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Goodbye To 2016 And Say Hello 2017

shutterstock_154633811As 2016 ends and you move on into the next year, take some time to review, to contemplate and to maybe mindfully meditate. Give yourself the opportunity to have a brake just for a day or two before you go back into your normal routine – to work, back to school or just your everyday life.  

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and a pen, and get your journal or notebook to write your answers.  Take a little time to create space and freedom to reflect on the past year. As we can learn a lot by reflecting the past year by celebrating your achievements even the small things, mourning your losses and being grateful for an eventful and challenging life.

Here are a few questions to get you started…

Reflective questions:

  1. What was your highlight/achievement of 2016?
  2. What was the most challenging/hardest thing that happened?
  3. Who were the most important people in your life last year?
  4. What was the most important thing that you learned last year?
  5. What was your biggest time waster in your life this past year?
  6. Choose 3 positive words to describe 2016
  7. Choose 3 negative words to describe 2016
  8. What was the best book you read
  9. What was the best film or programme you watched
  10. What was the best thing you experienced.
  11. In what ways did you grow either emotionally, physically or spiritually last year?
  12. What was the best use of your time last year?

Lastly, create a phrase or a short statement that describes this past year for you.

2017 Goal Setting

As you move forward looking into 2017 it is more helpful to think of solutions rather than resolutions. I don’t believe in resolutions because resolutions are plans and for most people plans rarely worked out particularly well. Its funny that resolutions are meant to bond us and be helpful because we all want to change something, like lose weight, stop a habit, learn something new like a language, play an instrument, add a skill or experience or start on that novel.

  1. Quit smoking, stop drinking, eat more healthily, do more exercise, or lose weight
  2. Stop procrastinating, improve motivation
  3. Become more confident, maybe more social
  4. Get more sleep, or improve quality of sleep
  5. Improve relationships or find a new relationship
  6. Find a better work/home life balance
  7. Improve financial situation
  8. Learn to let go of past hurts, traumas and find a new way to deal with issues
  9. Learn how to control your emotional responses
  10. What three things would you like to see or do this year?
  11. What would you like to change this year?
  12. If you got to December 31st 2017 – what would you regret not doing, saying, experiencing?

If you are feeling stuck or don’t know where to start then this is where I can help. Contact Sarah for a FREE no-obligation initial phone consultation on 07734 104421 or email

Find more balance, be happier, more resilient and successful by:

  1. Schedule some fun time everyday
  2. Stop overthinking and take action
  3. Believe in myself & tap into my confidence
  4. Let myself off the hook
  5. Remember my true worth
  6. Be prepared to take risks
  7. Take my needs seriously
  8. Be kind to myself
  9. Keep my sense of humour
  10. Appreciate everything I have… “I am grateful for….”

Well, there you have it, a list of advice and tips to help you see your New Year’s plans through and make some long-term changes in your life. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

Sarah Brambleby is an experienced Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Certified Havening Techniques® Practitioner and Certified BWRT® Practitioner. Registered with the Accredited Voluntary Register and a member of the both the National Hypnotherapy Society and the National Counselling Society accredited bodies. She uses an integrative approach with Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Havening Techniques®, BWRT®, EFT, CBT, Mindfulness and Coaching, in a safe and friendly non-judgemental therapeutic environment based at the Risborough Therapy Clinic in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire.

Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop – Sat 21st May

logoI am excited to be one of five complementary therapists from the Thames Valley area that have combined their expertise to create a workshop specifically to help with unexplained infertility.  It is a one day practical programme to assist couples or individuals who want to conceive and may be experiencing emotional and/or life stress.

Fertility and the ability to conceive is unique to you and your partner, there is no magic bullet and no one size fits all solution. Yet there are things that you can do to get your body and mind in their optimum state. We’ve created a practical workshop to help you gain unique insights and information for both mind and body, and you will get the chance to have your questions answered by our team of experts.

I am thrilled to be participating in a mind, body, fertility workshop. As a specialist in anxiety disorders there is so much that can impact the body at a sub conscious level. I thought it might be useful to understand why hypnotherapy is a very effective therapy with fertility issues…. Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop Flyer final.
There is a growing body of research on psychological aspects and the relationship with infertility. It is believed that psychological stress alters levels of cortisol (F), prolactin (PRL), and progesterone (P), which in turn have an adverse affect on pregnancy outcome. Whatever your specific psychological issues are, hypnosis assists by developing a new narrative around infertility and can remove negative emotional patterns and change thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

However regardless of which member of the couple may be experiencing the problem, the issue of infertility is still shared by the couple. Together the couple will have a much better understanding of what the other one is going through and be more supportive.

