What our coachees say

MA - Supportive Services

When I first met Sandie I was very much in survival mode, getting through each day was my sole focus. I was going through the motions of everyday life but felt very removed from reality and those around me. As if I was watching my life from an outsiders perspective. I couldn't talk about what had happened to Chris without getting choked up with emotion. 

This has changed as I've been on a journey. Faced up to a lot of harsh realities and learnt coping mechanisms. I am in a positive place and looking forward to what the future holds. I can talk endlessly about Chris. I feel at peace with his death and the suddenness of it all.

I've learned that a positive outlook is key. That you are the change you want to see. That I am stronger than I ever realised. That the situation, whilst terrible on so many levels, has made me fearless about so many things.

The most useful thing I learned was about the power of the mind (brain forgetting to drink water for example) and putting names/labels to what I was experiencing - e.g. catastrophising, forgetting words mid sentence or using the wrong word etc.

I would describe Sandie's support as warm, encouraging, open minded. There was no topic I felt was off limits or anything that I could say that she would judge me for. A good balance of fact (the science behind it, worksheets to work through) and shared experiences, others anecdotal experiences 

My perception of counselling/therapy (still not quite sure how to describe my sessions with Sandie!)  was totally different to how I thought it would be. It never felt like a "treatment" more talking with a friendly and supportive teacher.  I didn't think I needed help but on reflection we should all have a Sandie to help navigate our lives!

NB - Parental Coaching 

On my first appointment with Sandie I was extremely stressed, anxious and struggling mentally. Sandie instantly recognised these traits and straight away put in a plan of action to help.

All my meetings with Sandie have addressed the various emotions and feelings I had at that time, when she left I always felt so positive and  helped how to address my feelings and concerns. No issue was too small and she was so welcoming and warm, I always looked forward to our meetings and even phoning her in between.

Sandie's advice has been invaluable during and post pregnancy and I know in the future I will refer back to it when these feelings arise. I honestly don't know how I would have coped without her the last 15 months and would always recommend Sandie's service.

JH - Return to Work Support - London

When I was first referred to Sandie I think I was in a state of mild shock as a result of both my husband and my daughter having been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses within a few months. 

I was very frightened for both of them and spent a lot of time awake at night wondering what would happen if they both died. But because of the need to care for both of them, I was ploughing on each day with all the practical aspects of looking after them. I was also feeling very guilty about taking time off work when I wasn't ill myself and was worrying that colleagues would be thinking detrimentally about me because of doing so. 

Working with Sandie has helped me to understand the importance of looking after my own wellbeing so that I'm better able to support those around me. She has persuaded me that my circumstances have been extreme and I have no need to feel guilt about needing time out of work to cope.

The most useful thing I've learnt is that I need to carve out protected time to protect my own state of mind and physical health, whether through mindfulness, breathing exercises or ensuring I get out for regular walks and allotment visits.

Sandie is very sensitive and really adapts her advice and ideas to your own individual situation. She can help you to find reserves of inner strength to get through difficult times. Although I felt confident to liaise with my employer directly about my return to work and future working patterns, I have very much appreciated having Sandie's advice and experience to feed into that process - and it has been greatly reassuring to know that she is acting as my trusted advocate in her communications with HR.

LG - In-House Preventative Coaching

When I first met Sandie, I was at a stage in my life where things needed to change, I wasn’t happy living my life and needed to change how I was living.

This has changed as Sandie has shown me a lot of tools to change my way of thinking. I learnt that I need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about me and try to focus on myself.

The most useful thing I learnt was that we are all a working progress and I need to continue to work on myself.

I would describe Sandie’s support as really good, really informative and tools that I can continue to try.

Sandie is really knowledgeable with a lot of tools to help with individual needs. Really good scientific information too which made you realise you wasn’t going mad and that there were reasons for feeling the way you do. 

Anon - Partner- Parental Coaching

I have come away with a tool kit of tools to help with anxiety/stress/difficult situations including various breathing techniques and I know how not to self-catastrophise. The coaching has helped me in a practical way to try and maintain balance/calm etc. I have become more self-aware and conscious of my wellbeing and open to trying ‘new’ things.

I have learned a lot about myself and opened up about things I didn’t even know were concerns. The positive changes that occurred was that I felt confident to return and that I would manage it all.

Sandie is lovely and so skilled and knowledgeable and always growing and learning and trying new things. She has a wealth of useful knowledge and experience and really cares. Nothing is too much to ask of her. I would recommend her services.

