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Sokalmia a method for working with Trauma

SokalmiaI have just completed my training on the Sokalmia® method which stands for Sensory Overloaded Kinesthetic Auditory Linguistic Mindfulness In Action. Malika Stephenson has created this wonderful therapeutic method that evolved through years of healing experience with hundreds of clients including many veterans.

Her unique Colour Calm Therapy is particularly helpful to use with clients that have suffered literally unspeakable trauma, or suffer from PTSD. As it is a non disclosure technique, clients don’t have to verbalise or even re-live their traumatic experiences.


Very exciting becoming a practitioner & using it with my clients…. This method is used alongside
other therapeutic techniques like Hypnotherapy, Havening Technique® to elicit fast, permanent change using language, metaphor and swift resolution for clients issues for example: PTSD, phobias, fear responses, dissociation, chronic pain, relationships, loss, grief, bereavement and anxiety.

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.

Havening Techniques

The Past is always presentIn April I attended the first of three stages to training in Havening Techniques (2 days) on a quest to become fully certified practitioner I’ve only got two more stages to complete but the standard of certification you will be pleased to know is very high.

The Havening Technique is a revolutionary approach being used to help people who are suffering from trauma, PTSD, phobias, anxieties, stress responses and many other issues.

The Havening techniques were developed by New York neuroscientist Dr Ronald Ruden a forward thinking medical doctor with a PhD in neuropharmacology (the study of brain chemistry), together with his brother Dr Steven Ruden and is also championed by Paul McKenna. See the website for more information and a list of fully certified practitioners

This method is designed to change the brain, to de-traumatise the memory and permanently remove its negative effects from both our psyche and body. Part of its protocol The Havening Technique uses the sensory input of human touch.  The practitioner (or the clients themselves) makes particular sweeps over the client’s arms and areas of the face and hands which triggers the delta waves in the brain. The delta waves in turn prompt helpful chemical chain-reactions in the amygdala. This removes specific AMPA Receptors from the surface of neurons in the amygdala where the traumatic event is ‘stored’. For some Craving Brainparticular uses of Havening there are also some distraction techniques used so that as the work is being done, the area of the brain storing the trauma is not constantly being re-activated.

The key is finding the original encoding event and to remove the trauma then use Event Havening (most commonly known), and a mix of other Havening techniques including: Transpirational Havening, Affirmational Havening, Outcome Havening and Role Havening. As extensive research continues and the ongoing use by practitioners the techniques will envitably evolve as our understanding grows.

Havening is very helpful to treat:

Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Abandonment Issues, Fears, Phobias, Distressing Memories, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anger, Grief, Guilt, Cravings, Compulsions, Emotional Eating, Depression, Stress, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Confidence Issues, Chronic Pain and more.

Once you’ve learnt how & when to do self-Havening, it is highly effective for everyone but particularly for those working in stressful situations (police, fire, ambulance, medical, lifeguard, forces etc). Havening is also having amazing results in emergency situations, particularly where traumatisation can potentially occur.

There is lots more information on the Havening website and videos
Watch Dr Ron Ruden on Vimeo video…
Dr Ronald Ruden, creator of The Havening Techniques™ explains:
“When an event or experience is perceived as traumatic, inescapable or very stressful, it becomes immutably encoded, often with life-altering consequences. However, recent research from the field of Neuroscience has shown us how it’s possible to modify this encoding. The Havening Techniques™ are methods which are designed to change the brain to de-traumatize the memory and permanently remove its negative effects from both our psyche and body.”

Paul McKenna, international best selling author and ‘one of the world’s most important self-help gurus’ (The Times of London’) Paul McKenna.Paul McKenna

‘Havening, also known as Amygdala Depotentiation Therapy (ADT) is going to change the face of therapy across the world. What used to take months to cure can now be done in minutes in most cases: PTSD, trauma, pain, depression and many more disorders. The initial study recently completed by King’s College London shows the remarkable effectiveness of this extraordinary set of processes. This is not to be confused with other psycho-sensory techniques, TFT, EMDR, etc. Whilst they are very good, Havening is light years ahead. If you want to be an excellent therapist, you can’t afford not to learn this breakthrough approach.’  Paul McKenna, Ph.D

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.


All change!!!

