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Helen Barnes

Following a career in the City of London as a Lloyd’s Broker, Helen embarked on a major career change to train in Occupational Therapy. After qualifying, she worked for the NHS in a variety of psychiatric and physical settings and in 2003 left London to live in Brussels, Belgium.

Whilst there she completed her MSc in Occupational Therapy and in 2005 joined the European Commission to work, first in the Psychosocial Interventions Sector of the Medical Service assisting staff experiencing difficult life situations before moving into an HR role responsible for:

— Career and personal development coaching

— Equal opportunities

— Wellbeing at work

Through her work with clients, Helen observed that often they were unable to take action in order to equip themselves with the resources required for successful adaptation and saw coaching as the missing link to help people make positive change. She completed her Coaching Foundation in 2011 and in 2015 gained her Coaching Certificate from Middlesex University through the i-coach academy and followed further training in career guidance. In 2017 Helen was accredited at senior practitioner level by the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). She holds a Certificate in Supervision of Coaches and Consultants from the Tavistock Institute (2018) and a Certificate in Humanistic Counselling from the Gestalt Centre (2019).

Helen’s experience has been rich and varied working with all grades of staff across the European Commission as part of their internal coaching programme and recently with South London and Maudsley on a project supporting unemployed adults with mental health conditions back into the work place. She continues to work with the NHS Leadership Academy as well as with Genius Within, a social enterprise focused on supporting people with neurodiversity to fulfil their employment potential.

Her coaching is underpinned by her occupational therapy training, the central tenet of which owes much to the ideals of romanticism, pragmatism and humanism. Her approach is holistic, integrating person centeredness with concepts taken from Gestalt theory. As a coach, supervisor and therapist, clients describe her as reflective with good analytical skills and a supportive and non-directive approach.

She holds Post Graduate Qualifications in Vocational Rehabilitation, is a registered member of the UK Health Care Professions Council and a voluntary Committee member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section – Work; Member of the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council).

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