What is Life Coaching?

The aim of personal life coaching is to narrow the gap between the reality of your life as it is and the way you really want it to be.

Life coaching enables you to act more effectively to achieve this than you would have done if you had acted alone.

Coaching is a partnership which challenges you to recognise and build on your strengths and values and find positive ways to make changes and move forwards to achieve your goals.

Coaching is confidential and non-judgemental.

‘’A Coach is someone who helps you to hear what you don’t want to hear ,who helps you to see what you don’t want to see in order that you can be who you have always known you could be’’

T. Landry

coaching-inner2Do you want to live your best life? Do you want a big life? Are you at a crossroads in your personal life or career? Why employ a coach? As your coach I can help you to:

  • Overcome relationship difficulties and achieve a reconciliation with your partner
  • Develop the strength and focus to make your way through any or all the stages of divorce or separation
  • Clarify or prepare you for taking major decisions in the context of your relationship (for example ,whether to separate or not)
  • Clarify your direction, set your goals and help you achieve them.
  • Enhance self-awareness and self-acceptance.
  • Build confidence and self-esteem.
  • Define health and lifestyle issues.
  • Develop your relationships and communication to their full potential.
  • Manage stress and achieve the right work/life balance for you.
  • Clarify career change issues to ascertain the right direction for you.
  • Tackle addictions.

What happens in a coaching session?

I will facilitate, guide and coach you along a journey of personal and/or professional development. Through this process you will clarify your goals and dreams and find solutions to the challenges you face. I will support you each step of the way.

At our first meeting, we will work together to clarify what you are hoping to achieve in the coaching sessions overall. We will then break this down into manageable chunks and over the ensuing sessions, we will work together to take the steps that have been identified that lead you to your ultimate goal.

Each coaching session lasts up to 1 hour. I usually recommend 6-8 sessions to give sufficient time for the changes in you and your life to be firmly integrated. I meet with my personal coaching clients in my converted stable office at my home in Chapel Allerton, Leeds. Alternatively coaching sessions can be conducted over the telephone. Please contact me to discuss my charges. I have a range of options and would be very happy to explain them to you.

Divorce/Relationship Breakup Coaching

Divorce/Relationship Breakup  Coaching offers support and clarification in 3 situations as follows:

  1. Where  you are undecided if you should remain in your marriage/relationship and need to clarify this to be able to move forward
  2. Where you  are in the process of divorcing/separating from your partner and you need the support to keep strong and to ascertain your direction and focus so that you keep moving  forward
  3. You need support to ascertain your new focus and direction for your new life, having concluded your divorce/separation

Relationship/Conflict/Couple Coaching

Relationship/Conflict/Couple Coaching offers you the opportunity to resolve your differences with your partner/spouse or any family member or members on any issue. All parties meet for sessions with me and we will identify the issues to be resolved. The strategies and tools necessary will then be ascertained in order to achieve this. I will work with you to help you to be able to hear what you each are trying to say to the other. This will be supported  because it will be in  a safe and controlled environment. I am impartial and therefore on no-ones side. I will facilitate communication and work with you to resolve your differences or otherwise help you to clarify your position.

Coaching Children and Young People

Children and Young People Coaching adopts a similar but more flexible approach to those set out above. It is more flexible because it is necessary to take account of the age and understanding of the child concerned in order to work out what will help the child best. The child will meet with me on a one to one basis after it has been ascertained that this type of intervention is suitable for the child concerned. Children and Young People Coaching is especially helpful in the context of loss(for example, where parents are divorcing) because it provides support to those children as well as their parents at a time when possibly the whole family is in grief. It provides a confidential, impartial, independent outlet and ear for the child to express him/herself and for him/her to feel safe in doing so. If appropriate, the Coach will also use skills to enable the child to explore the future so that, in the case of grief and loss, this can be eased and worries and fears lifted .

Bereavement Coaching

Bereavement Coaching is helpful for people who have lost a loved one or a loved one has been diagnosed as terminally ill, and are struggling to come to terms with their loss or anticipated loss. I will be able to help you in many ways-here are some examples-I will  help you to find a way to start again and to see a future. I will walk with you along your path, helping you to regaining clarity of purpose so that you make the best choices for yourself along the way.

Mentoring

I mentor individuals, both professional (for example, lawyers ) and on a personal basis including young people( for example, students).

Personal Development Plans

I design Personal Development Plans to suit the needs of either individuals or groups, as required. The baseline to determining the best way forward is by first ascertaining the core values of the group/individual concerned and then working together to design a path for life that is aligned with those values to ensure the best life is achieved. Various techniques may be used to include meditation and visualisation amongst others. It may be spiritually based or not depending on needs and requirements.

