What our clients say

Professional Consultancy
Cathy was extremely informative and knowledgeable in relation to suggestions on strategies for us to try with our service user.

Adult Coaching
Cathy’s pragmatic approach helped me to focus on the when, what and how solutions and to develop plans and processes which were absolutely crucial in getting a first in my degree this year!

Adult Coaching
Cathy is so professional, caring and very positive.
Time is never long enough with Cathy. We look forward to the next meeting :) thank you

Adult Coaching with parent support
Excellent understanding of neurodiversity and anxiety. Brilliant to pick up on the fact that this session should be a short, but effective one! Very perceptive to see that energy (and mood) both low. This understanding helps so much! Excellent understanding of needs and presentation. Teaching us some much appreciated new concepts and ideas. Thank you.

Family Coaching
Cathy has been a vital ingredient in maintaining overall family health as we learn how best to support our daughter. She is like a Swiss Army knife of the PDA world for me, there’s a tool for every conceivable challenge we face. Cathy offers them to me in a way that’s easy to access and use which is speaking highly of her skill and expertise when I am in overwhelm. Thank you for being our anchor when we’ve faced the storms.

Family Coaching
Cathy has tremendous insight, knowledge and skill which she employs effectively during client led sessions

Family Coaching
Through my sessions with Cathy I have been able to not just implement change but to feel confident to do so. I feel empowered with knowledge, understanding and to be able to trust my natural instincts

Family Coaching 
'I am so pleased that we came across Side by Side at the PDA Society conference. Cathy has an excellent understanding of the problems we were/are experiencing with our daughters and was a constant source of valuable information and advice. She is always reliable with regard to calling on time and replying to emails and texts and she maintains a professional manner at all times. She balances this well, with a friendly and personable approach. As with any children with ASD, life at home is a roller coaster, but Cathy helped me with managing to get my daughter to come away on holiday last summer, to explore issues such as self-harm and disordered eating and to work on sleep issues with my other daughter. Her coaching was also beneficial with regard to applying for an EHCP, visiting schools and liaising with professionals during the EHCP application process. She also directed me to Bridget, from Side by Side, who we found very helpful when applying for an EHCP. Cathy was tremendously helpful to me during times of stress and has helped to equip me with strategies and approaches to use with my children as my coaching sessions have become less frequent. I would - and do - highly recommend her to others.' 

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy, you helped me all those years ago. You literally saved us and I shall always be eternally grateful.’ 

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, PDA Adult
 
‘Life changing. I was assessed effectively in the first instance, I was then coached in a manner befitting my circumstances as I had a tendency towards PDA. All demands were removed and the CBT was suggested, not prescribed. My depression has subsided, my reliance on self medication has subsided, I am relaxed, re-purposed, calm, collected without any anxiety or panic attacks and I can face demands that previously would be too much for me to handle. Absolutely brilliant! I am a better and more balanced human being and am privileged to have been in a position to be treated by Cathy, I rate myself as a very lucky human being, having had a variety of ineffective treatments spanning 20 to 30 years and then I meet Cathy. Wow! It suddenly all made sense. Fabulous, I am a new man! I cannot thank Cathy enough.’

 Adult Coaching
'The Coaching has certainly met my expectations and It was brilliant to talk to someone who I felt I could be open towards. I feel like I now look at myself in the world differently in a more positive way whereas before I had a very negative way of thinking about life. The Coaching was the first I had ever really done and I did find it helpful. It was great to talk to someone who understood me and who could give advice and help. 

 Family Coaching
‘I thought Cathy was brilliant. She was able to give me specific help related to my son's behaviour rather than just PDA in general. I have changed my expectations, the way I think of my son and how I communicate with him. I have already recommended Cathy to a couple of people. Thank you very much.’ 

Family Coaching
‘We bought an amazing house and the only reason we can even dream of moving is because of the work you did with us...so thank you...so much! So much gratitude.’ 

 Family Coaching 
'Cathy was so personable and knowledgeable and got to the core of all the issues I wanted to work through with efficiency and empathy. She was the catalyst for giving me the hope I needed for my daughter and our family. We are more aware of control issues within the family and I feel much more confident dealing with school after having Cathy's advice. We have a fantastic Speech and Language report for my daughter at school now which I wouldn't have had had I not been in touch with Cathy. Thank you!' 

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Adult
 
‘I've become less anxious at work, especially when talking to strangers, and am able to deal with social anxiety a lot better.’

 Relationship Coaching
‘I would like to thank you so much for your help, for being so available at difficult moments and also being so caring and understanding. Thanks to you we now understand a lot more about Asperger's and have had fewer fights and arguments. I am sure you will keep growing because you are an excellent professional. I will certainly recommend you to anyone that needs help with a partner or child with autism. If we need you again we will certainly get in touch.’

