Gill Fennings on gold standard self care being especially essential when working as a therapist, coach and supervisor etc

Gill Fennings MBE is a BACP (Accredited) psychotherapist, coach and supervisor. She has spent the last 24 years of her life developing, evolving and researching the fine line between therapy and coaching.

Through this unfolding evolution and reflective practice, she has developed an integrative blend of coaching, psychotherapy and consultancy, designed always to fit the needs of her clients.

In her private practice in St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, Gill offers 3 main specialisms:

· EMDR intensive coach-therapy for couples and individuals

· supervision for therapists and coaches and

· executive and couple coaching

Available face-to-face or online.

Gill especially enjoys working for equality for women and other minorities in the workplace, as well as working with CEOs and senior teams to review direction, values and business efficiency.

She is passionate advocate and lobbyist for the safe and effective integration of therapy and coaching, following extensive research resulting in an MA (Distinction), in 2009 at the University of East London. Gill has lectured on both Coaching and Psychotherapy courses, at both Further and Higher Educational levels in London.

From 2000 to 2011, she was the creator and director of an award winning coaching service for women in East London with a team of 21 coaches. She received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen for this work in 2010.

She served on the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Coaching Executive from the creation of ‘BACP Coaching’ in 2010.

For 11 years she worked within BACP towards creating a professional pathway that could support the work of therapeutic coaches. During her year tenure as Chair, she lobbied for coaching to be included in the Ethical Framework (2016) and affirmed the vital development of coaching competencies to enable safe delivery of the integration of these two powerful modalities.

Gill is delighted that the BACP Coaching Competency Framework has come to fruition and uses it as a benchmark for all areas of her practice.

In 2020, she was invited by ICF to attend an extensive global consultation and working group responsible for the creation of their current revised core coaching competencies. It was a privilege to partner with representatives from all over the world in this process and an honour as a therapeutic coach to bring that perspective to a mainstream coaching organisation.

Tel: 07974734328

gill@counsellingforachange.com

Find her in the BACP Directory

Do you make sure you eat at least SOME nutritious foods? How does it feel to focus on choosing foods that nourish you?

Let me know in the comments!

WHO AM I?

I’m your host, Eve Menezes Cunningham, author of 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing and Editor-in-Chief of the Irish Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

I’m a trauma therapist (with lived experience), supervisor and Self care coach (integrating yoga therapy, NLP, EFT and crystals as appropriate) helping people connect with and take better care of their Self. Past Chair of BACP Coaching (after Gill Fennings – Episode 15) I run Feel Better Every Day with Eve Menezes Cunningham (aka selfcarecoaching.net).

I started The Feel Better Every Day Podcast because I realised that even with the focus of my work being self and Self care, I often struggle. And so do so many of my colleagues! We’re all human! So I interviewed several of them including neuroscientists, authors writing about health and wellbeing, fitness professionals, therapists, coaches, energy workers and medical professionals.

We ALL have gaps and even gulfs between what we would LOVE to be doing for ourselves each day and what we actually do. My hope with each episode is that you’ll go easier on yourself and do something rather than nothing from your own ideal self or Self care repertoire. Create a life you don’t need to retreat from! Let me know how you get on! I really love hearing from y’all.

WANT TO WORK WITH ME?

If you’d like to join the Love your WHOLE self 2024 chakra journey to befriend and heal your mind, body, heart and soul, you can sign up as a free or Extra Embodied member at evemc.substack.com ~ if you’re listening later, you can still access these posts and more and you can join in at any time.

Thanks again for watching, listening, reading, sharing, commenting, reviewing, SUBSCRIBING and joining us.

@thefeelbettereverydaypodcast

@evemenezescunningham

Transcript

Hi, I'm Eve Menezes Cunningham and welcome to the Feel Better Every Day Podcast, helping you connect with and take better care of yourself and create a life you don't need to retreat from.

0:15

Welcome to episode 15 of the Feel Better Every Day Podcast.

