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In short: I have an inquisitive entrepreneurial Mind filled with a strong & somewhat passionate desire to understand what makes us all tick.
Not just for the heck of it - but to then discover the best programs, techniques, treatments and lifestyle changes to fully Enhance Life and then share it all with you!
There's a few more things you might want to learn about me ~ especially as you've taken the time to drop by...
Right now my focus is in working with clients who have a powerful desire to enhance their lives and who choose modern theraputic tools & techniques to achieve that.
The rest of my time I focus on my life enhancing project - Enhanced Life Academy & it's accompanying show. My BIG VISION is to help bring the tools & resources to everyone who desires positive change - and make that easy, affordable and above all - SUCCESSFUL!
We all want the Best Life; the most successful, healthy, most rewarding life.
Some of us think we're heading towards living that but when we find something missing or things are holding us back ... We need a space and a place to work on ourselves, refuel with positives and reboot.
For over 30 years I've studied people and been intrigued by what drives behaviour. Since I opened my first practice over 20 years ago, I've observed how people think, why they do the things they do and what stops them from doing or being more. My goal is to assist clients in achieving their greatest desires whilst shedding past traumas or negative beliefs & installing positives.
I'm not someone whose stuck on one therapy, technique or 'school of thought'. I have learned that some techniques work best with one person where someone else requires a completely different tack. I believe the best therapists in the world share this ideal. I continue to research proven techniques & add Neuroscience to my list of current study.
I quickly discovered from my own personal therapy and ongoing personal development, that many techniques work brilliantly through the digital medium.
My goal then became the study of how to translate what I'd learned is most effective, into practical digital coaching and resources. These include; Meditation, Hypnosis, Mindfulness, Tapping & NLP.
I started my life in a humble home, with hard working parents & in life we experienced many challenges. I was fortunate to change my life & mindset completely & I now have a passion to ensure that the opportunities to increase Confidence, Success, Improved Happiness and Wellbeing - is open to everyone, regardless of their upbringing & status.
“To drive a car you first learn how. You study the gears, accelerator, you learn the fuel needed and the safest way to manoeuvre. We now have the opportunity to do the same for our mind & lives.”
Time spent with the teams at Great Ormond Street's Psychological Medicine unit in London, lead to my curiosity and passionate desire to learn more about the unconscious mind.
The realisation that what we 'think' we're doing is governed by another part of our mind, hidden from our conscious awareness and largely controlled by our historical experiences & learnings - exploded a fascination and strong desire to know more.
- Especially when I realised it isn't always on your side ...even when it thinks it is!
My early corporate experiences (mostly in Accountancy) were interrupted by my inner entrepreneur when I discovered I was pregnant with my second child.
I knew at that time, working for someone else was not going to enable me to fully support and care for my growing family. I had to think of a way to work for myself, around my toddler and to suit my family needs.
The experience taught me to look outside the 'box' when it came to how we live our lives and how we earn our living to do so.
This early business then gave me the confidence to start my own Practice after I'd completed my initial training in the late 90s in; Psychotherapy, Counselling, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, NLP & so much more!
Leah's ability to coach is awesome, her insight is amazing and her passion is honestly - catching!
/ NLP Practitioner & Life Coach
Leah Butler-Smith. Without your help and coping strategies I would still be in a dark place. So Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.
/ Happy Ex Drinker
My time with LBS has been a journey of self-discovery, leaving me with the tools to move forward. What she has taught me has had a huge positive impact on my life.
/ Previously a Fertility Challenged Mother of Twins!
My studies have never really stopped. I'm keen to discover new techniques, new therapies and I keep my ear to the ground on all groundbreaking discoveries of Mind & Body. Here's a few more snippets about my training & experiences ~ click on whatever interests you ...
My initial training in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), what it can help us achieve within the coaching and therapy world and how the study of excellence truly is a remarkable and worthy use of your time - began in the late 90s.
I began with understanding how we interpret information and what we do with that information once it's 'uploaded' into our own minds.
