NHS Employee #1

I had been referred to Andy regarding anxiety and depression due to a change in my physical circumstances/abilities following a spinal injury. I was suffering with severe pain which was very difficult to manage, and negatively impacting my mental health as well.

For over a year I had been suffering with the anxiety and inability to cope with my situation alongside the related pain. I expected purely CBT, however, Andy began therapy working on the Buteyko technique, and this was the beginning of huge change for me.

Andy is different from any therapists I have heard of in the past. He not only is qualified in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but he is a qualified Buteyko instructor, as well as having expertise in other methods to add to therapy. I had so many differing issues all stemming from the one incident that I did not know how or where we could begin. My therapy with Andy has not only been phenomenal at addressing the CBT side of things (working through 39+ years of behavioural practices I have)….. but my pain levels and quality of life are truly improved.

I feel hope where I felt there was none. I am managing to accept my pain and have some control over it. I can sleep far more effectively and I can cope emotionally on a much better level than prior to speaking to Andy. I WISH I had known about Andy before I did. Had I been referred to another therapist, I am unsure of the efficacy it would have had with me, as I had so many stumbling blocks around pain and pain management, it was just proving impossible to focus on anything else.

From breathing, I have managed to gain control over my pain and anxieties and that is allowing me to now meditate (never would I have thought I could EVER achieve this) and learn new techniques to manage my life in a more healthy way, and learning better coping mechanisms and skills to handle the stressors that come my way.

I am so grateful to Andy, as I was in such a deep dark place that I never envisioned it would be possible to get away from. I feel hope for my future once more.

I will admit that you may find some things a little out of left field to begin with!…but I was of the opinion I do not care how crazy something sounds or how incomprehensible methods seem to me…… I would openly try….. and I am SO glad I have. I do not want to think what position I would be in had this not been the therapist I had been introduced to. I could not imagine my future, and I was in a severe depression and torment physically and mentally. Thank you Andy for helping me to find myself again and have control and acceptance and the ability to cope and manage my pain. Thank you!

Manager

I have a very stressful job but also suffered a bereavement in the last year which, added to the stress, anxiety and increased workload caused by the Pandemic, resulted in me becoming unwell with stress and anxiety.

I’ve been in my role for approximately 20 years and it has always been stressful but I always just got on with it and ‘coped’ but as mentioned the strain of the Pandemic, nursing a loved one through a terminal illness and subsequently experiencing a bereavement seemed to ‘knock me over the edge’. I got in touch with Andy and even though I had heard of CBT I had no idea of what was involved, but from the first session Andy put me at ease, listened intently and worked out a treatment plan for me.

He’s very good at challenging, and helping you recognise your bad learned behaviour’s and helps you with techniques to address them, as well as explaining how our brain works with our feelings, reactions and behaviours. However, the technique that has undoubtedly worked, and continues to work for me, was the one I was initially most skeptical about- breathing. I mean we all know how to do that, right? Wrong! I never realised that we are all breathing incorrectly until speaking to Andy and thankfully am now able to enjoy the undoubted benefits of nasal (proper) breathing on a daily basis. Any time I feel my stress and anxiety building I now quickly recognise it and use the techniques Andy has taught me to calm my breathing and reduce my anxiety levels. Just a couple of minutes of a breathing technique helps to calm me and helps me to focus and deal with any situation that is in front of me.

My stress and anxiety had also resulted in me being unable to sleep properly for quite some time but since Andy has introduced me to mouth-taping I’m now able to enjoy better sleeping habits which in turn helps in reducing my stress and anxiety and overall mental health.

I’m still in a stressful job and still working on ways on trying to reduce and cope with my stresses and anxieties but now that Andy has shown me techniques that help me to recognise the physical signs of stress and anxiety and shown me techniques, such as breathing, to help me deal with them, I can honestly say that I’m starting to be and feel more like my old self but with less of the harmful behaviours! I certainly have some invaluable tools at my disposal to help me cope and deal with the stresses and strains of modern life and can’t thank Andy enough for his help in getting me back on an even keel.

NHS Employee #2

I have struggled at various different times throughout my life although I only recognise those times now after seeing and talking to Andy. It was a lunch date with a friend when I realised I needed to seek help and advice. I just broke down sobbing in a busy restaurant and I didn’t care people were looking. I just couldn’t hide my pain and sadness behind the mask anymore. I had been struggling for about 6 months by this point and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I just needed to talk to someone who didn’t know me, my situation, someone who wouldn’t judge me and what I had to say but also wouldn’t appease me. Andy gave me breathing exercise’s which helped me pause and take a minute. Don’t get me wrong my 1st session I didn’t know where to start or what to say. It was daunting, scary and very emotional. I felt drained but felt I should give it another go. 2nd session I felt relief afterwards, 3rd and 4th I thought about giving up but I also knew I never wanted to feel this way again so continued and the following sessions I felt I was beginning to make progress.

Life is life, its always going to throw you a curve ball. Things will happen that are out with your control. Andy has now given me the skills and tools to help cope when these moments arrive. Skills to change my way of thinking to give me power over a situation rather than the situation having power or control over me.There will be bad days but hopefully they will only last a couple of hours, a day or 2, instead of months where it consumes my whole life, my daily thoughts, every single minute of every single day as my previous struggle/trauma did. These traumas will always be there and be a part of me and my story, but now I have the control and it doesn’t control me.

I will always be forever grateful and thankful to Andy for listening to me and for giving me new life long skills to help me cope with this thing called LIFE!