MEET JUDITH WARD - JUDITH WARD HYPNOTHERAPY
Judith Ward is an award-winning anxiety expert, professional clinical hypnotherapist, single mother and entrepreneur. No stranger to change and upheaval, Judith leads from experience, specialising in helping people say goodbye to fears and anxieties and transform into becoming calmer and happier versions of themselves. Moving from London back to her now home in Northern Ireland Judith runs her clinic both in-person and online, her clients ranging in age from young children to 80+ years old and across the globe from the UK to Ukraine. Her warmth and empathetic nature as well as her passion for helping others are abundantly evident when you meet her so it’s no surprise to me that her clients both past and present regard her so highly. I am extremely proud to introduce her to you today. Over to you Judith…
SO, JUDITH, WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
I'd like to start my story back in 2015 when my world went through a massive upheaval. At the time I was working behind the scenes in Television on big Entertainment shows like Strictly Come Dancing. On the outside my life looked really sorted, I had the home in London, the exciting career, the husband, the new baby and a great set of friends. The unfiltered version was that inside I had this nagging self-doubt, that something was wrong. I was off work on leave with my baby and felt alone. Next, my marriage ended. First, my home went and I found myself not being able to stay in London. I had no choice but to leave behind my friends, career and my whole life in London to move in with my parents and restart all over again. I retrained when I myself had a session with a hypnotherapist and I knew that I too wanted to help others experiencing anxiety and to help them cope with life changes.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I wake up in the morning and get my daughter ready for school. I see some face to face clients or work online. I also create bespoke hypnosis recordings for clients. I am currently collaborating internationally with a group of writers to make a mindfulness app. I will be writing the content for the English version of the app as it is being launched first in Turkish. It is an exciting project and this is something I love writing and creating healing hypnosis recordings for people to listen to at bedtime. As I am a single parent I need to fit in my working day around my daughter's needs and I also enjoy going to Zumba and Aquafit during the week too. I fit in seeing my clients around my exercise classes and I also enjoy going for walks at the weekend by the sea to relax.
YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD DEAL WITH ISSUES SUCH AS ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, STRESS, INSOMNIA, ADDICTION, FEARS AND PHOBIAS, PAIN, WEIGHT MANAGEMENT, MOTIVATION, ANGER, EXAM NERVES AND LOTS MORE, WHAT CAN A CLIENT EXPECT WHEN THEY FIRST COME TO WORK WITH YOU?
When a client first comes to see me we talk about their best hopes for our time together. I give them a detailed explanation of the brain and how it works and how hypnotherapy can help them. I give them some practical tips on how to get their brain to start producing feel-good chemicals and give them a hypnosis recording to start listening to at bedtime. This helps with sleep and takes the brain into a calm start where we can get access to the subconscious mind. My clients have described these as real stress busters and magical stories. In subsequent sessions we do some talking and then get them on the couch. Or if I am working online with a client they can relax in a chair or lie down on a sofa or their bed.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE CRITICISM?
When I was younger I was very shy, I would have retreated into my shell if I had received criticism. Now I like to reflect and use it as an opportunity to learn and for growth. When I worked in the corporate world I used to receive six-month appraisals from my Manager and she would get feedback from all the Managers and productions I had supported. I used to take the feedback as positive and for things for me to improve upon.
HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOURSELF AND STAY MOTIVATED WHEN YOU’RE SELF-EMPLOYED?
My clients motivate and inspire me, I'm interested in helping them find solutions. Some clients have been through so much and still hold onto hope. I like to problem-solve and I have taken this skill from my previous career. I used to work on 10 different productions at the same time as I was the production safety advisor for BBC Entertainment and Comedy. I had to prioritise and work out what was most urgent to be dealt with first. This could have been a request to have a live bull on the set of Strictly Come Dancing or someone playing with fire on a show. I like learning and this keeps me motivated. My daughter keeps me motivated to provide for her as a single parent. She likes to hear people are coming for "relaxation”
YOU PREVIOUSLY HAD A CAREER AT THE BBC IN LONDON WORKING ON VARIOUS TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS, HOW DID THAT WORK LEAD YOU TO SOMETHING SO VERY DIFFERENT AND DIVERSE?