0:19

Today's episode has my friend as the guest, Gill Fennings, and she is a wonderful psychotherapist, counsellor, coach, EMDR practitioner, supervisor.

0:32

She coined the term multi-skilled therapist that I have adopted because it was so freeing for me when we first met when I started working alongside her with BACP coaching.

0:45

and she's talking about nutrition as well as many many other ideas that I'm looking forward to you hearing about but in terms of as you listen you might want to think about your own nutrition and the foods that are easy for you to integrate into your everyday that help you take better care of yourself and

1:09

For me it's chia pudding and oat milkshakes.

1:11

If I've got those they help me keep my blood sugar steady enough to cook a proper meal.

1:16

If I don't then I'm more likely to snack on other things but think about what good balanced nutrition means for you in terms of daily ideal and actual self-care and prepare to hear about a whole host of additional wonderful ideas.

1:33

Enjoy!

1:40

So welcome Gill Fennings, thank you so much for joining me on the Feel Better Every Day Podcast.

0:04

It's an absolute pleasure Eve, it's great to be here, thank you for inviting me.

1:52

and we've become friends but I met you through BACP coaching years and years and years ago and I had been a coach before becoming a counsellor before becoming a psychosynthesis counsellor and I remember your talk about your research around the multi-skilled therapists and coaches

2:14

It's language I adopted and it's language and also your presence and your experience and your taking me under your wing and bringing me on to the coaching executive and I knew when I became Chair there was no way I could fill your shoes it was just like kind of

2:31

but you changed my professional life you helped me really own all the therapies and all the different practices and to be proud of them and I can't thank you enough for that so it's a pleasure and what I remember about you when we first met was just a shining light really you were just really shining and positive and really engaging you know that first meeting I can still see you

Somewhere in London in a venue at a venue where we were doing a networking meeting so yeah we've always connected haven't we and I've always admired your work and particularly on the self-care front so speaking of yes would you like to say a little bit about how long you've been doing this and what you're working on at the moment yeah I'd love to so um

3:25

I've been doing this now for 23 years in private practice full time and my favourite thing at the moment is couple coaching especially using EMDR and being in the room.

3:43

Being in the room again with Eve so I'm particularly loving the dynamic of working with people in the room either with intensive EMDR and coaching or the couples because I find that with couples doing EMDR is very powerful because it kind of reaches the parts that other therapies don't reach and changes really bad memories into just memories so that they can

4:13

Love Yourself by Eve Menezes Cunningham

4:43

that room is in St Albans okay yeah I remember it used to be in London as well so yes I do still sometimes take rooms in London but I really love working locally it's so much easier yeah environment yeah okay

SPEAKER 1

5:00

So tell me about your ideal self-care morning routine for basic self-care and also anything you might do to connect with that highest, wisest, truest, most joyful, miraculous and brilliant part of yourself.

SPEAKER 2

5:14

Yeah.

5:16

Well, I think, let me think, one of the key things that I really love if I've got time, because there were so many days in my life in the past where I had to get up and rush and there is no time.

0:04

Yeah.

5:30

the best start and then um

6:00

Then just sort of opening the blinds, letting the light in and sitting there, just being really, trying to just be for a minute.

6:08

Maybe doing a meditation if there's time.

6:12

and following on from a meditation if there's time the luxury would be another cup of tea with my journal just writing just writing whatever's there for me and making sense of what's going on for me at the moment so doing that kind of inner self and then the very best days and I have at least three of these a week I mentioned one or two

6:40

is to then get up do some yoga maybe for half an hour and then go for a walk with the dog and that is for me only for me I'm sure the the best way of being in the best place to have the best day yeah and that's the point of this podcast because everyone is different and it's important for everyone to recognize they know themselves best and um

SPEAKER 1

7:08

that sounds really lovely can I ask you about your essential self-care like on the days where things might go out the window maybe you're not feeling 100% maybe you're traveling what is your essential actual self-care well I would say that my essential is probably a very very very large cup of tea in the morning whether I'm in a rush or not huge yeah as much greedy as possible

SPEAKER 2

7:36

and then I think nutrition I think making sure there's good nutrition always wherever whatever and the other thing I would say is headphones if I'm traveling headphones um the car mat yeah that goes with me everywhere with my phone and just wherever I can grabbing those few minutes yeah

7:59

As well, if it's working, making sure that I'm there on time enough to be in a nice, calm state and ready, grounded, even doing a few movements, moving the body to get any stress out of the body.

