Who am I?

I set up an independent consultancy in 1998, after twenty years corporate experience. I am fully insured and work within professional codes of ethics and practice. Like my clients, there have been times in my life when I felt stuck and vulnerable, facing things like divorce, redundancy and ill-health. The experiences led me to makes changes in my life, and I did a lot of retraining. I developed a client-focussed and integrative approach to work, drawing from psychology, business, counselling and psychotherapy.

Welcome to "The Arts of Life", the website of Dr. Lesley Roberts, an independent coach and teacher who helps people become more creative, resilient and enterprising.

I am an experienced coach, teacher and psychotherapist who also trains and facilitates small groups. My consultancy has developed largely through word of mouth, recommended by clients, students, or other professionals - a connection which leads to trust. Since trust between a client and myself is important, I decided to write openly here about myself, my work and life experience.

About my life, now :

My two children are young adults and we live in Cheltenham in an old terraced house with my husband and various pets. I often work from home and relish the opportunity that self-employment gives to create a more balanced and fulfilling life. I love being able to bring my corporate experience (in human resources, sales and marketing, organisation development) into my own business; and into volunteer work with Young Enterprise to help young people establish small businesses.

About my own life challenges :

I am personally aware of the difficulties associated with change and challenge - whether it happens to you, or you choose to bring it into your life. I have felt vulnerable, in the grip of stress, struggling to let go of old thoughts, feelings, behaviours and beliefs while trying to find the courage to move on. I sometimes think life could be seen as a constant stream of "transitions" which help you become who you are. In my own life the things which challenged me include a nomadic childhood around Scotland and the North East which led to a sense of not fitting in anywhere; then rebellious teen years; a series of temporary jobs after university; combining motherhood with difficult career change; separation and divorce; redundancy; illness; academic study in my late thirties; and even learning new creative skills which I felt were beyond me to start with. They have all made me who I am today.

About my professional background :

After a degree in Education and Psychology, I worked in business for twenty years, rising from administrator to Director. After redundancy I set up an independent consultancy, Twenty Twenty, to specialise in working with individuals and small teams. I trained in several specialist approaches, including block clearance therapy, and undertook doctoral research. I now help people become more creative, resilient and enterprising, integrating these approaches in a practical and intuitive way.

About my values :

I believe it is important to work at what you enjoy, and to find time to do more of what you like - so I help people feel empowered to create lives that enrich and satisfy them. I try to live this value and maintain my own balance through having my work and creative practices, as well as interests like swimming, yoga, reading, cinema, some travel, and seeing friends and family. I love spending time lost in the flow of creative or reflective activities because it is a positive antidote to life in fast-moving consumer society, and it helps you to reconnect with a more natural, authentic self.

About the sort of clients who like working with me :

Some simply cannot cope with feeling stuck, lost or confused any more. Some are self-employed or business professionals seeking confidential support outside their organisations. People of all ages (15 - 65) seek careers advice. Some want to make changes before or during retirement. I help all of them to better understand themselves and their strengths, as well as the personal and business challenges they face. I help them all learn to respond to life's challenges with more resilience and positivity.