Thanks for taking the time to get to know me – Kim Clayden behind online-psychotherapist.com. I am a Solution Focused Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. I trained with the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT) in Peterborough and also received a further qualification of the Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma (HPD).
I will admit, I never thought this is the career I would see myself doing after being an Ice skating coach for many many years. I saw myself doing coaching until I retired however, this wasn’t to be as my body started giving out on me. After roughly 11 years, I was finally diagnosed with a long term health condition called hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and later on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome. This also meant that the job I was doing was too much for my body, and I was getting injury after injury. I had quite a number of specialists telling me to stop this work as it was too extreme for my body. This was all I knew to do though, what could I possibly do if I had to stop coaching?
My body was hurting every day, I couldn’t even wear my ice skates and had to work in snow boots with grippers or from the side of the ice and most days I would finish work in floods of tears, and then try to drive home! This was no way to live and eventually, it led to me having a mental & physical breakdown. Something had to give, I couldn’t keep pushing through as I was in a perpetual cycle of boom and bust. Eventually, I gave into my mind & my body, I went self-employed, my husband supported me to stop coaching and tried numerous jobs from home, and tried to work out what I wanted to do. I started volunteering for The Hypermobility Syndromes Association as a local group leader and became the social media coordinator which was wonderful and I still volunteer for them until this day.
We went through some life changes together in the interim, we got a rescue dog called Lilly, I had counselling, 12 weeks of CBT and I went to see a lady from the Richmond fellowship to help work out what I could do with long term health conditions. We also sold our house, cars and motorbike and bought a narrowboat instead! It wasn’t until we were living at a marina for a while, a lovely friend of mine came across the course that would change my life permanently for the better. This was the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy course. The course was an intensive 10 months, with one solid weekend each month of learning in class and from that first weekend, we had to work with clients! By the time I had qualified, I have clocked over 120 clinical hours working with clients with a wide variety of mental health issues and wrote my portfolio for the HPD which was roughly 35,000 words phew!
I now run my own practice from my floaty home and all sessions are done online via Microsoft Teams. I have the opportunity now to help others change for the better too with neuroscientific/brain-based therapy. It really does positively transform lives. So whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, drop me a line. For a full list of mental health issues, I can help with, click here.
Through all of this life experience, I have become an expert EDS/PoTs patient and disability advocate too and now pass this knowledge, including the Solution Focused approach through professional talks/presentations. I teach others through webinars and events how their brains work and also talk with other health care professionals as an ‘expert patient’, what my journey to diagnosis was like and beyond. Whilst volunteering with the HMSA, which I still do, I came across the wonderful independent Occupational Therapist Jo Southall too. Working alongside Jo, our two approaches complement each other beautifully. Understanding your brain allows you to help manage your body better too. You can read more about Jo and what Occupational Therapy is here.
To contact me about sessions or to book me for a webinar or presentation at an event, please fill in my contact form here.
HPD, DfSFH, MNCH, AfSFH (reg) CHNC (reg)
Solution Focused Psychotherapist & Clinical Hypnotherapist