My solution focused story and working with children with additional needs and challenging behaviour.
I am often asked how I became a solution focused hypnotherapist. Whenever I share my story it always makes me giggle. I was fortunate to have an amazing birth with my youngest daughter using the self-hypnosis for childbirth approach. A good friend and now colleague of mine Gary Johannes helped me build the confidence to have a home birth and faith in my body to deliver at home. Being 40 minutes away from the nearest hospital in rural Lincolnshire I knew deep down we wouldn’t be going anywhere near one after having such a traumatic time with my first child.
Safe to say my daughter was delivered by her dad in our lounge with the help of the 999-operator talking him through the process. I on the other hand cool as a cucumber and enjoying my birth experience knowing we were doing this together. Our daughter arrived in her amniotic sac at the same time as the paramedics walked through the door. The midwife arrived 50 minutes later and could not believe we had achieved such a wonderful birth.
There begins the story, four months later I was on CPHT Peterborough course adding a qualification for my CV.
Qualifying in June 2016 with my practice Hummingbird Hypnotherapy. Unbelievable. Did not see that coming at all.
My background has always been working with people in particular elderly mentally ill, additional needs and challenging behaviour. Previously 11 years working for the local authority for children with additional needs, sensory processing, autism and behavioural issues.
To put it into context, everyday was different many days involved confrontation, increased anxiety, ‘kick offs’ and waiting to get hurt. Not your average job but at the time I loved it.
Fast forward three years after qualifying and I am now working with children with complex needs, autism, behavioural issues, challenging behaviours, anxiety and more. The difference? The way I work now is non-confrontational in a fun neutral space where all that’s been good goes.
If only I had been allowed to bring this practice into my workplace. Not just for the children but the staff too.
I took a leap of faith when I began to work with children with additional needs, I hoped that this process would have a profound impact, the reality is it changes lives. Not just of the child but the family too.
I have been so privileged to work with some children who over the course of their 14 years have been given 14 different diagnosis and labels. 8 sessions later and she is a confident artist who has just set up her own online business selling her fantastic artwork.
She has chosen too to be home schooled and after only leaving the house with the company of her mum, now walks her dog for two hours a day, on her own and managed to attend a concert in London without a panic attack. Just WOW!
A little boy who does not stop and enjoys most of his sessions playing with tangle toys, squishy and sticking his head in the massage face hole in my couch (lol) who managed to transition to a new school without increased anxiety and behaviour. He kindly threw me a curve ball not wanting to attend a session in my room and preferring to be outside. Nothing beats asking what’s been good?’ sat in the sunshine on a bench.
Reducing anxiety with children with additional needs by using the solution focused approach is at times mind blowing. Working out that classroom layouts cause such profound anxiety in some children their opportunity of learning goes out of the window. Getting them to imagine and choose where they would sit has been a fantastic solution with amazing outcomes.
After his mum spoke to the teacher about our sessions, she agreed to trial it for a week. He paid more attention, his class scores increased, and he stopped taking home all the work he couldn’t do in class as he completed it all in the day.
Part of the work involves my environment and fun. I talk about being a positive pineapple, no drama llama, having a box of emojis stickers and a crate of sensory toys to help with self-regulation and relaxation. Colour boxes, ceiling lights and a comfy couch with a llama blanket just add to a session.
Who said therapy had to look boring?
If you are looking for additional help for your child, please get in touch here