Jessica Gardner
I moved to London at the age of 19 having grown up in the West Sussex countryside with my parents and my sister. Being a Reiki Master, my Mum always had a keen interest in alternative therapies, as well as Buddhism; taking us on regular trips to the monastery, which is where a lot of my influence has come from …although at this time I was looking to see what the "real" world had to offer and ended up working as a PA in Finance for 15 years.

In 2012, following 3 redundancies, I went looking for a more meaningful way of making a living and accidently stumbled across a free Life Coaching weekend course. With nothing to lose I went along with an open mind and the experience was a revelation to me. The positive energy and encouragement that filled the room left me wanting more, it was a far cry away from the cut throat attitudes I was so used to being around. A few months later, after some up’s and down’s with work, various challenging relationships and a 6-month waiting list to see a counsellor through my GP, a friend suggested I see a Hypnotherapist. I had no idea what to expect and knew nothing about this kind of therapy but again with an open mind and an unshakable feeling of low-self esteem I started having sessions with Jacqueline.

The impact for me was life changing but in the most subtle and natural of ways. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what changed, as I was still “me” but I was a more confident, more content version of myself and this fascinated me a great deal. I found myself making better decisions for myself, not doing what I thought I "should" be doing all the time, I felt happier and more at ease within myself. I was desperate to know the secrets of the mind and how this amazing therapy worked so I could share it with others and assist them in the same way I had been. I told all my friends that they should have some sessions too; I wanted everyone to share this magical experience with me.

Feeling at my absolutely best I went off on a holiday to Thailand and there I met up with an old school friend; who turned out to also be my soul mate. Had it not been for Hypnotherapy I would never have even had the confidence to go off to Thailand let alone have the ability to maintain a positive, strong and healthy relationship with a man who seemed so perfect for me.

With my newfound confidence and a blossoming romance I went home to London, sold my flat, left the "rat race" and returned home to the countryside.

Initially the pull back to the big smoke was too much to ignore and I ended up back in a bank covering for a friend who was on holiday for 7 weeks. I was buying myself time as I had no idea which direction to go in or how to even begin to make a life for myself outside of London; which had been my home for 15 years. Although I was tired of the rat race I didn’t know how to "be" or "do" anything else…

After a 2-month break in Australia I came back refreshed and ready to see what life outside the city had to offer and that was when my real journey began…

I started working with my friend Kate Tyler (the one that suggested I have hypnotherapy in the first instance) who runs Platinum Healing - a Juice Detox & Yoga Retreat in Arundel, West Sussex. As the Retreat Manager and Operations Manager I was exposed daily to individuals who were in desperate need of help. People who on the surface were just your everyday average people but under the surface it was a completely different story.

The vast majority of people who go to the retreat to detox and recharge are burnt out professionals, laden with issues, passed from generation to generation, steaming back from their childhood or adolescence. Many of them suffering with debilitating levels of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and some even with physical symptoms; a clear indicator that the body is overloaded with toxins and stress. Forced to take action against this angst, which inevitably starts overflowing into their personal lives; friendships/relationships and working lives, the retreat is a space to go to respite from life.

It was working here that really highlighted to me how much this type of support and education is so desperately needed yet lacking in our society. People are not as aware as they should be of the alternative forms of support/therapy available outside the NHS. People are sceptical, especially when they are in such a vulnerable place where they feel like they are at rock bottom and become protective, defensive and lash out at the world around them. It was seeing these people suffering so unnecessarily (which seemed so familiar to me personally) that drove me to want to reach out to them and show them there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel.

Getting people to take responsibility for themselves is one of the biggest challenges – we live in such a blame culture, blaming everyone else for what has happened to us - but when we stand up and take responsibility for ourselves and then take the necessary action to get ourselves to wherever it is we want to be, we take back control and can have a much more fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable experience of life.

After 4 nights on a juice only diet with daily yoga, meditation, massage and mind treatments, the majority of the clients would leave feeling like new. A stronger, more centred and much happier version of themselves ready to return to whence they came, hopefully feeling a little more educated, inspired and in control of their lives.

This experience inspired me to become a Hypnotherapist and Life Coach giving me the opportunity to help other people on their journey and support them in being the creators of their own destiny.

I have since gone on to achieve a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy with Jacqueline Panchaud, who introduced this amazing therapy to me and has been my inspiration ever since. Jacqueline runs the College of Inspirational Hypnotherapy here in West Sussex and has been an integral part of my life since I met her back in 2012. I have also gained a Personal Performance Coaching Diploma with The Coaching Academy and additional Deploma's in CBT (Cognative Behavioural Therapy) EFT (Emotional Freedom Techinque) as well as being a Certified Reiki Practitioner. All of these tools enable me to help as many people as possible through whichever modality appeals to them. I am passionate about helping people to have a more positive and enjoyable experience of life and coaching them to embrace their true self without judgment or questioning. I feel there is so much Hypnotherapy and Coaching have to offer and that everyone can benefit from a more positive way of showing up in the world. Hypnotherapy and Coaching were the keys that enabled me to do this and being able to share that with others is the most rewarding job in the world.

Jessica Gardner