Well-Being for Children
Helping children experience active well-being and healthy self-esteem is a great satisfaction for Jen. Her own history as a chronically ill and anxious child with serious asthma and other problems gives her great empathy and a passionate desire to make change easy and as quick as possible for the youngsters she works with.
Jen is herself a mother – her daughter is now at Uni – and was a piano teacher for many years, working with children on a daily basis. Her comfort and skill in working with children is obvious.
To quote one relieved mother, it is all about Jen’s “empathy/ ability with children and how she can help them in a very gentle, non-threatening way, overcome anxiousness and concerns. She also teaches them techniques to help cope with life’s ongoing challenges.”
Whatever the problem – asthma, anxiety, being bullied, exam nerves, food issues, phobias – Jen creates a safe space for change to occur as simply and quickly as possible. Each child’s unique experience is recognised and valued for it’s potential for growth and learning, rather than pitied or denigrated as a problem. A playful, subtle approach allows breathing techniques, visualisations, social skills and more to be introduced so that the child only ever feels valued and supported while having as much fun as possible. It is hoped and encouraged that parents will actively support the changes outside the sessions.
Most of the sessions, even those around quite traumatic experiences, will include smiles and giggles and ALWAYS increasing comfort.
Asthma and hay fever
Children respond particularly quickly to the adapted version of the Buteyko Breathing Method, (see Buteyko page) and typically asthmatic children lose most of their symptoms within a matter of days. A few weeks on and the difference is often startling, including better sleep for everyone.
To quote one delighted mother of 2 daughters who were 6 and 8 at the time of their 5 breathing sessions “my children had hay fever and asthma. Within 3 weeks of starting Buteyko with Jen they were able to go out riding in the winter cold (both no-nos before) and run a cross country race without needing their inhalers. I hadn’t realised how noisy their breathing was until I noticed I couldn’t tell where they were in the house because they weren’t huffing and puffing anymore! I know they’re much safer now.” 3 years on, they still don’t need their medication!
A parent brought her 11 year old son to Jen because he was not only being bullied, but transferring his anger with violence towards his family. “My son was being bullied, lacked confidence, was overweight. Jen taught him to feel good about himself; he’s made friends, is playing sport and getting fit, and enjoying school for the first time in years. He now knows he has a choice about how to deal with his anger, and has channeled his energy into playing the drums and football.”
6 years later, this young man is a credit to school and family, and recently reminded his mum how much difference the sessions with Jen had made to him. He only had 2 sessions.
Exam & Performance Anxiety
A frequent issue for people of all ages is fear of being judged. For many children exams, giving a speech or any sort of performance is just as big a source of distress as for many adults.
Teaching children to relax at will, feel confident, perhaps improve their learning and retention skills, and generally providing a context for the experience that is positive, works wonders.
For one young lass about to do a high grade flute exam who wasn’t
happy even playing in front of her own parents, the upcoming performance was a nightmare. Although talented, she had been doing less work than usual after changing to a new teacher that she disliked. Being a straight ‘A’ student, and something of a perfectionist, her parents were worried that failing this exam (as her teacher now expected) would cause serious distress to their daughter.
After 2 sessions just 3 weeks before the exam, (combining Jen’s musical knowledge, NLP and relaxation skills) the young flautist achieved a Distinction! More importantly, she started to enjoy performing, and happily played in front of the whole school at an end of year concert.
*Please note, since each child is unique the number of sessions will vary according to the complexity of their issues and the age of the child. Children under 10 usually have sessions lasting less than an hour.
Feel noticeably better after every session (your definition!) or don’t pay me for that session!
If you’re concerned about ‘therapy’ involving painful explorations of past experiences, or taking long periods of time, you’ll be delighted to know that using techniques such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnosis, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) offer a quick, gentle and effective approach!
Much of the work can be done ‘content free’ using processes that access the experience without pain or distress. Many of my clients are delighted to find that they have spent much of their session comfortably relaxed, even laughing, discovering how easy change can be.
What a relief!