Tag Archives: child development

“A Must for any Parent”

The “Parents and Teens” talk, by parenting expert and agony aunt Suzie Hayman, followed by Q and A, at St John’s School, Marlborough on 22nd October 2016, was a must for any parent with children about to embark on their teenage years, or indeed any parent already in the midst of this often challenging and turbulent time. I only wish I had heard these words of wisdom long ago, both from Suzie herself, and also the teenagers contributing to the discussion.

Suzie has many years of experience counselling families and couples, and is also an agony aunt, broadcaster and author of 30 books on families, but most noticeably Parenting Teens 22 Oct 2016her own experience as a stepmother. She is a warm and wise soul, who brought clarity and calm to this topic without denying the challenges involved.

Suzie starts from the core view that the teenager’s main task is to separate from his/her birth family, while our job as parents is to manage these shifting boundaries while passing control over to the teen. And no, she does not say this is easy. Her approach is practical and pragmatic, and she makes you feel you too could manage this. She gives helpful hints for how to relate to your child in a way that enhances communication,  and on how you might approach such thorny subjects as alcohol use and pornography. She entreats us to remember that a problem might actually be our own, rather than theirs, such as our own expectations or dreams being acted out. She never pretends to have all the answers but offers a framework to work from.

The ensuing discussion brought enlightening tips from the teens present, whose overriding message was “please, just listen to us”, since we might not have any idea what our child is experiencing, as well as “be available”, in other words sometimes we need to wait until they are ready to talk rather than rushing in with our own agenda.  The wide-ranging questions and discussions from the audience could easily have gone on past the allotted time.

This well-organised seminar in congenial surroundings will, I hope, be the first of many such events. Highly recommended!

By: Anne Hutson (parent)
7th November 2016

 

img_2481

 

 

 

Sir Richard Bowlby – “a rare and special opportunity” in 2014

Rachel Cooper, psychotherapist at Wendy Bramham Therapy in Newbury, reviews our recent day on attachment theory with Sir Richard Bowlby:

“Hearing Sir Richard speak at the recent Wendy Bramham seminar in Newbury felt a rare and special opportunity to get up close and personal with his father, Sir John Bowlby’s, pioneering work.

Richard highlighted the significance of attachment theory by taking us back to the fright we each felt when we got lost (and separated from our caregiver) as a child, even though we were not in any danger; caused by the terror of separation from an attachment figure. He also reminded us of its ongoing impact on all relationships held as adults and explained how he himself developed a secure attachment as an adult through his relationship with his wife.

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy BramhamSir Richard with Wendy Bramham

Richard provided an updated slant with research and views, sparking stimulating debates that ranged from the science of epigenetics to the art of using attachment theory creatively and individually within psychotherapy. Also the despair caused by the lack of influence of attachment theory on politician’s agenda within schooling, versus the hope from a psychotherapist providing a reliable, responsive, helpful and empathic secure base from which clients can begin to explore in a way that has previously been too scary. I loved Richard’s description of a psychotherapist being, “someone to hold our hand while we go into scary places”.

Richard was such an engaging speaker through his warm, humorous and down to earth style. His sharing of personal experiences with his upbringing and own family really brought the theory to life. A really engaging, enlightening and informative event.”

newburytherapy.com/rachel-cooper-therapist-newbury.php

Attachment Theory – “The Science of Love”

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy Bramham

Sir Richard Bowlby and Wendy Bramham

 

Our public lecture and discussion on Attachment Theory on 7 November 2014 was a fantastic opportunity, here in Newbury, to gain Sir Richard Bowlby’s insight into his father John Bowlby’s famous life and work. 

 

 

 

 

Over 100 people attended the lecture, ranging from A level psychology students and teachers of children with learning difficulties to experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and complementary health practitioners.

John Bowlby was a medically trained doctor, psychoanalyst and psychologist, and was motivated 50 years ago to research and develop “Attachment Theory” in part because of his own losses in childhood – namely that of his nanny when he was 4 and then at age 8 attending boarding school.  This theory has since been a very important way of understanding what babies and small children need if they are to develop good mental health.  It has been – and still is –  a major feature of any psychology training in the UK.

Sir Richard Bowlby, internationally renowned for the lectures he gives about his father’s work, presented this topic in an engaging way.  He told our audience that Attachment Theory is the “science of love”.  It is what many of us know instinctively if we ourselves were able to form a secure attachment to a primary carer (such as mum) in early childhood.  This would happen for example if our parent responded to our emotions (fear, joy) in a reasonably attuned, consistent, predictable and frequent manner.  Sounds easy?  And yet statistics show that 40% of people in the UK are “insecurely attached”.  This might take the form of clinging to avoid any loss, or alternatively avoidance of attachments in the first place.

From 71 completed feedback forms from participants we scored an average rating of 4.48 out of 5 for overall assessment of the event.   Sir Richard Bowlby received 4.71 out of 5 as a speaker.  Fabulous scores!  Comments include:

“Fantastic opportunity, a very positive experience”
“With this knowledge I can help others in some small way”
“Fascinating and enlightening… really helped me for my work”
“Interesting subject – good to hear this from John Bowlby’s son”
“A charming and heartwarming man to listen to”
“Excellent speaker, very engaging”
“Wish I had learned this before I had children”

The first 20 minutes of this lecture can be viewed on our Youtube channel:

Please sign up to receive our quarterly newsletters or to hear about future seminars for therapists.

Wendy Bramham
12 November 2014

Attachment

What is the impact of not feeling loved as a child? Our public lecture this Friday, 7 Nov, in Newbury will explore the issue. Our speaker is Sir Richard Bowlby, son of the late John Bowlby who famously pioneered ‘attachment theory’ and shone a spotlight on the importance of responsive and loving attachment between parent and child.

Find out more at newburytherapy.com

And watch our blog for more on attachment theory after the event.