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Exclusive Interview With Andrew Cowie – Life Coach, Psychotherapist And Spiritual Adventurer

Andrew Cowie is a transformational life coach, psychotherapist, and author dedicated to helping people overcome adversity and achieve their full potential. He came to the world of therapy after a 20-year career in newspaper journalism was brought to an abrupt end by severe burnout. In the course of his own recovery, he was introduced to meditation, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, yoga, martial arts, and NLP. He went on to retrain under some of the world's leading spiritual and personal development teachers to become an expert in these fields. Andrew has since dedicated his life to passing on this knowledge, synthesizing the various disciplines into one overarching system blending ancient spiritual practices with the latest cutting-edge techniques from the field of modern psychology. He is the owner of Phoenix Coaching & Therapy and the founder of its associated 'magical training school' The Ancient and Mystical Hermetic Order of the Phoenix (AMHOP). His debut book Rise Like a Phoenix was published in 2021 and is described as a manual for personal regeneration. Andrew works with clients worldwide and is passionate about mental health and exploring the latent potential of the human mind.

Andrew Cowie, Life Coach, Psychotherapist And Spiritual Adventurer


Who is Andrew?


I’m a writer and journalist-turned-life coach, living in the historic Scottish town of Dunfermline, which is renowned as the birthplace of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. I’m passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues, exploring the latent potential of the human mind and equipping people with the skills and techniques needed to cope with life in an increasingly stressful world.


How did you move into coaching?


My 20-year career in newspaper journalism ended traumatically when I succumbed to burnout a decade ago. Fortunately, it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. In the course of my recovery, I was introduced to the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Qigong, hypnosis and NLP and was so blown away by the profound difference these practices made to the quality of my life that I decided to retrain as a practitioner in these fields so that I could help others going through similar experiences.


What is it that you do for your clients?


I’ve synthesised everything I’ve learned into one overarching system of coaching and therapy, blending ancient spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga with the latest cutting-edge techniques from the field of modern personal development and psychology. The result is a truly transformational system of self-improvement with an infinite number of real-world applications. Whether you’re suffering from anxiety, trauma, depression, phobias or simply looking to better yourself and become the best you possibly can be in your chosen field, the Phoenix system can help transform your life, enable you to achieve your goals and soar to new heights of personal attainment and wellbeing.


Why is there a need for these services now?


The last decade has given us economic crashes, a global pandemic, Brexit, rapid technological changes and an increasingly turbulent and unpredictable political landscape. Many people have lost their jobs, homes and livelihoods and the result has been increased insecurity and a mental health tsunami. We can’t change what’s going on in the world right now, but we can change how we choose to react to it. If people are equipped with the coping skills needed to deal with change and adversity, then they can meet life’s challenges head-on without emotionally engaging with the drama surrounding them.


What’s your take on everything that’s happening in the world right now?


On the face of it, things look pretty bleak. We’ve spent the past two years dealing with a global pandemic and all the economic consequences of the resulting lockdown, and now we have a war in Ukraine to contend with as well. However, there’s always hope. History teaches us that periods of major turbulence are almost always a precursor to greater stability in the long term. Sometimes a traumatic tearing down of old, dysfunctional systems and institutions is necessary to clear the way for authentic, lasting change. Even during the events of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the seeds of a new and better world planted through the selfless actions of the millions of keyworkers who’ve gone the extra mile to keep the world running throughout an unprecedented global lockdown, whilst video-conferencing apps such as Zoom and Skype have enabled us to stay connected with loved ones, reach out to the vulnerable and find new, smarter ways of working. Sometimes it takes a genuine crisis to shake us out of our complacency and force us to consider alternatives to our traditional ways of living and working.


Why did you choose the name Phoenix for your business Phoenix Coaching & Therapy?