Business Coaching

In addition to offering life coaching to private clients I also am able to work with professionals, executives and managers in a business context. This can be with just one executive within an organisation or alternatively with a senior management team or, in the case of smaller businesses, with the whole company. Whilst the coaching is in a business context it will usually focus on an individual person. Their personality, experiences and attitude to life can be as important as work related factors such as time management, delegation and communication skills.

coaching-innerI usually meet with my business coaching clients in a confidential setting in their own workplace. Some corporate clients prefer to meet with me at my office away from their work environment. When I work with clients in a business setting where the organisation is meeting the costs of the coaching work, details such as confidentiality, reporting methodologies and payment arrangements will be discussed at the outset with the decision-maker and set out clearly in an appointment letter or contract.

Examples of areas which can be addressed in business coaching are:

  • Maximising business effectiveness and profitability.
  • Developing leadership and management skills.
  • Managing relationships within the workplace.
  • Improving delegation skills.
  • Addressing work/life balance issues.
  • Improving interpersonal communication.
  • Managing stress.
  • Assessing career-change options.
  • Developing/improving Team Effectiveness

Who Am I

I am a Divorce and Relationship Coach and Life and Business Coach with a private practice based in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire. I coach adults and young people and I also coach couples in my capacity as Relationship Coach to assist in relationship difficulties and/or to help them through the divorce process / separation.

I am also a fully qualified and accredited Mediator, having been practising as such since 1994. I undertake Family, Commercial and all types of Mediation and Conflict Resolution. I am a qualified Professional Practice Consultant and in that capacity, I supervise other Mediators and help them with their Mediation Practice. In addition, I hold qualifications which entitle me to consult directly with children within the Mediation Process. I am also authorised to carry out MIAMS assessments. I have acted as Consultant in setting up a Mediation Service for two firms of solicitors respectively and currently undertake Mediations as a Consultant for Blacks Solicitors of Leeds.  I also train  lawyers to become mediators on behalf of ‘Resolution -First for Family Law’ (the main recognised training body for mediators and solicitors in the UK). I have undergone the training to be a facilitator for Restorative Justice.

I am also a Mentor. I also facilitate the design of Personal Development Plans for individuals and groups.

I was a partner in an established firm of solicitors for 19 years specialising in all aspects of family law and subsequently provided family law consultancy services through a different also well-established firm of solicitors.

I completed my training as a professional Coach with The Coaching Academy, graduating with a Diploma Excel in both Personal Coaching and Corporate and Executive Coaching – the Coaching Academy is the most well-established and widely acclaimed coaching training provider. I am also a qualified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), having obtained a Diploma accredited by International NLP Trainers Association (INLPTA). I have also completed a course at Masters Level in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at Leeds LMU and I hold a qualification in Transactional Analysis and in EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique).

The experience I have obtained during my law career, both in successfully helping clients at challenging points in their lives, and also as a partner in helping to manage a successful business, together with my longstanding mediation experience, has allowed me develop a range of skills which guide me in my coaching work.

I have many varied clients – a sample of my clients include the The Department of Health, Royal Armouries in Leeds, Leeds City College, the Prison Service, Leeds City Council, various firms of solicitors and also private individuals such as business owners, teachers, students/young people, families, unemployed people and professionals.

Life Coaching Testimonials

You’ve had such an effect on me, Viv. You really helped me get beyond my stuck point and out of my comfort zone. Now I’m out there I feel like I’m on a roll. Thank you so much.

JC – Solicitor

I arrived at my session with Viv full of anticipation and excitement.

Having known Viv for some time in a professional capacity and referred a number of my clients to her for mediation and relationship coaching I felt sure that her input would be helpful.

I had called Viv as I was struggling to make a decision about what to do with my career. Having been in my job for a number of years another option had presented itself to me but I felt unsure about making such a big decision and the implications of that going forward. So I found myself arranging some coaching with Viv. It felt like a treat to be giving myself some time and space to talk through my thoughts and make plans with her.

So, at that first session, I sat down with Viv in her lovely calm, welcoming space and started to talk about where I was at and what my thoughts were about my plans. I was absolutely stunned when, as I spoke, I started to cry and cry!  I did not realise how much of a dilemma I felt I was in. Viv’s warmth, compassion and love enabled me to really speak about my fears and worries openly. So we spoke. Viv described how I seemed to be knotted up with the decision I was trying to make.  We talked about the importance of not acting from position of weakness, uncertainty or distress and  agreed that I needed to get strong – so this evolved into my goal: ”I want to make myself strong so that I am in a position of strength and clarity to make the right decision in relation to my career choices”.

Viv and I established some steps that I would take between that first session and the next to work towards that goal. I left feeling a massive sense of relief.

Incredibly from the day after that first session I felt a massive shift in my outlook which was almost unbelievable. I felt I could breathe easily and as if I was sat back, calm and with a sense of peace. Amazingly from that day on, all the elements in respect of my proposed career change started to fall into place. It felt quite mysterious that all the different factors just presented themselves over the days that followed. And by the time our next session came around I felt absolute clarity about what I was to do.

So, in that second session I spent a very enjoyable hour with Viv,  planning, very practically,  the next steps that I needed to take to further my career shift. I left feeling a sense of peace and exhilaration about the future.

