BAFFLEMENT is probably the typical reaction when Kay Weijers (pronounced Veyers) tells people she works as a cognitive behavioural coach.
The mystery deepens when Kay, who lives in Spalding, explains that many of the skills needed for her role were learned as a musician in an orchestra.
“In an orchestra you learn rapport, empathy and you learn to listen,” says Kay, who has just joined The Total Health Clinics in town. The clinic, in High Street, put out a press release welcoming Kay to the team and saying that while they, as osteopaths, helped clients get back into shape physically, Kay does the same with thinking and behavioural processes.
Which is starting to get to the bottom of that mysterious job title. An Internet search throws up, ‘a pyschotherapeutic approach, a talking therapy, that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions and behaviours’.
Kay sees her work as: “Working with the walking wounded, people who are just carrying inherited ways of being, inherited ways of thinking without having actually thought about it, but it holds them back and it doesn’t serve them in what they want to achieve in their life.”
So we might think of the treatment as a bit of a detox of the mind, an opportunity to get out of an unhelpful groove we’ve been stuck in without realising it, and a chance to move on, hopefully as a happier person.
Kay is no stranger to personal transformation, and this role and the new job in Spalding is part of a process of “reinventing” herself following a key birthday and the knowledge that the children, Antonia, in her final year of a fashion degree, and musician son Rafe, have left home, leaving her a “grieving parent”.
In response, she embarked on a degree in Intergrative Counselling Psychotherapy and, when she finishes that, will be able to call herself a psychotherapeutic practitioner, quite a big jump from Kay, the able musician at Spalding High School. However, Kay demonstrated early on that she was no ordinary, flute-playing teenager: when she was 15 she had the courage to approach James Galway and ask if he would teach her.
“James Galway was my inspiration in life,” she reveals. “I heard him play at Peterborough Cathedral and when I heard him warming up at the back of the cathedral I thought the flying buttresses were going to implode because of this amazing sound, so I went up and asked him if he’d teach me.”
The musician came to the school the next day to hear Kay play before agreeing to teach her in London once a month, funded by a grant from Lincolnshire County Council.
Kay went on to study music, before playing professionally and teaching flute at Leicester University, and didn’t return to Spalding until 1993 when her children were young and she feared letting them play outside in London. She also had family in the town, and admits it was also “a calling really to settle”. She still plays with Spalding Grammar School Orchestra.
Kay, by this time, had transformed herself into a business professional, and travelled to London to run her sales and marketing company. It was training her own staff that made her realise her style was not about telling people what to do, but more about coaching, “finding out how they would approach a situation rather than telling them how to do it,” says Kay.
That led to a switch to corporate sales training using a coaching approach, and that finally became about using therapy to help people.
Kay knows many people believe they do not need therapy, and acknowledges she struggled with it when she had to undergo sessions as part of her course.
However, she says: “It is only by getting to the essence of someone that they can heal and develop, they can become more whole to deal with their personal lives and to be more effective in their business lives.”
Kay is at the clinic each Wednesday between 9am and 2pm and offers an initial free half-hour consulation followed by six sessions costing £25 each.
Contact the clinic on 01775 719999 to make appointments.