It comes back to what we’ve just been discussing about the tearing down of the old. The symbolism of the phoenix is a perfect metaphor for how new life and opportunities can be created out of destruction. When we undergo a life-altering experience, such as depression or anxiety, the impact can be hugely traumatic, devastating and destructive. It could be that you’ve lost your job, that marriage or long-standing friendship has ended or that circumstances are forcing you to make a geographical move about which you’re uncertain. Such changes are natural sources of anxiety and apprehension. Letting go of the past can be extremely difficult and frequently involves a significant emotional wrench. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. The story of the phoenix, which arises triumphantly from the ashes of its predecessor, provides hope for regeneration, renewal and resurrection. I drew strength and encouragement from its symbolism in the course of my recovery from illness, and my hope is that my clients can be similarly inspired.


Who should hire/work with you?


I work with a vast spectrum of clients, including those recovering from trauma, anxiety or depression, people suffering with phobias or addiction issues and others looking to improve their performance in the workplace, on the sports field or in performing arts. I love the variety of my work and how it brings me into contact with people from all walks of life. I’ve worked with soldiers suffering from PTSD, teenagers who self-harm, musicians, sportsmen and actors with performance anxiety and business leaders looking to hone their presentation skills. I tailor the program to the individual so it doesn’t matter what point you’re starting out from – whether you’re bruised and battered from a traumatic or stressful life event or whether you just want to take your life or career to the next level – Phoenix can help to get you there. I see clients from all over the world, both face-to-face and via Zoom, and welcome inquiries from anyone looking for help with a problem or goal.


Why should people choose you?


Having been through adversity and battled mental health issues myself, I know what it’s like to feel as though you’re at the bottom of a black pit with no way out. I haven’t just read about this stuff in a book – I’ve actually lived it, which is why I’m so heavily motivated to help others who are struggling. I take a realistic approach to coaching and therapy and don’t promise what I can’t deliver. I’m not one of those internet marketeers who make grand promises of infinite riches, large houses and fast cars. Nor do I agree with the approach of those motivational gurus who encourage people to reach for the stars overnight. These trainers raise client’s hopes by promising unicorns, leading them to believe that they can be whatever they want to be and have whatever they want to have. This is what I call the “toxic positivity” trap and it can leave people crushed when their lofty expectations are met by further expensive setbacks. You can’t become a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon unless you have the necessary skills and training, and no amount of positive thinking and motivational hyperbole will change that fact. Goals must be a realistic and lasting success must be built on firm foundations, which means learning to walk before you can run. Transformation is a gradual process. You wouldn’t walk into a gym and attempt to bench-press 500lbs if you’d never lifted weights before in your life. Training the mind for success operates on the same principle.


So, if you can’t promise infinite riches, what are you offering?


The treasure I offer is something infinitely more valuable than the imaginary pots of gold promised by internet marketeers. It consists of knowledge and skills which will bring about a paradigm shift in your worldview and arm you with an arsenal of strategies to deal with life’s challenges far more effectively when they come along. Adversity is part and parcel of the human experience – it’s how we grow and evolve – but with the right mindset you’ll learn to approach challenges from a plateau of inner serenity, rather than being buffeted about like a ship in a storm.


Tell us about the Unleash the Phoenix Within program.


Unleash the Phoenix Within is our flagship classroom-based training program providing a truly comprehensive system of personal development. It guides students on a journey of regeneration and transformation, peeling back the onion layers of their life experiences to reveal the true and authentic self at the very core of their being. Our message is that anyone has the potential to become a superhero or a Jedi – in fact, you already are – but you just have to offload the baggage you’ve accumulated throughout your life and get back in touch with the inner bliss you experienced as a child.


Tell us about your project AMHOP.


