Blowing Bubbles in the Workplace – Reducing Stress & Anxiety in the Workplace.

We all know far too often that horrible feeling of stress, work overload, anxiety and panic especially when in the workplace.  Stress and anxiety in the workplace leads to all sorts of challenges not only for the individual, but for teams and leaders too. Here’s an idea. We recently worked with a school and provided bubbles for the teacher and kids. The teacher uses the bubbles for herself and then engages the kids with the focused activity.

The “bubble therapy” allowed the teacher just to focus on her for 2-3 minutes and the kids loved watching. They admire the colours and floatiness of the rainbow liquid. Did you know blowing bubbles offers great health benefits? The deep breathing required to blow bubbles is great for relaxation, stress relief and allows present moment thinking.

We need to dig deep into our tummies to find our breath to blow bubbles. It’s a deep inhale to balloon the stomach and then slowly out (in for 8 and out for 4) Pursed-lip breathing increases pressure on the airways, which helps keep them open. A pursed-lip exhale more thoroughly exhausts the air in your lungs, leaving more room for fresh inhaled air. This results in better circulation in the respiratory system.

Just allowing yourself 2-3 minutes per day and more if you can will do you the world of good

I say, take your bubbles to work and talk to your teachers about bubbles!

Breathing with bubbles

If you feel your workplace won’t rock-it-out with bubbles, then just breathe instead.

I recently worked with a large hotel brand who are so fun in their approach to work, it’s unreal. Well, it is very real I can tell you, and so blooming refreshing with such an open and relaxed approach to work!

I fitted in straight away with the amazing sense of feel at home and fun culture.  We’ve worked on many simple strategies of reducing anxiety and stress that many cannot shake off from home and bring their troubles to work. You’ve guessed it, bubbles is one of them!

Taking the time to be in the present moment, just getting a sense check of where you’re at and noticing that you still have a heartbeat really can help put everything into perspective.


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Become a highly qualified coach studying ILM level 5 Distance Coaching and Mentoring at your own pace!

There are many online coaching programmes been offered within the UK without any robust qualification route. They promote “certification” – but I am not entirely sure of how some organisations can offer anyone to become “qualified” without rigourous practise, assessment and supervision!

If you are looking to find out how to become a genuine qualified coach then you’re in the right place. Sit back, grab yourself a cuppa and take yourself on a learning journey that is solid and offers you the kudos you’re looking for.

There are two routes for the Institute of Management & Leadership level 5, Coaching & Mentoring qualification (we’ll call it ILM5 from now on). They are comparable at foundation degree level, and similar to level 7/8 on the Scottish equivalent qualifications. These are ILM 5 Certificate & ILM 5 Diploma, both in Coaching & Mentoring in the workplace.

Without fail, we offer the best value for money in the UK for our ILM level 5 distance learning Coaching & Mentoring qualifications. We haven’t published our distance learning rates yet on our website (still to be done!) but rest assured you’ll get a huge return on your investment for the best priced package in the UK for comparable programmes.

You see, we include all the extra bells and whistles, like taking you on an indepth journey of understanding psychotherapeutic holistic approaches which will really deepen and enrich your learning experience and practise.

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Coaching Courses Online – Distance Learning

Coach in action

So you’ve decided that you’d like to look at options for coaching courses online through distance learning?

We offer a full distance learning option with the same robust high level support that you’d expect with an accredited foundation degree coaching course.  We’ve found many coaching courses online whcih don’t offer any 1:1 coaching or tutor support – it’s exactly that – a coaching course online!

We struggle with this concept because as you’ll now, coaching is all about building rapport and very much an experiential learning process. You will need to be coached and understand the many dynamics of coaching to get a real-time understanding of how liberating coaching is!  We firmly believe whilst you can study and learn at home, at a distance, you will need the full support of your ILM tutor coach to evaluate, mentor and feedback where you need to hone your skills. Read more »

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ILM Coaching Qualifications Distance Learning

We are an ILM centre of excellence offering coaching & mentoring qualifications level 5 (foundation degree) credits 37. Distance learning is tailored to suit your lifestyle and pace. We are delighted and extremely proud to say we are the most competative in terms of price, value for money and added value in comparision to any other ILM centre across the UK! It is a competative market for on-line coaching courses. We think you should research thoroughly before you hand your hard earned cash and find out exactly what is you expect to gain from your experiential studies!

