Celebrating Neurodiversity on World Mental Health Day 2019

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3 Top Tips for Emotional Wellbeing And How to Support Dyslexic Children

Neurodiversity is a new buzzword, particularly in business - and rightly so.

The high level of talents associated with non-typical thinking and operating styles give companies a greater chance of staying at the top of their game.

Unless though, we manage (1) to recognise the profile of people with this particular set of sensitivities, and (2) improve the way we support them, everyone loses out. Talented people are left to flounder, their valuable potential under-utilised, and most importantly their mental wellbeing severely compromised.

The heightened sensitivities that give creative people their edge, also make them the canaries in the coal mine. They feel stress sooner than others.

Neurodiversity refers to those whose greater than average creative sensitivities are simultaneously accompanied by a greater than average set of difficulties. Look out for a certain symmetry in these extremes. Talents can manifest in art, design, communication, technology, and so on.

Think also of the high numbers of entrepreneurs among this population. The difficulties too are varied and can encompass poor concentration, chaotic organisation and/or time management or inconsistent communication skills. The health warning: lack of understanding and poor support of neurodiversity, can lead to severe stress and mental illness.

3 Top Tips

As I write this, World Mental Health Day 2019 is coming up, so let’s use this as an opportunity to raise our awareness of neurodiversity – in others and in ourselves, perhaps. When we get impatient with chaos, poor listening or other shortcomings in ourselves and others, let’s not point the finger and dismiss, but stop instead, and wonder whether there is not more to this turmoil than meets the eye. Might it be related to talents somewhere on the creative continuum?

Here are 3 helpful things we can do, to significantly help creative people calm down. A less agitated brain immediately frees up space to think more clearly and feel more in control. Everyone will benefit from that.

1. Validate their experience

When we acknowledge someone by showing that we have noticed their struggle, effort and intention (irrespective of the outcome) they will automatically calm down. Recognition fosters a sense of safety.

2. Validate their qualities

Neurodiverse people can easily lose touch with their qualities and particular talents. Once we shine a torch on their resources we help bring them into being. We all benefit from being reminded of our qualities every now and then.

3. Validate their need for freedom that comes from autonomy

For much of the time the neurodiverse population is asked to function on terms other than their own. Little account is taken of how they learn and create. All the more important then, that they have periods in the day that they are not accountable to anyone. Their sanity depends on it. Encourage them to get things done in their own way. As long as the required goals are reached, we are always more motivated if we can deliver the goods in ways that suit us best.

By looking out for each other and embracing (ourselves and) others completely – talents as well as imperfections – creativity can flourish.

Supporting Neurodiversity in Children

In spite of all the understanding now available about our different learning styles and calls for inclusivity, we are still a long way off from properly accommodating neurodiverse children in school.

In my recent interview with family therapist Miriam Chachamu, I discuss how to support dyslexic children in ways that will strengthen their emotional wellbeing and resilience.

You can watch the video here:

It is high time to reassess our educational system which is still too focussed and biased towards the learning style of some and thereby disqualifying large numbers whose talents and learning styles differ from the norm.

By raising our awareness and making room for difference, every community will be healthier and enriched.

Please explore the rest of my website for the many articles and resources I have made available to foster the neurodiversity that leads to creativity.


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About Renée

Renée van der Vloodt ( M.A. , FHGI ) is a psychotherapist and coach – and has had a private practice for over 20 years, which is now based in Woodchurch (near Ashford), Kent. She also works with people around the world via online sessions.

Renée works with children and adults as a coach and therapist to help them overcome life's challenges and emotional difficulties including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or addictive behaviour.

Renée is a regular contributor to Breathe Magazine and the author of the CD Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind.

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How to help a dyslexic child at home

In this blog, you’ll learn of dyslexics strengths and their styles of thinking as well as how to help a dyslexic child at home, whilst also nurturing their talents.

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World Mental Health Day 2018 – How can self-compassion help our mental health? (Audio)

Whether it's stress, anxiety, depression, anger - it’s always accompanied by high levels of emotional arousal, or fight-flight-freeze. This is an activation of that part of the brain that is intended to protect us.

Self-compassion is a beautiful tool which, when practiced regularly, can transform your life and down regulate high emotions. It has a huge impact on your resilience. 

In audio I discuss:

  • What Self-Compassion means

  • How Self-Compassion works and how the ‘attitude’ towards your own suffering affects us physiologically/emotionally

  • Practical tips you can apply to your own life


UPCOMING WORKSHOP

Self-care for Therapists and Healthcare Professionals

Building Resilience through Self-Compassion

SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2018 – REGENT'S COLLEGE, LONDON

This workshop will not teach you to lead a balanced life. You already know how to do that. Instead it draws on your greatest resource to truly help you maintain your buoyancy and replenish your emotional stores, in a sustainable and deeply transformative way.

You will learn to mobilise your natural gift of compassion towards yourself in an embodied and experiential way.