The Ancient & Mystical Hermetic Order of the Phoenix (AMHOP for short) deals with the esoteric applications of the Unleash the Phoenix Within program. It draws its wisdom from a wide range of sources including psychology, philosophy, yoga, martial arts, eastern mysticism and the western magickal tradition, as well as modern methodologies such as hypnosis and NLP. I like to think of it as a ‘Jedi Training School’ or ‘real-life Hogwarts’, designed to equip its students with the invaluable life skills that I call “real-life magic”. It follows an online subscription-based model, based on the teaching systems of the western mystery school tradition but tailored for a 21st Century audience. Where other esoteric training academies draw lessons from classical mythology, AMHOP also presents contemporary examples from franchises such as Star Wars and the superheroes of the DC and Marvel cinematic universes, which are merely modern interpretations of the same ancient archetypes.


Last year you became a 1 international bestselling author. How did that feel?


Coming from a writing background, it was the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. “Creating Impact: Changemakers Who Overcame Adversity To Create A Positive Impact In The World" was a multi-author collaborative venture which included stories from 17 entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the globe. All had overcome challenges including job loss, anxiety, depression, burnout, bereavement, heartbreak and illness, but had come out the other side to make a positive impact in the world through the work they do. I was delighted to be involved in the project. Collaborating and sharing stories with other like-minded changemakers was a fantastic experience and we were over the moon when Creating Impact became an overnight international 1 bestseller across numerous categories on Amazon.


You’ve also just published a solo book about your experiences. What can you tell us about it?


Rise Like A Phoenix is a manual for personal regeneration. Wherever you’re currently at in your life, this book can help you move forward and upwards. It teaches some of the skills and techniques contained in the AMHOP curriculum and taught in the Phoenix therapy room but told through the lens of my own personal journey. It describes how I came to be where I am now, from the destruction of my old life as a journalist through the period of my illness to my eventual resurrection as a coach and therapist. It introduces the reader to the various skills and modalities which transformed my own life and the valuable lessons I learned along the way from some of the world’s leading spiritual teachers and personal development gurus.


How do you use storytelling in your work?


Storytelling is an incredibly powerful and effective therapeutic tool. When we hear stories highlighting how others have conquered adversity, the message is absorbed by our subconscious which works out how to apply the metaphor to our own lives. I’ve been trained in conversational hypnosis which uses the device of storytelling to alleviate deep-rooted psychological problems, phobias, fears and even physical pain. Our ancestors were masters of this teaching method as can be seen from examples as diverse as the Greek myths, the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail, Aesop’s Fables and the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. I draw from both my own personal experience and from popular culture to present contemporary examples which resonate with a modern audience.


What’s next for you and Phoenix?


Later this year I’ll be launching my own TV show, Flight of the Phoenix, on AltrVision – a new digital TV station dedicated to spiritual and personal development content. I’m also developing a Phoenix app and am involved with a project pioneering the use of Virtual Reality technology in the coaching and therapeutic industry. The events of the last couple of years have highlighted the importance of finding new innovative ways to reach the widest possible audience and these projects are at the forefront of adapting the coaching field to meet the demands of the 21st century. As the world starts to open up again, post-Covid, I’ll also be running a series of workshops and live trainings, both individually and also in partnership with other coaches and trainers, so there are lots of exciting projects on the horizon.


What is your big goal? Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?


This knowledge has made such an overwhelmingly positive difference to my own life that I feel extremely passionate about spreading the word to as many others as possible. So many people nowadays feel as though they’re merely surviving, rather than thriving. I feel strongly that vital life skills such as meditation, mindfulness and stress-management techniques should be being taught in our schools so that young people go out into the world equipped with the strategies they need to cope with the increasingly hectic and stressful pace of life. People shouldn’t have to wait until they’re screwed up and burnt out before they come by this knowledge. If it was taught in schools, we could produce a generation of supermen and wonder women. That’s my goal.


For further information about the AMHOP program, visit www.amhop.co.uk

For further information about the Unleash the Phoenix Within program, contact info@phoenixcoaching.co.uk


Rise Like A Phoenix is available here: Rise Like A Phoenix (lulu.com)


For more info, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and visit my website!




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