We agreed that my goal had been achieved!

I cannot speak highly enough of Viv. Her compassion and warmth is matched by her cleverness and ability to see connections in a way which is very powerful. She is intelligent, thoughtful and loving. I am pleased to know her and personally, I will be forever grateful for her input and support at a tricky time in my life.

TH – Solicitor – 20.2.14

Viv has the rare skill of being able to combine a genuine and sincere care for your wellbeing with her ability to maintain the high standards of a consummate professional. Never judgemental or opinionated Viv challenges you to examine yourself and your behaviour and to learn to harness your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. The skills and techniques that I gained from Viv have continued to help me way beyond our sessions and I have made a conscious decision to utilise such techniques in day-to-day life both professionally and personally. A real talent and a credit to her profession.

JK, Business Owner, West Yorkshire

I turned to Viv for coaching to help me to set up my business. I had got stuck in fear and procrastination and was looking for someone who would help me to plan, make me accountable for implementing that plan, and at the same time cheer me along the route. Viv did all that with an enormously encouraging and facilitative style.

From the very first contact by phone, Viv was engaging, friendly and I felt in safe hands. Viv clearly really loves what she is doing, and really wants her clients to succeed; working with Viv has made me feel as if I have been lit after a long period of stagnation. Because of the careful way in which Viv asked about what I was looking for from coaching, I felt she understood my fears as well as my desires, so throughout the process she kept a watching eye on my gremlins and that allowed me to focus on moving forward.

Viv helped to free my thinking and also, through her structured approach, helped me to start to operate in a much more focused and productive way. Viv would always ask what needed to happen for me to do what I had said I wanted to and so I left each session with actions I was confident I could and would do.  After a session with Viv, I always felt newly energised and because of the effort that Viv put into sessions, her belief in my eventual success spurred on my own self-belief that I really could accomplish what I wanted to.

Caroline Frazer – Career Coach – 23.7.13

I called Viv because I realised I had too many things to deal with at once and I was struggling to handle both personal and work issues. I knew I needed some support and help from someone professional. Viv’s warmth, enthusiasm and focus were immediately reassuring and rapidly made me feel empowered and supported.

After completing our agreed set of sessions, I now feel much more in control. I am resolved about my future direction and enthusiastic about life. Viv is an excellent coach and clearly enjoys her job. I highly recommend her; she restored my confidence in myself. I hugely enjoyed our sessions and miss her vibrant presence.

S Carr – Artist, Image Consultant & Life Coach

I am a doctor with a busy job and doing some medical research. I am at a stage in my career where I need to decide whether to increase my commitment to research, possibly leading to a full-time academic post. I contacted Viv to help me work through this major decision.

I found the experience hugely rewarding. I learned many techniques which I can apply to this and other problems, as well as learning a lot more about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses.

Viv was a pleasure to work with. She had great insight and I would thoroughly recommend Viv as a coach to anyone needing some independent help to think through a difficult decision.

AC – Hospital Consultant – 8.10.12

We at St George’s Crypt have known of Viv’s work for over 10 years. As an organisation working with homeless and disadvantaged people, we have many clients who we could see potentially could gain real benefit from Viv’s life coaching skills.

We were delighted over a year ago to ask Viv to work with a number of our residents in one of our hostels. Viv’s very empathic style and her ability to listen and encourage has been of great value to our residents. There is no doubt that this kind of work was very important in contributing towards developing self-esteem and confidence and – in turn – to helping our residents to take that important step towards successful resettlement.

I would have no hesitation at all in recommending Viv – she is a thoroughly excellent professional practitioner.

Martin Patterson, Head of Fundraising and PR, St Georges Crypt – 12.6.13

I came to Viv on a recommendation from a friend. I am a businessman with a hectic work schedule and a number of seemingly intractable problems in my personal life. I related to Viv straightaway. She helped me to define the key issues and allowed me to explore a whole range of ways of coming to grips with them.

I have learned from her some tools and skills that will be invaluable to me from now on. She is kind, caring and understanding but has the rare capacity to set tasks that need to be done to build for the future and to ensure that they are completed.

I feel that I am now on a different track. I am more confident, self – motivated and most importantly I am learning to care about myself again. She has helped me to change the course of my life for the positive and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

RM – Managing Director of Communications Company

Coaching with Viv was fantastic! It changed my life! In six sessions, my life was turned round! My aim was to improve the relationship with my Husband and develop self-confidence and I achieved my goal!

Viv enabled me to see how I could change things and this was liberating and empowering. I am now confident and able to identify and accept the things I can’t change and change the things I can. Coaching was an amazing experience, not to be missed! I felt Viv was with me every step of the way, really listening to me – she was inspiring and I felt I could trust her absolutely like a best friend!

VG – Retired teacher

Richard was reaching his late forties and starting to experience what some people would call a mid-life crisis – basically he was starting to lose direction.

