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

Self-Care – why it’s so important

I read an interesting article this morning and I thought I would pick out the interesting bits to share with you. The original article was aimed at therapists who work with clients who have experienced significant trauma. It was extolling the virtues of self-care for the therapists. I can see how the explanation could be relevant for so many people, so this is my take. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

We know that self-care is talked about a lot, we are encouraged to look after ourselves, take time out, and have some ‘me time’. It feels indulgent, maybe even a waste of money, however, what follows may change your mind.

In order for me to function at a high level for my family and work, I need a support package, a support framework in order to operate at those high standards, this translates as my ‘me time’.

It is no accident that many of the self care experiences we enjoy most, are things that link us to childhood experiences of nurturing – such as hugs, massage and being read to (and in my case chatting to a trusted person).

So we have to take action, we can’t ‘think’ ourselves into better self care, it’s about taking action. These actions support the healthy function of the lower parts of the brain. A lot of self care does not involve words it is something we ‘experience’ and these experiences are usually body based and help us to feel safe and well and support our brains and body experience regulation. (control, management)

If our brain and body feel regulated, we feel calm and vice versa. Being able to stay calm through the use of regular self-care enables us to think more clearly and deal with all that life throws at us and in my case deal with the people I encounter in my business and life.

A one off experience is not going to cut it, in order to build strong habits of self care and therefore a stronger brain (with strong neural connections) we need repetition (this is the same for all activities). A one off class or treatment is lovely, however, it won’t make a significant difference to our wellbeing, we need lots of practice!

Someone else may recommend a course of action, a type of therapy, a class. You are unique and have unique needs for your self care blend or package. My ‘package’ consists of a monthly massage, a monthly reiki session, twice a week fitness class, regular meet ups with like minded business owners, regular bubble baths, regular craft workshops, yoga sessions and hugging my children. Yours may well be zumba, reading, shopping and meditation!

I feel a seasonal snowflake analogy coming up! Like snowflakes we are unique, vary in size but are all beautiful. So do yourself the best favour ever, you owe your body, brain and ability to feel calm to your self-care.

Self-care enables me to do the job I love and take care of the family I love. It doesn’t bear thinking about where we would be without it.

Take care
Juliet x

Are you a prospective or current adoptive parent, foster carer or friends & family?
Join us for a fabulous Self-Care Evening just outside York with treatments, workshops and gorgeous products on 16 May 2018
Tickets
Information

“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
Find Out More

What is Theraplay and how can it help?

A few weeks ago I mentioned to some friends that within my family we used Theraplay and it created some interest. I was asked What is Theraplay? Who uses it? Would it be useful for me?

(I wrote this piece originally for the readers and contributors of Mumbler)

As the term suggests it is play that is therapeutic for both the children and the adults. As a family we used it to build attachment, improve relationships and allow us to become more ‘attuned’ as parents, children and a family.

What is it?

“Theraplay is an engaging, playful, relationship-focused treatment method that is interactive, physical and fun. It is based on attachment theory and it aims to create or improve healthy, attuned interaction between parents and their children. It supports healthy attachment and lifelong mental health”. It can help children from the very young (even under 3 years old) into teenage years.

Before I go any further, Theraplay is a registered therapeutic technique, a tried and tested therapeutic method used since the 1970’s. People train to be Play Therapists and work in hospitals, schools and the home.

I adopted the use of Theraplay techniques within my family to support us, keep us together, improve our relationships and to help us feel ‘close’, AND it helped and greatly improved our family life which was approaching breaking point. I was determined, consistent and disciplined. I did not want our family to fall apart.

Who can benefit from Theraplay?

The Theraplay institute say “it can help children who are withdrawn, passive, depressed, overactive or aggressive, children on the autism spectrum and those who are afraid of relating or attaching because of adoption, losses or trauma”. In summary it can help and support many children and families.

How did we use it?

Prior to my children being placed with us (they are adopted) I had not heard of Theraplay, why would I? The first I heard of it, we had a psychologist visit us at home to listen to us and suggest some ways to help us as a family. It was a flying visit, she came for an hour and sat in our front room. The one small gem I took away from that visit was that there was something called Theraplay and I could buy a book with techniques that could help us.

“Theraplay – Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play by Phyllis B. Booth & Ann M. Jefferson”

There is a lot of theory in the book, case studies, ways to use it with ADHD, Autism, Adopted Children etc

I wanted to get on and try it out, the exercises and activities and we had great fun!