After very careful consideration I have decided to give up my marketing consultancy to focus my time and efforts on Hypnotherapy and Counselling from January 2015.  My website is in transition from its previous use and I am creating a new home for my therapy business.

I am also excited to announce that in January 2015, I will be operating out of the Risborough Therapy Clinic, Duke Street in the centre of Princes Risborough.

I will leave my previous posts on marketing related as there are some useful tips and advice.

10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Do you have a good business idea?  This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.

2. Is it viable? Before you’ve spent loads of money take the time to think about how viable your idea is. Is it something that people want and would actually pay for? Will it create enough of a profit to make it worth your while? Get a business plan template from a business bank or there are loads of resources online which can also help you.  Make sure you complete it with a good level of information and real hard data.

3. Who is your Target Market and who are your competitors? Be specific as you can, there are lots of benefits to you to know you market.  Be as clear as you can about this as it will help you in your communication, marketing and PR activities which should help you to have a better chance of creating selling opportunities.

4. What will it cost to provide or produce this product/service?  Use a business plan to ensure you have all the information to judge if this is viable or not. A good business plan will cover everything you need to creating a sound business, cutting corners could cost you dearly.  There is also another tool called a SWOT analysis can be used to assess the strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats internally and externally.

5. Do you have the people resources or do you have the necessary skills, expertise and experience necessary to make this idea work?  It might help you to pay close attention to your competitors to help you identify all the resources needed.  So should you go it alone or is time to get someone else involved?

6. Are you being professional?  It is so important to create a good first impression at all stages in the process.  Be professional in your communication and dealings with the bank, investors, potential alliance or supply chain partners and don’t forget  recruitment, as you never know who will be instrumental in helping you and your business succeed.

6. Do you have any suppliers or alliances?  Can these relationships also help you get to your target market – choosing the right supplier is important as your business will be judged on their work.

7. What tools or services will you need to be effective and free up your time?  A website is essential these days as its the most important tool to help you with your marketing, social media, PR creating sales opportunities. There are an amazing array of other web based tools that could be useful in running your business smoothly and cost effectively?

8. Are you competitive? By either offering something your competitors don’t, make sure you spend time on your pricing and promotions. Social Media can also play a significant role in helping to actively promote your business.  You can do it yourself as there is training widely available or employ an expert.

9. What is the customer experience? Often the key to a successful businesses will be ‘repeat’ business, so how can you make sure your product and/or service is the the best it can be.

10. What makes your customers ‘happy’?  If you don’t know you should find out through direct contact or surveys.

Its so easy to get caught up with the ‘proposition’ is for the customer, we forget how important to mention more about who we are, why we are passionate about what we do and how we are differentiate ourselves from the majority of our competitors.  We all know that people buy from people (with some exceptions).  In the services world your main competitive advantage could be as simple as ‘you’ – all your knowledge which could be considered your greatest asset. The combination of your skills, your experiences and your personality that can make all the difference.

My top tip is to briefly describe your story and make sure you really highlight what is special/diffferent about you or your business.  If you need some help contact Sarah Brambleby for a free initial consulation on 07734104421 or email

Strategic Alliances work….

During the last couple of years I have become part of a strategic alliance with other members of Athena Networks for Women in particular with Lorraine Cheney of Navitas Design, WordPress web-developers specialists in creating on-line environments. We also work with our graphic designers Julie Lodge of Jamtastic Design and Sue Aperghis they have the talent to be able to design websites and other printed material so that they are not only eye catching but are practical and easy to navigate. Kelly Jo Hearsey of Kelly Jo Photography provides stunning portraits and commercial photography which can tell a visually engaging story essential for all websites or for promotional materials. We also work with a wide range of other suppliers based upon the needs of the client including SEO & social media experts, video producers, PR consultants and management consultants.

We really enjoy working together because we know each other’s skills and expertise and we share a common ethos which is ‘great quality services at affordable prices’. Our alliance improves customer satisfaction and our combined creativity and experience definitely produces a better end product.

Strategic Alliance blog

Debbie Winfield of Debbie Winfield Accountancy started a new company recently and needed our help with a new logo, business stationery and to create a new engaging contemporary website.

“The collaborative team, including Sarah, Lorraine and Julie, have done an excellent professional job in creating my new website.

Sarah listened to my ideas, talked to me about my developing business and past experience and used her extensive experience to develop a clear marketing strategy. Sarah coordinated the design and development with the team and created the content.

