Eye Movement Trauma Therapy (EMDR/EMI) in Colchester Essex

An eyeball - EMDR Colchester for Trauma

Colchester trauma therapy and PTSD treatment – EMDR & EMI

Eye Movement Therapy (also known as EMDR and EMI)

Eye Movement Therapy (such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing EMDR and Eye Movement Integration EMI) are used by the British Army to treat PTSD in soldiers returning from war zones. It is a gentle process that involves you following my finger with your eyes in a series of patterns designed to release trauma stored in the brain. In my Colchester therapy practice, eye movement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.

[news] World Health Organisation Recommend EMDR for PTSD

As we progress through a series of the movements, you will be asked to either focus on the feelings that arise in your body when you think about the trauma, or the images that you see in your mind. As with everything, this is done at your pace to a level that you feel comfortable with.

EMDR/EMI type trauma treatment in Colchester, Essex

This technique amazes me with how quickly an emotional response can be reduced. Things that once seemed impossible to talk about can quickly become (in a matter of minutes some times) a simple story from the past that no longer causes that uncomfortable, uncontrollable emotional surge.

Eye Movement Integration (such as EMDR) techniques can help you by processing upsetting memories, thoughts and feelings related to the trauma that you experienced. This allows you to gain freedom from the distressing effects of PTSD.

EMDR for Trauma Treatment in Colchester

What to expect

We will initially evaluate your level of discomfort at focusing on the upsetting memory. If it is too difficult for you to visualise the memory or focus too directly on it, we may simply focus on the feelings you get at the thought of considering the memory. If even this is too difficult for you at first, then we will make use of other techniques for creating a feeling of safety in working on these memories.

Everything is at your pace and you will never me made to do something that you are not comfortable with.

Next you will hold the feelings, images, or perhaps sounds of the memory in mind, while you also follow my finger with your eyes in a series of back-and-forth patterns. After 20 to 30 seconds of this, we will discuss the experience. This will be repeated as the process develops.

In between movements, you will be asked to evaluate the level of distress that you are feeling. Very often, this drops rapidly between movements. This can be quite astonishing.

After a series of these movements, when the time is right, we will begin to focus on positive insights and beliefs that can replace the old thoughts and feelings.

Are there any risks with this PTSD treatment?

There are no known risks associated with EMDR or EMI. A very few people initially feel a little discomfort from the eye movements, but this tends to pass and the benefits of the therapy are considered worth it. There may also be some initial emotional discomfort from focusing on the challenging memories. Again, the aim is to resolve this as the session continues, leaving you in a much better place.

Do I have to talk about my trauma?

One of the great things about this treatment, is that you do not have to discuss the trauma out loud if you do not wish to. I can simply ask you to bring it to mind. Many clients who start out feeling like they can’t discuss what has happened, are able to after a short time working with the therapy, as it releases the challenging negative emotions.

How long does treatment last?

Every client that I see is unique, so it is impossible for me to say for sure how long we will work together. I combine eye movement therapy (EMDR/EMI) with other trauma release therapies to help you gain freedom in the fastest, safest and most effective way possible.

How does EMDR/EMI PTSD treatment in Colchester work?

There are several theories as to how eye movement therapy works. Each is concerned with how the brain stores and processes memories. Traumatic memories are given a special status in the brain, flagged up as essential to be remembered for our survival in order to help steer us from encountering them again.

Many traumatic events are unlikely to be experienced again, and do not need to be flagged with such high priority. EMDR and EMI help to downgrade the level of importance given to the memory, by scrambling it. Focusing on the past memory while also focusing on the finger activity in the present, creates a new version of the memory, which is regarded as non-threatening by the brain.

Alongside this, the patterns of the eye movements recreate those of the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep, where memories are processed and taken from the emotional memory to the story memory. Traumatic memories flagged up as important to remember, are not processed during the REM stage of sleep, as the brain considers it important to retain the emotional content so that we can avoid the event again. By holding the memory in mind while following REM patterns, we can ‘trick’ the brain into processing the emotional memory into story memory.

