About me

Tim RobinsonAs a person-centred herbalist I offer bespoke herbal medicines, compassionate support, informed guidance and deep care to people looking for assistance with long-term health conditions.

I help motivated people to achieve greater resilience, positivity, strength, and healing; to broaden their knowledge of themselves and improve their self-regard; and to find effective tools to keep them growing, learning and thriving in the years ahead.

My approach

I believe that truly effective, long-lasting healing isn’t something that is done to us. Instead, it should be a self-directed journey, using a map that we draw ourselves, with the support and care of a trusted other (that’s me). Our map may contain steep, seemingly impassable mountains, fierce, clear rivers, foreboding forests, dark, neglected caverns and scorched deserts - some of which may be refuges of joy and intrigue, while others may be places of fear and great sadness; we may need to visit some or all of them, and perhaps linger for a while, experiencing what each landscape has to offer us, how we can draw on its wisdom to help us grow and heal. As we progress we can learn to erase and re-draw those parts of our map that no longer serve us, and through this process we may find a new path for ourselves, to help us live the life that’s right for us at this moment. This work can be challenging, yes, and can require an investment of time, but it can also be exciting, inspiring, revelatory, connecting, nourishing and deeply restorative in ways that other kinds of therapy often aren’t.

I’m passionate about using natural plant medicines as part of this process to strengthen and heal the body, mind and spirit in a gentle but powerful way, and to use them in an ethical and sustainable manner that honours and protects the earth from which they grow. Plants hold their own unique intelligence and energy, and they are an integral part of the process of healing.

Why I do this

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember a time when I wasn’t into herbs and thinking about diet and other health-related matters, but there was! My journey to being a herbalist started when I was really young - not because I spent lots of time hanging out with plants, but because I was ill much of the time, and my health got worse as I entered adulthood. I found herbal medicine after many frustrating years of searching for answers, and I immediately knew it was something different. Here’s my story . . . .

I was a sickly child. I remember being prescribed lots of delicious banana-flavoured liquid antibiotics throughout my childhood, and my digestion was always terrible. Heavy colds and flu would take me weeks to get over, and I was fatigued for long periods. I was often angry and worried. In my teens I started using recreational drugs heavily and had a couple of bouts of severe, long-term depression. Then at age 21 my health, such as it was, simply fell apart.

At the time I was living in a shared house, surviving on little sleep and eating poorly. One winter all of my housemates and I contracted a particularly nasty flu, but while they were back on their feet after a few days, I just didn’t get better. Three weeks passed and I was in the waiting room of my local GP almost passing out with fatigue. I was diagnosed with bronchitis and given antibiotics, which did nothing, then further blood tests revealed I had glandular fever. After a year of reasonable health I suddenly developed an array of bewildering symptoms – crushing fatigue, sweats, diarrhoea, food intolerances, headaches, excruciatingly sensitive hearing and vision, random pains and muscle aches, insomnia alternating with uncontrollable sleepiness. Emotionally I felt deeply angry and overwhelmed by the world with a deep-seated need to be alone, to minimise stimulation and to control my surroundings as best I could, to try to cope with what was happening.

Despite endless blood tests over many years, doctors were mystified and I was frustrated and scared about my future. I’m not sure how I avoided getting a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, as many people in my situation would have. Some of my friends were understandably at a loss to cope with who I had become, and many of my relationships turned sour. I found it almost impossible to cope with other people, to explain what I was going through and to understand any of it myself.

Eventually I accepted that orthodox medicine wasn’t able to help me, so I began to investigate alternative therapies. A course of acupuncture boosted my energy, a week-long fast helped my digestion, and I realised that wheat and dairy were contributing to my symptoms, so I gave them up for a few years. Some sessions with a wonderful herbalist named Luzia sowed the seeds for what would later become my career, although I wasn’t yet ready to be properly helped. At this time I was stuck in a job I hated and was incredibly stressed and angry. I began to develop migraines and jaw problems, grinding my teeth at night. Doctors, osteopaths and dentists gave their opinions on my jaw, and I had invasive treatment to widen my mouth, but no-one asked me whether I was holding anger and tension in the place that was most natural for me, when I was going through the most stressful time of my life.

