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About Us

Vanessa Lewis

Vanessa LewisWho am I?

What drives me to help parents?

Why do I think I’ve got answers for you?

How did I get to launch Peaceful Parenting online?

Being a counsellor and life coaching is just part of my skills. Throughout my journey as a therapist, I have collected a number of techniques and gained the knowledge that helped me and now helps parents of children of all ages.  That’s right.. all ages.  Some parents seem to think that it’s just the early years you need to focus on.  I know better… the teenagers through to the young adults will provide just as much challenges and… it’s what happens in the early years for your children that determines how much trouble your teens give you.  Then add to that… your ability to parent effectively is directly related to how you were brought up!  How your family adapted to life challenges (like deaths, divorce, war, immigration etc) and how you learned to survive that and adapt.  These are the challenges we all face when it comes to parenting.

But first, a little bit more about me…  Starting out at the early age of 19, as a stressed out single mother, I gave birth to a highly active, head strong little boy (later diagnosed with ADHD) who taught me that my parenting approach (that was modeled on my parents being the authoritarian style), just wasn’t working. My son reacted by fighting back in a desperate bid to be right and heard.  The louder I yelled, the louder he responded and the quicker we dissolved into fighting and no one was the winner.  I tried rewards, counting (on 3 meant punishment), time outs and anything else I could to get control of him, to no avail.

Luckily, I’m a reflective person, I deeply adored him and wanted a better relationship… and I’m persistent and good at problem solving.  Through trial and error and facing many challenges along the way including:

  • starting a new relationship where neither son or partner really cared for each other 
  • moving house and schools which caused major problems for my son
  • getting married to the man that my son rejected
  • school disasters (with my son acting out and being asked to leave at age 8) and 
  • having another surprise pregnancy 10 years after my son (my lovely daughter) 

I had plenty of experiences to reflect on and learn what worked and what didn’t.  My son, was my greatest teacher!  I eventually realised that he responded much better to a relationship built on respect, being real, being trustworthy, feeling safe, working out and attending to his needs and expressing my emotions and concerns calmly and negotiating win-win situations with him.  This worked better than any other parenting skill I read, learned or came across.

My other break through came when I was studying counselling. I discovered the power of listening and was finally able to step out of the middle of the constant arguments between my son and husband.  I began to uncover their needs and help them meet them.  Peace began to prevail in the household.

Of course, child number 2 had the benefit of all of this experience and knowledge and is currently cruising through high school.

Other contributing factors that lead me here included that I volunteered early in my study to work for Parentline ACT Inc. as a telephone counsellor and also did face to face counselling for parents.  From there I went onto becoming a family counsellor for families of adolescents for the YMCA.  For both organisations I  taught parenting classes based on Parent Effectiveness Training.  In my sessions with individuals I used Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) to help parents release old thought patterns and damage caused by early childhood trauma.  I then discovered the power of Family Constellation Therapy to help uncover family dynamics and entanglements with the past.  This gave me a whole new understanding of parenting, attachment (the secure bond between parent and child) and the impact of family secrets and trauma.

But enough about me…

Below is some more information about some of the knowledge and experience that I have learned and integrated into my practice.  Please, read on if you’re interested…

Parenting & Attachment
About Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
About Family Constellation Therapy

Education

  • Adv Dip Counselling & Communication
  • Cert IV Training & Assessment
  • Master NLP Results Coach
  • Parent Effectiveness Trainer
  • Circle of Security (Attachment Theory and attachment assessment)
  • Family & Systemic Constellation Facilitator
  • Master EFT Trainer and Advanced Practitioner
  • Matrix Re-Imprinting Practitioner

Member of

  • Association for the Advancement of Energy Therapy – aamet.org
  • International Systemic Constellations Association – isca-network.org