No retreat? No perspective


The Dentists’ Health Support Trust, which runs the Dentists’ Health Support Programme (DHSP) for dentists suffering from stress, addiction and mental illness, has launched a new website.

The DHSP helps dentists in need of emergency support, yet every dentist it deals with has a long, complicated set of circumstances that have led them, over a long time, to crisis.

Often dentists who end up feeling trapped and turn to drink or feel like giving up may have never actually thought about what they really wanted in the first place, simply following the conveyor-belt from undergraduate to associate to overworked principal with an overwhelming and bewildering portfolio of responsibilities and a far from sound financial future.

In fact, we all have a choice about what kind of job we work in, how much time we want to spend with our family and where we live and work.

But it’s not always obvious – we often don’t realise how damaging it is to spend day after day in a job surrounded by people who offend our values and beliefs, and this is when our health can be threatened.

At Breathe one of the first things we like to do with new members is get them on a retreat where they are out of their everyday surroundings; we then systematically deconstruct their lives in a series of informal interviews to the point that their core values and beliefs are revealed – often for the first time, even to themselves.

We get them to relax and then we do some simple psychometric and emotional wellbeing tests. When you ask someone how good their relationship with their child is and how good they’d like it to be, and the answers are not good and better, it can be very emotional.

Some people on retreat realise within two days that they have been in the wrong job for 20 years. Others decide they want to go for an aggressive business growth plan and put their personal life on hold for three years – because the pay-off when they sell will enable them to do what another 20 years of grinding work in the old style could never match.

Whatever people decide, they always say the same thing: “I had never realised what was important to me before.” At Breathe we believe this is the only way to find professional and personal happiness and stay healthy.

With all best wishes


Call Simon on 07770 430576 if you would like to go on a Breathe retreat to find your core values and start planning a happier life.

Dr Simon Hocken is Lead coach: business, practice & clinical leadership at Breathe Business. Email or connect with him on LinkedIn to see what he’s reading and talking about.

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