About Lindy Wheeler

lindy-wheeler-psychopherapist

After a long career in sales, marketing and training within the IT Sector I decided in the late 1990’s to pursue my lifelong interest in people … and in discovering what it is that makes us tick.

In 1999 I embarked on a three year Diploma course and qualified as a Person Centred Psychodynamic Counsellor in 2001. I have since become accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and Registered by the UKCP.

In 2003 I was given the opportunity to set up a Youth Counselling Service for two high schools on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and in the intervening nine years I completed more than 10,000 client hours working with over 600 young people who were struggling to make sense of their lives.

Working with young people is challenging. It’s also infinitely rewarding and wonderfully enlightening.  In the early days my formal training proved inadequate. What works for adults who have a choice and who come to counselling because they want to resolve issues or improve their lives … does not always work for children.  I found that many of the young people who came … or who were sent for counselling … were totally unable to talk about themselves, their lives and their feelings.

Whilst every one of my young clients was unique – they all presented me with similar issues.  They found relationships difficult to form and maintain; they were unable to focus for long periods of time and often felt exhausted; they couldn’t stabilise their moods or calm their anxieties. They couldn’t find words to describe the way they felt and they bottled up their anger, anxiety, fear and sadness, which lead them to behave in ways that prevented them engaging in both school, and in life.

A conventional counselling setting wasn’t going to work with these guys ….. they needed to be drawn into a relationship, which they could trust, and they needed to know WHY they should talk about their painful feelings.

I tried to explain with words but talking about feelings with a teenager who is reluctant to acknowledge he has any, is a pretty thankless task (ask any parent). So instead of explaining with words I started to draw … very badly … ‘What Humans do’.

The effect of seeing the human cycle of emotion and its purpose explained simply and graphically was impressive.  The initial reaction was one of relief quickly followed by curiosity and an eagerness to know more about themselves and about others.

I began to use these simple illustrations with adults in my group work and private practice. It had the same profound effect; relief followed by curiosity and improved self-awareness. This increased awareness was quickly and invariably followed by an improvement in demeanour and in physical appearance and wellbeing.

As my clients engaged they were hungry for more information about their mind/body connection and the questions came thick and fast.  I had to find answers and this lead me on a fascinating journey of discovery into the workings of the human brain and its connections to the body and the spirit.

I never thought I’d be looking at the latest research in neuroscience when I embarked upon a career in psychotherapy a decade ago – but I find the subject fascinating. My skill is in taking the technical information that is so widely available now through so many sources, and explaining it simply, clearly and effectively.

The Human Toolbox is the result of many questions and much research. It is built on a sound understanding of John Bowlby’s theories on early attachment, MacLean’s model of The Triune Brain and Illsely-Clark and Dawson’s work on Developmental Building Blocks. I've also found Antonio Damasio’s work on the relationship between human emotions, human rationality, and the underlying biochemistry, along with the works of Jaak Panksepp on fear and the affect it has on the wellbeing of humans to be hugely helpful and enlightening. There are many other writers who have influenced The Human Toolbox and you'll find more about these in my blog section.

Discovering the powerful Human Tools has been helpful in my own life.  My journey into psychotherapy was sparked when I reached for help in dealing with my own lifelong battle with anxiety and depression and the answers I have found have completely changed my life for the better.

I work from my home in Suffolk where I have a thriving private practice. 

I continue to work with a local mental health agency and I run workshops and seminars on the Human Toolbox for adults and children. I act in a consultancy capacity for schools and organisations that want to develop ways of improving the mental and physical health of staff and students.

On a more personal note …. I have two amazing children of my own who have grown up understanding the power of their own Human Tools.  My son Chris recently completed a BA in English and is currently teaching in Thailand, and my daughter Sophie has just started her A levels. She hopes to pursue a career in theatre costume design eventually – but not before she’s followed her brother's lead and seen a bit of the world and how it works. I’m immensely proud of them both. They are balanced, curious, self aware and full of the joy of living.  Which is exactly as it should be.

I hope you will join me in learning more about your own mind/body connection and in discovering the power of your Human Toolbox.

Lindy Wheeler