About Me

Lou’s Journey

Hi, I’m Lou and I’m a Therapist, Writer, Storyteller and Speaker.

I have spent nearly twenty years of my life as a therapist but I am also now moving in a new direction towards storytelling, speaking and writing.  Mainly because after much training and development, I finally feel I have valuable things to share that I hope may be helpful on a wider scale.

I specialised for over a decade in addictions working on the addiction treatment programme at the Priory Hospital in London, SW15,  On the addiction unit, of course I dealt with all sorts of dual diagnosis issues, PTSD, anxiety disorders, psychosis and eating disorders.  Then a further 8 years in Central London seeing all sorts of presenting issues but mainly using EMDR (eye movement desensitisation reprocessing) and working with trauma.

My passion has always been to give some of the tools I’ve learnt during my two decades as a clinician and self explorer to other people to help them on their path. My own journey of recovery from mental health issues, addiction and childhood trauma was interesting, eventful and has given me a fair bit of insight.

Having been there myself, my joy is in helping others to release their “old stuff” and dissolve the blocks, often taken on during their childhood or teenage years that are holding them back.

More about me

At various points in our lives, I’ve learnt that most of us need help in overcoming our limitations, setbacks and challenges. I’ve been lucky to assist many people break through their own internal saboteurs and unhelpful behaviours, including myself.  I know I can give you a powerful map to support you in letting go of things that are holding you back.

Whether that’s needing to increase your self belief, upscale your self worth, find your voice and passion or let go of your self-sabotaging behaviours. To become the person you were always destined to be, a free, authentic and real self – which is totally possible for us all. Trust me. I’m well on the path and I’ve witnessed many others leaving behind their fears too. So why not you?

Lou Lebentz, big hearted visionary and long-term expert in the addiction field, is a totally inspiring and thought provoking speaker. Down to earth, funny and engaging, you can hear a pin drop when she delivers what are highly entertaining speeches on subjects that none of us can afford not to pay attention to.

Susannah Southgate, MSc, CPCC Transformational Coach, Educator & Speaker

You have the ability to change

I am absolutely certain that you can discover a different self and your true path in life at any age –it happened to me in my forties! We often have to take a few frightening steps forwards, towards our dreams and not listen to that critical, fearful voice inside. Paradoxically, this often happens by going towards what terrifies you the most, falling head first into your fears, somehow you truly become your best self in the process.

To get my lifetime dream of doing what I’m doing on the road, I’ve had to overcome a fair few struggles along the way.  I’ve had many failures on the path towards finding my real self. A couple of business ventures that didn’t work out alongside a lifelong terror of public speaking and learning how to walk my talk. I’ve had to come out from behind the therapy screen to stand shaking with fear on a stage whilst attempting to become an inspirational speaker & an online trainer in the process.

I’ve faced my demons mainly because I have a good enough reason! I want to share my own challenges with mental health, addiction, childhood trauma and my recent health challenges with you too.  My motivation to share comes from a genuine desire to help you see that we can overcome anything in pursuit of our true self which is often found in our life calling and dreams.

Ultimately, I want to save you a lot of time and money; it took me a long while to find the answers and much soul searching to work through my demons.  I travelled from Italy to India from Spiritual Guru’s to Shamanic Healers, from all forms of Therapy to Energy Work and EMDR and tapping in order to re-discover myself.  But the most powerful work I’ve ever done has been to tell my “untold” stories to a group, to be heard and to shed the shame I’ve carried on those stories for all of my adult life.

My Previous Paths

Job explorations took me from the rag trade initially, to the radio industry, finally into rehab and my desire to share my learning experiences with you.

Initially, I wanted to be an actress and I attended drama school but I ended up working for Sir Phillip Green, amongst others in the rag trade because of a family situation and an urgency for me to “get out and get a real job” not mess about on the stage!

I then spent some time in the jeans’ industry,  but it marked a huge turning point in my life when unbeknown to me my drink was spiked with LSD at a fashion show whilst working for a company back then called “Joe Bloggs Jeans”.

The result was a psychotic episode that culminated in an admission to a psychiatric hospital that eventually prompted a total re-evaluation of my life.  During this journey of self-discovery, initially through self-help books and personal development programmes, I became fascinated by the mind and what had happened to mine whilst I was so ill, having been psychiatrically diagnosed and sectioned.

After this epiphany, I decided to change career yet again and get back into something more creative. I was propelled back into the spotlight at Capital Radio working with people like Chris Tarrant, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn in the Marketing and Events Dept.

Another family situation necessitated a career break and after helping launch the radio station Heart 106.2 in London, I joined my mother up a mountain in Umbria in Italy, helping nurse my alcoholic stepfather and get him back to the UK and into rehab. When I returned to the UK 3 years later, unsurprisingly, I began a new path yet again, re-training as an addictions therapist and landing a job at The Priory Hospital in London.  From Rags, to Radio to eventually Rehab!!

To India and Wisdom Traditions

Over the next decade, I added to my skill set, training and receiving an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy and many other qualifications that I won’t list here but you can find on the qualifications page! I attended lots of silent meditation retreats, including a 10 day Vippassana meditation retreat here in the UK. I became interested in spirituality, making a long sabbatical to India on an ayurvedic journey visiting ashrams and meeting Amma the hugging saint.  I spent time with the spiritual teacher Mooji and attending his events in Portugal.  Whilst training in Reiki and mindfulness as well as reading and studying many other eastern philosophies, wisdom traditions and spiritual disciplines too. I guess I became a learning junkie : ) but it served me well and some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years is what I’m about to impart to you hopefully in one of the trainings or events or storytelling teachings I undertake.

Lou Lebentz, big hearted visionary and long-term expert in the addiction field, is a totally inspiring and thought provoking speaker. Down to earth, funny and engaging, you can hear a pin drop when she delivers what are highly entertaining speeches on subjects that none of us can afford not to pay attention to.

Susannah Southgate, MSc, CPCC Transformational Coach, Educator & Speaker

To Health Challenges and Coming Home

I sadly experienced a fair few traumas in my youth which I believe added to my psychotic episode and addiction history. One was at the age of four, being sexually abused by a babysitter and then a later rape on rohipnol at 19 compounded a sense of shame and unworthiness I felt about myself throughout my adult life. Other than a sexual trauma, another fairly traumatic incident was I also received a Cancer diagnosis in 2017.  I  found out I had a 15 cm tumour on my right ovary which was in fact malignant and Stage 1 ovarian cancer.

At 49 it made me realise an important fact.  That I might not have as much time on this planet as I thought.  There’s nothing like a scare and a stare at our own potential death or a life threatening disease to encourage you to push on.  I believe we all have a dharma or calling but most of us cannot seem to push through the resistance that is quite often holding us back.  For me, cancer was yet another wake up call and one I needed perhaps to make me realise a few different things.  Firstly, my cancer led me to an age old memory that I’d still not fully processed.  My childhood sexual abuse still had emotion stored in my body that I was unaware of.  But secondly, it helped me to cement my ideas about finding your voice and storytelling.  And then to finally be able to put my ideas, experiences and learnings out into the world.  I’d spent a decade being resistant to that and too scared to shine and have a voice.

So for me, finally, sharing my stories and ventures and thoughts is in the hope that it can make a difference or inspire someone who listens or watches or hears anything that I might say;  My mission is definitely about helping others live more fully and for the the time I have left.  With cancer one is unsure how long the remission will ever be. But please god it’ll be at least another 35 years!

I do hope to meet you in the future and I really pray that you find some of my writing and teachings helpful.

Thank you for reading more about me!

Many blessings and the very best of luck on your journey

Much love xx

Lou x 

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