Of course the simplicity, yet profound impact of the NLP techniques I learned, had a powerful affect on me personally; hence I took my professional training all the way!
The wonderful thing about NLP, that's actively encouraged by the original co-creator Richard Bandler who I did most of my training with - is to make it your own.
Which means many trainers have adapted and improved the original techniques to further boost the field's effectiveness in the Change Work world.
Business and Marketing have adopted NLP in their training models and of course, very well known personalities such as Tony Robbins and Paul McKenna have incorporated this into their Coaching Seminars.
Again ... there is always more to learn! And as learning is a hobby of mine - I'm happy to keep doing just that.
Waaaay back in the beginning of my training into Psychotherapy, (I took that to the Advanced level too) we covered many 'models' and the Egan Model for counselling was one.
I actually really enjoyed this model and find some interesting 'nods' to the NLP model for enquiry.
I do believe that; counselling practices, the art of listening and reflection, understanding important mindset issues for therapists and practitioners such as 'transference and counter transference' are important for anyone who enters the mental health healing world as a Profession.
I have nothing against counselling or any other 'talking therapy' but from my personal experience, if you aren't depressed when you enter 'therapy', you can become so when being encouraged to speak solely about miserable experiences in life.
There is a definate place for this style of therapy as it gives a space for individuals to speak without concerns over judgement or upsetting others. For example in grief counselling. Often people find they don't know who to share their fears and sorrows with because they don't want to affect those around them. This is where a specialist listener can be very helpful.
Very often we find our own solutions and sometimes we just need a person to talk to who doesn't interrupt or provide their 'advice'.
From a professional perspective - I lost count of the number of clients who after one session, sometimes two - would comment that the counselling or psychotherapy they experienced before, were wholly ineffective in comparison to the work we were doing.
An example is a lady who'd been 'in therapy' with a Psychotherapist for four years with once weekly sessions being the norm.
Given that she had so much experience of inner reflection, our work in the first session was styled a little differently to most clients who are totally new to the experience.
Her comment to me at the end of that first session - that whist she felt her four years of introspection were 'useful', nothing had ever changed until now.
The confidence her words gave me that my belief Hypnosis in combination with NLP & other techniques - is far more impactful and life changing than any talking therapy alone could be - was profound.
From the first months of my Practice opening, I began writing articles for local press.
I was soon invited to write regularly for the Essex Chronicle. Our most popular county wide paid publication.
When I moved my Practice to Harley Street in London, I was approached on many occasions by a variety of Media.
I acted as a Consultant for several prospect productions and when the Sex After Marriage series producers called -they used most if not all the suggested techniques (translated for tv) to help the participants improve and enhance their relationships.
I did a few 'talking head' pieces speaking on the topics of Phobias, Anxiety and Hypnotherapy and one on 'fetishes'!
I've been interviewed by many of our Media Channels on the subjects of prevention of violent crime, causes of Phobias, Hypnotherapy, the health service and latterly the overwhelm on the NHS. (That actually lead to the Prime Minister being asked to respond to my comments on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show).
I have been interviewed for ITV Anglia and ITV News on more than one occasion and invited to speak on BBC Radio Live.
I've featured on a number of other channels and newspapers inc;
Channel Five, BBC TV, Sky News, Yahoo News, the Mirror, Independent, The Sun, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, The London Economic and many many more!
In a nutshell my experiences in the media include:
- Consulting for pre production programs
- Consulting for in production programs
- Article Writing/ Columnist format
- Journalist Interviews (TV & Press)
- Walking to camera
- Talking head
- Live Radio Interview
And ... (unusual but fun fact) I've had my name mentioned by Dames, politicians & Lords in the House Of Commons and the House Of Lords!
Psychotherapy is not counselling. A Counsellor is mainly focused on listening and reflecting whereas a Psychotherapist's role is to be a mind detective and help the client/ patient dive into the root causes of their behaviours, issues & concerns.
