Victoria Telfer-Smith Counselling & Hypnobirthing
in Loughborough, near Leicester

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Try some relaxation.

What is TFT (Tapping)?

Thought Field Therapy was developed by Roger Callahan, an American psychologist, over 25 years ago. He discovered that when an individual experiences a traumatic event, we have an emotional memory which "sticks" to it. This can be compared to a fault on an electricity wire, causing disruption to our energy flow.
TFT is based on using Acupuncture points (meridian points). Simple tapping with the fingertips on specific points on the body (face, chest, hands) is performed by the client whilst thinking about their specific problem. Its non-invasive, safe and natural,and has been known to have fast results. Through 'tapping' the meridians, we can re-programme the memory, taking away the distress, and breaking free of the chains holding you back. You DO NOT have to discuss the scenario, only think about the related feelings.

What can it help with?

Clients have found relief from a varying range of traumas. The list includes, but is not exclusive to:

~Anxiety & depression
~Panic attacks
~Phobias and fears, such as flying, spiders, lightning, snakes etc and exam fears
~Addiction (alcohol, food etc)
~Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
~Improved confidence
~Anger, Jealousy & Grief
~Public Speaking / Sports Performance

~Chronic Pain

Thought Field Therapy(TFT/Tapping). change

Can we see our emotional hurt?

Sometimes we feel meh! Our body may hurt, our muscles are tense, we have a headache and our teeth are sore! Our hands don't move with the usual swiftness that they have and as we walk we may plod along and even stumble. Our face may reflect a deep sadness or anguish only glimpsed as a flash as we move through our day waiting for it to end.
Sometimes we may have experienced our reality being denied to us by a significant other or a person in authority. It can be highly influential in how we interpret our experience. We may reach out to these people for support in moments of hurt or crisis and we can be met with a "it's not that bad" response.
How do you respond, or not, to this when you face a situation that is hard?
Sometimes people can turn the pain inwards to themselves rather than face the vulnerability of being rejected by others, just a small gesture can feel devastating. If we keep our pain in us no-one can hurt us further because we are holding on to it.
Whilst this works for a short time, over time the pain becomes heavy and bigger, by ignoring it we give it weight so it can feel like screaming.

thoughts from me. Library Image: Sad Woman

What do you do with hurt........?

What do we do with emotional pain? If I have physical pain I can take a pain killer, usually Paracetamol, to ease the discomfort. We can also cry, shout Aw! Get angry, be sad, in fact if we get physically hurt we go to our emotions to help us deal with it, as well as drugs!

But what do we do with an emotional pain? Do we recognise it in the same way we do our physical pain, or do we hide from it and pretend it does not hurt. Downplay it, minimize it, deny it, give it to someone else?

If all humans crave comfort from others is one of the easiest ways to deal with emotional pain, to pass it onto someone else?

Alternatively, can we go to the same human reactions we use for physical pain, cry, shout aw! Feel sad or angry? Do we then judge ourselves for being "weak" because we "let them get to us"? If we get hurt by a punch in the mouth and admit to ourselves that it hurts, are we weak, or being honest about how that felt? If someone ignores our text and we admit to ourselves that it hurts to be ignored, are we again weak or expressing an honest feeling? How do we get a remedy if someone has hurt us because they said something that made us feel bad?

We can ask them to say sorry. We need to give them the chance of doing this and also let them know that we got hurt in the first place.

There are three parts to saying sorry that make it work. The first is the word, saying you are sorry and knowing what you did was not right. The second is admitting your mistake and the hurt it caused, the third is asking how can I make it better and make it right? The important part is that we respect ourselves and each other by being aware and confident enough to know that we can cause pain to each other, by mistake, and once we admit it we can address what has happened. Anything else is just toxic!

Are there any other useful ways to deal with our emotional pain? Some people write a journal, others cry at a film (whilst really crying for themselves) some do exercise and some go directly to the cause of their pain and alert them to it!

I think this is a part of human life that is so easily hidden, but the pain is so very real.

thoughts from me. Library Image: Depressed Man

What happens when we don't show our hurt....?

Sometimes people can try to find a way to hide the pain they feel, it can be because the pain they feel expressing their pain is worse than the original pain. Like, when a child is told not to cry so much, or just simply, Don't Cry! Mostly, children believe what they are told by adults, so they probably stop, but tears are a natural way to feel pain or sadness. Hence, the confusion and anguish start! This is something men may have had said to them, boys don't cry!

