Yarra Valley Practitioners Project (YVPP) for Children – Case study mothers report:
Our experience with so far – 29.7.10 -17.2.11
“I first heard about in our school newsletter. My son was just about to turn 6 years old and in the middle of prep at primary school. We did not lose our home or loved ones but we were impacted and present for the black Saturday bushfires in February, 2009 and it is fair to say that our experiences on that day have changed our lives forever. My son, who was generally a happy little boy and very well behaved became unsettled and anxious, trying to fit in at school and struggling a little with his speech which was in turn affecting his reading and writing at school, causing much frustration, resulting in anger. Just to compound this we had also recently began getting rather excessive, compulsive about hand washing.
I went to my first session, really just to explore what it was about. To be completely honest it all sounded a little mumbo jumbo and had me thinking “I don’t know if I believe in this stuff being able to make a difference”. Now 6½ months on after considering I had nothing to lose but 2 minutes a night, I am so thankful for , as the changes in my son are too great to call our progress pure co-incidence.
My first night with was one of great emotion for me. I sat there and out loud said these words and not expecting any comments from my son whilst he slept. When I said: “Mummy loves you”, he replied to me “I love you too mum”, yet he remained asleep. Joane had mentioned that I may get a reaction but I didn’t really expect that. It threw me for a moment, and chocking back my emotion I continued with the statements. So I know he hears me when I do with him, and it’s nice to know that his sub-conscious is taking these lovely statements in.
Mornings were an issue with my son always sluggish to get started, everything always too much effort. Joane suggested he may have a problem with his sugar levels first thing and suggested that a simple inch or two of watered down fruit juice first thing of a morning might help, followed up with a good breakfast including protein. WOW!!!!…..what a significant difference we noticed within the first few days. I found the improvement with my son of a morning also had an impact on me, as his sluggish, grumpy attitude despite my best efforts seemed to get me down. I felt like I was on his case a lot every morning. Now mornings just seem so much more relaxed and we just flow through our routine to get us out the door on time each day.
Other issues that have improved include:
Compulsive Hand Washing: With continual monitoring and re-assurance the problem just disappeared, and we’ve not broached the subject again.
Speech Issues: This was a real distressing issue for me. To sit back and watch a little person have so much anger and not be able to deal with it, to not really know how to fix it for him because anytime we would try to talk about it with him his anger would accelerate and turn toward us, making it very difficult to work through and help him. I cried so many tears over this, every time I saw him so distressed, I felt like I was failing him because I couldn’t make it all better, this enhanced my stress levels also and emotionally it drained me. Other than there was no other aid we used to deal with his anger and management of, so my son, my relaxed little boy who now talks to me about what’s bothering him and seeks our help when he finds things tough, is a different kid and in extension I am a different mum, more relaxed and stress free. WOW it feels good! And I solely thank for this.
Nightmares: Particularly since the fires and when reminders of the fires like memorials, smells of smoke and sirens ringing occur. While the nightmares do subside with time, it only takes one of these reminders to bring them right back again.
The second anniversary of Black Saturday on the 7.2.11 caused some reaction, but right now I’m enjoying having my son back again because at one stage I felt helpless and as though I was losing him to an extent, particularly with his anger issues and for now I’m continuing with as I believe it has been invaluable to our family and I’m just hoping all continues to go well for us.”