Caring for SEN Children

Living with a child with Special Educational Needs

I wanted to talk to you today about what it is like being a grandmother of a child with Special Education Needs and why it is so very important for us grownups to get support too.

These neuro-diverse children are deemed to be neurodiverse as they think “differently” from the way of the majority of neur0typical childen whose brains behave in the same way as the majority of society.  According to Lou Elliott, a speech, language and behaviour therapist and highly specialised in ASD, Autism families approach family life from 90 degrees sideways and five steps to the right of everyone else’s “normal”.

Anyone living in this situation will tell you that each day seems a bit like going on to a battle field with the child’s behaviour, tantrums,  triggers and language.  I have been with my granddaughter and my daughter’s 4 year old son when it is time to get them ready for school and nursery.  Quiet it is not.  Tantrums are rife and my daughter is running around trying to get them both ready, with my help.  This is at 8.15 and breakfast has just been eaten with the remainder of each uneaten breakfast discarded in the sink.

The TV is on with cbeebies and disney channel to keep them amused.  My daugher’s back is always playing up as she is bending down and bending over to deal with the children.  My little 4 year old grandson seems fine but, at just 4 years old, the tantrums are beginning to come to the fore.  When “neurotypical” grandson and “”neurodiverse” granddaughter annoy each other, then it gets a bit serious and grandmother steps in.

This is just the beginning of the day and so when the kids are at school and nursery, my daugher has time for herself.  However, all she wants to do is sleep.

When my grandson is back from nursery at 1.00pm, I look after him whilst my daughter collects my granddaughter and when they are both back from school/nursery, the fun starts again.

My daughter and I have learnt a lot about ASD whilst putting together a case for an assessment for EHCP which is now underway.  This has taken it out of the both of us though as there has been a lot of research to be done, a lot of contacting organisations and a lot of talking with others.  I have helped my daughter with all the paperwork as well as helping her with Hypnotherapy to help her stay as calm as she can be and giving her techniques to think more positively about what she and I are going through.

What Support Is There for us Grownups?

I have looked at ways to get support and I can highly recommend the following organisation:

This organisation gives support to parents across the West Kent area who need help whilst awaiting a diagnosis and can give strategies for helping their children.  They also run events for children and this means that us parents will not feel so isolated and can build friendships for support.  I highly recommend spacetobeme. They also run online workshops for parents who are looking after SEN children and my daughter and I attended one in November which gave us a lot of information about Autism (ASD) and was presented by Lou Elliott, the speech, language and behaviour therapist mentioned in my first heading above.

Selfcare is an absolute must for parents with SEN Children

Do you remember when you get on an aeroplance and the safety procedures are read out.  In the event of a drop in cabin pressure, they ask us all to put on our own Oxygen Masks before we help others, including our children.

It is a fact that if we are not feeling top notch and are under an enormous amount of stress and anxiety, then we cannot care properly for our children.  Please remember to put yourselves at the top of the list for selfcare, even if it is just once a day in doing something nice for yourselves.  This is vital to help you to get through each day.  I will be talking more about this in my next blog and will be running some free relaxation sessions online for 30 mins twice a week.  Just remember that you are the carer but that you need care too.  Do not keep putting yourself at the bottom of the list when it comes to your own care.  If you are not caring for yourself then how can you possibly put the care in place that you SEN child needs and deserves.

I hope you enjoyed my blog.  There will be more about this subject so please subscribe on my website to receive my blogs.


Teachers: We Need You

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Woman staring out of a window

Teachers Leaving the Profession

The number of teachers leaving the profession in 2021 has risen from 12 to 21 percent due to the current Pandemic, their workload, reduced levels of happiness and wellbeing, stress and anxiety.  This number will increase again in 2022.  This is an awful statistic and you can see it in full here Pandemic Teachers Exodus

We appreciate you Teachers so much and we know that you have been going through a difficult time in the past couple of years.   You have so many things to think about, to plan, to prepare, to assess and to deal with.  You have an excessive workload and long working hours.

