Our Fabulous Line Up at the Choice Self-Care Evening on 16 May

Hello

We are so pleased to be back at the Natural Entrepreneurs Workspace in Fulford, it’s a perfect venue with a warm welcome, lots of space, a separate room to run the workshops and talks, free parking and tucked away from it all (but still accessible from the A64 and A19).

So who is going to be at the Self Care Evening on 16 May, here is our fantastic line-up of therapists, practitioners and consultants?

Marianne Freeman – Restore the Balance – Hand Massages
Sherrie Wood/Kirsty Pearson – Relax Kids & Just Relax – relaxation for children and adults
Debbie Thurlow Complementary Therapist – A range of taster Massages (shoulder, neck, arms, legs etc)
Ruth Charlton – Neal’s Yard – Skincare Consultations
Yvonne Lynn – Your Spirit Matters – Reiki & Personal Energy Consultations
Kate Bunney – Magnetix Wellness Bunney – Gorgeous magnetic therapy jewellery
Jayne Brown – Healthy Horizons – Reflexology tasters
Laura Richardson – Freedom of Choice – Forever Living products
Angie Taylor – Arbonne – Facials & Skincare Consultations

Elena Holmes (Nutrition Consultant) – Mini Workshop – “Nourished Gut – Nurtured You”
Claire Davies – The Greedy Wordsmith – Mini Workshop – Writing for Wellbeing
Juliet Powell – Choice Therapy – Mini Workshop – “Creating your Survival package!”
Sherrie & Kirsty – Relax Kids & Just Relax – Relaxation for all the Family

WOW!

Together we book you in for one 15 minute taster session, and you can book yourself in for further sessions for the evening when you arrive, you can attend as many workshops as you can squeeze in!

Don’t forget you also got a complimentary glass of fizz on arrival.

Grab one of our remaining tickets

See you there
Juliet

“Don’t Big Up Your Part!”

What one thing would you NOT say to a parent of a child with additional needs or adopted child?

When discussing my contribution to my children’s education that very phrase was uttered by a member of school staff.

To a parent who has tirelessly advocated and campaigned for their child, the endless meetings in school and at the council offices, the parent in the playground (the one you back off from) when the TA, teacher or headteacher approaches, “Can I have a word, Mrs Powell?”.

The parent who volunteered to go into school one afternoon a week to support their child in the face of nothing else available.

The parent who was telephoned that often the she developed a fairly debilitating phobia of the telephone.

The parent who had to read negative comments ad-infinitum in the school planner about behaviour from teachers who had little or no knowledge of attachment in the classroom and when I answered the comments was told to STOP (trying to silence me?!).

The parent who has faced discrimination and misunderstanding at every turn.

The parent who went part-time and then gave up work altogether to support her children.

The parent who re-trained as a counsellor so she could better understand her children and help them, who ran support groups for parents (and school always came up as an area of difficulty) who did workshops and worked one to one with parents and now runs health & wellbeing events, many of which are attended by parents.

The parent who keeps going when she feels like knocking her head against a brick wall with school.

The parent who is watching their child’s mental health deteriorate as a result of lack of understanding in school (and on suicide watch).

The parent who will never give up.

DON’T BIG UP MY PART!?

I should be shouting it from the rooftops – I should be in ‘The Press’ (I have about my parent support groups), I should be in the national press and magazines – (I was about school transition), I should be on the local radio (I have on many occasions about parent support groups and my wellness evenings), I should be on national radio (net yet), I should be on national TV (I was once invited).

I should be paid handsomely for advocacy, campaigning and negotiation skills (chance would be a fine thing).

DON’T BIG UP MY PART!?
I’m the reason my children get up for school every single day and do their best.

Here I am “bigging” up my part.
My tireless, relentless, tenacious part as a parent and advocate for my child in school.

I have a BIG part, a HUGE part to play as has every parent in how their children do in school.

Is that clear? (I am shouting now!)

Juliet

Are you a parent or foster carer of a child from care? I am running a self-care evening aimed at you and after this I think I need it too!

