My name is Kimberley Keegan, I am a Clinical Psychologist specialising in the provision of psychological support for athletes.
Certain attributes make athletes (professional and recreational) unique. Physical challenge requires mental toughness, discipline, drive, and application. It is a common misconception that people with these strengths cannot experience mental health difficulties. However, when engagement in sport is attached to personal meaning and identity, certain difficulties can be exacerbated. Athletic participation can present many challenges which lead to the presence of psychological difficulty, including: injury, retirement, success/failure, competition, separation from sport and change.
It is also a misconception to presume psychological distress is a ‘weakness’ in the sporting environment. When harnessed in the right way, difficult life experiences and their effects can help to bolster mental strength and resilience, aspects central to physical performance. However, when not addressed such difficulties can impact on an athlete’s performance and wider personal life.
My role is to help individuals and systems (teams, coaches, organisations, families) to think about what is contributing towards or maintaining a given problem. This could be an issue in the athlete’s personal life, such as a mental health difficulty; a problem within the sporting context, such as performance; or difficulties within the coach/athlete relationship.
If you are an athlete, or a coach/manager working with athletes, experiencing difficulties of a psychological, relational or emotional nature please feel free to contact me for a free initial telephone consultation. During this conversation I can provide you with further information specific to your situation and together decide whether it would be worthwhile for us to meet.