Asking Richard how he found coaching Richard says
“Brilliant way to focus attention on oneself for a change – really helpful to analyze where one is and where one hopes to go – strongly recommended and Viv is the person to do it. Vivs’ legal experience and clear thinking will get you back on track…certainly helped me!

Richard – Surveyor

I approached Viv when considering a new career path but through her support I have discovered much more about myself than that! Through questioning and support Viv has given insights that I had never noticed about myself. I have gained confidence and now have a clearer picture of what is important to me. I now also have strategies I know I can use to overcome problems as they arise. I would unquestionably recommend working with Viv to anyone needing help setting a new path in their lives.

Ele Gibson – Senior Area Volunteer Manager – 6.12.12

Thanks for this. The work you are doing with me is helping me to transform my life and make everyone around me happier. You are very special.

TN – Managing Director

I undertook 8 sessions of coaching with Viv. This provided a relaxed and enjoyable experience, but at the same time it enabled me to reassess my priorities and move forward with my life targets.

I had not undertaken any form of life coaching before and the series of one to ones surpassed my expectations.

I would recommend Viv to anybody who needs a new or improved sense of direction.

P.M – Managing Director of large Architectural Practice

If you’ve lost your way at work and need to rekindle your inner confidence and self belief 6 sessions with Viv is all it takes. I was instantly comfortable in opening up to Viv. Her calm, friendly and warm approach made it easy for me to explore the fears and anxieties I had about my stresses at work. Her knowledge and experience was invaluable and she quickly understood what would help drive me to success. The greatest thing of all was that she guided you down your path and helped you to discover your strengths for yourself. This has already given me a fresh and enthusiastic approach to work which I had when I first started in my career and it is something I will hold onto thanks to her patience, guidance and determination to help me believe in me and my success. Thank you,Viv!

Best wishes,

Simon Williams

Simon Williams (Merchandise Planner)

Despite reservations about my first visit with Viv I found the whole experience more positive than I could ever have imagined.  It only took the first session to realise the benefit and what I found out about myself will stay with me for a very long time. Viv was very easy to talk to and had a knack of asking the right questions! I would definitely recommend Viv to anyone who needs a nudge in the right direction!

Marcus Berry – Professional Gambler – 21.3.16

I was recommended by a close friend to visit Viv when I encountered a very difficult period last year both in my personal life and at work. I was sceptical in the beginning but  Viv really helped me unravel what was going on, not only focusing on the bad things but making me realising what I actually had in my life. Viv was a great listener but more importantly made me identify and then think about things that I could not change and helped me deal with them. As to things I could change, she helped me with her mentoring skills to give me the strength to take on those challenges.  Viv has made a difference in helping me through that episode, such that my outlook on life is more positive but most importantly my family is intact.

KT – Solicitor – 18.3.18

Dear Viv,

I have no idea if you remember talking to me about a career change back in 2013 or so? At that point I was a burnt out frustrated academic, looking for an alternative. I think I said at the time I’d keep you up to date with progress, which I’ve completely failed to do…..!!!

I found your listening and advice very helpful, allowing me the time and space to express what I wanted in a pressure free way.  As a result I’ve retrained in medical physics (within the NHS) and start my permanent (~40 hr/week rather than 70!) job next month.  I’ve managed to retain some research activity alongside clinical work and am collaborating with lots of interesting people. I couldn’t have asked for more and I think you helped me find the ability to trust myself and make the move.

So a real success story! Thank you so much for your help,

Mike

Mike Nix (NHS – Medical Physics) – 16.1.17

Dear Viv

Thank you for all your help. I just want to say that the two times I saw you were SO helpful and you really gave me ideas on the way forward and your coping strategies were fantastic.I couldn’t recommend coaching with you more!

Many many thanks Viv

Maybe I will see you again.

Kind regards

Caroline

Caroline Allison – Teacher – 16.1.17

Dear Viv

I am writing to say thank you for all that you have done to help me move forward through what has been the most challenging period of my life to date.

Your compassion and wisdom have created a safe space for me to explore what I want to do, and more importantly be, in the future.

I have really appreciated your exceptional ability to listen with warmth and then to distil and hone in on the most useful questions or areas for reflection. This, together with the fact that your approach to life planning has been from me outwards, has transformed what could have been a very chaotic time into one with a structure and yet enough flexibility to take account of my emotional processing (and quite a lot of snow!)

As I look back over the notes (which incidentally are the best notes I have ever had from a meeting – your listening and recall are incredible) there is a constant thread of you gently protecting my self- care as well as practical activities and challenges to move my thinking forward. I can’t overlook how much it meant to me to be able to share my story of Dom with you right at the start. The compassion and acceptance that you gave to me in that session have helped me on my healing journey and have also helped me to find the good and the learning in the experiences. When people ask me about the experience I think it is this part that is the most compelling – that you were able to hold the story and the emotions in a way that made them easier for me to live with. The transformational power of love.

