About Me

meWhen you are tired, stressed or overworked, you get sick, take time off, perform poorly, fail in your relationships and often, in the frantic, speeded-up, uncertain world of global business, you end up burning out altogether.

Right now 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress in any given year and often this is a result of untreated trauma.

To get well and stay well, I offer ten years of expertise working internationally with clients via Skype or face-to-face at my clinics in Marylebone, London and in Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

I work holistically, using a combination of energy healing and psychotherapy, and will provide you with a bespoke range of resources, including an introduction to mindfulness meditation, to help you make lasting lifestyle changes and find a fresh perspective.

How I work

If you have particular question or you feel ready to start please call me on 07508 871530 or send me a Skype contact request Lindsay_Percival. The next step will be to arrange a meeting where you can discuss your particular problem in more depth, ask further questions and then decide if I am the right person to help.

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Common Ways of Coping with Trauma: Dissociation

Common Ways of Coping with Trauma: Dissociation

Do you find it difficult to concentrate as if your mind were like a butterfly flitting from one thing to another? Do you drift off into your own world or feel ‘spaced out’ and distant as if you are sometimes floating outside your own body? Is your head fuzzy? Do you feel like everything is unreal or like in a film? Are you are cut off from friends and family and can’t explain what is happening?

If this is your experience then it is possible you are responding to a traumatic event and coping using a natural defence mechanism called ‘dissociation’. This means when something overwhelming happens, such as a physical attack, an accident, invasive medical treatment or surgery or sudden loss of a loved one, we cut out like a short circuit in an electrical appliance.

Everyone has these moments, daydreaming while driving or switching off and missing part of a conversation, for example. Usually these moments of ‘not being with it’ pass very quickly and we reconnect with ourselves, with those around us, and with our environment.

If this sounds like you, it could be that you are naturally a creative, imaginative and artistic person. This may be the state you want to be in to do your best work. It could also be that you are unfolding your spiritual gifts and exploring the etheric realms and out-of-body experiences.

However, dissociation does become a problem when it disrupts everyday life, work, and personal relationships. The feeling of being disconnected from yourself and from the world around you can be extremely distressing. In the case of a dissociative disorder you may experience a range of upsetting symptoms such as;

  • loss of memory
  • feeling your body or the world around you is unreal
  • uncertain who you are
  • feeling you have different identities

This may be the result of traumatic events in the past such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse in childhood or as a result of more recent exposure to war, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, and trafficking.

The understanding of the effects of trauma, the way people cope, the range of illness that may occur, and treatment options available has greatly increased over the last two decades. As human beings, we are inevitably exposed to trauma throughout our lives. Usually, it is short-lived and does not require any professional help to recover. There is a lot you can do to help yourself, for example, learning simple grounding techniques.

How to ground yourself and recover from distress

To bring yourself back to the present moment and ease symptoms of dissociation take a deep breath and ask yourself 5 simple questions;

  • Where am I, right now?
  • What day is it?
  • What year is it?
  • How old am I?
  • What’s my address?

If professional help is needed, though, talking therapy combined with body work and energy healing can be especially helpful to regulate the nervous system and allow time and space for the trauma to be processed and released.

Trauma is treatable. It is possible to stop hurting and heal. There are people who care and will listen and help you find the right tools for your recovery. Take time to find the therapist who is right for you and ask questions about their experience and professional qualifications.

In an acutely dissociated episode if you are feeling suicidal;

  • Go to any hospital A&E department
  • Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you can’t get to A&E
  • Ask someone else to contact 999 for you or take you to A&E immediately

Call the Samaritans, free at any time from any phone in the UK – Call: 116 123

You don’t have to be suicidal to call.

 

Three Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs to Avoid Burnout

Three Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs on How to Bounce Back from Burnout | Gentle Spirit Healing

Entrepreneurship is on the rise. More and more people are turned on by the idea of sacking their boss and going it their own way by launching a business around a product or a service they feel passionate about. 