Our ILM coaching qualification through distance learning is headed by one of the best coaches in the UK. Hayley Phipps Tennant has consulted and coached manor major plc organisations at board level along with thousands of individuals who have pursued their career in coaching (in and out of the organisation)

We encourage you to pick up the phone and speak to one our team, or better still, get it from the horses mouth.

Leave a message for Hayley to call you back. She’ll talk you through the qualification and you decide which route you want to take.

Distance Learning Coaching

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Distance Learning Coaching Qualifications ILM – Institute of Leadership & Management

Distance learningAs an ILM centre we are now offering accredited ILM programmes through our distance learning route for ILM level 5 Coaching & Mentoring qualifications.

You can choose the ILM level 5 Coaching Certificate (13 credits) or Coaching Diploma (37 Credits)

Jam packed with full on support from a highly qualified practising coach you choose the pace at which you want to learn. Easily slotted into your everyday life and commitments, distance learing will give you the high credentials you’re looking for.  See below for details of ILM level 5 Certificate in Coaching & Mentoring and ILM level 5 Diploma in Coaching & Mentoring

Programme Overview

There are three mandatory units in the ILM 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. The first unit, ‘Understanding the skills, principles and practice of effective management coaching and mentoring’ aims to enable learners to understand the role and contribution of coaching and mentoring, and build a business case.

The second unit, ‘Reviewing own ability as a management coach or mentor’ aims to give learners the ability to critically review their own personal qualities, skills and competence.

For the Certificate, the third unit requires learners to demonstrate your ability to plan, deliver and review at least 12 hours of coaching and mentoring in the workplace. For the Diploma, the final unit is an extended 100 hours of coaching and mentoring, with multiple clients, and there is an added focus on using supervision and reflective review to develop individual practice. Programme overview details the combination rules of credits from each group from ILM.

Credit Value:        13

Delivery:              Blended distance learning delivery, including induction, 1:1 coaching by Skype/Telephone, tutorial support & all the guidance you will need to support your experiential learning.

Programme to be completed within 1 year packed with hands-on experiential coaching and support, tutorials, 1:1 coaching, learning journal and ILM assessment to capture your action centred learning and continued professional development (CPD) .

We utilise the expertise of ILMA (Institute of Leadership & Managements full assessment service) which means your work will be reviewed and verified by some of the top quality assessors in the UK!

This ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching & Mentoring covers:

 ILM level 5 Diploma in Coaching & Mentoring (37 credits)

Programme Overview

There are three mandatory units in the ILM 5 Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring. The first unit, ‘Understanding the skills, principles and practice of effective management coaching and mentoring’ aims to enable learners to understand the role and contribution of coaching and mentoring, and build a business case. For personal clients, a reflective review of coaching benefits in the relationship as personal coach.

The second unit, ‘Reviewing own ability as a management coach or mentor’ aims to give learners the ability to critically review their own personal qualities, skills and competence.

For the Diploma, the third unit requires learners to demonstrate your ability to plan, deliver and review at least 12 hours of coaching and mentoring in the workplace. For the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Coaching the final unit is an extended 100 hours of coaching and mentoring, with multiple clients, and there is an added focus on using supervision and reflective review to develop individual practice. Programme overview details the combination rules of credits from each group from ILM.

Credit Value:        37

Delivery:              Blended distance learning delivery, including induction, 1:1 coaching, tutorial support & all the guidance you need for your experiential learning.

Programme to be completed within 3 years packed with hands-on experiential coaching and support, tutorials, 1:1 coaching, learning journal and ILM assessment to capture your action centred learning and continued professional development (CPD).

We utilise the expertise of ILMA (Institute of Leadership & Managements full assessment service) which means your work will be reviewed and verified by some of the top quality assessors in the UK!

This ILM Level 5 Diploma in Coaching & Mentoring covers:

 You will receive all of the support and guidance to achieve your outstanding ILM qualification run directly by PRO-tential Coaching. Each module contains detailed written assessments, personal learning journal and reflective review.
We price our programmes at a fair and reasonable rate and we think, offers the best value for money in the UK coaching marketplace!  Would you like to have a chat? Call me, Hayley Phipps Tennant – lead ILM coach/tutor to find out what you can expect to achieve!


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Coaching & Mentoring Qualification for HR Managers, Heads, Leaders, Consultants and Learning Development Specialists – Scotland

Get the best our of your team!