There is evidence that humans have to have an outlet for emotions, hurt is part of that. We can turn it inwards and start to hurt ourselves with our critical inner voice, or outwards in a rage against the community.

We can also use alcohol or drugs to take the edge off the pain, or to disguise it completely. Addictions can be a way to deal with the emotional pain people feel. These, of course, have their own effect on us, which often need to be dealt with before the hurt.

thoughts from me. water

Breaking Waters

If your waters break; there is no need to panic and go to the hospital right away. You may have been told that there is an increased risk of infection, but if labour starts within 24 hours, the risk is not increased. If labour is slow and starts 24 hours after the membranes have broken, there is a chance of infection.
It is better to start to relax, have a bath, watch tv or get a good nights sleep. You do not need to be induced or have a vaginal examination, just say "No thank you!" Research says induction can lead to slower labour, more painkillers and Caesaren section.
Sheila Kitzinger, The New Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Pain and labour.........!

Most of us when we think about giving birth we think of pain, many a joke is made out of it. And like most jokes, it is a cover for fear, like gallows humour!

There is a lot of evidence about how fear effects us and our bodies, muscles start to tense and adrenaline starts to be produced. Why is this, well, our primitive brain kicks in when we start to feel frightened, this happens without our knowledge, it is involuntary! Then it is all systems go and we start to prepare for danger, hence muscles tension and adrenaline! Lots of other stuff happens, but the focus today is on this.

Ok, so you go in to labour and feel frightened, your brain thinks it is danger so prepares.........This is where the situation can become painful. During labour you need muscles in the Uterus to be working at there optimum, full of blood and ready for action! If you feel frightened, the brain has focused blood etc to vital 'keep you alive' muscles like the heart! The Uterus is deprived and becomes tense, starting the pain cycle that Grantly Dick-Reid identified:


Take away the fear, with information, relaxations, videos, affirmations and you can birth with less intense pain. The muscles working feels intense, but once that contraction has gone, it will not be back!

Pre term babies and the umbilical cord

Research at Nottingham City Hospital has found that leaving babies who are premature attached to the placenta can help them with more oxygenated blood, and therefore a better chance of survival. The cord is usually cut at 10 seconds after birth, leaving it for longer is a new thing, and also a trust in the body and baby to help themselves!

At Nottingham City Hospital they are leaving it for 2 minutes and the benefits are being felt in that it reduces the chances of a baby dying. Professor Jim Thornton Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Nottingham talks parents through what they are going to do and they mostly agree, in-fact none have objected to the cord being cut quickly.

New borns also can have the cord left after birth, or not, but they are swaying to leave it for longer than the usual rush as the baby is born, which has been seen to have health benefits.

thoughts from me. blog pic

Hypnobirthing and celebrities

If you are pregnant you may have been told, or heard, about this new age thing called hypnobirthing, indeed you may well know that Duchess Kate used it whilst giving birth to all three of her children, including, Louis, her last child. In fact, lots of other celebrities used it to give birth, including Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Gisele Bündchen. Gisele said "It wasn't painful, not even a little bit. The whole time, my head was so focused – every contraction, the baby is closer, the baby is closer. So it wasn't like, ‘Oh what pain.' It was, ‘With every contraction, he is getting closer to me.’”
This said, hypnobirthing is about that, becoming so focused on what you are doing that pain does not come into it because the sensations have a purpose, they are delivering your baby to you! There are no strange displays or rituals, no potions or chanting’s! Just you, your partner, the staff and midwife, and your baby! Whether you give birth at home or in hospital, if you have a c-section, you can still use hypnobirthing and not have to rely on drugs.
OK, I know it is ok to say “I want drugs, I am not giving birth without them!!” other women and mums will look on with familiarity and a wry smile of knowingness. A kind of solidarity is made, all mums together, something just for us that the men can’t touch! I have heard new mums talk to new fathers about the suffering of childbirth as if it is good to be in pain and they are much stronger to endure pain.
Just watching an episode of EastEnders with Hayley and Kim, both pregnant, Hayley states; “Give me all the drugs you can!” This made Kim laugh out loud! And, yes, it is funny, but it can be scary. This humour hides a fear and an expectation that it will be painful, that your body will be unable to do it without the use of drugs and medical assistance. However, this is a different pain, one of a kind, more an intense muscle involuntary surge of energy! And, you will meet your baby at the end of it! How good is that?
Yet, this is your body and baby, the midwife will have already told you about the drugs that are available, and the side effects and after effects on you and your baby. With hypnobirthing you can avoid the drugs, or at least hold off for as long as you can!
You may wonder if this is a new thing, it is not, hypnosis isn’t and this is a specialist type of that. In fact, in 1933 Dr Grantley Dick-Reid, an obstetrician, published his book Childbirth Without Fear. He noticed that the one thing that was missing in an easy birth, was fear! If you feel fear your body will divert oxygen and blood to vital organs like the heart and the uterus will have less, therefore, the muscles will be tense and cause pain. Hypnobirthing can allow you to focus on the birth, rather than the pain! Classes are a good way to do this, but you can always find a practitioner and have sessions with them on a one-to-one basis.
Hypnobirthing babies are much calmer and have a higher APGAR score at birth, this is the test that is done at birth and then again at 5 minutes old. It scores the wellness of the baby including; activity, pulse, grimace, appearance, respiration. Basically, muscle movement, pulse rate, reflex movement, pink skin colour and breathing quality.
Why not give it a try, it will not interfere with your baby and it will not stop you from having medical help, if necessary. You have nothing to lose!

