As you may be aware Vaping is becoming very common/popular with young people and it is seen as being ‘cool’ and helping them become part of a ‘tribe’ and being accepted. Many adults are also moving from smoking to vaping with the belief that it is ‘harmless’.

Vapes are readily available which increases the temptation to purchase them, and you have probably seen that vaping has been quite high profile in the news recently. 

New studies suggest that vaping is not has harmless as once thought. It is still early days when it come to research about the physical effects that vaping can course. However, from the studies it has found that vaping can cause changes in the cells of the body which could lead to significant damage and that vaping impacts on sleep quality. Nicotine has simulative properties which could result in poor sleep. 

As we know having significant impact on sleep quality can increase our stress levels leading to an increased likelihood of developing anxiety and poor mental health.  

Researchers examined how mindfulness can reduce the chances of a young person taking up vaping. 

If you would like help to give up vaping please do contact me.  

The Pebble Ridge Pup!

I would like to welcome Brian Bamboo to The Pebble Ridge Practice! 

Brian is a Black Labrador Pup who has joined our family and I hope to have him working with me as a Wellbeing Dog.

Brian will have to wait until he is 18months old and go through some rigorous training and pass his tests to be officially part of The Pebble Ridge Practice Team!

A Wellbeing dog helps to lower the stress hormone Cortisol and help people feel more relaxed in session.

I will be keeping you all updated to how he is doing!

Communication-Two sides to every story?!

You may be surprised how much on average we really do retain and remember accurately, word for word in a conversation and in learning!

Immediately: 100%

After 20minutes: 58%

After 1hour: 44%

After 9hours: 36%

After 1 day: 33%

After 2 days: 28%

After 6 days:25%

After 31 days: 21%

So it is no wonder that we have different sides to the story!

A lot of what we remember is how we perceive the conversation.

The WORDS can be quite insignificant (only 10%!), as we take more notice of the TONE of voice (40%) and the most importantly the BODY LANGUAGE (50%)

So this is why we say ‘…..but that is what you meant!’ as we can’t EXACTLY remember the words therefore we go straight to the tone and body language to interpret what we perceive was said!

Did You Know…?

Did you know…..
Hypnotherapy has a 93% success rate, with fewer sessions than more tradition therapies? This has led researchers believe that hypnosis is the most effective method for changing thought patterns, habits and behaviour, saving YOU time and money!!

Contact me for your 15minute FREE initial consultation to how I can help you.
Working with young people and adults

#anxiety #therapy #mentalhealth

Therapy for Children and Young People

If you are a parent or carer with a child/young person suffering with anxiety, stress or low mood, it is really hard to find help. The NHS children services are great but in most regions are overstretched with very long waiting lists, leaving parents desperate for help.

Most people will go down the traditional route of CBT or counselling, however most young people don’t know why they feel as they do or find it very hard open up and talk about the problem.

Solution Focused Therapy is an evidenced and outcome based approach and very often I work with young people who either don’t want to, or are unable to talk about the problem and I have no knowledge of what has brought them to me.

We focus on their desired outcome for example: to be more confident or have higher self-esteem.

Session help to give them an understanding of how their brain is working and what their part is in moving forward, with sessions being positive, interactive and relaxing. Each session is bespoke to your young person and they have the choice to how their sessions are run.

If your young person wants you present, that is absolutely fine, if fact I always keep in touch with parents/carers for feedback to progress.

As to  how many sessions and how often, it is very difficult to say, but we go session by session and usually have one or two weeks gap between sessions.

If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch and I would be happy to arrange a call.

Therapy or Sandwich?

Therapy or Sandwich?

I was inspired to write this blog about therapy after watching my partner, Chris, make his sandwiches for work! Yes, this may seem very strange but it all suddenly became clear to me about the different approaches for therapy.

Let me explain…. so, there are many different approaches of therapy available for example Counselling, EMDR, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and of course, Solution Focused Therapy.

All therapy is good and it is all about finding the right approach for you. Therapies have been extensively researched, adapted and refined to become evidence based approaches…. so….what has this got to do with Chris’s sandwich??