The British Psychological Society explain this including relevant research in an online article here.

Find out more about Trauma PTSD treatment in Colchester Essex

Live the life You'd Love to Live

Victoria Ward Cognitive Hypnotherapy and EMDR/EMI in Colchester

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Trauma and PTSD therapy techniques – Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Life Coach and Hypnotherapist in Colchester Victoria Ward

My approach to Trauma and PTSD therapy

Initial Contact

Your first step is to send me a message via the contact form on this site, by email to info@victoriawardhypnotherapy.com or call/text 07813 251 152

You can say as much or as little as you’d like, as we will arrange a convenient time to speak on the phone so that you can tell me a little about what you would like help with, ask any questions that you have, and I can explain the practicalities of working together.

This first contact is a brilliant way for us to get to know each other a little, so that you can be sure that I am the therapist you would like to work with, and I can be sure that my approach is going to be a good fit for you.

Trauma can often be difficult to talk about, so you don’t need to go into detail here if you’re not comfortable doing so. We take this all at your pace, and every interaction is done in complete confidence without any judgement.

The Initial Face-to-Face Session

If we decide to work with each other, then we’ll set up the initial face-to-face consultation at my comfortable practice in Lexden, Colchester, Essex. It is a non-clinical environment, where you can be comfortable to speak in confidence and be heard without judgement. It is a supportive environment, conducive to healing.

Most of this session will be spent sensitively exploring your trauma and PTSD at a pace that is comfortable to you. You can tell me as much or as little in this session, as there is much work that can be done content-free until you feel more able to discuss what has happened to you.

We will explore the events that have led up to you coming to see me and the impact it has on your life. We will also look at your motivation for changing, and begin to create the image of the you you will become once you are free from the effects of trauma.

Depending on the time, we may then start with a gentle introductory technique, that could be a simple relaxation hypnosis, or one of the tools that I have to work directly with the emotions that arise when you think about the traumatic memories.

The initial session last approximately 1.5 hours

Techniques

I have a broad toolbox of techniques that I have learned over the years of continuing my professional development. Here I will explain the main tools in a little more detail.

Eye Movement Techniques (also known as EMDR and EMI)

Eye Movement Techniques (such as Eye Movement Desensitising and Reprocessing EMDR and Eye Movement Integration) are used by the British Army to treat PTSD in soldiers returning from war zones. It is a gentle process that involves you following my finger with your eyes in a series of patterns designed to release trauma stored in the brain.

[news] World Health Organisation Recommend EMDR for PTSD

As we progress through a series of the movements, you will be asked to either focus on the feelings that arise in your body when you think about the trauma, or the images that you see in your mind. As with everything, this is done at your pace to a level that you feel comfortable with.

This technique amazes me with how quickly an emotional response can be reduced. Things that once seemed impossible to talk about can quickly become (in a matter of minutes some times) a simple story from the past that no longer causes that uncomfortable, uncontrollable emotional surge.

More information about EMDR/EMI here

The Rewind Technique

The Rewind technique originates from the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It works on the neuroscience principles of ‘Neuroplasticity’ and ‘Reconsolidation Theory’. This is the idea that our brains are constantly capable of change. That they are ‘plastic’ and malleable.

Neuroscientists have shown that our memories are not a fixed, accurate recording of events. Rather, they are flexible and can change over time, depending on our perspective of events and information we learn at a later date.

Every time we recall a memory, it has the potential to go back into storage changed. Often, when we recall a traumatic memory, we talk about the negative impact or it, how terrible it was. This means that if can be stored with added layers of negative emotion.

The Rewind Technique allows us to recall a memory, and send it back to the memory banks dramatically altered. We can change the memory so that it is less traumatic visually, audibly and in meaning.

This means that when the brain refers back to the traumatic event in order to plan a path of action in the present to keep us safe in the future, it no longer sees the event as life-threatening and has a reduced response to it.

