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Saturday, 30 April 2011

A wonderful review of my book manuscript by SUE ATKINS - Parenting Expert

“We all know that babies cry when they’re in distress, and as parents we come to recognise many of our own child’s particular signs and signals, but what if babies are trying to communicate with us at a much deeper level, and because we don’t realise that, we fail to understand them?

In this ground breaking book Vivien Sabel’s exciting and astounding discoveries open up a whole new world to bringing up happy, contented infants through her simple method of Observing, Mirroring, and Responding - The Blossom Method©

This book is exciting because it will take non verbal communication to a new level and challenge us to explore more fully the messages our babies are trying to tell us!

Sue Atkins
Parenting Expert, Broadcaster, Speaker and Best Selling Author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies”

THANK YOU SUE! I can't wait for my book to be published! All the best from a very excited mum!!

Still awaiting news from the publisher

Dear all

I know many of you check in and follow my blog in relation to my book news so here's the latest! Yesterday, I made contact with the publishers. They have asked me to forward some of the photographs taken for my manuscript. So like an eager beaver I have done so! The photographs are truly beautiful and demonstrate some of my baby body language discoveries and findings. The photograph here shows the lovely Cat and Sebastian. Here we see how they mirror each others gaze so beautifully. I have worked with Cat to support her to understand her beautiful baby's body language.

Cat said “Working with Vivien and understanding all about Sebastian’s body language has allowed me to maximise his happiness and minimise his distress. I have been able to understand his body language and in doing so have met his needs before he reaches the crying stage.”

I wish to publicly thank all of of the wonderful Mummys and Daddys I have worked with in writing my book; you have all been a joy to work with and our learning shall never be forgotten!

Warmest wishes to you all for now Vivien

Thoughts on meditation

Well I've been thinking about meditation for years and it's only in recent months I have began to do more than think about it!

My wonderful Psychotherapist (you know who you are!) introduced me to the work of Bodhi Paksa. It always makes me smile when I think about his guided meditations. His work introduces the time poor psychotherapist, mother, father, or busy other to the world of guided meditations for busy people.

I've very much benefited from this and wanted to share this with you.

"To be free from thoughts is itself meditation.
You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them.
The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether.
Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet.
Don't get bored with peace, be in it, and go deeper in it.
Watch your thoughts and watch yourself watching your thoughts.
The sate of freedom from all thoughts will happen suddenly
And by the bliss of it you will recognise it.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 1973

What's been your experience of meditation?

Warmest wishes Vivien

If I had my child to raise over again.....

A powerful and thought provoking poem.....

If I had my child to raise over again

I'd build self-esteem, and the house later.

I'd finger paint more and finger point less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch more with my eyes.

I would care to know less and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

I'd model less about the love of power, and more about the power of love.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Miscarriage & Infant Loss - 10 Things not to say to women following miscarriage and infant loss

I have thought long and hard about writing this post as it is deeply personal. I have met many women who have experienced loss through miscarriage, stillbirth & infant loss. I, too have experienced losses of this nature and I have been met with some thoughtless and in some ways unbelievable comments. I wish to inform others and ask you to respectfully consider carefully how you might respond to women who have miscarried and/or lost their baby. I have created a 10 point list for you to consider. Please think carefully before you greet a mother's loss and please DO NOT say any of the following

Ten things not to say to women after miscarriage or infant loss

1. How many weeks pregnant were you? This is irrelevant and thoughtless. A baby is a baby. And loss is loss.

2. Oh well, it was obviously meant to be. What does this mean? If you lose a baby and a thoughtless person says this it appears to hold an inconsiderate quality that may be experienced as hurtful and insensitive. How can losing a baby be "meant to be?"

3. It was God's will. Some people believe in God and in god's will and others don't. Don't expect all mothers who have lost their infant to feel that God's will is a good enough reason for taking their baby from them.

4. Don't worry you can try again for another baby. Allow the mother to decide when and if she wants to try for another baby. We are not here to suggest to a grieving mother she can try for another baby or that she can replace her 'lost' infant with another. Allow the mother to decide for herself.

5. 'It' wasn't over twelve weeks so 'it' wasn't really a baby. Some people may be surprised to read this but I can tell you from both personal and professional experience that this is still said to mothers following loss.

6. It wasn't your time. What does this mean? Again I have heard this first hand and though my practice. What gives any one other human being the right to tell another "it wasn't your time?" There is no good time to lose a baby. There is no bad time to lose a baby either. A loss needs to be considered and thought about in the way the mother chooses not in any other way.

