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Get To Know Me

Coach  •  Mentor  •  Teacher  •  Listener  •  Gardener  •  Vegan  •  RA Warrior

Hi, I’m Tamara. Mindset Coach, founder of Keystone Coaching and nature lover. When I was 25 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It came on suddenly and unexpectedly after a period of stress during my first year as a teacher, and required an extensive period of time off work during which I was in so much pain I could barely walk or turn on a tap. 

Working out what was wrong with me was difficult and I had to learn to advocate for myself and fight for a diagnosis. When it came, I was both shocked and relieved, but of course my journey was really only just beginning.

Over the last 18 years, I've been on several types of medication, have tried herbal remedies, diets and anything I can find to help alleviate the pain and suffering caused by my condition. I now know that I also experienced months of depression when I was first diagnosed, and it took me 16 years to fully accept and make peace with the loss of the life I might have had and embrace the person I am.

Unfortunately, no matter how amazing the drugs are (and my current biologic is incredible!), they can't take away all the pain and they can't help with the feelings of self-doubt, frustration, anger, and self-consciousness. Nor can they stop those soul-crushing negative thoughts that tell you you are a burden, useless, and incapable. Worse still are the fears that people don't believe you are in pain just because you force yourself to get on with life and appear to have good and bad days.

Three months after my diagnosis and starting medication, I went back to work full time as a primary school teacher and went on to have an enjoyable, successful teaching career that lasted 15 years. I was even able to balance my time and energy enough to study for my masters while also working full time as a class teacher and key stage leader (would not recommend!) and started Keystone Coaching shortly after graduating. 


Why am I telling you this personal story? Well, I want you to know that I practice what I preach. Positive Psychology Interventions have been an enormous help in learning how to manage daily pain and I dearly wish someone had taught me the link between mindset and physical wellbeing sooner. I now have a much better quality of life, find sleeping easier - although my 40's are bringing additional challenges with that! I've learned strategies to help me cope on the tough days and focus on the good days. I consider myself an RA Warrior and humour is one of those strategies, so I hope you enjoy the cartoon below. It's the little things, right?

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I will never lose my love for education and I continue to support the mental wellbeing of educational organisations and their communities through my other venture Positive Education UK & Ireland, that I co-founded with my good friend and business partner Zeena Hicks. 

But, I am truly passionate about helping people learn psychological and practical strategies to thrive through their chronic illness. The mental and emotional support was missing from my treatment plan, and I don't want anyone else to take 15+ years to accept their diagnosis and live a flourishing life. Even one year is too long.

So, for those people like me who are living with chronic pain, arthritis or another chronic illness or auto-immune disorders, remember you are NOT your condition. It is possible to strengthen your mindset, build your resilience and take charge of your wellbeing so you can continue to live life to the full. If I can do it, you can! If you have a chronic health condition and feel you would benefit from personal mindset coaching from someone who understands your experience, please contact me to arrange a free 1:1 discovery session.

Professional Qualifications

I support the professionalisation of the coaching industry in the UK and am an accredited Senior Practitioner Coach and Mentor with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), operating under their Code of Ethics. I hold a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology (MAPPCP), and ensure I stay up to date with the latest research developments in coaching, positive psychology and wellbeing.

As a long-term practitioner of meditation, my interest in the concrete scientific evidence supporting mindfulness meditation increased during my masters degree. I completed my training to be a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher to deepen my knowledge and broaden my offering to clients. I am a qualified Mental Health First Aider and I-ACT Manager which supports my coaching and training and helps me know when to signpost people for further support. 


I am fully insured by Oxygen Professional Insurance, and, as part of my EMCC requirements, I receive regular supervision from an experienced supervisor.  

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Get Started Today!

Reading To Your Dog

What can you do right now?


Try asking yourself these questions:

  • What are my core values?

  • How do they support my decisions?

  • What examples do I have of times when I have truly lived my values?

  • What are my top strengths?

  • How do I use them in my life?

  • How could I make better use of my strengths?

  • What do I love to do?

  • When do I make time to be happy or play?

Use your improved self-awareness to write down 3 affirmations to create a strong and positive mindset and remind yourself who you truly are each morning. Keep them in the present tense (I am/I have) and focus on the positive.

Here are some suggestions:

  • I am a strong, centred person

  • I welcome happiness into my life

  • I have the power to control my thoughts

  • I am kind and generous to others and myself

  • I allow myself to be who I am without any judgement

  • I have the power to change my story

Image by Thought Catalog
Morning Coffee

The first 30 minutes of your morning often impacts the whole of your day, so spend 10 minutes writing down or reading your affirmations when you get up. Focus on the words, close your eyes and visualise yourself living your affirmations. Imagine what you look like, how you behave and what you say. I am confident you will find that there are many ways you already embody them!


Creating a daily affirmations practice is a step on the way to improving your mindset, but you must be open to change and willing to work on challenging your negative thoughts. Your mind can’t tell the difference between what you think, and your reality, so remember that you have the power to transform the lens through which you see the world and with it create the life you want.

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