Mental Health Expert Ash Turner joins the hero team


Ash Turner is an experienced Wellbeing and Integrative Therapist who recently joined the hero team to continue in her passion to help to support healthier and happier people.  Over the years Ash has worked with a huge variety of people and here Ash shares some of her own experiences, hints and tips in light of supporting wellbeing during National Stress Awareness Week. 

Qualifications

Psychology and management degree at Leeds Trinity University. 

Counselling diploma

I had to fight hard for a place on this diploma as I was the youngest person on the course at the age of 24. As a result I feel very lucky to have been able to complete this course and to engage in therapy, realise the true potential and participate and understand myself deeper through self awareness and personal development.  It was very challenging, yet very rewarding at the same time. After succeeding on the course it led me to go on to be part of the team at Bradford Bereavement Services and the Leeds Jewish Welfare board as a counsellor before setting up my private practice.

Post-graduate Certificate in clinical hypnotherapy

Initially interested in this as another ‘tool’ to add to my therapy ‘tool box’ I had been working with clients on a long-term basis and wanted to be able to offer an alternative therapy which was more short term. However after studying I realised the depth and power of hypnotherapy for many people and how it can be so impactful at positively impacting people’s mindset.

Reiki master – this was more of a spiritual personal journey but having experienced and benefited from the treatment myself I wanted to be able to share and offer reiki to others. Initially I believed people who were open and interested would be the only people to directly benefit but those who were sceptical actually had the most positive feedback from treatments. 

Many people believe this is an alternative treatment to be that of a spiritual nature but in essence ‘energy’ is science and there is scientific evidence to support the positive effects of the treatment of reiki. I have had lots of positive feedback from various organisations including the BBC on the positive impact of reiki for stress and overall positive wellbeing. 

Reiki not only helps release and treat physical pain but also helps people to release any emotional blockages which can be a huge therapeutic release and start of a journey they may never have imagined. 

Mindfulness practitioner

As I grew and  developed my business into corporate settings, I was very aware that therapies were not openly accepted due to the stigma attached. I attended a mindfulness course and was overwhelmed by the impact it had on my own life and how such a simple approach (on paper) was so easily transferable to every age, race, gender and group. This by far has to be the most adaptable technique I work with. I have never had anyone not take any positive impact away from participating even if it was just moments of calmness.

Anyone can practice anything from mindful moments throughout the day to full body scans and take away a positive outcome. The more you begin to practice the more the mindfulness drip feeds into daily life and becomes habit. I don’t believe we can be mindful all the time and it’s exactly the same for me. For me with two young sons I am constantly tested with them keeping me on my toes, however those mindful moments allow me to reset and reevaluate the hours ahead….

I like to refer to practice of mindfulness as the ‘mindfulness muscle’ and like any muscle the more you work it the stronger it becomes. So just like I won’t get the body of my dreams after one gym session, I won’t reap all the positive benefits mindfulness has to offer from just practising it once…..

I would refer to myself as an integrative therapist as I draw from different schools of psychology to be able to to work with people in a way which best suits them. A message I try to share with as many people as possible is that support is available for everyone, you just have to find what’s best for you. Just because a friend or family member has CBT and it works wonders for them, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Just as different diets and types of exercise don’t work for everyone neither does one therapy. There is so much out there you just have to work out what’s best for you personally. 

I offer a range of therapies to individuals at different stages throughout a therapeutic relationship. If I feel something else would be more suited to them or if they require more specialist treatment then I would refer as the client is my main priority, as is getting them where they want to be. When working with organisations you are dealing with a group of completely different individuals so not every approach will be effective for everyone but the key is offering and supporting them in the 1st place and communicating in a personalised way. 

Joining hero

I was super excited to join forces with hero. I had worked with Andy previously who leads the Content & Delivery team and then met with Joe to learn about the vision for the company. Hero’s strapline – Who Cares Wins is certainly a true and a genuine intention.  We have an amazing concept and brand but it’s the team behind who inspired me. Everyone involved at hero want to make a positive difference and see people feel and become better versions of themselves. Individuals have to feel safe and comfortable to reach their potential, all on their own journeys and this is something I use to guide my professional decisions so it felt right joining a team who share the same vision. The majority of my clients have been individuals on a one to one basis as well as corporate clients such as BBC Yorkshire, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Trinity Leeds and other local Leeds businesses and organisations. I have also worked with local charities and Government funded groups to offer services to people who would not be able to afford to pay privately. 

In person delivery enables trainers and session members the chance to connect, relate and build relationships. hero’s aim is to support organisations through engaging technology solutions and pro-active in-person mindset services and the key to this is helping and supporting individuals who make up that organisation. It’s essential to create a safe environment for the individuals, which in turn benefits and aids the organisation as a whole. By sharing meaningful tools and educational content it can be truly impactful to boost an individual’s resilience, whilst inevitably contributing to the aim of creating a culture of wellbeing across the organisation. 

As previously mentioned there is so much support available and I think it is essential individuals are aware and can participate with confidence. Stressing the importance at all levels across the organisation can really instill confidence in individuals on their own wellbeing journeys. Wellbeing practitioners can advocate and contribute to an individual’s mental wellbeing using various techniques but that will not work for everyone. Some things to bear in mind:  

  • Understanding that it’s not not just about improving negative mental health but about maintaining/optimising outlook and feelings 
  • Mindfulness is unique to the individual and one size fits one 

I have held private wellbeing mornings at various venues which are made up of yoga, mindfulness, meditation and different techniques such as anchoring (an NLP technique to induce a positive frame of mind or emotion). Life is so fast paced and full of different challenges and stresses and we are simply programmed to just ‘keep going’. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and as a result the body and mind become disconnected. We fail to stop and ‘take time out’ which is essential to maintain a positive mental health and wellbeing. Many feel guilty for taking time out but the benefits are huge. Restoration physically and mentally combined allows the body to reset and recharge and enables us to manage our stress levels and contributes to the being and experiencing the best versions of ourselves….

When you break it all down…..what really matters to you…..if you don’t give your mind and body the nourishment it deserves, it will prevent you from being the best version of yourself, not just to you but to those most important to you.