Psychological Capital Group is headed up by Sarah Steventon.
Sarah is a Psychotherapist, with a background in Neuroscience.
A specialist in neuropsychology and psychopathology, she works with individuals who need to make high stake decisions in high pressure situations, to achieve mental resilience and peak brain performance. Improving the ability to manage stress, regulate emotions, and retain information.
These individuals generally work in sectors that face unusual levels of stress - Banking, Finance, Private Equity, VC, Legal and Tech and professional sport.
The majority of high-achieving individuals know where they want to be, and what they want to achieve - they don't require standard coaching methodologies.
This unique style of working utilises the combination of Neuropsychology in tandem with neuroplasticity to achieve peak performance.
Brain plasticity, known as 'Neuroplasticity', is a term that refers to the brain's ability to change, adapt and rewire itself. Neuro refers to neurons, the nerve cells that are the building blocks of the brain and nervous system, and plasticity is the brain's malleability.
The human brain has around 86 billion neurons. Early researchers believed that neurogenesis, or the creation of new neurons, stopped shortly after birth, today however we know that the brain possesses the remarkable capacity to reorganise pathways, create new connections, and in some cases, even create new neurons—a concept called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.
The brain is continually adapting and changing - this is how we learn new skills, information, language etc
We can use this phenomenon to regulate emotion, which in turn optimises brain function to operate more effectively. When emotions are regulated, you gain clarity, increase creativity and improve cognitive ability.
With this powerful work we can create new neural pathways that allow a chosen response to any given situation - invaluable when you work in high pressure environments!
At speed we can build confidence, remove ‘Imposter Syndrome’, create more self-belief, dissolve anxiety, or overcome self-limiting beliefs - essentially removing any blocks that get in the way of achieving future goals and ultimately your success.
This gives any individual a truly competitive advantage.
Research also shows that positively-wired brains can boost productivity by up to 31%, and are three times more creative than negatively wired ones. Several clients have likened this work to the film 'Limitless'.
At every point results can be felt instantly.
You will realise the key most important element in trading and the one that is most overlooked is your psychology. Your state of mind.
When you see the results, it becomes clear - this is the most crucial variable in your performance.
Tangible differences are immediately obvious and continue to show through into daily lives.
Previous clients testify to the impact not only on their performance, but also on their bottom line.
Sarah works with both individuals and organisations. Working either in-house as a Corporate Therapist, giving the team access to sessions at a frequency that suits the need, or as a resource that they can approach as and when needed.
Organisations who want to gain the advantage, creating optimal human functioning to see consistent performance.
A Performance Psychologist, or Performance Coach as some organisations like to position it, can have a profound impact and enables individuals to function at their peak.
Talented people can only do their best when they feel their best.
It is the people that make the difference in any business.
Sessions can take place on-site or at Psychological Capital's consulting rooms in Warwick or Central London.
Trader Performance Coach
It is a well known fact that the elite of the trading world always have one thing in common - they are able to operate without one a specific element - fear.
Some of the most successful traders of all time have said this it is this specific ability alone that gives them their edge - it is the differential between them and other exceptional traders.
I am able to get you operating in that space. You will start making better decisions, and become sharper. Ultimately the outcome is that you start becoming more successful and make more money.
All successful traders and hedge funds work with a trading psychologist, or Trader Performance Coach. No elite trader works alone - just as no elite sports person would succeed or win without working without a performance coach.
Although I've been nicknamed Wendy Rhoades by several of my clients, there are a couple of significant distinctions between myself and the character - the main one being that although traditional psychology methods do of course feature in our work together, I also utilise neuropsychology and an extremely clever and pretty mind blowing techniques.
Techniques that have the ability to remove, with precision, the issues that will be the cause of around 90% of your negative outcomes, and without doubt, the reason you generally make the decisions that you afterwards regret. Oh, and the other difference is that I don’t get you standing up and thumping your chest like Wendy did to Danzig!
I use your brain's own neuroplasticity, which is a natural brain process, along with a unique style of neuropsychology, which together form a therapy based on the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience. And with this, I am able to help my clients achieve the optimal mindset to perform in the space that ultimately gives them that edge.
This way of working is so powerful I have since earned a different nickname, “The Wizard”.
In terms of how we do this, first and foremost I am a Psychotherapist, but I have a background in neuroscience and specialist training in neuropsychology - so totally different to traditional trading psychology.
This style of working isn’t about giving advice or telling you how to do things differently – this is about creating the ultimate mindset so you operate at a level where you fully use your brain capacity and vastly improve cognition.
Fear, in some degree, is experienced by everyone working the world of investment and risk. Anyone trading at banks, or hedge funds.
