I was born and brought up in Italy and I worked in product promotion before I became an air hostess for Virgin Airlines in 1997. This is what brought me to the UK. The Virgin Airlines Heathrow base needed French, Spanish and Italian speakers and I was selected due to my language and customer service skills.
Little did I know I would never leave London!
I was quickly promoted to cabin manager and stayed at Virgin for 3 years. What a great company to work for!
However, I was pulled towards psychology from all directions. One day, a colleague asked me, about a year after my promotion: Alex what are you still doing here? You need to go and do what you do best!
And when I asked what that was, she said: Psychology! I knew she was meant but we were having so much fun at Virgin that I stayed another few months before I enrolled in my undergraduate degree at The University of West London, where I attained a First Class Degree in Psychology.
I really was on fire then to become a Practicing Psychologist and therefore I enrolled into the Psychology Practitioner’s Doctorate at the University of Surrey, which I passed with no corrections in 2006.
This is when things got really interesting for me and my career started veering towards Occupational Psychology.
I got my first job as a Psychologist as a split role between a Psychiatric ward and a Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team in East London.
This is where I realised the importance of Staff Wellbeing. I witnessed staff burnout being so high at the time that I put time aside from my clinical role to start a Reflective Practice group for staff. I also conducted yearly away days to help the teams develop cohesiveness, common values and a clear vision.
The staff seemed so much more relaxed at work and able to acknowledge all the challenges they faced every day, which had a real impact on clients’ wellbeing and their treatments.
In 2012 I became part of a Staff Incident Support team in my following job in a Community Mental Health Team and we received an award for best practice.
I knew then about my next plan which was to start my ICF accredited coaching course, which I completed in 2013. I have been coaching corporate clients ever since and I have been enjoying it so much that I put together a coaching toolkit, with the help of continuous feedback from my clients.
As I realised the positive and energising impact the coaching sessions had on my clients, I felt the need to reach more people and I therefore enrolled in my MSc on Occupational and Business Psychology in order to develop my already existing team coaching skills. I am now proud to announce that I have been conducting team coaching sessions as part of my research on my Vision and Values Wellbeing at Work Toolkit.
I feel that this is my springboard towards impacting more people and sharing my coaching and psychology knowledge, whilst empowering teams to work towards their vision and values.
See the Toolkit page for more information on my research and how to participate.
Dr Alessandra De Acutis
Chartered Psychologist (HCPC, BPS)
Accredited Life and Business Coach (ICF)