CONTRIBUTIONS 15

 

“Yesterday I was clever, and I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, and I am now changing myself.”

Rumi (1207 – 1273)

 


 

I’ve been having therapy sessions with Donella for several years now, and her guidance has been invaluable and irreplaceable. I feel truly lucky to have such an attentive and kind-hearted person by my side. I have never confided in anyone else like I have with Donella, and that alone says a lot about her.

 

Donella and I initially worked together in London in 2015 when I was 23. When I moved to Berlin in 2016, she suggested we continued our sessions via Skype, which I was very touched and thankful for (I tried out other therapists in Germany but none ever compared to Donella). Donella is a highly experienced, patient, caring, and empathetic therapist – and that is to say the least. I’d been struggling with depression for many years before I met her, and Donella provided me with a safe place to talk about my feelings, especially shame and guilt. Most importantly, she is always there for me and makes me feel understood. She listens carefully and without judgement.

 

My personal issues included repetitive self-harm, an ingrained belief that I was “not good enough” and that I was “a horrible person”. Throughout our regular sessions, Donella taught me how to be less harsh on myself and switch the way I perceived myself. Donella made me see that it was not that I was a bad person but that I was making bad choices in life. Donella was curious as to why I tended to make bad choices and why I had such a negative self-image, so we started tracing back the main events of my childhood and undertook what she (and Reach) call shame work.

 

Together, we dived into each painful memory of my past, to get a better grasp of the reasons for my present ill-being. It turns out I was treating myself the way my parents treated me. Donella helped bring to light the fact that although I couldn’t change the past, I could change my thoughts about it. I learnt that life is not immutable, I can change, it is not too late. I am a work in progress. Thanks to Donella, I gradually ceased to have mother-related nightmares and learnt that blaming other people for my unhappiness equalled giving up my power. She taught me self-compassion and forgiveness. She taught me that anger, guilt and worry never makes anyone feel better, nor do they change a situation. She taught me that I am worthy regardless of my achievements. She opened my eyes to the fact that my self-harm was a coping mechanism, and taught me how to replace it with healthy coping mechanisms. She taught me the importance of changing my internal dialogue, and gave me valuable tools to get to know myself better.

 

With a combination of fortnightly sessions, daily affirmations, self-help books, meditative recordings and adequate supplementation, I started to witness positive change within me. Over time, I reduced my self-harm dramatically and was significantly more self-confident. During these past few years of counselling, I learnt more about myself than the previous 22 years. I learnt that life is not immutable or “black or white”, and that different decisions have different consequences. Donella illuminated me on the fact being happy was not about being problem-free, but rather about how I handle myself emotionally during problematic times. She taught me how to plant the seeds of self-love.

 

All in all, she is more than a counsellor, Donella has been my life coach, my best adviser, the single most significant factor in my personal growth. She has helped me to heal my relationship with myself, my partner, my mother, my past. She witnessed my worst moments and never ceased to believe in me and my potential to get better, even when I felt like giving up. Donella has helped me develop into the best possible version of myself and I am eternally grateful to her. Thank you Donella… thank you Reach.

 

M.C. (Berlin)

 


 

“When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself”.

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

 


 

Donella has seen me at my rock bottom, after suicide attempts & after the death of my loved ones. She has brought me back from the brink of no return. She never told me I was ‘silly for doing that’, instead she has given me the courage to face the next day, told me that I am important to others, & is helping me to be comfortable with who I am & to see the positive in myself.

It’s hard to talk to family & friends about my severe depression, but I can talk to Donella about anything & when really low I can call her & leave a message. I don’t easily trust people with my thoughts & feelings, but Donella I trust completely. Without her help, I can honestly say I don’t think I would still be here today.

Wendy Johnson, London

 


 

“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight.  We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment.  Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all”.

Ban Ki-moon (1944 – present)

 


 

Thank you for everything you have done for me on my journey. I understand that I have done exceptionally well and I also understand that this was made possible by those around me. It has been three powerful years working with you and during those three years you have helped shaped the way I now see life dramatically. Thank you for the patience, understanding and all the things you have showed me during this process. You have showed me how to love others around me and how to love myself which I am truly grateful for and will continue to take advantage of. Sincerely God bless and thank you for you.

Amare, UK

 


 

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”.

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

 


 

Dear Narinder

I was someone that you counselled until early last year (2019).

I am sending this card to let you know what has happened to me since I stopped the sessions with you.

Truth be told, last year was the best that I have felt mentally and spiritually for a very long time.  I am still writing and have a publisher interested in the autobiography that I am ghost writing.  I have visited places at home and abroad and generally just feel a lot better about myself.

To be honest, without your honesty, advice and empathy I would not be here at this time.  So, I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for not ridiculing me.  Thank you for your advice.  And thank you for letting me be me.

You saved my life and the gratitude I feel for what you did is immense.

Wishing you & your loved ones all the best.

Anonymous

 


 

“When you are laboring for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself”.

Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)

 


 

Thank you Paul for the help you have given me, the patience, the understanding and tools to help myself in the future.

I know its your job but I can feel the care and compassion that you have, it’s not just words as it is with a lot of counsellors (and I should know).

You are brilliant.

Avril

 


“My life is my message”.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

 


 

Sat is a wonderful and skilled coach who I am glad to have had the pleasure to work with. He has helped me gain confidence and improve my composure in my work life and beyond; from speaking to people over the phone, writing up supporting documents to tackling interviews. Sat uses a holistic approach which sees no stone is left unturned, through this he has provided guidance and expertise every step of the way and has opened my mind, encouraging me to believe that you can make a difference and be the best you can possibly be.

With Sat’s help I was able to professionally express my abilities in my CV, at interviews and throughout daily life. During an application I made for a new job I was required to conceptualise and build a video game. Sat helped me cultivate a game plan which was a significant part in developing a unique game that met the requirements of the brief. I have since been successful at securing a better position in line with my career goals. Without Sat’s help the process would have been that much more difficult, and I wouldn’t have been as self-assured that I would succeed.

I highly recommend Sat as he is someone who has the knowledge, experience and attitude that encourages you to succeed. Fantastic coach, thank you for all your help!

Darrel Leigh

 


 

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

 


 

Firstly, I would like to thank Donella and Reach, because I was so lost before I met her and my life was upside down. I was in a women’s refuge and filled with pain and anger. I hated myself and how my life had turned out; life wasn’t fair, people and the system had let me down and I was so very confused.

With Donella’s help and support I am learning to release my pain, my anger and my deep sadness and to forgive myself. I have experienced other therapists in the past but never stuck with them because I didn’t feel comfortable. It’s different with Donella: she is very kind and she makes me feel heard, valued and understood. I feel very comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts with her and for the first time I have been able to speak about my pain and trauma.

I know I still have some way to go before I am fully healed from my past pain and trauma and Donella is helping me on my way by teaching me how to love myself by taking better care of myself and reflecting on situations so I can make better decisions for my life.

While writing this I’m realising how lucky I am to have found Donella because without her I would have most likely stayed stuck in a self destructive cycle. Now I have a chance of living a better life because I feel hopeful that I can create a life of peace and happiness. A big thank you to Donella for believing in me!

Anonymous, London UK