Coaching & Mentoring Diploma (Foundation degree) Qualification

Each 37 credits – ILM 5

We are delighted to publish our ILM schedule for level 5 (foundation degree) Coaching & Mentoring for 2018

You may have been thinking about taking your learning and development to new heights and perhaps the cost has got in the way? We know especially if you haven’t got funding or full financial support from your employer, finding the funds can be tough!

Here at PROtential Coaching we live and breathe learning and development and want to make our robust ILM qualifications open and available for all!

That’s why for 2018 we are opening up our scholarship programme where a limit of 10 individuals per programme  can apply to access 50% off the cost of the programme.  Read more »

Categories: Coaching qualifications scotland, ILM 5 coach qualifications EDINBURGH, ILM 5 Coaching & Mentoring Glasgow, ILM centre Scotland, ILM coaching qualifications, iLM level 5 Diploma in Coaching, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get REAL! An honest Reality Check on “Step-Parenting”, “Half Siblings” and other peoples’ stupid labels.

Get Real ParentingAlmost thirteen years ago around the twelfth of September. I remember the date vividly because it was after Alan’s birthday and before mine that I knew I was mesmerised by this secretive, quiet, kind Scottish podgy man.  We fell in love at a speed I’d never imagined would ever happen.

I had been split from my first husband of ten years and the divorce which I had seen through was finalised on 12th August 2004 just the month before.

We had split up just one month before our baby was due back in October 2003. It was the 21st October at 6.30pm when I’d asked him to go.  The details aren’t important here but my, the story is long and painful. Thankfully time has been a healer and forgiveness allows so much liberated freedom, for me anyway.

The rollercoaster of emotions that had engulfed me from trust swept down the river and now, trying to prepare in my whole self for a new baby that was due any day now. My first husband had lived a double life right under my nose. I didn’t have time to dwell on what had gone wrong.  I needed to focus my strength on what was right in my life right now, and this was this amazing human being growing inside of me.

I had my beautiful baby. Work could not stop for me as my “Jekyll and Hyde” first husband did not support me or his baby. At that time, I was an associate and self-employed so no hefty 9 months of maternity pay for me!  I was back at work three full days per week when Nathan was just 12 weeks old. I loved my work back then as I do now.  I worked for a consultancy firm in London meeting senior commercial directors and leaders for mainly plc companies around collaborative purchasing, benchmarking, knowledge sharing and facilitation.  With breast pads at the ready in my very sleek ready-for-London leather satchel, I made my way to NW10 from Leicestershire unknowingly to meet my knight in shining armour.

Nathan Joel was just ten months old when I met his Dad.  You may notice your eyebrow twitch or you may have had to read this sentence again, or you’re sitting up reading that again.  Meet his Dad, but he’s not his REAL father is he?

Following our courting my single biggest fear as a first time Mum was how on earth is this bloke going to accept Nathan as his own? Will he really love him the same as if we had a child together?  Whilst working for the consultancy firm in London I was also in the middle of my own massive development programme.  I was studying for a Coaching with psychology degree and along with various NLP programmes I thought I’d put my skills to good use.  I think I must have used every psychometric tactic I could pull out of the bag, along with interrogation tactics to make sure this man was fit and right for the job.  The biggest role I could ever let him loose with – being Dad to my Nathan. Alan understood why I was so precious about his answers and checking and double checking his congruence for commitment.

Nathan met his Dad for the first time on 29th November 2004 and strangely this would have been my ninth wedding anniversary to Tony.  Nathan was just 12 months old. Following spending every other weekend flying up and down from Edinburgh to East Midlands, we moved into Alan’s bachelor five bedroomed, unlived in shiny brand new house in Scotland in April 2005.

I had made a promise to myself that even though I had been pooped on from a very great height, I will not stand in the way of Nathan’s “REAL Dad” (biologically speaking)

It was me who organised for both of them to spend time together. He wasn’t very motivated and I felt, had to be pushed to make a commitment of visiting.  Our move to Scotland made it easier I feel for my first husband, although we so wanted Nathan to develop a relationship with his father.   Alan and I did the organising and often paid for the travel too.  Nathan saw his biological father perhaps at most, three times per year.

Right from the start I knew that my approach to this situation will be wholly positive especially where Nathan was concerned and that I will answer his questions absolutely honestly in the best way that I could.

Immediately and right from the start, Nathan chose to call Alan “Daddy”. We suggested “Daddy Alan” but no, he knew how he wanted to address Alan.  We chose never to use the term “step father” as there were no shoes for Alan to fill.