7. There's no point focusing on what could have been - you need to move on. Yes this is another example of a comment proffered by an unhelpful relative or clinician. Yes, in theory I am all for moving forward but loss of any nature needs to grieved over. Give the mother a chance to heal and move forward when she is ready and NOT WHEN YOU FEEL she ought to be!

8. You'll feel better in no time. Again don't tell people how they feel or indicate when they might feel better. It's pressurising for some to hear words of this nature.

9. Well make the most of your time without babies because once they come.....Frankly this is another thoughtless point to make. We all know when we have children our time with our partners becomes shared with our children. It feels like another insensitive comment to make. It will not be perceived as helpful trust me I know!

10. Finally following stillbirth and late infant loss please DO NOT talk about miscarriage. Women who lose their babies almost full term and then subsequently go on to deliver their babies knowing they are dead inside of them DO NOT consider their loss as miscarriage.

I am asking you to consider the above in support of women, miscarriage and infant loss. I do not profess to have all the answers but I can speak from the heart about the most ridiculous comments made to me following my losses.

I have 2 further things to mention in this blog. Please consider fully the feelings of the partners of the women who have lost their infants. These men and women will be experiencing this loss too. And finally I understand loss for some of you will be difficult but please DO SAY something. In announcing a loss of this nature and being met with a deafening silence is also not the answer.

I hope this blog has given you some concrete ideas about what not to say. I would love to hear your thoughts and your personal stories in response to this. Thank you for taking the time to consider what not to say in relation to miscarriage and infant loss.

Baby Talk more thoughts on Baby Signing

BABY TALK A recent interview and article for your interest

Warmest Vivien

Contracting...the relational supervisor

In contracting with the supervisee I want to encourage open-ness, to promote courage to speak freely, to provide a secure base to explore the difficulties and the counter-transference responses. I will raise with authenticity my countertransference responses, exploring all that is said both verbally and non verbally. The exploration of the most challenging will uncover deep learning and therefore I will encourage analysis of these areas. If I identify problem areas I would want to explore these in depth prior to implementing formal procedures. And finally I would encourage the supervisee to express him or herself in relation to feedback for me.

Feedback from your supervisee is important. Warmest Vivien

Friday, 22 April 2011

Why I established my writing business....

Why I established my writing business………..

As a Child of a Deaf Adult (CoDA), a former British Sign Language Interpreter and a Psychotherapist, I am fascinated and very attuned to the world of the non verbal. My book was born out of my experience of being nurtured by a deaf mother and my findings in relation to my own daughter and the development of our successful early communication system. I have a very important message for all parents. My deep unwavering passion is to share this across the globe.

Warmest Vivien

Do you want to learn more about your baby's body language....if so contact me!

A little more about my mini book………..

My mini book has been described as “an absolute gift to all parents.” I began writing my book in late October 2010 and completed my first draft by January 2011. I am currently writing books two and three in my Baby Body Language series.

In addition to my book writing I am offering my clinical services to parents to learn about their baby’s body language in support of developing an even deeper bond and “even more parenting confidence."

Warmest wishes from a very excited mum!

Love Vivien

Writing - my new business!!

All about my new business………

My new business is writing. Ordinarily nothing to write home about!!! However, my first book in my mini series will support parents across the world to communicate with their babies from the day they are born!

Has this made you “stop dead in your tracks?” I have penned a “terrific” mini book that engages you the reader with some “fascinating and astounding” parenting information. It is the first in a series of mini books in communicating with and understanding baby body language.

I am a first time author and my mini book is aimed at time poor new mums (and dads). Baby Body Language-Your Guide to Communicating with Your Baby From Day One© is a unique guide to understanding and communicating with your infant from the day they experience ‘life outside the womb’. Yes I said day one! I have created a “revolutionary method” named The Blossom Method© and uniquely Tongue-Talking©. In addition to my findings I have worked with other mothers and fathers to support them in developing their skills utilising my findings and methods.

How exciting!!

I'll keep you posted on publishing news.

Warmest from a very excited mum!

A Poem - Reflections - 13th February 2004

Today I feel angry, happy and sad

Full of emotions and some of them bad

I feel half excited and half mad

Crazy in love

Dripping in blood

Battered and beaten

Bitter and sweetened

Physically drained

Emotionally pained

It's all too deep

Affecting my sleep

Tears pour down

Puddles of love

Push and shove

Feel them heartbreaking

Shattering, lonely

Splattering over

Where love lost

And life died

A million tears cried.

A little bit about me, the author, the psychotherapist, the mother....

Vivien Sabel: UKCP Relational Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Infant Communication Consultant and Mother.