I have had chats with teachers who have told me about what they have been going through in their teaching role such as new government initiatives coming into the mix whilst coping with poor pupil behaviour, large class sizes and having pressures of assessment targets and inspections.   Some teachers have told me how their stress and anxiety has affected their lives and families and have decided to resign from their teaching positions and either retire or look for a new profession.

If you are going through a very difficult time, having worked in teaching for many years and your confidence levels have plummeted, are you thinkig of leaving the profession?

Needing Help

We all know that teaching can be very stressful.  You are some of the most unappreciated and overworked professionals out there. Sometimes you can be overwhelmed by it and may be finding it difficult to talk about it.  The Hope Education website Hope Education is a great website that will give you 12 Stress Relief tips to help you.

I Would Be Pleased To Help You Too

I hope that these stress relief relief tips can help you but if you would like to come and talk to me about your stress and/or anxiety, or your confidence levels which are at a low ebb, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat. I will listen and help you to regain your confidence and to cope with your stress/anxiety through Hypnotherapy and learning about how your brain is working during these stressful times. I am great listener and also make great coffee.









I would love you to subscribe to my blogs, if you would like to.  Please fill in box at the right hand side of this page and it will give me great pleasure for you to receive them.  Lots of interesting blogs coming up.



Teachers: from overwhelm, burnout and anxiety to regaining motivation and building resilience


Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, teachers have had to endure new Covid protocols, extra form filling, teaching classes via Zoom, devising new teaching plans and assessing students’ progress all without seeing their pupils face to face for a large amount of time.

They have also had to deal with covering for staff sickness and working longer hours to keep up with the work.

Diminished Work Force

It has been reported that this has led to a massive 35% of teachers wishing to leave education within the next 5 years due to increased workload and a diminishing respect for the teaching profession.

Our teachers are fundamental to the upbringing of our children, and they must be respected and suitably rewarded for their work.

Ill Health

Many teachers are leaving the profession due to ill health, often stemming from exhaustion caused by managing the Covid disruptions of the past 18 months.  Burnout is endemic, and many teachers need mental health support.

Anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and feeling burned out are unfortunately common mental health issues.

Regaining Positive Mindset

Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation techniques are well-known ways to improve wellbeing and develop a more positive mindset. However, the key to reducing negative thought processes is developing fortitude and strength of mind to overcome issues and reignite your motivation. This approach can help stressed professionals, including our hard-working teachers, to re-engage with their work.

Help for Teachers

Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy can provide tools to develop positive mindsets through talking techniques, relaxation, and short daily tasks. You will gain an understanding of the neuroscience behind how our primitive default brains take control, as well as how we can develop our intellectual brains to move us forward with resilience and fortitude to a new way of life.

Despite what you may have seen in movies or popular culture, hypnotherapy is not a scary process.  It is simply a way to focus your attention whilst relaxing and listening to my voice as I read to you.  The techniques I use will help to focus the intellectual brain and to understand how the fight/flight/freeze part of the primitive brain can be turned off.

I have helped many clients to become resilient and to understand what is happening during periods of overwhelm, burnout and anxiety, and it absolutely makes my heart sing when I am able to sign them off to become new versions of themselves.

If you are a teacher who would like to re-set and re-motivate yourself, please get in touch for your free introductory session.


Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy versus Psychotherapy

What is the difference

Have you tried Pilates and Yoga and, if so, do you know the true difference between the two?  Yoga is for strengthening our muscles and Pilates is generally used for relaxing them.

Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy is a type of complementary talking therapy which utilises our subconscious and the power of suggestion to promote positive change in our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.  We use techniques to encourage different thought patterns to emerge and, from a Psychological point of view, we explain to our clients how their intellectual and primitive brains are working in terms of their thought patterns, emotions and behaviours.  This is fundamental to the understanding of why our clients are feeling the way that they do when they ask for our help.