Timeline Regression Therapy

Timeline Therapy is a classic hypnotherapy technique. During a timeline session, you will be gently guided back to the event of the trauma to watch it from a safe distance. This allows us to consider alternative perspectives that may not have been considered at the time.

For instance, a child will not be able to understand the actions of adults at the time a trauma may have occurred. With Timeline Therapy, you are able to observe and understand the event from an adult perspective, so that new learnings can be integrated into the subconscious.

Very often, trauma experienced in childhood is confusing to the child, as their brain has not yet developed the capability to understand what is going on. This can often result in feelings of shame and worthlessness. Timeline Therapy can help you to see how something was not your fault, or that what your brain understood at the time was a mistake.

Emotional Freedom Techinque (EFT, also known as ‘tapping’)

EFT involves tapping on specific parts of your face and hand while working through the thoughts, symptoms and emotions linked to your trauma. It is designed to interrupt unconscious patterns of thought, and emotional energy. It is closely related to acupressure and acupuncture.

Tapping is a brilliant technique to learn, so that you have easy access to an immediate tool that you can use should you be experiencing anxiety and fear related to your PTSD.

Hypnosis and Traditional Hypnotherapy

I used traditional eyes-closed hypnosis to consolidate the work that we do in session, and to reprogram your unconscious brain to make the changes that we agree on together.

I also use eyes-closed hypnosis to create the mental blueprint of the you that you want to become, free from trauma. Your brain cannot differentiate between something that is vividly imagined and something that is real. By rehearsing this new version of you, the new feelings, thoughts and behaviours that you desire can begin to be something that your brain works towards believing in reality.

If at any point you are no comfortable with working eyes-closed, this work can be done using MP3 recordings for you to listen to at home.

More information on Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be found here along with common fears and misconceptions about hypnosis.

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PTSD treatment Colchester Essex

A traumatised man

Don’t relive the past, live fully in the present

Treatment of PTSD can be successful even many years after the initial traumatic event took place. This means that it is never too late to seek help to resolve the effects of the trauma.

However, many people (up to 70%) suffering from PTSD, never receive any professional help at all.

While there is provision for PTSD treatment through the NHS mental health services, many of my clients find the waiting list too long, or the treatment has not worked for them.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a different approach that is backed by evidence to be more effective than CBT in treating anxiety and depression – both of which are often symptoms of PTSD.

PTSD treatment in Colchester

Cognitive Hypnotherapy for PTSD treatment in Colchester is an effective approach for reducing the emotional resonance of past events and helping trauma sufferers to rebuild their lives with new tools for the future.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy treats each person as an individual, with no one-size-fits-all approach. Following a sensitive and confidential consultation to explore the history of your trauma, I create a tailor made and flexible plan of therapy that goes at a pace you are comfortable. I am always aiming to resolve the impact of your trauma in the safest and quickest way possible, so that you can get back on with living the life you deserve to live. A life free from the effects of trauma.

Treatment for PTSD in Colchester, Essex

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a bit of a misnomer, as my approach to treatment for PTSD in Colchester is more than just Hypnosis. I use a combination – as appropriate – of traditional hypnosis, EMDR/EMI eye movement therapy (used by the British Army to treat soldiers returning from war zones), EFT (tapping), positive psychology, Rewind and Time Line Regression techniques, NLP and other healing modalities.

To find out more about how we can work together to resolve the effects of a traumatic experience in your life, get in touch with me to arrange a time to speak in confidence.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW I TREAT PTSD AND TRAUMA

Live the life You'd Love to Live

Victoria Ward Cognitive Hypnotherapy

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The Impact of Childhood Trauma on Adult Success

A sad looking child

How your Childhood can (negatively) Affect your Success as an Adult

A lot of what we experience in childhood affects the adult that we become. As a child, our developing brain is absorbing information from around us – every sight, sound and sense we are exposed to – and making a map of what the world looks like, as well as our place within it.

