Hi! My name is Sue!
I have always loved Teenagers!
But then - to be honest - I'm not like most people!
Firstly, I'm extraordinarily tenacious. I get Teens - I get their tenacity, their rebellion, their anxiety, pain and fear. I understand their love to challenge, their questioning, their arguing, their resisting and protesting - and I get their ability to keep on keeping on (I don't think my parents had it easy!). My precious mum also died when I was young and so I know what pain is like to a teen.
Secondly, I hate the status quo. I have never been good at the mundane, the boring, the plain or the expected. I believe life was for expanding, for innovating, for creating and for change. Our teenagers need change! I don't believe we hear them enough, recognise their hurt, nor deal with their pain. Teenagers need doors that will open - I am a door opener - I also get what they need to make life easier for their parents!
Thirdly, I'm a strategist. Give me a problem and I'll quickly show you a solution. Not only a solution but the method to get there, broken down, small bite-size chunks at a time. I do it so that EVERYTHING becomes manageable and doable. With Teens it's easy - you just have to know-how!
Over the last 35 years, I have been extremely privileged to have raised hundreds of teenagers in boarding schools, held pastoral care positions, and headed large teaching departments in schools in the UK, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
A shift into UK prisons to teach Restorative Justice in 2008 laid the foundations for trauma work and training - as well as an understanding that compassion rather than punishment changes lives.
In 2013 I founded Teenage Toolbox as a tool to transform teen lives , and in 2019 co-founded ImpACT-Mental Health.
Twice published - my understanding of human resilience is expressed through my personal life story of trauma, and complex PTSD in my first book called TAKEN.
My second book, HATE MYSELF HATE MY LIFE: A Teenage Guide to Finding Self-Confidence and Inner Love, was co-authored with Joanne Webb, and offers tools and strategies to overcome life adversity.
For eighteen years I single parented four children. Not only did I raise FOUR teenagers at once - but I also fostered - AND survived.
I know what it is to SURVIVE!
We are living in a Mental Health crisis. SURVIVAL is key!
I believe not only do survivors empower survival but now more than ever we are in need of individuals with 'lived experience' to empower transformation in both adults and Teenage lives.
My work includes experience in the following:
Positive psychology, Transactional Analysis (TA), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Restorative Justice, EMDR, strengths assessments, meditation, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, somatic experience, sensory modulation, Vagus Nerve exercises, guided meditations and Trauma-informed care.
I am currently excited to be training in Compassionate Inquiry, under Dr Gabor Mate.
'I believe teenagers are the most adaptive, creative and valuable asset that the world has. Yet they are also the most misunderstood, underrated and undervalued sector in society. Honour who they are, understand their needs, mentor them with wisdom: Do this within a framework of solid boundaries, and they will rapidly rise to become the most innovative and inspiring force that will change the world.'