Any Psychotherapy is a 1000 times more powerful and effective when you combine it with Hypnosis.
Analytical Hypnotherapy is sometimes known as Hypnoanalysis and is similar to Regression Therapy.
What these skills have in common is they help the client with the Hypnotherapist's guidance, get quickly to the actual root cause of a problem.
Whether the client needs to locate the original sensitising event of a belief, phobia, trauma or behaviour - the purpose is always the same - to change the experience and release (where necessary) any repressed emotions.
Not all change work involves emotional release (abreaction) but when it does, it's always purposeful and the client feels a weight or burden has been lifted thereafter.
I completed my training into Advanced Hypnoanalysis directly after my first professional qualification enabled me to begin in practice.
I found the impact of using these techniques to assist my clients with their change work - extremely effective and powerful.
Over time, adding more techniques from the meridian, NLP and psychosensory schools has further enhanced the work I now do with clients.
My introduction to 'tapping' as a therapeutic tool, came about when I spent time with Paul McKenna.
As someone whose well known and respected, I trusted that when Paul encouraged the participants at his seminars to use Tapping techniques, he'd been trained by the best and had done sufficient deep study himself.
I chose to train with the same trainer, Kevin Laye, whose work is respected amongst my peers.
I was further convinced of the efficacy of using TFT (Thought Field Therapy) as the original research began in the 70s and had many years of evidence to support it's positive impact.
Meridian therapies include Acupuncture which our own Health Service advocate using this technique for a number of health concerns.
The transition to using fingers tapping on meridian points, over needles to interrupt and liberate blocked meridians and allow energy to flow throughout the body, initially began by accident.
Roger Callahan, whose training I completed in TFT tried tapping on meridian points originally to test a 'theory'.
The recipient of his testing, was able to overcome a life long severe phobia of water.
Since then meridian therapies, specifically Tapping - have developed and improved.
I now use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), TFT & Faster EFT in my work.
Paul McKenna is a world famous personal development trainer and best selling author, he is a host at a number of Practitioner trainings and specialist workshops every year.
As a avid learner, even after I progressed from student to Practitioner, I like to keep my mind 'in the game' so to speak.
So when invited to support Paul McKenna at his events as a Guest Trainer, I happily agreed.
The value of being part of a group of Trainers, all in full time Practice, all passionate about continuing professional & personal development, all supportive of personal changework techniques - is immense.
I worked alongside Paul and other great trainers to support seminar participants and witnessed powerful transformations of mindset, beliefs, health and wellbeing.
This technique like TFT, has been under the microscope (actually the brain scans) for many many years.
Now with over 20 years of research and scientific studies, the opinion is that it works!
It is one of the few Trauma therapies that the NHS offers but sadly for most - it's difficult to get anywhere near the top of a waiting list.
EMDR uses eye movement combined with skilled theraputic instruction to first initialise the memory (wake it up), then to rewire the way the brain has encoded the information.
Eye movements from left to right have an impact on brain waves and brain activity. This allows for the 'state' of the individual to indicate that they are 'safe'.
When the brain accepts that the individual is no longer in danger, the memory can be released from it's hold.
Prior to that - traumatised memories literally get 'stuck' and act as an alert anytime any information within the memory is activated.
That can be a sound, a simple image, a smell etc.
The military and charitable organisations have been using EMDR and Tapping to help victims of war overcome their PTSD. (or Post Traumatic Stress without the Disorder).
This technique was one of the first to help me release a historical trauma myself so I'm a firm fan.
Like EMDR - Amygdala Depotentiation Therapy, has it's roots in working with the part of the brain designed to 'remember danger' in order to transmit an alarm when it's triggered.
It is newer than EMDR and Tapping but is already proving highly effective.
Like many of the techniques I've listed on this page - the more you know and the more you practice, the more you can use multiple tools in the same session depending on what the client needs and responds to.