5:17

8:15

Absolutely.

8:16

You know, just working with that really as a matter of essential.

8:20

Yeah.

And what about later in the day and before bed?

8:26

What would be your ideal and what is the essential self-care?

SPEAKER 2

8:32

The essential would be good nutrition.

8:37

I find that I'm one of those people that if I don't have enough food in the evening, I don't sleep well.

8:46

So I know that I need a good

8:48

nutritious meal in the evening.

8:51

So that's primary.

SPEAKER 1

8:53

And would you be happy to share what you would ideally and actually eat in the day?

SPEAKER 2

8:59

Yeah, because I've done a lot of work with eating disorders, I think, and worked with nutritional interventions for mental wellbeing.

9:09

Protein.

9:10

Protein, protein, protein.

9:12

It can be vegetable protein.

9:15

Just as good, but a good mix of vegetables and a good amount of carbohydrates.

9:22

So a very mixed nutritious meal, but fats as well.

8:24

So there's enough calories to get me through the night.

9:30

I don't count calories, don't believe in that.

9:33

I believe in listening to the body and eating what the body wants and needs and trying to mindfully intuit that.

9:40

So making sure I've had good nutrition, sometimes it's not always good.

9:45

Yeah, we're human.

9:47

We're human but I'll always go to bed with my banana wherever I go to bed with a banana simply because if I do wake up in the night and I'm awake hungry I will not go back to sleep so I eat a banana whatever time it is in the night and since the menopause I've found that a great therapy

10:10

a great comfort and a nutritional top-up to just keep my blood sugar level in the right place to get me back to sleep or at least resting and to wake up refreshed.

10:26

So that's the essentials.

10:28

I would say that the absolute kind of gold standard self-care would be when I'm alone probably, when I'm alone, have an evening to myself.

10:40

would be to do some yoga perhaps another half an hour having walked the dog again for an evening little stroll seeing the light see I love twilight I love sitting looking at the light change and it's getting earlier now but that moment where there's a transition there's a completion of the day and noticing that and then I guess one of the things that I've really

11:09

Enjoyed that has really kind of nourished me in a different way and since Covid actually it's to sit and play my ukulele of course and you've been performing with your ukulele as well haven't you yes now and then it does it does happen and get asked to go and and perform in a massive group thank goodness but it's the joy of the community and it's the joy of

11:39

The joy of singing and it's the joy of playing and I find it very kind of grounding because and it's very human because I make mistakes all the time and I have to correct that or accept that and so I think it's a great lesson in humanity but there's a pleasure in it.

I often giggle at myself.

12:07

I really enjoy that and again it would be perhaps a meditation to go to sleep to.

SPEAKER 1

12:13

And I think Miles Davis said, there's no such thing as a wrong note, it's what happens after it.

Well, that's if you call it jazz.

12:23

When I'm attempting the piano, I just, when I was younger, I'd be so self-conscious and even on my own, whereas now there's such freedom in allowing the mistakes and embracing the mistakes and just having fun.

SPEAKER 2

12:35

Exactly, exactly.

12:37

And so that's a really,

12:40

A Cherished Practice.

12:41

Those things I think I'll have for the rest of my life.

12:44

Playing the ukulele, meditation, yoga.

12:48

They're very important.

12:50

Nutrition.

12:50

Very important kind of cornerstones for me.

12:54

And they seem to work.

SPEAKER 1

12:57

Brilliant.

12:58

Well, I'd love to also know if you could give some advice to younger you before you figured out these cornerstones.

13:05

What love and advice would you send to younger you?

