of my life avoiding many situations out of fear of showing my anxious symptoms and feeling ashamed. I have seen many healthcare professionals since a teenager, such as counsellors, psychiatrists, psychotherapists offering CBT, I even attended group therapy which only made me feel worse. Hitting 40 years of age, I wanted to tackle my feelings in an attempt to live the rest of my life welcoming new opportunities and living without fear.
From the first telephone conversation with Clare, I realised she was different. She understood my feelings from the start, gave me hope and explained why previous therapies had been so unsuccessful. I was excited to begin a course of weekly sessions including an initial one-to-one visit and subsequent Skype calls in the comfort of my own home.
Each week we discussed something new which wasn't necessarily planned but 'cropped up' during my own discovery of hidden subconscious emotions and unhelpful patterns. Writing a journal helped me step back, recognise and document trigger situations and responses. Hypnotherapy and subconscious work was also revealing. Clare created a safe environment for me to release my painful memories in the process and helped me make perfect sense of how I was feeling. Positive affirmations were discretely placed in our sessions and I have come away after just six weeks feeling more confident than I ever have before.
Clare has a way with words, not only during our Skype video calls but over emails and texts too. Her talent as an author is evident in these messages. Words are written beautifully and tailored especially for you. They have certainly struck a chord with me. I believe reading something rather than hearing can release emotion. It's almost like it's there in black and white, that someone understands you and recognises your struggle.
Another aspect of Clare's help which resonated with me personally, was her ability to bring a metaphysical approach to our discussions. Being spiritually minded myself, I enjoyed our weekly angel card reading and discussions on intuition and energy. I found great pleasure shutting my front room door on my hectic life and filling the room with candles, crystals and sage ready for each of Clare's Skype sessions. It was time just for me.
Not even a week since my last Skype call with Clare, I have already carried out and spoken about a number of things I would never have considered in the past! I am experiencing less migraine headaches by letting go of my fear and attempt to control it and have halved my dosage of anti-anxiety medication.
I have been recommending Clare to a number of my friends and young family members who are struggling with school. I wish I'd had access to someone like Clare in those influential teenage years, I may not have struggled along for so long. Her ability to 'understand' and communicate compassionately but professionally is tangible.
Clare genuinely cares. She has made herself available throughout our time, messaging in between sessions and checking in on me. Nothing has been too much trouble.