Who We Are


Deborah J Crozier

A Positive Start Founder, Deborah J Crozier, is a qualified Counsellor, Holistic Therapist, and Training provider, offering both face-to-face and online appointments. A senior member of the Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists (ACCPH), The National UK Therapists Register (SFTR), and a member of the Complimentary therapists accredited association (CTAA).

Deborah works with individuals, couples, businesses, and organizations and has received additional specialist training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) as an accredited Practitioner and Master Practitioner. She has also trained in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Trauma Therapy, Mindfulness and Spiritual Counselling.

Deborah enjoys continually expanding on her training and development.

An advocate for mental health and abuse prevention, Deborah is a member of the Association of Child Protection Professionals, the charity previously known as BASPCAN, who have been driving improvement in child protection for 40 years, and whose mission is to improve the lives and safety of children by working with those in the sector to provide research, representation, training, and support.

A Positive Start CIC are members of the National Rural Mental Health Forum, Scottish Borders Social Enterprise Chamber, Social Enterprise Scotland and Social Enterprise UK. Active members of the Mental Health Voices initiative and sponsors of Abuse Talk Online, a digital community for victims of domestic abuse.

Deborah, a survivor of Domestic Violence & Abuse, has created a series of lived experience, CPD certified training courses for Instructors, Coaches & Organisations to be delivered as CPD workshops.

Grooming Behaviours, which is the first in the series of STAND courses, is now available online in our Training section. The course offers insight into behaviours that can lead to manipulation, exploitation, coercive control, and/or abuse of both adults and children. STAND is a toolkit for prevention.

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Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith is a lived experience practitioner (LXP), an employability and youth wellbeing coach, supporting young people ages 16 - 25.

Sharon's inspirational journey of self-discovery and emotional healing following a traumatic and abusive childhood, have helped to inform her authentic and refreshing approach to coaching.

Both a Director and regular Blogger at APS, Sharon has Diplomas in Psychology, Counselling Skills and CBT, adding certificates in Child Safeguarding and Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children and Young People to her growing list of achievements.

Sharon credits her successes and accomplishments to her firm resolve to pursue her passions and to helping and supporting other young people to heal from trauma and go on to live healthy, happy fulfilling lives.

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Philip Stratford-Cole

Phil is a professional Life-Coach & Training Instructor. Author of Foundations of Freedom, training that is currently being adapted to be studied online due to the Covid pandemic. A motivating and inspirational course, written and developed by Phil, will be available in our Training section by End March 2021.

Phil's energy, enthusiasm and creativity knows no bounds, as witnessed by his students. Making the move to rural Scotland in 2018, Phil is a keen gardener, and an associate practitioner at A Positive Start CIC.

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Meet the Board