Buy Your Tickets Here
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Why detentions don’t work? Is a sea change required?

I was inspired by an article a friend shared on social media – the link to which I will post at the bottom.

I am a counsellor specialising in anxiety, a parent to 2 adopted children and a teacher of 10 years experience, a blogger on all things mental health.

I know that detentions don’t work, I have a feeling in my gut, a bodily sensation that tells me they are unkind, counter-productive and a waste of time for MANY children.

    How do I know they are a waste of time?

I do think that our actions have a consequence and that we need to know there is a consequence for our behaviour. However, there needs to be a seamless link between the action and the consequence. For example – “if you keep on with that behaviour, we won’t be able to go to the park” – natural, immediate and clear. There isn’t a time in the distant future or a disconnect between the action and the consequence – it’s an immediate learning point. Or “if you don’t complete that paragraph you will need to stay with me at break time to complete it” – natural, immediate, easy to understand. Instead of which a date is set in the future, the child is stuck in an unfamiliar classroom, with unfamiliar children and often unsupervised, they may be too scared to go and get their lunch, they may be scared of the older children and if they had a tricky start in life, they may feel deep, debilitating shame – not a good place for anyone to be.

So why do I want to write about this – I have started to find it really interesting, how we punish ‘so called’ poor behaviour. I have read a few articles recently that have got me thinking, (as well as my own family situation).

It feels as though our schools (in particular secondary schools) are set up only for the most robust and academic of children, only the most resilient will get through unscathed (I am talking mental health here). Schools could be a great place to nurture, encourage and educate children on feelings, self care, society and coping and not a pathway to prison for some young people (notice some of the same language is used: detention, isolation etc). If you have a robust child – great, they will probably survive – however, if your child has mental or psychological difficulties, attachment difficulties, had a poor start in life, ADHD, Autism etc this could be much more tricky.

Most secondary schools (and some primary) are set up as follows: verbal warning, name on board, note in planner, several notes in planner, lunch detention, after school detention, isolation, short term exclusion, permanent exclusion. Schools are institutions they need structure. A clear policy that everyone understands (hopefully). As we are all human beings they are usually applied inconsistently and are subject to our own prejudices and judgment.

    Do they work?

I did some research – I asked in a couple of parenting Facebook groups what parents thought about detentions – responses varied from – “my son had a detention for forgetting equipment, he never forgot again, so yes they do work” – to “my child was in and out of detentions through their entire school career – it’s not working”. I also posed the questions – what about children with additional needs?, should they be subject to the same discipline system as the wider school population? – most said NOT, that there should be further thought about the impact, what is appropriate, what can be understood, some creativity around methods used. Many thought restorative practice could work better. Many felt they were ‘banging their head against a brick wall’ to gain understanding around issues such as autism, ADHD and attachment. Schools are perhaps not the enlightened places we thought they were. It is very possible that some children are not functioning at a level where they can understand and control their behaviour so punishing that seems entirely inappropriate and even cruel.

    Is there an alternative?

Some schools are using or trialing new techniques, some schools are adopting restorative practice, some are using mindfulness, meditation, yoga etc. Maybe we need to get away from punishment and move towards understanding, get underneath the behaviour – “I wonder why that happened”, “I noticed you are not yourself today”, so we get to the root of the problem and together with the child come up with some alternatives for next time. I suppose these techniques may be seen by some as unworkable, but maybe if we replaced the time, admin and people associated with dishing out punishments with a different, yet workable system, it may well work a lot better for everyone, it does though, require a sea change.

I am proud of my teaching background and I have a great deal of respect for teachers and indeed would place them, up there as my some of my favourite kind of people – intelligent, kind, life changers but we do need change.
Link to article

Juliet

Use Every Tool You Have

I had a small ‘win’ this week, I am wary of blowing my own trumpet, but I see it as a useful situation to learn from and hopefully it helps others.

Some of you that already know me or have followed my blog, Facebook pages etc will know as well as being a counsellor and events organiser that I campaign from a personal stand on attachment and trauma. I firmly believe that if large institutions and organisations had an understanding of attachment and trauma, many, many people’s lives would be a lot easier.

