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hypnotherapy Archives - A Step at a Time

The story behind the Adventures of Brian

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, bereavement, books, hypnotherapy | No Comments

I often get asked WHY I wrote the Adventures of Brian. With an ever growing book collection many people we meet want to know how it was inspired and what comes next. So it seemed an apt time to share it with you, as the anniversary of meeting the little girl who would prove to be a game changer to my life is coming up soon. So here’s our story… the Adventures of Brian Back Story… I’ve worked with children for my whole career, at 16 I worked in nurseries, progressing up to Nursery Manager and later to Early Years support roles within the local council. In 2005 I became a lecturer in early years and health and social care and committed the following years to teaching students from 16 upwards in A-Levels and Foundation Degrees. I suppose you could say that working with children and young people was in…

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Why storytelling can stop us connecting…..and getting better.

Posted by | anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

As humans we are brilliant storytellers. From telling stories to children as they settle down to bedtime, to re-ounting stories of work politics, and sharing coffee whilst we tell stories of our lives. We read people’s stories on social media, we listen to adverts and read articles in the newspapers…. in reality,  we listen to, and tell stories every single day. Which can often be a huge reason why we are living in a world of assumptions and presumptions and missing the truth….. and so often avoiding accountability and responsibility for our part in the reality of life. Look at these examples…. Person A reads a statement on social media and takes a dislike to it, presuming it it about them… they block person B and tell their friends about the negative comments written about them… Person C is in a relationship with Person D, they see person D changing…

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Why change can be so scary………

Posted by | anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy | No Comments

Change can be a concept that for many people is terrifying… whilst others appear to take it in their stride. So, why is it so hard for some people to navigate? Change, in it’s simplest form is when things become different from how they are right now. In most cases, change is a positive thing, occasionally, change can be forced and harder to navigate. Some people will leap right in, with a faith that ‘everything will be ok’, whilst others can be crippled by the fear of ‘what might happen’ and the worry that it will have a negative outcome. So why? There are two parts to this. Firstly, the way that our brain processes change. The second, our level of resilience. Resilience and Patterns  Take two people. Lucy has always been active. She regularly attends clubs, classes and meets new people. She has changed her job every few years…

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Want to understand? Move around the table…..

Posted by | BWRT, hypnotherapy, relationships, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

I have been talking to a number of lovely clients over the last few weeks who were struggling to understand why people were not reacting to them how they wanted them to. To look at the situations we have been using a simple exercise to allow them to ‘step out of their own thoughts/headspace’. The reason we have been doing this is because when we are struggling with a relationship issue with a friend/partner/family member we can get caught up in ‘our side of the story’ which inevitably leads to a number of assumptions being made, cross words or putting words in their mouths. Inevitably it will end in upset for one or both parties and in some situations complete breakdown of said connection. So how do we do it? Here’s a step by step breakdown of how to use a simple ‘moving around the table’ exercise…. Think of the…

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What’s your why?

Posted by | BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

I was talking to a friend this week about motivation. Years ago when I would compete in fitness competitions my WHY was huge – there was a big end goal and a date to work to, so the motivation stayed high and it tested your endurance and mental commitment to the extremes. The likelihood of failure was very low as you would not want to look or feel ridiculous so even on days when you wanted to quit you would drag yourself to your training days or eat that broccoli stem over the Chinese takeaway. In every day life motivation for goals can be harder. If the WHY is not big enough then staying motivated can feel tough, and the excuses slip in all too easy. Whilst our intentions and vision might be clear the action that is required can waiver. Why? Because the why just is not BIG enough….

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10 top revision tips to reduce exam stress!

Posted by | BWRT, child therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Having spent 15 years working in education teaching 16+ I’ve seen my fair share of exam and assessment stress. However whilst some stress is motivational (it shows us that our exams matter to us) we can reduce the unnecessary stress by taking control early on and being prepared. For parents, the exam season can be just as difficult. You want the best for your children and the best opportunities. However keeping home life peaceful and planning opportunities for time out, as well as offering a quiet space where they can revise without distraction can make the whole home more peaceful. So I’ve collated my top ten tips for revision to make home and study a little more peaceful and under control: #1 – Get your notes in order  Spend some time getting your school/college/university notes in order. Having everything together means that you can get organised and have everything at…

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Top Tips for Supporting Separation Anxiety

Posted by | anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy | No Comments

After my fridge/freezer died on me this week I was tasked with having to purchase a new one, along with a full food shop to replace all that was lost. So on Saturday I was walking around Tesco and a dad walked past with his toddler in the trolley who was bawling his eyes out with a quivering lip as he wailed ‘mummy, want mummy’ it was enough to break any heart, but pulled me back to writing this blog about separation anxiety, which is well overdue. Separation Anxiety is generally a common issue in children from 6months to 3 years, and many children grow out of it. However for some children it becomes a greater issue and they need wonder support systems to manage their emotions around leaving familiar people or places. Separation anxiety occurs at the stage when children recognise that they are dependent on you, it can…

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3 ways to stop being so ‘busy’…….(and improve your health)

Posted by | anxiety, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

‘I can’t I’m busy’  ‘I”m just so busy’  ‘I cannot believe how busy I am!’  ‘I’ve worked XX hours today!’  Busy, busy, busy…… but is it really something to be proud of? And at what point is being a busy bee actually affecting your health, happiness and fulfilment? I work with women everyday who are experiencing anxiety, depression, sadness or a lacklustre feeling that life just isn’t all it should be…. the common theme with at least 75% of them – they are so busy being busy. In fact their commitment to being busy is directly impacting their contentment from life as they feel guilty for doing things they love due to a feeling that doing these daily tasks that keep them busy is a prerequisite to their life. With the rise in use of social media and the internet we know we can effectively work 24/7. We can Christmas…

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Why mental health is like building a house….

