Author Archive JohnA


Discover Skilful Resting


NO MORE INSOMNIA             Talk by Nicki Gillard

Wednesday 6 February, 2019
Cornerstone Community Centre, Brighton and Hove

Hove StressBusters Talks & Demos

Discovering Family Constellations and the secret to insomnia-free nights

It was fantastic to see so many of you at our event earlier this month and to share some really heart-felt moments and a stimulating discussion. Big thanks to Nicki Gillard for sharing her own insights and tools for overcoming insomnia and Liz Sleeper for enabling us to understand the importance of looking at the wider ‘system’ of which we are just a small part in order to understand and resolve the unconscious influences that drive our behaviour. There was a lot to take away from this event and it would be really interesting to know if anyone will experience any change (hopefully for the better!) in their wellbeing by applying some of the practical tools we were introduced to.
Also, thank you all so much for your generous contribution to our fund-raising raffle in aid of the Sussex Cancer Fund and congratulations to the two lucky prize winners!

Family Constellations                                       Family Constellations is an experiential process derived from psychotherapeutic approaches such as psychodrama; however, it went beyond the mainstream psychotherapy, incorporating the concept of ‘systemic entanglement’, the idea that there is a relationship between past and present events which is not caused by direct personal experience.
Liz Sleeper, one of the most experienced constellations facilitators in the South-East, gave a very brief introduction, stating just the main premises of this approach: that all individuals have a place in the family and that our fate is inextricably linked to the fate of our ancestors. By using other people to stand in as ‘representatives’ to model the issue holder’s circumstances, the work enables hidden truths and loyalties to be recognised. Family Constellations thus help individuals to see relationships in a much wider context and bring sense to confusing or baffling behaviours – either their own or of other family members.
     This approach both liberates the issue holder from feeling responsible for issues that are not theirs, and also enables them to take responsibility for issues that are theirs and theirs alone.
With the help of volunteers, Liz facilitated a brief constellation in a very sensitive, respectful and skillful way, bringing so much depth and warmth to the process. The resulting interaction between the participants in the constellation was very surprising and moving, not just for the participants themselves, but for the observers too. In fact, in workshops, representatives often get as much out of the process as the person whose family constellation they are modelling (the issue holder).
Participants and observers in Family Constellations workshops frequently find the work profoundly enlightening and healing, and some even compare its effectiveness to many years of psychotherapy. The workshops evoke a lot of emotions and can, at times, be quite stressful, but the long-term effect is that of centredness, inner peace and the resolution of stressful conflicts. Our brief demonstration opened more questions than it managed to answer – it was a real shame we didn’t have time to go into more depth.
Read more about Family Constellations
     For those of you interested in giving this approach a go, our next evening Family Constellations workshop is coming up on Monday – more information and booking here.

No More Insomnia                              We were very pleased to welcome once again Nicki Gillard, the author of the honest, insightful and humorous memoir ‘Diary of an Ex-Insomniac: Introducing the Insomnia Ditch-and-Switch’. In the engaging and honest talk, Nicki shared with us her years of struggle with insomnia and the ex-insomniac mind-set she eventually developed (the ‘Ditch-and-Switch’ method).
Just like we don’t have to make ourselves breathe as it’s an automatic bodily function, we also don’t need to make ourselves sleep (or get to sleep, which is another linguistic trap that implies action on our part). Sleep is a natural bodily function and our body will do it when it’s ready. We can decide that we want to rest and that’s absolutely fine – whether or not this ends in sleep is beside the point…. we’ll sleep when we’re ready and stressing about it certainly won’t help!
     The true problem lies in the fact that labeling our experience makes ‘insomnia’ part of our identity, and we end up trying hard to get to sleep instead of just letting the nature take its course. If we get into the insomniac mind-set, we perpetuate the vicious circle. This applies not just to sleep problems, but stress and life in general! 
Following the publication of her book, Nicki is now dedicating her time to helping others find their way out of the insomniac mind-set. In this session she shared with us some really simple tools for promoting rest – what she calls ‘skillful resting’, including the wonderfully calming and creative Ditch & Switch Mantra Colouring.
During the talk we also touched on several myths about sleep, including whether or not it’s necessary to sleep for a certain number of hours or whether we need to have uninterrupted sleep at all, instead of sleeping in blocks. Whatever our natural sleep pattern is like, we need to accept it and go with the flow – instead of lying in the dark and stressing about not being able to sleep, we might as well do something we enjoy, whether it’s lying in the dark and simply resting, or switching the light on and reading our favourite book or listening to a podcast. Just stop trying to sleep – it simply won’t work!
Read more about Skillful Resting