I am a researcher, writer and psychotherapist in full-time practice in North Yorkshire, UK. I have recently written the first in a mini book series in Baby Body Language. The mini book has been globally reviewed by best selling parenting authors, mothers, fathers, professors, psychotherapists, parenting experts, sleep consultants, child psychotherapists, etc. and the reviews have been fantastic. My book is now with a publisher and they are reviewing it for potential publication...exciting times!!

The book content has been described as "ground-breaking, fascinating, astounding, wonderful, insightful, innovative" and much more....

The title of this book is up for debate..any thoughts or suggestions will be considered........

I have Masters equivalent degrees in Integrative Psychotherapy and Psychodynamic Counselling. I have two further Postgraduate Certificates in Clinical Supervision and Management. I studied for my first undergraduate degree in Deaf Studies (and Sign Language Interpreting) and originally graduated in 1996.

Although I am hearing, I am fluent in British Sign Language (BSL) and formerly trained (University of Bristol) and registered as a Trainee BSL Interpreter. My mother is profoundly deaf and uses Lip-reading as an aid to communication. As a result of my upbringing and nurturing with deafness, I consider myself to be fluent in the language of the body and non-verbal communication. In my clinical practice I utilise this to great affect where I address the incongruence between non-verbal and verbal utterances in support of my clients deepening of their own self understanding and awareness.

Please get in touch if you would like me to write for you or provide you with some expertise! Warmest Vivien

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Baby Body Language

Human language development may have suppressed, to a subconscious level, a more primal body language communication which is still experienced and available to us. Make yourself more aware, and in doing so, develop a wonderful connectedness with the body and feelings of you and your infant.

My upcoming book considers the importance of early communication and a secure attachment for infants. It emphasizes the benefits of co-creating a safe, nurturing and active listening environment where early communication and an innate sense of being seen (and therefore heard) are experienced as valuable to both caregiver and infant.

In infancy and beyond your aim should be to create a safe and loving place for your infant to develop and grow where interaction between you, as a primary caregiver, and your infant is felt and experienced. This will support your infant to feel and experience trust and develop confidence in their relationships with you and others. If your infant feels understood, feels contained and feels seen (and therefore heard), will this support the development of your infant's emotional core infrastructure required for emotional and physical development? The effects of our early experiences are embodied and continually experienced throughout life.

Any thoughts or comments welcomed.

Warmest Viv

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The relational supervisor......some thoughts......

Here are some of my thoughts...................

The relational supervisor recognizes the presence of a multiplicity of relationships in the supervisory/supervisee relationship. The relational supervisor seeks to provide a relationship that will support the supervisee to develop their awareness and enhance their personal and professional development, where he or she can expand their skills and knowledge of both theory and practice to support their clients and their own professional development. The relational supervisor seeks to be able to support the supervisee to support the client to identify, assess and re-work repeating relational patterns and dynamic elements which they identify as unhelpful to them. Unconscious processes will be present in the therapeutic and supervisory relationship and an awareness of these and capacity to focus upon these to develop skills will form part of the work of a trainee and supervisor. For example, a trainee may when talking about a particular client seemingly may present themselves in a specific way. This will be identified in the supervisory relationship and explored. Why do you appear to present in this way when referring to this client? How do you feel about him or her? Tell me what you experienced initially and in follow-on sessions? Exploring parallel process I see as useful when brought to the attention of the supervisee. This can support the trainee and the client. This exploration may support a deeper self-understanding that may be experienced as healing for both the client and the trainee.

Like the relational trainee, the relational supervisor asserts that she has no superior knowledge about the client, the supervisee or the work being supervised; indeed my own interpretation will be based only on my perception, my truth and my reality. Therefore without discounting my supervisory skills or experience or my role as supporter, helping the supervisee to integrate theory and practice, I want to consider, seek out and explore with the supervisee the insights and meaning he/she identifies with, and that resonates with the client). Supporting the supervisee to develop faith in their own skills, demonstrating positivity in their capacity to practice and therefore building a solid foundation where trust is felt and experienced by the supervisee, will serve the trainee well. This said I am aware of the need to ensure safe and good practice and to discuss how to improve upon poor practice. In supervisory practice there is an inescapable power differential but my aim is to promote dual responsibility, dual negotiation, dual learning, dual development, a dual commitment to good practice therefore a relational sense of mutuality.

Any others thoughts from you?

Warmest Viv

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Baby Signing - Is fantastic!

I once met a grandmother with concerns about baby signing. I was keen to clarify the benefits of this wonderful early communication system.