Typical fertility psychological issues:fertilityphoto

  • Performance pressures
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma (especially childhood trauma)
  • Pre-existing physical conditions or issues e.g. pain
  • Guilt
  • Grief/Loss
  • Loss of identity
  • Self esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger

Come and experience hypnosis for yourself during my workshop session and learn useful tools to manage your stress/anxiety to help you to move forward in your journey to pregnancy and beyond.

Workshop Booking Details:

Date: Saturday 21st May, 2016

Time: 9am – 6pm

Venue: Thame Barn Centre, Church Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3AJ

Costs: £195 each. £300 for couples. More information is available

To Book Eventbrite

For further information please contact either Sarah Brambleby on 07734104421 or Saffron Rogerson on 07926 004062. Restricted places available due to room size, so book as early as you can to avoid disappointment.

Downloadable Flyer Mind, Body, Fertility Workshop Flyer final


Self Harm Guide for Parents

shutterstock_134295569Although I work with people who are over 18 years old, I was struck by the increase of parents asking me for advice, after they have discovered their child self harming.

It’s almost impossible to say how many young people are self-harming. It is thought that around 13% of young people may try to hurt themselves on purpose at some point between the ages of 11 and 16, but the actual figure could be much higher.

In 2014, figures were published suggesting a 70% increase in 10-14 year olds attending A&E for self-harm related reasons over the preceding 2 years.

Girls are thought to be more likely to self-harm than boys, but this could be because boys are more likely to engage in behaviours such as punching a wall, which isn’t always recognised as self-harm or doesn’t come to the attention of hospitals. In reality self-harm doesn’t happen to one type of person, it can’t be predicted and scarily, we don’t really know how many people are going through it. This is all really vague, but you can take one thing away from it – you are not alone, whether you are harming or seeing someone you love or work with go though it. It’s more common than you think.

There is help and advice out there and I’ve listed a couple below that may help:

Oxford University Centre for Suicide Research

Young people’s self-harm can leave families confused, anxious and feeling like there’s nowhere to turn. Now, based on in-depth research with parents, a team from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry are launching a guide to help parents and carers who are trying to cope with this difficult situation. Coping with Self Harm Guide

Videos of some of the interviews with parents are also available online:


Selfharm UK is committed to helping people overcome difficulties with self-harm, providing information that can help children stay safe.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.

Self Havening – Do It Yourself!

Self Havening


Arm SH Face SH Palm SH





The following process is given as a guide for Self Havening:

  • Activate the specific emotional event that you want to work on by thinking about it as if it is happening to you at that moment. Once you have accessed the memory, rate your subjective unit of distress (SUD) level on a scale of 1-10, where 0 is not at all and 10 is extreme.
  • Now clear your mind and begin self-Havening by applying Havening touch on the face, arms or palms with repetitive circular movements as shown in the diagram about once per second.  At the same time, with your eyes closed, visualize walking up a flight of stairs counting out loud from 1-20 with each step. As you climb, imagine yourself becoming more calm and peaceful diminishing the distressing feelings exponentially.
  • On reaching the count of 20, begin to hum a familiar tune such as twinkle, twinkle little star or happy birthday for a two rounds.
  • As you continue applying the Havening touch on arms, face or palms take a deep breath in and then keep your head straight with your eyes look to the left and then to the right.
  • Close your eyes again, inhale deeply and breath out on the count of 5 whilst still applying Havening touch and then rate your SUD to track how much the emotion has reduced.
  • Repeat 2-4 times with a different Havening surface (beach, meadow, forest, swimming, running etc), or choose the same visualization and counting from 1-20 and hum your tune, or you can choose a different tune. Continue repeating Havening rounds until your SUD is at 0.

Havening is a powerful technique that some people may be left feeling a little ‘lost’ as they become accustomed to their new way of being. It can be necessary to help the client adjust to their new way of being and it is therefore recommended you seek further help as necessary. Havening is often used to complements many other methods of healing and personal development.

