Posted by: barbaraneill | November 26, 2015

Dyspraxia and Driving

When a person is diagnosed with dyspraxia, or even when they have grown up knowing they have the condition, they could be forgiven for thinking that some activities, such as learning to drive, will be out of the question for them but that needn’t necessarily be the case. In fact, it may be more difficult and take longer for dyspraxics than it does for neuro-typical people. However, early results of a study showed that when dyspraxic people have mastered the skills needed to drive, we tend to be better, safer drivers.

In my own experience, it was relatively easy for me because when I learned to drive, I had no idea I was dyspraxic and, therefore, had no unnecessary limitations placed on me because I was dyspraxic. As a result, I passed my driving test on the third attempt. That was in 1980 and I have never had any endorsements or points placed on my driving licence. I can’t help wondering how much more difficult it might have been had I known I was dyspraxic at the time, or whether I might have just assumed I wouldn’t be able to drive and never actually tried. My life would certainly have been quite different if I had never had a driving licence. Incidentally, my diagnosis states that I am “severely dyspraxic” so that means it’s possible for anyone who is determined, to learn to drive and pass their test. My (dyspraxic) son passed his driving test at the first attempt and has since gone on to take, and pass, his motorcycle test.

Of course, I accept that there are certain difficulties that are shared by dyspraxic learner drivers that would not necessarily be a problem for our neuro-typical, or non-dyspraxic counterparts. For this reason, I decided to do something to help smooth the way for dyspraxic learner drivers to focus, retain important information, learn to co-ordinate effectively, gain confidence and do everything that is required to pass the driving test and join the ranks of good, safe drivers.

As a hypnotherapist and dyspraxic driver, myself, I have developed programmes of hypnotherapy that address the specific situations faced by dyspraxic learner drivers. I have successfully used my hypnotherapy technique both in person and remotely via Skype. It’s a simple process, takes less than an hour and can make the difference between struggling to learn to drive and doing so easily, comfortably and safely. All you need is the desire to learn to drive and my hypnotherapy technique can help with the rest.

More details can be found on my website:




Posted by: barbaraneill | October 9, 2015

Hypnotherapy; busting one of the biggest myths

Barbara Neill 250 x 250

How many sessions are needed to achieve success?

If you are truly ready to make a change in your life, whether it’s to stop smoking, pass a job interview, eat more healthily, kick a drug habit, lose your fear of flying etc. you can do exactly that in less than an hour! There is absolutely no reason why you should need to arrange a series of hypnotherapy sessions to deal with one situation.

I am in the privileged position of having known about hypnotherapy all my life. My father, Bob Neill, was a pioneering hypnotherapist, and had been practising since 1950, albeit it on a part time basis, until the nineteen seventies when hypnotherapy started to become more accepted, (largely thanks to him; certainly in the South East of England). It was from then that he practised hypnotherapy full-time until he passed away in 2006.

Although I had been trained by my father, (as well as informally, by helping him in his practice for many years), I didn’t start my own hypnotherapy practice, formally, until 2010. There were several reasons for this, one of which was that I realised I had a lot to live up to by following in my father’s footsteps. It was, initially, a daunting prospect because he had an excellent reputation. He always aimed for complete success in one session of hypnotherapy, but accepted that sometimes a second session might be needed. Of course, in order to continue my father’s good work, I do exactly the same. Both my father and I have had countless successes in which only one session was needed.