My particular campaign has been a personal one, insisting that schools have understanding and training in these areas and in particular my own children’s schools.

I set off at the beginning of year 7, noticing that things weren’t going as well as they might. It was instinctive for me to start talking to the school, the SENCo, the form tutor, subject teachers and the head of year, try and create understanding, get them to think differently about behaviour and punishment, get them to realise what they were doing was counter-productive, punitive and possibly unkind. Those I spoke to did, on the whole, listen, accommodated my requests for meetings, took the books I offered to lend them. I did ruffle feathers and cause upset, I was asked to stop doing things. The staff were wary of me, but I figured I wasn’t going to change anyone’s thinking by charm alone!

So I used every tool I had at my disposal (I didn’t know that at the time) I used every aspect of my personality, got advice and help, laughed, cried, shouted, blogged, stayed calm, got mad, but most of all I kept on going, every time I was put off or knocked back I took stock, sat back and re-fueled my engine. It felt like a fight, a fight for understanding, a fight for my children and others like them. I wasn’t going to let them down, or let us down.

I got to the end of the year and I still felt misunderstood, not entirely listened to, felt like nothing had changed and had to use the final tool I had available and it felt risky and possibly ill-advised, was this really time to play my ace? (I did take advice from a number of professionals). I threatened to remove my child from the school (and meant it), this could have back-fired, we could have fallen flat on our faces.

The opposite happened, a few chinks of light appeared, some understanding appeared, some care and love appeared, some from unexpected quarters.

I was asked if I wanted to go in to the school on the training day and speak to a room full of teaching assistants about attachment and trauma. I was extremely pleased to do so and extremely thankful to the member of staff who invited me in (I gather it is pretty unusual for this to happen).

However, the fight is not over, but hopefully progress is being made.

My tip to you, if you are going through something similar is to be tenacious, have a goal in mind, get help and advice from wherever you can and most all do what you do with love and understanding.

I am an experienced counsellor. I work with parents on issues related to attachment, loss and anxiety. I also work generally with anxiety using a combined therapeutic approach with all adults. Please contact me for chat.

Have a great week.

Juliet x

Have we all got a book in us?

I started writing a book…..

Many of us think we have a book in us, I certainly do. However, to write a book requires a tremendous amount of time, dedication, thought and most importantly emotional energy.

I didn’t get past half a chapter or so, however, I am proud of what I did write and I certainly found it cathartic and thought provoking.

I thought it might make an interesting series of short blogs. The emphasis is upon looking after ourselves. We have to ensure we are “fit enough” to manage our work and family life. Driving ourselves to burnout helps absolutely nobody.

Here is an introduction I wrote around 12 months ago:

“There’s an event. a catalyst in your life, some bad news, a diagnosis, something from the past re-appears. It floors you – how do you cope? Where do you turn? Who do you turn to?

For me it was a piece of overwhelming news the type that sends you on a seemingly never ending downward spiral. Anger, dismay and deep, debilitating sadness. Something that feels unrecoverable from. My view of the world changed.

No one will understand, no one wants to hear such news.

But here I am happy, running a business and very proud of my family, five years on from that terrifying news.

What did I do to support myself and my family? I subconsciously created my support package and you can too…..”

Just from this short introduction you can start to see why I feel the work I do and in particular the Indulgence Evenings are so important to me. I offer you choices on how to support yourself through whatever you are going through. They evening is about indulgence, however, for me the therapies and treatments are about support and at times survival.

I have and do use all these therapies and more at times. Many of the therapists and practitioners I have worked with, I found them supportive, helpful and I enjoyed working with them.

Come along and meet them (and me if you haven’t already, I am doing a mini-workshop on Emotional Intelligence on the evening).

GET YOUR TICKET
Pssst, as I always do, I have 5 extra special half price tickets for you lovely people, this offer ends on Sunday night at 11:30pm.

I look forward to welcoming you.

 Juliet x