Think of each therapy as a popular sandwich filling: cheese, chicken, bacon etc.….. Each one to the right person tastes amazing and because we like it, manufacturers keep making them and we keep buying them. However, Chris’s sandwich was a very unusual combination of… wait for it…. Cheese/egg/lettuce/mayonnaise/mustard/curry sauce and pickle!! Each individual one being very tasty but putting them all together made a jumble of flavours of which it became almost impossible to define each individual filling.

Evidenced Based therapeutic approaches have a similar concept, each one has been well researched and proven to be effective, but when mixed with different approaches it becomes Chris’s sandwich, a jumble of flavours. Some therapist keep adding ‘new tools to their tool kit’ and combining different therapies which ends up as a made up approach with no evidence behind it to say it is effective.

I am an experienced and qualified Pure Solution Focused Therapist with one tool in my tool kit, however my tool is a Multi Tool, and I work with the person not the problem…. and Chris makes his own sandwiches with lots of different fillings!!

How long do I have session for?

This is a question I have been asked a lot, and with Solution Focused Therapy I would expect you to have fewer sessions that the more traditional therapies. I would also expect to have a longer time between sessions (2-3 weeks), and this is to give you chance to see how you cope with life’s ups and downs using your newly learnt coping strategies. On average I may see clients between 2-6 times, although I continue to see clients that I have worked with for years who see therapy as maintaining their good mental health. They see mental health the same as physical health as in if we stop exercising we lose fitness. My clients of all ages love the sessions as they leave feeling empowered and relaxed.

Questions… Questions… Questions

I find that many people have questions about hypnotherapy and how the sessions run, and I wanted this blog to hopefully answer some of them for you but if I have missed something out that you would like to ask, please do contact me and I will always be happy to answer.

So… what is Solution Focused hypnotherapy?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a combination of two therapies, a modern talking therapy-Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Hypnotherapy which has proved to be quick working, relaxing and positive. This therapy was discovered by David Newton, one of the worlds most highly reputable hypnotherapists who has gone on to be the director and senior course lecturer at the prestige Clifton Practice in Bristol.

The term “Solution-Focused” is really becoming word of the moment and many companies are now implementing Solution Focused strategies rather than problem focused.

Many talking therapies are problem focused, asking clients to re-live experiences and unpicking the issue they came in with and this can cause more challenges. These types of therapies can be very effective as with all therapies, but it is important to find one that suit you best.

Another way of looking at it is if you had a bad back and lots of people will recommend a treatment that worked for them, for example, a Chiropractor, Physio or an Osteopath. All the treatments are great but it is getting one that is right for YOU.

By the time many of my clients contact me they have tried other therapies and/or have been to their GP and by the time they look into Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapy they are feeling talked out and fed up with re-living their past experiences that can make them feel anxious, depressed or angry. They want to move forward in their lives…thus Solution Focused Therapy, concentrating on how you feel right now (the present) and how you would like to feel/be and what your best hope are for the future.

What if I want to talk about the problem?

We are very client led and do give you time to talk, however, we will limit this and then facilitate you to moving towards a preferred future encouraging you by using Solution Focused Questions to come up with your own solutions and positive coping strategies. We will also help you in identifying any exceptions and what life would look like to you if the problem was no longer there.

What can Clinical Solution Focus Hypnotherapy help me with?

 It can help with many very different problems such as Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Panic attacks, Low confidence and self-esteem, weight management, Post-natal depression, Grief, giving up smoking, Fears and phobia and so much more..

In fact if you have a problem that you feel you just haven’t ‘dealt’ with and can get over or feel that you just want to get back to the real you, then Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapy may just be what you are looking for.

What happens in a typical session?

Following an initial consultation where we will gather information and give a good  explanation of how your brain is working in relation to how you feel, sessions usually run with the client being asked to identify what has been good and how they coped/solved in the previous week. This sounds fairly easy but if you are suffering it can be quite a challenge, but with practice, help and guidance it can be enormously powerful in improving someone’s mood.

