Helping you be your best
In the 14 years that I’ve been providing mentoring and supervision, it’s a delight to hear so many practitioners say they’ve found a much more authentic, sustainable and enjoyable approach to their own development, as well much greater effectiveness in helping others.
Eleanor is a highly skilled therapist with considerable experience working with a wide range of emotional and psychological issues. Eleanor is very professional and has a wonderful warmth, clarity of mind, and attentive presence. She is passionate about her work and the capacity for people to growth and flourish.”
— J.H. Gestalt Psychotherapist and Coach
I have 19 years’ qualified clinical experience in mental health that includes inpatient, forensic, day hospital and community NHS settings, and a thriving private practice. I can enhance your ability to work resourcefully and calmly when swift change is urgently needed, and take a grounded approach to risk and crisis management. I have extensive experience working alongside people with severe, enduring challenges including; multiple trauma, physical disability and disfigurement, personality disorder, alcoholism, domestic abuse, psychosis, homelessness, imprisonment and refugee status.
I have a decade of intensive experience in team leadership, project and case management in acute and community psychiatric services, when the stakes are very high. As well as experience in managing a day hospital, I set up a specialist NHS service for people who were considered too challenging for existing specialist services.
I kept my head screwed on when setting up in business the year after the 2008 financial crisis and it has been successful ever since! I’d be pleased to share learning from my life experiences, wherever this might be helpful to you.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eleanor has been my supervisor for two years and I feel that I have benefited greatly from our work together. I have a different training background to Eleanor and therefore our approaches can naturally differ, but due to Eleanor’s openness and flexibility we have always been able to work together comfortably, and the differences in our training have expanded the scope of my practice considerably. I have valued her warmth, enthusiasm, creativity and frankness. She has given me a greater depth of insight and confidence in working with clients...”
— B.A. Integrative Psychotherapist, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist
I can help you effectively draw on and deepen CBT models within your existing practice, or take a broader integrative approach. I can help you to interweave practical and creative approaches that are grounded in strong evidence of effectiveness.
I hold Post Graduate Diplomas in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Addictions Counselling and Teaching Adults. Prior to 16 years’ training in CBT and a wide variety of other integrative therapy and coaching models, I originally qualified in the very practical model of Occupational Therapy. I now focus on effective contemporary approaches under the umbrellas of CBT and CBS (Contextual Behavioural Science). These are: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion Focussed Therapy, Behavioural Activation, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, Schema Therapy and Mindfulness Based CBT. I also have core training in EMDR for trauma issues.
A versatile, creative therapist and coach, Eleanor Bigden slips seamlessly between compassionately holding people’s humanity close to her heart, and offering considered, pertinent challenges to help you develop. Eleanor isn't merely highly knowledgeable and in possession of an impressively well stocked tool box of skills. What I witnessed in Eleanor was a determination to engage and mindfully offer herself to our teamwork, as much as she encouraged me to do the same. Here was someone who was willing to draw on a life time of experience in service to helping me and my clients develop holistically, empathically and deeply"
— Ed – Mindfulness Trainer and Thought Coach
Learning from all experiences
In trying to help people find resolution to problems, it’s easy to miss opportunities for looking at where our clients have already demonstrated skillfulness, courage, and growth. I can assist you in paying more attention to even the smallest of fruitful shifts, and to help your clients develop this valuable ability in themselves. This is key to building confidence and optimal learning for our clients and for ourselves, on the basis of asking the question “so what worked well, what would you do again, what would you do more of, and how can you adapt that to suit different situations?”
An additional question we can ask in supervision is:
What can we learn from research, experience, and our clients’ feedback to go from providing good therapy to really great therapy that makes the most sustained difference?
I’d be excited to share with you successful ways of helping clients meaningfully participate with a greater sense of interconnectedness to nature, community and The Whole of life.
I have found this to initiate powerful personal and systemic shifts. Some of these are drawn from my Eco-Psychology training, and my interest in healing practices from cultures around the world. These considerably pre-date CBT!
I find them to be complementary to develop an effective, systemic approach to transformation, at personal and collective level.
