What People Say About Working With Catherine

what people say about working with Catherine Topham Sly

What People Say About Working With Catherine Topham Sly

Thank you to everyone who has generously taken the time to share feedback on our work together. Click to find out more about how you can work with me. Read on to discover what people say about working with Catherine Topham Sly, relationships after kids specialist therapist and coach. (To read what people say about the coaching program Love Happy Live Free, click here.)

 

Couples Counselling, June 2022

 

What made you decide to book sessions with Catherine?

“She seemed to have great knowledge and understanding in her field.”

How would you describe how your relationship was before working with Catherine, and how it changed or is afterwards?

“We were struggling to see things from each other’s perspective and would quickly fall into negative patterns of behaviour and communication. We have much more awareness of our patterns and have been able to change the way we communicate in order to stop us spiralling into negative patterns. We are more willing to listen to one another and to try and understand each other’s different perspectives. We are calmer and more of a team.”

What was most helpful?

“Having to really listen to one another and hear how each of us felt.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“I would say ‘go for it, everyone and every relationship could benefit from working with Catherine‘.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Thank you for helping my partner see the benefits of therapy!”

 

Couples Counselling, June 2022

 

How would you describe how your relationship was before working with Catherine, and how it changed or is afterwards?

“Our relationship was strong and not broken by any means but we’d slipped into some negative habits we were both aware of. We both felt as if we needed someone to help us bridge the gap that had been created through our busy and often stressful lives. Catherine helped us get to where we knew we wanted to be by giving us the tools we needed to help ourselves.”

What was most helpful?

A balanced understanding and approach.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“Go for it, everyone would benefit from working on themselves and as a couple. Couples therapy or counselling sounds daunting and is often stereotyped. Any initial fears will surely dissolve upon a few sessions.”

 

Love Happy Live Free Individual Coaching, June 2022

 

What made you decide to sign up for Love Happy Live Free?

“I started following you on Instagram and Facebook and felt that I could relate to lots of your posts and advice. I then saw you post about this course at a time when I felt like I had hit a wall in my marriage and needed to make some changes and improvements.”

What was most helpful about the program?

“I really liked the way that you could take the modules at your own pace and choose when learning would fit into your own day. I also really like the additional resources and video links outside of the videos that you had recorded.”

“Lastly I just want to thank you for always replying to queries and messages very promptly, it made me feel like you were there behind me and supporting me throughout the course, so thank you!”

 

Love Happy Live Free Couples Coaching, May 2022

 

How would you describe how your relationship was before working with Catherine, and how it changed or is afterwards?

“I was still struggling in my relationship despite having sought out help individually. I had done a super useful 1:1 with Catherine which set the tone for my relationship journey for sure as well as therapy with Better Help. Communication was the biggest problem and I couldn’t see a way of moving forward without us BOTH getting the SAME input. The course was a great compromise and alternative to couples therapy which would have been too invasive I believe for my partner. I’m not sure I would have wanted to do it alone as I felt I had already worked quite a bit individually on this.”

“Going through the concepts together was the most useful element for us (we viewed things separately) we didn’t talk that much about what we had taken on board but I could definitely see changes in behaviour on both sides which was great. For me personally it was eye opening around responsibilities over emotions, my passive aggressive behaviours and how our partners’ are not mind-readers. Also some great reminders around high mood and low mood. The pace was good and accountability (reminders from Catherine). It gave me hope that we can move through our current struggles and shift my sometimes catastrophizing mindset.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering joining Love Happy Live Free?

“Catherine is one of the best relationship therapists I know and follow. She embodies what she teaches, whilst being open and honest about her and by default our shortcomings as humans. Love Happy Live Free is a non-judgement zone. This course has been a game-changer for our relationship. From managing low moods, communicating clearly and fairly to getting out of the right/wrong dynamic couples so often fall into after kids, Love Happy Live Free has helped us both let our guard down, embrace our differences and remember what brought us together in the first place.”