I have found my time with you inspirational and have looked forward to all of our sessions. I very much hope that we can stay in touch and am so glad that our paths crossed.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart and I wish you good fortune in all that you do.

Love

Pat Sowa

16.5.18 – Pat Sowa – Changemaker in Mental Health and Education (Former Headteacher)

Relationship Coaching Testimonials

My Wife and I both began wanting the same things from a relationship, we had similar and complimentary goals in life for both our careers, children, and hopes for the future. Over a period of time, we began to not necessarily grow apart, but the day-to-day was driving a wedge between us, and work demands keeping us apart for extended periods. We spent a lot of our time together having fierce rows and had reached a “make or break” point.

Initially I was sceptical that anything could be salvaged from our relationship as there was a lot of anger, misunderstanding and lack of time or interest toward each other. My Wife suggested professional help, as deep down we both wanted to stay together, however there was a lot of ground to cover and it would be a difficult and at times a painful, emotional journey. Through meeting with Viv, committing to the process, we focused on where we wanted to get to, and with Viv’s help, we were able to slowly work through many issues.

It’s not easy. It is draining to go through problems, especially with someone you have made a lifelong commitment to, and who has become “the enemy” so to speak. It is also a challenge to reflect with self-analysis.

We were given unique tools to aid us as individuals and as a couple. Viv showed us immense courtesy, professionalism and exercised a brilliant level of insight from an outside perspective. Viv does not sit there and tell you what to do, but encourages open, frank conversation. The process lets this follow its own natural course. We found that this helped us as individuals and as a couple, to realize what we want.

The help we received has taught us a lot about each other and ourselves. For that we are eternally grateful. Without Viv’s assistance, we would without doubt, be divorced, and have two wonderful children with an absent parent. We have come to terms with where we were, and now we feel stronger as a team, better together to take on the world, we know there will be arguments, it’s a fact of life, but we have been helped to learn lessons to work together to achieve a happy and stable relationship.

It goes without saying that it was worth every smile, tear, hour, minute and penny invested at the beginning of the process. Again, you are not told what to do, you learn, realize, and decide for yourself, gaining considerable maturity in the relationship and future together.

To say Thank You to Viv, seems to fall somewhat short in showing our appreciation for her time, skill and professionalism. A job well done!

GM – Airline Pilot-19.11.12

Thanks so much for Wednesday evening. It really helped to break some of the ice of the past week and we are now getting along again. It really helped to talk about things with your calming influence there.

We really appreciated your time and help with navigating our way through the tangle of confused feelings that has developed in our relationship over the years.

On a personal note, I just wanted to say thanks for helping us (me) with our long running debacle discussed this session. I don’t know quite how, but during the session I felt myself letting go of it and my animosity towards them, and really think I can now get over it and move on. Your email helped jog me along with this too. You have a way of saying ‘get the hell over it already’ which makes sense to me and is still sensitive and accepting of the validity of my feelings. Or something. Anyway, it helped a lot. So thanks.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. We will now have one too – thanks to you!

JR – Teacher – 15.3.13

Divorce / Relationship Breakdown Testimonials

Recently I found myself in a situation I never envisaged. I thought I had an amazing marriage, a wonderful, caring, loving husband but last year my world collapsed when after 30 years together my husband started behaving oddly and announced he was leaving home because he felt ill and needed space to think. Time went by, I coped with the help of my wonderful children, family and friends but after six weeks away he telephoned me to tell me he had decided our marriage was over. No discussion, he no longer wanted the duty and obligation a marriage entailed. I was devastated and shocked, I thought we would be together forever. Of course later and after so many lies I found out he’d been having an affair and was already living with his thirty something girlfriend.

Viv was recommended to me by my solicitor. At first I was sceptical. A life coach, was that what I needed? I was heartbroken, in shock. I rang her, told her about my reservations but decided to go ahead after our conversation together. I felt incredibly nervous, anxious and emotional. But from the moment I met Viv and started talking to her I knew I was safe and in the right place.

The sessions are demanding. You are required to fill in a focus form which makes you think hard about yourself and the situation you are facing, honestly and objectively assessing your fears, futures challenges that await you, and how these might be achieved going forward. Initially I sat with the form and thought ‘what do I write?’. My confidence and self-esteem was shattered, how could I possibly think I was good at anything let alone had strengths? But as time moved on I came to love the focus form. It gave me structure to my everyday life and enabled me to see my progress. I am good at things, I do have successes to celebrate, I have achieved a lot in my life, I could and can face the challenges that await me. I came out of each session feeling empowered and more optimistic about my life. At the end of each meeting you agree future tasks, things you will work on before meeting again. I liked this, it gave me something to focus on, to achieve, however small. It enables you to recognise and acknowledge the forward steps you are taking and just as importantly to see the places where you may be stuck. Each session was followed up by a positive resume Viv’s prepares which is useful not only in preparation for the next one but to re-read as a reminder of the actual progress you are making towards your end goal or objective. With Viv’s careful guidance, her skilful questions, her genuine empathy and understanding of my situation, I achieved my objective and I now know that I can go forward with my life and genuinely look with enthusiasm to new adventures and challenges, and more importantly to forging a future of my own choosing. I would not, could not have been in this place without Viv. She is remarkable. The experience was enlightening. Everyone needs a Viv.