And passion is a key word for successful entrepreneurs. What makes them tick is not just about making money, it is also the drive to change lives and to make the world a better place.

So maybe you are reading this because you are an aspiring entrepreneur?

Or, perhaps you already run your own business and you are struggling?

It could be that your first business ideas have flopped and you are facing failure?

Picture yourself a moment ago. You are on the starting blocks. You know your market, or think you do, your idea is brilliant, it will catch on like wildfire, everyone will want ‘in’ on it, it’s a game changer and so are you, your adrenaline is running and so are you, constantly.

There is so much to do in your business, so much energy needed and so little time. Not time to eat, no time to sleep, no time to have fun or spend time with your family. You want to launch your business ASAP and see some of that money you have been rolling out roll back in.

A wildfire spreads quickly. It burns everything in its path. Very soon so are you, burnt out, mentally, physically, emotionally. And it’s not just you, your relationships are burnt out too.

You are the ideas person, the creative, but you have nothing in the way of a business plan, financing, strategy or management. What started out as a passion now feels more like a tragedy. There are victims everywhere.

In the aftermath, you list the reasons it all went wrong; the government, the tax system, the market, the business partner, the investors who couldn’t see your vision.

Three tips for Creative Entrepreneurs to Avoid Burnout | Gentle Spirit Healing

Maybe just maybe you were also part of the problem? When you have taken inventory of your business think when was the last time you took inventory of yourself?

To bounce back from burnout you need to take stock of how YOU went wrong. How your talent, drive and creative ambition drove you to the wall. I see too many people in my consulting room going wrong on these absolute basics.

Start by asking yourself these three things: 

How much sleep do you really need to function well?

The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following;

  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours

What is your diet like?

Irregular and long working hours play havoc with your diet. Energy drinks, caffeine and sugary snacks give you a quick boost but along with alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and cocaine they play havoc with your body and your mind. If a client tells me they suffer from anxiety my first questions are; ‘how much coffee or tea do you drink in a day?’ and ‘what alcohol or drugs do you use?’

There may be underlying psychological reasons for anxiety but I always start with the basics.

What do you do to manage stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Becoming aware of and managing your stress levels is essential to avoid burnout.

A Personal Wellness Assessment can help you bounce back from the brink of burnout.

Please contact me for further details; lindsay@gentlespirithealing.co.uk

Burnout is a gift. It’s a wake-up call. Are you awake?

Or, will you continue to sleepwalk?

 

Reiki and Psychotherapy to Treat Trauma

Reiki and Psychotherapy to Treat Trauma | Gentle Spirit Healing

Trauma is part of everyday life. Sudden illness, accidents, divorce and death arouse powerful and distressing reactions in us on an emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual level. These may ease over time but sometimes professional help is needed.

Initially as a result of trauma you may feel shocked, numb, frightened and unable to accept what has happened. You may also feel remote or cut off from your feelings, other people and from the event itself, as if what has happened is hazy and unreal or like a scene from a film.

Gradually, as this first stage shifts, other thoughts and emotions take their place and you can find yourself feeling helplessness, angry, guilty and sad or an overwhelming mixture of all of these at the same time.

You might find yourself having sleep problems, feeling anxious and irritable or unable to cope, you may lose your appetite and find it difficult to concentrate. Sometimes a condition known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops with a range of symptoms;

  • re-experiencing the trauma through vivid and distressing memories or dreams
  • feeling numb as though you don’t have the same range of feelings as normal
  • being in a constant state of alertness and anticipating danger

At this point, you may want to think about getting professional help.

GPs may suggest psychotherapy first and may also prescribe tranquillisers a and antidepressants.

I have found the combination of psychotherapy and Reiki, a gentle Japanese form of energy healing, produces good results in treating clients recovering from trauma.

