Nurturing Holiday Cheer: Coping Strategies for Children’s Christmas Anxiety

Childrens Christmas Anxiety

The title might seem unusual since we generally expect children to be thrilled during Christmas. As a mother of two, I’ve noticed my kids’ excitement for the holiday season, but it’s essential to acknowledge that not every child shares this sentiment. While Christmas brings joy, it can also bring heightened stress for some children. In my role as a Clinical Hypnotherapist specialising in child anxiety, I’ve observed common concerns children face during this festive period. Let’s explore these challenges and discuss coping strategies to support parents throughout the season.

Navigating Present Pressures:

Many of us wish we’d chosen the perfect gifts for our loved ones. Engaging in open communication with your child abo...

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Why Magical Thinking Is The Worst Drug

Why Magical Thinking Is The Worst Drug

In 1939, the New Yorker published a short story titled The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Written by James Thurber, the partially autobiographical story and the expanded novel that followed three years later introduced readers to a meek and unassuming man with a wild fantasy life.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story (film versions have starred Danny Kaye and Ben Stiller), you’ll find no spoilers here. But it’s enough to say that Walter has what might be best described as an incidental relationship with reality.

During rare lucid moments when reality does intrude on Walter’s overpowering fantasy life (he believes himself to be, among other things, a wartime pilot, an emergency-room surgeon, and a louche killer), he is confronted by a world he doe


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Tell-tale Signs Of Child Anxiety – And What To Do About Them

Tell Tale Signs Of Child Anxiety

The problem with parenthood is that children don’t come with a handbook or a manual. 

Even though childhood is a lived experience for us adults, it’s not one we remember clearly – and certainly not the very early years. So we begin our journey as parents with no frame of reference.

We have to learn our child’s behaviours from a position of more or less total ignorance, aside from the natural instincts that millions of years of evolution give us.

We have to learn to understand how our child communicates, and it’s a language that is foreign to most of us – even for those of us who might already have a child.

And because it’s often hard for us to interpret this new v


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How To Manage The Grief That Comes With An Empty Nest

Empty Nest Syndrome

Over the next couple of weeks a strange and unfamiliar sound will ring out in homes all over the UK: the deafening noise of silence in an empty void once filled with other treasured and familiar sounds. This, for thousands of families, is the soundtrack of a newly-empty nest.

The next fortnight sees an exodus for more than half a million teenagers (682,010, if you want to be a stickler for accuracy) setting out on the next stage of their life journey and leaving behind what has been, in most cases, the 18-year emotional safety of family life.

One thing is certain. There will be tears. Tears shed silently (and maybe not so silently) behind the closed doors of halls of residence flats, along with


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Why You Need To Stop Believing The Lie That Children Are Resilient

Childrens Resilience

There are many ways in which our lives have been altered – perhaps irretrievably – over the past year, and from the perspective of their impact on global mental health, many of them concern me greatly.

But of all the dangerous guff that’s been spouted, the notion that children are somehow completely unaffected by the pandemic and are able to simply shrug the experience off is by some distance the most worrying.

I’m not sure where the myth that children have an apparently impenetrable resilience originated. But it’s an insidious and damaging belief about child welfare that, unchecked, serves only to legitimise emotional abuse.

Resilience is a blood brother to fear, so in order to understand how resilience works it’s necessary to


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185 Little Reasons Why We Should Care More About Child Mental Health

185 Little Reasons Why We Should Care More About Child Mental Health

We’ve known for a while that child mental health is in crisis.

Earlier this year we discovered just how bad it has become, with the Office for National Statistics revealing that 5 in every 100,000 young people aged between 15 and 19 commit suicide each year.

To put that in perspective, there are 3.67 million people in the UK in that age group, meaning we can measure the appalling record of successive Governments’ policies on child mental health by the 185 body bags that find their way to hospital morgues every year.

If that sounds overly dramatic, it’s because it is.

Last month the mental health char


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Children’s Emotional Resilience

Childrens Hypnotherapy London

When you were learning how to ride a bike as a kid and you fell off and skinned a knee or an elbow, did you just brush yourself down, get back on and try again, knowing that eventually after some practice, you’d get the hang of it?

Or did you do what most of us did, and cry a bit and refuse to get back on the saddle until your mum or dad forced you to?

For most of us, learning to ride a bike was a painful and undignified affair that involved much wobbling, some falling off, lots of tears (some of pain, most of frustration) and a good deal of anxiety before we got to the elation of two-wheeled, confident independence.

In fact, for kids, most learning


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Infertility, PTSD…..and me

Ivf Acronym On Colorful Wooden Cubes

We tried for a baby before turning to IVF for three years. In that time we had nothing for 18 months and then two missed miscarriages and an ectopic.

To say we were pretty desperate by the time we made the decision to go for IVF would be an understatement, and we had four cycles in 2014 that culminated with the transfer of Baby Bee on December 29th that year.

It would probably come as no surprise to know that I was unbearably anxious throughout my pregnancy, and so we scheduled a C-section for his due date so I could avoid any  additional labour anxieties.


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This White House Legacy Will Be Felt For Generations. And Not In A Good Way

Shutterstock 1034329486

There are times – many times, in fact – when the current Presidency of the United States feels like a practical joke that has gone spectacularly and tragically wrong.

How we all laughed when he started his run for the White House. How we snickered at the impudence of it all. How we guffawed when he talked about the ‘big, beautiful wall’ he was going to build between the US and Mexico, not realising the punchline was still to come: Mexico would be made to pay for it!

We branded him a clown. But a man in greasepaint driving a small car in circles until the doors fall off is actually funny (unless you suffer from coulrophobia). Watching the doors fall off the supercharged Buick 8 that is


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Is Your Child Getting An ‘A’ In Anxiety?

Worried And Sad Student Online

Next week, teenagers up and down the country will be sitting their GCSE mocks. 

This may come as a surprise to those of you who don’t have a 15- or 16-year-old in the house and have been blissfully unaware of the unfolding drama being played out behind closed doors. 

But for those who do have such a creature hibernating behind a closed bedroom door, the weeks since the end of the summer must have felt a little like watching a gathering storm edging every closer.

These days, Year 11 pupils (that’s the 5th Year for those of us who still work in old money) are under pressure to do well from


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