We didn’t see him stepping into anyone else’s role but creating this wonderful bond of his own with his son.  It’s interesting how far too many people flippantly and often without realising the effect they can have on great parents like us, by saying thing like “oh but you’re just Nathan’s step-dad”, or  to me, “are you his REAL Mum?”

Alan continued to exceed all of my expectations of being a fabulously brilliant Dad with providing us both with so much love, warmth, kindness and care.  He takes his responsibility as being a great Dad seriously and has nurtured Nathan spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.  Our Reality is a tight knit family unit.

I remember taking Nathan to kindergarten one day back in 2007, and said to one of the nursery members of staff, “I’ll be late so his Dad will be picking him up” and she replied, “do you mean his step-dad?” and kindly I replied, “no, he doesn’t have a step-dad unless I’m missing something?”

It was really interesting how I felt in that moment when an individual, not intentionally or with any malice, undermined the REAL role and influence that Alan has in Nathan’s life. From that moment on I started to hate the phrase “step-Dad”.

Life continued in sunny Falkirk and we moved to a beautiful small holding not far from our town Biggar, near the Scottish Borders.  Nathan was growing up far too fast for my liking and our reality of a solid robust bubble of love continued.  Alan finally plucked up the courage to propose to me and we had a three way wedding ceremony, Alan, Nathan and I in August 2008. We all exchanged rings as a token of our circle of love for each other.

I remember during conversations with some family members and the question being asked “are you going to invite Nathan’s REAL dad, Tony to the wedding?”  I found myself taking a huge deep breath and when my Mum asked the very same thing, I wanted to take the time to really unpick this god-damn bloody word called “REAL”.

“What do you mean by REAL?”  I retorted with venom. “Do you mean, REAL in the sense of great REAL parenting, REAL love, REAL laughter, and REAL cuddles at night when he needs & wants them. Do you mean REAL bed time stories, or REAL changing the bed? Or did you mean REAL food, REAL money for provisions or did you mean REAL in taking him to nursery? What about REAL play-time and REAL gardening? Or did you mean REAL in the sense of his emotions? Did you mean REAL time, just being there for him? Or maybe REAL fresh food, fun and learning in the kitchen? Did you mean REAL handwriting, painting and making funny things together? Or maybe you mean REAL when he’s picked up from the floor sobbing his heart out after crashing off his bloody scooter? Or maybe you mean REAL when he’s taken his boy to get his first pair of shoes fitted? Or maybe what you REALLY meant was REAL for his visit to school? Or perhaps you meant REAL in the sense of all of the clothes he wears and every REAL holiday we’ve been on? What you REALLY mean is when he falls over and he has REAL blood spurting from his knee and the REAL kisses are applied from Alan to make it all better? Or maybe you mean REAL when Nathan runs to his Dad and throws himself at him.  Nathan never questions his reality!”

The breath had almost run out, heart beating like a snare drum and I could feel the core of my very being ready to explode.  And then, it hit me. I didn’t need to justify, explain or correct people in this way.  Their interpretation of “REAL” was so far from the reality of truth for me, for us.  And how I finished the exasperating statements with “Nathan doesn’t question his reality” just cemented it all perfectly.

I also experienced as a child, sitting on my Grandad’s knee, in front of a roaring coal fire.  A younger cousin was there and we were talking about parents and grandparents.  Out of the blue my Grandad says, “Well I’m not your REAL Grandad, I am for this boy but as I’m married to your Nan I’ll be your Grandad”

That took some digesting as a young child, trying to piece how that could be? I didn’t have or know any other Grandad – he was definitely alive, this man in front of the fire, most definitely REAL.  From that day on, I didn’t like him very much.  Looking back as a holistic-psychotherapist and coach I realise he didn’t have the sensitivity perhaps that I look for in building self-esteem in kids and most certainly, for him to say such a thing to me, meant he really didn’t want to be my Grandad. This is story has many arms & legs and perhaps in another blog I can expand more on my Mum’s reality of being in a children’s’ home from the age of three.

We married in August 2008 and I became pregnant soon after the wedding with Matthew James, our second son being born at the end of June 2009.

Nathan started school the same year Matthew was born so it was all so very exciting for us.  I most certainly didn’t want to change my name without all three of us having the same family name.  Back in 2009, Nathan’s Daddy Tony agreed to add-on to Nathan’s family name, making it double-barrelled.  He also agreed to Alan having full parental responsibilities.

