Help with the minefield of digital technology and teenagers

Having attended the talk ‘Parenting Teens’ given by Suzie Hayman at St John’s, Marlborough and organised by Wendy Bramham Therapy, I cannot recommend it more highly to parents/carers of teenagers and those soon to be parents/carers of teenagers.

Suzie Hayman presented the talk in an engaging and relaxed manner, explaining some of the ‘science’ behind teenagers, helping perplexed parents to understand what may be going on in the teenage brain, how their teenager may view the world and looking at how teenagers deal with change in their lives.  Suzie gave lots of practical advice and suggestions as how parents/carers can help their children (and their families) through this often turbulent period in their lives and the discussion session that followed the talk covered wide ranging topics including parenting in step-families, pornography, alcohol, technology, laying down house rules, dealing with conflicting house rules, and risky behaviour.

The talk was clear and easy to follow, supported by a power point presentation.  Suzie was very generous with both her time and resources, offering to provide all those who attended with copies of the presentation, free leaflets and answering questions fully not only during the formal session but also afterwards.  I will be keeping the presentation notes close at hand to refer to when faced with teenage challenges in the future!

Suzie has written various books on parenting and some of the titles were available for sale on the morning – I bought one and fully expect to buy more.  One of her most recent books is on the minefield of digital technology, a subject which worries me and many other parents of technology-savy teenagers

St John’s was, as always, a pleasant choice of venue.  The session took place in the Enterprise Suite, rather than the main theatre, and its more intimate size encouraged the open and wide-ranging discussion that followed on some sensitive issues.

Wendy added both a professional and personal touch to the morning from her perspective as a mother of teenage children and as a psychotherapist of over 20 years experience.  We were also joined by four, real live teenagers who generously gave up their Saturday mornings to offer some insight into their teenage world!  They participated in the discussion that followed Suzie’s talk and it was interesting to hear from them what they would like from us.  The message was loud and clear – space, support and no shouting.  There’s food for thought.

Thank you to Wendy for organising this highly relevant and useful talk – I would be very interested in attending similar talks in the future.  It was excellent value for money and if there is one thing that will remain with me from the morning it is that young children are loving, biddable puppies but teenagers are fiercely independent cats!

By: Sarah Giles (Parent), 27 October 2016

 

Parenting Teens – 22 October 2016 in Marlborough

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Wendy Bramham with Suzie Hayman

I was delighted with our extremely positive feedback following this event, which was attended by 75 people, mostly parents.  The average score for our speaker, Suzie Hayman, was an overwhelming 4.97 out of 5 from 68 forms! Congratulations and a big thank you to Suzie for her informal, practical style and huge knowledge and experience.

I was struck by how engaged people were, listening to Suzie’s pearls of wisdom and experience during her presentation which covered a range of topics including:

  • understanding this transitional stage of change and loss both for your child and for you;
  • how to listen and talk with your teenager using “I” statements and open questions;
  • brain changes which helps us to understand teens’ behaviour
  • top tips such as:

* understand this is a transition from child to apprentice adult; your teen needs to separate.  You are no longer their boss!

* Your task is to help them live their lives, not yours

* Show you care, are prepared to set some limits but trust them and don’t try to control them

* Don’t take it personally, but look at what is going on for you.  Look after yourself

The second half of the seminar was dedicated to questions, answers and discussion, and we were lucky enough to have four St John’s 6th formers present who were willing and brave enough to offer their own perspectives.  It was evident from the feedback forms how much the audience appreciated and valued their comments; and how confident and eloquent they were.  When asked what they wanted from their parents, their comments included:

  • support but also “space” to discover their own identity (not a version of their parents)
  • help to think things through for themselves, rather than being told what to do/think
  • less pressure, as there is already a lot of pressure within school
  • to continue to be told “I’m here if you want to talk” which they will remember and be comforted by (even if they don’t want to talk right now!)
  • less shouting; can we talk calmly and more objectively (less emotionally)?

Parents also wanted to know how to manage their teenagers’ use of digital devices; how to talk to their teens about sex and pornography;  step-families; and how to manage when other families have different rules from their own.

Suzie encouraged us to try to feel more comfortable discussing sex with our children.  Additionally, she suggested, we may consider lobbying our schools to put on educational sessions about “relationships, love and sex”, which focusses on the emotional side of sex within the context of relationship, rather than the biology of sex, as well as the dangers of learning about sex through pornography.

