Paul Lefever

Adult Mental Health Nurse & Executive Coach

Adults up to 60 years, Adolescents over 16 years
I’m Paul Lefever, an experienced award-winning Mental Health Nurse, International Executive Coach and Adventure-Therapy practitioner. I’ve been working with adults across a range of mental health conditions since 2003, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, schizophrenia, complex trauma-related conditions and substance misuse.
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Paul Lefever

Adult Mental Health Nurse & Executive Coach

My unique approach focuses on outdoor, nature-based therapy, usually in the countryside or wilderness. I love involving my patients in outdoor activities like walking, orienteering, mountain biking, horse riding, climbing, swimming, diving, bushcraft, camping, or even just sitting in nature. Over our lifetime, many of us will experience stages where we feel disconnected, stressed, confused, numb or simply held back from being the best version of ourselves. My outdoor therapy and coaching programmes are designed to help everyone, regardless of whether they have a mental health condition or not. My goal is to create a safe and supportive environment for people wanting to initiate a transformational change in their lives. I help my patients to bring out the knowledge and answers they have within to become the best version of themselves and start living fully again.

My core values are compassion, trust, respect, and openness. I believe my considerate and compassionate approach, combined with my unique skills ensures that I can provide the highest level of care to help you with self-awareness, acceptance, and strategies for building resilience.

I embody a truly holistic approach where clients have the space and freedom to share and explore their fears without constraint.

Areas of Expertise

Outdoor Adventure Therapy & Coaching

In 2006, I pioneered a new type of nature-based therapy programme that goes one step further than nature-based therapy. In my programme, I utilise wide, open spaces in the countryside or wilderness, in the UK or internationally depending on my patient’s location. I find that these settings help to instil a sense of freedom and peace, allowing people to find themselves again.

I also encourage my patients to learn a new outdoor activity as part of their therapy or coaching programme. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed outdoor activities with my patients like walking, orienteering, mountain biking, horse riding, climbing, swimming, diving, bushcraft, camping, and even simple activities such as making a fire together. The choice of activity is completely up to you, but I can suggest specific activities and settings according to your preferences and goals for therapy, while ensuring activities are appropriate and safe for your current fitness level and physical health.

I’ve witnessed dramatic and life-changing improvements in my people’s psychological and physical health by taking therapy and coaching outdoors. Many people simply want to try this style of coaching as an opportunity to explore their goals and sense of purpose in life. I’ve also taken many patients with acute and severe psychological difficulties on my outdoor adventure programmes, helping them to overcome their fears, build resilience and reconnect with themselves in nature. Often these experiences are a powerful catalyst for change in my patients, and they leave with higher self-esteem, better communication skills and a sense of personal achievement.

Psychosis, Schizophrenia & Self-Injury

I’m passionate about helping people with acute or severe psychological difficulties, such as people in psychotic states and those suffering from self-injury behaviours. Being in the wilderness allows patients suffering from severe symptoms to freely express themselves in a safe and supported environment. Building this human-to-human connection in beautiful outdoor spaces allows people to reconnect and regain their confidence in themselves.

I find therapy in the outdoors is incredibly beneficial for people suffering from psychosis or schizophrenia. By walking together and teaching them outdoor survival skills this enables us to create a genuine connection with one another, without creating fears of judgement, anxiety, or suspicion.

I find it incredibly beneficial to connect with patients suffering from self-injury behaviour patterns while in the outdoors. Integrating activities such as climbing, can have a profound effect on rebuilding confidence, self-esteem and overcoming trauma. By using a harness and relying on one another, this enables us to build a mutual relationship based on trust and safety, allowing patients to let go of their fears and regain control.

I believe the first and most important step in any treatment programme is to create a space where my patient will feel safe and supported. Building a mutual relationship based on trust and respect is crucial before any therapy or coaching can begin. I encourage patients to ask as many questions as they like to make sure they feel comfortable with my approach and allow them to judge if it works for them before starting treatment. As a mental health nurse and coach, I always try to gain a deep understanding of my patients and understand their journey so that I can share suffering with gentleness and empathy, rather than adopting a fixed approach or style. I also believe it’s crucial to be honest and transparent about actions and outcomes during the course of therapy or coaching to avoid creating any unrealistic expectations. I aim to put my patients in control of the therapeutic process where possible, so that they feel involved and honoured throughout their journey.