“Having a happy relationship takes on-going effort and commitment, I think we forget that. It’s an investment of time (so often pulled in other directions) and when you can, money. Here’s to investing in our relationships, in the end they are the most important things we have.”

 

Love Happy Live Free Individual Coaching, May 2022

 

What was most helpful about the program?

“Combination of feeling supported/wide mix of areas to consider/mostly opportunity to email about anything, be heard and coached!!!”

What has changed for you since doing the course?

“I’m being more assertive with my own needs. I’m speaking up & out. My partner has been in therapy now for 3 months and has shown major changes down to me not accepting his behaviour anymore.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering joining Love Happy Live Free?

Do it! It was perfectI’ve done a variety of stuff on the kind of thing and yours stands out as high value!”

 

One-Off Coaching Call, April 2022

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“I felt like my relationship was at breaking point (again) and needed external support. Several years ago we tried couples counseling and the commitment (weekly) felt overwhelming at this point in our family dynamic (we have a 1 year old and my partner does shift work). The option for a call and for just a few sessions felt do-able for us.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“I was worried about having separate coaching sessions. I was surprised to find they worked well and allowed for me to ask for support/advice in a way I might not have been able to had my partner been there (e.g. how do I tell him that I’m feeling X in a way he’ll understand and respond to?). I also found Catherine to be extremely practical! She understands the realities of parenthood, work, and relationships and gives support in navigating within them.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“I would tell someone to give it a go, they might be surprised at how helpful it can be. It didn’t feel like a therapy session, rather it felt like a step in a process of forward motion. I think my partner responded well to that aspect of it and anyone who has a reluctant partner might find the same.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I’m grateful for someone like Catherine who is easy to connect with, is definitely feminist 💪, and is practical. She was able to connect with me and my partner, which I imagine might have been a challenge at times!”

 

One-Off Coaching Call, April 2022

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“Arguments and frustrations building up, felt the need to speak to someone independent, and I resonated with a lot of what you shared online.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Writing everything down before the coaching call, and going through it methodically really helped me think about the issues in smaller chunks, rather than one big overwhelming problem. Catherine really helped me to reframe what was going on in our relationship and think strategically about how to improve everyday interactions as well as longer term issues. I came away from the session feeling much more optimistic and well equipped to make some significant changes and get back to being happy and in love! Catherine is very open, welcoming and non-judgemental. I felt very safe and supported when speaking with her, and the whole process was simple and straightforward. Thank you so much!”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine? 

Do it! Really worthwhile and a good investment in your relationship and future happiness!

 

One-Off Coaching Call, March 2022

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“I heard about Insight & Connection from a friend who has seen lots of good reviews and feedback online.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Catherine really understood my relationship challenges and not only empathised but also provided thoughtful and considered insights and advice.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“If you’re considering working with Catherine, don’t hesitate, you will absolutely benefit from the experience. In a 50 minute coaching call I gained more insight and understanding into my relationship than in months of therapy elsewhere.”

 

Couples Counselling, February 2022

 

How did you hear about Insight & Connection?

“During lockdown I watched a zoom session that Catherine did through the Mush app. I really liked her attitude, vibe and the way she talked about relationships. My husband had been suggesting that we speak to someone about some of our issues for a few months and I couldn’t quite imagine speaking to a stranger about something so intimate, however I got the feeling straight away that I would be able to speak openly to Catherine.”

What made you decide to book sessions with Catherine?

“My husband and I have been together for almost 16 years. We have apparent mismatched sex drives and it was the one thing in our relationship that wasn’t perfect. We kept going round and round in circles about it, hurting one another and getting more entrenched. It had gotten to the point where we just couldn’t talk about it anymore. We’d tried everything and we had come to the realisation that we just couldn’t fully comprehend  our differences without emotions getting in the way and needed help to get there.”

How would you describe how your relationship was before working with Catherine, and how it changed or is afterwards?