...and challenging moments
I also provide a truly non-judgemental opportunity to address the ways in which our assumptions and behaviour can, at times, impact less helpfully on clients! I have learnt over the years that our errors can always be valuable opportunities to step aside from the inevitable power dynamic that comes with a position of “authority”. We can bring more authenticity, transparency, equality and kindly humour into the therapeutic alliance, when we consciously choose to make use of our shortcomings in that way. Fumbled interventions can be surprisingly transformed into openings to be positive role models!
When we step out of self defence and shame and move into self-acceptance, honesty and empathy, and a client can see this for themselves, it creates a profound chance to reflect on the power of genuineness to deepen human to human connection.
This has been core to my practice for many years, inspired by teachers of radical authenticity such as Marsha Linehan (DBT), Brene Brown and my clients’ feedback about their most profound “aha” moments.
Experience is that marvelous thing that enables us to recognise a mistake when we make it again!”
— Susan Jeffers
Cultivate your confidence and unique style
We’ve all had fears about what others might think of our style of working. Guidance from training courses sometimes gets turned into “rules” that don't always match up to what our clients and our intuition tells us. I can help you develop greater psychological flexibility and “mindfulness with a lighter touch” to navigate these tensions, cultivate your unique therapy style and enhance your confidence in finding helpful uniting themes, or “top level perspective” amidst seeming contradiction.
We can also look with a wide angle at what your broader life experience can offer to a truly empathic and grounded therapeutic process.
I enjoy helping therapists offer more authentic presence and healing interpersonal encounter, whatever “strategies” you are using.
Eleanor has taught me that I don’t need to hide behind a façade of expertise while secretly hoping that the cracks won’t show on my tiredness and vulnerability, but that I can be an invaluable role model to my clients of how to be empathic towards our human frailties, not just by teaching techniques, but by actively showing that I’m embodying that stance towards myself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of not practicing what we preach, or trying, on the other hand to be the perfect therapist. Eleanor has helped me develop the courage to bring all of this into the therapeutic melting pot and my clinical practice has flourished as a consequence. I’m getting much greater client satisfaction and many more word of mouth referrals these days.”
— T.W Addictions Counsellor and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
Bring mindfulness and CBT to your own response patterns
I can help you apply mindfulness, CBT and Compassionate Mind Training to your own patterns of thinking and responding, thus deepening your ability to practice what you teach, for enhanced professional effectiveness – and your own sustainable wellbeing. This can include enhancing your:
"on the hot spot” mindfulness to stay centred
practical self care to prevent compassion fatigue
understanding of the influence of (y)our schema filters are, so they have less unconscious influence
ability to step out of over-compensation, avoidance and self defence modes when these get triggered
therapeutic responsiveness toward tricky feelings including disliking, judging, feeling bored or attracted to a client
to know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.
— Bruce Lee
Helping you navigate uncertainty
There are so many therapy models, strategies, techniques and approaches that we could potentially draw on! As therapists, we may sit with confusion "not knowing what option to follow", anxiety about "not knowing enough" and fear about "not being good enough" as therapists. I’m grateful to supervisors who’ve been honest about these struggles. It’s enabled me to offer much more genuineness with my clients and supervisees.
If you would like supervision that moves flexibly between skills training and competency development on the one hand...and an open minded space to look at how we can embrace the challenges of our role with creativity, compassion and the wisdom of not knowing...then get in touch!
The sage prepares to sail the sea of confusion and doubt! Wise mind is “don’t know” mind.”
— Zen saying
Appointments & fees
My fee for supervision and mentoring is £100 per 50 minutes of focussed and proactive consultation. You’re welcome to book phone, skype and face to face consultations at whatever frequency works for you, on either a regular or ad hoc basis.
Free 30 minute consultation
If you're looking for regular mentoring and supervision, you're welcome to a free 30 minute phone consultation, so we can discuss how to tailor teamwork to meet your specific needs.
If you'd prefer to schedule ad hoc supervision or mentoring about a specific matter, just drop me an email or leave me a voice message that prepares me with some specific information about your needs, aims and availability, and I can get back to you quickly.