My story started a few years’ back when as a single mum with three young children and a full-time career running my own Montessori School, I realised life was starting to feel like a tight elastic band about to snap.
Things were stressful, exhausting and “success” meant nothing more than being able to get through the week, so I could get up on Monday morning and start it all over again.
It was clear I was missing out on life and in order to preserve my sanity, I decided to sell my business, take stock of life and used the money to ‘invest in myself’.
I knew I enjoyed helping people to achieve new things and I had a keen interest in understanding how the human mind works. So in 2001, I began studying Developmental Psychology at The Anna Freud Centre in London.
A couple of years’ later, I took my studies a step further and trained to be a Integrative Psychotherapist which meant I studied many aspects including hypnotherapy. I didn’t know very much about hypnosis at the time and frankly, thought it all a bit wacky but the more I learnt about it, the more hooked I became. It struck me as being one of the safest and most natural of all therapies and I could even see the potential of using it with children.
I set up my own practice and then in 2004 I was asked to join a clinic in London’s Harley Street. I also became curious about ‘NLP’ or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I’d heard a lot about how it changes lives and so, I made one of the best decisions of my life – to train as a Practitioner.
I was very lucky in being able to do this with some of the best NLP trainers in the world – Richard Bandler, the creator of NLP and also Paul McKenna. I went on to assist Paul with his training seminars for many years.
It was during this time that life started to turn around for me. I realised that most of us look back at the end of our time on this planet and see a life that’s defined by what we didn’t do, rather than what we did. So many of us have ideas and dreams that we simply don’t act upon. I decided that I didn’t want it to be like that for me.
Using the skills and techniques of NLP, I set to work on myself. Some of the things I achieved were relatively ordinary but enormous for me, because I’d never had the opportunity to do them before. I learnt how to stay on a bicycle without falling off and how to swim (pathetic, I know); I overcame my fear of flying, getting into lifts and, horror of horrors, speaking in front of groups of people.
It started to become apparent that these small, little achievements were snowballing into something much bigger. My hypnotherapy and NLP coaching practice began to blossom and, as well as working with adults, I introduced NLP to children to help them with their problems too.
In 2009, I got creative with the techniques I learned and wrote “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” which is now a best-seller and is recommended by NHS paediatricians.
A couple of years’ later, Simon & Schuster, one of the world’s biggest publishers, offered me a publishing contract asking me to produce an easy-to-read manual about NLP. It was one of my proudest moments when “Fix Your Life with NLP” hit the shops in 2012 and one I simply couldn’t have imagined a few years’ earlier.
I’ve gone on to write articles for well-known magazines, speak on radio shows and even developed a series of “Fix your Life” workshops alongside seeing my clients.
My next book is called “Words that Work – How to get kids to do almost anything”. It’s due out in September 2015 and teaches parents how to slip a little hypnotic language into day-to-day conversations to make parenting so much easier.
Like most people, my life still has its’ ups and downs but NLP has taught me a valuable lesson: We can’t always change life on the “outside” but by making changes on the ‘inside’, we can put ourselves in a more resourceful and creative state that leads to a happier, more fulfilled life.
Today, my children are all grown-up and I’ve found a career that truly inspires and interests me. I can’t turn back the years, but I can put all the challenging moments of my life to good use. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than showing people how to fulfill their potential using the shortcuts and techniques I’ve learnt along the way.
NLP simply speeds us the whole process of being successful – after all, who’s got the time to waste?
Trust me, if I can do it – then you can too.
“Alicia has a real gift for communicating complex ideas in a way that makes them easy to incorporate into your daily routine. I highly recommend her work.”
Michael Neill – Hollywood Supercoach and Best Selling Author
My qualifications and Training:
- Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnotherapy (2002-03)
- Licensed Trainer of NLP – Society of NLP (2013)
- Advanced NLP Therapeutic Specialist (2006) and Master NLP Practitioner (2004) licensed by the Society of NLP. (Trained by Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna — as well as Assistant to Paul McKenna on his seminars for several years.)
- Mindfulness training – Oxford University Mindfulness Centre – Teaching Mindfulness in Non-clinical Settings; Teaching Mindfulness to Groups (2014)
- Diploma in Gastric Band Hypnotherapy (2011)
- Thought Field Therapy Practitioner (Roger Callahan’s TFT Association) (2004)
- AMI trained Montessori Teacher (1993-94)
- National Centre for Eating Disorders – Binge-eating and Childhood Obesity specialist training (2008)
- Specialist NLP training – for overcoming problems with dyslexia, spelling, reading, concentration and memory (2008)
- Coaching skills – personally coached and trained by Michael Neill (author of best-selling ‘You Can Have What You Want’) on his Success Coaching, Coaching Mastery and Effortless Success programmes. (2007-2008)
- Senior Qualification awarded by General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (2009)
- Registered Member of: GHR (General Hypnotherapy Register); NCP (National Council of Psychotherapists); ISMA (International Stress Management Association); ANLP (Association of NLP)