Psychology Team

Director of Psychology – Jess Thompson,   BSc(Hons) Psychology, Dip counselling, PGCE, Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach.EFT

Jess fell ill with ME as a teacher and mother of two young boys and the illness had a major effect on all aspects of her life. After getting her life back through coming to OHC as a patient, and through her own journey of healing, Jess made the decision to embark on a counselling career. Having worked as a counsellor in both a hospice setting and as an independent practitioner, working with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, phobias, bereavement and stress, Jess also went on to train on the OHC practitioner training course. In addition to her professional qualifications, Jess brings a wealth of experience from her own healing journey, and immensely enjoys supporting others in finding their own answers and assisting them on their journey to a better life.

Nikkie Foster, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc, Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach.EFT

Nikkie was diagnosed with CFS in 2008 after an operation and a very stressful year in work and at home.  Always busy and looking for the next goal in life, getting ill forced Nikkie to take a break from everything that was her life at the time.  Nikkie’s initial approach to getting well revolved around the physical aspects of the condition largely due to her physiotherapy background.  Quickly realising the immense value of psychology work in her own recovery journey, Nikkie’s enthusiasm for the field blossomed and she hasn’t looked back since.  Having re-oriented her career from physiotherapy and healthcare management, Nikkie retrained as a psychology practitioner with The Optimum Health Clinic.  She is hugely passionate about supporting others along their ME journey having come through the other side herself and loves working for the very clinic who were so integral to her own recovery.

Denise StillieDenise Stillie, Dip Integrated Energy Techniques, TRE provider, NLP , Eriksonian Hypnosis, EFT Advanced Practitioner

Originally from Scotland Denise worked as a music journalist before becoming a web developer for The Guardian newspaper. Denise developed ME/CFS as a teenager and explored many treatments that only marginally helped her. Ultimately she discovered IET a blend of EFT, NLP & Eriksonian Hypnotic Language patterns. It was the combination of these techniques that enabled her to make a full recovery. She went on to train in Integrated Energy Techniques and works with clients issue including trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, mental health issue, fertility & co ran an EFT cancer group at West Middlesex Hospital. Denise is sensitive and sympathetic & offers a realistic approach to what can be a difficult & complex condition. She is Trauma Release Exercises Provider after finding it an invaluable addition to her healing tool kit.

Sam Jones, PhD Development Studies, BSc Environmental Science, Dip Clin. Hyp. NLP. Coach. EFT, HPD

Sam has had an interest in health, healing modalities and therapeutic practices since her 20s, and trained in a number of them (breathwork, shiatsu, chi gung, regression therapy, therapeutic dance) alongside her career as a lecturer in Environment and Development. When she became ill with chronic fatigue in 2016, she intuitively knew that stress played an important role in her condition. Disillusioned with the approach offered by the medical profession, she went in search of answers. Emerging ideas on nervous system dysregulation helped her piece together a picture of why and how she had become ill, and when she came across Alex’s book and the work of the OHC, she found the sense of hope she had been looking for. Sam decided to undertake the OHC’s Therapeutic Coaching professional training. The tools and practices she learned on the course undoubtedly further aided her recovery. Sam returned to her full-time academic career for a while before finally taking the path that she now feels much more aligned with – supporting people in recovering their health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Georgina Sayce, BA (Hons), ITEC, HPD, Dip. Clin. Hyp. NLP. EFT

Georgina has been practising as a Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist for over ten years.  She originally entered into and became qualified in this field as a direct result of suffering from M.E. during her university years in the early 90’s. Her journey back to health turned out to be a fascinating exploration of the mind/body link.  Georgina went on to fully recover from M.E. and qualified as a Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist and Energy Psychology practitioner. Since then she has since been teaching people about the ways we can bring ourselves back to true health, using mind and body therapies.   She also has a huge passion for learning about the pioneering work of others, not only in the field of Psychology but also in Functional Medicine and how nutrition holds so many keys to giving your body the information it needs to heal.