Hypnobirthing and childbirth from a long time ago.......................!

So celebrities like Hypnobirthing, well does that make us all want to use it, are we persuaded? Would we be more persuaded if we learnt about the roots of our current perceptions of childbirth.

For example, on the whole, bodily functions are not painful. Period pains are muscle contractions and can be intense, but most women manage them quite well. The history of pain in childbirth is quite a surprising one, and can get a little political! The relationship between man and women is at play. Giving life is the purpose of a human, women do it!

I do not see much about the origins of pain in childbirth, because it is a strange situation of control, oppression and humanity at its worse! Childbirth in time has changed dramatically to what it is today, women do not regularly die in labour, for one!

Fear attached to childbirth has been around for centuries, Eves Curse is written in the Bible that childbirth shall be painful, if not excruciating so that a women can pay for the sin of having sex! Is that thinking relevant today?

thoughts from me. period

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
― Narcotics Anonymous

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

― Aristotle

thoughts from me. Chinese listen

Whilst studying my tutor brought this to my attention, he was also a fellow Carl Rogers fan! The picture is a Chinese character, the Chinese culture is ancient and with this sometimes comes wisdom, I feel this is a wonderful expression of how insightful language can be and how a word can have depth and meaning beyond first glance.

The character translates to our equivalent of to listen. It has five different strands to it, which add depth and intensify the meaning. This is the best way to explain Active Listening, which is what my counselling is about! They are as follows:

  • ear - of course this is the actual apparatus we all use to hear with, even with an aid we still listen with it. It is on the whole left side of the character.

  • king - obey and pay attention, as if the other person were a king! This is at the right top side, this side represents the individual, what you do and you!

  • ten and eye - observe as if you had ten eyes! Heed the talker! Next down on the character.

  • one - listen with your undivided attention, attend to the talker as if they were the only one in your world. Following onward on the character.

  • heart - listen with your heart, hearken and be empathic. the final part of the symbol.

  • Counselling is Active Listening, most of us do not feel listened to by, well everybody! Once we have experienced Active Listening we realise the difference it can make.

    The purpose of this blog is to inform, enhance and widen your experience of your self and your life. To make suggestions, to share thoughts and to perhaps persuade change!
    Enjoy the challenge!

    I find this very inspiring and hope that you do to! It is challenging and thought provoking, yet also calming and relieving.

    Albert Ellis was a leading American psychologist. He is considered the founder of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and the second most influential psychologist in history. I quote

    The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. Your realise that you control your own destiny.

    Albert ellis has written many books and been awarded Humanist of the Year in 1971. His humanist philosophies, I feel, are to the core of life, we each hold the answers to who we are. We are the experts on ourselves and have the power to change behaviour by influencing thinking.

    thoughts from me. wheat

    thoughts from me. sallybrampton

    Sally Brampton, journalist, columnist, thinker. RIP

    Have read that Sally took her own life last week by walking into the sea and drowning. This is very sad as she suffered from Depression and had written a book 'Shoot the damn dog', which was about depression and the effects on family and the self. I read Elle magazine, which she was editor, and read her column in The Sunday Times Style Magazine every month and week. I was an avid fan, her work was person driven, frank, honest and valid. She disclosed her illness to her readers and talked about her own life on occasion. She was also a fan of counselling therapy and CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy). Here is a link to her webpage Sally

    thoughts from me. picresize

    Rainy Days

    People sometimes feel that a rain filled day has nothing to offer and makes you feel sad and depressed. While it is true that the actual weather is called a depression and the low clouds, lack of sunshine and wind can feel oppressive depression itself is more than merely feeling low on a rainy Monday. Depression is an illness, feeling low on rainy day is nothing more than a fantasy. What, wait a minute, a fantasy is a nice thing not a horrible sad day, well a fantasy can bring comfort in the form of a excuse to feel sad, which can be what is needed at that time. Remember all the people who cry at funerals and they had never met the deceased, the same, an allowance of feelings. Depression is a real illness, you cannot see it, but the effects can be devastating.

