Liz Sharpe

Helping you put your world back together again....

As a BACP counsellor, and hypnotherapist, I am proud to work with people who are suddenly finding things more difficult and who need a helping hand to get back on their feet and enjoy life again.  It was in 2016 that I took the huge leap away from my 20 year career in community mental health towards establishing my busy private therapy practice.    I qualified as a counsellor in 2002 so it took me a while to get to the career I totally love doing!

I choose to specialise in two specific areas of support.  If you want to read about my work helping people change their relationship with alcohol & cocaine or stop smoking, then please check out my other website

My other specialism is how I help people and their families who have had a huge health change.

Perhaps a bit like you….  A heart attack, a sudden cardiac arrest, being diagnosed with heart failure or being told about valve replacements or any of the other myriad of things that can happen with the heart.

I am not a doctor, a nurse, a physio – or any of the other amazing affiliated professionals, who help you towards physical recovery.  I do not see your medical file – and what we talk about, does not go back on your medical file.  I am a counsellor, and a hypnotherapist. Basically I help you get your emotions back on track following whatever reason that made you get involved with a cardiac team.

On a personal side, I understand the impact of heart disease within my family. 

I have worked with many people who describe how their emotions and feelings run amok following their heart attack or similar big health event.  Worrying about an uncertain future, living suddenly with anxiety and stress, feeling angry or frustrated, guilty or embarrassed, and wondering when the old self will return.  Feeling scared that this is how it is now and that those fears are now permanent.   

Some people talk about how it is difficult to return to the place where they took unwell or how hearing an ambulance siren creates lots of anxious tension.  Those fears and triggers are rarely permanent but for some people, it is helpful to learn how to let them fade. That is where I come in.  

I have never had therapy or counselling before… What happens?

It is 75 minutes to focus on you and what is happening in your life that is now causing you some difficulties.  My clients tend to describe a session as a relaxed conversation where we work some stuff out together, try to make sense of what is happening or why you feel how you feel.   I don’t have the magic answers – but I’m pretty good at making suggestions for how to combat stress, anxiety or fear. If you are interested in hypnotherapy or other approaches, then we may be able to incorporate that into sessions.

On the first session, I suggest people mark some areas out of 10 to indicate where the pressure points are feeling heaviest.  Then we work together to help you feel stronger, more positive, more confident and focussed on your future again.  

We meet on Zoom, Whatsapp video (or by phone if tech is a problem).  Many people only need 1 or 2 sessions. An online session costs £75.

I have never had stress, anxiety or felt like this before…

It is normal.  Check out my blogs and videos on the common emotions and feelings, and book in if you would like to talk about it.  

Will we only talk about cardiac issues?

Whilst the cardiac issue might have been the trigger or final straw for how you are feeling today, there may be other things that are adding to your emotions.  Topics such as anxiety, depression, grief and bereavement, old trauma or PTSD, family relationships and lifestyle choices may be affecting you – and affecting you more now than before.  We can use the session(s) for anything that you want to focus on that will help you move forwards in your life. 

I think you work out of my local hospital in Essex?

If you are still with the cardiac rehab team, you may be able to have free sessions with me via the hospital.  Speak to your NHS cardiac rehab nurse.

The man down the road was fine after his heart attack / other cardiac event – why am I feeling bad?

Don’t worry about the man down the road – just focus on your recovery and how you are doing.  There is no right or wrong way – it only matters how YOU are coping.   In a similar way, you should not worry about how someone is coping and dealing with their physical health.  Work with your rehab team on how YOU are doing.  We are all individuals and respond in our own way.  Get the help that YOU need to feel better.   

My heart issue was ages ago – why am I feeling like this now?

People respond in their own way or their own time.  Perhaps your mind and body were focussing on physical recovery and it is only now that you have started to feel a bit stronger, that your emotions are kicking in.  It is normal. But it doesn’t have to feel like that.