Whilst working at the BBC, I became the Trauma lead for Television productions at the BBC. I did two training courses on trauma risk which was delivered by ex-military servicemen who had worked with people with PTSD. I started to support production staff who were working on shows with traumatic content. This included talks to productions like Stacey Dooley factual overseas shows. I found myself during my marriage breakup looking for a new career where I could support myself and my daughter and focus on her needs. I really enjoyed giving peer support to the freelancers and when I found myself at a crossroads, I went to see a hypnotherapist and she really helped me and I thought I could do this to help others too!
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME AS A MOTHER AND ENTREPRENEUR? DO YOU HAVE ANY TOP TIPS OR SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHERS READING YOUR SPOTLIGHT Q&A WHO MAY BE IN A SIMILAR POSITION?
I have to be very organised as a single parent. I like to plan ahead and write down everything I need to do that day. My top tips are:
Planning ahead. I use an old fashioned hard copy diary as I find writing things down helps me to think clearer seeing it on paper.
Prioritise. Ask yourself what do I need to do today?
Do the most difficult task first and get it out of the way. Know your limits. Only work with people you know you can help.
Put your health first. If you don't look after yourself you can't work, be the best mum, wife or girlfriend.
A COMMON MISCONCEPTION ABOUT HYPNOTHERAPY IS THAT YOU HAVE TO BE FACE TO FACE TO EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS. CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW IT WORKS SO WELL ONLINE?
Firstly, I would like to say that clinical hypnotherapy is not like stage hypnosis. You are not out of control and no-one will ask you to cluck like a chicken or do anything you don't want to do. As long as there is a good internet connection and I can see the person it works the same as in person. The client needs to be in a quiet space where they can sit or lie down. My new course coming out is all online and can be done from the comfort of your home. The furthest client I've worked with was in New Zealand but I've worked with clients from lots of different places like America, England, France, Singapore and Ukraine.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND DIFFICULT ON YOUR JOURNEY?
It's easy to compare yourself to other business owners on social media and think their lives are perfect and they are super successful. I need to remind myself that I am on my own journey, there is only one of me and I can't be everywhere and do everything at once. You are more than enough. Avoid comparison it's unhealthy and does not achieve anything!
WHAT’S YOUR TOP TIP FOR OUR AWESOME FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS READING THIS ARTICLE?
Anxiety is created when we are not in the present. This is generally worrying about the past or the future or replaying conversations. If you find yourself in a state of anxiety, stress and overwhelm, bring yourself right back into the present now. Focus on your breathing, take some nice calming breaths and take a look around you. Stop and notice how you feel right now. Feel the air on your skin. Feel your heart beating. Your eyes seeing. Notice what you are hearing around you. Remind yourself that you are safe here right now in this very moment.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LIFE LESSON SO FAR?
Life is for living, it's precious. Don't waste it. Taking care of yourself is your number one priority. Self-care is so important. Worrying does not achieve anything. When I was in my 20's I found myself in a toxic relationship with a guy who serially cheated on me. I didn't know it at the time but I felt something was wrong. This manifested itself into an autoimmune disease. It taught me the importance of listening to my body and how our minds and bodies are connected. I listen to my body now and when I feel pains in my joints I take it as a sign to slow down.
WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE PLAYED SONG ON YOUR IPOD?
Dance Monkey by Tones and I. My 5-year-old daughter loves it and is currently in the process of killing it on repeat!! I am now not the biggest fan.....
WHAT DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
Change is possible. Whatever you set your mind on you can work to change it. It is never too late. If you want to make changes to your life, start small and then allow the momentum to follow. I worked with a young child today who was able to make changes and overcome her fears in gymnastics and go back to doing the things she loved. My oldest client this week was an 82-year-old who was open to change and was over the moon that after listening to my hypnosis recording slept all night!
DO YOU HAVE A BOOK OR FAVOURITE PODCAST RECOMMENDATION FOR OUR FEMALE CEO MEMBERS?
Tuesdays with Morrie - by Mitch Albom. A book about a relationship between an old student and his professor who is dying of ALS or motor neurone disease. It is an inspiring story and full of life lessons.
Stories of Resilience - The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and I've just finished the sequel book called Cilkia's journey. It is an amazing true story of survival and resilience. It helps you gain a perspective of your life.
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
Rapport, trust and really listen to what your client is saying to you.
WHAT MAKES YOU TRULY HAPPY AND HOW DO YOU HANDLE DOWNTIME?
Spending time with the people I love. I also love hearing the positive results and transformations from clients. When I am not working I enjoy reading, cooking, walks by the sea along the coastal paths (even in windy rainy Ireland in the winter), Zumba, aquafit and enjoying a tasty meal. The simple things in life make me happy.