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Adult
‘This is making so much more sense than anyone I’ve seen in the past to ‘help me with my difficulties’. I’ve tried to trace some of these sensations myself, of course, but it makes all the difference someone else asking (just the right) questions. Thank you.' 

 Family Coaching
‘Following your great coaching Cathy, life with my son is now is pretty amazing. Since our sessions with you we have been practicing all the coaching and the results are fantastic. Our son has responded so well and his social development has improved beyond belief. He can in some ways be at times even more considerate than his neurotypical peers!’

 Family Coaching
‘I implemented the approaches we discussed and I want to thank you Cathy for giving me a way of dealing with the episodes that meant my whole family remained safe from the threat of violence.’

 Adult Coaching
‘I graduated with a 2.1 degree classification. Your coaching sessions really did help me a lot with the procrastination/motivational side of my ADD. Although it was difficult to revise for my exams, I can honestly say that I have done the most revision in my life as a result of your coaching, and help from Dr. Montgomery.'

 Family Coaching
‘I personally could never thank Cathy enough for all she did for us. My eldest daughter is now diagnosed with ASD/PDA and separation anxiety disorder. That is because of Cathy's help. Our life is never going to be easy or the life like others live, however it's our life and we are living it the best way for us (reduced demands) and PDA parenting techniques.’ 

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Adult 
‘I am in my late 40’s and had always suffered with I guess what is probably labelled as some sort of social anxiety. I remember feeling this way even as a young child. If you met me you wouldn’t see it but I really suffered. I just wasn’t comfortable in social situations (and I am in them frequently). I always worried about what I would say next and the need to be interesting and keep the conversation going. I knew it wasn’t right but I didn’t know how to change it. The guidance Cathy provided was incredible. Key observations made it crystal clear to me about how I was ‘stuck' in this cycle. From our first meeting I was armed with information on how to change it and from that moment on my life changed. I still can’t quite believe, after a lifetime of suffering, that all that worry has melted away. I will be forever grateful.’

 Family Coaching
'Learning about PDA and ASD was a big step; Cathy helped me to stay focused on key strategies to get some traction in our family life. I don't know what I would have done without her. Whenever I had a question about doing A, B, or C next, Cathy was able to help me work it out, evaluate, and move on. Skype works beautifully for me over in Canada! What a wonderful technological blessing!! Thank you Cathy... I will keep in touch, and may call on your services again in future.'

 Adult Coaching
‘J will only speak to people who he feels comfortable with and the fact that he was willing towards the end of the course to do 1 hour sessions on his own without his mum to talk for him speaks volumes and was far more than I expected. Cathy's help in helping J complete his personal statement for UCAS and his application for PIP were invaluable. She did everything she could to make J feel at ease. She was always very straight talking, forcing J to deal with the reality of things as they were rather than just telling him what he wanted to hear which helped to give him more realistic expectations and make more informed decisions himself. He was originally very reluctant to attend sessions but ended up requesting to see Cathy again for when he starts university. I am hoping that Cathy can continue to give him guidance and help him to successfully deal with all the new challenges and changes that are ahead for him. Thank you.' 

Adult Coaching
‘My husband was diagnosed with ADHD in his 30’s, this helped us to finally understand the reasons for his struggles (multiple job losses, apathy, low self-esteem, to name a few) but we couldn’t find the support he needed (or even figure out what he needed) and at every turn the NHS let us down. Thankfully we found Cathy and I don’t say lightly that she helped to save our marriage and turn my husband’s life around. Coaching with Cathy has unlocked his confidence and self-worth and desire to live a full life. We were at a point 6 months ago where even making weekend plans resulted full scale breakdown, thanks to Cathy’s coaching we are now enjoying the process of planning for our future and my husband can fully contribute to our family life. Of course we still have struggles but now we have tools to help us overcome them and move forward as a family. Sincere thanks for all your support in 2017.’

 Adult Coaching
‘Cathy is an incredible, intuitive counsellor. Well qualified and experienced, she will guide you towards life-changing results.’

 Family Coaching
‘I am just taking a moment to appreciate what a different space I am in compared to this time last year. The adjustments I have made have helped enormously, and I managed to completely avoid a potential blow out situation a few days before Christmas. Deep Gratitude.’

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy has provided more support and given more advice, hints & tips than we could have ever imagined. As a result of Cathy's coaching we are now in a better position to help our ASD/PDA son. This has resulted in a much calmer and happier family life all round. Enrolling in Cathy's help was the best decision we made.’