Our parents, teachers and peers all have a huge impact on how that map gets put together, and the identity we develop based upon that.

It stands to reason that the more supported, loved and accepted a child feels, the more secure they will grow and the safer the world will seem to them to explore as adults.

Whereas trauma, abuse and lack of love will lead our brain to develop the belief that the world is not a safe place for us to express ourselves freely.

Here are some examples of how this plays out.

Punishing rule-breaking with shame

If rule-breaking was severely punished as a child – through shame and the withdrawal of love rather than appropriate boundaries and consequences – then a child is more likely to grow into an adult who struggles to stand up for themselves. This can result in remaining in abusive adult relationships and allowing themselves to be overlooked in work opportunities.

Witnessing destructive conflict

Children who experience high-conflict involving an imbalance of power and a lack of compromise and resolution can result in adults that experience a high degree of hopelessness, anxiety, aggression and anger. You can read more about how destructive conflict affects a developing child here.

Sexual abuse increases eating disorders

Sadly, there is evidence to show a link between sexual abuse and the risk of developing an eating disorder into adulthood. One study discovered that women who have been sexually abused as children are 27% more likely to become obese as adults, with men that rises dramatically to 66%. There’s more information about this study in this article by Time magazine.

The lifetime effects of bullying

Bullying in childhood leads to poor adult relationships, depression, anxiety and poor professional achievement, this study into the lifetime effects of bullying reveals. There’s an article about that study here, if you want to know more. Sadly, the bullying doesn’t need to be particularly extreme for it to have a lasting and damaging effect on confidence. A further study found that female victims of bullying are more likely to develop agoraphobia and social phobias, while male victims are more likely to commit suicide.

Childhood abuse stunts the brain

Childhood abuse stunts the development of the key areas of the brain controlling memory and the capacity to manage emotions. The neuroscience behind this is discussed in an academic paper by the PNAS here.

Depression more prevalent in maltreated children

Being maltreated as a child makes you twice as likely to develop depression as an adult, says a large-scale study by Kings College London. The Guardian newspaper ran an article discussing the study here.

So we can see how the experiences we were subjected to as children affect the quality of life we have as adults. Many adults will move through life repeating maladaptive patterns of behaviour that don’t serve them, causing suffering and pain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

For those that find their way to one of the many therapy, counselling and support services that exist out there, there is potential to unlearn the learnings of childhood, and create a new map of the world where you can have a stronger, happier and healthier position within it.

Sadly, a lot of these services are only accessible privately, and those that are available on the public health system are underfunded and oversubscribed.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an evidence-based therapy with a 71% success rate in which clients considered themselves recovered from depression and anxiety after an average of four sessions, compared to an average of 42% for other approaches using the same measures, such as CBT. 

A Quest Institute trained Cognitive Hypnotherapist can be found using the QCHPA Hypnotherapist finder.

Victoria Ward is a Life Coach and Cognitive Hypnotherapist working online and in London and Essex.

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Challenge limiting beliefs

Just thought I’d mention that my latest blog on the Huffington Post was published at the end of last week. You can read it here: Huffington Post Blog – Believe it or not.

Or here

Believe It or Not: How Your Beliefs Affect Your Happiness

Belief:
a) An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof
b) Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion
c) A religious conviction
d) Trust, faith, or confidence in (someone or something)
Oxford English Dictionary

Do you ever stop to question what you believe? Do you ever ask yourself why you believe it, or where that belief came from in the first place? Have you ever considered that it may be your beliefs that are causing you to feel anxious, unwell or unsatisfied?

I’m not really talking about those big lifestyle beliefs such as religion or politics (although, you had to learn to believe in those somewhere too), but all those other things you believe about yourself that by believing them affect the way you experience your life. Such as:

“I’m no good at meeting new people.”

“I’m too fat for anyone to love.”

“This is as good as it gets.”

“I’m disgusting.”