A big breakthrough – finally! - came when I began studying to be a herbalist. As students we were encouraged to pick apart our own medical histories and apply the principles of naturopathy, psychotherapy and herbalism to ourselves. For the first time I could join the dots of the various symptoms throughout my life and make sense of them. I realised that antibiotics had damaged my digestion and immune system, and that my anger was manifesting itself physically. Abuse of recreational drugs had weakened my liver and immune system, and I had pains in my joints because my kidneys weren’t working properly due to stress. So I completely changed my diet and began treating myself with herbs. Over the course of my training I treated every system of my body, and my health was gradually but profoundly transformed - kidney herbs such as goldenrod, nettle and silver birch resolved my joint pain, liver herbs such as yellow dock and burdock allowed me to digest fat easily again, and herbs for my nervous system such as oat seed, rosemary and St John’s wort helped me become more emotionally and physically robust than ever before. (And herbs continue to support me to this day.)

At the same time I was learning about psychotherapy and person-centred counselling in particular. I began to see the patterns of my emotional and physical health, the extent to which my mind was influencing my body, and vice versa. I saw the futility in treating my body without helping my mind and spirit, and realised how much of this I had suspected - deep down - all along. I began meditating, practicing mindfulness, and letting my activity levels and diet be guided by the seasons. I learned that I am a Highly Sensitive Person and that rather than being a handicap to life as I had always thought and been told, my high sensitivity is an attribute that I can and do use in many positive ways (although I sometimes still get frustrated by it!).

I learned, and am continuing to learn, my limits, the things that I need and what I’m better off without. My health today is the best it’s ever been, although I’m still on an unending journey of discovering the right way through life for me, of maintaining balance and listening to my body and my intuition. I still carry traces of some of my previous symptoms, but these are now my teachers to whom I pay careful attention.

Before becoming a herbalist I worked in various educational settings supporting people with disabilities and long-term illnesses, and over this time I met hundreds of people whose needs weren’t being met by conventional medicine. They were people who needed to be listened to and respected as potential experts of themselves but who had been disempowered and belittled by the mainstream system. Many of them were desperately trying to find solutions to their health problems, but often without much help or success. I saw that there is a need for more people working in supportive roles outside of the conventional doctor/patient relationship – in which the former is regarded as the expert and the latter as relatively clueless and deferential – because for most people that dynamic doesn’t work and is often harmful, promoting a state of dependency and feeding into patriarchal and capitalist power structures. I wanted to help change that.

So that is how I ended up as a person-centred herbalist. Perhaps you noticed that I have personally experienced all of the areas of illness that I specialise in treating. This doesn’t mean that I will claim to immediately understand what you are going through, because your experience is your own and therefore unique - you are the expert of you. But I will empathise on a deep level, and I will see your potential to be well again.

My credentials

I trained for 6 years with the International Register of Consultant Herbalists, one of the oldest clinical herbalism schools in the UK, where I gained a Diploma in Botanical Therapy. This training focused on the importance of psychoemotional wellbeing, diet and a balanced lifestyle, and adhered to the principles of traditional naturopathic medicine. Naturopathy works on the basis that in most cases a person has the innate capacity to be well, so long as factors such as stress, diet, exercise, environmental pollutants and so on are not acting as barriers to health. I learned to make and prescribe highly-effective medicines made from plants, seaweeds, lichen and fungi to help facilitate change in the body, mind and spirit, to strengthen the various organ systems and help repair any damage or weakness that may have developed from the stresses and strains of life.

My practice is informed by many aspects of trauma therapy, person-centred counselling, transactional analysis, yoga, traditional diets from cultures across the globe, fermented foods and gut microbiome research, mindfulness, somatic meditation, and cutting-edge neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology, to name a few fields. My approach to therapy includes great emphasis on the intelligence of the body, how we can learn to listen to and value our various ‘body-brains’ and deepen our awareness of the beautiful web of connections between the body, mind and spirit.

I love my work and it’s a privilege to accompany people as they move towards better health. The people I work with are great teachers to me, especially those who approach treatment with open hearts and open minds, and an eagerness to dive deeply into the therapeutic process. I hope that you will have the courage to do the same.

But enough about me! Contact me and tell me about you, or have a look at my What to Expect and FAQ pages to discover more about the experience of working with me.