Nathan had become a big brother in 2009! He was the proudest five and half year old on this planet, I was sure of it.  I remember being pregnant and carrying Nathan on my back and a local lady said delightedly, “you’ll be looking forward to your half brother or sister won’t you son?”

Here we go again.  A statement that with a sharp blade attached to the words cut me in half.  I’ve never understood the description of “half- brothers or half-sister either!  When I was younger, I remember people labelling my younger sister as my “half-sister”.  Half of bloody what?

OK she may have a different biological father to me, but we were brought up by the same man. She wasn’t half of anything.  She was born to my Mum and I dearly love her with all of my whole heart.  To me, it was if, the description of “half” was missing something, not quite the whole thing.  It felt like this “half” description business was OK for people to say; well she’s not quite your full sister is she?  What a load of codswallop with a dollop of stupid pox slapped on top!

Each and every interaction with people around “REAL” and “half” absolutely incensed Alan.  Here is a man who has taken the decision to commit his life and world to me wholeheartedly, and immediately become an active compassionate great Dad to Nathan and yet people still like to put their spin on what reality should be.

When our gorgeous bonny baby Matthew was born we received the most amazing gifts and cards.  Many cards read, “Congratulations on becoming a Daddy for the first time”, and “ready, steady go for becoming a Dad”, “you must be delighted on becoming a father” and “your firstborn son”.

We knew and appreciated the wonderful sentiment of such kindness with the cards and presents but most wouldn’t have stopped to think about the madness around these messages for us.  If you could have seen Alan’s face when he read the cards, laughing out loud, shaking his head along with words like “and where does my eldest boy Nathan sit in with all of this for them?”, and “do they not realise we have another child in the house?”  It is because Alan absolutely devoted himself as REAL Dad to Nathan that these messages from the cards were alien and belonged to another planet.

Equally, can you see how the appreciation or emotional intelligence of recognising our family unit is missed by saying such things? More worrying, think about the effect these types of statements has on children with their sense of belonging, making sense of the world, their self- esteem and questioning the role their parent has with them?

Travel forward in time.  Sadly and suddenly, Nathan’s biological father died in October 2015. It hit us all extremely hard.  We had remained open in our communications, friendships and the very shock of someone, especially my first husband dying so young was heart-breaking.  Nathan’s time had been cut short with being able to build on the firm relationships we had encouraged so much over the years.  He was just 11 years old. Tony was very real to Nathan, Matthew, Alan & I.

Thankfully the strength of our family unit and the love, immense love, from his two surviving parents has supported Nathan through this time of grief.

Last week, Matthew, who is eight years old, our second son kindly and excitedly shared with a few people that we were due in court this Friday, “for Daddy to finalise his adoption for Nathan” he said with chest bursting with pride.

I laughed inside and allowed my crazy sense of humour to take over when I heard responses like, “Oh that’s lovely, so YOUR dad is going to become Nathan’s REAL dad, is that right?” and Matthew replied with a wee puzzled look on his face, “hmm, no, Daddy is already Nathan’s Dad, we’re just putting the icing on the cake.”  Out of the mouths of babes eh?!

I compare and contrast how couples live together with children, and at the point of getting married, no-one says “oh, now your parents are your REAL parents as they’re married”.  There are many adopted kids out there and I have a few friends who’ve recently adopted beautiful children.  I don’t think I’d be ready to hear anyone say “oh what a lovely adopted child (to the kid) but she’s not your REAL Mum is she?”

I also think often about statements I hear from mainly men in my experiences, when they say “..but I’m their real dad” and have no intention of supporting their child emotionally, spiritually and physically and yet demand in their language patterns and behaviour a “divine right” to decisions in the kids life because they send a few quid now and again.  Get real I often hear myself saying.  Make real phone calls, make a real relationship, introduce them to your real family and make real time for them.

They are real absent fathers.

Finally, how rude and arrogant of some people to undermine the wonderful thing called love, devotion, active parenting and commitment of life to children whether you’re biological connected, gay, straight or anything in-between.

On Friday 8th September 2017, the day before Alan’s 52nd birthday – the adoption of Nathan by Alan was finalised in Scottish and English law.

About Hayley (Phipps) Tennant

Hayley is a personal coach qualified in psychotherapeutic approaches, public speaker, Institute of Leadership teacher, Mindfulness teacher & practitioner, NLP specialist,  people development specialist, leadership/executive coach and business consultant.

