Emma M. BA (Hons), MA, PG Dip.
Emma left university in 2006 with a BA in Politics and an MA in International Relations before her interest in counselling took hold. She gained her Levels 2 & 3 in Counselling Skills in 2010/11 before moving abroad and briefly taking a break from her studies. On her return to the UK in 2013, she embarked on the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Integrative) at Farnborough College, Hampshire, which she completed in mid-2015.
Emma has had an involvement with the OCD First Aid since 2006 when she herself was a client. Since then, she has had an on/off role as Therapist's Assistant and Trainee Therapist under India Haylor's supervision and tutelage. During her training for the Diploma, she also held a placement with a Christian counselling organisation in Guildford, Surrey.
Emma is a Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
India Haylor, BSc (Hons), MSc.
Founder, Head Therapist
India founded OCDCentre in 2003 following her volunteer work for an anxiety disorders charity where she developed a keen interest in OCD (see above for further info) after developing her own protocol for helping the large number of cases that were presenting with OCD and finding no real help. Over the next 13 years, she developed her protocol further, establishing the first intensive course for OCD in the UK in 2004, recognising that OCD often requires an intensive intervention and achieving breakthroughs in recognising, treating and raising awareness of 'new'' (at the time) sub-types of OCD such as relationship OCD (ROCD) and homosexual OCD (HOCD). She was one of the first therapists to speak openly about Responsibility OCD relating to paedophilia worries and has written papers on this sub-type as well as presenting on the same at conferences. Early in her career India worked alongside Dr Jeffrey Schwartz to bring mindfulness for OCD to the UK and was the first to incorporate this modality in to her intensive programme in the UK. India has been interviewed on BBC Breakfast TV, Radio 5 Live, Richard & Judy, Trisha, and Radio 4. She has been a consultant to films and TV research depts. and has featured in the London Standard, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Woman and Home, the Daily Mail, the Express and many other publications. Before moving to New York she was a Trustee of the leading UK OCD charity OCDAction. She then spent 8 years working in both London and New York but is now based in the UK. During her time in the US, she visited many of the US specialist OCD units, including UCLA Medical School. In the last two years, India has worked in 13 countries around the world, treating clients and raising awareness of OCD.
India has an BSc (Hons) in Management Science and worked in the financial City of London before retraining as a therapist. She then went on to study Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy under Professor Windy Dryden and Dr Albert Ellis in New York and has an MSc in REBT.
Nicola B, BA (Hons), PGD, PG Dip.
Research & Social Media Consultant, Trainee Therapist
Since graduating with a post-graduate diploma in Media and Information Management, Nicola has 10 years experience in the evidence and library resource sector within the NHS, delivering evidence services. Throughout this time Nicola struggled with bouts of OCD, which brought her to gain treatment with OCD First Aid. She then began working with OCD First Aid utilising social media and client relations. Nicola is now in the process of studying and training to become an OCD therapist as she continues her work with OCD First Aid and the NHS.
“My name is India Haylor and I have OCD. I am the founder of the OCDFirstAid. My OCD began in my early teens. I had no idea that there was a name for my odd thoughts and behaviours, let alone treatment. After managing for 10 years I stumbled across cognitive behavioural therapy in my early 20's and adapted it to my own OCD. The lack of knowledge, help and support for people and families of people with OCD was all-pervasive.
After working in finance and public relations, I gave up my career and volunteered for an anxiety charity whilst studying and establishing my own treatment protocol centred upon the evidence-based techniques I had learnt for myself and my own experience. My interest was peaked; after a few counselling skills qualifications, I embarked upon a psychology-based Masters. Soon after qualifying I established the OCDCentre, which later became OCDFirstAid. Over the last 13 years I have split my time between New York and London, observing the cultural and professional differences in mental health care and OCD treatment. From the barely disguised psychoanalytical options in New York, to the CMHS and CAMHs structure in the UK, there still exists an international need for highly specialist treatment for OCD. One that is based upon efficacy rather than medication, ineffectual protocols or a bureaucratic squeeze following another budget serving whitepaper. My goal was to establish a gold standard for OCD treatment: the optimum combination of education, anxiety management and psycho-therapeutically robust techniques.
That hasn't changed.
But many other things have!
The world is a dramatically different place relative to 2003 when I first started and ordinarily, in the case of other conditions, technological and medical innovations would be the only independent variables, but this isn’t necessarily the case with OCD – and for reasons you might least suspect. When I first started practicing I controversially conceptualised OCD as emotional hypersensitivity (and I still do) so that (thanks to Dr Jeffery Schwartz) I realised that people with OCD over-respond to emotional triggers across the board, and not just those with anxiety-provoking implications. People with OCD feel the full gamut of the emotional spectrum more acutely – anger, disappointment, rejection, you name it! I believe that the outcome of this biological anomaly is that people with OCD are highly sensitised to their environment (and its changes), much more so than other mental health conditions. This can be witnessed in response to ‘new’ OCD obsessions fuelled by the media, e.g., the media’s concentration on paedophilia cases and the current media fascination with all things celebrity and most significantly, their relationships. These trends have coincided with an increased presentation of clients with responsibility paedophile concerns and also relationship neuroses. Hence, OCD evolves according to social and cultural emphases.
