Most of Anna’s therapist work has been during the 20yrs that she has been a mum. Before this time, she didn’t have the confidence and was a completely different person. Being a mum has given her the drive to become more and pursue this career. Many women who have a career and then children, feel that they lose a part of themselves and their confidence. For Anna, she found it empowering to carry a child, bring a child into the world and have the responsibility.
The children are of course all very individual but Anna is glad that they share many of the same values. They are her greatest teachers and she was able to discovered who she was on this amazing journey. They do not necessarily always bring things out in the best way and are not always the nicest… but they have propelled Anna through such a huge period of growth.
Anna has had a lot of counselling herself over a number of years, some counselors were really great but others didn’t help her move on. Anna believes that when people go into counseling they need to do the work and be out again as quickly as possible and that is how she works. The hypnotherapy and the rackie healing are the tools that Anna uses to help people heal from pain, to get through their troubles and be out again and on their way. She loves it and really enjoys working with people face to face.
Even though it is difficult and Anna does have doubts at times because it is such a huge responsibility – fundamentally she believes that home schooling her children is the right thing for her family. It wouldn’t work for everyone but it does for them. She feels that the best place for her children is with her. The things they are learning don’t have to happen in a classroom from 8.30 till 3.45pm, they can be learnt anywhere. Being bound by that belief that you go to school, do your exams, get a job…. is so limiting for Anna. For some people this really works but one size doesn’t fit all. Her children are all individuals and Anna wants to encourage them to remain creative. School is very institutionalised and institutionalised thinking often does not promote the creativity that Anna wants her children to have and maintain. Anna wants them to see life as the biggest and most amazing experience that they could possible have.
Knowing yourself is massively important…. and most people don’t, so Anna is empowering her children to think with responsibility and accountability, giving them choices and options. She didn’t want to just fit parenting around conventional school times and wonders how can you find out who you are when you are around a whole group of children of the same age, who are trying to find out who they are!
Her children are encouraged to speak up for themselves and say how they feel because so many adult problems that Anna works with, come down to not knowing how to express yourself, how to feel safe and say what you think. If you hold it all in, it can cause all sorts of emotional or physical illnesses.
Anna’s goal is for her children to have the sort of childhood where they look back and say that was fantastic and now I am ready to do whatever I want to do next. They may end up being a poet or an architect and they had such fun getting there.
How you live your life is the key essence.
Family is so important to Anna and the relationship between siblings. Her job is to teach them how to be an adult, and how to survive on their own in the adult world when she is not here. They also have each other and those relationships are very strong.
Anna’s experiences have helped her counselling work immensely. Life is about relationships and the most important connection is between parent and child. Anna has never sat with anyone in a counselling situation who has said “no the attachment with my parents was great, we had a really good strong relationship, I always knew that I was important and valued and all my needs were met!” It is the most fundamental relationship but it can break down. If basic needs are not met for you as a child, then you may not have the concept of that thing being important for your child, so often children miss out.
During her work the majority of problems people bring are about something that is going wrong in their lives right now, it may be a problem with the relationship with their partner, parent or family. It all comes back to the relationship you have with yourself, how you feel about yourself, your boundaries, your emotional resilience and ability to just cope with what is going on right now.
The rising levels of awareness around mental health issues have had an impact on the types of problems that people are bringing to Anna. Many are experiencing anxiety and much more than that, they are experiencing physical illness as well because it causes so much dysfunction in their lives. Many don’t know who they are. They don’t know what their own needs are so they don’t know how to meet their own needs.
Parenting is challenging and it is not to be underestimated, it is difficult but maybe not for the reasons we often think. Anna feels that it comes down to a few basic needs and if you know what the needs of a human are, you are in a much better position. With each developmental stage that children go through, the checklist is very much the same….for example do they feel valued, if they walk in a room do you acknowledge them, do they feel that attachment?
This is also relevant in organisations. How you treat people at work is a direct result of how you were parented, how you parent, the culture of the organisation and the team around you. It is a result of how you were brought up, the training you have had and your environment. Work is still about recognition, sustenance, success, growth and fulfilling the person you are, and could be.
Be the best version of yourself.
In any relationship that you have with anyone, you want that relationship to succeed whether it’s in your marriage, work, friendships or with family. If people don’t feel valued and significant you will never get the best out of them. Some inspiring thoughts from an amazing woman.
If you would like to get in touch with Anna feel free to contact her through her website www.annamichellerichards.com
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