For Wirral Chamber member, Alison Blackler - domestic violence, depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse all formed part of her daily experience in a quarter of century working for the NHS.
Now, with the country in lockdown and millions of people cooped up at home, the Wirral-based transformational mind coach fears the social fabric will be pushed to its limits.
It seems timely, then, that this period of huge social disruption also sees the publication of Alison’s debut self-help book.
Walk into any bookshop and there will no doubt be a large bookcase groaning with self-help books.
But how many of those authors have dealt with the same challenging personal journeys as many of their readers – the disappointments, the stumbling blocks, the setbacks? And how many have seen first-hand, in their professional careers, the tumultuous lives of others?
Alison has found that dealing with and confronting her own personal challenges has formed the cornerstone for all her work.
All that experience, all that knowledge has been brought together in her debut book, A Path Travelled. Available now, the book takes all that accumulated know-how and wisdom and offers an invaluable guide to “following your own path”, as Alison describes it.
“A Path Travelled is a book exploring how we are shaped and influenced by the lives that we lead and then how this can play out in terms of our thinking and behaviours, both positively and negatively,” said Alison. “By understanding where your feelings stem from, you can learn that you can choose how to manage them and change your response to life’s obstacles”
“We have phases and milestones in our lives which can reveal our true selves. In the book, I have brought together much of what I have learned and experienced in a palatable way for you.”
“All this seems so pertinent, now. We are in the midst of not just a public health crisis, but one of the biggest tests of our mental strengths since the Second World War. People are anxious and scared. And many find themselves confronting their own personals demons, as well as the flesh and blood threats in the form of domestic abusers.”
Born and brought up in the North East of England, Alison recognised that she lacked self-confidence and had limiting self-beliefs. She was influenced by what others thought was best for her and therefore took many years to get onto the right career, and in fact life, path. She is able to walk the reader through their own experience and help to explore often hidden limitations.
As she moved further into her adult years, she began to ask compelling questions of her life. She explains: “Over 25 years ago I found myself noticing that I had to take personal responsibility for my own life and yet I did not know how”.
“I became aware that I was going through life, looking outside for the answers and yet missing the answers that were inside me. All the situations and people that have been in my life have been there for a reason, and my book helps you to learn that this will be the same for you”.
“This was a gradual learning curve for me which took many years. The wealth of my journey started to unfold when I realised that I couldn’t free myself from my baggage without understanding its purpose and reason and thereby change my thinking.”
Alison worked in the NHS for 24 years and during that time, her roles included supporting people who had suffered domestic abuse and drugs and alcohol addictions. She also gained extensive experience in public health, managing projects for young people, and latterly as a lead for safeguarding.
During her career she has trained as a counsellor and CBT therapist, a Master NLP Practitioner and a Clean Language Coach. By 2010 a yearning for a change in direction saw Alison leave her role with the NHS to establish her own business, 2minds. During the last 10 years, she has worked one-to-one with many individual clients, delivered leadership and team programmes for large corporates such as BMW, Sainsbury’s, as well as other SMB. She also enjoys her work in prisons and schools across the UK.
“A Path Travelled, my first published book is designed to fast track your thinking and behaviours so you can have happiness and fulfilment”. It is written for a British audience as much of this market is American and can be harder for us to digest.
“I hope to enlighten and inspire you, so that you realise that everything does happen for a reason - and that reason is personal growth.”
Alison’s desire is for people to find a way to be the best version of themselves, free from limitations and to follow their own dreams.