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IT COUCH BE YOU; Therapy for winners who can't cope.

Byline: NICK OWENS

NATIONAL Lottery winners are being given counselling sessions... to teach them how to deal with their millions.

Camelot started offering them after some claimed that hitting the jackpot had RUINED their lives.

They complained that their new-found wealth had led to the break-up of longlasting friendships, legal battles and rows with family members over how much cash they should get.

Now Camelot has signed up celebrity therapists Nic and Eva Speakman to help anyone who has won more than pounds 1million on the Lottery.

The Speakmans,whose clients include bankrupt TV star Kerry Katona, use a range of bizarre techniques including putting patients in the back of a vintage sports car so they can travel "back to the future" to confront past demons.

Among those they are believed to be helping are Tracey Foster, of Benfleet, Essex, who scooped pounds 2.5million in late 2008 after beating breast cancer. Michael Crossland, 41, and wife Susan, 46, of Ravensthorpe, near Dewsbury, West Yorks, who won pounds 1.2million, are also thought to have seen them.

Eva, 41, believes one mistake a lot of Lotto winners make is giving up work.

"At first retiring early is exciting as you can take holidays and spend more time with the family," she said. "But there is a risk you can lose a purpose in life. Winning all that money is a huge transition in life. It happens overnight so it's not like becoming rich by climbing the career ladder.

"It can be difficult for Lottery winners and those around them. Some will feel happy for the winners, while others will be envious or even threatened."

The Speakmans also advise winners to ask friends and relatives who are hoping for money to scribble down their expectations.

But they warn the millionaires it is impossible to please everyone - and not to bother trying.

Nic, 48, said: "Even with the best intentions you are always going to upset some people. But it is important to identify what people want from you."

LOTTO VICTIMS

KEITH GOUGH, 59, of Bridgnorth, Shrops, died penniless in April after gambling and boozing his way through pounds 9m

STUART DONNELLY, 29, of Dumfries, was a recluse and drank himself to death last year after scooping pounds 2m aged just 17

MICHAEL CARROLL, 27, of Norfolk, is back working as a bin man after managing to blow pounds 9.7m in eight years

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New Lotto counsellors Nic and Eva Speakman
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Title Annotation:News; Exclusive
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2010
Words:411
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