Jumping, blowing, clapping, tickling, drawing, measuring, bursting out of toilet paper, punching newspapers, singing, acting, massaging each others hands and feet, playing Simon says and Mother May I? etc etc. Perhaps some of those games and activities that you have already played/done with your children many times. We were all learning from scratch and the book explained why we were doing it, what purpose it served, what to look out for, which activities were better for the child etc. When I ran out of ideas, I grabbed the book and we tried other activities and the children came to know that if I was reading this book (and another I have) that fun and games would ensue!

My view is quite profound – it saved our family, kept us together, made life manageable while we were waiting for more help. It meant we could look back on some of those challenging times with some affection, through the difficulties those fun games stuck out. I remember the jumping on cushions and ‘find the sweetie’ games so fondly.

It could be a technique that could help you but be aware the book is not cheap and is aimed at therapists. I used about 50 pages of a 600 page book. There are other books we used though that also helped – in particular “Self Esteem Games by Barbara Sher” and its ‘sister’ book “Attention Games by Barbara Sher”.

I guess what I want people to get from this, that there are choices, options, things you can try. Getting hold of therapists for children and teenagers can be tricky (and expensive) but if you have the energy there is a way forward, while you are waiting for professional help or maybe, just maybe you won’t need it after all you’ve done.

Be brave, bold and believe you can improve your family life.

Juliet Powell

I work with parents, supporting with everything that parenting throws at us in life. From practical strategies to counselling support.

Website

 

I offer pamper events, parties and workshops using natural products and essential oils to bring people together and support them for parents and children (age 10 upwards).

Facebook Page

5 Useful Strategies when welcoming adopted children to your family

As I sit here in a 4th floor apartment looking out at the North Sea, it dawns on me the strategies and advice I found useful when settling my children into their new home with us.

We did receive lots of advice.

Much of the time we didn’t understand the significance of the advice – how it would be helpful and why. We blindly followed some of it and thought more carefully about others.

I think that much of the time when you meet new children you are about to adopt or look after in the longer term you are in turmoil, this huge occasion is happening to you, you are dealing with (in our case) two traumatised, nervous, anxious, excited little people. You are keen to ‘get it right’, want to make them feel ok, settled, at home and welcome. So taking in well meaning advice can be tricky.

I have tried to make this concise and easy to understand…

What we found useful?

Bed times – bed times are as much for the adults as the children, although bed times are tricky for children from a tricky background, consistently putting them to bed at a set time in a comforting, routine way is very helpful. You need a break, the child needs sleep. You may need to do it many, many times and be up and downstairs, but certainly for us it paid dividends eventually. Each time there is an incident, go upstairs calmly put them back to bed and return downstairs. Sometimes I needed to sit with them, sometimes sitting on the landing with my laptop but still routinely letting them know they were safe and that I wasn’t far away and just doggedly kept going with it. Eventually the message went in.

Playing Games – at times it was very hard to create a satisfactory relationship with my children, they were not born to me, they were not a blood relation and reaching a point where I thought we had a ‘bond’ and that we were a ‘proper’ family took years. One thing that really helped was doing Theraplay games, fair weather or foul, every evening pulling some games/activities from two books I have, was very helpful. I would go as far as saying those Theraplay games kept us together when it was very hard. (Theraplay – Helping Parents & Children build a better relationship – Jernberg & Booth, it is an expensive volume but £49 to save a family is cheap enough, and Self-esteem Games – Barbara Sher, we played tons of games from this book and I have many happy memories of these games, and hopefully the children do too.) It’s useful to have a couple of go-to books to grab.

Hand & Foot Massage – I didn’t know why we were told to do this, but I did it again, consistently, massage each others hands and feet with lovely cream (nice fruity Body Shop ones are good). It promotes physical closeness, it feels comforting, it smells lovely, got us sat together, making eye contact, giggling etc. Most importantly it promotes the production of oxytocin (produced when a baby is born, apparently, to help parent and child ‘bond’).

Nutrition – I’m afraid I don’t know too much about this, however, we were told, as the children were traumatised that their ‘gut flora’ would be unbalanced. I am starting to learn more about this but need to read more. So we gave them pro-biotics and pro-biotic drinks and I think it helped. There are lots of other reasons to give your child a nutritionally balanced diet to help their gut but you will have to read up more yourself!

Me-Time – I have consistently had full body massages and found them immensely comforting and useful, the power of touch and being ‘held’ is very valuable. Thanks to Joanne Bull, Chloe Hart and Catherine Hagan. I have also found other therapies very helpful, they got me away from the house for a break and gave that powerful one to one time to get a break and be myself.

I have plenty more ideas up my sleeve, however, this will do for now! The reason I do my Health & Wellness events and counselling is to offer this back to other people, create me-time and a break from life.

Best Wishes

Juliet xx

I am hosting a very special Self-Care Evening for Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents on 16 May 2018 near York.
Book here: Tickets and Information