Julie has done an amazing job in creating a professional friendly feel to the designs for my new business logo and to the website design that exactly conveys the look and feel that I wanted.

Lorraine through her technical expertise brought the website to life and provided a very professional service throughout the website development process and my on-going support needs.

Kelly is an amazing person and a fantastic photographer. She is truly professional and has the wonderful ability to put those she works with at ease and it is a pleasure to work with her.

Not only has it been a pleasure to work with them all throughout this project, they have made it so easy for me to launch my new business. I would highly recommend this collaborative team for their professional marketing services.” Debbie Winfield FCCA, Debbie Winfield Accountancy Limited

If you would like more information on our professional marketing services, please call Sarah Brambleby on 07734 104 421.

Confused or frustrated with social media?

As a small business owner we often have to wear so many hats – we end up having to do jobs that we do not have any experience or expertise.  Is the answer to outsource or to learn how to do the role ourselves?  Only you can decide based upon need, financial ability or interest.  So how do we continue to deliver our products and or services and have enough time to do all this social media across our chosen platforms and to a decent quality and quantity?

It’s not easy particularly as not all social media activity achieves:

  1. Quality – in terms of giving useful hints, tips and news.
  2. Quantity – how will our messages be received – too much information and too often be a turn off.
  3. Authentic – be a support to our brand/image.

So how come we often get it either so wrong or not enough?

I do not hold myself up as an expert in this area – only that I understand what I’m doing and what the SM tools should do for any business.  My own frustration is one of bandwidth – the time to do my own social media and as often as I can to help my clients or to be useful to other SME’s.

So the answer has to be a combination of strategy and planning.  Also based upon the level of expertise it could require some training and facilitation.

  1. Decide on your Communication Strategy – This includes Social Media but you need to consider all the areas/vehicles for you communication e.g. email, newsletters, blog, website.
  2. Decide on the few communication vehicles/methods/tools – You do not need to do them all – so where are your target market or current clients.
  3. Plan your diary / or outsource – If you want your business to be successful you need to commit to communicate with your target market or existing clients.  So what is it to be?

If you need help and advice I work with Social Media experts that can help you and your business gain the right level of training or assistance.  Call Sarah on 07734104421 for more information.


Over 90% of websites don’t work….

Would you build a house without an architect or a plan?

Too many business owners rush into a new website without first assessing the potential risk of going with the wrong provider. Before you even engage a web designer or developer there is often more work needed to provide essential information.  For example do you have:

  • Business plan with clear business goals?
  • Marketing strategy?
  • Knowledge about your specific market or ideal client?
  • Written value proposition?
  • Any evidence / credibility?

I’m not suggesting you need all these elements with loads of information, it should be appropriate to the size and complexity of your business. It makes me sick to my stomach just how many people have lost thousands of pounds putting their trust in the hands of so called experts and have paid a very heavy price.  Wasting not only money, but your time and the stress/frustration of having to live with it until you can afford to do something else. So can you afford to make a mistake?

So what is the missing link – ‘me’ of course a marketing consultant.  Your website needs to not only attract visitors, but keep them long enough to convert them into buyers and that is a specialist skill you need on your side.  We play a vital role acting as an advocate for the client, providing the right level of advice and support, to help with any areas of work and appropriate actions needed.

Together with my trusted business partners we can provide a one-stop shop that can help you to create an affordable professional website or support your marketing needs.  Call Sarah on 07734104421 for more information or a FREE 30 minutes consultation.



Need help to strengthen your value proposition?

All too often essential steps are missed when developing a value proposition, which increases the risk of costly mistakes.  Strengthen your proposition by asking vital questions and take the time to make sure you include some competitive/market research.

I feel awful when my client’s admit just how much money they have wasted on their marketing and sales activities.  They didn’t stand a chance of working because they have missed out some of these essential questions:

  1. What product/service/solution you are proposing?
  2. What is different and/or unique about this offering?
  3. How will does this address a client’s pain or pleasure?
  4. Who are your target market (be as specific as possible)?
  5. How will it be priced and packaged?
  6. How does this compare with your key competitors?
  7. What are your routes to market (Direct/Indirect)?
  8. Do you have any evidence that this proposition is attractive and works?

If you need help with your next steps call Sarah Brambleby for a FREE initial telephone consultation on 07734104421.