When they come for their Initial Consultation and learn about the workings of the brain, their eyes light up and they often say to me – “I didn’t know that”  We call it a talking therapy and we acknowledge our clients’ issues at their Initial Consultation, HOWEVER, our purpose is to take them forward in terms of their positive thoughts about what they want for their future and how they want to change.  We work in a goal-oriented way and also use the “Focus Ahead” strategy.  Because it is goal-oriented, it has a very specific structure and we use a set of techniques which fosters a pathway to the clients’ desired solutions.  Solution-focussed hypnotherapy considers the causes of the clients’ issues and past as distracting but, instead, guides the client to focus on an achievable goal for their future.

The Hypnotherapy part of our sessions are used to relax our clients and to get them to a point of “Focussed Attention” or what we call “Trance” when they are listening to our voice guiding their thought patterns in their subconscious minds.  They are fully aware of what is happening but are totally relaxed and at ease.  If they need to move, they will move or if they need to sneeze or scratch their nose, they will do so absolutely.

Psychotherapy is a true talking therapy that is used to help a person to explore their concerns, thoughts and feelings to improve their mental health issues.  The object of the psychotherapy consultation is to talk about any emotional difficulties affecting their lives that can have come from Trauma, Relationship Issues, Past experiences or any aspect of their life which is causing mental distress. It focuses on the client’s psyche and how they are looking back at their symptoms of emotional trauma to the causes, i.e. they will look at what has happened to them to cause them to feel the way that they do.

Psychotherapy covers the same issues as Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy, however, we will look at taking them forward in a Solution-Focussed way to enable them to be the person that they truly want to be, albeit that they have experienced these difficult emotions due to their past experiences.  Note that we cannot change the past, but we can change our futures by understanding why we are feeling the way that we do and accessing our tools to take us out of our negative thinking and take us forward to positivity.

I do hope that this helps you to understand the difference between both these highly regarded modalities.






Smart Phone Addiction in Teenagers

Is your teenager addicted to their SmartPhone?

If the answer to this question is YES, then please understand that you are not on your own.

Does your teenager get panicky when they can’t find their phone or they are denied access to it?

Is it the Smart Phone itself or the Apps that they are addicted to such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter?

TikTok is very addictive as it is easy to access. It only needs the thumb to scroll up very quickly to find videos that are short and which gives you “mini-stories”, it helps youngsters to stay in the trend and the content is always fresh and the algorithm means that they only see videos that TikTok think will interest them. This is so clever but can be destructive too.

Teenager with a Smartphone
Teenager with a Smartphone

These are questions that we must ask ourselves now. Lockdown has prompted all of us, including our teenagers, to check and re-check our phones for Social Media and news and it has been reported that, even before lockdown, teenagers would be checking their phones every 10-12 mins.

During lockdown, media coverage and social media discussions have played an enormous part in searching for news in our concern about coronavirus and some people have found this news difficult to cope with, especially teenagers.  When walking down the road, I have seen young people on their phones and not looking where they are going. I have to move out of the way. They are usually on Social Media and interacting with their friends. Did you know that phone addiction in youngsters is actually worse than drug use and each time they use their phone, they are receiving a “hit” of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that acts as a “reward” and makes you feel good.

Their mental wellbeing has been and is being affected by all this bad news, and yet, they still need to know about it and still need to talk to their “besties” about it through Social Media.

It’s vital to look after their wellbeing, but for these teenagers and youngsters who are dependant on their phones, it can be tricky. Their lives are going at speed and they cannot switch off. They are dependant on their “besties” and being confined and away from them has caused a much greater need for sociability and acceptance.

With Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy, I can help them to see that there is a need to switch off, to find other outlets for their energy and to discover why they are so addicted to their Smart Phones.  Parents, give me a call to discuss.

Covid-19 – How has it affected you?

Image of a head with gears inside and question mark

This is my first blog for 2020.  Many apologies and I can only say that since the beginning of 2020, I have been very busy with clients and then in March – BOOM.  Covid-19 has left me depleted with having to close my Therapy Room, only work with clients via Zoom and, more importantly, lose some of my clients as they were unable to attend Therapy sessions any more.

How has Covid-19 affected you?  So many of my friends have had to be furloughed or lost their jobs.  So many of my friends have had to do home-schooling whilst working from home.  So many of my friends have seen loved ones taken away from them through Covid-19 and so many of my friends have experienced stress and anxiety since lockdown on 23rd March, 2020.