We will then remind you of how the brain is working, referencing parts from the initial consultation. We will not tell you what you should or should not do on the basis that you are the expert on you and only you will know what is best.

Next we will identify what small step can be taken to work towards the preferred future and when is a good time to be able to do this.

Finally it is the couch work, where the client will get to lie down and enjoy a wonderful relaxation session of guided imagery and direct and indirect language to induce that lovely trace relaxation state. You will be reminded that you are always in control and you will always be able to hear everything around you. My clients just love the couch work and always want to just stay there longer!

If there is something I have missed for you would like to book an Initial Consultation, please do contact me and we can have an informal chat about how I can help you.

Can remember a time without your phone or without the internet?

Can remember a time without your phone or without the internet?

Or maybe a time when you weren’t glued to your phone?

Image result for on the phone

You may remember making eye contact with people on the train or bus or giving your family and friends 100% of your attention?

If we go back a bit further, depending on your age, you may remember a time in which agreeing to meet someone at 10am meant meeting them at 10am, not texting to say you’ll be late or changing the destination last minute.

We had to be punctual and stick to the plans and only having a landline available to make calls. If we fast forward to right now in 2019, smartphones and social networks have changed our lives beyond recognition.

Children and young people are now growing up entirely in the digital age and can prioritize communicating through smartphones over real-life interactions.

97% percent of college students are distracted by phones in class, with 66% of younger students frequently losing their chain of thought when stopping to send a text.

Teenagers spend around 9 hours a day staring at the screen and worse still, is the worrying fact that social media can lead to anxiety, depression and poor sleep.

Image result for mobile phone

Technology has invaded our lives to the point where it has become the last think we see at night and the first thing we reach for in the morning.

Technology is not a bad thing at all, it is very sophisticated and without it we would find life harder than necessary and there are enormous benefits from having the all the advancements of technology but it does have another side to it, contributing to the amount of mental health conditions, such as Anxiety, Depression and Mental health .

Just the thought of switching devises off and being without technology, even for a short period of time can induce anxiety but it is all about balance.

Sleep and devices:

  • Turn off all devices! 71% of us keep our mobile phones switched on in our bedroom at night, increasing the risk that our sleep will be disturbed. Blue light from devices can affect your sleep. Blue wavelengths are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood, but they can be disruptive at night.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland in the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood circulatory system. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes much more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours, all through the night, and before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.

Negativity with social media:

Social media and our devices are now our once old fashioned address books that we used to write friends and families contact details in. With the world being far more sophisticated, all these details are at the touch of a button but unfortunately there can be a spread of negativity and by opening our lives to social media, we are open to reading and seeing criticism, aggression and negativity, which in turn triggers the fight/flight response in our brains building anxiety, lowering our mood and lowering our confidence.

We have the power to choose our settings, our friends and our preferences but very often we don’t take the control.


Instant messaging allows us to reach anyone in the world we might want to contact. Yet the same technologies have put ringing, flashing, vibrating bells in our homes, at our workstations, in our pockets. Most of us even take them to bed. This can cause anxiety in itself but messages can be misinterpreted and the worry of why someone hasn’t instantly responded you your message (and you know they have seen it) will have an instant effect on your stress levels. When you read a text message, you are reading from your own feelings and emotions at that time.  Communication is 70% unspoken and you are unable to see and read the body language or hear the tone of voice is it any wonder that the subtle gets lost and misunderstood in a simple bit of text.


Switching off

Image result for switch off your phone

Do you ever switch off your device? Do you have the fear you might miss something? Research shows that the average time an email is answered is 2 minutes and messaging is even quicker.  We give instant access to anyone who demands it and we worry if we can’t reply instantly or they can’t.  Is that sound rational?  In reality, what would the impact of switch devices off for short periods be in your life?

How to reduce the Anxiety around devises

The key word is slowly! Mental health and wellbeing will improve by taking slow gradual steps to reduce the amount of invasion technology has on your life. Opportunities to start with could be:

Bedtime boundaries – do not take technology to bed with you.  If you need an alarm clock, buy an alarm clock. Switch off your device because subconsciously you will know nothing is coming in and you will be less tempted to look.