The other aspect of our modern existence that has affected OCD is the dominance of the ‘self’, i.e., ‘selfies’, ‘self-awareness’, ‘self-marketing’, ‘self-absorption’, ‘self-analysis’, ‘self-diagnosis’....need I go on? It isn’t all bad. Who wouldn’t welcome the opportunity for people to take advantage of access to information so that they can make more informed decisions regarding their mental and physical healthcare? Obviously this is a huge step forward from the days of relying on the lucky dip of a single medical opinion from one’s local GP, who is often under pressure to meet timelines and patient quotas. Nevertheless, the OCD hours spent researching online, reading forums and just ‘thinking’ (I have clients that set aside days from work to ‘think’) are not conducive to recovery. Researching online is now in our ‘Top 10’ of compulsions across all sub-types.
Which brings me to what else lurks online and this is the proliferation of treatments and interventions for OCD. Some of course, are helpful, but many aren’t and so online marketing rather than therapeutic skills, credentials and experience is king. Anyone with online marketing skills can present themselves as a viable therapeutic option, especially to those who are vulnerable and desperate for help. It is possible that options such as Chinese medicine, herbal remedies or hypnotherapy may have complementary benefits but it still remains that the only evidence-based intervention for OCD is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and even then, we firmly believe that a sub-set of CBT, namely Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), is a much more robust intervention for OCD. We adjunct this with other approaches but REBT is an integral component of our protocol.
In my own early search for help with OCD I fell foul of a lack of information and now, as a practitioner on the ‘other side’, I believe people are deluged with a confusing excess which detracts from finding effective therapy. Additionally I run the gauntlet of others thinking this an easy commercial opportunity. I know full well my therapeutic materials and doctrines are being cavalierly handed out (somewhere in Taunton, apparently……..!) without qualification (or permission). Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery when people’s mental health is at stake. So access to information is risky to all of us!! Therapy can seem nebulous at the best of times but therapy for OCD requires a particular type of acuity. People with OCD are, by default, articulate and perspicacious so countering their complex, highly developed yet irrational obsessions requires sharp wittedness and proficiency. Hopefully in time, the quality and composition of OCD therapy will become standardised.
Finally, our collective preoccupation with all things ‘comfortable’ including the categories of convenience, quick-fix and control. As a society we have moved further away from our Grandparent’s notion that ‘life is difficult’ and closer towards the idea that ‘life needn’t be difficult for me if I can just find a way to get round it…….’, supported by the media and advertising industries who naturally know we are seduced by comfort and are in the business of selling us ideas, services and goods we want but are not necessarily good for us. I often think that Scott M Peck’s ‘The Road Less Travelled’ was a last ditch attempt in the 80’s to halt the downslide! And everyone bought it….but gave up anyway because life was just too hard!
It isn’t rocket science that my single mum clients relapse less often than my teenage clients who have loving and very obliging parents. The former has to get better and the latter doesn’t - well, not yet anyway. Concerned parents should always know that their child will only get better if they see the benefits of changing, or the penalties of not changing or both. If neither, then they aren’t ready to change.
In summary, the world in many ways is working against people with OCD so that we therapists are often playing catch up. Not able to be proactive in the face of uncertainty, but reactive to environmental stressors and influences outside our control. And there it is again. The idea of control, certainty, comfort – so integral to the core issues of OCD. Given a condition that runs, nay sprints, towards these three ideas in a constantly changing world that tells them it’s possible, my job might seem bleak. The answer of course, is acceptance, which is the cornerstone of what we do. That and the fact that I really love what I do. So I think I’ll just have to accept that and work harder…………..”
Fitness for Mental Health Consultant
Rob has worked in an advisory capacity alongside OCD First Aid for 5 years and through his own bespoke client-focused fitness work has developed an interest in the impact of fitness and nutrition upon mental health. He founded and developed the elite MyFitness Studios in London - high-end training environments with the essential atmosphere and personnel for achieving outstanding results. He now has a team of London's best personal trainers who work in a highly motivational style with clients who are often dealing with mental health issues alongside their fitness goals.
Rob has featured in Mens Fitness, Vogue, the Evening Standard and on TV where he has been interviewed about his expertise in fitness and nutrition.
Rob qualified at the YMCA and has eleven years experience of the fitness industry during which he has trained hundreds of clients in various studios across the capital. He now consults and directs fitness operations exclusively at MyFitness Studio and advises OCD First Aid on aspects of fitness in relation to mental health.
With a background in body-building Rob's specialist knowledge is in muscular development, weight loss and mental health for fitness. He has also studied the psychology of weight loss and goal achievement through close work with India.
Rob's knowledge and training methods are enhanced by his understanding of cognitive and behavioural techniques and mindfulness through his work alongside India. By being aware of their OCD issues and goals going forward, Rob can empathetically work with OCD clients at his confidential and private MyFitness Studio premises to incorporate and enhance the coping skills clients have learnt during therapy at OCD First Aid. He is then able to develop a personalised programme of fitness conducive to their recovery.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 096 0368 to book sessions with Rob or his team.
+44 207 096 0368 United Kingdom +1 646 216 8172 United States
Jacqueline H., BA (Hons)
Life Coaching for Mental Health Consultant
Jacqueline studied psychology as part of her communications degree from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and has remained committed to the field ever since.
Having had a great time in the fields of media and marketing as a content and marketing specialist, Jacqueline has moved into coaching to fulfil her first love of helping people to unleash their potential and build the life they desire and deserve.
Jacqueline will work with India to ensure a smooth transition from India’s care to you being a strong, focused, independent individual. All coaching will be bespoke to your individual needs and designed to go at the pace that works best for you.
With India’s care you’ve healed your mind, with Jacqueline’s support you will enable your mind to reach the goals that build the life you want to have and that you deserve. Jacqueline is also available to family members and friends supporting a loved one through their OCD challenges. Sessions with Jacqueline can be discussed and booked with your therapist at an appropriate point during your therapy