We asked Erica to intervene with our nine year old daughter, when, for a number of reasons, her relationship with her siblings (and us, her parents) became difficult. Her reactions to familial circumstances (beyond her, or our control) were having a negative impact on our family as a whole.
Within a few sessions, the impact was noticeable- the time spent with Erica has had a hugely positive effect on the whole family. It has repaired relationships and allowed my daughter to realise that it is ok to feel as she did, and also to substitute the negative way she was dealing with those feelings/emotions (and the guilt she held about feeling that way) with more positive release mechanisms.
As parents, we have also learned some techniques to help my daughter cope with her feelings and sibling relationships.
Erica has quite literally changed our lives!
Having worked with Erica for 15 years, I have witnessed first hand the positive effect that Erica has on young people. Her naturally friendly approach gives a reassuring comfort to children who have gone through or are going through, both mental and physical difficulties in their young lives.
On a personal note, Erica recently helped my 22 year old daughter get through a very tough period whilst studying for her Masters Degree. Erica was there at the drop of a hat and made contact with my daughter immediately, She listened for over an hour to my daughter
who at the time was in great distress. Erica gave her some techniques to help her in the immediate future, and a timeframe and structure to work towards.
Erica then followed this up with prearranged calls with Hope on a weekly basis, over several weeks. Hope also knew that she could call Erica if she was having difficulties if she was feeling particularly fragile a any time. When Hope returned home from university in the holidays, she visited Erica and used some practical techniques including Sandplay therapy, panic prevention and "tapping."
Erica also supported me by giving advice which enabled me to deal with the stresses of being a mother whose child was experiencing such worrying times.
I am happy to say that Hope completed her Masters degree in History and is now fulfilling her dream of working in the British Museum.
I truly believe without Erica's experience, empathy and support, Hope's journey would have been a lot harder.
We are both very indebted to Erica
I thought I should write to express my deep gratitude for all the care and diligence you have shown in counselling my ten year old daughter, over the past two years. You have been her greatest source of comfort and independent, sensible advice when she found it overwhelmingly difficult to cope with all the stresses, pressures and worries that modern life throws at an intelligent and mild mannered school girl.
At the tender age of eight, my daughter had been reduced to a very withdrawn and frightened little girl, by cruel school bullies and insensitive teachers and adults. However, after only a few months of regular talks with you, complemented by "Sandplay," drawing and picture tapping , she began to return to her happy, chatty and wonderfully talented self. In fact, almost immediately we noticed that after a private session with you she always emerged more relaxed and far less worried about the issues most on her mind at the time.
As a family we are once again very happy and full of hope for the future; and as far as our daughter is concerned her confidence and self-belief have returned in abundance. She is now looking forward to an exciting and stimulating time in Year 6, when she will carry out with pride and pleasure her well deserved "Music Monitor" position of responsibility.
My daughter is very lucky to have you as a social mentor; thanks to you the strategies you have taught her in order to express her opinions assertively as well as dismiss bullies and rude or spiteful individuals, bolster her self-confidence on a daily basis. With puberty and secondary school just around the corner, she will continue to benefit significantly from your reliable advice and confidential support.
With best wishes and many many thanks,
Testimonial From Lisa
"I initially contacted Erica during an extremely traumatic time. My son had suffered a mental breakdown following severe bullying incidents at his secondary school. he was no longer able top cope with school or life in general and had expressed thoughts of suicide. He developed a severe tick and suffered with extreme separation anxiety, low self-esteem inability to sleep and complete lack of trust in anyone other than his family.
I contacted Erica further to a recommendation and immediately she offered advice and guidance that was invaluable. My son began weekly sessions with her and slowly began to build up trust and express his feelings in a confidential, safe and reassuring environment. She has also provided a detailed report for an Educational health Care Plan.
Erica is a remarkable lady who genuinely cares for every child. Not only has she assisted my son with his difficulties, she has also advised and supported me, through what has been a traumatic and worrying time. her work still continues with my son and I am confident that she will assist him on his road to a full recovery where he can reach his goals and fulfil his dreams."
Testimonial from Debbie
"I made contact with Erica two years ago because I needed an independent professional counsellor who would help my daughter. She responded well to Erica because, from the onset, a sincere and trusting therapeutic relationship was established. This led to her being able to explore past experiences that were linked to current behaviour. She has been given the tools to help her deal with situations that would have previously caused her to react in an unreasonable way.
I have had frequent supportive telephone consultations with Erica which have allowed me to ‘untangle’ my thoughts on a particular problem. This has enabled me to use positive reinforcement to change certain behaviours.
As a result of her sessions with Erica, my daughter has shown significant improvement with self esteem, in her relationships with others and in approaching issues in a more objective manner. She copes better and generally looks forward to her future in a far more positive way.
Erica has also helped my other daughter who has experienced anxiety when moving onto Secondary School. She was able to explore her fears and really responded well to the coping strategies that Erica taught her. This is how she describes her sessions with Erica: "
Testimonial from Chris
"My daughter has been seeing Erica over the last couple of years. I have found Erica most helpful not only in assisting my daughter following the break up from her mum, but assisting me into how to best manage and understand the difficulties she's had to deal with. Most importantly my daughter has enjoying going to see Erica.
Myself and my 10 year old daughter experienced two traumatic events that frightened her so much that she would not sleep in her own bed, go upstairs after dark,and was very nervous about going to new places. "
"I first approached Erica in October 2011 because my younger son’s behaviour at home was becoming uncontrollable and having a really negative impact on the whole family. He was frequently angry and unable to control his temper, hitting, screaming obscenities and throwing things at myself or my older son. When he was calm, he was unable to explain his behaviour and would then become really upset because of what he had done/ said.
When he first visited Erica, I was surprised that straightway he had learnt a technique to help him control his temper, but Erica had also managed to get him to explain what it was that made him cross. I had several conversations with Erica following her sessions with him and it became apparent that he was feeling that it was Mum, Dad and his older brother against him. Once we started thinking about situations from his point of view, and the roles within our household, it allowed us to understand him better.
Previously we had been “treating the effect” i.e. his tantrums and not looking carefully enough at the cause which was often his older brother being horrible or bossy knowing that he would react explosively. Now we understand this, he feels listened to and has learnt not to over react and equally his brother has learnt that it is not his role to be telling him what to do.
My son has now learnt that by telling us the problem before losing control, that we will listen. By seeing Erica it helped us as a family understand the dynamics within our family better. For my son, seeing Erica also gave him the message that we wanted to help him and were recognising that it was a family problem and not just his.
I would definitely recommend counselling for any family where the dynamics just aren’t working and Erica’s insightful understanding of our family has meant that the boys are now getting on with each other and our weekends are not spent dealing with constant fights and tantrums. We are now enjoying our children and they each other- and consequently our home is a much happier place. "
'She helped me calm down when tension built up in my head. She gave me a method to calm myself down “the purple lift” and I used this to help me calm down my anger. Now I like my brother better as he doesn’t annoy me as much and doesn’t tell me what to do. I used to feel like I was the only one in trouble and that my brother was the “perfect one” but now I can see that my Mum and Dad tell both of us off and that my brother is “not in charge of me!” '