Tell us a bit about your background. Are you Yorkshire born and bred?
I grew up ten miles north of Brighton. So by that measure, I’m well and truly a Southerner. However, I went to University at York and my mother and her family were all born and bred near Bradford. As my mother tongue is Yorkshire, I’ve always felt llike a bit of a hybrid.
What journey lead you to becoming a counsellor and hypnotherapist?
It’s been quite a long journey, perhaps because I’ve been keenly aware of the need to have a decent amount of life experience to draw from before becoming an effective therapist. My career in Education gave me lots of relevant experience as for me, like therapy, teaching is all about helping a person to learn and grow by finding their inner strength, potential and capacity for change. Healing and growth are very closely connected. I’m eager to work with adults as well as children to remove the obstacles which hold them back from the life that they want. To be involved in that process is a tremendous privilege.
What other therapies do you practice?
I find it most effective to be flexible and use a combination of different healing modalities. I can use psychotherapy and mindfulness, as well as counselling and hypnotherapy to meet the particular needs, concerns and preferences of each of my clients. Above all, my clients must feel safe, cared for, respected and understood. To use a metaphor, it is my client’s inner strength and wisdom which we put in the driving seat, whilst I am the tour guide suggesting the best route and the stops along the way. We work together in a way that my client feels wholly supported in order to facilitate positive change.
You have extensive experience with children and teenagers. Why are they under so much pressure and what should parents be aware of?
What I hadn’t properly realised, until my 17 year old daughter explained it to me, is how much commercial advertising teenagers are exposed to through their social media. Daily, they are confronted with a barrage of repetitive images showing them how they ‘should’ look, behave, feel, and of course buy. This can quickly breed a sense of frustration, inadequacy and low self- confidence and self esteem. This kind of advertising is especially potent because it sits amongst messages from your child’s friends and on their precious phone. To address this, they need help in understanding how toxic this advertising is. My own daughter now talks about ‘the enemy’ on her phone. She has learned to put up strong defences to this advertising and sees it not as the friend it poses to be but as heartless and manipulative. I suggest starting conversations with your child such as, ‘I saw this advert which I think has got to me. What do you think? Have you seen anything like that?’ or ‘Sometimes, it only takes seeing that image of the perfect person one more time in a day and I feel horrible. Do you know what I mean?’ The important thing is to start a conversation which helps your child to become aware, and self aware, and then self-protective in response to things which make them feel bad, or which distort their thinking.
Favourite place in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is so beautiful that it’s hard to choose! But there is a special place in my heart for Kettlewell as it’s there where I first amazed myself by walking further than I ever thought I could at age six! The places where we find inner strength can be very special to us because of that.
Run by Snow Patrol. This has been my go to song for whenever I’ve felt sad. It gives me the energy and the courage to go into my feelings.
Desert Island essential item
That would be my Yorkshire Terrier. She is fabulous company, full of her own ideas and opinions as anyone who has a Yorkie will know.
Welcome to Tanfield Wellness, Kathryn!