I have found Havening extremely effective, including ridding my adult daughter of a lifelong extreme fear of wasps in the matter of seconds aswell as helping countless clients to release traumas and phobias.
What's the difference between Life Coaching and Business Coaching?
You might presume that all 'life coaching' is focused on improvements and enhancing your life personally and that 'business coaching' is solely focused on improvements to your business.
The reality is that they are both a great deal more similar and both can encompass all areas of life and business as our brain doesn't detach itself and reattach to another part when we walk through the office door at 9am.
Rather the focus may be centred around specific goals the client has around those areas and therefore that becomes central to the areas given most attention.
Beliefs about yourself, your historical experiences, your place in life and what motivates you, all enter the coaching sessions irrespective of the 'label' given by your Coach.
As an NLP Trainer, I utilise the techniques and skill-set most often when Coaching, whether it's for life or business.
Mindfulness and Growth Mindset have received a great deal of attention in the past few years.
With Mindfulness being taught to employees in corporate settings, courses popping up everywhere and a plethora of books on the topic - one might wonder what we all did before ...
In fact mindfulness is merely a practice of self awareness.
Many people who prioritise personal development and indeed professional development, will already be using mindfulness in their day to day living.
The importance of self reflection, being able to pause a 'reaction' and instead choose a response - can literally rewrite our future.
Mindfulness as a daily practice is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, change the shape of our brains and increase confidence and happiness in life.
I now coach Business Leaders and their employees in Mindfulness practices from the comfort of their own offices.
The Growth Mindset has been popularised by the famous Carol Dweck Ted Talk and best selling books on the topic.
Once again, it is not a new phenomena to focus on the language you are using both internally and externally to either positively or (as happens too often) negatively.
In NLP (given that the word 'linguistic' features in the centre) brings a lot of focus onto the power and meaning of words.
Many of the techniques used will involve calibrating the client using their own language and how that is interpreted by their mind.
In NLP trainings you will learn how your own language is giving away how you see yourself in the world and how you believe others see you.
People give away their achilles heal when they speak and those who are trained in Sales, often understand how changing a few words can impact on the buyer's choices.
I have a personal belief that introducing both Mindfulness and Growth Mindset to every school AND the Staff Rooms - will enhance education and the children being educated, in a profound way.
Meditation and Guided Meditation that's meditation practices with or without guided suggestions, like Mindfulness and Growth Mindset are all 'buzz words' right now.
Healthy ones and ones that I'm a fan of highlighting.
But - many people don't quite understand what's being asked of them should they decide to add Meditation (including Guided Meditation) to their daily practices.
In fact Meditation has many branches and amongst the therapeutic community - Guided Meditations (meditation with guided suggestions) are the same as or similar to Hypnosis with a Goal.
Hypnosis recordings have been fashionable as tools to bring about change for many years.
Hypnosis is about changing your brain wave activity and your state of being both, physically and mentally.
As you drift into a relaxed state, your mind is more open to change and accepts positive suggestions without the constant questioning, distraction or objections of the conscious mind.
Guided Meditations are the same but don't necessarily require you to lie down or remain uninterrupted (though it's preferable!).
You can even listen to guided meditation affirmations whilst walking! There's a lot to offer here and the more scientific study including Neuroscience, the better our understanding of the value of this medium for change.
Ahhh Neuroscience ... Bio Chemistry and the Functional Medicine Model.
Neuroscience is a relative new science compared to some. It's popularity in the media is clear and whenever the science can back up the medium, technique or new coaching & health model - people tend to listen.
Nowadays we all have access to papers, research and studies as the medical world has opened it's doors to the lay person (those who are prepared to read the long winded articles that is!).
I studied bio chemistry for a while to open my mind to what we are all made of.
"Biochemists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease"
That stuff fascinates me.
My study began when I saw patterns of healing occur with clients, even though they hadn't arrived in my Practice for that reason.
Things like skin conditions that people had had for their entire life, disappearing.
