Coffee with a Coach





Firstly, can I thank you again for the help you gave me in 2007. The session I had with you was so beneficial and it really did help boost my self-confidence levels. So I’m very grateful to you for ‘breaking the shackles’ that were having such a negative effect on me.  As for my life, it’s going OK. Janice and I have been together 11 years in August. In a light-hearted way, she sometimes rues the fact that I am no longer as quiet as I used to be, particularly as she’s no longer guaranteed to win an argument!

It would be wrong to claim that everyday is wonderful. I have good days and not so good days. I’m now able to tell myself that the not so good days won’t last forever and there’s a better one to follow. I’m much more confident dealing with people and dealing with life than I used to be. I think the biggest change has been the abandonment of what others might be thinking about me.

Ben. 25.06.14


Before I went to Barbara I was at a point in my life when I just didn’t know what to do to change the situation I had found myself in. I felt trapped and even though I was a resourceful person I just couldn’t see a way out.

After working with Barbara I was able to find inner resources to behave differently in situations which previously had found stressful. Even though I couldn’t change the people around me, I was able to react in a different way to them. Barbara helped me work out the steps I needed to take to change my life into a more positive one. I now have a plan for the future and am happily working towards it.

As well as getting the results I wanted, it was really enjoyable working with Barbara. I really loved her fun and creative approach.  I can’t thank Barbara enough for the way she has helped me and would thoroughly recommend her.

Esther Mallows


Before seeing Barbara my life was going no-where.  I was scared to be left on my own and although I held down a part time job as a waitress, I was only able to drive there if my dad followed in his car.  I could not go out for family meals and my remaining friends would have to come to me as I was too afraid to go out.  I felt tired all the time and was unable to help my mother around the house as my body constantly ached.

Now I am doing really well, feeling much more normal, going out doing much more and just generally feeling happier and more confident.  I’ve just started a new job, full time for a charity which is great too! …………

I just had to write and tell you that not only am I busy with my full time job but I am also being kept busy in the garden for the rest of the time!  I’m growing lots of fruit and vegetables as well as a nectar bar with lots of wild-flowers for the bees and butterflies.  Yesterday I had to make 25 trips with the watering can to do everything as we have a hosepipe ban!

Thank you so much Barbara.

All the best

Katy Pickering


Testimonial for Barbara Harvey 6th March 2008:

I visited Barbara for 4 sessions over a period of 3 months

I wanted deal with several issues that were causing me to feel unhappy. I was a worrier and I have dealt with issues from anxiety and anger to not feeling good enough and sadness experienced after the birth of my son,

I am really pleased to say that over the 4 sessions I have been able to change all these feelings.  Barbara used a variety of techniques with me.  I always felt completely calm and relaxed after each session.  I noticed the changes in me take place subtly over a few weeks.

My last session was 6 weeks ago and I must say that I feel wonderful.  I have never felt this happy and I can only describe it as feeling lighter, I feel that a weight has been lifted off me.  My family have also noticed a huge difference in me.

Barbara always made me feel at ease and relaxed and she has a lot of skills in many different techniques, she was able to tailor each session to my needs and what would work best for me.  I would recommend anyone to book a session with Barbara if they have something they would like to change about themselves.

Deborah P.


Valerie is a lady in her 60’s who has always had WEIGHT ISSUES.


Hi Barbara,

I still don’t quite understand exactly what you did to me, or is that for me? However, it’s working.

I am 5 kilos lighter, feeling much better and do not feel any of the strain associated with diets. It is great not to ‘be on diet’. I am simply changing my eating habits but the strange thing is that it is being done completely without conscious thought. (Yep! There’s that 98% x 2% thing again).

I remember telling you that my biggest problem is (was) butter and cream. Since my last visit to you, the very thought of either of these things makes me feel queasy. However, I don’t recall your doing anything about this but I am no doubt mistaken.

My other disaster area has always been cheese. I could have lived on cheese of every description. However, So far, the only cheese I fancy is low fat Philadelphia, which in the past didn’t even consider worthy of the name cheese. I now look at Brie, Camembert, blue, Cheddar, etc., dispassionately. I know I can have them if I want to but simply don’t care enough. Anyway, I also keep forgetting about them, even when they are on the table.

I do remember you telling me, while under the hypnotic state, that, in future, I will only eat enough. I know that I don’t consciously say this to myself at all but the meals are getting smaller. I now take about half the amount of what I was having and even then, sometimes, leave some on the plate. This is a completely new experience. My frugal side says ‘naughty’ but it is overridden by logic.