I am a keen supporter of baby signing. Some time ago, I remember having a conversation with a grandparent about her daughter wishing to pursue this with her infant. The grandmother was asking me what I felt about it, so I went onto explain how wonderful it was to utilise sign language with your baby. I explained how useful and creative it was to see infants signing to their parents (and vice versa) and others. I also said it was fantastic to see infants being understood by their parents, and as a result getting their needs met prior to developing full speech. The grandmother was surprised. She said that she had felt rather negative about her daughter enrolling onto a 'Baby Signing' class. I was surprised she had felt negative and asked her to explain her reasons for her negativity. The grandmother said she had previously thought it may interfere with her grandchild's speech development. I said that this was not my experience and that I whole-heartedly supported mothers (or fathers) attendance at Baby-Signing classes. The grandmother knew of my background and as a result seemingly changed her views on this subject. Baby signing is fantastic!!

Are you supporting your toddler to develop their 'inner explorer'?

I feel there is value in sharing an anecdotal tale to describe a developing positive toddler/parent attachment relationship. Imagine yourself in your mothering (or fathering) role and your toddler in your local park. A healthily attached toddler will want to go off and develop their 'inner explorer' qualities. A watchful mother will observe her toddler to ensure their safety but will encourage their child in their explorations. A securely attached child will go and explore whilst intermittently looking back towards the mother to seek their presence, availability and encouragement. In opposition an insecurely attached toddler may not feel confident enough to leave the side of their mother. An over anxious primary care-giver may not feel confidence in their toddler and as a result may not wish their toddler to leave their side. This demonstrates the insecure attachment in the primary care-giver and toddler. This will impact negatively upon the toddler and in turn the primary care-giver. The toddler may have a need to be inquisitive, curious and to explore, but as a direct result of the mother's anxiety, the toddler will not be able to leave the side of the mother. This will lead to frustration (in the toddler) which will in turn be presented to the mother. This toddler will develop separation anxiety issues which will be problematic from this point onwards. We are seeking to encourage our little ones to explore their world. We are not seeking to impart and project our own anxieties onto our infants and as a result suppress their 'inner explorer'.

Positive attachment begins in infancy. Your availability and presence are key to providing a 'secure base' from which to explore.

Door Handle Psychotherapy..

In order to work with further depth in my clinical practice I have formally and humorously banned the use of the word 'fine'. What does this word mean? Does it really mean I'm not happy? Or does it mean, I am angry - or, I am sad - or, I am stuck and I don't know how to express myself at this moment? I often times say that if you choose to use this word you must provide me with a full explanation its meaning to you on this and every subsequent occasion. Are you really fine? Are you angry-fine? Are you irritated-fine? Are you ambivalent-fine? How many times have you met with a client or friend and asked how they are feeling only to be met with this expression, “I'm fine”. Those I have had the privilege to work with will know this to be true. The irony here is that it is the lack of expression which fuels my curiosity. I want to avoid 'door handle' psychotherapy as it seems to waste the time of my clients. 'Door handle' psychotherapy means a client will wait until they are almost out of the door before they express what they are really experiencing or wanting to discuss. At this point there will be little time to discuss any of the client's feelings as they are about to leave the therapeutic space. By tackling the 'fine' issue I hope to encourage the client to explore their inner selves whilst in the session and not as they are about to leave. I always encourage a multi-sensory exploration; enquiring into feelings in the body, thoughts in the mind, body held memories, adjectives and pictures to explore experiences, visual images to unpack feelings. I hope this has given you something more to think about. My emphasis here is to remind you, we are more than cognitive. We are able to perceive on so many levels. Let's utilise our multi-sensory resources to serve our clients and patients well.

A funny story to extract from my upcoming book!

At thirteen months old, on a family holiday to South Africa I recall Blossom's breast-feeding experiences seemingly surprised some of our fellow passengers on the aeroplane. Blossom breast-fed throughout this long haul flight. I distinctly recall her saying “I'll have the left one booby Mummy”, and when she had finished nourishing herself on my left breast she said “I'll have the right one booby Mummy”. I noted the non-verbal expressions of a gentleman sitting in a seat on the opposite aisle. He looked over at me and looked at Blossom as if to say: “Who said that?” I indicated non-verbally by looking down at Blossom that she had uttered the words. He was very surprised that this seemingly young baby could express herself so clearly – let alone distinguish between left and right!

Warmest Viv

Monday, 4 April 2011

My book is with a publishing house...they are reviewing it for potential publication!


I wonder what you are doing and how life is treating you?

It's a blustery wet day here in Yorkshire but the sun is still shining in my mind!! My book has travelled across the globe and is with a publishing house in Australia. This in itself is exciting but waiting to hear from them is very, very exciting. I am trying to contain my excitement and get on with life and work but I find myself drifting off and wondering how a book launch would be in Australia!!! Wouldn't it be fabulous!!

I wonder what they'll think? I am as always positive but this is all new to me.

Right I have to go...I have a clinic to run.

Warmest wishes for now Vivien