The Cheshire life coach helping people find love

PUBLISHED: 13:56 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:15 28 May 2020

Life coach Debra Thorpe works with many women who have lost their sense of identity
Photo: naturalphotography-ds.com.

Life coach Debra Thorpe works with many women who have lost their sense of identity Photo: naturalphotography-ds.com.

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Hale life coach Debra Thorpe helps her clients rediscover love after losing themselves

Finding your place in life again after a change in circumstances can be hard
Photo: Getty images/m-gucciFinding your place in life again after a change in circumstances can be hard Photo: Getty images/m-gucci

If there’s one thing that lockdown and social distancing has done, it’s made us take a long, hard look at ourselves. Many stepped up immediately as volunteers – community angels ensuring the most vulnerable are kept safe, others have learned we can be everything our families need us to be – and fit in a daily hour of exercise too, but some have looked at themselves and simply cannot identify who they are and what their role is in the world.

This is not a new thing, says life coach and hypnotherapist Debra Thorpe. “The majority of my clients are women from their forties to their sixties who have reached a point in their lives where there has been some great change, and they no longer know who they are. For some, this stems from a suddenly empty nest. For others, a later-life divorce has shattered their confidence and left them questioning their purpose.”

Debra knows all about that feeling of not knowing quite who you are and how you are supposed to be. Suddenly widowed at age 37, with daughters aged five and seven, she was faced with some harsh choices.

“It was a long time ago, but it does shape the rest of your life,” she says. “I did a number of jobs and found myself every year reviewing, as the children got older, and wondering if it was all working, asking: ‘What else can I do? What can I work around the children?’ I realise now I was actually coaching myself. In due course an opportunity came up to get back into HR management. During this time, I developed an interest in life coaching, and signed up to do an accredited course with National Council of Psychotherapists. I found that friends would start to tell me their problems and at work I found myself coaching managers. I had never intended to do anything professional, but in 2018 I started doing some part-time life-coaching work and the demand grew for it, so in 2019 I went full time.”

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A life coach, in short, is someone that helps to empower others by supporting them in setting and achieving goals in both their personal and professional lives.

“I found I attracted women in mid-life with the same kind of problems cropping up. One thing I noticed was a lot of these women were single and starting to think about dating again and although completely confident in other aspects of their life were really floundering. Or the opposite – dating easily, but repeatedly attracting men with similar negative characteristics. I work to help them understand what is driving their situation. It’s about a lack of self-confidence, about a fear of repeating past mistakes or bad experiences. I call it ‘an inside job’ – before you can be part of a relationship with somebody else, you need to be happy with yourself. If you believe in your own value, you can then put that out there and others will see it too.

“I have been working with one lady, who after a divorce from a very controlling husband who constantly belittled her, found herself almost unable to make any decisions because her self-confidence was so low. Together we have identified what she wants to achieve, discovered what makes her happy and brought her to a place where she now really likes herself and is confident to show that self to the world. She’s just told me she’s ready to look for a new partner and is excited about a new future.”

During the Covid-19 crisis Debra has continued her work – taking advantage of technology such Zoom – and is being approached by more people who are struggling with feelings of anxiety, enhanced by the situation in which we find ourselves.

“Anxiety is a perfectly natural response to a threat. It’s an ancient fight or flight mechanism that made perfect sense when we were likely to be attacked by a bear, but the surge of adrenaline and cortisol is less useful when we’re sitting in our living rooms watching television. I am working with clients to help them understand how to overcome anxiety, not to give it room in their heads. There is a lot you can do and much of it is quite simple – once you know the triggers and the responses and how to defend against further incidences.

“I love what I do. I love the satisfaction that comes from helping people become their best self, to overcome anxiety, to find love or move on from sad times. It’s more than a job. It’s utterly fulfilling.”

Find out more here about how Debra could help you.

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