SPEAKER 2

13:09

hmm well having been someone that had to learn and work through things and get to a place of self-acceptance I would and who has worked probably a little bit too hard at times bordering on work addiction I would say that it is that you don't have to

13:37

really push yourself to get to to be you and you don't really you know to be more self-accepting to accept um your body as it is to accept yourself as you are with all the ups and downs and the foibles and the upsets and the you know the trials and tribulations of what is a normal life yeah and to know that you you're going to get through

11:14

Whatever comes.

14:08

So I think that's probably what I would say, you know, to kind of have perhaps a daily dose of loving kindness to self.

14:19

Which, believe me, I did not have for the first 30, 40 years of my life.

14:27

So this side of 40, it's a hell of a lot better.

14:32

And that intention to just, you know,

14:34

Be happy as much as we can and joyful and contented even when we're not as much as possible.

SPEAKER 1

14:45

I remember I'd really hoped that I was going to wake up as a sorted 30 year old and from my teens I was wishing my life away almost and I woke up at 30 and of course I was exactly the same but at 40 it was like and of course I'd done a lot of work by then on myself and it was like ah this is what I had hoped as a miracle at 30 but now like nearly 48 it's kind of like I think it gets better and better because we get better at understanding what we

15:13

What we need and what those cornerstones are and how maybe they change but it is that more accepting isn't it?

SPEAKER 2

15:21

Yeah I think it's the only way to roll as one but I mean I envy you a little Eve because I didn't start my therapy journey really or training to be a therapist until I was about your age 38

SPEAKER 1

15:39

I'm nearly 48.

SPEAKER 2

15:41

I know, you're 48.

11:14

I was 38, so I was paid earlier.

15:45

But it sounds like by 40 for you, you were already on that journey.

15:51

So I'm a little bit later to the party, but I feel like, yeah, I feel like as we, but I'm older than you, but as we continue, yeah, I think maybe it's about learning what we need more.

16:05

We're working to help other people

16:09

you know grow themselves grow their lives create lives that they want you know that's our work and it's kind of I remember when I became started doing this work I thought oh my goodness it overwhelmed me one day that I was going to have to be my best self forever now ah yikes

SPEAKER 1

16:33

How long did that last, that pressure?

SPEAKER 2

16:36

Five minutes but I think the thing is that it's true is that if you're going to do this work you have to do self-care because you want to be in the best place you can be there for you but to be there and solid for other people too so I think it is kind of imperative.

17:00

And giving me an excuse anyway to have more tea in bed.

SPEAKER 1

17:03

Brilliant.

11:14

Thank you.

SPEAKER 1

Well, thank you so much.

17:09

Where can people find you?

17:10

I'm going to have information and links in the show notes, but would you like to say where people can find you?

SPEAKER 2

17:16

Yeah, I'm very happy for people to email me at gill@counsellingforachange.com.

17:23

and no spaces or anything, counselling for a change or to contact me on my mobile which is 079 747 34328 and I'm also on the BACP directory as a coach, a psychotherapist and supervisor.

SPEAKER 1

17:43

Okay, well thanks a million and it's been a joy as always talking to you.

17:51

Yeah and me too, Eve.

17:52

Thank you very much.

SPEAKER 2

17:53

Thank you.

SPEAKER 1

18:05

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Feel Better Every Day Podcast.

18:10

As I suggested before the actual interview, I'm wondering if you gave your own nutrition any thought and the foods and drinks that really help support you in ideal self-care and actual self-care.

18:23

I'd also love to hear which of the many, many, many other ideas resonated for you as either things you already do or things you'd like to do more of.

17:12

18:33

If you haven't already please rate, review, subscribe, share, comment, all the things.

18:40

I'd love to hear from you and I'd love for this podcast to be heard by as many people as might benefit from it.

18:47

and next week I'm really looking forward to sharing my interview with the gorgeous Dr Dina Glouberman, author of The Joy of Burnout and so many more wonderful books and the founder of the Skyros Writers Retreat.

19:05

Looking forward to sharing more then.

19:07

Have a great week.

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