“Our relationship has always been solid and harmonious for the most part. We rarely would argue, we respect one another and we are a great team. We would have flare ups every so often when my husband would get to a point of being hurt by my apparent lack of interest in our sex life. These flare ups haven’t happened since our sessions with Catherine and if there is any sign of them beginning, we can sit down and remind each other of what Catherine taught us, have a hug and a kiss and continue with our day harmoniously.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“We both found that having Catherine there on the computer, guiding the conversations, we were able to open up to one another about how we were feeling without judgement and emotions. Before, I usually would clam up as soon as my husband would bring up the topic as it felt like a danger topic (the only one we’d ever fight about), but it always felt like Catherine was protecting the space and I knew that I would be able to voice my side of things fully without interruption and really get my side of things across without anything being misconstrued. This was so crucial to help us progress.”

“We already knew that my husband experiences spontaneous arousal and that I experience responsive arousal. My husband used to interpret my responsive arousal as 1) me not being interested in sex 2) giving in and giving him pity sex 3) me being lazy and just leaving the initiation to him. I can completely understand how he interpreted my actions in this way. Catherine was able to help us get to the point where he realised that none of the above were the case and that it is just the way I am built and nothing personal against him. She also taught both of us ways of doing little things that will help the other feel appreciated and seen. Our conversations 5 months after Catherine released us into the big wide world are still so much more productive, using what we learned from her.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Do it, you won’t regret it. I even think that couples who aren’t experiencing turbulent times should work with her for a few sessions just to see how they can make their relationship even better. I am a very private person and never thought I’d be able to do learn to open up as I did during our sessions with Catherine. Catherine is so approachable, she’s completely judgement free and very empathetic. I can’t recommend her enough.”

 

Couples Counselling, February 2022

 

What made you decide to book sessions with Catherine?

“We had been to 2 counsellors previously; the first one we had to stop working with due to Covid and the second one… to be polite was useless.”

How would you describe how your relationship was before working with Catherine, and how it changed or is afterwards?

“Our relationship had silently reached breaking point. We were not communicating at all unless we really had too, avoiding each other, working late, going to bed at separate times, not discussing any issues (that didn’t involve our children), and becoming quite disrespectful to each other. We were two people that had 3 kids in common and that was all…”

Now we are both confident that we can go forward in our marriage with a better understanding of how to communicate with each other. We know this won’t be easy after 20+ years of bad habits, but we are both willing and Catherine has left the door open for us to return at anytime if we need more sessions. I personally am so grateful that we took the plunge to work with Catherine as it takes a lot to say you know what we need help, rather than walking away.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Talking about our feelings… it sounds cliche, but my husband and I never properly argued, asked how each other was feeling whether good or bad, so we kept everything locked up inside until I reached breaking point, which led to huge resentment in the relationship and us pulling away from each other leaving a massive gap in our relationship.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Don’t think about it, just do it, you have absolutely nothing to lose and so, so much to gain about yourself, your partner and your relationship.”

 

Couples Counselling, October 2021

 

What made you decide to book sessions with Catherine?

“We heard about Catherine in a Mush talk and liked her vibe, I had previously mentioned to my wife that maybe we needed to talk to someone about our issues with sex and so we got in touch. We decided to work with Catherine, because it felt like we were stuck going over the same issue of mismatched sex drives again and again. The animosity from this was starting to affect other areas of our marriage, so we decided to be proactive.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Before we started working with Catherine we were in a kind of truce, where we didn’t talk about it, but there it was, bubbling under the surface. Almost immediately Catherine got us talking more openly to each other, she helped us empathise with each other’s situations in a way that we hadn’t for years. She created this wonderful safe space where there was no blame, or guilt and we could just get down to sorting our issues out without upsetting each other like we usually did.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“To anyone considering working with Catherine I would say ‘Do it!! Now!’ My regret is not doing it years and years ago.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I hear your wise words every time I feel old thought patterns re-emerging and then imagine a gorilla holding an egg. Thanks again for everything Catherine, I feel like I’m a better husband and human after the weeks we spent talking to you.”

