Hi! My name is Paula.
Previously, I worked as a midwife for many years, supporting parenting families as they welcomed their newborns into the world. Now I work with those families, adults and children, in their world. Having help and support to navigate life’s transitions and difficulties is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. We are not born with an inbuilt know how, coping strategies are taught and resilience to life on life’s terms is developed. Sometimes the strategies that we adopted no longer serve us as adults and we need help and support to establish new ways of coping with life’s ups and downs.
Whilst working as a medical professional I noticed a gap in the mental health support of the families that I served. Provision was not there at the key times of transition when it was needed the most. Seeing this need made me passionate about supporting others to develop new coping strategies. So I retrained in order to provide this support.
As a mother of 3 myself, I have utilised the services of counsellors over the years to support my own recovery from childhood trauma, depression and anxiety and relational difficulties. I found these services to be invaluable.
However, I also recognised that not one service fits all and sometimes we need a different approach for a different issue. This is why I offer counselling and mindfulness so I can adapt my approach to meet the needs of individuals and groups. I choose to deliver mindfulness courses as I believe that the practice not only benefits the individual, but everyone the individual comes into contact with. That maybe our family, friends, colleagues, schools and communities.
I noticed for myself that mindfulness practice not only improved my mental health and emotional well being during a difficult transition, but it also benefited my loved ones, as I was a calmer Mum and a more present friend, colleague and partner. It also helped me to make some difficult choices and let go of people, places and things that were no longer supportive of my wellbeing.
Mindfulness has helped me in many ways to manage the practical day to day difficulties that come along as part of normal life events. I was able to manage symphysis pubis pain in pregnancy and had a shorter postnatal recovery following caesarean section than I had in previous pregnancies. It helped me to have a healthier relationship with food and has supported weight loss efforts. I even took up Kick Boxing, even though I have Fibromyalgia (a condition causing chronic pain and fatigue), and told myself often that I couldn’t possibly do that, I did it. Pacing myself has been very important in helping me to continue achieving my goals in daily life. A regular practice has helped me to achieve this.
As a mental health professional one of the things we remember to do is to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping another with theirs.
Basically you need to take care of you first.
If you are interested in any of the servcies that AndBreathe offers, please visit our range of 8 week mindfulness courses on offer in the local community or send an enquiry via our contact form to discuss counselling services.