Julia talks to Classlist why wellness is increasingly important for schools.
Q1: What is your business and why did you set it up?
My business is Oxford Family Hypnotherapy. I worked for twenty years as a teacher and Educational Consultant in the area of Emotional Health and Wellbeing. I became really interested in Neuroscience and the workings of the brain, particularly when under pressure. I realised that I could use that scientific understanding to help a lot of really miserable adults and children feel better, really quickly!
Q2: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
It chose me, really. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and I have a young daughter, so, like a lot of Mums, I wanted work that I was in control of so I could be the kind of parent I wanted to be. I also knew that I had an opportunity to help a lot of people and I’d always been interested in personal development. It makes me really happy to see others grow and change. Everyone is so busy with their crammed schedules, but I knew that I could help clients feel more motivated, calmer and happier.
Q3: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
I enjoy seeing clients grow and change. They often begin to feel better from their first session and that’s very gratifying. They look so much more relaxed (and even younger) when they get off the couch, it’s really quite amazing to see! I think I’m good for the local economy, because clients often come in and say ‘I’ve been for a haircut and a massage’ or ‘I met a friend for brunch instead of rushing home to sort the washing!’. I also enjoy the academic aspect of the work I do. It’s challenging to keep up-to-date with the latest scientific findings about the way the brain works.
Q4: Why did you locate your business in this area? What do you like about it?
I really like where I work. I’m located in Saturn Fitness and Wellbeing, above the Peachcroft Shops in North Abingdon. It’s very well-situated as a busy place, with lots of families passing through regularly. Plus, there’s plenty of parking, which is a big bonus when clients are busy. They don’t want to be searching for a parking space! Abingdon is a very vibrant place, with good links to Oxford and Didcot. I have clients who travel from all over Oxfordshire and I also offer Skype appointments for those outside the County.
Q5: Who inspires you most? Why?
I’m inspired by my clients every single day. I learn so much from them and love it when they realise that they can achieve their goals. We are all capable of change. Up until quite recently, we thought that the brain was like porcelain and our behaviour was set in childhood. Now we know that thought patterns can be changed throughout our lives and there is no need for us to stay with unhelpful behaviours and thoughts. You really CAN teach an old dog new tricks – it blows my mind!
Q6: What memory do you have of your own school days?
Bad hair, skirts that were WAY too short and wonderful fun doing school plays. I could probably tell you a bit about the Industrial Revolution too, if I thought about it.
Q7: What do you like about supporting your local school community?
It’s nice to be supporting the local school community. I like to get out and about into schools to deliver talks and I still audit for the Wellbeing in Schools Award in Central London and the Midlands, so I see a lot of very different school communities as part of my work. I was a teacher for twenty years and sometimes I miss being in school. I don’t miss all the admin, but schools are full of possibility and hope. I think that’s wonderful.