Valerie Thompson, No-Gimmicks Career and Life Coaching for Individuals
I work for individuals on a one-to-one basis.  A brief bio (happy to elaborate): 14 years with Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup) mainly on the trading side; 18 years self-employed providing executive search & recruitment, training and strategic consulting services primarily to investment banks in the UK and overseas; since 2005 I have been coaching and writing (published author); and by way of personal background, I'm a mum and a grandmother. To arrange a free no obligation telephone consultation, which will last about twenty minutes, please email me, mentioning the best days/times; when you can chat without interruption.  An interview with Health and about coaching, August 2014  

"Valerie's approach is very person-centred and enabled me to speak freely about my personal and professional lives."

"I am in a much better place now than when I first met you: you must take total credit for this. I am most grateful to you."

"Each phone call leaves me with the certain knowledge that I have just spent worthwhile time, had a meaningful exchange, and know more than I did previously."

"I couldn't have done it without you."


Mobile: 07903 16502607903 165026
Landline: 01323 47215201323 472152

Kindly note withheld numbers are not answered: Please leave a message and I shall call you back as soon as I am able.

* Fowler International
  Academy of Professional Coaching

Westminster Indemnity Ltd

This 4-minute audio provides a brief overview of coaching.  Any further questions, please email me.

I provide career coaching, executive coaching and life coaching, and there is often overlap.  A business crisis, for example, can have a big impact on family life, personal well-being and relationships.  

The coaching framework provides a constructive medium for dealing with both professional and personal problems and frustrations, and you will find a variety of different coaches out there, each with their own style and methods. 

I would describe my approach as holistic, pragmatic and sensitive.  We are all a package deal, so to speak, and in my experience the best authority on a person is themselves, once they are able to hear themselves speak freely.  I therefore help bring innate wisdom to the surface, and act as an anchor and a springboard.  The client decides the pace and the agenda, while I facilitate and guide based on what he/she ultimately wants to accomplish, which usually consists of a series of both short and longer-term aims.

What differentiates the support of a coach with that of a friend?

As a coach my role is to help my clients work out what they want, and how best they can achieve whatever changes they seek.  Consideration of their obligations and responsibilities, important relationships, history and unique way of being, is essential.  This requires objectivity.

By contrast, friendships tend to be subjective, as well as spontaneously two-way.  A friend tells us about a situation in their life and we tend to respond with our own stories, to strengthen the bond of friendship.  It’s similar with family.  Friends and family members might also volunteer advice, sometimes without knowing the full facts.  This can disempower and leave a person feeling judged.

The value of friendship cannot be underestimated but there is a natural barrier to openness, as it is human nature to engage with different friends in different ways, respectful of sensitivities, whereas a person can be totally open with their coach.

How does coaching differ from traditional talking therapy?

What coaching, counselling and psychotherapy have in common is they all provide a safe, private space within which to talk and reflect, and make sense of things.  However, the coaching relationship is equal; a business arrangement between professionals, and coaching is primarily focused on the present.  With psychotherapy the client is a patient, and the focus is more on the past; on understanding deep-rooted thought processes and behaviours.  As these often date back to childhood and are rooted in trauma, this can take years.  Counselling is similar to psychotherapy, although problems and their causes are usually more recent.

While a client will often talk about their past during coaching, to provide invaluable context, the focus is more on today and tomorrow than it is on yesterday.  Achieving lasting change is always the aim, what differs is the method.  Coaching is more interactive; a coach will ask questions, make suggestions, encourage consideration and reflection, and generally prompt discussion of the pros and cons of an action or strategy.  A coach can also provide mentoring, where their experience lends itself to that role.  Another difference is that coaching is an international service and mostly conducted via telephone or Skype.



A Life Review Summary (LRS) Is a kind of detailed diary entry, usually consisting of about five or six A4 typed pages, which captures where a person is in their life and where they want to be, and why.  Engaging in the LRS process in and of itself can be liberating and refreshing, and having a tangible document at the end of it that details concerns and aspirations together with viable practical options for getting more out of life can be an invaluable self-management tool. Not only can an LRS act as an anchor and motivator but it can also prove an uplifting and reassuring marker of a point in time.   

A Life Review Summary takes about two weeks to complete from start to finish and the process is as follows:

I would send you what's called a self-discovery questionnaire (SDQ) in preparation.  This does not have to be returned, but it is important to complete it so as to make the most of the coaching consultations.  I suggest clients spend a minimum of 45-minutes considering and completing the SDQ.

This is followed by two telephone or Skype consultations, each lasting approximately 90 minutes.  These can be completed on the same day, with a break in between, or over two consecutive days/eves.

During the first consultation, we will discuss all areas of your life, and you will do a lot of talking while I ask a lot of questions.  During the second consultation, we will focus more deeply on personal and professional relationships.

What is of most concern to you is obviously what I want to know the most about, so there is no set time for each section.

Thereafter, I go away and write your Life Review Summary, which will run to between four and six typed A4 pages.  Each person is wholly unique and the content of each LRS  differs greatly, within a loosely structured format.  For each life area -- there are six in total: Emotional, Financial, Health and Wellness, Professional, Relationships, Spirituality (which can mean different things to different people) -- I would provide a situation summary, i.e. where you are currently and where you would like to be and why, the pros and cons of your main options, followed by comments and observations.  Most clients typically have one or two areas on which they want to concentrate, e.g. career and a significant relationship, and I naturally spend more time on those areas and place more emphasis on them in the LRS. 

In order to create a Life Review Summary I need time to assimilate, digest, reflect upon and process, etc, what has been discussed, as an awful lot  can be covered in three hours, as well as of course time to write the final document. It can therefore take up to 10 days following the last consultation for me to complete an LRS.  Once completed I usually email the final document in both Word and PDF format to the client, although for UK clients it can be sent by post, recorded delivery, if preferred.

COST:  £850.00.  VAT NOT applicable.

For an additional charge I can also create a Vision Statement wherein key goals and outcomes are presented in the present tense as though already existing.  I have also created audio downloads of Vision Statements for people who want to listen rather than read for reinforcement. A Vision Statement can be of appeal to those who believe in thought-power and the law of attraction. 

Copyright 2013. Valerie Thompson. All rights reserved.
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