I am extremely happy with the way things are going and really don’t care how long it takes for the required weight to come off. What happens, happens.

So, Barbara, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help. You really have done what you promised.

So far I don’t feel the need for a further session but, who knows, I may need a booster/top-up, in which case, you will be the first to know.

My very best wishes,



Hi Barbara,

Hope you are well and feeling good and that your supply of clients is huge.

I thought I’d update you on the weight situation. So far I have lost 9 kgs, that’s lbs 19.8, in old money. This is in 9 weeks so it’s rather quick. However, I’m not complaining about that.

I feel very good and far more active and find everything easier than before.

I still find it quite amazing that the word ‘butter’ makes me feel sick. Having also been a cream addict, especially cream cakes, I had a strange event last week. Little éclairs (those tiddly things that take one mouthful to disappear), were being handed out at a social gathering. In the past I could have demolished the entire plateful without a turning a hair. This time I ate one and spent the rest of the evening feeling queasy and regretting it. What a novel experience.

I still don’t deny myself anything at all but just don’t fancy the things I used to eat.

A day without a good salad at lunchtime is a day wasted for me. If I have to eat something else, because I am out, or whatever, I feel deprived.

Keep up the good work. Thank you again and again.

Best wishes,



Coaching Coaches

I am a hypnotherapist/life coach who has just graduated from my training and even though I know my theory really well and have seen many clients, there were a few clients which I found really challenging. Anyone who is starting out in business knows that it is important to make a really good impression and to get glowing referrals. Therefore it was important to me to make sure I was getting the best result for these clients.

I had heard of Barbara Harvey’s excellent reputation from other students when I was on my course and wanted a coach who had the experience and creativity to be able to advise me. She certainly met my expectations! I was so impressed. Over a few sessions she had helped me with strategies for working flexibly with my more difficult clients and has coached me in improving my business. She is a pleasure to work with and you always leave her sessions upbeat and positive about the future.

Nellie Reid


‘Flip the Switch’

Margaret withME

‘My name is Margaret.  I am 35.  I did ME for 6 years.  That makes it sounds like a prison sentence and that is exactly right.  Initially I was bedridden for about 9 months.  After that I made slow progress to the point where I could venture outside.  Gradually I returned to being able to keep the house, my husband and my daughter going.  However, for the last four years I was stuck indoors unless I took a taxi to the local shops and then I could only spend fifteen minutes there before returning frazzled to nap.  I could only do that once a week.  The rest of the time I kept the house and looked after my daughter and husband, but mostly I slept.  I napped for 2-3 hours every afternoon and was in bed at 10 at night.  I was constantly drained.  I put a brave face on it, soldiering on and maintaining that this was my lot in life and I had better get on with it.  I bought a mobility vehicle and got a disability badge so we could go out at weekends.  There was a surreal moment when we had done our first IKEA visit with the aid of a wheelchair.  After we’d bought what we needed we went to return the wheelchair and I felt I could manage the walk so

I got up outside the front of the shop.  At which point several people looked surprised that I could get up.  So my husband threw out his arms and shouted, ‘Hallelujah it’s a miracle!’ for reasons best known to himself.  I was mortified.  Now I can see it was his method of coping.  The adjustment to disabled status took us a while because I looked fine and so I could pretend to be fine.  I had to choose between being mobile and looking ill or staying still and looking normal – for my mental health’s sake I am glad I chose practicality over appearances. I was convinced there was no way out and everything and everyone intensified that feeling.  Conventional medicine told me I had various conditions: my thyroid was not working, so I took thyroxin which helped stop the puffiness and lethargy but I still needed to nap.  I had severe menstrual problems, but those were down to polycystic ovaries;  I had digestive difficulties, but I was luckier than a lot of people because my diarrhoea could be managed with a stringent exclusion diet so at least it stopped sometimes; I had hypoglycaemia so I had to cut out all sugar from my diet and eat a low GI snack every couple of hours (quite a challenge when I didn’t have the energy to get up and prepare the food).  And I needed a lot of help from family members so I had to convince them of the severity of the condition, thereby reinforcing my ME status.   Then there were the doubters who told me it was all in my head.  It was clearly all in every part of my body, but saying it was all in my head suggested I did not deserve help or sympathy so I fought to convince them that it was unchangeable.  I had got a viable routine.  I had organised suitable backup and required huge amounts of help with childcare during holidays.  I dreaded my daughter being off sick from school because I’d have to ask my benighted parents for yet more help at the drop of a hat.  They were worried too and protected me as best they could because I clearly needed my routine and any changes to it led directly to a crisis and more bed-rest so they also maintained the routine.  ME had become a tyrant ruling our lives and it was sometimes very difficult for my loved ones to see the ME as a tyrant.  They just saw me as a tyrant.