If you’re reading this and thinking that you only believe good things about yourself, then that is excellent. However, you’re definitely in the minority. And, if you’re honest with yourself, there are times when that little voice in your head gets a teensie bit critical, right?

One of the main reasons driving my clients’ decisions to seek out coaching and cognitive hypnotherapy is because they believe something that’s causing them to suffer. Often, they don’t even realise that’s the case, or they may rationally know it’s not true, but still the unconscious sticks to it anyway.

And the problem is, people operate from what they believe to be true, not what is true.

We suffer when we believe something about ourselves that by believing it causes us to limit our experience of life.

Getting in your own way

Consider the beliefs I quoted above (all real things my clients have said to me):

The woman who believes she’s no good at meeting new people turns down opportunities to meet new people and instead stays at home, thinking ‘what’s the point I’ll only make a fool of myself’. She never gives herself the chance to prove herself wrong, for fear of proving herself right. Her world becomes very small.

The man who believes he’s too fat to be loved, never opens himself up to love because he’s afraid of proving himself right. But guess what, if you never open yourself up to love, you’re never going to let it into your life. Something that he believes to be true produces a behaviour that causes him to suffer. His world remains smaller than it could be.

The man who believes that this is as good as it gets, doesn’t bother to ask for a pay rise or apply for a new position. He doesn’t want to rock the boat in case he loses something – something that he’s not really passionate about anyway. Who is more likely to get the job, the man who applies or the man who doesn’t because he doesn’t think he’s good enough?

The lady who told me she believed she was disgusting, had suffered abuse as a child then later physical and psychological violence from the two fathers of her children. She believed, as they had told her many times, that she was disgusting. This belief fuelled an eating disorder that compelled her to take up to 100 laxatives at a time, and meant she frequently lost so much blood that she had to be hospitalised.

Soak it up

Ok, so sometimes believing negative things about ourselves won’t have such extreme consequences, but it will prevent us from really being the happiest we can be.

So how did these beliefs that seem to run the show that is our experience of life come about?

The truth is that as children we have a sponge-like talent for absorbing the information that we receive through our senses. The things that we experience – within our family or the greater culture that surrounds us – are accepted as the norm. Just as we absorb the language we hear around us and it becomes an intrinsic part of our personality (notice how even little children’s unique personalities shine through in the way they speak and the things they say), so do we absorb the messages our parents, teachers and the media give us. The information we unconsciously consume. And you are what you eat, after all.

So really, a lot of what we believe is an accident of birth. An accident of who we grew up with, what teacher we had at school, who our peers were, what channel our parents had the TV tuned to, everything and anything that happened to us just because that it where we were at that point in time. That’s why I can see a client in my clinic who wears size 14 clothes and believes that she is ‘too fat’, when if I was seeing clients in Fiji or Tahiti where larger bodies are a sign of status, size wouldn’t be affecting their emotional state in the same way.

Our culture does a really good job of telling us from a young age that we are not ‘enough’.

I used to live on a small island in the South Pacific. Most of the islanders had never left their island, or if they had then it was only to visit the nearest mainland. Instead, they caught or grew their food, spent time on sporting and physical activities. Playing music, dancing and socialising with family was a way of life. When I first arrived I couldn’t understand how they could be so happy with NOT seeing the world. I judged them for their lack of desire to expand their cultural horizons. I believed that travel was important, so I assumed they must be narrow-minded to not see it as an essential part of life. Over time, I began to see things differently. The way they respected their elders, the importance of sharing things with their family and extended tribe, how front doors were never locked (took me a long time to get used to that one!) and you’d frequently find a bag of fish or yams left on the table for you with no note and no expectation of thanks. My beliefs, taught to me by a culture famous for placing a high importance on world domination and geographical ownership, just didn’t exist over there. Now, while I still adore travelling, I no longer feel like I am ‘not cultured enough, not cool enough’ if I don’t clock up X amounts of air miles each year.