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(Audio) Practical Ways to Manage Your Anger

(Audio) Practical Ways to Manage Your Anger

In my recent conversation with Catherine Robson about anger and the creative mind, we explored many components of anger: where it comes from, unexpected ways that it can manifest itself, the way it distorts perception and covers up 'fault lines' from our past and much more.

We also discussed lots of practical ways to deal with inappropriate expressions of anger – and  it's this part of our conversation that I'd like to share with you!

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(Audio) Do you experience the phenomenon of emotional backdraft?

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After we recorded A Guide to Understanding AngerI had a niggling sense that there was an important question I'd missed. It was this: why is it that when everything is going well, I start to worry about everything that could go wrong and get a surge of discomfort?

So, Catherine Robson, who helps me pull together all these recordings, and I sat down to explore this question and the phenomenon known in the world of Mindful Self-Compassion as backdraft

When we begin to show ourselves self-compassion, the pain can often increase at first. Just as when everything is going right, we often worry about the future or get a surge of anger or discomfort.

As Dr Kristen Neff says, “Love reveals everything unlike itself.”

Backdraft is a firefighting term that describes when a door or window is opened or shattered in a burning building – the oxygen rushes in, giving the flames new fuel, and the flames burst out. The same is true when you open the doors to your heart.

Listen to this short audio recording where I speak to Catherine about what backdraft is and why it occurs. You may be familiar with the scenarios and examples we discuss... 

Listen now or download to listen later

If you enjoyed this recording and want to learn more, take a look at my online shop where you'll find A Guide to Understanding Anger and other audio guides. 

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About Renée

Renée van der Vloodt ( M.A. , FHGI ) is a psychotherapist and coach – and has had a private practice for over 20 years, which is now based in Woodchurch (near Ashford), Kent.

Renée is the author of the CD Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind and works with children and adults as a coach and therapist to help them overcome life's challenges and emotional difficulties including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or addictive behaviour.

Renée provides executive resilience coaching and stress reduction programmes for teams. 

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In the Press: Cool to be kind (Quietening the Inner Critic of the Creative Mind)

An active and vivid imagination often spurs creative people to achieve great things, but it can also conjure up doom-and-gloom scenarios that isolate and bring on feelings of self-loathing.

Perhaps it’s time creatives showed themselves more self-compassion?

Read my latest article for Breathe Magazine and discover: 

  • What being a 'creative person' really means
  • Why some creative people feel so intensely
  • How to quieten your inner critic
  • How being kind to yourself can lead you to develop a stable and more consistent sense of self-worth

Pick up a copy of the magazine, available in all good stockists or online – or download the article (for free) above.


Could you benefit from sessions of coaching or therapy via Skype?

Over the past year, I've been working with increasing numbers of people via Skype (or Facetime) as it suits certain types of of situations very well – including dealing with workplace stress and short sessions for parents to focus on specific difficulties as they arise.


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Renée van der Vloodt ( M.A. , FHGI ) is a psychotherapist and coach – and has had a private practice for over 20 years, which is now based between Woodchurch (Ashford), Kent and the Elysian Centre in Rye, East Sussex.

Renée is the author of the CD Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind and works with children and adults as a coach and therapist to help them overcome life's challenges and emotional difficulties including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or addictive behaviour.

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AUDIO: Do you struggle to implement healthy changes in your life?

AUDIO: Do you struggle to implement healthy changes in your life?

There are many reasons why we may find it hard to reach a personal goal or to get a new project off the ground. One thing is for sure – labelling yourself with a derogatory term isn’t going to solve this problem.

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In the Press: All we need is...

Nature predisposes us to thrive and flourish.

Yet more and more people are struggling to find their place in the world, and mental health problems are on the increase. What do we need to reverse the trend and to build health, happiness and resilience into the fabric of our lives?

Maslow and, more recently, the Human Givens Paradigm offer us real answers that are in keeping with the rules of nature to which we are subject. Rather than looking immediately at stress-related symptoms, they suggest we first take a step back and look at the bigger picture: getting our emotional needs met.

In Issue 5 of Breathe Magazine, I explore our nine emotional needs and how you can get them met.

Pick up a copy of the magazine, available in all good stockists or online – or download the article (with the most beautiful illustrations) above.

In the Press: When Life Tips out of Balance

Don’t we all love that effortless feeling of flow?

The times when life unfolds with ease and we experience a clarity of mind and levels of energy that imbue us with what seems a permanent sense of optimism and inspiration. I often wish I could bottle that feeling and pull it off the shelf when life seems more of an uphill struggle.

It’s curious, though, how difficult we find it to notice ourselves drifting away from that ‘happy home’; how long it can take us to realise that our life is out of balance, and in fact, that we’re not very well at all.

In Issue 5 of Breathe Magazine, I explore what to do 'when life tips out of balance' – and how to return to that feeling of flow. 

Pick up a copy of the magazine, available in all good stockists or online – or download the article (with the most beautiful illustrations) above.

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AUDIO: How to break out of your irritable mood

When you're feeling irritable and snappy, it can feel like you've drifted far away from yourself.

With the added pressure and uncertainty of life, we lash out at our partners, family or co-workers. But how to break out of your bad mood?

