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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.
 

Walk and talk sessions – my clients’ feedback

I found walk and talk sessions to be such a great way to practice becoming much more open minded to other people and the world around me, and to learn not to need to go about life and London in such a pissed, frenetic way, where I felt closed off behind a kind of wall, and wanted everyone to just to get out of my way.”

This was such a practical way to learn Mindfulness. My ability to stay present, focused, engaged yet relaxed in the complexity of real life as it happens has massively increased by getting out of the therapy room and into both quiet and busy streets (sunshine and rain!) or sometimes to the roof garden or in the local park area in some of our sessions. Eleanor always asked me what I intuitively sensed would be most helpful for me on the day, so I always had plenty of choice, and could stay in the comfort of the therapy room whenever this was more suitable to the topics I wanted to cover. Loved the flexibility!”

I really valued Eleanor’s creative and practical way of teaching me how to get present and stay present in my life and with the world around me, rather than lost in my own head! I just couldn’t do meditation or mindfulness in the way other people had taught me, which was all about sitting for long periods and I just don’t have the time or patience! It was much more helpful to get outside and get moving. I spend most of my day indoors under strip lighting, so simply being out in natural light was an added bonus to lifting my mood and helping my head feel less stressed.”

Eleanor’s approach is really warm and funny and she’s helped me to be much more empathic, and this has helped me be a much nicer person to others, and in return get much more kindness back. Thanks to her I now know I don’t need to be so bloody hard on myself and others but can actually “share the love” but in a real and genuine way, rather than something flakey. A lot of this came from having some of my sessions walking out and about “in the real world” with Eleanor. I’m not gonna tell you exactly how, that’d spoil the fun! All I can say is you’re missing out if you don’t keep an open mind to being more creative than old school therapy …you can shape your own travels with her from there!!”

In my life, I’m constantly needing to adjust to different scenarios, different speeds of other people and to the unexpected. I had many, many lightbulb moments in the very practical ways Eleanor taught me how to get grounded, centred and present in the face of constant change, by noticing with much more deliberate curiosity what was happening in my body and all around me as we walked together on busy London streets, in quieter roads and peaceful parks. We tended to start and end the session indoors and I always had the choice to not go outside of course if the weather was just too awful, but I much preferred our teamwork outdoors than any other therapy I’ve had in the past because her style of working is so focused on practical integration into everyday life. Therapy with other people has kind of been a sort of separate, cosy place to be even more over analytical and therefore, although fascinating, didn’t really lead to much change, whereas Eleanor is brilliantly pragmatic and has helped me make all sorts of subtle but essential changes to the way I move through life and interact with other people.”

I used to see my commute time as a frustrating dreadful waste of time! Walk and talk sessions with Eleanor has been brilliant in helping me to now use my travel time to work and back as the perfect opportunity to practice a whole range of valuable life skills on the quiet, without anyone knowing! Thanks to Eleanor’s humorous insights into embracing life as it is, rather than fighting it, I can turn the hideous rush and busyness of London streets as the perfect chance to practice advanced skills in staying engaged in the London madness with much more lightness, inner resilience and even amusement at the crazy pace, rather than trying to shut myself off or feeling totally overwhelmed. Thanks Eleanor Bigden – you really are a game changer!!”

Put simply, one of my goals was to get more exercise, another was to get more engaged in a sense of community and another was to manage my working day differently so I wasn’t exhausted by the end of it. I really didn’t expect Eleanor to be so bold as to help me do all that actually in session! Genius! Rather than just talking about it, actually doing it really got me motivated to start doing this myself - and what great value for money!!”

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

— Rita Mae West