 

One-Off Coaching Call, August 2021

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“Catherine sent out an email offering one-off calls, and my husband and I have been having a rough go of it lately so it seemed like a great time to have a personalized chat with her.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Her questionnaire beforehand was very thorough, so I didn’t feel the need to spend our entire session catching her up on what was going on. It allowed her to get a detailed understanding of what had been going on before we even began. She addressed every issue that I mentioned, and for items that could be covered by having me go over supplementary information, she sent me links afterwards to read and digest later. She was very understanding, validating, and explained practical ways to implement her suggestions.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Do it! I gained more in that 1-hour phone call than I have in months of trying to figure out things on my own.”

 

One-Off Coaching Call, August 2021

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“Things had come to a head (again) with my husband, and I decided to do something about it from my side.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Knowing that she has experience with this situation, as well as being understanding and living through it herself!”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“Ignoring the issue or spending money on nails/hair etc will not solve the problem. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Professional help for these sorts of things can make a world of difference.”

 

One-Off Coaching Call, May 2021

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“Communication had broken down to the point we were having regular arguments about the same thing and we weren’t getting anywhere.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

How practical all her tips were. She listened and just really ‘got it‘. My mindset totally shifted in a couple of weeks and I feel so much lighter and happier.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Do it. Talking to someone outside the relationship who’s not blinkered is so hugely valuable.”

 

Couples Counselling, May 2021

 

What made you decide to book sessions with Catherine?

“We had reached a point in our relationship where we weren’t able to resolve issues ourselves and our homelife was being impacted by arguments.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

Gaining a better understanding of myself and how I operate, [my partner] and how he operates and what we had perceived as being a ‘clash’ in personalities actually can be something really positive that we can use to our advantage.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Do it, it’s so worth investing in for the health of your relationship.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Thank-you Catherine, you really have changed our lives.”

 

One-off Coaching Call, March 2021

 

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Catherine is warm, calm and very easy to open up to without fear of being judged. She offered practical advice that was easy to absorb and was very compassionate about my situation, while also challenging some of my assumptions about the reasons behind some of my partner’s behaviour, which made me consider things from a new angle.”

 

One-off Coaching Call, March 2021

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“Her content on Instagram really resonated with me in terms of what I was going through with my partner. On her stories her manner was calm and comforting. She had a sense of quiet confidence about her and pragmatism in the way she approached different topics.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“Normalising patterns and behaviour that I am experiencing within my relationship currently. Offering hope that things can improve, giving me practical examples of things to try and tweak over the next few weeks. Giving me the permission to continue on my growth journey without expecting my partner to be on the same path or feeling responsible for his growth and overall life satisfaction. Also being encouraged to write about some of the topics you wanted to cover on the call in as much detail as you wanted was really liberating. Catherine took great care in digesting my information and usefully played it back to me during out session. She also sent many useful resources afterwards which I have ben able to digest at my own pace.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

“Catherine is pragmatic, considerate, practical. She puts you at ease, listens and is what she preaches curiously compassionate 😉 She takes all the potential shame or guilt around asking for help out of the equation and provides you with so many practical and theoretical (if you want that too) tips and advice.”

 

One-off Coaching Call, February 2021

 

How did you hear about Insight & Connection?

“Through Instagram somehow, probably a mom’s parenting page… I started following her and really appreciated her focus on marriage with kids. I haven’t seen anyone else address it head on like that.”

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“I felt like i just needed some feedback from a professional, I felt stuck in this loop in my head.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“She was such a calming force, I felt very supported, she pointed out a few things i should look at, gave a book recommendation, she reframed some of the issues I had swirling around in my head, and she was able to bring the conversation to really nice ending point.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

She’ll help “calm the crazy” as I like to say. Motherhood and marriage is messy and amazing and hard. It’s such a huge life transition and so little is discussed around it. Catherine really validated my experience and gave me some great advice. I got more out of that one hour than I expected. I really appreciated it. It made me want to sign up with her as my therapist!”

 

One-off Coaching Call, November 2020

 

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

“I was impressed by the website and Catherine’s credentials.”