Her career spans 26 years in many senior commercial roles at board level specialising in all aspects of business and people.

One of Hayley’s passions is getting it right for every child, building self-esteem in children, growth mind-set and working on language patterns and behaviours that encourage, build, develop, calibrate and enhance.

This blog is written by Hayley Tennant sharing her own personal experiences of how behaviour, perceptions and words potentially can cause great harm if not dealt with appropriately.  Hayley shares her realistic experiences, in real time and the real foundations of love and family life.










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Therapy for Kids South Lanarkshire

cryingMore and more kids in South Lanarkshire are not able to get the mental health support they need at school because of the lack of resources. I won’t state all of the statistics here on how far too many referrals are rejected and how there are simply not enough qualified practitioners available through the council due to funding.  It takes on average 15 weeks for a child that has been referred to see an educational psychologist – which as we all know is far too long! 15 weeks is the waiting time and that’s not guaranteed that your child will actually get to see a psychologist! The waiting list is tough, sifted and dependant on need. But what about those kids that need positive mental health support now?

When a child is in need whether it’s bereavement, detachment from Mum/Dad anxiety, low self-esteem, low-mood and low confidence in areas of their life they need support in that moment, right here and right now.  When children are in floods of tears, have difficulty breathing because of the trapped anxiety and they simply are beside themselves – they need time, empathy, understanding and a listening ear. You’ll know if your child is continuous with crying, fear, nervousness and are “out of kiltr” that something is not right for them. They’re not just going to snap out of it unless they can be shown in a nurturing way how to.

For me, I want to work with the child in the moment and capture all of their metaphorial descriptions of thoughts and feelings to find out what they can do to shift a change. Firstly though, it is OK for the child to cry. Tears bring healing, release stress and allow us to lift the lid of the boiling pot of emotions that have been bubbling for far too long.

Positive reinforcement through our words saying things like “it’s OK to cry, just let it out.

Let me know when you have,  just keep holding on to me”, and “keep being brave and notice your tears. They’re your healing tears, they are here to help you, did you know that.”  How very different and reassuring are these statements to a child regardless of age when they can feel safe and comfortable with showing their emotions.

What about statements like, “just stop crying, that’s enough”, and “I think you’ve cried enough now Bertie, dry your eyes”.

These are two statements I’ve heard recently and whilst I get that the positive intention of the adult was to help the child, they’re not really much help at all!  Enough for whom? How does the child just stop crying? How do you know Bertie has cried enough, he may have a few more tears.  How can Bertie keep his eyes dry when he needs to cry more?  Very simplistic breakdown of language, but can you see how in the moment of emotions we as adults allow our feelings to get in the pathway of the child’s space? And if we were to really switch our internal dialogue off and listen to the child with everything we have, I bet the approach would be very different.

I’ve spent years learning and understanding how our language patterns (the things we say) has everything to do with how we connect, how we learn, how we reassure, how we give and how we receive.  Then, how these words connect with us on a deep unconscious level and we start to believe they’re true.  How we start to run images and videos in our minds eye of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

As parents for our kids it’s absolutely crucial, right from the outset, that we listen to ourselves when we talk with our children. What are the things that we’re saying? How often are we adding a block to self-esteem through our words? How often are we dismissive of our kids when they have something to say because we’ve just got too much noise going on in our head ourselves? What are the areas that our kids want to develop in terms of their confidence? How are we supporting with time, attention, praise and belief in our kids? What are they fearful of in this big world?

Let’s face it, hot in the news last week, on average 2 in 10 kids below the age of 14 are being thrown a prescription and some brain numbing drugs to help them feel calm, relaxed and ease their day.  For me this is so wrong on so many levels.  For those children who really need drug support (I’m talking bi-polar, bi-polar with psychosis and other neuro conditions) then of course, that’s the right action. But for other children where I believe just need time, 1:1 sessions, a clear supportive coaching programme, sessions in school – why are we writing prescriptions?

We simply do not have enough resources on a local and national level. It makes me really sad.

It makes me sick to the bottom of my stomach.

In an ideal world I’d love nothing more than to see groups of parents coming together lead by schools and local therapist practitioners to share useful strategies and daily exercises to build postive mental health.  Staying healthy in the mind takes daily practise, the same as we do physically. We have to have an intake of food & water to keep us well, but what intake do we have for our brain that controls our thoughts, feelings & emotions?