Monkey see, monkey do

You see, we are imitators. We see other people doing things and then we copy them. You only have to consider fashion to see the truth in this. This is why in the 80s the glorious mullet happened and why now so many men are sporting hipster beards and man buns. It’s why Kate Middleton can wear a Breton stripe jumper in one photo, and suddenly stripy jumpers sell out everywhere. Heck, I’m wearing one right now.

We have a natural, evolutionary need to fit in. After all, if we didn’t fit in to our tribe back in caveman days, we risked being booted out to fend for ourselves – which meant an almost certain grisly death at the sharp end of a sabre-toothed tusk. This instinct for unity is hardcoded into us at birth, and then reinforced by our parents and schools. Conformity reaps rewards, disobedience plonks us on the naughty step without any tea. So to make life more comfortable for ourselves, we believe what others around us believe.

We are born into our families and our culture through no choice of our own. As babies, we have no choice about the lessons we are taught, the messages we are fed, the truths or lies we are given often in order to try to make us behave in a more compliant way that makes someone else’s life easier – or under someone else’s belief that it will make our lives easier if we learn to conform early on in life. If you are born into a certain family, then you are more likely – generally speaking – to have the same beliefs as that family.

So beliefs become important to us. It becomes important to confirm our beliefs, which is why challenging them is so difficult. We identify with our beliefs as if they are an intimate part of ourselves, and losing them would be as traumatic as losing a limb. We confuse belief with identity. We believe without questioning.

Until, that is, we learn to question. To overcome the suffering that the critical voice inflicts upon us, we must learn to think for ourselves.

HOW TO CHALLENGE YOUR UNHELPFUL BELIEFS

  • Write down those things you believe about yourself, that cause you pain or limit your life in some way. Usually this will be phrased as “I…”, or “I am…”
  • Take the top one. Ask yourself, “Is that true.”
  • Ask yourself, “Can I absolutely know that this is true?”
  • When you realise that you can’t absolutely know that it’s true, then you can ask yourself: “Whose belief is this anyway?” Where did that belief come from? Where did you learn it – we all have to learn our beliefs somewhere. Was it really someone else’s belief, perhaps a bully, a teacher, a parent?
  • Then you can ask yourself, “Who would I be, if I believed… [insert the opposite here].”
  • And just begin to imagine how your life would be different if you simply chose to believe something else. Imagine what you’d be doing, who you’d be doing it with, where you’d be, what you’d be achieving.
  • Then see if you can see any reason to keep believing that old belief, or whether the new one would be a lot more fun.
  • A belief is just that. A believe. A thought that you accept as true, without any real evidence. It’s not true! You just accepted that it was. So challenge those old, outdated beliefs. Hear them, note them down, and investigate whether you can prove them to be true, or if it might just be time to let them go.

This post was first published on the Huffington Post. Victoria Ward is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Coach working in Colchester and London, Harley Street. Her websites are www.victoria-ward.com and www.victoriawardhypnotherapy.com

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Here be dragons – step out of your comfort zone

Here be Dragons

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

I love old maps. When I was a kid, we had a print of an old map on the wall of the upstairs landing. It was one of those ones where the globe is split into two circles, with each half containing within it the continents and landmasses on either side of the world. I enjoyed looking at the illustrations of the weird and wonderful creatures that the cartographer had drawn rising from the depths of the oceans or looming ominously across distant lands.

Hic sunt dracones. “Here be dragons.”

Although there are only two historical incidences of this phrase recorded as having been found on maps, the term has become synonymous with the idea that dangers lurk in unchartered waters. A warning for fishermen and travellers of the places to avoid in order to remain safe.

A natural alarm system

If we stray away from the ‘safe’ path in life, our subconscious will flag up that there be dragons nearby. It uses the warning to steer us away from setting a path towards something that it fears may be a threat to our survival. Sometimes, without even being aware of it, we unquestioningly listen to that warning, in the same way that fisherman and travellers would have looked at the razor-sharp toothed sea serpents depicted on their maps and sailed instead in safer waters.

