I’ve been working away at a residential ‘camp’ in the Midi-Pyrénées, teaching English to 10 year old French kids.
Off I went filled with hope that not only will I achieve that specific goal however could also introduce mindfulness hypnosis and relaxation meditation as discussed with the project leaders. How wrong I was!
Not being a parent myself however many of my friends are, I am fully aware that the French educational system only focuses on academic ability. Creativity is simply not catered for and neither are children with dyslexia, dysphasia, dyspraxia…or any other ‘dys’ you’d like to think of. Of course some teachers will claim this is changing, and to some extent it is.
After a particularly tiring teaching session (for the children) I had 10 minutes to spare so thought I’d introduce some gentle ‘quiet time with a few words, music and breathing’.
Almost instantly every child in the room settled down, even the ‘disruptive’ ones. I was delighted as their school teachers were also in the room and I wanted them to see the benefits first hand.
Later that day one of their head teachers commented over lunch: “Irena I appreciate what you do, however what you did today was NOT a learning experience.” I was flabbergasted. Did she not observe the two boys who were refusing to do anything earlier suddenly go quiet, close their eyes and relax? Did she not notice how calmly each individual left the classroom, with one or two thanking me?
For the past four years the UK has been introducing well-being into schools. Unfortunately it's still a small minority of schools however thank goodness it is growing.
One of my goals is to encourage it in mainstream education, both in the UK and France - and into the workplace too.
I'm a certified practitioner in the Educational Performance Programme (EPP). This programme has been running successfully in UK schools for the past four years and is now being introduced into Australia, the USA and parts of Europe.
EPP is conducted in one hour sessions, run over three consecutive weeks. Either in small groups or one-to-one with individuals. It's designed to bring about a positive change to a student’s mindset, to give them a set of ‘mind management tools’ that can help them focus on success, instead of dwelling on negatives and failures.
Children from seven years upwards, including those at college and university, can benefit immensely simply by encouraging their creative skills to build confidence; to aid interaction with their peers; to focus more clearly; to ease exam stress and even enhance personal performance in sports, drama and music for example.
I've also found it an invaluable tool for children with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. Helping them visualise alternative methods of storing and retrieving information, particularly when under stress.
Over 50% of lifetime mental disorders are diagnosed in childhood.
Just two minutes of mindfulness hypnosis can calm a class and boost attainment. It helps students:
Neuroscientists have found that long-term practice alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of both thought and feeling.
Many believe mindfulness and hypnotherapy similar but not connected. Mindfulness is focusing the conscious mind, while hypnosis focuses the subconscious. However by joining the different dimensions of mind, rather than separating, creates a powerful tool for enabling change on a physical, emotion and mental level.
Benefits for Children in terms of Learning:
Benefits for Children in terms of Health:
Benefits for Teachers and Busy people:
Click HERE for more information on EPP.
If you would like to discuss this further please email email@example.com to arrange a callback time.
If you are a teacher or school and interested, please email me HERE
By Irena-Marie Makowska
Irena-Marie Makowska is a Mind Coach, specialised in BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT®), Psychology of Identity and Behaviour; Clinical Hypnotherapy; Transformational Coaching and Mindfulness.