If you would like to find out more about practitioner training please visit

References and Further Reading
Ruden.R. Dr. When the Past is Always Present. Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. United States of America. ISBN 978-0-415-87564-6. 2011.

Communication can be so tricky!

Something happened recently to people I care about (keeping confidentiality) it reminded me that all to often poor communication seems the root cause to relationship breakdowns in families, or with friendships or between colleagues.

When it all goes wrong

What starts as a conversation can easily escalate into a fight in which the original issue gets forgotten/lost, you lose track of what you’re even yelling about, and nothing gets resolved. Even simple discussions turn into heated, unproductive arguments that ultimately damage their relationship (friends/family etc). Angry fighting leads to distance, yelling, sarcasm, insults, and name-calling undermine trust. This type of communication creates defensiveness and alienation, which makes it nearly impossible to address their issues together.

“The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. “
Writer, George Bernard Shaw

Art of communication

I believe that the ‘art of communication’ requires an awareness not only of how we are communicating with another person, but how we also communicate with ourselves. In this way you can bring out your authentic self, by making a conscious effort to bring out the best in someone else through your communication. Making communication less me-centric, or talking at someone rather than with them.   Although if you know that someone is spoiling for a flight, then make your excuses and leave it until the emotional intensity has subsided. Don’t let them use you as an emotional punchbag.

What is Mindful Communication?

Mindful communication is about talking to another person mindfully, it starts with awareness and then giving them the attention they deserve. So no matter who you are speaking with comes from a place that is present, kind and respectful for no other reason than that’s how you want to treat them and be treated in return.

Mindful communication:

  • Being present. Try to pick the most appropriate time and place for both parties and preferably no distractions (phones, tablets, tv). For example last thing at night you are likely to be tired and may not be the most suitable time of day.
  • Be prepared. Make some notes about what you want to say, read it out loud and see how it sounds to you. Keep to the point.  Make sure you are not using inflammatory language. Be aware of the tone and expressions you are using.
  • How does it sound? If it’s acceptable to you, thats great however, if it’s not, change it as you would want it said to you.
  • Listen – I mean really listen. Try not to interupt – we all have a tendency to do this and have had it done to us, but it really doesn’t help!
  • What does your body language say?  For example – have good eye contact. Your body language is also important as it often gives away so much information about you.  Body language can demonstrate how you really feel and it can conflict with your words/meaning.
  • Tone and expression. These are considered to be even more important than the words you use. So if its a difficult discussion that needs to happen – think about doing it face to face.
  • Remember that there are two sides to every communication. Acknowledge the other person’s point of view – you don’t have to agree with it but it helps them to be heard.  This can also help them to open up to you, and have the added benefit finding out any hidden agendas or games being played.
  • The Sandwich Method for difficult conversations. It should go without saying that all of your issues or criticisms (positive or negative) should be authentic and well thought out.  You should ask yourself the question – it is useful or do you really need to challenge/critique/feedback?  Does it have to be now or can it be deal with better at a later time?  Or will it just make a situation worse? For challenging situations try the ‘Sandwich method’…

The Sandwich Method

  1. Start off with positive feedback (authentic praise of something they did recently). Try and give some detail to it, so it will feel more in proportion to the feedback/criticism.
  2. Provide your constructive criticism.  Be brief, yet clear and thorough in your delivery of the feedback/criticism you want to share. Provide your constructive criticism. Ideally you are giving them constructive criticism on just one thing (at most two things)…I find criticism of 3 or more items is too much for a person to handle at one time. Additionally, try to give them the criticism in the context of how it can help them reach their goals.
  3. End on a positive note – Ideas on how to end with positivity include:
    You could simply reiterate the initial positive feedback/compliment you had given them.
    – You could speak in general terms about how much progress they are making.
    – You can compliment them on their receptiveness to receiving constructive feedback/criticism.

I’m not putting myself on any pedestal, as I’ve made plenty of mistakes too. However shutterstock_105969221I’ve noticed that as I continue practicing mindful speech and increased my listening skills, the ‘pot of gold’ at the end of my rainbow is that I’m seeing a positive impact with my children, family and friends. I’m sure I will occasionally mess up, but I can see how its made me a better person which is improving my ability to communicate more effectively in both my personal and business life.