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.
Gemma Wardell, Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach.EFT
Gemma was first introduced to the clinic as a patient having been diagnosed with ME 7 years previously. Having worked in the hospitality industry for several years as a Catering Manager working long and stressful hours, Gemma’s life came to a crashing standstill following the diagnosis. After several years of exploring various therapies and getting back to optimum health with the help of the OHC approach, Gemma completed the practitioner training course, and began working for the OHC in various roles. As she reclaimed her life, she recognised that helping people put their lives back together after a diagnosis of M.E was where her true passion lay. Gemma has subsequently gone on to further her training with OHC and is now a Psychology Practitioner within the close-knit OHC psychology team. Gemma is known for her down-to-earth and empathetic approach, guiding patients with practical and expert support through their own journey back to health.
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.
Samantha was diagnosed with ME in 2007 whilst living in London and working in a very stressful and demanding PR job. After the medical profession offered no way out, and determined to get her life back, Samantha embarked on a mission to cure herself of this seemingly mystifying disease. This led her to try many alternative approaches and while some offered short-term improvements none gave her the release from the illness she was so desperately looking for. It wasn’t until Samantha became a patient at the OHC that the pieces of the puzzle finally became clear. For the first time she was able to understand ME, the complexities that came with it and the ways in which to recover. Samantha credits the clinic for getting her life back and is passionate about supporting others to regain theirs. She joined the clinic’s practitioner course to pursue her desire of becoming a therapist and her empathetic, caring nature makes her ideally suited to working with others on their own healing journey.
Denise 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.
Gemma became ill with ME/CFS in 2014 while planning her wedding, after a number of years of pushing herself. With the traditional medical route offering no help she started researching other avenues and came across the OHC. Gemma was immediately struck by how much sense the clinic’s approach made and could see how it applied to her.
Whilst on her recovery journey she retrained as a psychology practitioner having fallen in love with the clinics approach, with the vision of joining the OHC psychology team from day one. Starting as OHC’s fundraising manager supporting their research, she is now passionate about helping others get their lives back and supporting their journey to recovery.
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.
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.
Linda Hall, Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach.EFT
Linda’s original background was as an artist, before moving into the complementary health-care field in 1993, working in holistic massage. Linda undertook further training in healing and counselling, and went on to become a sought after meditation teacher. Having suffered from M.E. herself for eight and half years, and originally coming to the clinic as a patient, Linda draws on her own experience and immense knowledge in the fields of health and psychology. Linda runs meditation groups by conference call for the clinic (information at www.MeditationForLife.co.uk) and also works with patients one-on-one by telephone.