KH – 9.10.15

I am a solicitor specialising in Family Law. My clients instruct me to advise them about divorce and separation and all issues that may arise from these situations. Viv has come to the rescue of my clients on more than one occasion. She has an incredible insight into their real lives, what’s makes them tick and what they are having to cope with. She provides invaluable support and guidance which comes from the depth of her experience. One client told me that she felt transformed from having met with Viv; the difference in our subsequent meetings was certainly evident and meant that we could start to focus on legal issues that needed to be addressed in a structured and practical way which had not previously proved possible. My clients can’t speak highly enough of her. I certainly have no hesitation recommending Viv to them.

Lyn Ayrton – Family Law Specialist and Arbitrator, Managing Partner of Lake Legal LLP – 12.2.14

Dear Viv, Thank you so much for helping me through was has been possibly one of the most difficult times in my life. There have been so many issues to deal with but we have covered all of them & your reassurance & encouragement certainly has made me feel that I am making progress & en route to success, all the very best to you too, Ewa

E.H – 5.8.14

Having the coaching sessions with Viv has made such a difference to how I have been able to deal with the emotional side of separation.

Struggling with anxiety from the effects of my husband deciding to end the marriage and then being in a difficult custody battle, Viv has really supported me in giving me the opportunity to focus on what I can control, tools to be strong and increase my confidence to deal with the many challenges I was facing.

Having time and guidance to think about how I want my life to be and then working towards the goals to move forward with Viv has been a brilliant way to have a much more positive outlook.”

I would not hesitate to recommend Viv to anyone going through separation.

KP – Head of Procurement – 28.9.15

I was advised to see Viv by a divorce solicitor. I was going through a very traumatic divorce case and was struggling to deal with my ex-partner due to his over bearing and intimidating demeanour. I was locked in to a legal battle regarding both children matters and those of a financial nature and was finding it difficult to stand up to him and it was costing me a lot of money in legal fees.

I was very tearful and had lost most of my self-confidence. My concentration levels were poor and my work was suffering. I had been this way for about 18 months and did not seem able to break the cycle.

I was quite sceptical of coaching but was willing to try almost anything to get my life back!

I went to see Viv and I remember that throughout my first visit I was very emotional. I worked with Viv for a few sessions and I found her methods could be adapted to what suited me best. I found Viv to be engaging and that she understood exactly what I wanted to achieve through our sessions. We tried a number of different exercises and found ones that worked for me.

After the first session, I already felt more confident as I had a plan to tackle my fears.

I only attended about six sessions and by the end of this, I was able to manage interactions with my ex-partner both in person and in court.

My confidence improved so much that I felt able to commence Court proceedings against my ex due to breaches of the court order. Viv helped me so much that I was able to do this without legal representation which I would never have thought I could have done.

I am now further down the track and the court proceedings are over. My confidence has improved dramatically and I have been able to adapt the techniques that Viv taught me to other areas of my life.

I can’t believe what an impact a few short sessions with viv has made to my life.

I would definitely recommend Viv to any of my friends and family who needed some help with various aspects of their life. I used Viv predominantly for my personal life, however she also helped me with some parts of my work life.

Thanks viv, I am now happy again and am now back to my normal self.

SF – Police Officer – 7.4.13

My first meeting with Viv was quite a difficult one …..I knew I had to do something to change my life but I didn’t know what. Viv had been recommended to me – I decided to give her a go but I didn’t know what to expect. Viv pushed past all defences I put up; jettisoned all of the perceived agenda and we got on with it!!

I was in a mess as I was in the process of divorcing my husband– I felt that whatever I had to say would be dismissed when compared to other’s presentations and that I had to justify my position about everything.  I felt like I was being ambushed every step I took and frogmarched in so many directions that I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t know what to believe: what to do: what steps I should take: which paths lead where and the best way to get through the whole macabre dance that is divorce.

I felt like a cornered rabbit facing a very large hungry fox who might or might not have a pack behind him – I knew I had to do SOMETHING but was absolutely terrified that if I did move I would be mauled or end up sitting in the glare of a pair of headlights waiting to be another piece of divorce road kill.

Once Viv and I had established where I was coming from (which now seems like a very distant river bank) we started to wade through the mess inside my head looking at the way I think and trying different ways to modify the internal (mental) view.

It really has been like crossing a huge river which at times has been in full flood and the addition of my own tears in the early stages didn’t help in keeping the flood levels down. At the start I felt very much that I was just about keeping my head above the water but over a remarkably short period of time I felt as though I wasn’t floundering around any more – that I WAS more in control – more like a swan – elegantly travelling with the river – webbed feet working with current – steering where I need to go rather than being pushed with the tide.