Nikalas Cook, BSc (joint Hons) Psychology/Zoology, Post-Grad Dip Health and Exercise Science, Dip. Clin. Hyp. NLP. Coach

Having studied psychology, Nik always had a feeling that he’d return to it and, having cared for his wife through her recovery from CFS and seeing the profound role the psychology work with the OHC played in this, their psychology practitioner course seemed was a natural and timely step for him.

While studying on the course Nik worked with Alex on the Fatigue Super Conference producing both written and video material detailing his experiences as a partner/carer or someone recovering from CFS. 

Having worked as a coaching consultant with British Cycling, Nik sees many parallels between the mental strengths, weaknesses and needs of elite athletes and of those people recovering from CFS. Both in his experience of performance and recovery, he has seen and explored the link between mind and body and, by blending his coaching skills, his learnings from the psychology practitioner course and his experience of his wife’s recovery, is excited to help guide others on their own recovery journeys.

Naomi Dake, BA (Hons), PG Dip (HRM), Qualified Life Coach

Having spent most of her career to date in the corporate arena in the private, public and charity sectors, where she worked in HR, Change and Organisation Development, later setting up her own Coaching business part-time, Naomi was diagnosed with CFS in 2018. This was when she began looking for her own answers on how to get well and discovered the OHC, where she found a real turning point in her life. Going through the OHC Psychology and Nutrition programmes as a patient really transformed Naomi’s perspective on what it was to live in a sustainably healthy and happy way and also in how she better understood herself too. Naomi had always loved Psychology and developing people and it felt a natural step to go on to undertake the  Therapeutic Coaching Practitioners programme, which has further deepened her own insight and healing. She is delighted to now be part of the OHC team that has been so instrumental in her own recovery and development and to be able to help and support other people in their own journeys. Naomi lives in Cheshire with her husband and many adopted animals.

Lee Harbour, BA (Hons), MA Critical Theory and Culture

Lee became interested in psychology following his own journey in recovering from ME, he crashed in 2016 preceded by years of chronic headaches and a growing frustration about his health. Despite having never meditated he quickly found that a daily meditation practice offered help with his often scary and varied symptoms. Once he realised what was going on for him with a diagnosis of ME it soon emerged that psychology, with a particular focus on emotions was going to play a pivotal role in his recovery.

He has a keen interest in philosophy and reading a wide range of literature, fuelled by a fascination in human expression and people’s inner worlds. Although having read extensively about emotions Lee felt he did not have the right tools to help him improve the relationship he had with his own. Part way through his recovery Lee decided to join the Therapeutic Coaching practitioner training where he was introduced to a range of tools which allowed his two passions of people and philosophy to wed, offering a personal participation whilst having the privilege of helping others. His previous career was in accountancy, which never felt aligned but with no obvious alternative it seemed a sensible path to follow, it was through getting unwell that Lee feels he has now found a career that feels fulfilling and is an expression of everything he is passionate about. Lee is keen to continue his learning and has a strong passion for Neurodiversity and the authentic self.

Emma Johnson,  BSc (Hons), MBPsS HypCert

Emma has an honours degree (BSc) in Psychology and Counselling, and has undertaken further postgraduate training in psychotherapy and counselling. Emma has over 20 years experience in public, private and voluntary sectors working with survivors of abuse, mental health service users, young people and people living with HIV and AIDS. More recently Emma developed a passion for the new cutting edge methods broadly termed Energy Psychology and Brief Solution-Focused Approaches. To further this passion, she has gained qualifications and experience with EFT, NLP and hypnotherapy. Emma is committed to working with everyone as an individual, and supporting them in finding their own path to transformation.

Anna Duschinsky, MA(Hons)

Anna suffered from M.E. for a number of years, and through determination and tenacity was able to make a full recovery, using many of the techniques now offered by the clinic. Anna holds a degree from Cambridge University, numerous qualifications in mind-body approaches, and is known for her caring and compassionate style. In her role at the clinic Anna has been responsible for researching all of the latest approaches out there to treating M.E. from a non-physical view point, and has been responsible for creating the most cutting edge protocol we believe to be available in the world today.