    I want to come back to a lady I admired greatly and who suffered with Depression, Sally Brampton, who died. Here are some of her wisdom's;

    Rule number one: Never interfere in anybody else's relationship.

    There are always thorns amid the blooms.

    I've learnt there is no such thing as an ordinary life.

    resentment is corrosive, it eats into our hearts and souls and lives.

    No is not a word we like, because people may not like us.

    It is all to easy to allocate blame, but, in the end, it becomes a prison of our own making.

    Platitudes are of no use to anybody.


    I wanted to talk about death here. It is a big, big topic and deserves thoughtful navigation and contemplation, so I shall start with this quote by Irvin D Yalom, who is an American Psychotherapist and Author of several books and films. I feel it gives a good insight into a sensitive and anxious subject, that is both personal and arbitrary, at the same time.

    ".....the more unlived your life, the greater your death anxiety. The more you fail to experience your life fully, the more you will fear death." Irvin D Yalom; Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death

    I feel this captures how some of us feel about death, that it is the talk that we put off and let slide, till we can no longer. Not living our lives the way we want to, throws us into turmoil and fear, chaotic feelings are the result. We feel unhappy with life, and therefore, fear death because it is the end, we look at the time we have left and think that it is up too soon.

    Bronnie Ware is an author, song writer, singer and carer for the dying. She has written a book titled The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying - A life Transformed by the Dearly Departing here are the 5 in essence;

  • 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

  • 2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

  • 3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

  • 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

  • 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    I think these are really important messages , it can be inspiring to live better with more emphasis on ourselves and what makes us happy. Go climb that mountain, swim that channel or learn to be a hairdresser! Through exploration of ourselves we gain clarity of our values and what is important to us and we understand ourselves more. What could be better for a fulfilling life!

    thoughts from me. lily

  • mmmmmm.........

    "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"
    -Dr Seuss

    “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
    ― Marilyn Monroe

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ― Oscar Wilde

    thoughts from me. holding hands


    It can be a very common feeling, some people may not talk to another person all day. It was It's time to talk day day yesterday 2nd February, organised by Rethink Mental Illness group.
    Our perception of loneliness can be distorted, we can feel ashamed and isolated in out modern lives. This can lead to other illness and depression.
    There are various strategies we can implement to overcome this feeling, the first one can be to strike up a conversation with, the thought may feel hard, but go on! It is the first step.

    A feeling we all experience from time to time, or a lot ore than that! Mostly we don't admit to what it is we are nervous about, either to ourselves or each other, but we all don't want to feel it. It can stop us being and doing what we want in life. Mostly it stops us being happy!

    A great way to work on nervous feeling is to give them a voice, speak whatever makes you nervous!

    Then poke fun at it, have a laugh at what it is.

    Finally, get on and do what you wanted to do, success! - Thordis Elva South of Forgivness

    You can do all this, and more in a counselling session with me, just call for a session.

    Thordis Elva, how wonderful and special you are.

    This woman is hugely accomplished in her home of Iceland, but has also written a book and done a TED talk talk about her experience of rape, sexual violence and forgiveness.

    The book is titled South of Forgivness and is available to purchase now form her website, follow the link. The book is written with Tom Stranger who was he boyfriend at age 16, and the one who committed the offence. It is a heartfelt, startling, honest, brutal, frightening, wonderful and most of all hopeful book, I feel it is the best book I have ever read!

    Sexual violence is a blight on our world, it effects everything we do. Not only is the survivor effected, but those around, close family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, anyone who knew the survivor. If we can understand what happens to the victim and end the shame, we may be able to converse about the wider issues. We need to start a dialogue about this situation.

    thoughts from me. thordis and tom

    thoughts from me. broken


    I have been reading a book written by a very courageous lady. She was attacked, gang raped, tortured and beaten all at age 13. Her memoir is called Unbroken by Madeleine Black. She has overcome this horrible event and has a great life now. It is a story of a woman's bravery in the face of shame and anguish, and self blame.
    Click here for a link to her website and I am sure you will also be in awe of her.

    A Chinese saying, One who cannot forgive, digs two graves.

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