Reiki is simple, safe and non-invasive. It uses no pressure or manipulation of the body and is carried out whilst you are lying down fully-clothed on a massage table, covered by a warm blanket.

Reiki and Psychotherapy to Treat Trauma | Gentle Spirit Healing

Reiki Healing Room

If you have experienced physical and sexual violation, either recently or in the past, and you feel vulnerable, frightened and invaded, Reiki provides a gentle healing environment where deep-seated emotions can be released without the need to talk through the painful experience.

Talking can have the effect of triggering the traumatic experience causing you to relive it. Going over and over the event can reinforce the wound meaning it can never form the protective layer that allows it to heal naturally as it is constantly being exposed. In that sense, psychological healing is no different from physical healing.

Reiki can be conducted non-verbally allowing profound feelings of grief and loss to be worked through where words are inadequate to express the depths of personal pain. The Reiki healing room offers a safe, non-judgmental space for you and treatments bring relief as well as activating a natural process to restore your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Once the initial healing process has begun psychotherapy is useful to gently explore and make sense of what has happened to you at your own pace.

What are your thoughts or experiences on this topic?  

 

 

Self-care for Therapists – One Day Workshop

Gentle Spirit Healing, in partnership with FreshStart Psychotherapy, are delighted to be holding a one-day practical workshop on Saturday 21st January (further details below).

Why an Entrepreneurial Mindset is Key for a Successful Therapy Practice | Therapists self-careLindsay Percival is a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist and a Reiki Master-Teacher with over 10 years’ experience in running workshops on self-care.

As therapists, we have a deep personal commitment – some might say a calling – to help others toward better mental health and wellbeing. By nature, we are caring and compassionate people but in this, we also run a high risk of burnout because our job is to listen deeply and to treat the toxic effects of trauma every day.

Witnessing a client’s recovery and acknowledging our part in this is richly rewarding but this does not protect us from the effects of burnout. There are also clients we cannot help and need to refer on or they end therapy abruptly. How do we handle our feelings and remain compassionate towards ourselves?

In this workshop, you will learn to recognise the signs of burnout such as;

  • Secondary trauma including anger, sadness and intrusive thoughts
  • Compassion fatigue including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbance

By the end of the workshop, you will have;

  • Created your own essential self-care strategy centred on four components physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self-care
  • Identified your personal strengths and weaknesses as a therapist
  • Recognised the types of clients you can work with and the types you can’t and the special self-care needed when dealing with more complex clients such as borderline, narcissistic and suicidal.

Time: 10am – 4pm  Cost: £60 per person  

Venue: FreshStart, St Pauls Church Centre, 3 Rossmore Road NW1 6NJ

(nearest tube Marylebone)       

To book call Lindsay on: – 07508 871530 or email: – lindsay@gentlespirithealing.co.uk

 

Why an entrepreneurial mindset is key for a successful therapy practice

Why an Entrepreneur Mindset is Important for a Successful Therapy Practice | Gentle Spirit Healing

Whether you are just starting your therapy training or just finishing, setting up in private practice can seem daunting. Money management, social media marketing, and other essential business skills are not usually covered on courses. So unless you’ve run a business before most likely business basics are not part of your skill set or your mindset. As a busy therapist, the last thing you might see yourself doing is booking onto a business skills class, online program or webinar. Even calling your practice a “business” might seem wrong to you. Your role is to help people who are in emotional or physical pain. Perhaps you prefer to see yourself as being ‘in service’ rather than ‘in business’?

Success in a therapy practice comes down to two things….

But after 10 years in practice as a professional helper first as a Reiki Master/Teacher and now a psychotherapist, I think success comes down to two things; the first, covered in last month’s blog, Therapist Burnout: Taking Care of the Caretaker,  is to have a healthy attitude to yourself and your own wellbeing.

