Henry Johnstone has his own experiences with coping with mental illness; he is bipolar and was sectioned multiple times in his earlier years. Despite a formal diagnosis and medical treatment, Henry found that it was the techniques he developed for himself that helped him to stop surviving and start thriving.
He gained a degree in 2017 and is now as a certified coach, working with men young and old to help them learn how to express themselves and release the pent-up emotions that are leading them down destructive paths. As he himself has been sober for ten years, Henry’s clients can relate to him and his story, and most importantly, his methods of self-management and helping them figure out what being a man means to them.
Metal work was a surprising passion that Henry discovered in 2009, and finds using intense heat and power tools to manipulate molten steel to be a profound analogy for taking back control of rampaging emotions.
By combine his coaching techniques and metal work, Henry has launched Kingsforge, a coaching service that offers 1:1 sessions and group retreats. Located in the idyllic Norfolk countryside, Henry’s converted 19th century watermill provides a serene backdrop where clients are taught how to create stunning artwork. They are also given tools and techniques for working on themselves. By creating bonding activities such as cooking meals and building fires for each other, Henry demonstrates that collaboration can lead to revelation. Outside speakers and mentors are regularly brought in to teach meditation, self-defence, and leadership skills.
Henry has taken the remarkable step of offering his services to those who are less able to afford it by setting up the Pay it Forward scheme. His clients can allocate a percentage of the fees that they pay for their courses, and the proceeds fund places on future courses.
Scores of clients have written to Henry to thank him for his work, and many credit him with changing their lives.
“It is a rarity to work with a coach so openly vulnerable and comfortably in touch with their own sensitivity and emotion.
Henry embodies this constantly whether it’s working with other men 1-2-1 and in groups, through direct coaching and through their expression in metalwork. By bringing both these worlds together he has created a safe space for men to be, express and evolve. It’s a wonder to see.
As a peer and reciprocal mentor he is an inspiration, keeping me in touch with my emotions throughout. This can be challenging as we push ourselves further in our own thinking and business endeavours.
He reminds me to be kind to myself and as well as others, to be giving emotionally and physically to those in my care inside my business as well as in my personal life. Our conversation brings balance to the demands, and for that I’m thankful.
Speak to Henry about finding truth in your masculinity, about coming back to the centre, about taking the lead on your mental health in the demands of modern life. I know the conversation will be priceless.”