 Adult Coaching
‘Cathy has been able to provide me with a deeper understanding of how the cogs in my head turn and the way I can turn them into strengths over weaknesses. The sessions we had together have helped me understand myself so that i can go about working in ways that help me run as efficiently as possible. I have been able to form my own methods of coping with the lack of attention that used to be a roadblock to me achieving the things I have wanted to. Since my coaching with Cathy, my family have commented on what a wonderful change in me that they have seen over the last few months. Thank you Cathy, the person I become from this point on and the things I go on to achieve that I wouldn’t have before (no matter how big or small), I feel like I owe to the advice and information that you provided to me during our sessions.’

 Family Coaching
'I felt Cathy and I had a rapport straight away. She made me feel at ease and I felt I could open up freely and discuss issues. I also felt that Cathy was experienced and had the skills to help me which gave me confidence. She has given me confidence that I am on the right track in helping my daughter which has made me feel very happy and motivated. I had a great experience and feel positive for the future and if things slip a bit I know I can come back for more support. I really liked Skyping as opposed to face to face. Very convenient and personal without feeling intimidating. I am very grateful for the support and I would definitely recommend Cathy and this service to others.

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy helped me approach issues differently with my son, provided moral support and has given me more confidence with medical, local authority and school staff too. Thank you!’

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy really helped me focus on key issues and gave good pragmatic advice, particularly about avoiding conflict and influencing my adult son in more productive ways. I felt supported by someone who fully understood the issues. Many thanks’

 Family Coaching
‘I am in awe of the extent of the success coaching has had on our lives. I did not have expectations when I began, it was a desperate time and I had limited options. We are now regulated, without medication, and have our lives back. Our gratitude is limitless.
1. I have not been physically hurt for nearly a year.
2. Nothing has been destroyed purposefully, for nearly 6 months.
3. My 7-year-old daughter has begun to manage her own strategies during meltdowns.
4. We have not missed a day of school in over six months.
5. We can travel safely in the car.
Spread the word, make this as available to as may people as possible.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Adult
‘Finding the right therapist/life coach can be difficult. I have struggled with severe depression for many years now and had not previously made much progress with various therapy options. My sessions with Cathy May, however, have been totally different. I feel that there has been a huge shift in my psychology and that I'm regaining a resilience that I thought had been completely lost to me. Her huge wealth of knowledge and thoughtful CBT techniques have allowed me to understand myself in a holistic way, where I feel no area of my life has been left out. I am extremely grateful to have found her.’

 Inspired by Cathy May
Adversity should be seen in its rawest form of challenge and hope, 
that in fact adversity brings great things to those who suffer but do not fall. 
Accept the gifts that this shall bring, appreciate, cherish and hold them so dear, 
for these gifts are given to those who choose to see, 
to those who have the strength and the courage to receive.

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy I honestly can't thank you enough! Out of everybody we have worked with and tried different techniques you are the only one who has truly listened and understood. Without your help and belief in me I could have given up and have felt like that a few times. It really does mean so much to me. Thank you once again for the help you have given me, it has made a huge difference for my parenting and understanding and how it must be for my daughter. You are a wonderful lady Cathy.’

 Family Coaching
‘Thank you thank you, I can never say this enough! You are wonderful, inspiring and have helped me regain my confidence and life. That is no understatement!!’ 

 Adult Coaching
The coaching was for my daughter following two unhelpful attempts at counselling. Cathy gave her practical strategies and a way forward. Her anxiety and depression have been significantly reduced, she is sleeping better and seems more in control of her own life. She is much calmer, much less prone to meltdowns and recovers much better after them. Her relationship with her sister seems better. The coaching was very expensive for us as a family but in my opinion the benefit cannot have a price put on it. I was struggling to see a future for my daughter, but now we can both see a future ahead for her.’

 Family Coaching
‘I want to thank you because we have never felt like anyone could understand our challenges and to see that you do and believe us is the first experience we have had with feeling heard on this matter...also you have ideas about strategies. Above and beyond. Even seeing that you lived through raising a kiddo with similar difficulties is hopeful for us...first time we have felt ‘hope’ in years...so thanks.’

 Family Coaching
'We discovered Side by Side and Cathy May when researching PDA and its link to autism on the internet. We have a 7 year old boy on the spectrum and had been experiencing difficulties with him refusing to engage in activities, such as swimming, which he had previously enjoyed, we thought this may be PDA and wanted more information. What we actually got was some amazing support for us and insight into our son which has helped us enormously with understanding his behaviour and dealing with some of the difficulties autism can produce. Having a child with autism can be challenging, you think you have a handle on it and then something happens. Sometimes it's hard to find the support you need, or even to recognise that you even need it, but if you are struggling, as we were, even if it's something small, I would encourage anyone to contact Side by Side. Cathy is enormously experienced, calm, non judgemental and positive and our weekly Skype has helped us hugely.'