JM - In-House Preventative Coaching - London

'When I met Sandie I was going through the most challenging and traumatic time of my life and this time I knew I was struggling.


I was barely sleeping, not eating and was struggling to breathe. I was just about coping at home to look after my children but unable to function at work and had to take some time off and was nervous about undertaking therapy as traditionally I knew that you needed to revisit traumatic events repeatedly and I was adamant that I did not want to do this.

Well thank goodness for Sandie, as she does not need to revisit an event over and over. She instead works on moving past an event and how and why negative thoughts and recalling these events can make it worse.

She teaches coping strategies when faced with a trigger and how to remain calm and focus your thoughts.I have learnt so much about myself during my sessions and how my own negative thoughts could send me into a spiral of depression. I can now focus my thoughts, calm my breathing when stressed and visualise my future.

Sandie uses so many resources  in her sessions and I have learnt so much so that in situations where I have a trigger I can calm myself down and push the thoughts away.

After completing my sessions with Sandie I have overhauled my life: I am sleeping well each night (and if I struggle I have the tools to help me calm down and relax), I have changed my diet entirely and have cut out alcohol, and am taking vitamins. But I believe the most important changes for me are on the inside, I know my own worth, I am aware how destructive negative thinking is and I am able to work through any stressful periods using the techniques she has taught me.  I understand the slippery slope of negative thoughts and how it can progress. 

Sandie’s support has been truly amazing, I felt an instant connection and knew that she would be available for a call or meeting when I needed. She regularly checked in and would send links that she thought might be relevant or supportive.

I have especially enjoyed learning about the science behind positive thinking and I personally found it easier to embrace it because I understood it.

If I were to recommend Sandie to others (which I wholeheartedly would) I would tell them to really work with her to get the best out of her sessions; use the resources, practice them daily and focus on changing and managing your thought process.'

JM - Legal Secretary - London - Supportive Services

I met Sandie almost six weeks ago at a very difficult time in my life when I didn't think that I would ever get over my grief and sadness.  I was unable to be at work, to be around friends or focus on my family.  My grief was consuming me, I was barely eating or sleeping.  Meeting Sandie has pretty much changed my life!  I instantly clicked with her and felt comfortable, that is key with any coaching of this kind.  I felt extremely comfortable with her and was so willing for this to work because that is how she made me feel, that I could get through this.  That what I have been through does not need to define me.  That is not to say that I don't have difficult days but because of the tools and coping techniques that Sandie has provided me with, I can cope.  I am getting better every day, it is hard going but I feel I have come so far in six weeks and people even tell me that I look different.

I am now back at work (and functioning) and felt confident returning to work.  I am working on being kind to myself and being present and in the moment for my family.  I have goals to work towards now and I have... well I have a purpose now.  I know what I need to do to keep me well and to keep my family together.

I have learnt so much during this process and I use many of the techniques still. I also now recognise a trigger and how it affects my body and how to change the outcome of the triggers.

I am so grateful that I had the chance to have Sandie's coaching. I can see the difference in myself already and I know that others can. I know that I would not have had such constructive and positive coaching anywhere else.

I am taking better care of myself, I am eating regularly now and choosing healthier options as I know this is integral to feel better overall. Personally the coaching has also helped my marriage as we were struggling to communicate and it has been extremely hard for us both.

I would highly recommend Confidence to Return and am just so grateful that I was able to benefit from the coaching.


Anon - Associate, London - Maternity Coaching
The most beneficial thing I learnt was to be kind to myself. The coaching helped me in a practical way to transition from work to maternity leave with minimal stress or disturbance to myself of my colleagues. Personally, it has been beneficial to have a point of contact throughout maternity leave to discuss work related items with and to bridge the gap between work / home. 

During this process, I learnt I was stronger than I had before realised. The main positive change was that I learnt the importance of putting myself and my family first; if I have a strong and happy home life, I will be successful at work. The support gave me more confidence to return to work than I otherwise would have had.  

My coachee, Sandie, was super! She was kind, proffessional and a great sounding board for all things work / baby / life. I would (and have) recommend CTR to my colleagues. Sandie was a great friend and support throughout these past 18 months, who I really value and appreciate.

Anon - Junior IT Infrastructure Engineer - Maternity Coaching

My overall experience has been brilliant. I am now more confident in what I do and appreciate and value myself a lot more. I'm more acceptable to the way others are around me and have learnt to not take everything so personally. I now have a clearer way of thinking about situations and problems and how to deal with them better.

