A high-flyer who found herself feeling incredibly low.
Achieve your potential while avoiding self-harm. How to manage stress, understand emotions, overcome perfectionism, increase resilience and maintain well-being, by a former international journalist who's in recovery from an eating disorder.
On the outside, an Oxford-educated, former foreign correspondent and international journalist who lived all over the world, had a desk in parliament and travelled with prime ministers. On the inside, a woman struggling with low self-esteem, fear of failure, crippling perfectionism and an eating disorder that began in her teenage years. Katherine has been in recovery from self-harming behaviours including binge eating and drinking, compulsive exercise and compulsive achievement for 13 years. Now a freelancer writer, motivational speaker, coach and mentor, she shares her experience openly and honestly to help young people achieve their unique potential while maintaining their well-being. Katherine's vulnerability gives pupils and teachers permission to open up about their own struggles and restore their emotional health, leading to a healthy school environment where personal problems are addressed before they cause harm. Her talks sow seeds, helping pupils understand it's OK to be open about their difficulties, while it can be dangerous to hide them.
In her talks and workshops, Katherine raises aspirations by sharing her story of growing up in Liverpool with a single mum on a meagre budget and going on to Oxford University to study Modern Languages and to work for Reuters around the world. But she also shares her struggles with low self-esteem, poor body image, an eating disorder and other self-harming behaviours and in doing so, encourages pupils to look after their emotional and mental health alongside their achievements.
She offers tools for managing emotions, dealing with stress in healthy ways, overcoming low self-esteem, overcoming perfectionism, thriving and flourishing. She is passionate about inspiring students to achieve their dreams while staying well.
Katherine also speaks on Employability and Playing to Your Strengths. She helps pupils understand their unique strengths and their core talents so that they can find the career, job or apprenticeship that suits their personality and will enable them to thrive. These talks on unique strengths are also appropriate for primary school children. In addition, Katherine delivers workshops on interview skills, CV writing and speaking with confidence.
She also delivers talks on careers in journalism and the media - based on a 20 year career as a news reporter with Bloomberg and Reuters and as a freelance journalist working for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Psychologies, Red, The Daily Mail and other media. She is also passionate about the benefits of studying languages since she speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently and studied French and Spanish at university.
Finally, Katherine speaks to teachers about authenticity, stress management and playing to their strengths.
"Our centre would like to thank Katherine for her workshop on eating disorders and coping mechanisms. The life of a teenager in London brings many challenges and coupled with these are school exams and family expectations, as well as social media and friends. Katherine challenges students to pause and take a moment to reflect upon themselves as young adults. Katherine’s own experiences will probably have struck a chord with many sitting within the hall whether they admit it or not. Our centre is very grateful to Katherine for highlighting the many triggers that can cause complications and ensuring students know what options they have". David Bailey, Head of Sixth Form, Our Lady's Convent High School.
"A really engaging workshop which enabled the students to consider their underlying issues with body image. Within a safe and trusting environment, Katherine offered a range of accessible coping mechanisms. This is invaluable work which gave the students a safe place to examine deep-rooted, often taboo body image concerns. Feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive". J. Winters, Sixth Form Tutor, Bromley High School.
"Katherine came in and delivered a workshop to my group of 14 students. All of the students have faced challenges at school and as a result, are no longer educated in mainstream education. Despite these potential obstacles, Katherine delivered an engaging and thought provoking workshop which led the students to think clearly about their areas of strength and their natural gifts ... Katherine led with confidence, despite the challenging group". Naomi Aidoo, Lead Teacher: St David's KS4 Alternative Education Provision.