Asthma attacks ceasing, gut issues resolving, migraines ending, fertility issues ending with a pregnancy and more.
I started looking deeper into the effects of stress on the individual and how this is a very large cause of disease and illness.
I learned enough to be content that my work can have a positive impact on people's physical health aswell as their mindset and confidence.
Finally in this section I'd like to introduce you to my favourite medical community - the Functional Medicine Model and the Evolution of Medicine Forum.
A group of like minded Doctors, Consultants, Physicians, Scientists and Health Practitioners who've come together to support each other in rethinking and in fact even questioning their original training.
They're focused on adding true science and facts to support nutritional and lifestyle change to their prescriptions for healing and health.
Some of the highest trained and experienced medical healers have put down their prescription pads (especially in the Psych community) in favour of treating the root cause of all illness.
Rather than segment the patient into chunks - which is a ridiculous model for understanding and treating health problems - they look at the whole person and everything in their life matters.
This style of patient care is also known as Lifestyle Medicine.
It is still medicine, it retains the label and isn't 'complimentary' but rather an alternative way to efficiently and effectively manage patient wellbeing.
Some of the famous doctors include; Dr Rangan Chatterjee of BBC's popular Dr In The House and Dr Kelly Brogan Psychiatrist.
Dr Chatterjee won the approval of the NHS to coach other Doctors in his nutritional and lifestyle prescription approach.
The community is a fast growing one though opening private practices is happening more in the US where medicine is already privatised but I expect to see more Doctors choosing this path in the UK.
CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy vs NLP?
Well ... they have a lot of similiarities and when I trained in CBT I certainly found it very useful.
As a theraputic tool practitioners encourage talking so it's a form of Psychotherapy.
The main aim is to highlight how your thinking is impacting on your life experiences, choices and abilities.
The same is true of NLP but you aren't required to do as much 'talking through' as you may with CBT.
CBT and NLP challenge the beliefs that lead to problems such as anxiety, stress, anger and depression.
The purpose is to give the client the power to notice their thinking and therefore change it.
NLP however, includes specific techniques that help to rewrite the historical beliefs and therefore encourage change much more quickly.
Just as CBT and NLP would highlight in the client - you may have learned to avoid stepping in front of a car when you were young and you hold that belief today.
You may also have adopted a belief that you were not popular because you once found your school friends excluded you from a conversation.
We can refer to those experiences as filters and we can develop strong beliefs about ourselves and our world through those filters.
No two people have the same experiences which is why even writing this snippet on CBT vs NLP will trigger some who read it.
Depending on their own experiences and therefore beliefs about the value of, techniques, strategy and outcomes of using either CBT or NLP, they will make their own judgement thereafter.
I personally see the value of both and am aware that my training in CBT was a fantastic foundation for what I then learned in my advanced NLP training.
Within my Practice, I have met and worked with successful business owners, CEOs (inc Fortune 100!), Celebrities of stage and screen and the world of sports, plus some of the best known Entrepreneurs.
It was at the request of my clients that I began expanding my work into the corporate world and have offered a number of workshops, trainings & corporate seminars.
From teaching children in schools how to be Assertive, to NLP workshops for employees and our own Stress Management Program to compliment the best Employee Benefits any successful firm will offer.
I've also partnered with other trainers and gone into businesses to deliver specific workshops for their employees and management staff.
I've been invited to speak at seminars focused on entrepreneurialism, business, personal development.
Anyone whose keen to serve their employees well, improve their businesses, alleviate work related stress and enhance confidence - can contact me to learn more.
...when you know how!
Life doesn't have to be the challenge we sometimes believe it to be. It isn't essential to 'struggle through', or 'fight the good fight'.
It's possible with the right knowledge and tools to enhance life and model it so that it looks, feels and is the way you desire it to be.
© Leah Butler-Smith 2020 . All rights Reserved
I'll be in touch to respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. Meantime you can get access to the Enhanced Life Academy as a Guest Member. Just check the box below ...