It's made me more confident at work and the support on returning was great as I was more relaxed than I would of been. I would definitely recommend Sandie and this service to friends and colleagues in the future. Thank you for all your help and support throughout my pregnancy and return to work xx

CH - Senior Associate - Maternity Coaching

My time with Sandie equipped me with a new skills-set that will serve me not only professionally but also in terms of my ongoing physical and mental well-being.

Sandie was an excellent listener, helping to guide, encourage and formulate my various thought processes and never belittling my doubts or concerns. I would not hesitate to recommend Sandie to anyone considering their work options after having had a baby.

KS - Senior Associate - Maternity Coaching

Sandie was a huge support both during my maternity leave and upon my return to work.  She guided me through difficult career decisions and helped me look at things from a different angle which made certain decisions easier to make. She gave helpful advice but was always a good listener and was never overbearing – she always ensured that all decisions were ultimately left up to me but after a session with Sandie anything that had been playing on my mind relating to work suddenly seemed much clearer and less worrying.


Sandie’s programme is very well structured and thought out and Sandie herself is such a genuinely lovely coach who really cares about you and your life / career. 

Sandie has made me realise that it is possible to successfully combine being a mother and having happy, thriving children with a rewarding career and has made sure I have lots of tips and techniques for achieving this juggle and even making sure I look after my own wellbeing along the way!

I think it is so important that the firm are investing in Sandie’s programme and recognise that returning to work after having a baby is a real transition period where support is needed and is so appreciated.  It was so nice to know that Sandie was looking out for me during my maternity leave / return to work and was there for any questions / queries that I had at any time.
 

Chris Shaw - National Operations and Training Co-ordinator - In-House Preventative Coaching

When I first saw Sandie I was suffering from quite bad anxiety due to some personal issues which I know were spilling into my work environment.  

From the moment I met Sandie, I felt totally as ease, like I had known her for years.
We talked about lots of things and she has given me many tools and techniques to use, but explained it was about finding the ones that work for me, which I have done.

She helped me understand myself more and the type of person I am, which went a long way to explain why I react to situations in a certain way and the importance of doing things for myself.
I have also learned to let things go more, instead of letting them get to me, sometimes by using strategies she has taught me without others even realising I am doing it.

I found the home work she gave me after each session also helped a lot as we then discussed this at our next session. Whilst i am not saying I am cured completely, I now know what to do to help me cope better if I get an episode of it in the future.

I would recommend Sandie to anyone and I know if I ever need her again she will be there to help and guide me. Thank you Sandie

Jemma Dhillon - Senior Associate Lawyer - Maternity Coaching

I would recommend Confidence to Return to other employees.  The support that Sandie gives is highly valuable.  Sandie is a warm, approachable, friendly, supportive and inspiring person – exactly what you would look for in a coach!  She takes time and effort to go over and beyond what might be expected, to ensure that the support she offers is relevant to the individual.   As a result, this adds value to the service that she offers and makes all the time spent with Sandie enjoyable and positive, with lots of takeaway points at the end of the session.    

Knowing that you have someone, with the time and experience, to discuss issues relating to returning to work gave me confidence in doing so.  Sandie also directed me to a number of useful resources, for whatever needs arose at the relevant time.  I knew in advance of returning that should challenges present themselves I would have a support mechanism if I needed it. 

Sandie has helped me identify factors that motivate me at work and having this in focus upon returning has helped me keep sight of my long term goals, even when the immediate juggling act of work and childcare can be demanding. 

Thank you so much Sandie!

Anon, Senior Associate Lawyer - Supportive Services

During this process I learned to rationalise anxious or unhelpful thoughts; to process
them and work out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling, and whether those thoughts and
feelings serve me or not. The breathing exercises really helped. 

The support was invaluable in helping me to process recent grief, and has helped me to be more philosophical about things in life I cannot control. Sandie has helped me to understand
the grieving process better, and accept my situation for what it is, be grateful for all that
I have and live more in the moment. I learned that I am stronger and more empathetic
as a result of the things I have been through, and that that I am able to see the positives

that have resulted from the difficulties I have faced. The support reinforced the positive
changes I have made to both my personal and working situation in recent months, and
has given me confidence that I can continue to offer a great deal to my employer on a
sustainable basis. 