 Adult Coaching
‘Cathy is a very professional, empathic and capable coach. The coaching sessions were really useful and she accommodated my schedule preferences in a flexible and efficient way. Cathy's suggestions have really helped me cope better with ADHD and I started feeling the improvement after session 1. The different strategies for time management and the ideas to better deal with fidgeting and distractions have been particularly beneficial for me.' 

Family Coaching
‘Cathy acknowledged me as a human first, a parent and wife second. I felt validated and empowered to make some big decisions I've needed to take for a long time. Thank you!’

 Family Coaching
‘I stumbled across Cathy's contacts on an ASD website at a particularly difficult life stage for my 9 year old Asperger daughter. Our precious child was deeply anxious and unhappy, and that effected the whole family. It was a low point for us all. Calling Cathy that day was a serendipitous moment that would change our family life. Cathy taught me and my husband the strategies and skills we needed to get our family life back on track and gave us the knowledge we needed to put us on a road that will help our daughter to not only cope but to thrive. No doubt there will be other difficult life stages for our daughters in the years ahead, both the aspergirl and the neuro-typical one! But what I and my husband have learnt and the new skills we have acquired make us stronger and more confident to face them head on. I highly recommend Cathy's services.’ 

 Family Coaching
’ Cathy May has helped me understand my son enabling me to give him the best support possible. She has provided answers to what appeared to be overwhelming challenges and great confidence to deal with difficult external concerns such as school. The whole process couldn't have been more professional and friendly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this life changing guidance.’

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy has helped me and my family through a particularly difficult time in a sensitive and understanding way. Her support has been a real lifeline for me. I have a better understanding of my daughter's behaviour and am better equipped with strategies for dealing with her. Our relationship is improving. Thank you, Cathy, you have been brilliant.’

 Adult Coaching
'From only doing 6 hrs work in a whole term and hitting rock bottom, I have now completed 16 weeks of quality work in just a month and submitted today! Now that I’ve seen what I can do, it’s time to do even more!’

 Adult Coaching
‘My daughter found her first session with you really helpful and feels she will gain a great deal from working with you over the forthcoming weeks. She particularly liked the fact that you are trying to help her understand her ADD and then help her find strategies to solve the issues. Personally, I feel reassured that this gives her an emotional safe place once a week. Being a concerned Mum who now lives many miles away from my daughter, I wanted to say thank you.’

 Family Coaching
‘A very positive experience.  Cathy rescued me when I was at rock bottom.  She provided practical advice and support with realistic but positive encouragement.  As parents we have a greater understanding and knowledge on our son’s diagnosis of ASD with extreme demand avoidance.'

 Family Coaching
'Cathy has made a huge difference to our daughter’s and our families lives. She makes us see why things are happening and what we can do about it.’ Daughter: ‘Cathy is great Cathy helped me understand it, helped me make some friends and feel happier.'

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy has provided both in-sight and practical support in a comfortable and non judgemental manner. I did not necessarily expect her to be able to make such an immediate and positive effect but from the first session she provided advice which we were able to implement and which had very positive outcomes. Both my husband and I are calmer, and more aligned in our approach. Both children have benefited from our greater understanding, and from the strategies we have implemented. Cathy has been great and I would (and probably will) use her again and recommend her without reservation.’ 

 Family Coaching
‘Cathy provided the right level of expertise and knowledge. I have been reassured that despite being constantly criticised by family/friends I have in fact been on a pretty logical path way for my son. It is a service that should be more readily available as there is a huge demand out there for skilled coaches like Cathy who have lived, eaten and breathed living and dealing with youngsters on the ASD spectrum 24/7 to help desperate parents/teachers. Keep up the good work! Having people who understand the place you are in is invaluable.’ 

 Family Coaching
We had coaching with Cathy through the summer and autumn which was hugely helpful - I can't thank you enough for putting me in touch with her. I have passed on your details to various people including our school SENDCO, who I believe is coming to the training in London. Thank you so much for lightening the load...!' 

 Family Coaching
You will never know Cathy quite how much you have saved me and my family and I really cannot thank you enough. I just hope one day I might be able to help others in some way too’ 

Adult Coaching
‘As a result of coaching I saw real improvements in my life. Keep up the great work!’ 

Family Coaching
‘I don't know how we would have managed without you. You are very generous and lovely at what you do’