“The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost”
|Henry David Thoreau|
My name is Chantelle Branston. I’m a qualified counsellor, a mum to three amazing boys and at age 37 I was diagnosed with ADHD.
For the last fifteen months, I have been working in association with Dyslexia Support Services Yorkshire (DSSY), supporting people with a range of neurodiversity challenges. I am also a volunteer Counsellor for the national mental health charity Mind.
I’m a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and adhere to professional and ethical standards as well as staying up to date with the latest research and best practice guidelines.
My approach is integrative; fundamentally incorporating ‘positive psychology’ and implementing a combination of humanistic, cognitive behavioural and solution focused methods. Therapy is tailored to meet individual needs, depending upon the unique goals of the person. (Further details are available via the Services page).
I would say my interest in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was born along with my middle son 13 years ago. Of course, at the time I didn’t know I had created a ‘neuro-diverse’ child but, as a baby, he certainly did not sleep!
At 18 months old, my funny, charming, hyper, restless and excessively ‘daring’ baby was beginning to cause concern. Increasingly with age, his non-existent sense of danger, impulsiveness, explosive emotions and aggression (not dis-similar to Tasmanian Devil) was wreaking havoc everywhere we went. He would climb, bounce and jump on furniture, swing from the curtains and even try to ride stranger’s dogs!
After many consultations and assessments, (and having my parenting skills scrutinised), at 5 years 10 months, my son was diagnosed with ADHD. But this really was the beginning of my realisation that ADHD wasn’t understood, it wasn’t recognised, and others didn’t know how to provide support.
Friends and family rushed in to offer well-intended but ill-informed and unhelpful opinions and advice.
I cannot tell you all the comments and negative experiences we have faced but blame and ignorance have been a consistent theme.
By the age of 8, my son’s school career was a disaster and he was on the floor, as a family we all were. He didn’t enjoy school and the teachers were at a total loss on how to manage him.
My child’s confidence was diminished while his anxiety was through the roof. His self-identity was that “I’m just a bad kid”.
Despite years of trying to advocate support, all we had accumulated were negative judgements, exclusions, a bad reputation and of course a sore head (from the many brick walls we had hit).
Knowing my boy has a place in the world, I was not going to let it be one of failure and misery. After a LOT of battling; he is now thriving in education, is an amazing gymnast and musician, and appears to be heading towards a career in fitness.
Since that time I have received a diagnosis of ADHD (which explained so very much of the pervasive mishaps and mayhem throughout my life)!
So I GET it; I GET that it’s hard to feel understood. I GET that other people just don’t get it.
You can’t see it so how can it be real?
ADHD is real, it can be nerve-wrecking, frustrating and heart-breaking but it can also be beautiful, inspiring, creative and courageous.
For ADHD to thrive we must understand, apply compassion, identify strengths and find solutions. Efforts to force compliance into rigid systems have not and will not create happy healthy people.
So there you have it, my reasons for reaching out to you now. I am passionate and committed to helping my fellow ADHDers. (eating, sleeping and breathing ADHD here)! I have studied the topic extensively and have completed ADHD specific training.