Sandie was a wonderful coach – she is very warm, knowledgeable,
empathetic and open. I could be totally open with Sandie without any judgment or
impatience; she was a brilliant listener and keen to offer practical support. I wouldn’t
hesitate to recommend Sandie (and Confidence to Return in general) to others needing
support.

Anon, Senior Vice President - London - Maternity coaching

I found the Return to Work coaching sessions with Sandie incredibly helpful and reassuring. While on maternity leave I put off thinking about returning to work as I was anxious about how I would juggle childcare arrangements with my demanding job.

However, the sessions with Sandie gave me a safe and supportive forum to think about my return and an opportunity to discuss how I could continue to progress in my career while still being an active part of my daughter's life.

During the sessions we talked about my fears regarding returning to the workplace and Sandie was helpful in challenging my thinking about certain concerns. An area that was particularly useful for me was our discussion on boundaries - she encouraged me to think about my personal boundaries for when I returned and to put them in place from day one. The one-on-one sessions with Sandie were invaluable for discussing my personal situation and helped focus my thinking on what I wanted to achieve in my career on my return.


LR, Head of Database Marketing - Hidden Hearing Ltd -  In-House Preventative Coaching programme

Sandie was an amazing help to me.  Before meeting Sandie I had begun to lose myself, I couldn't figure out who I was and would replay every uncomfortable conversation in my head, mainly when
I should actually be sleeping.

The answer now seems simple, the most important person is yourself, without that nothing else works.  I learnt very quickly that I shouldn't feel guilty about things that no-one else worries about and that I need to reduce my expectation of people. I can't control every aspect of my life and we are not all alike. Once I had begun to accept that I felt a lot lighter.  She helped me face up to the fact that not everyone deals with losing a loved one in the same way. Opening up to those around me was a big step for me and I wouldn't have been able to do that without Sandie's support and encouragement.

Part of what you get out of this process is a personal connection, Sandie is very compassionate and patient - we are not all the same - so what works for one person may not work for others, so exploring different methods with Sandie's help was a big factor. I would totally recommend her to others in a similar situation.

KS, Senior Associate - WFW LLP - Maternity Coaching

Sandie was a huge support both during my maternity leave and upon my return to work.  She guided me through difficult career decisions and helped me look at things from a different angle which made certain decisions easier to make. She gave helpful advice but was always a good listener and was never overbearing – she always ensured that all decisions were ultimately left up to me but after a session with Sandie anything that had been playing on my mind relating to work suddenly seemed much clearer and less worrying.

Sandie’s programme is very well structured and thought out and Sandie herself is such a genuinely lovely coach who really cares about you and your life / career.

Sandie has made me realise that it is possible to successfully combine being a mother and having happy, thriving children with a rewarding career and has made sure I have lots of tips and
techniques for achieving this juggle and even making sure I look after my own wellbeing along the way!

I think it is so important that the firm are investing in Sandie’s programme and recognise that returning to work after having a baby is a real transition period where support is needed and is so appreciated.  It was so nice to know that Sandie was looking out for me during my maternity leave / return to work and was there for any questions / queries that I had at any time.

Anon - In-Work Preventative Coaching

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Sandie, before having to face a very daunting & stressful situation. She empowered me with many tools to help overcome the many doubts I had in myself. When I faced this challenge, as difficult as it was, I was able to do it with a sense of self assurance and belief way beyond my expectations.  She had instilled a deep faith in me, which carried me through. I felt a deep connection with Sandie, and will be forever grateful to her and will always carry her words with me. Thank you!

Alice Bushell - Associate - Maternity Coaching

I loved working with Sandie and have been singing her praises to everyone. She had many bespoke and practical suggestions for managing what can be a really tricky time and she immediately made me feel at ease. An absolutely wonderful service.'

LP - Senior Associate- Maternity Coaching

The most beneficial thing I learnt during this process was that speaking about your feelings and issues you are facing often helps-it's good to share!! The coaching helped me in a practical way especially when Sandie helped me negotiate the terms under which I would return. The support gave me a chance to review everything. I learnt that even when I had 'a year off' (!) I still learnt new skills. The positive changes was that I became a mother and then a working mother! The external support gave me more confidence to return and Sandie is very approachable and understanding. Thank you for all your support Sandie!