Essentially anyone in the midst of potentially losing, or gaining, anything, from a significant amount of money, or in fact, just their reputation, will feel it - and this is where this style of work can really make an impact. These feelings can and do impact negatively on how you operate and removing it is a game changer.
A traditional Trader Performance Coach would be working on a conscious level, so basically they would be looking at your behaviour and discussing how you feel, and how those feelings cause errors etc
An Investment coach is looking purely at the technical side of trading.
This is trading psychology on a whole new level.
Most of my clients are already exceptional. They know what they are doing - they just need that ability to always trade in their 'smart' brain, as opposed to the making the all too often knee-jerk fear based decisions which lose Alpha.
This work is the vehicle to help move into that space of the elite.
'Fear' of missing out, 'Fear' of walking away too soon, 'Fear' of losing, 'Fear' of looking stupid, ' 'Fear' that you aren't as good as you believe you are, 'Fear' of letting people down - the common theme is pretty obvious.
Fear is the issue. It is fear that ultimately causes major losses - because fear will cause you to make decisions that are not always logical. Remove the fear - very simply, this makes the difference in someone becoming part of that elite set.
When fear strikes, and it does, even to the veterans, it causes you to act impulsively, because you feel you need to take action.
You might normally be the most measured, calm and collected individual, but then you’re hit with a ‘perceived threat’ (the market moving and not in the direction you need) and it kicks in.
Then what happens in the brain is the connection to your Prefrontal Cortex (your rational intellectual part of the brain) is hijacked - and when that happens, you don't have access to the area of the brain you really do need in this precise situation.
At this point, you are now making decisions purely based on emotion - and that is why in these specific instances, the moves you make might not be your greatest!
So how is it that some players seem to have the ability to stay calm - even when the proverbial hits the fan. They can just sit it out. They hold their nerve. They don't feel panic. There is no self-doubt - they back themselves 100%.
They have manged to create a mindset that is optimum for the role - a place that seems impossible. They will no doubt have worked with someone - possibly even myself.
The human brain is designed to respond to uncertainty and ambiguity, by trying to create some certainty. So if you get out of a position, when you were meaning to be holding it, you will get an instant feeling of ease, it feels instantly better, for a brief moment – until you think “what the hell did I do that for?"
This is where I come in… I can stop that fear.
When there is a ‘Perceived threat’ – the primitive brain, produces adrenaline; a helpful hormone when it comes to fear, as it helps keep you alive, but it also has the ability to suspend both logic and reason.
A valuable response in a dark alley, but not helpful during your current day. When fear strikes logic goes out the window, along with your strategy and your intellect too.
You are now making decisions emotionally, prior to the input of your conscious logical brain.
The pressure for a trader, or any of the individuals I work with, is immense. Every day you are either winning or losing. If you are constantly monitoring the market for example, you are essentially sending a signal to brain to say “watch out” - so you can feel like you are continually on high alert.
So if you can learn to operate in a calm state, you will have the upper hand, the ultimate psychological edge.
The trouble is, you cannot do this yourself, because the mechanism in your brain is too fast. It happens before you even know it is happening.
There are several areas of your brain involved in the early processing.
The Brain Stem, the Thalamus, the Hypothalamus, the Amygdala are just some of the structures involved in the process of 'threat detection'.
Another area called the Cerebellum, which is really the brain’s secret powerhouse - our central processing unit, it is packed with more neurons than all the other brain regions put together and home to a super-fast wiring system.
It always looking at data, ie; your surroundings and your situation, to check if it is ‘safe’, ‘unsafe’ or ‘needs further checking/information’ ie; ‘Uncertain’
It does this by continually referring back to every single event that has ever taken place in your life, without you knowing or being aware, as this is all happening prior to your Cortex, the logical rational part of your brain, even receiving the data.
So when any data that is similar to any previous ‘emotionally charged’ data , the brain perceives this as another threat, and turns on the fight and flight response.
If that previous data is seen to be ‘unsafe’ this is where conflict arises. You think you know what you should do, but you feel you have to do something else, to go against that. You might just instantly make a rash decision, and then afterwards think “why did I do that?"
By removing fear, you learn to distinguish intuition from impulse, and you think more clearly.
Decisions are no longer driven by emotions such as fear of missing out, fear of regret, fear of losing what you have or more personal narratives, such as the need to be smart.
You start to make better decisions, even under extraordinary pressure – you are able to fully execute your strategy and achieve next-level success.
You’ve worked hard to get into this position. Make it count.
You are in control of your earning potential - you can make 500k a year or 5m a year - it's that simple.