The general atmosphere was supportive and collaborative.  I think many of us were reassured that we are not alone; that parenting is challenging but that there is hope, and there are tools and tips!  There was a general consensus that people wanted more!  A number of people expressed interest in further seminars in smaller groups, which we will be happy to consider.

L-R: Briony Martin, Suzie Hayman, Wendy Bramham

L-R: Briony Martin, Suzie Hayman, Wendy Bramham

Thank you to all attendees for making it a constructive event, and for your generous feedback.  A summary of the feedback is below.  Additionally I wish to thank:

  • Sally Bere from St Johns
  • the four 6th formers (Abi, Dulcie, Steffie and Sabrina), and their teacher Tom Nicholls
  • my colleagues and helpers:  Michael Garreffa, Briony Martin, Jo Turner and Debbie Chapman,

Wendy Bramham
26 October 2016

 

Written Feedback following our event

From 67 feedback forms, the average scores are as follows:

  • “Speaker of the seminar”: 4.97 out of 5
  • “Helpfulness with parenting skills and tips”: 4.82 out of 5
  • “Overall assessment of event”:  4.69 out of 5

A selection of written comments:

“Everyone should hear this talk!”
“Very informative, helpful, producing good open discussions”
“It has been fantastic to involve 6 formers – thank you”
“I wish the session could have lasted longer!
“Teens were great, more of this!”
“Incredibly helpful with understanding problems and having a toolbox for constructive coping”
“Thought-provoking event, challenged my comfort zone of parenting! Excellent.”
“Very useful perspective on key issues”
“Extremely worthwhile.  Thank you”
“Really insightful – could have been twice as long”
“Suzie was brilliant.  Huge thanks”
“Excellent – so useful”
“Fabulous, very helpful, thank you”
“Excellent presentation and discussion session, found it extremely informative, thank you”
“1 minute timer for talking and listening – great tip, I will use”

“Opening the Hidden Door; Working with Dreams in Therapy” – Matthew Harwood, 24 September 2016

dreams-seminar-2016

Matthew Harwood at Wendy Bramham Therapy seminar

I attended this seminar because of my training and experience in Deep Memory Process with Roger Woolger, and also because throughout my life I have had dreams that I remember vividly and have tried to make sense of.

Having gone through the day’s seminar with Matthew Harwood, a Jungian Analyst, it is a pleasure for me to write a few words about it.

The seminar was perfectly constructed so that on whatever level your training or experience, you could get something out of it.  Matthew performed his role with skill and humour and we all learned a method of how to look at dreams – both for ourselves and for our clients.  I personally think that dreamwork is an extremely important way of understanding where you are and what could be the next steps forward. And what a relief not to have to take notes, as Matthew had plenty of handouts!

I wish the best to Matthew Harwood and his important work.

By: Elly Nickson, Chartered Physiotherapist

Participant Feedback:
Quality of Speaker: 5 out of 5 unanimously from all 17 delegates! This is exceptional and never achieved before.
Overall assessment of event: 4.94 out of 5

Delegate comments:
“I have been to other dream workshops but I am going away feeling I have learnt more than I have done before!!”
“As usual, event top notch”
“Excellent attention to detail. Good sense of cohesion around group and speaaker”
“The events are always good and well organised”
“Nice setting with plenty of space. Matthew is an excellent speaker. Overall excellent”
“Full and informative day”
“Well done as usual”

 

Seminar on Sex Addiction with Karen Lloyd, 18 June 2016

Karen Lloyd, an accredited psychosexual psychotherapist and certified sexual addiction therapist, gave us a full day of insight and knowledge on the quite misunderstood and challenging subject of sex addiction.

Karen Lloyd with Wendy Bramham

Karen Lloyd with Wendy Bramham

We learnt that people with sexual addiction do not have fun, that it is not related to a sexual orientation, neither is it connected to sexual fetishes or paraphilias. Sexual addiction is not the same as sexual offending.

We thought about the many words we might use to describe a person with sexual addiction problems and that they are mostly negative. Shame is the most acutely felt emotion and trained therapists work mainly with supporting and helping their clients to manage their feelings of shame.

Karen helped us to understand how she and her fellow trained therapists work with clients and gave us lots of detail on the complexities of working in this specialist field. It is a “process addiction” and the primary driver for sexual addicts is for mood altering purposes. We thought about some similarities in how alcohol addiction is now managed, for example providing support groups as a powerful and effective technique.

