Permission for some You Time

Permission for some You Time

A promising young actress friend was assessed recently, following the success of a play she was in at her prestigious drama school. All the praise aside, she was also admonished for not spending enough time alone. I was thrilled to hear this, for those are wise words indeed. 

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Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (Part II)

Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (Part II)

Old habits die hard and some of them can keep us trapped. They affect our communication and connection to others, they hamper our ability to learn and grow, and they keep our horizon narrow.

Good psychotherapy helps break those shackles; it frees up physical and emotional energy and lifts us out of this confinement. Good therapy gives us the power to steer our own passage more accurately.

Here we look at behaviour patterns that stop people from developing and learning.

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Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (Part I)

Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (Part I)

We all stumble somewhere on life’s journey or find ourselves going round in circles, rather than moving on.

Exhaustion, worry, negative rumination, poor sleep, sadness, irritability, loneliness - these are all signs that life is out of balance. It may be that you are wondering what it’s all about or ‘why bother?’ - that you feel undervalued or out of control of important things in your life.

Do you indulge in addictive behaviours, feel bored, or are you worried that ‘this is all there is’?

If this resonates with you, then this post is for you! 

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The Moving Story of an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)

The Moving Story of an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)

A client and HSP, documented her shifting sense of self. When I first asked her to tell me about her strengths and weaknesses she imploded right in front of my eyes. She captured the pain I saw and what it felt like to think about herself.

See how the model of herself transformed over the week we spent together...

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Are you sound sensitive?

Are you sound sensitive?

 Have you ever turned the radio on, determined to listen to the news or weather forecast, and next thing you know it’s over - and you didn’t take in a word. A nuisance maybe, but quite painless otherwise.

Creative people - think dyslexia, AD(H)D, autism - are known to struggle with the written language: reading and writing.

We are less aware of quite how sound sensitive they can be. This they have in common with HSP (Highly Sensitive People) and strongly affects how they process sound.

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“What is wrong with you?!” - The Highly Sensitive Person

“What is wrong with you?!” - The Highly Sensitive Person

Recent research findings by leading experts in the field show that HPSs - or highly sensitive people - manifest more neurological brain activity when exposed to other people’s feelings, or pictures of emotions in others, than the average person.

About 20% of the population 'suffers' - and often quietly so - from these high levels of sensitivity. Growing up as an HSP can be difficult and confusing. Over-sensitivity and the fussing that can go with it, is seen as a flaw in western culture.

Find out more about Highly Sensitive People, tips and further reading in this post.

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A Parent's Guide to Sleep

A Parent's Guide to Sleep

In my practice, I see children who struggle academically or emotionally. I am never surprised when they tell me that their sleep is bad too or that they wake tired in the morning. Bedtime itself can be a bone of contention between parent and child.

Working on ‘sleep hygiene’ with child and parent immediately makes other issues easier to deal with. We explore how things can be improved between them - how each has a responsibility - and in my practice, I teach the child or teenager what he can do immediately to improve the quality of his sleep. Giving them this responsibility can be very empowering and effective.

Here’s my sleep guide, which sums up what can be done.

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Sleep: What do our Children Need?

Sleep: What do our Children Need?

Parents often tell me how stressful bedtime is. They talk about the difficulties they have getting their children to bed, about their children who have trouble falling asleep or about children whom they just can’t get up in the morning.

In spite of our best intentions, we can find ourselves muddling on for ages, trying to get sleep right for our children.

Let's start with the nuts and bolts - the different types of sleep our children need.

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What Makes us so Angry?

What Makes us so Angry?

Millie’s Mum was devastated that her 12-year old daughter would throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat and terrorise the household. She had even started having her volcanic outbursts in public. Her Mum equated this relentless anger to a deep lack of gratitude and appreciation. By the time they came to me, Millie’s Mum was in a constant state of sadness.

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5 Tips to Help Children Deal with Anger

5 Tips to Help Children Deal with Anger

It really isn’t easy to handle our children’s rage. Particularly if it recurs, hurts others and breaks things. Perhaps we never learned to deal with our own angry feelings in childhood and fell into the habit of pushing them away; leaving us to feel guilty in the aftermath.

As I often get asked the question: How can I support my angry child?

Each child and scenario is different but here are five tips that will help us to give our children a better opportunity to acknowledge and deal with their angry feelings constructively.