Let me share with you one of the best tools that is Mindfulness.

Mindfulness in general is best experienced rather than talked amindfulness-for-kidsbout.  It is something we “are” rather than do.  For children it is all about how the adults in their life model it for them.  Children will tune in to our behaviour, indeed model them –because this is how we learn! We copy, we repeat, we observe, we do.

Children of course, are naturally mindful in the way that they live, very much in the present moment and are not so concerned about the past or indeed the future.  The most important thing we can do is not squash the natural quality of openness and presence but re-inforce it and invite it to continue to develop.

There is solid and growing scientific evidence that mindfulness is indeed valuable to school age children.  Why do you think that is?

Mental health is hitting the news BIG time again this week with Mandy Stevens the NHS director publicly writing about her mental health experience. Mandy Stevens was a mental health nurse then climbing the corporate ladder in mental health in the NHS.  She shares in her blog how she spent 12 weeks in mental health recovery as a patient of the NHS.   Read more »

Categories: Child Therapist South Lanarkshire, Coach for kids South Lanarkshire, mental health south lanarkshire, Therapy for Children South Lanarkshire, Therapy for kids South Lanarkshire, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Lessons to be learned from ‘mindfulness’ – Borders Telegraph April 2017

A TEACHER behind new ‘mindfulness’ classes in Biggar has revealed her plans to expand to schools across the Borders.

Children at Biggar Primary School are among the first to take part in the new lessons, with discussions already under way to expand classes to Biggar High School and West Linton Primary.

The programme encourages children to have fun, enquire and explore their sense of self, plus explore the ability to be kinder to themselves, others, strengthen their confidence and self-esteem and talk freely about their thoughts, feelings and behaviours to others.

Lead by Hayley Phipps, managing director of PROtential Coaching, the Coaching with Mindfulness programme has taught school children several psychotherapeutic approaches, such as; mindfulness, neuro linguistics, cognitive behavioural coaching and clean language.

The mum of two, who also sits on the panel for the parent council at Biggar Primary School, has worked closely with head teacher, Heather Graham over the past six years to develop the programme.

Hayley told the Border Telegraph: “I am extremely passionate about positive mental health and wellbeing in our kids and how we as adults can really shape and influence empowering beliefs, sense of purpose and being comfortable in your own skin.

“I always use comparisons of great performing athletes like Andy Murray – to stay at the top of his game and be the best version of himself – he cannot separate mental and physical agility, the two go hand-in-hand.

“That’s the same with our kids. Start coaching them now with positive mental focus and they will be able to coach themselves to their own greatness (whatever that is) and they believe it.

“The programme is bespoke for Biggar Primary School, unique to each class – age and cognitive level specific – and I work free of charge to provide those classes for pupils.

Hayley plans to extend the classes across the Borders over the next 12-18 months, with plans to venture to nearby schools first.

“I am being invited to meet with the head teacher at West Linton Primary after Easter, along with a discussion with Biggar High.”

Mindfulness is described as “a mental state focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations (without judgement)”.

A 2014 study by the University of Edinburgh exploring children’s experiences of the Youth Mindfulness Kids Programme found various benefits, such as; strengthening attention and concentration, reducing anxiety, improving classroom participation, enhancing social and emotional learning, building self-affirmation, and empowering beliefs, plus creating stronger relationships with understanding.

Thanks to Border Telegraph for such a fabulous write up!



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Time to Grow Your Business – Business Coach Scotland

 Here’s some fabulous feedback from customers who are now life-long friendsPeople Matter

“Hayley absolutely understood the issues and the objectives and created a detailed programme drawing upon her years of experience bringing together a portfolio of training, coaching and development which encompassed skills developed amongst many of the world’s leading organisations such as Harvard Business School.

 I selected twelve key members of the business and they undertook the course spread over an eight month period.  In terms of measuring the response, perhaps the best indicator is that everybody stuck with it all the way through with nobody even suggesting that this wasn’t for them, and the vast majority citing it as inspiring, enjoyable and something that enriched their professional careers. From a business perspective, it absolutely met every objective set and positioned the business strongly in the market”  Ian Baxter — Entrepreneur, MD MITIE Waste & Environmental

MITIE Waste was a £30M company (part of MITIE plc) when Hayley joined the team as strategist coach.  Hayley exited the business following three years of development, working with twenty six people in total. Read more »

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