Our Primitive Brains have been working in overdrive since Covid-19 started and we have been in lockdown.  This brain is wanting to keep us safe and so it comes alive to help us to deal with any situations that might harm us.  The only issue is that our Primitive Brains do not know when to stop and we are unable to get them to stop as our Hypocampus, full of emotions and memories, are bringing up all sorts of unwanted emotions and thought patterns.  It’s a case of using our Intellectual Mind, our left pre-frontal cortex to take control in time of crisis, emotional overload and negative thought patterns.

As we are now coming out of lockdown, how has it been for you and how have you coped with all the situations that you have had to face?  I always ask my clients to look at 3 gratitudes per day, even when the Primitive Brain is in control, wanting to save us from ourselves.  Have you taken time to just sit and listen to your emotions and to understand what is going on that is taking you to a level of unconsicous thought patterns which bring you down?

Please just remember that our Primitive Brain has been looking after us for millions of years.  It is there to do its job, however, our Intellectual Mind is what we need to help us through this time.  When we use our Intellectual Mind, we can think positively, intellectually and creatively about our negative emotions and put these emotions in their place to not let them dominate our lives.

Let’s get back to “normality” as quickly as we can and always keep positive even when we are feeling negative.




My Story

View of sky from window of airplane

My story and how and the power of solution-focussed hypnotherapy influenced me.

I’ve always been interested in therapy and, throughout my career, have always worked with people so understanding them has been one of my life’s passions.

I experienced Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy for myself when I had a fear of flying. We didn’t talk about my fear but after 6 sessions, I took my flight to Bangkok with no problem!

Many people don’t want to, can’t or aren’t able to delve into their past and discover what happened to bring them to where they are today and solution-focussed hypnotherapy doesn’t require that because it uses the present and the future only.

The present:
What would you like to change?

The future:
What would you like to change it to?

The sessions begin with a lesson about the mind – how the subconscious and conscious minds work and how we can disrupt and repair patterns or thought processes that are causing you problems.

We look at what it is you’d like to change and how your life will be once that change has been made.

Crucially, I track your progress using a simple questionnaire so that together, we can see progress being made or address any dips to re-route us for our next session.

I usually recommend between six-eight sessions for my clients so that we can start to make progress together and then maintain it too.

Ask me about my free one-hour consultation today.

How I overcame my PAMs

I have suffered from panic attacks over the years and I know full well how they make you feel. I called them my PAM’s (Panic Attack Monsters). I used to want to tow a large box around me when out and about. This box I could get in to when I felt an attack coming on. I could then be on my own and release the fear.

Panic is a natural response to feeling stressed in dangerous situations. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times. However, panic attacks come on spontaneously even when you are not feeling stressed or anxious. They produce symptoms that are very frightening and hard to comprehend. Once a panic attack happens, the fear comes that another one will happen. This then develops in to a ”fear” of a “fear”

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where you regularly have sudden attacks of panic or fear. It can happen at any time, often for no reason. Your body can experience a rush of intense mental and physical symptoms, from mild to severe.

A panic attack can be very distressing and frightening although they are not dangerous. The symptoms can include a racing heart, sweating, nausea, feeling faint, shortness of breath, dry mouth, ringing in your ears, trembling and a feeling of dread or a fear of dying to name a few.

The amount of panic attacks you will have depend on how severe your condition is. Some people have them once or twice a week while others can have them once a month.

They usually last between 5 and 10 minutes although some have been reported to last up to an hour and will leave you feel drained afterwards.

Although it can sometimes be difficult to talk to people about your feelings, personal life and emotions, try not to feel anxious or embarrassed. With my experience with Panic Attacks and, as a Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapist, I can help you.

There are no real treatments for Panic Attacks but understand what they are and why you are experience them will help you to cope with them more effectively.

Sessions aim to reduce the number of panic attacks you have, and to understand how your brain works and breathing techniques to help you keep calm during an attack. You may need between 3-6 sessions depending on your symptoms and access your progress.

