Inner Workings

As my New Year gift to you, here is a lovely short Pixar video, showing our ‘helpful’ mind being a little too helpful! 😅 And what happens when we live via our values! 🤩

Have a watch, and let me know how it affected you!

Inner Workings from jose chamba on Vimeo.


I was given this invitation by my first trainer (❤️), and now I invite you too….

*The Invitation*

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

P.s. See if you can find me in the picture, with my arms open – ready for you! ☺️😅

#selfcare #selfacceptance #ACT #AcceptanceandCommitmentTherapy#TransactionalAnalysis #TA #Invitations
#psychotherapy #counselling #personaldevelopment #coaching #growth

Contact mefor information on how we could work together to create a more meaningful life.

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More than matching

Further to my previous post –

This is a short video story of a client of mine (with permission from the parents). When I first started working with her she could not stand and could not walk. With collaboration with her Occupational Therapist we created a number of programs using lots of reinforcement to build the prerequisite strength skills she needed to walk unaided. This journey took several months (SIX to be precise!) and lots of hard work from all involved – her parents, her brother, her family, myself, her OT, her consultant AND not least, little one! Every time I see her get up and have a stroll around the living room, just because, I feel so proud of her! This is a crucial behavioural cusp for her and allows her to access so much more in her environment – from climbing the slide, to finding an adult to ask for something, to walking to her favourite toy! ABA isn’t just about ‘removing’ negative behaviours, it’s about teaching skills that are socially significant and make a positive difference for everyone involved.

We’re now teaching the next skills required to keep strengthening her muscles – she’s nearly running, and we’re doing lots of work to get her jumping! You won’t believe (or maybe you will!) just how fast she can move now! It’s an absolute joy (and chaos too which is what we like to see, sometimes!)

This is why I do what I do. ❤



ABA and health

ABA isn’t just about teaching a child to name animals, or match pictures…it’s about teaching skills which will help the individual to live a socially significant, functional and happy life. This video (and post) form the fantastic ABA4All Facebook page shows something that most people would have said was unachievable – teaching a boy with autism to almost completely independently do his insulin shots. As a Type 1 diabetic myself, I know just how tricky this chain of individual steps are and I’m super proud and pleased with his team and him, for achieving this!

A mum’s story

This is a really moving and heartfelt account from a mum of a child with autism of how ABA has helped her son, and just how hard ABA tutors work. Yes, sometimes, the job is really tough (and yes, I have been hit, kicked, bitten, spat on and had multiple items thrown at me in my time) BUT fundamentally we know (through the data and the science) that what we’re doing is right. And, ultimately there is nothing better than seeing a child learn new
skills, teaching effective communication, and broadening a child’s access to the world around them.
After all, some of the cornerstones of ABA are that what we provide is Applied (make a difference that is socially important) and Effective (behavioural techniques result in socially significant change).

Autism/IDD diagnoses and grief

I have done a lot of research and personal work with parents and carers, experiencing grief when finding out their child isn’t the one they dreamed of…these feelings and emotions are NORMAL!

This article from BSci21 sums up how Grief Theory can be applied to families of children with Autism and learning disabilities and provides us with a behavioural analysis of how to tackle the challenges that arise. It also shows that feelings of grief and the related behaviours are normal and something that must be taken into account when working with clients.

When meeting new clients, I always take this into account. I look at how can we find positives in this new, challenging situation, and how we can work with, not against the grieving process.

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

One of the most legendary coaches in the history of sport was John Wooden. Below is a great quote of his related to the laws of learning. What seems curious is that in certain fields, practice (or repetition) is accepted as a key component to building the competence, confidence and conditions for learning. Yet in other areas, repetition is seen as un-beautiful, archaic or unnecessary. 

Where it is acceptable? In sports, in theatre, in dance, in music; here, the learners are given multiple rehearsals, practice, repetition of scales, lines, moves, passes, routines – whatever they need to perform at some point, that becomes a focal point for practice till they have it- till its nailed down, mastered, fluent, flowing… they know the moves inside & out, they have their lines learnt and cadence and movement and execution clear. 

Where it seems unacceptable? In academic subjects, in social skills, in play – here, in these areas, it seems some illogical fallacy has taken hold whereby learners should either just do what they think is right, or just learn for the love of learning it… or just get it at some distant point in the future. piffle and waffle. If they need to learn it, teach it. If they don’t need the skill now, then why waste your time and theirs by teaching it? And the best way to learn something is by doing it. doing it so many times it becomes easy rather than hard… doing it so many times you don’t have to think about it- you can just perform those calculations, or critique the text, or identify the date or hold a conversation or take turns or win & lose or problem solve…

If you are failing to giving chances to repeat, to practice, to get effortless – then you are performing only two, at best three, laws of learning… you are teaching, but the students might not be learning…

So, follow Coach Wooden’s advice: 

“The four laws of learning are explanation, demonstration, imitation and repetition. 

The goal is to create a correct habit that can be produced instinctively under great pressure. 

To make sure this goal was achieved, I create eight laws of learning — namely explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, and repetition.”

-Coach John Wooden

If you’d like more- here is his TED talk…


This blog was inspired by The TLCs Facebook page:


Welcome to Holland

This poem ‘Welcome to Holland’ is often used by parents and professionals to help describe what it’s like to be a parent of a child with additional needs.



The blog post below also gives another perspective…’Welcome to Italy’ ( which recognises that every parent has expectations of their child, be they neurotypical or not, which will never be met and/or change on a daily basis. Ultimately, it’s ok and normal to have those expectations, it’s natural to be disappointed and angry and sad when they’re not met…when you have to move the goal posts so much further and work harder than you ever envisaged. And, although those original expectations may never completely go away, with the new ones you may begin to find successes, hope and pride and determination you didn’t know you had.

ABA uses the science of behaviour to enable successes step by step; to work towards those expectations, to widen those goal posts…it may not be the route or destination that was planned but that doesn’t mean the journey can’t be doable, rewarding, empowering, and…it may even be fun! 😀