Personalised treatment plans (for therapy or coaching)

My approach is truly holistic, encompassing a broad range of knowledge and integrating outdoor environments that lead to healthier outcomes and improved wellbeing. Being in nature and the environment forms a large component of therapy, and I incorporate many activities that range from collecting materials gathered in nature, to building trust and self-esteem through adventure sports, or simply walking and talking. My coaching integrates elements of philosophical questioning and Buddhism to help my patient’s reach the deeper meaning of their experiences and thoughts. I also find that practicing non-attachment and recognising transience helps my patients to let go of negative thinking patterns and focus on what’s truly important to them. Ultimately, every aspect of my approach to therapy is formulated to help people become the best version of themselves, and find the knowledge they have within them to lead a happier, more connected and fulfilled life.

Training and education

I’m an accredited and registered Mental Health Nurse, specialising in providing bespoke case management and crisis support interventions. I’ve been working in mental health for over 18 years, within the NHS, charities, and research teams, alongside my private practice. In 2006, I pioneered the world’s first nature-based walking therapy programme, Discovery Quest, which helped people with severe, long-term mental health conditions and was awarded the Eileen Skellern Mental Health Practice Innovation Award for my work.

I’ve also worked on two programmes helping serving and ex-military personnel as the Lead Mental Health Advisor for The Royal British Legion and Activities Coach and Managing Director, running mental health programmes helping wounded, sick and injured military personnel. I have extensive experience in designing and implementing mental health and related policies and procedures and strategic business plans in the UK and internationally.

I completed my BSC in Mental Health Nursing at the University of East Anglia in 2006. After finishing my studies, I collaborated with academic psychiatrists working on research projects and clinical studies. The University of Essex published reports with our findings showing the beneficial effects of outdoor therapy on mental health and I was interviewed by the Guardian about the mental health benefits of mountain climbing.

Personal Interests

I was brought up on a small farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales, surrounded by open countryside. My childhood was intrinsically connected to nature. As a young teen, I moved to a large city in England, immediately feeling somewhat discombobulated and yearning for a closer connection with nature. I initially found this through mountain biking and, in later life, through mountaineering. After completing formal education, I joined the British Army. I served in a range of locations across the world and, when time allowed, would explore the wild and mountainous spaces. Upon leaving the British Army, I spent five years exploring different continents, living with various indigenous communities and immersing myself as much as possible in multicultural environments. Such experiences broadened my understandings of others and provided a greater context to my own human condition.

As a young man I experienced a period of considerable emotional difficulty, which led me to explore what it means to be human and the conditions attached to mental torment and liberation. After much deliberation, I moved into a Buddhist monastery in the UK and eventually moved to Asia, where I studied vipassana meditation and absorbed the Buddhist writings or ‘dhamma’.

In more recent years I have spent the majority of my professional career in mountainous environments with clients both here in the UK and abroad. After many years of training, I obtained various outdoor qualifications that have enabled me to take clients safely on bespoke ‘Quests’ to find or relocate a sense of equilibrium.

I currently live in North Norfolk, where I can often be found walking the coastal footpaths, cycling the quiet country lanes, or enjoying the stunning wildlife that North Norfolk offers. When not being active, I enjoy cooking and reading non-fiction.

Patient Stories

Paul, I just wanted to thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Your involvement, advice and encouragement has been transformational.
Wow, Paul has this way about him. He was able to put me at ease and got where I was coming from...
Dear Paul, thank you so much for the compassion and kindness you showed my son and my whole family...

Contact Us

You can contact our practice management team by:

+44 20 3488 8555

Text or WhatsApp: +44 7425 919570


Media Enquiries:

Fax: 020 3475 1321

We are open:

Monday to Friday (8am - 6pm)

Our location:

55 Harley Street, London, W1G 8QR

We can arrange a brief courtesy call directly with one of our psychiatrists so you can judge for yourself if you feel comfortable talking to them.

Thank You

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