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29 Mar, 2011

Working on the Future to heal the Past

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coach Spotlight|Coaching Articles|In The Spotlight|Life Coaching Articles|Personal Success|Success Stories

Working on the Future to heal the Past

I am truly privileged to have coached two incredibly brave and focused ladies that had been thrown together through appalling and tragic circumstances. Tricia Bernal and Carol Faruqui, whose daughter’s, Clare and Rana were murdered by their stalkers.

Clare was shot by her stalker, Michael Pech, at Harvey Nichols, dominating the news headlines. Similarly, after a stalking campaign, Rana was murdered by Stephen Griffiths as she brought in her horse,Toby. Both Clare and Rana reported what was happening to the police and others, but the danger signs were missed.

It is unimaginable the grief and suffering that they and their families had experienced. Despite their loss both were committed to changing the attitude of the police regarding stalking and harassment so that their daughters would not have died in vain and no other mother need experience the loss of a daughter at the hands of a stalker.

These ladies had both been through an intensive counseling process following the death of their daughters. Both longed to move on with their lives and their vocation to change attitudes and create a charity to support stalking victims.

They wanted help and support to develop their confidence and self belief so that they could make an impact and be heard by those in a position of power and influence in order to bring about change.

When I first started coaching these ladies, I made it very clear that we were going to work on the future not the past. They were delighted; this was just what they needed! In fact I coached both ladies without any significant content of their past as I felt this would help me to be robust and able to provide the best possible coaching experience to my clients.

They both had a clear goal but felt inadequate and not worthy to meet with Police Commissioners, Politicians and TV, Radio and Media leaders. Who would listen to them? They felt uneducated and insignificant when faced with a room full of important and senior advisors and decision makers. Tricia’s end goal was to be a confident and articulate speaker when addressing police commissions, TV and radio interviews etc.

We broke the sessions down to focus on various areas that were holding her back from achieving her goal. We worked on how to overcome panic attacks, improve confidence and self discipline, develop personal relationships and conquer feelings of guilt and fear.

This is what she has to say about her coaching experience:

“When I first started with Debbie I was very daunted by the huge mountain I had to climb. It has become my life work to raise awareness of the dangers of Stalking and Harassment and the need for agencies to work together to better risk assess, therefore, better protect. This has meant facing situations I never thought possible, like dealing with the media and talking on TV and radio.

I was the girl who wouldn’t put her hand up in class but I am now having to speak at large conferences and cope with resistance and complacency from people who could make change, yet still stay strong and positive.

Debbie has guided me into believing in myself with patience and good humour. I have learnt strategies to deal with those times when I feel I have not had the strength or the confidence to go on.

I will always be grateful to Debbie and highly recommend her coaching to anyone who needs help in achieving their goals.”

Carol’s end goal was to be able to stand up and speak with confidence and knowledge to police commissions, action groups etc.

We broke down this goal into bite size chunks and each session we worked through maintaining focus, increasing knowledge of legislation etc , time management and prioritisation, confidence building (Physiology, awareness, affirmations, etc) and taking control of decisions and ultimately her life.

This is want she has to say about her coaching experience:

“In the beginning I thought, what could I, at 65, be taught to change my life, but Debbie helped me set myself goals and now at the end of my sessions I feel I have a better life.

Probably, for the first time in my life,I saw that I was perfectly capable of making changes. I have affirmations that I use on a daily basis and I find that saying them regularly, I believe them. This has bolstered my confidence a great deal, which was not very good when I started.

Also, I was shown how to think about things that were bothering me and stopping me moving on. I am capable of organising my time, I am able to prioritise and I am a person who can get things done. No more putting off things telling myself I can do them tomorrow!

I feel I am in control, which before speaking with Debbie; I was beginning to think I wasn’t. I intend to keep up the things I learnt in the sessions to make my life more fulfilling and to get the best out of each day.

Thank you Debbie for making me feel so much better about myself. I will be able to go out now and speak, when I am asked to, with much more confidence.”

I am delighted to say that they have achieved their ultimate goal, to set up a charity to support victims of stalking and harrasment. Please support them if you can.

You can find out more by visiting their web site Please share this with your family and friends. If you have any thoughts about fund raising then please contact them.

You can find out more about their charity and key objectives by visiting their web site -

With your support they will be able to continue raising awareness of the dangers of stalking.

by Debbie Robinson

4 Responses to "Working on the Future to heal the Past"

1 | Barbara Miller

March 30th, 2011 at 3:01 pm


I was very moved by this story, thank you for sharing it with us. What courageous women. You must feel very priviliged to have been a part of their journey.

Their website is excellent – I felt that I really understood stalking for the first time.

2 | Debbie Robinson

April 4th, 2011 at 1:01 pm


Thanks Barbara,
Please share with others so we can increase awareness and understanding.

3 | lesley stopford

April 23rd, 2011 at 11:35 pm


This is a moving and wonderful story Debbie and I too am so glad you have shared it. I can totally understand how you must feel priviledged to have worked with the 2 women. How fantastic that with the help of your coaching they have been able to find such inner strength and take positive steps despite the terrible experience and loss they have experienced. It is very moving to hear their stories and their personal journies, I am touched by their courage through what must be the most horrendous and painful life experience.

4 | Coaching through transition, not just through change | The Coaching Academy Blog

November 9th, 2011 at 11:03 am


[...] us into the future. However, if clinging on to the way things were done in the past means you have one foot in the past as you step into the future, it is unlikely that you will be able to fully make the transition into the new way of doing [...]

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