Katya has a love of teaching and has been able to continue this passion through her coaching career and with others who are creating small businesses.
Katya experience of anxiety and burnout has helped her to identify the simple ways that she can care for herself while also caring for others.
Katya joins us for Episode 22 of the Authentic Tea podcast to share her story behind The Working Well Doctor and how she is supporting people who care to thrive well in life and find their own path.
It's a pleasure to be joined in this episode by Katya. Katya is the founder of the Working Well Doctor and is passionate about helping others to thrive well, during tough times, Katya is supporting caring professionals with children to thrive in life and work with wellbeing training career and teaching coaching, combining her personal and professional experience. Katya offers, career development and client-based business mentorship program. Welcome Katya.
Hiya, Thanks so much for having me.
It's really fab to have you here today. And I just wonder if we could start off, if you could just share a little bit about the Working Well Doctor, when and how it was created and what you're sharing through your platform.
Yeah. So I was thinking a little bit about this before coming on. Yeah, so I started Working Well Doctor mainly because I, myself had struggled with anxiety and I didn't really notice or name it or address it or anything for such a long time. It turned into burnout, which is quite rubbish. It was very debilitating. It took quite a bit of work to get recovered from that. And part of the problem I realized was that I there's still a stigma around mental health for everybody, but I do think in caring professions, we're so busy caring for others. We often forget to care for ourselves, or we don't feel there's time or we feel guilty or there's lots of reasons. And I think there weren't many conversations that I was aware of where people in health care and doctors was talking about their own personal problems.
I think when you're a parent, you're both, you both can get turned upside down. And obviously again, you've got many hats, different caring roles, all of which are amazing, but I think those can all contribute. And in my case, they did contribute to me, just really not noticing how much anxiety was affecting me. And all those factors are actually kind of preventable or at least you can mitigate or minimize if you have a lot more self-awareness. And I really wanted to start those conversations. I wanted to share my story so that other people might avoid the mistakes I made really, because you can't really be what you can't see. We were talking about this earlier, but I think role models are important. And at the time I was unwell with anxiety and burnout. I didn't know of many other doctors who were talking about this and it just felt a big barrier.
And I think I probably would have got better sooner if I had known about the things that I now know or seen people talking in the way we are now talking. So that was a large part of the passion and that still drives me now. And I also love to teach. I've always taught throughout my whole life. And I obviously, as an occupational health doctor and GP, I know a fair bit about wellbeing and I know even more now, cause I've obviously I've developed my expertise in that area. And I received some coaching during my journey and that was great and I really love it. So now I deliver coaching for others, which I think is really helpful part of the tools you can get to develop yourself and get through any challenging patches. And I think what is working really most successfully at the moment is sort of doing programs two month programs where I do a a mixture of training and coaching for people with either career issues people with teamwork, especially teams in the pandemic, some of them are struggling understandably.
And also there's quite a few doctors as we know, or the healthcare professionals who are thinking of alternative ways to live and work since the pandemic some people are thinking of more of a portfolio career or leaving medicine entirely. And there isn't much guidance out there about how to run or start a business for doctors. So I'm doing mentorship to help doctors starting new businesses. Because again, same thing when I started my business, there was nobody out there telling me what to do. So I went and learned it all myself and it was great and fun and interesting, but it would have been nice if there'd been somebody for a bit of a pointer. So those are the three things I do when I do a small business mentorship, I do wellbeing training and I do career and team coaching. And the programs I deliver kind of have a combination of those three factors. It's great. It's really rewarding to help others. Hopefully it's helping it keeps me out of trouble
And it sounds wonderful that you've found those different elements that you've obviously enjoyed for a long time. And do you think that your background, so being a GP and an occupational health doctor, did they lead you into the coaching or can you see now that you were doing some of that actually as part of those roles?
It's a really good question, isn't it? So I think the surface answer is no, I was a doctor and then I had some coaching and then it was like, Oh, was great. Let me learn more about coaching. But as I've learned more about coaching, I realized that there are big overlap in skills, especially, you know, the part of clinical practice where you listen at the beginning of the history in particular, when you have open questions, that's a really key skill for coaching, which is about having a safe space. And those features for being a doctor where you create a confidential, safe space, you try not to be judgmental. I think those themes do overlap into coaching, which is lovely. The massive difference in coaching, or at least my style of coaching is that at least for the bulk of it, at the large part, you try not to be directive, which is where it diverges completely from medicine.
So you have to really try not to give advice, to try not to tell people what to do, because coaching is about drawing out their own inner resources and their own answers. And especially with stuff like a career, I can't really tell you what you want. It really has to be what works for you. And we talked about this before the podcast didn't we, and I think if you're going to sustain something, especially through the challenges, it needs to be something that you really love and you need to draw that from yourself and coaching can help you do that. So that's why I love coaching because it is really about supporting the other to find their own resources without telling them, I think medicine is very often about telling and directing. So yeah, that's the thing I love most about coaching.
You touched a little bit about your own experience of coaching. So is that something that you've continued? Do you have a coach yourself and have you had coaches at points where you've needed some sort of guidance and facilitation to move forward?
I had a coach when I was in the trickier parts of my journey and that was really helpful. And now it's interesting thing about coaching is I try and do sort of some co coaching as part of my coaching practice. So we had supervision, which is important, then you do actual coaching for your clients. And then we try and do some coaching in groups of other groups of other coaches, where we coach each other and we observe each other. So it's partly continuous professional dev