Son # 3
Sons 1 & 2
I'm a Pyschotherapist and Hypnotherapist with 14 years experience specialising in trauma resolution, fertility, hypnobirthing and Parent Effectiveness Training*.
I also have 3 children (and a very cute dog).
Hypnobirthing and me
My experience with birth didn't start well. When I was pregnant the first time my partner and I did a well known ante-natal course which left us knowing a lot about all the things that could go wrong and a breathing technique which taught me to hyperventilate really well. The midwife running the course started off with, "Birth is the most horrific and painful thing you'll ever have to endure". I challenge you to beat that for an opener! Neither myself or the 8 other (terrified) pregnant women in the class had a positive birthing experience. Our babies were gorgeous (mine the most obviously) but I was definitely never having another one.
Fast forward 8 years and I'd had a change of heart. I was again in labour, in a birth pool, making loud moo-ing noises. But this time my partner and I knew EXACTLY what to do. I'd been teaching hypnobirthing classes for 5 years by this point, had heard hundreds of positive birth stories and was in possession of a treasury of tools and techniques to keep things calm and to help us out if we needed to change our plans. The fear I had previously experienced had been replaced by confidence and excitement. One almost-11-pound baby later and that endorphin high I'd heard so much about was all mine! Even a 10 day stay in the special care unit due to our little chubster having an infection couldn't dent it (and various of those tools and techniques were invaluable in keeping things on an emotional even-keel).
Another 6 years go by and I'm mooing in yet another pool (this one a bit lopsided because the 15 year old had to start inflating it due to things starting rather swiftly). This time I get the endorphin high without the hospital stay. Within hours I'm talking to my partner about 'next time'. (For the record there definitely won't be a next time. Time and finances being the reasons for that though, not the desire to avoid giving birth - I'd love to do that again!)
So I've given birth in my 20s, 30s and 40s. One fear-inspired birth and 2 confidence-filled ones. Things didn't always go exactly to plan in my 2nd and 3rd births and my box of hypnobirthing tips and tricks got dipped into repeatedly to keep myself on the calm and empowered birthing wagon . . . and I am so, so grateful that I discovered hypnobirthing, became a practitioner, share the birth-and-life changing techniques with so many other families as well as having my own experiences - I honestly don't think I'd have had more than one baby without it.
P.E.T and me
When pregnant for the 2nd time I attended a parenting course which was influenced by the P.E.T. (Parent Effectiveness Training) approach. What I learned had a profound affect on pretty much every relationship in my life so when I had the opportunity to become a trainer and teach classes at the school my kids went to I jumped at the chance. In common with hypnobirthing, P.E.T. is a philosophy and set of techniques which are absolutely logical, very effective and can be applied to lots of different parts of your life. It's main focus is identifying and minimising the "problem" areas in your relationships and learning how to communicate clearly and respectfully. I use many of the strategies on a daily basis and so do my children! They are very good communicators and problem solvers who have no problems asserting themselves (this is definitely not a method for those who want their children seen and not heard!) and I credit P.E.T. with this.
I currently have a toddler, a teen and one in between and it's the P.E.T. approach that keeps our family one that is (mostly) thriving and (mostly) sane.
Therapy and me
I also see individual clients in my capacity as a Solution Focused Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist. I used to work in a busy clinic in Brighton where I'd see clients for pretty much any and every issue imaginable but in recent years I've focused primarily on fertility and birth trauma. Both of these issues can be immensely distressing and have implications which are far-reaching into other aspects of life. I've been a long-time volunteer with the Birth Trauma Association and symptoms displayed in the aftermath of a distressing birth experience can be identical to those I saw in ex-service clients returning from war-zones with ptsd. The way I work is focused on helping people - quickly and calmly - heal, make helpful changes and move forward in their lives.
I love sharing my experience and passion for improving all aspects of family life. We ALL need to 'borrow someone elses' brain' once in a while. Everything I now teach evolved from me doing just that - seeking out help when I've needed to make changes in my own life. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have my children, be with my partner or have the relationships I enjoy without learning, practicing and implementing these various simple skillsets. I'd love to share them with you.
*I'm a Certified HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator and Fertility Therapist and an affiliate of the HypnoBirthing Institute.
I was trained by the internationally renowned ‘Uncommon Knowledge’ as a Solution Focused Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist and worked as a therapist in their Brighton Therapy Centre. I was also a mentor and supervisor on their in-person diploma course.
I have a BA(Hons) in Humanities.
I'm also an NLP Practitioner, a qualified Parent Effectiveness Trainer, a trained Breast Feeding Peer Supporter and a long-time volunteer for the Birth Trauma Association.
I am a member of the General Hypnotherapy Register