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

“The clarity of her questions, including when completing the questionnaire before the session. Catherine’s style of covering the points that I raised in a direct but sensitive way; I felt extremely well heard and held.”

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Definitely go for it; Catherine is very professional and very good at what she does.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I felt that my session was really good value for money because Catherine shared models of relationships, gave me recommendations for further therapy, gave me the space to talk, challenged (in a positive way) my position so that I could reflect and she also got me thinking about the areas that I would benefit from working on. Overall, I felt that she held a very effective clinical space, whilst also creating feelings of warmth and understanding.”

 

Individual Counselling, October 2020

 

So many things were helpful that it is hard to choose just one. Most helpful was probably how compassionate you were towards me. This slowly helped me shift the way that I relate to myself. Counselling felt like a very safe and warm space, in which I could look at myself with more kindness and allow myself to express feelings and needs. This has helped me personally as well as making me more open in my relationships with other people, privately and at work. Thank you Catherine. The two years with you have meant a lot to me and have changed me in many ways.”

 

Individual Counselling, August 2020

 

“I could not have asked for a better independent witness to my story than Catherine. As she joined me on my journey she was kind and supportive. Encouraging me to see things in a different light. I will probably return at some stage; Catherine’s instinctive approach and skill of picking out key elements in my narrative helped me make sense of things at this difficult time for me. Thank you. Everything was clear & straight forward. Which is no mean feat when you are operating in a global pandemic!!”

 

Couples Counselling, August 2020

 

“Catherine always remained calm and collected even during times filled with conflict in couples therapy. She managed to bring back my then boyfriend to a calmer state and I felt like she was standing up for me when I couldn’t. I felt like I had a good bond with her and trusted her so that I could open up in front of her.”

 

Individual Counselling, July 2019

 

“One of the most useful things about going to counselling was learning so much about myself. I feel I am in a very different place from when I first started and I owe it to the support and help which Catherine offered. I will not rule out returning if I feel I need to, but for now I feel happy with the place I am in.”

 

Individual Counselling, June 2018

 

What was most helpful about your counselling?

“Having a different perspective on my situation and what I was going through. Talking through how I was feeling and then being directed by Catherine to look at things in a different way and make connections to other parts of my life and relationships helped to make sense of things. I really found the whole experience really helpful and exactly what I needed at the point I was at. Thank you for your help.”

 

Individual Counselling, January 2018

 

“Catherine describes herself as a demystifier – and she is. But not just of psychobabble. She helped me through the fog of self doubt, delusion, depression that clouded me in a difficult period of my life. And in place of fog she helped install the ropes and tackle I needed to climb onto dry land, out from the cold, and find a seat back by the fire. But equally, she possesses a superpower (and a useful one for a therapist): she has an off-the-chart ability to listen. To make you hear her listening, to adjust the quality of silence you sometimes need to say what you didn’t know you were going to say, to make you feel heard. Her empathy is palpable; yet I’ve never once felt patronised. Most extraordinary is that she does all this without judgement or prejudice, but with sincerity and good humour. It’s pretty much the perfect combination and I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t benefit from talking to Catherine. And I can’t thank her enough.”

 

Couples Counselling, November 2017

 

“Thanks for all your help. I will be in touch if I need to in the future. You were excellent.”

 

Individual Counselling, August 2017

 

“Catherine was wise and supportive, picking out elements of my story and helping me see things in a different way. I will probably return at some stage; Catherine has been very kind and helpful at a difficult time in my life.”

 

Individual Counselling, May 2017

 

“I just want to say a huge thank you for the past year. The help you’ve given me has been invaluable and I’ve learnt so much about myself, my past, and my relationship to the wider world. Your guidance and help will stand to me for the rest of my life and I’ve made so many positive changes in the past year, a lot of which I feel I owe to you. Thank you so much for everything.”

 

Thanks for reading what people have to say about working with Catherine Topham Sly. For details of latest availability you can email me here. You can also join the mailing list to get free expert advice on relationships after kids.