The answer lies in 'returning home' – back to your kind, resourceful self. 

Below is practical, guided exercise I use with clients to help them reconnect with their inner resources. The more you strengthen your connection to your calm and wise inner voice, the more "bounce" you'll develop and the quicker you'll be able to snap out of your moods. 

Keep coming back to this exercise when you need a tool to help you when you're feeling snappy – and let me know how you get on! 

 

HOW TO HELP YOURSELF AND OTHERS MANAGE ANGER SUCCESSFULLY

A ONE-DAY WORKSHOP WITH RENÉE VAN DER VLOODT

SATURDAY 6TH MAY 9.30AM – 4.30PM
REGENT'S COLLEGE, LONDON

This practical workshop is for health professionals, teachers, line managers, and anyone interested in truly comprehending and learning to deal with this most misunderstood of our human emotions.

This workshop will give you: 

Up-to-date insights and understanding            

  • New insights into the real causes of (excessive) anger that often go unnoticed — even by health care professionals
  • Understanding of the upside of anger    
  • Ways to identify the patterns of angry behaviour and an insight into the different and often hidden ways anger disorders manifest themselves including subversive behaviour
  • The latest scientific understanding of how anger is generated and how chronic anger affects physical and emotional health
  • and much more!

About Renée

Renée van der Vloodt ( M.A. , FHGI ) is a psychotherapist and coach – and has had a private practice for over 20 years, which is now based between Woodchurch (Ashford), Kent and the Elysian Centre in Rye, East Sussex.

Renée is the author of the CD Calm the Chaos of the Creative Mind and works with children and adults as a coach and therapist to help them overcome life's challenges and emotional difficulties including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger or addictive behaviour.

Book a session with Renée » 

 

Celebrate with Generosity of Spirit

Celebrate with Generosity of Spirit

Like Tennessee Williams, ‘I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.’

This is not to say that I haven’t been particularly blessed with a loving family and extraordinary friends, but it is that ‘uncalled for’ generosity and connection to me and my fate that has deepened my sense of belonging, by being made to feel that my life matters.

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The Hidden Face of Anger

The Hidden Face of Anger

Subtle and subversive bullying tactics are rife in families, organisations and in society at large. How often have you come across the ‘polite’ cold shoulder or other blanking tactics, the perpetually sullen face or malicious gossip thinly disguised as concern?  What about manipulation through ‘illness’, or other forms of sabotage?

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How to keep your anxiety in check

How to keep your anxiety in check

Learn how to keep your anxiety in check with this guide – PLUS download your free printable poster with a helpful acronym to help you (even when you're busy or on the move). 

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Supportive Parents: 5 Ways to be more whole-heartedly present for your child

Supportive Parents: 5 Ways to be more whole-heartedly present for your child

When a parent becomes present for her child in a whole-hearted way, the child’s whole autonomic nervous system can calm down. The resulting openness will enable him to stay connected and think creatively about any of the challenges he faces. He’ll experience what it’s like to be the master of his own ship.

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A surprisingly simple way to counter everyday fatigue

A surprisingly simple way to counter everyday fatigue

Do you ever feel tired and lack lustre without knowing what to do about it?

Have you stopped to ask yourself what might be sapping your energy and vitality?

We have busy lives, worrying about money, jobs, our families… If you dig a little deeper you’ll uncover one of the greatest and most hidden causes of fatigue: our inner critic. 

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Why bother? Rekindle your sense of meaning and joy [ Audio Blog]

Why bother? Rekindle your sense of meaning and joy [ Audio Blog]

Do you sometimes feel disheartened or distressed? Feelings of gloom can descend upon us depending on what’s going on in our lives; sometimes things just seem to be conspiring against us! Or, perhaps you have a child with ‘why bother’ attitude… 

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A Quick-Fire Guide to Better Sleep

A Quick-Fire Guide to Better Sleep

Sleep matters. The quality and amount of sleep we get affects our thinking, behaviour and health. 

In this guide, I share ideas and practical steps that you can take to help you improve your sleep.

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Moving Psychotherapy & Coaching Practice to the NEW Elysian Centre in Rye, East Sussex

Moving Psychotherapy & Coaching Practice to the NEW Elysian Centre in Rye, East Sussex

The Elysian Centre is a new holistic centre for mental health and well-being in Rye, East Sussex, offering a wide range of therapies. These include homoeopathy, cranial osteopathy, zero balancing, shiatsu, reflexology, yoga and psychotherapy.  

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Dear Renée: How do I help a dyslexic child regulate their emotions?

Dear Renée: How do I help a dyslexic child regulate their emotions?

Parents expect me focus on the dyslexia and not on their relationship with their child. How do I help a child to regulate his emotions when he lives in what is effectively a ‘toxic’ home environment?

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How to help your child stay connected to their intuition

How to help your child stay connected to their intuition

Intuition is like radar that picks up signals and leads you to the right place at the right time.  Children come into the world naturally connected to that inner voice which speaks to us without words. Read this post to discover how to help your children stay connected to this important guide...

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