Karen spent the 2nd half of the day focusing on how she and her colleagues help the partner of a sexual addict and how isolating and shameful the discovery of a partner’s sexual addiction can be.Seminar sex addiction 2016

The seminar was interactive and well paced, packed with information and insight and very much a taster of how to work with this very challenging subject.

By : Jo Turner, June 2016

We are pleased with the delegates’ average feedback scores as follows:
Overall assessment of event: 4.89 out of 5
Speaker: 4.5 out of 5
Value for money: 4.89 out of 5

Comments from delegates:
“Fantastic delivery of the course by Karen, very insightful and interesting”
“Excellent value”
“Karen’s experience, warmth and knowledge made it easy to engage and enjoy the seminar”
“Very relaxed, intimate and cosy to share”

Sex addiction workshop with Karen Lloyd -18 June, Newbury

We are looking forward to our seminar on sex addiction and how to work with this growing problem in the therapy room.

In today’s digital world we see reports in the news on a regular basis of out-of-control sexual behaviours, often attributed to the errant celebrity ‘caught with his trousers down.’ In the psychotherapy and counselling world sex addiction is fast becoming a common presenting problem.  We will address the growing problem of sexually compulsive/addictive behaviour, love and porn addiction, and sexual acting out behaviours, both on and offline.

Karen Lloyd is a BACP Registered Accredited psychosexual psychotherapist and a certified sexual addiction therapist. She also works as a trainer, and as an accreditation assessor for BACP. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in psychosexual psychotherapy and previously worked as a therapist and trainer for Relate for over 10 years. Karen has a long established practice in the West Midlands working with individuals, couples and groups. She runs a 10 week psycho-educational course and on-going women’s support group for female partners of men with sexually compulsive/addictive behaviours, as well as intensive residential psycho-educational groups.

For tickets, go to http://www.newburytherapy.com/psychotherapy-therapists-seminars-newbury.php

Seminar: Neuroscience and psychotherapy with Margaret Wilkinson, Sat 23rd April

Psychotherapy can help change the brain – this was the compelling take-away thought from Margaret Wilkinson’s excellent seminar on Saturday. Margaret reminded us how early childhood experiences shape not only our emotions and thoughts but our actual neuro-biology. However, these learned patterns and response do not need to be set in neural stone. Margaret outlined how recent insights from neuroscience indicate that the brain is plastic, creating new neurons and new connections throughout life. This means that whilst old patterns of thinking and feeling may be deep-seated and habitual, they can be changed. The empathic and boundaried psychotherapeutic relationship is a place which promotes this change, literally helping the brain think and feel in a new way.

Margaret helped us reflect on this through insights from her own clinical work, questions from the group and an interesting interactive exercise in which we practiced wordless empathy – simply receiving and responding to our partner’s body language and unspoken energy.

This was a good day’s learning, with plenty of food for thought and scope for exploring in our own work.

Briony Martin

(Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice and in an agency setting with clients presenting with addiction issues)

We are delighted with the scores from 19 delegate feedback forms:

Overall assessment of event: 4.63 out of 5

Speaker (Margaret Wilkinson): 4.58 out of 5

Value for money: 4.58 out of 5

written comments from delegates:

great organisation, lovely venue”; “excellent, clear, knowledge and experience shines through”; “speaker engaging, very knowledgeable and able to share this in a easy way”

Thank you to everyone who gives us feedback, which we take seriously and use to improve what we do.

Wendy Bramham 

Wendy Bramham Therapy on BBC Radio Wiltshire

Wendy Bramham Therapy has contributed their expertise about mental health on BBC Wiltshire in 2013 and again recently.

In March 2016 we were asked to contribute to a discussion about whether time is a healer.  One of our team, Briony Martin, stepped into the breach to discuss this topic with radio presenter Graham Seaman.  Listen here

In 2013, when BBC Wilts presenter, Mark O’Donnell, suffered a panic attack in the streets of Swindon – and found that people gave him a wide berth! – he decided to try to break down the myths, fears and stigma surrounding mental health, by talking about it on the radio!

BBC Wiltshire - Bipolar programme September 2013

In the studio L to R: David Lathan (Richmond Fellowship), Wendy Bramham, Denise (bipolar sufferer) and Mark O’Donnell

Wendy Bramham gave professional insights and advice on this series of 7 programmes, which covered the following topics:

Unfortunately all the recordings have been lost except for the one on suicide – listen here.

However, following each programme, Wendy wrote self-help resources for listeners who would like to learn more.  Read more by clicking on the links above for each topic.

 

Wendy Bramham
April 2016