The second is to have a healthy attitude to money. If you don’t take getting paid seriously you are in danger of setting up a harmful dynamic. The client starts to feel guilty, entitled or beholden and you start to feel resentful, burdened or used. The transaction needs to be clean and clear. If that does not sit with your personal ethics then joining a low-cost therapy service, a social enterprise or charity and finding another source of income to live off may work better for you.

But if you do want to get paid regularly and fairly for what you do and enjoy a good standard of living and not burn out or quit then you need to develop an entrepreneur mindset. Why? Because when you get down to basics what is it about you that makes you stand out from the next therapist?

Gone are the Golden Days when therapy was provided by an elite who could keep their prices high and their clients long-term by relying on referrals from a trusted network of doctors, colleagues or friends. Technology, for one, has changed all that.  In today’s market, consumers are younger, more savvy and more likely to be shopping for your services by scanning their mobile phones for better deals.

What’s more, clients increasingly want to know they are getting a return on their investment. They come with expectations such as; ‘What are you going to do about my problem?’ and ‘By when?’ and ‘How much will it cost?’ As a therapist you might not be comfortable predicting outcomes or discussing the sensitive topic of money.

So what can you do?

  • Think about how you relate to money, your personal ethics and how you wish to operate your practice.
  • Get some basic advice about being self-employed if you decide to set up privately.

You can find some free information from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) : – www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-webinars-email-alerts-and-videos

  • Think about the clients you serve best and the clients you want to work with.
  • Define your target market or specialist area. It’s good to have a competitive advantage in a crowded market.

When you consider business planning to be part of your professional development and not an optional extra you are more likely to put yourself firmly on the road to success.

 

Please add your thoughts or comments below.

Therapist Burnout: Taking Care of the Caretaker

Therapist | Stress Burnout | Gentle Spirit Healing

As therapists we have a deep personal commitment – some might say a calling – to help others toward better mental health and wellbeing. By nature we are caring and compassionate people but in this we also run a high risk of burnout because our job is to listen deeply and to treat the toxic effects of trauma every day.

Witnessing a client’s recovery and acknowledging our part in this is richly rewarding but this does not protect us from the effects of burnout. Here are some of the signs;

  • Secondary trauma including anger, sadness and intrusive thoughts
  • Compassion fatigue including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbance

A good self-care strategy is essential to avoid therapist burnout

To sustain our own energy, health and wellbeing to do our best work as therapists we need a good self-care strategy. This does not mean an occasional trip to the gym, meditation or a massage here and there. Self-care is not a luxury it is an essential daily practice. What better way to show our clients than effective modelling of self-care? How else will we have the energy to grow within ourselves as therapists and to keep our practice alive and fresh by keeping our professional skills and knowledge up-to-date? As therapists we need to walk our talk.

Here are some general tips and suggestions on how to avoid burnout;

  • Set clear boundaries on your time. Some clients do need extra support outside sessions but be clear how, when and why you make yourself available by text, phone or email.
  • Make sure you eat and drink properly and plan proper breaks in between clients.
  • Build in simple rituals to help you prepare for your day and end your day so you keep a healthy separation between your personal time and your work. For example, I try to arrive early to get settled in the therapy room before my first client arrives. I prepare myself and the room energetically, using my breath to centre myself, clear my mind and set my intention to be of service to my clients to the best of my ability whilst also respecting myself. As a Reiki Master/Teacher for over 10 years I find the self-care focus of this Japanese art of natural healing has helped greatly in my psychotherapy practice. It is an additional toolbox to dip into.
  • At the end of the last session I mentally let go of the work, wish my clients well and know I have done all I can for that particular day. I use the journey home to transition to family time and personal time.

We will be developing some of these essential self-care routines during our September Reiki Retreat please join us if you can.

If you have some tips and suggestions about therapist self-care, please share them in the comments, below: – 

Befriending your Inner Critic

Inner Critic_Gentle Spirit HealingThis month I want to share with you one of the most common barriers to personal growth I see in my consulting room and that is the inner critic.