I will show you exactly what happens in your brain when a Panic Attack begins. Once you understand this, you will know that is it not life threatening, even though you believe you are having a possible heart attack. You will be able to start to train your brain in how to react and this will stop the attacks. It will be hard work but, in partnership with me, you will beat it.

Obsessional Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Woman staring out of a window

OCD is a common issue in mental health and it affects men, women and children.  It can develop around the age of puberty but typically it starts in early adulthood.  People with OCD are often reluctant to talk about it or look for help as they feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit it.  This should not be the case as it is a health condition and you are not “going mad”  Please do not think this if you suffer from OCD.

It is not really clear why OCD develops but it can be down to a number of life events, such as  bereavement or childbearing and certain personalities who have high levels of personal standards, being neat and methodical are more prone to developing OCD.   It can also be down to an unusually high level of activity in the brain or a low level of the chemical Serotonin (the happy hormone) in the pre-frontal cortex which is the intellectual brain.

People who are anxious and have a strong responsibility for themselves often display OCD symptoms in terms of anxiety and worrying about things.  This can usually show itself in experiencing frequent obsessive thoughts and having compulsive behaviours.

Have you ever kept checking your front door as you are going out?  Someone with an obsessive fear of their house being bugled will feel that they need to keep checking the window locks and doors before they can leave the house.  Doing this will relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.  This is very common.  If this type of obsessive behaviour does not worry you or affect your lifestyle then you are able to cope.  Sometimes, however, these compulsive behaviours can be lifechanging and you will need to seek help.

With OCD in young adults, they may feel responsible for themselves and often their children.  They can worry when their children are ill and when they start school or when they go on their first school trip.  This is down to their love for their young ones and their feeling of responsibility for them.  Even if they are in the care of schoolteachers or doctors when they are ill, this can cause extreme anxiety and worry for the parent until they have got their children home.

With Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapy, a client will probably only need about 3-4 sessions to help them to understand why they are having these obsessive-compulsive thoughts.  Anxiety is the key and as a Solution-Focussed Hypnotherapist, I will talk to my client very openly about how they are feeling in the present and will never delve into their past.  The solution is to look forward to how they want to live their lives without OCD and how they are going to achieve this in partnership with  me by their side.

If you feel that you have an issue with OCD and this issue is affecting how you live you life, come and see me for a complimentary Initial Consultation where we can talk about how you are feeling and what you want to achieve and I will explain to you exactly what is happening in your brain when you are feeling anxious and obsessive.  Let’s talk soon.


Smart Tunes – How Music Benefits your Brain. Listen Up Now

Diverse people with music instruments
Diverse people with music instruments

Do any of you remember the “Macarena” pop song by Los del Rio in 1993.  If you do, you might remember sipping your cocktail and tapping your feet.  Across the room, a group of people jump off their chairs, put their hands on their hips and start the actions.  If you haven’t already started to tap your feet and nod your head, you will probably start to do it.  You decide that you want to be young and foolish once again.

You see this – this is what music does to us.  Do any of you remember “In the Mood” by Glen Miller.   This song was recorded in 1939 and was top of Charts in 1940.  When this song was played, it made people forget about the war and smile when the music was played.

My favourite artist of all time is Michael Jackson and when “Thriller” started to play, even though I might be feeing sad, I would always start to smile and tap my feet whilst dancing vigorously.

When you start to dance or tap your feet to music that you love, a range of processes starts to take place in your brain. The melody has passed through your brain stem to your Auditory Cortex and the centres that control physical activity.  Here we are, dancing along to our favourite music.  This stimulates hormones in our brain that benefits most where music and movement come together.  When we dance, we stimulate our blood stream whilst lowering our blood pressure and stress levels.  We enjoy it too!

Through music, we can experience very intense emotions, but in a safe way.  We can listen to it to enhance our moods and to achieve a different state of mind.  If we are sad, music can help us to process our emotions and generate such emotions as tenderness, nostalgia and wonder.

Does your favourite music help you with your emotions?  If you were on a desert island, what one piece of music would you choose to have with you?  Please comment below.