Evening boundaries – stop answering work emails/messages after a set time in the evening.   Stop using computer technology altogether at least two hours before bed to avoid affecting melatonin levels and disrupting a good night’s sleep.  

 Leave your devices at home– go for a walk or have some exercise and burn of the adrenalin created from being constantly online.  If may feel uncomfortable to start with, you may even feel vulnerable without something to connect you to the world but keep going and it will feel liberating.

Meal times-Put devices away at mealtimes and spend time connecting with the people that are with you face to face. Use the time to catch up and have real conversations.

To keep us happy, calm, balanced and coping with everyday life we need to follow these three simple rules from our ancestors:

Take Positive Action

Positive Interaction

Positive Thinking

Image result for positivity

By following these rules we produce the chemical neurotransmitter in the brain serotonin and this promotes mentally healthy behaviour.  Use the technology to arrange the things that keep you enjoy such as exercise, hobbies, interaction, talking and doing the things you love instead of using them as a surrogate for real life and you will lower your anxiety levels and reduce depression.

Keep Positive!

Charlotte 🙂


Mental health and anxiety issues in children and young people

mental health issues in young people

As Pebble Ridge grows, it is important for me to share insight on topics that I am passionate about. From now on, I will be posting regular monthly blogs touching upon subjects within my industry.

This month, I want to start with a subject that has gained a lot of news headlines recently- mental health issues in children and young people.

Having worked in education for over 20 years and having three children myself, I am experienced with working in this area specifically. Why are mental health issues on a steady incline for younger generations? And what can be done to help tackle this?

The facts

A report conducted recently by the Children’s commissioner found that spending on children’s mental health services- such as school counsellors and drop in centres, has fallen in real terms by more than a third in areas of England.

50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14, and 75% established by the age of 25. 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet a staggering 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

children's mental health statistics

The reasons behind the rise in mental health issues

It would be easy to write a whole host of blogs dedicated to the reasons behind mental health issues, but I would like to highlight a few that have a profound impact in todays society.

Social media is everywhere and not a day goes by without most younger generations uploading to Facebook, sharing stories on Instagram and checking in on their favourite influencers.

social media icons

As well as physical effects such as eye strain, fatigue and lack of exercise- endless scrolling can also have profound mental effects when it comes to young people specifically.

Shirley Cramer, CBE of The Royal Society for Public Health said; “Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-indentity, express ourselves and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health”.

Another reason behind an increase in anxiety issues is stress. Exam stress for example, can have a negative impact on not only school performance but social skills, self-identity issues and a lack of motivation.

It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice-versa. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in schools, miss out on important social experiences, can suffer with eating disorders and engage in substance abuse.

exam stress and mental health

An overworked and underfunded NHS

The NHS is a crucial aspect of our health services in the UK and we are so lucky to have such a hard working, dedicated network of nurses, doctors and specialists available.

Unfortunately, as we all known through the media- the NHS is also extremely underfunded and overworked, resulting in extremely long waiting times to be seen for even extreme mental health issues. Add to that the lack of readily available resources- children and adolescents are sometimes forced to travel hundreds of miles to receive adequate mental health treatment on the NHS.

NHS workers

What can be done?

I often see so many clients come through my doors frustrated and feeling like they have nowhere to turn.

I specialise in treating children from as young as 7 years old and always offer a FREE initial consultation. Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is great for children and young people as they often don’t know the cause of their anxiety and/or depression and/or don’t want to talk about it.

My approach when dealing with adolescents is concentrating on the future, where and how they want to be and to focus on moving them forward with their life. It’s all about focussing on the solution and how to get there, rather than eliminating the problem.

Mental health issues in children and young people is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but there are alternatives routes that you can explore to gain a positive outcome.

If you would like to know more about the services I offer at The Pebble Ridge Practice, please do get in touch! You can also follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn, so you can keep up to date with any future blogs or industry news.

Stay positive!


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