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Supportive Parents: Learning to say "NO"

Supportive Parents: Learning to say "NO"

Training for adult vitality and resilience starts in childhood. Keeping stress at bay successfully means learning to deal with life as it is. So, chuck out the 'if only's', the 'oughts', as well as the blame game and learn how to say "No" elegantly. 

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Stressed Kids: 3 Ways to give them back their childhoods

Stressed Kids: 3 Ways to give them back their childhoods

Stress has a way of creeping in, silently, slowly and sometimes quite unnoticed until you’re in deep.

School did it for my son. Every day a little more, like water whittling away at a stone. And all the while I had been so busy trying to help him succeed...

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Become more Stress Aware [ VIDEO INTERVIEW ]

Become more Stress Aware [ VIDEO INTERVIEW ]

Have you ever asked yourself how stress-resilient you are?

What are the things you do when the pressure rises? Do you nail bite, over-eat or –drink, become anxious or irritable? And do you spot the signs early enough to take action and avert the symptoms that herald more serious stuff ahead? We all need to stay informed about the many faces of stress-related symptoms.

Join me and hear what my Human Givens colleague, stress expert Emily Gajewski, has to say about self-harming and how to deal with it.

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What is Dyslexia?

What is Dyslexia?

Tying to find out what dyslexia is can leave you more confused than when you started. This is partly due to the inconsistency of the symptoms of dyslexia. They can also vary and overlap with other related conditions such as dyspraxia, dyscalculia or AD(H)D.

Read this post for more clarity on dyslexia and the symptoms, and gifts.  

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Modern Parenting with Miriam Chachamu

Modern Parenting with Miriam Chachamu

 Modern parenting has a new set of challenges. As we spend time learning, practicing and reflecting as parents, we realise that the experience is both dynamic and full of choice.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Miriam Chachamu, well-regarded family therapist and author of the popular book "How to Calm a Challenging Child". In our video interview, Miriam gives us helpful parenting tips and advice as we discuss fairness, sibling rivalry, choice and teenagers. 

 

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3 Tips on How to Nurture Your Child's Dyslexic Talents

3 Tips on How to Nurture Your Child's Dyslexic Talents

With a narrow focus on the academic results we often lose sight of the bigger, and much richer, picture.

Here are 3 very simple things that you can do as a parent, which will immediately change the dynamics at home and give your child access to his greater self, his more genuine nature.

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Bestowing our Children with a Gift that Lasts

Bestowing our Children with a Gift that Lasts

As important as reading and writing are to the freedom that comes with literacy, seeing them as the only answer to the problem of growing up with dyslexia would be misleading, or even falling short of offering children the real keys to the kingdom of their future.

 

N.B. This was written with children with dyslexia in mind but the idea reaches out to all parents and professionals working with children.  

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"My Dyslexia": An Entrepreneur's Story [VIDEO]

"My Dyslexia": An Entrepreneur's Story [VIDEO]

In an earlier post, I shared the news of the campaign of Klaire de Lys, video-blogger , singer, artist and make-up artist, who is to shave her her head in order to raise bursaries for people with dyslexia and on a limited income to access the Davis Dyslexia Programme

This is her moving story as told by Klaire. 

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Video Blogger Klaire de Lys Raises Money for Dyslexia

Video Blogger Klaire de Lys Raises Money for Dyslexia

21 year old Klaire de Lys is one of the top video-bloggers in the UK and her exceptional make-up tutorials have received over 86 million views. She is an accomplished creative in so many ways. 

On 1 August 2013, dyslexic singer, artist and make-up artist Klaire de Lys will shave her head to raise bursaries for people with dyslexia and on a limited income to access the Davis Dyslexia Programme

 

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Reframing Dyslexia

Reframing Dyslexia

Renée van der Vloodt argues that ‘dyslexia’ expresses a talent, not just a disability. Hilary Farmer shows how working with that talent can eliminate the associated learning difficulty.

THERE is a striking similarity between a nine-year-old ‘dyslexic’ child and a 40-year-old business executive on stress leave for burnout. Both may suffer from poor short-term memory, inability to spell, anxiety, lack of concentration and difficulty in taking in what is said – in short, high levels of confusion. This is not a coincidence. We would like to suggest that, if ‘dyslexia’ and other related learning difficulties appear to be on the increase, it is because they are symptomatic of the distress caused by an inadequate educational system, which, in turn, echoes a society that is failing to meet the diverse needs of individual people.

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