Eleanor Bigden logo

Walking the path from struggle to strength  
 

I asked my clients to write a few words of feedback, advice or encouragement for people thinking about whether to start CBT, as they are the experts from experience. I’m sure you’ll be inspired about possibilities for change, when you read how far others have come!  I hope it also gives you a more detailed sense of how I could help you on your life journey, from those who have walked the path from struggle to strength themselves. There are no identifying details, not even first names or initials, as, to me, it‘s of utmost importance to protect peoples’ total confidentiality.
 

Freedom from unhelpful thinking and habits

Through CBT with Eleanor I’ve learnt that I do in fact have the inner strength to overcome my problems and the determination to replace unhelpful quick fix habits with more wholesome choices …while realizing, with Eleanor’s empathy and wisdom that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself if I slip backwards from time to time, but to use it as a chance to gain greater insight and self awareness. I realise that handling my mind is something that I need to work on nearly everyday and that there are no quick fixes, so I now hold a much more compassionate and realistic stance towards myself and others. The most important practical changes I’ve made are regularly and consciously refocusing my thoughts away from unhelpful over analysis and self criticism and onto meaningful aspects of the present moment. I can now replace any worry or anxious feelings with helpful and encouraging guidance, and shift my focus away from any scary thoughts and onto something that is relaxing or enjoyable. Eleanor has helped me greatly with these coping mechanisms and made me understand the importance of retuning my thought process, so that over time, it is becoming much more second nature to me to think in this healthier, more positive way.

If you’re thinking about CBT, I’d say the most inspiring thing about it is that it teaches you ways to help yourself by recognising your behaviours, and learning methods to break out of patterns. Eleanor’s entertaining style certainly means that methods are memorable! She also helps you make the very most of the opportunity and look at how you can make use of the same skills, with some tweaks, to a whole variety of different life areas. In my experience only a few CBT sessions gives you the tools to help yourself in all areas of your life”.

With Eleanor’s support, I found what it is I really want to achieve in my life. After years of whining that “I’m not talented and can never finish what I’ve started”, I came to understand the simple fact that talent = little more than focused attention and efficient practice! Eleanor helped me to learn how. I also learnt the most important piece of wisdom of getting clear about what matters most to me and following my heart. I radically changed my attitude and discovered that putting effort into things because you have personal interest and curiosity in them - rather than just external motivation of being seen as a success or pushing yourself by your fears - makes for a meaningful life!”

Through CBT therapy and coaching, I learnt how to control my thoughts and get out of negative thinking, avoidance and procrastination loops. To give just a few practical examples: I finally found determination to break up the exhausting relationship which was dragging me into depression.  I’ve stopped avoiding taking the leap into new activities and as a result I’ve extended my social circle, while at the same time I learnt how to stop trying “to win them all”, which is a much better balance.  Despite my tight schedule, I don’t now put off making time for things I really enjoy. I’m also much more effective at staying focused in things I don’t enjoy so much, but need to be done. These days I’m not just ineffectively faffing around!”

Through CBT and Eleanor’s great help, my relationships are much more enhanced, as a result, and I feel much more fun to be around! I now feel bubbly and energetic, open and confident like never before! I smile and laugh so much more now. I’ve learnt not to underestimate the importance of listening and conversational balance – for example I now put my conversation partners in the spotlight rather then overload them with “my stories” and “critically important” information about myself! In the past people used to ask me if everything is OK noting that I looked worried and tired – now they ask me why I m in such a good mood! I swear this is truth (and no, I’m not taking any medication in case you wanted to ask).”

From a bit of a skeptic, I became a converted believer in the benefits of CBT and coaching because it worked its magic!! Eleanor encouraged me to say things out loud and connect the dots and would ask the right question at the right moment and make a point which would turn my mind in a much more helpful direction, so I could let go of old habitual thinking. It is crucial who your coach is. You need to like them and to trust them. And you need to believe that change is possible even if you don’t know how to make it yet! Best of luck to you!”

I finally discovered the real reason to be alive: is to enjoy it!”

— Rita Mae West