Dr Bimal Patel, Personal Development Coaching, MD, MA, DNM, MDCH, MBNLP
Hi, I’m Bimal.
Welcome to my profile, and thanks for taking time to browse.
My unique approach
During my training as a doctor, I realised the medical model wasn’t the right approach for me. I wanted to be free to help the whole human flourish, rather than being limited to treating a set of symptoms and data points.
My desire was to place equal emphasis on thoughts, feelings and intuition (the head, the heart and the gut). This led me to develop a unique way of working, in a private practice that was a better fit for me and for my clients.
Fast forward a decade, and today I offer a caring, in-depth and holistic approach to coaching, covering the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of life.
If you’d like to arrange a session with me, drop me a note via the Email link and we can look at availability. I offer sessions in person from my home in Woking, and online via FaceTime or Skype.
My fee for this service is £150 per one hour session.
Choosing a practitioner
Finding the right practitioner is key, so my first task is to help demystify the process.
My wish is that you make the right choice for you, even if that means your journey takes you elsewhere.
There are seven key points to contemplate. Whilst this makes for a long read, it’s time well spent if you’re committed to living your best life:
1 - Growth
Look for a practitioner who can offer you ample space to grow. Someone who has, through self reflection and through working with their own practitioner, extensively travelled the terrain you wish to explore.
Let’s say you wish to explore how to have better interpersonal relationships. Look for a practitioner who has a deep understanding of the relevant theories and practices, and who has thoroughly examined their own ways of relating with others.
In other words, think like a martial artist. A white belt can improve under the guidance of a black belt first dan, but a black belt first dan will need the guidance of a black belt fifth dan.
2 - Trust
In order for you to grow, you and your practitioner will need to form a good working alliance. One that is built on trust and mutual respect.
The first pillar of this type of trust is authenticity. Seek a practitioner who is clearly at ease in their own skin and natural in your company. Avoid those who come across as too polished, ultra perfect or playing a role. You’ll recognise them by the slightly uncomfortable, icky feeling on your skin.
Pro tip: trust your gut. Your enteric (gut) brain, assisted by your cardiac (heart) brain, will give you all the information you need. Your cephalic (head) brain won’t be of use in this particular area.
Authenticity is vital. The best practitioners will consistently encourage, implicitly through modelling and explicitly through careful feedback, the emergence and unfolding of your truest self.
The second pillar regarding this type of trust is containment. Your practitioner is responsible for creating and maintaining a secure container within which the work can take place.
Containment comes from healthy boundaries (establishment of a warmly human yet professional working relationship with conversations beginning and ending on time), appropriate handling of client disclosures (practitioner knowing what to do with offered information, keeping strict confidentiality and knowing how and when to break confidentiality), the rupture and repair process (practitioner knowing how to handle those rare, challenging yet potentially also strengthening instances when the client feels unmet or let down).
When authenticity and containment are both sufficiently present, something amazing happens.
As a client you begin to relax and to feel safe. With this, valuable information from the outer reaches of your awareness begins to make itself available to you. As you and your practitioner work with this information, you begin to change profoundly for the better.
3 - Balance
Some practitioners are more yin-orientated, nurturing and caring, whilst others tend naturally to be more yang-orientated, direct and cavalier. The best practitioners are able to blend yin and yang, authoritative and facilitative approaches, into a seamless, integrated and powerful whole that is, at all times, in service of the client.
To explore this a little further, I recommend reading the first chapter of Helping The Client by John Heron.
4 - Supervision
If you have found a spacious, trustworthy and balanced practitioner, you’re well on your way. The nest thing to check is whether your practitioner is in supervision.
Every practitioner, no matter how talented or experienced, should be discussing their work with a qualified, trusted and experienced supervisor at least once a month as a matter of good ethical practice.
Supervision is where the practitioner’s blindspots become known and worked with, and where the gnarly knots that inevitably arise in client work can be untangled. It is a rich source of learning and growth for the practitioner, and a matter of safety and efficacy for the client.
Incidentally, a good supervisor would also be taking their work with supervisees to supervision, for exactly the same reasons.
Working unsupervised is, in my book, a cardinal sin and a deal-breaker. I would never consider working unsupervised, being the client of an unsupervised practitioner or referring a client to an unsupervised practitioner. Just as I would never consider taking off on a plane whose pilot is intoxicated or whose pre-flight safety checks haven’t been carried out.