That’s the job of our subconscious, you see. To keep us safe. Pretty much every action and behaviour we find ourselves undertaking has been carefully considered by the subconscious for its potential to threaten our lives. It takes the information that it has gathered about the world in the years that we’ve lived up until now, and plots the safest course to the end of our lives, with little regard for our happiness or fulfilment.

A different perspective

What it doesn’t see, is that while there may be dragons in the uncharted territory, so might there be lands filled with riches and opportunities. For the brave and the bold, those riches and opportunities are there for the taking, and with the right resources the dragons are there to be slain.

So whatever your endeavour, whatever your goal, whatever the dream that lies beyond your comfort zone, step boldly towards it. Arm yourself with the tools you need to slay the dragons. Arm yourself with self-belief, pack courage and resilience in your pockets (if those don’t seem to be available to you right now, seek the help of a good coach or therapist). And as you take your first tentative steps into the unknown, when you hear the alarm bells ringing (and ring they will), remind yourself that in the uncharted territory beyond the familiar, here be growth. In exploring the boundaries of what you once thought was possible, here be potential. And in growth and potential hic vita est. Here be life.

Victoria Ward is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Coach. Find more from her at her Colchester life Coach and Cognitive Hypnotherapy Colchester pages, and on Facebook.

Online life coaching Online therapy

Coaching online – all the benefits none of the hassle

I’ve recently seen a growth in enquiries for online life coaching via Skype. It’s appealing to potential clients to be able to participate in a coaching or cognitive hypnotherapy without having to factor in travel and time away from work or the family. I love coaching over Skype, but I can certainly understand why some people might have some concerns about it.

A few years ago I was completely against the idea of coaching online. I was resistant to even trying it. However all that changed when I worked with a coach who came highly recommended to me – but who lived in New York. We dove in though, and two hours later I was converted. There wasn’t a moment on that call when I didn’t feel completely connected with her, or that she wasn’t tuned in to what I was saying.

Website Issues

Hello!

Please bear with me while I continue to try to update my website following the massive cyber attack that wiped my old one out. I am hoping to put together a new website that reflects the changes I am making in my practice to become a more wholly integrated coach and therapist, so am choosing not to invest too much in fixing this site.

 

Thank you

“How to not screw up your kids” Victoria Ward, Huffington Post.

I am now a Huffington Post Blogger

Earlier in the week I was invited to blog for the wonderful Huffington Post website. Today, they published my first article: “5 ways to not screw up your kid.”

I hope that you enjoy it, and appreciate any comments or feedback.

Thanks!

Why I’m a detective

Detective dreams

When I was younger I used to daydream about being a detective. The lone sleuth piecing together the puzzle from the clues she’s unearthed, solving crimes and closing cases, slinking off to sniff out the next story. I’ve always been curious about all manner of things, and been able to be interested in things others might find mundane. I guess that’s partly how I wound up being a journalist, delighting in the questioning and questioning it took to get to the bottom of a story, or to find the jewel of information in among all the dead ends. It’s probably how I found myself in my first editorial position as staff writer for Collect It magazine.  I know my friends wondered how I could be so excited to spend hours talking to people about their ceramic pomander collections, or shelves full of flattened cereal boxes dating back to the 19th Century. But for the time that I spent with those people telling me about the most important things in their lives, for those minutes what was important to them became just important to me.

And so I guess it’s no surprise to me that I have created myself another career within the detective industry. For that’s what my work (and I use that term loosely) is like for me when I’m with a client. For that time that we are together, I am investigating all the information my client gives to me consciously or unconsciously, following threads and looking for clues that might lead to the wheres and the whys of their issues, unravelling their story to get to the bottom of what it is that’s causing the problem, searching for the evidence that their unconscious is using to perpetuate the condition, then piecing it all back together to find the clue that will lead to the ultimate goal: happiness.

Just a happy thought that came to me today as I was helping an inspirational client towards finding the solution herself to a question that’s been puzzling her for her whole life. Being a psychological detective is a fun job!