Then I was told about the Barbara by a well-meaning friend who is also a martyr to ME.  However, she was less afflicted than I am her symptoms less severe and her outlook more optimistic.  So I did what any self-respecting sufferer of a chronic illness does when the twentieth expensive quack theory comes their way and they’ve done all the other therapies to no effect- I bit her head off!  I found it profoundly difficult to believe that sitting in a room and talking could help me fight a condition I had had for so long.  If it was that easy, then why hadn’t I been able to think myself out of it before now?  So I put it on a back burner.  Which I regret because I could have had six fewer months of ME if I’d acted sooner.

Finally I had a storming row with my husband, my daughter was in tears and I decided I had nothing to lose by seeing Barbara.

I am so glad I did.

I’m not saying it wasn’t tough.  I had to challenge the way I had got used to seeing things.  I had to decide I really wanted to get better.  I had to trust Barbara completely despite the fact I’d only spoken over the phone with her until going for the therapy.  I had to organise myself and my family to deal with the crash I thought would be inevitable after not having my nap for a couple of days.  I had to decide to take it seriously.

I can’t really explain what happened with Barbara.  It had a lot to do with thinking more positively, ignoring the tiredness messages my body was giving me and breaking all the patterns I had established with which I had been maintaining my status quo and therefore maintaining the ME.

On Tuesday morning I entered Barbara’s house apprehensive and resistant to change.  I did not nap (despite feeling wobbly when it was due, I was helped through it).  I did something out of the ordinary in the evening and walked the half mile to the supermarket despite not having napped.  On Wednesday evening we went shopping, then out for dinner and then had an impromptu disco in our living room (which saw my husband looking over to me in disbelief that I was still standing and me looking over at him in disbelief at the moves he was making to Kate Bush…).  I still felt waves of tiredness and headaches, but I felt glad I had made it through.  The real change came on Thursday morning. I woke up at 7am and wondered whether getting up would ruin the day then I just got up anyway.  I felt the life return.  I felt bubbly and enthusiastic and couldn’t keep the grin off my face.  I’d not felt like that in a decade.

It took two weeks for me to stop looking at the clock as nap time approached.  We went on holiday to Suffolk the first week and I really needed the radio on in the car not to give in to the tiredness feelings that felt so cosily familiar to my brain.  My poor family were subjected to Seal and Tom Jones – which radio stations seem to love on the way to Suffolk for hours.  I knew how to defeat the tiredness though so I knew I was fine.

It is now nearly three months later.  Last week I did Pilates every day, I walked at least a mile a day occasionally two.  I went to two painting classes.  I made signs for our school fete stalls and I managed to put them on 35 tables.  Then I watched my daughter’s dance display for the first time ever because it’s always been on during naptime.  I started to make a dress.  I played with my daughter without getting agitated at her enthusiasm.  I pottered in the garden, did the laundry, hoovered, cooked and all on only 8 hours of sleep a night.

There are a few words of advice if you do undertake the Process:  commit to it fully in spite of your reservations; be aware that breaking down all the barriers you’ve constructed to protect yourself will leave you feeling both emotionally empowered and also rather vulnerable (because you won’t be so careful around the difficult characters you’ve worked round in recent years); understand that the people who care for you most will be those who are most likely to try to maintain your victim status because they will try to make sure you are careful not to over-extend yourself when what you desperately need to do is to break all your self-imposed boundaries; be as patient as you can manage with your family and friends, it’s a big adjustment for them and they didn’t sit there for the duration of the Process so they have less of a chance of understanding it than you do;  if you’ve not moved for years do not over-exercise (you won’t want to take it slowly, but you don’t want to strain your heart; grab the life you love with both hands but do make sure you take some time to work out what that life should involve because other people’s needs can come crashing back very quickly once they believe you are better.

Above all, understand that you got this way for a reason, your body experienced some trauma which set it on this course and you are not to blame for that.  Taking responsibility for maintaining ME is fine, but don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for the suffering you’ve done.’