We really look forward to seeing you at our next talk & demo evening on the 6th of March when we’ll be exploring Creative Constellations and discussing the effectiveness of Reiki healing!

Special Offers

Discounted Sleep Coaching

until 1st March
Up to 25% OFF 1-to-1 sessions

60 minute long one-to-one sessions;

1 session: £40 (standard price £50)
3 sessions: £100 (standard price £120)
6 sessions: £150 (standard price £200)

Please contact Nicki directly for more information and booking: *

Discounted Family Constellations

until 1st March

Bring a friend for FREE to an all-day workshop in Lewes

Saturday 6th March 9am-5pm
@ Chapter House, Cockshut Road, Lewes

Standard price: £75
Offer price: 2 people for £75

Please contact Liz directly for more information and booking: *

* To qualify for the discounts, the sessions need to be paid for in advance by 1st of March, even if you wish to take them at a later date. 
These offers cannot be used in conjunction with the StressBusters Card and Carers’ Card discounts.

Stress-Busting Library

‘He doesn’t love me!’ vs. ‘Why is she being so unreasonable?’ – An insight into PMS

It’s that time of the month again… Your partner is being annoying, insensitive and you suspect he probably doesn’t even love you any more. Your work seems to be on top of you and your boss is being more horrible than usual. Your children resemble the Adams family offspring. The fridge is rapidly becoming your best friend. All you can see in the mirror is a bloated Jabba the Hutt look-alike. Well, at least your breasts are a bit bigger (woohoo!), but at the price of being painful too. And the stomach cramps… hugging a hot water bottle becomes your idea of a perfect evening. If some or all of this sounds just too familiar then you may be one of many women suffering from the pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), or, as my girlfriends and I quite fittingly call it, the ‘pre-mental’ state. READ MORE

StressBusting Workshop Calendar

Family Constellations
Monday 18th February, 6.30pm – 9.00pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Stress & Trauma Release with TRE
Monday 25th February, 7.15pm – 9.15pm @ Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
More info & booking

Next Talk & Demonstration Evening

Creative Constellations with Kate Collier
Reiki: An Evidence-Based Practice? with Dr Jelena Goranovic

Wednesday, 6th March @ 7.00 – 9.30pm
Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove
Read more…

Join us and bring your friends too: the more people get involved in our community programme, the more diverse and interactive our events are going to be!

Aromatherapy Tip of the Month

ROSEMARY Stimulating, invigorating and vibrant, rosemary is good for poor concentration and memory, mental fatigue and depression. Do not use during the evening or if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy.

How to use essential oils:
BATH Put 4-6 drops of essential oil into a teaspoon of oil. Add to the bath once the water has finished running
MASSAGE Mix a maximum of 5 drops of the essential oil into 10ml of carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or vegetable oil. Rub into arms, neck and temples.
VAPORISER Add 3-6 drops to water to fragrance a room.

(Based on Aromatherapy for Managing Stress by Mala Nathan)

Do you have one of these cards? 

These are just some of the things you might be entitled to:

  • 10% off all StressBusters events (talk & demo evenings, classes, workshops)
  • 10% off one-to-one sessions, classes, workshops with any of the practitioners listed in the StressBusters Directory
  • 10% off all treatments at Equilibrium Therapy Clinic*
  • Priority booking & special offers*

Click on the card image above for more details about the discounts you could be entitled to.

*StressBusters Card holders only

Wishing you all a stress-free month and
looking forward to seeing you at our next event!
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