My work as coach and my development of H.A.R.T has been born out of a number things: my professional and personal life with dogs, my interest in personal development and my desire to explore the profound connection that forms our relationships with all things.
For a number of years I ran a successful dog walking business Woodland Walkies with my ex-husband. I started this as a casual venture when I began my Tellington TTouch Practitioner training, however, our conscientious approach soon gained a good reputation which very quickly led to it taking on a life of its own.
The experience of working with a wide range of dogs every day and taking them out in groups was an invaluable learning opportunity. Watching ‘my dogs’ experience joining the group, socializing, forming relationships with me and each other has taught me a great deal. In particular the impact of my emotional state on the group, this was essential for ensuring that the group walks were as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for the dogs.
I am a Tellington TTouch Companion Animal practitioner and over the years have attended many seminars and courses. My particular area of interest has always been positive reward based training and I have attended courses and seminars with Ian Dunbar, Grisha Stewart, Brenda Aloff, Suzanne Clothier, Victoria Stillwell and Sarah Fisher.
As a TTouch practitioner I worked with a large number of dogs with behavioural issues and, of course, their owners. Many owner's would share with me bits and pieces of general information about themselves and their lives, over time I began to see a distinct connection between this seemingly unrelated information and the problematic behaviour being manifested by the dog.
A pivotal moment came with my own dog. A beautiful Rottwieller called Barney. I found myself experiencing some issues with him when we were out walking. He was at times a little unpredictable when meeting other dogs. This caused some anxiety for me. Things began to escalalate in my mind which then brought tension into the mix for Barney. Now meeting other dogs was becoming an increasingly challenging issue. I have always been someone who considered that emotional challenges come our way to flag up areas where we need to grow. I was already in the habit of asking myself a particular set of questions to explore emotional issues. It suddenly dawned on me to apply this line of internal questioning to my anxiety around Barney's behaviour. The result was very enlightening and highlighted some clear connections between him and previous emotional experiences in my life. This new level of awareness enabled me to acknowledge areas of myself that needed healing and to take the emotional pressure out of my experiences with Barney by recognising the true roots of my anxiety. This was a turning point on our walks as I no longer was governed by unconscious 'triggers' and no longer negatively fed the situation. This allowed Barney to experience me as a more stable source of emotional support and his insecure reaction to other dogs resolved itself.
NLP Master Practitioner
My increasing desire to work with the human half of the dog/human relationship led to train as an NLP Master Practitioner and Coach. NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a set of strategies and techniques via which we can clarify our goals, recognise our unconscious emotional blocks and enhance our ability to achieve what we want. As part of my CPD I continue to assist on practitioner trainings and regularly attend related workshops and seminars.
Human Animal Relationship Therapy (HART) has been developed by me as a result of my own personal work with my dogs and my work with my dog behaviour clients. It provides an effective framework with which we can explore the emotional dynamic between ourselves and our animals.
Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner
I am a qualified Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner for people and animals. Working to positively influence the emotions these remedies are the ideal companion for the work I do.
Companion Animal Bereavement Counsellor
Over the years as a family we have had the pleasure of living with a number of animals: dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens. Sadly and inevitably we have also experienced their loss. Each loss taught me that not only was my relationship with each of my animals unique in life but it was also unique in the way I experienced their death. Finding ways to work through my own grief led me to want to be of support to others during such a difficult time. I completed my Diploma in Companion Animal Bereavement Counselling with a Distinction. I am an Associate member of the Animal Care College.