Feel free to directly ask a practitioner whether or not they are in supervision, paying close attention to how they respond. It will tell you a lot.
5 - Transference
Even the most highly recommended practitioner may not be the right choice for every client, particularly if something about them jars badly with the client or too closely resembles someone from the client’s world.
The latter is an example of the phenomenon of transference, and it’s a reminder of the importance of safety and trust. A good relational fit with an ethical practitioner sets the scene for a client to open up and for deep insight to occur.
My advice is to persevere through the challenge of finding a suitable practitioner. Take the usual common sense steps, such as putting the call out amongst folks whose discretion and judgement you trust. And bear in mind that nothing is wasted in your exploration, even if you encounter unsuitable practitioners and have to backtrack.
When you find yourself the right practitioner and you’re courageous, well supported and motivated to put in the hard work, your life will begin to change for the better.
6 - Countertransference
At some point your external attributes (chiefly money, power, status and beauty) may begin to influence the relational dynamic between you and your practitioner.
It is normal for proactive countertransference (when the practitioner unwittingly begins to view their client as something or someone other than who they actually are) to occur every now and then.
The key is for the practitioner to recognise countertransference and to work with it, particularly in supervision. When handled this way, countertransference need not be a problem. In fact it can often be quite helpful, especially for the practitioner in developing empathy and insight with their client.
For example, the practitioner may come to more deeply understand how painful it can be when others see you for your external attributes, rather than for who you are as a whole person.
From your perspective, simply notice the relational dynamic as it begins to take shape. Be mindful of practitioners who begin to wither in your presence or try to assert their dominance over you, particularly if you are also a well-known individual.
The relationship between client and practitioner is sacred. It needs to be egalitarian, albeit necessarily asymmetric (it’s about your needs, not those of your practitioner; your practitioner brings knowledge and experience to the table that you might not yet have).
7 - Enjoyment
Last but not least, try to find a practitioner whose company you really enjoy. Especially if you’re looking to work with them over the long-term.
Of course it’s nice to enjoy your investment of time, money and energy. But there’s more to it than this.
David Christian of The Big History Project refers to Goldilocks Conditions: the “sweet spot” conditions arising in the universe that allow paradigms to shift and life to flourish. Not too hot, not too cold, just right.
It’s like that in this kind of work. Find a practitioner who wants to work with you, and who you want to work with. Someone who really takes time to hear you and to understand you. Someone whose approach is neither too timid, nor too challenging, but instead is robust and flexible, adapting dynamically to your needs in the moment.
When you find such a practitioner and together you develop a good working alliance, you’ll notice leaving each conversation in much better shape than you arrived. Feeling energised and invigorated. And together with your practitioner you’ll be able to trace your arc of progress over time.
Training, qualifications & experience
Training and qualifications
Metanoia Institute, London, 2012-2014
- MA, Psychological Coaching
University of Surrey, Guildford, 2009-2013
- DNM, Postgraduate Diploma in Nutritional Medicine
Metanoia Institute, London, 2011
- Certification, Interpersonal and Counselling Skills
London College of Clinical Hypnosis, London, 2010
- MDCH, Medical Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis
National Centre for Eating Disorders, London, 2010
- Excellence in Practitioner Skills, Management of Eating Disorders
The EFT Centre, London, 2010
- Diploma, Integrative Energy Techniques & Mindfulness-Based NLP
The EFT Centre, London, 2009
- Certification Levels 1, 2 and 3 (Advanced), Emotional Freedom Technique
1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, 1997-2007
- MD, Medicine & Surgery
General Medical Council, UK, 2008-present
- GMC Membership Number 7018089
Private practice, UK and international, 2009-present
- Personal development coaching for individuals from all walks of life
Humanthropie, Geneva, 2015-2016
- Business coaching for senior leaders of humanitarian organisations
Zee TV, UK and Europe, 2015-2016
- Confidence, motivation and wellbeing expert on 2 one hour feature length programmes
Areas of coaching I deal with
Coaching for coaches
”If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African proverb)
I’m passionate about helping coaches of all backgrounds become the best they can be.
If you’re a thoughtful, heart-centred and motivated practitioner who believes you have found your true calling, and you see a close relationship between you as a person and you as a practitioner, I’m here to help you achieve your goals.
The service I offer is a blend of coaching, supervision and mentoring, co-created and tailored to your needs as they arise session by session.
My fee for this service is £85 per one hour session.