We turned to Sheila for help when the pressures of being first time parents, holding down full-time jobs alongside full-time childcare on minimal sleep and with no outside support started to take their toll. We had been very hesitant to turn to a sleep coach, and a couple of others we had approached had either made us feel like we had done something wrong with our daughter or that our only option was to do controlled crying which did not fit with our ethos as parents. We had almost given up when we spoke to Sheila, but right from the first conversation, we knew she was the right person to help us.
Sheila really listened to our problems and our needs, and she explored fully with us our personalities as individuals as well as our family dynamics and our parenting approach. She never made us feel judged, ashamed or embarrassed by our position. She took time to explain biologically normal sleep which really helped us understand our daughter’s needs more, as well as helping us understand how our own personalities and styles and out daughter’s temperament all impacted sleep behaviours. She offered us a range of strategies to trial, and through checkpoint calls and feedback helped us identify what worked and to tweak and refine the approach. She offered lots of encouragement and advice, all suited to our personality needs. All calls were followed up with handouts for us to refer back to, and to help clarify points. Above all, she made us feel respected as parents.
After working with Sheila not only do we both have more confidence at managing our daughter’s sleep and recognising her cues and trusting our instincts, but we are now able to put her down to sleep independently (no more contact napping!) and she is sleeping much better at night. We are very grateful to Sheila – thank you!
I first met Sheila in 2016 in her capacity as an Independent Social Worker. I was being assessed to be a Foster Carer and although the process was long and (naturally) very intrusive, Sheila immediately struck me as being the most professional and the most knowledgeable person I had met in a very long time (probably ever). Four years later, when I heard that her journey had taken her away from social work and towards holistic sleep coaching I was thrilled and contacted her immediately.
By this time I had adopted a little boy who had been in my care as a foster child since he was fourteen months old and is now four. During our time together sleep had always been tricky. He had experienced trauma as a result of neglect and he was afraid that he would be left alone by his primary caregiver. He was so triggered that he struggled to fall asleep and our night-time routine was never what it ought to have been. We had been muddling through and we badly needed guidance.
I had been ignoring the well-meaning but frankly, horrible advice of friends and family who told me I was pandering to him and that I needed to toughen up. Sheila is AMAZING. Her approach was entirely therapeutic which complemented my attachment focussed parenting style and helped me to feel validated in so many ways. I am absolutely convinced that this lady knows everything there is to know about the many ways trauma will impact a tiny developing brain.
Above all, she listened to me.
As a single parent I have a fair amount on my plate, being exhausted all the time was affecting every aspect of our lives. Sheila never condescended to me, she talked to me about my lovely boy, she played with him and we decided what we were trying to achieve. Within days she had a plan. The package we received was unbelievable. I felt seen and heard in a way that was in danger of bringing me to tears. Within a week, my boy and I had settled into a new routine – one that ensured he felt safe, loved and protected and HE SLEPT.
I understand that the majority of potential clients will be parents of children who may not have experienced the things that my precious boy has but, there is nothing this lady cannot handle. She has my trust, my faith and I know that I will be calling her for advice again.
Thank you Sheila x
Sally (name anonymised)
I have known Sheila for many years as a friend and colleague. Sheila has a comprehensive knowledge of child development and attachment theory.
Her in-depth understanding of how people form attachments and maintain relationships within a family is integral to her holistic approach which considers all the relevant factors contributing to a presenting issue. Sheila’s support packages are thoroughly tested and evidence-based. She is able to provide valid reasons for advocating a particular approach and is able to explain those reasons clearly to parents in an empathic, reassuring and sensitive way. Families are assisted to become aware of their own abilities to manage and improve specific identified patterns of behaviour and with the recommended tailored support, are able to sustain these improvements with confidence.
Viv Lyons (Former Senior Social Work Practitioner)
I have been a colleague and friend of Sheila since 1985. Sheila has a considerable breadth of knowledge and extensive qualifications in the field of child development and her main area of expertise is family assessment.
She has an excellent record of enabling families to address and resolve their children’s issues in a caring manner. Sheila is highly skilled, having worked for many years with birth families, foster families and adoptive parents and children of all ages. Sheila and her partner have provided their own two children with a warm and nurturing environment that has enabled them to become balanced and mature adults and this reflects her thorough understanding of child development and attachment issues.
Ann Finneran (Retired Senior Manager Early Years/ Senior Ofsted Inspector)