a little about myself and Compass:

Hi! My name is Zachary (or Zach) and I run Compass Therapies.

For the short version: I am a therapist with 10 years of experience working in the mental health sector and practice with an Eclectic and Integrative Approach (meaning I blend and use more than one approach based on each individual's needs), being qualified primarily in Person-Centred Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy and also a practicing Clinical Supervisor.

I'm not one for showing off fancy titles after names - but if you would like to see my specific work experience, please have a look at my 
LinkedIn Profile.

I've held a very varied career in the mental health field for almost 10 years now, working in the NHS, Charitable and Third Sector Services and have worn many differing hats over those years: nurse, mentor, healthcare inspector, crisis worker, listener, expert by experience, teacher and public speaker to name a mish-mash of adventures!

The idea behind Compass came about after a career change when experiencing the many cutbacks to NHS and statutory mental health services during my time in Psychiatric Nursing . I felt that the profession was becoming more and more about paperwork and gatekeeping ill people over supporting the long-term improvement of emotional health.

This was informed also by a sudden traumatic bereavement of a close friend and family member whilst juggling sometimes upwards of 80 hour weeks. With all this pressure piling up, I suffered a quick and intense burnout:- there was no time to stop or grieve and I didn't feel I could take time off in a rather harsh working environment... I didn't know how to process my grief which lead me down a spiralling path feeling like there was no way out.

I left the profession several years ago and didn't look back -I became lost. 
I was encouraged by colleagues whilst feeling stuck that my strong suit was communication skills. With my own lived experience, along with a desire to be able to facilitate, I decided to take up the mantle and re-train as a therapist.

Over this time I've worked with a large range of clients including 'complex' cases and those involving suicidal ideations, self-harm and mental health disorders that many NHS provisions aren't able to offer or commission appropriate, longer term support and have worked with people from many differing walks of life and backgrounds and of all ages.

By being what is often referred to as the 'wounded healer' and having to navigate and at times, rely on the support of the same statutory NHS mental health services I feel has helped me gain additional insight and a connection to many of those I work with. I am not ashamed to say I have had my fair share of mental health struggles - and still do - and this is what drives my passion to provide the best support I can!

Outside of Private Practice; I offer my time and expertise to the Lincoln Trauma Centre cause as an unwaged director - helping to develop community-based mental health services whilst supporting to manage charitable services offered at the Involve@Mint Lane Community Hub in Lincoln.

You may also recognise me from my work as a Service User Governor, advocating for patients in the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

I'm a big believer in engaging in the natural world. There's a certain affinity to a sense of calm and well-being near the ocean and feeling the sea breeze, reflecting on life and taking in the broader world around us - which is backed up by clinical research.

If you have any questions about my work, please feel free to contact me!