Viv has directed me to the stepping-stones and the shallower, smoother parts of the journey by giving me ideas and tools to help me change the way I think – mainly through visualisation and affirmation. Viv has helped me to see the success in the small steps taken on a day-to-day basis as the foundations for dealing with the fear and anxiety that engulfed me every time I look beyond the place I’m at now.

When you visit Viv, it feels like she sits you on a rock; makes you take boots off; tip the water and pebbles out; put the boots back on (or not) and you head off again.

Visiting Viv is like stepping into an enchanted world from the minute the electric gates silently sweep open – the gift of a space to step into while the rest of the world flies by – a place to stop and look at yourself through Viv’s magic mirror – Viv allows you a chance to reflect on what you see around you and in you. Viv helps you see yourself and then gives you various ways to polish the reflection and helps make you shine. At first it may only feel like you shine for the hour you’re working with her but very quickly, the shine stays on and it’s easy to buff it up again and so you can take it away with you back into the rest of the world.

Other times it’s not a mirror you look into but a window high up where you can look down onto your life and contemplate the scenery and scan the horizons. With Viv’s help, she shows you the paths; looking where they have come from; where they might lead before heading off on the path you think will take you where you think you want to be. Working with Viv gives you the confidence to not overly worry about choosing a path that doesn’t appear to go where you thought it might lead – making mistakes is part of the journey.

The actual processes Viv advocates appear to be remarkably simple and as such are easily dismissible – but they are a framework to hang on to and hang other things on to and are essential to helping you to avoid slipping back into old patterns of behaviour.

It has been such a hoot working with  Viv that it hasn’t felt like work –I feel as though I’ve become such a different person – the frightened Rabbit in floods of tears is still there although fading more and more –it still comes to the fore in some situations but a deep breath and remembering what Viv has said more often than not calms the fears to a level that I can deal with the situation.

R.Carty

Child & Young Person Coaching Testimonials

Working with Viv was an absolute pleasure. I didn’t really know what to expect from coaching but Viv did a wonderful job at explaining what she could offer and putting me at ease instantly. We worked together over the course of a few months and during that time I learnt more about myself than I ever thought possible. I became more confident and sure of myself and what I could achieve. Viv was very supportive, non-judgemental and honest. She also has a great sense of humour so the sessions were always a lot of fun. I saw the coaching from Viv as an investment in my future. Without it I would probably still be going along with the same old, same old but with Viv’s help I have learnt to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and this has made me much more positive about my future.

Michelle Simpson – Support Worker Officer – 8.6.12

We at St George’s Crypt have known of Viv’s work for over 10 years. As an organisation working with homeless and disadvantaged people, we have many clients who we could see potentially could gain real benefit from Viv’s life coaching skills.

We were delighted over a year ago to ask Viv to work with a number of our residents in one of our hostels. Viv’s very empathic style and her ability to listen and encourage has been of great value to our residents. There is no doubt that this kind of work was very important in contributing towards developing self-esteem and confidence and – in turn – to helping our residents to take that important step towards successful resettlement.

I would have no hesitation at all in recommending Viv – she is a thoroughly excellent professional practitioner.

Martin Patterson, Head of Fundraising and PR, St Georges Crypt – 12.6.13

Dear Viv, I am writing to thank you for giving me the opportunity of meeting with you and helping me to understand myself much better and believing in myself that I can be what I want to be if I just believe that I can do it.

The sessions I had with you were of immense value to me. They taught me how to express myself and be able to speak freely and talk to people with confidence. From attending your sessions they have helped me to be self motivated and believe in myself and I would be able to achieve my goals if I put my mind to it and just think positive just like you helped me gain. Positive thinking helps the situation and you can make change in your life if you really want to and be positive. There will be a positive outcome if I just trust and have faith in my learning and goals to go forward.

By having one to one coaching sessions with you, you have influenced me to achieve my career targets for a brighter future ahead of me and also put me on the right path to success by setting me weekly goals and targets to achieve. By coming to sessions I have been a lot more motivated and confident to go to college and complete my course to go to university and open my career path choices.

You are a very fun and easy person to talk to and always have time to listen and hear me out without passing judgement on a situation. I have found these session really helpful and would like to thank you again for helping me over the sessions we have had together which I have enjoyed a lot. I look forward to meeting you every week at my coaching sessions with you as I can talk to you and know that what is said between us stays between us which gave me the trust and belief in you.

Many Thanks. Yours Sincerely. Monique Bassue

Monique Bassue (Aged 18 years) – Young Person part of ‘No to Knives’ Campaign with The Royal Armouries, Leeds

Thanks so much. We are seeing the true Mark again. He had such a lucky escape. Thanks Viv for your help. He is gaining a lot from the sessions. Just want you to know that we are so grateful and glad he is continuing.We recognised a jewel in you! Thanks.