You see as well as the people we call family that are around us, we also have an inner family, and some of those family members, such as the critic, are really nasty.

 

Think of your worst enemy; the person who steals your dreams, pours poison on your passions and tells you that you will never be any good at the things you most want to do.

It’s the voice in your ear sowing seeds of doubt, fear and confusion as you move out of your comfort zone towards happiness and success.

Silencing the inner critic is a skill. It takes time and patience. It is hard work. The critic is the very demon that can and does drive people mad and on a downward spiral towards more serious mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, self-harm and even suicide.

Here are my top three tips to silencing your inner critic:

  1. Better the devil you know

Make friends with your inner critic, get to know him or her, recognise what they sound like, their tone of voice, the things they usually say and when they are most likely to turn up in your life. Just like anyone you meet get a good sense of who this person is and how they are likely to behave. Write it down. Keep a journal or a diary.

  1. Your enemy is your greatest teacher

Creativity and destruction come from the same place. Both are powerful energetic impulses. Make your critic your greatest ally. Instead of listening to the destructive voice that sabotages your personal growth and achievement, harness the power, and use it to create. Turn the words around and make the negatives a positive. Use “No you can’t” as a challenge and say to yourself “Yes I can”.

  1. Silence is golden

Use the power of your imagination to turn down the volume of your inner critic. Imagine your head is like an enormous TV screen and you have the remote control in your hand, until you can stop the voice and switch it off practice lowering the sound. Find a mantra, a few simple words to repeat like “I can and I will” to drown out the inner critic, and keep your focus firmly on the road ahead.

Training your mind is no different to training your body. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.

We will be learning more about ways to silence the inner critic during the September retreat.

Sign up soon as there are only a few places left.

Best wishes

Lindsay

An Inspirational Reiki Weekend Retreat

 

Reiki Retreat Weekend_Gentle Spirit Healing

 

Whether you are a complete novice or an advanced practitioner, please join Reiki Master/Teachers; Lindsay Percival and Nathan Drury, for a magical weekend of exploration, relaxation and home grown organic produce from Cherry Hinton’s very own garden.

 

  • Do you wish to explore your natural gift of healing?
  • Are you looking for new ways to strengthen and enhance your Reiki practice?
  • Or, do you simply want to spend a lively, fun weekend with like-minded people?

ENQUIRE

Reiki_Retreat_Weekend

We are especially thrilled to be joined by Harpist, Victoria Longhurst who will be accompanying us in our meditations and providing a Saturday evening of musical entertainment delight!

During the weekend, we will be giving and receiving treatments, exploring different forms of meditation and engaging in lively discussions.  You will also have the opportunity to relax in your own personal space.

Reiki_Gentle Spirit Healing

With peaceful meditation spots, secluded walkways, a tranquil outdoor bathing pool and sauna, Cherry Hinton is, an ideal place to replenish and revitalise.

You can also book a private Reiki treatment or consultation during the weekend. These sessions are chargeable, separately.

Please enquire when booking your place on our weekend retreat.

Retreat Timings and Venue:

Friday 23rd – Arrive between 3pm – 5pm to Sunday 25th September – Depart 3pm

Cost: £320 including food and accommodation

Cherry Hinton Retreat Centre, Watermill Lane, Beckley, East Sussex TN31 6SH

Book Now! 

Reiki_Gentle Spirit HealingReiki_Gentle Spirit Healing

 

Waking up to your Authentic Self ~ A weekend workshop for women

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

~ Anais Nin ~

orange_rose-HD

Do you often find yourself attending to the wants and needs of other people without having your own met?

Do you often feel tired, over-worked, confused and under-appreciated?

Do you feel angry and resentful that time is slipping by and you have so much more to offer but don’t quite know what it is yet?

If this sounds like you then I invite you to join a small group of women for a weekend of exploration, self-healing and transformation in a safe and confidential space. Continue reading