Posted by | anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Why is mental health like building a house… let me explain… Growing up I would colour in my dad’s architecture drawings for the latest house he was building, it filled me with dreams of being an architect and designing the houses that my dad would build. Coming from a household where my dad could literally build anything you drew, from rabbit hutches and runs to later the office where I now work, I quickly became attuned to the time, effort and energy that sits behind those pictures which later become homes. In Year 6 my science project was about cavity walls, as my dad taught me about the reality that the walls of a house are not just one layer, that the insulation is an important factor and that those measurements are imperative to the house fulfilling it’s function I spent hours drawing the illustrations to support this new knowledge…

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3 things you can learn from my Eating Disorder….

Posted by | anxiety, body-image, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

Eating Disorders often become one of those judgemental taboo subjects – we see television, magazines and social media body shaming, we hear flippant remarks of ‘my god is she anorexic!’ passed around as easily as the names of celebrities… but what we actually know about them is very little. Much like many taboo subjects eating disorders make many people feel uncomfortable, and as such they avoid any discussion about them. Behind closed doors they may discuss a friend, family member or work colleague who they have noticed has ‘different’ eating habits but the likelihood of someone actually sitting down and having that uncomfortable conversation with someone is unlikely. I should know – I had one. I was late to the game, at 26, to develop an eating disorder isn’t as expected as if I had been a teenager, and being older (and in full time employment) I had more control…

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Brains, filing cabinets – and why noone is coming to do your filing!

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, child therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Is your brain talking to you? Just take a moment and scan this communication list…. My head hurts all the time… I have a permanent headache…. I just can’t turn my brain off… I can’t sleep… I am permanently exhausted… I had to take a day off as my neck and shoulders hurt so much… I can’t concentrate… I keep forgetting things… The smallest thing makes me angry… I can’t deal with being around people… I’ve suddenly developed anxiety about things I used to find easy… I feel so fragile all the time.. My family are getting really fed up with me being so helpless… (If you didn’t tick off anything on this list then I can only say well done, you either have fantastic coping strategies in place, a support system which is second to none, are in therapy regularly or have had a peaceful year or a combination…

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Perfectionism, Stress, School and our Teenagers

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy, Teenagers, Uncategorised | No Comments

Having worked with the 16+ age group for 14 years this year (still feels like yesterday that I started) it’s been an interesting concept to watch the changes in mindset, challenges and mental health. One of the key things that is becoming more and more noticeable is that a higher number of teenagers and young people are striving to obtain a level of perfectionism that is causing higher levels of: Stress Anxiety Worry And in more extreme cases: Disordered eating Self-harming behaviours If you read my previous blog ‘Is the world causing our children anxiety‘ you’ll already know that I discussed the influence of social media and technology on our children’s limbic brain development (the part of the brain responsible for emotional behaviours) if not it is worth a perusal to look at the statistics released in the Child Mental Health Report 2017 where we see the links between social…

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Why self-care is NOT selfish

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Every day I hear mums and my professional clients utter the same words ‘I can’t be that selfish’…. In fact it’s probably the main thing that they have in common, a belief system that looking after their own emotional health and well-being is ‘selfish’. Having worked in the teaching industry for many years i’m quite accustomed to skipping meals, working ludicrous hours, cancelling personal engagements to opt for lesson planning and marking and collapsing in a heap at the end of term wondering what way the steam train that hit me had gone in… So why is the main thing that I am accustomed to hearing ‘I can’t be that selfish’. Perhaps it’s an archaic belief system, maybe a new one from the unrealistic expectations that we have placed on life, but is it time to acknowledge that selfceare is NOT selfish? How is looking after your emotional health selfish?…

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Is the world causing our children anxiety?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, BWRT, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

As the years go by my office is filled with more and more children and teenagers who are struggling with unwanted thoughts and feelings. Since I wrote the Adventures of Brian book collection this has only grown more considerably. Leading me to question – is the world causing our children anxiety? 19 years ago when I first entered the world of early years (working in a nursery) we would occasionally meet a child with separation anxiety or thumb sucking but these were few and far between. 15 years ago when I first went to work as a lecturer with 16-19 year olds you may have one teenager in your class with depression or anxiety but again it was much more a rarity than the world presented today. In the early days of my career, or even in my own school days you just didn’t find a huge number of children…

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A-B-C – are we missing the letters of child behaviour?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, BWRT, Children's Therapy, hypnotherapy | No Comments

When I started my career working as a nursery nurse and later as a Nursery Manager and then a lecturer of early years I would routinely teach the ABC of behaviour to my staff and students… it was as simple as falling off a bike and a lesson I continue to use in my work as a therapist, however it is a lesson that we are forgetting in LIFE. Let me explain…. A B C of behaviour  The ABC of behaviour looks at child behaviour from the position that everything has an ABC A – Antecedent (the thing that caused the behaviour) B – Behaviour (the behaviour being demonstrated) C – Consequence (the result of the behaviour) It is an insightful way of remembering that NOTHING appears without a cause, so all behaviours from children are created by an ‘A’… Skipping the key letters…. However as the years go by,…

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