JC - Deputy Manager, Kent  - Supportive Services

I was very fortunate to be offered bereavement/return to work counselling sessions by Sandie, from Confidence to Return, which my employer kindly funded. Sandie visited me at my home which for me was great, as I had been feeling very reluctant to venture away from home.

Having lost 2 very close members of my family 6 months apart, and then my husband suddenly in May this year, I found these sessions to be extremely beneficial to me. The first thing Sandie pointed out was that I had actually had 4 losses. The fourth being my life, future and how I can deal with this.

I learnt to think more about myself, I had not really allowed myself any 'me' time. I have always looked after others before myself, worrying about them, and how to help them.

Shortly after my husband passed away, and with some advice from family/friends I decided that I would go back to work a couple of days a week on reduced hours. 'A focus would do me good' . After the first session with Sandie, during the following week, I spent a lot of time considering my employment and the affect it was having on my well-being and health, and my two daughters.

After session 2, I decided to take some time away from work, and I handed in my notice. My Owner and Manager, were extremely sympathetic and understanding, and I left work at the end of the week (they waived my notice period). I also made a huge decision and bought a PUPPY ! Feeling confident to do this and the fact I have my puppy for company has given me so much pleasure, and I am able to actually think a little about my future. I do not believe I would have been able to do this without the
counselling. 

I would definitely recommend Confidence to Return to any employers and I have already recommended them to a couple of my friends.

Sandie is an amazing, compassionate lady, totally professional and from her own experiences, she is able to give honest, sound advice and help. She has also given me a lot of diagrams and techniques which I refer to often to help me cope when I am feeling really down. Thank you so much.'   

AK - Administrator - Supportive Services 

As soon as I spoke to Sandie on the phone my mind was put as ease. I felt complete relief that finally someone understood. She was calming and I looked forward to meeting her. Understanding my grief, where I was in my journey and that what I was going through was "normal" has made a huge difference to me. The support I received from Sandie has greatly helped me accept my grief and see that my future can be positive and happy again. I regularly use a couple of the coping techniques and I don't feel that I need to hide away. I am able to talk about my situation when I want. I have learnt to recognise an achievement, no matter how small and which would normally have been difficult. I realise that I have other things in my life that I am grateful for, which make me smile. I would recommend "Confidence to Return".


Sandie is welcoming, understanding, knowledgeable and I cannot thank her enough.

Senior Associate Lawyer - Maternity Coaching

The most beneficial thing I learnt during this process was about what was important to me and to manage my expectations of myself. The skills chart was insightful and also helped to boost my confidence. Initially going back was hard but going back to the same job made it easier and I was surprised of how quickly I adjusted. Sandie was very supportive and also good at being probative and helping me to look forward and reflect. I would recommend Confidence to Return to other employers and employees.

Danielle - Associate Solicitor - Maternity Coaching

It was really useful to have someone to speak to who had knowledge of the Firm but who was also independent. I really felt comfortable speaking with Sandie and used her as a sounding board throughout the programme.

I felt that Sandie was very supportive both on a professional level and a personal level. I also felt that Sandie helped to improve my confidence.

There would have been more distance between me and the Firm and I would not have had the reassurances Sandie provided. I now feel much more confident in my abilities and in managing my work life balance.

Sandie was really supportive, empathetic and positive. I would definitely recommend Sandie.' 

Fiona - Legal Secretary - Supportive Services

Sandie has been what I can only describe as incredible, totally amazing.  Sandie has listened, provided tissues, asked the awkward questions, kind and caring, guiding me through what I can
only describe as my darkest days.  She had the patience to help me understand what I was feeling/going through, to understand that there is no time limit, everyone is different.  Sandie gave me encouragement and support, even just for the little things which most people take for granted but to me seem like mountains.  I can honestly say that if I hadn't had the support, I wouldn't be here at work full time today. Talking to someone who isn't family or friend, who isn't there to judge you, just listen and
rationalise things out, who is there for me, to support me and doesn't have an "agenda" at the end of the day has been so amazing.

I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Confidence To Return to anyone. The help, support and understanding has been incredible.' 

KF - Lawyer - Maternity Coaching

Having Sandie was really helpful in helping me transition back to full-time following my maternity leave. It made the process much smoother and I was grateful in having someone who was independent to discuss any matters which I encountered and wanted to discuss.

Emma Castle - Finance Dept, Ferdinand Bilstein - Maternity Coaching                       

Confidence to Return enabled me to visualise what I wanted to achieve on my return and enable me to find the right work/home-life balance.' 

 

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