Debbie Battersby


Meet Debbie Battersby

I’ve always been drawn to the power of open and effective communication. How we ‘talk’ can enable us to make sense of ourselves, our experiences and the world around us. My work with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) builds on this interest.


ACT is a talk therapy that stems from traditional behaviour therapies like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Talk therapies give us the chance to explore our thoughts and feelings and the effect they have on our behaviour and mood. Describing what's going on in our head and how that makes us feel, can help us notice patterns which it may be helpful to change. In 2018 I attended a retreat in the Cairngorms about Neuroplasticity and the way the brain can be changed by behaviour and experience. From there I discovered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and decided this was the way I wanted my work to develop.


Through my own experience, I’ve seen how effective ACT can be in supporting us to make real changes in our lives.  The objective of ACT is not to eliminate difficult thoughts or feelings; rather, it encourages us to be open to what life brings and use this openness to move forward.

ACT is a powerful tool in building resilience and well-being and is effective with a wide range of issues including stress, anxiety, over-thinking and general low mood.


I trained with the founder of ACT, Dr Steven Hayes, completing his Immersion course in 2020. I’m currently completing further training with Dr Russ Harris, author and ACT Trainer to offer ACT sessions specifically for adolescents.


Before training in ACT, my early career was in education, qualifying in Primary Teaching at the Institute of Education, London in 1992. I taught in Tower Hamlets and Lancashire before joining the School Improvement Team in Cumbria as an Adviser in 2007. After many years of teaching and having developed and delivered training in literacy, communication, language acquisition, mentoring and coaching to education colleagues, I consolidated my experience in an NCFE Coaching qualification in 2019. 


This change and refocus in my career is exciting and I’m committed to sharing this work with as many people as possible in the local and wider community. ACT has enabled me to re-engage with lots of aspects of myself that have got lost or put aside over the years. I’ve rediscovered my old love for art and abstract painting in particular. I’m really interested in the challenge of trying to communicate ‘something’ through abstract textures, colours and mark-making. Pursuing a creative activity, simply for my own pleasure without being distracted by fear or doubts about wasting time or not being good enough is fun. It is also invigorating and empowering and I want support others to similarly reclaim aspects of their lives that may have got lost or been mislaid.


I am happy to meet clients face to face at Queen Street Consulting Rooms (subject to Covid-19 restrictions) or online via Zoom at my home in Ulverston. I have a current DBS certificate. I’m a member of the Association for Coaching and I abide fully by my governing body’s ethics and code of conduct.


I found Debbie’s friendly and supportive approach gave me the confidence to be honest and really look at my values and actions in an honest, but not judgemental way.  She is kind, patient and generous.  She encourages you to be kind to yourself.  This is more a celebration of who you are and how to enjoy that, than a process of picking over your weaknesses.  It is powerful and empowering, illuminating and, believe it or not, fun. ( Zosia)