As a mindset coach, therapist and runner, I get where you are.  You love to run, you have a goal in mind, you train hard but it doesn’t always work out as planned.  You find your mind getting in your way.  

Psychology to Succeed has grown from my own running journey, my 18 years working in mental health, and my passion to spread the knowledge that we really can train our minds to be at our best.  We can turn sporting setbacks into courageous comebacks and gain the confidence we need to achieve amazing things.

My journey started in 1999 when I started my Occupational Therapy training.  We were trained in both physical and mental health rehabilitation and, though I quickly chose to specialise in mental health, that appreciation of the mind/body connection and the importance of activity continued to run deep within my work and my life.  After qualifying in 2002 I worked as an Occupational Therapist in a range of mental health settings, including working in New Zealand.

In 2009 I retrained in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and to this day continue to work as Senior Clinician in same service I trained with.  Here I treat clients who have experienced traumas, a range of anxiety disorders, depression, low self-esteem, as well long term health conditions including chronic pain.  I also supervise a number of other therapists delivering this work.

In 2015 I trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy), a therapy whose profound power to work through both trauma, anxiety and self-belief by targeting both body and mind opened my eyes to the possibility of helping runners.

​I am accredited in both CBT and EMDR and follow the ethical conduct and professional guidelines of my accrediting bodies, ensuring I offer the highest standard of work to all my clients.

To expand my skill set to give Psychology to Succeed my best I trained as an NLP Practitioner (neuro linguistic programming) and NLP Sports Practitioner, Time Line Therapist, as well as a Certified Mindset Coach.

As a runner, I understand what it takes to train and compete, and ride the rollercoaster of highs and lows that goes alongside.  

Growing up, my self-esteem was pretty low and I didn’t have a great relationship with my body.  In terms of sport, I regularly rode horses and helped out at our local stables, swam, and competed as a track athlete for my school.  Life moved on and sport took a side-step but I never lost the joy of feeling fit and healthy, though I still didn’t feel great about myself. 

The benefit of training as a therapist and coach is that you also get to benefit from therapy and coaching!

With renewed self-esteem and confidence, in 2005 I started to run again and completed my first half marathon whilst living and working in New Zealand. 

Since then I haven’t stopped and it was running ultras distances and 24 hour events where I started to recognise how many of the mindset tools I’ve used with my clients over the years I was using myself!  

I also noticed that not everyone had those tools and, though physically fit and able, many of my peers would hit up against mindset barriers which prevented them from achieving their full potential.  I was also aware that, though running is fantastic for our mental health, some runners continued to struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, as well as low self-esteem and confidence.

From here, Psychology to Succeed began to grow…

Formally established in 2017, I’ve had to privilege to work with a growing number of athletes and sports people, helping them to develop self-belief and confidence, overcome sports slumps and blocks, remove mindset barriers, and recover from the impact injury and traumatic events have on their performance.

One client even nominated me for the 2019 Ely Sporting Hero award for the work we’d completed.  What an honour!

I am now honing my focus to help runners to run happy, run with confidence, and run whilst having and maintaining good mental health.

My year of learning to swim and first triathlon season

My passion comes from my own experiences of sport not being smooth sailing.  Most notably my fear of swimming prevented my from transitioning from running to triathlon.  The truth of the matter was that swimming front crawl terrified me, not least the thought of doing it in open water. 

Underpinning this fear was an experience I had at school where I was swimming crawl and, after taking in some water, had an asthma attack.

Thanks to my inhaler, teachers, and friends I was physically fine and no medical intervention was needed so I thought nothing more about it.  Except my mind and body never forgot.  I stopped swimming and, as an adult, used to simply say I couldn’t.

It was during my training in EMDR I decided to finally tackle the issue.  Through processing the original traumatic incident alongside a CBT-based exposure programme I was back in the pool and taking lessons ready for the half-iron distance triathlon I’d entered whilst still terrified of swimming.


And you know what?  I did it!

My technique wasn’t great and I was slow but I believed in myself, I wasn’t scared and I finished the event with a big proud smile!

By practicing what I preach I’ve faced every challenge my sport has thrown at me as an opportunity for growth and I’ve faced it with a smile.  This is what I want to share with you, let there be no barrier to what you want to achieve.

Alongside sports mindset coaching, as a therapist I am experienced in treating:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Low self-esteem
  • ​Self-criticism
  • Depression
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social Anxiety
  • Health Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Perfectionism
  • Stress related difficulties


Get started today by booking your free call with Michelle