E and G (parents of son aged 26 years who came for coaching) – 7/6/11

For anyone out there who needs to give their life more direction, redefine their goals and develop a more positive outlook to life then I have to really recommend a course with Viv. It has certainly been a life changing experience for a member of my family and has been worth every penny. Viv is fantastic so go for it!

ER – Deputy Head Teacher – 13/6/11

Viv was recommended by a friend. I did not know what to expect when I decided to attend. Viv helps to put a goal in place and then sets manageable targets to help you achieve this. I would thoroughly recommend anyone attends who is facing challenges in their life. It did me the world of good. Thankyou

MR (Aged 27years) – 8.7.11

Collaborative Law Mentoring Testimonials

Viv provided mentoring to me before my first collaborative case on a one to one basis, which proved invaluable in guiding me through the meetings, ensuring that all the issues reverted back to the collaborative ethos and giving me strategies to enable success.  Ultimately, not only did this assist in bringing the meetings to a successful settlement, but also provided me with reassurance and allowed me to calm my apprehension.  The mentoring was focussed but warm and fun at the same time.

Kath Baker – Collaborative Family Lawyer and Partner in Firm of Solicitors

I had trained as a Collaborative lawyer in 2006 but it was not until 2008 that I received instructions on my first matter. The other Collaborative lawyer had undertaken a good number of cases and, whilst I had confessed to it being my first case, I decided that I would benefit from mentoring.

I arranged a meeting with Viv and we went through the concerns I had – some of these were procedural so it was good to talk these through with Viv but others were more personal to me – not wanting my client to know I hadn’t been through the process before; not wanting the other spouse to pick up on my lack of confidence etc all of which I had built up in my head as giant issues.

Talking it through in a mentoring session helped me relax about these issues and focus on the process. I felt able to discuss all my concerns and fears with Viv, without feeling stupid and found her easy to open up to.  We sometimes forget that we all have to have our first case at some point and so the worries and concerns are quite normal to have.  Through the mentoring I realised that I wasn’t alone in my worries, which in reality were completely unfounded in any event.

I would recommend the mentoring to anyone, not just those doing their first case but to those who feel they would benefit from an outside perspective on matters relevant to the collaborative process. Viv is highly approachable, very knowledgeable and very experienced, so all in all it’s a win-win situation.

Collaborative Family Lawyer, Leeds

Business Coaching Testimonials

I came to Viv on a recommendation from a friend. I am a businessman with a hectic work schedule and a number of seemingly intractable problems in my personal life. I related to Viv straightaway. She helped me to define the key issues and allowed me to explore a whole range of ways of coming to grips with them.

I have learned from her some tools and skills that will be invaluable to me from now on. She is kind, caring and understanding but has the rare capacity to set tasks that need to be done to build for the future and to ensure that they are completed.

I feel that I am now on a different track. I am more confident, self – motivated and most importantly I am learning to care about myself again. She has helped me to change the course of my life for the positive and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

RM – Managing Director of Communications Company

If you’ve lost your way at work and need to rekindle your inner confidence and self belief 6 sessions with Viv is all it takes. I was instantly comfortable in opening up to Viv. Her calm, friendly and warm approach made it easy for me to explore the fears and anxieties I had about my stresses at work. Her knowledge and experience was invaluable and she quickly understood what would help drive me to success. The greatest thing of all was that she guided you down your path and helped you to discover your strengths for yourself. This has already given me a fresh and enthusiastic approach to work which I had when I first started in my career and it is something I will hold onto thanks to her patience, guidance and determination to help me believe in me and my success. Thank you,Viv!

Best wishes,

Simon Williams

Simon Williams (Merchandise Planner)

I have been dealing with a number of life changing issues over the past year including marriage break up, change of job (not intentional) and trying to maintain a work life balance under pressure at work to perform. I often found my self working 12+ hours a day just to get the work done – and I am quite an organised person.

At one particular point it was all getting a bit too much and a friend suggested I meet up with Viv. I decided to do so and I am really glad I did. Discussing my issues with Viv helped me get my life into perspective and at the same time Viv also enabled me to find ways to manage the work life balance, the only thing that was in my control. The strategies she suggested worked.

The good thing about Viv was how she probed to get to the nub of the matter and did not let me slide away from an issue. She enabled me to focus on problems in a positive way which allowed me to begin to either come to terms with a situation or to actually take action to deal with it. I was able to break things down into manageable chunks – don’t eat an elephant all at once is my advice now.

I would certainly return if I found that my life was getting out of control again or I felt that things were becoming too much to deal with.

LD – Deputy Headteacher

I was interested in Coaching because I have been wanting to change my career for some considerable time but have not managed to do hardly anything at all about it. Coaching with Viv has moved me forward in this, making me focus on what I want from a new career and making me examine the skills and attributes I have to offer.

Throughout Viv was patient, encouraging and enthusiastic. This created for me the motivation I previously lacked. With the experience of Coaching behind me, I am now confident that I will now find my ideal job.

CT – Customer Services Advisor