In the past two days, alone, I have heard about successful outcomes for some of my previous clients. One of them came from someone who wants me to help them stop smoking because a friend of theirs successfully stopped smoking several years ago, after a single session of hypnotherapy with me. I was also contacted by an extremely relieved mother of a son who has successfully kicked a drug habit, after one session of hypnotherapy with me. Recently, a young man, who had been offered a job interview, lost his nerve and failed to attend. He was given a second chance and, after one session of hypnotherapy with me, he attended the interview and got the job. These are not isolated situations. It is normal for people to achieve their goals after one session of hypnotherapy, or at least, it should be.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that other hypnotherapists, who expect their clients to have more than one session for the same situation, are deliberately misleading clients. It saddens me to say that I’m quite sure many, if not all, of them genuinely believe that more than one session is necessary, because that is how they have been taught. The problem with that assumption is that it filters through to the general public and, as a result, becomes widely accepted that more than one session will be needed to achieve success. When that acceptance evolves into a belief, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If a client believes he or she will need more than one session of hypnotherapy, guess what; he or she will need more than one session! The subconscious is very powerful, as well as being subject to suggestion (which is, of course, what makes hypnotherapy so useful in the first place).

As human beings, each of us has the power to make positive changes in our lives but sometimes we need a little help to access that power. That’s where hypnotherapy comes in. It’s a very useful means of empowering people to make those positive changes, provided they are ready to do so and, frankly, if they are ready, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t achieve complete success in one session of hypnotherapy.

Just as some people can be convinced that a series of sessions will be needed, the client who believes it’s possible to stop smoking, pass a driving test, kick a drug habit, pass a job interview etc., after one session of hypnotherapy is most likely to succeed, after one session.

Even in those situations in which a second session is needed, if the role of the hypnotherapist is to empower the client, shouldn’t it be the client’s decision to have a second session, rather than the hypnotherapist trying to predict whether or not a second session will be needed? Even when I explain to my clients that some people find a second session is necessary, I always liken it to a safety-net; the option is there, should it be needed, but there should be no expectation that it will be needed.

I have yet to hear a convincing argument in favour of offering a client more than one session of hypnotherapy from the outset and, as far as I’m concerned, the only reason a series of sessions would be needed, when dealing with the same issue, is if the client is not yet ready to tackle that issue. My role, as I see it, is not to convince a client that he or she needs to make a specific change, but to empower them to make that change when they are ready to do so.

I would far rather work with one of the many people who genuinely want to make a change, and are prepared to commit to it. That’s when they are ready. Hypnotherapy is a means of helping them to unlock the power needed to make that change and, to genuinely empower them to do so, it should be done as simply as possible; in one session.

Posted by: barbaraneill | September 16, 2015

Dyspraxia; You Don’t Know the Half…

A fellow dyspraxic gives his views on growing up with Dyspraxia.


Hi, I’m Anthony Bozzola and I have Dyspraxia. It makes my handwriting look strange along with the way that I hold the pen and causes me to suck at sports and do everyday things that require hand-eye co-ordination in a way that can only be described as “weird”. It also meant that I grew up with a bit of a stutter, had the organisation and fore planning skills of a male Black Widow on mating day and would sweat over numbers more than a fifteen year old boy in a strip joint. I was lucky enough to get diagnosed when I was five years old so that I at least had some basic understanding of why I used to insist on tucking my laces into my shoes rather than attempting to tie them and not that I was ever destined to be one of the popular kids, my undeniably…

View original post 896 more words

Posted by: barbaraneill | August 22, 2015

Dyspraxia and pitching a tent

 In reality it was so much more than just pitching a tent. I was going to a festival with my new bell tent that hadn’t even been out of its packaging, and I had decided that ‘Glamping’ was the way to go. 
The friend who had arranged to come with me is very practical, which meant that pitching the tent would be a straightforward business. Unfortunately, it was the day before we were due to set off that I discovered my friend was unable to accompany me after all. I was faced with the daunting prospect of pitching the tent and filling it with Glamping goodies single-handed. 
When I had finished packing the car, there was barely an inch of space left. I was determined to have a ‘luxury’ camping experience and, thanks to the fact that I had arranged for an electric hook up, I was able to include a heater and a fan to ensure a comfortable temperature in my tent. 
In truth, I was more than a little daunted at the prospect of pitching my tent single-handed, particularly as it is made of “heavyweight canvas”. However, I really didn’t have much choice. Yet again, I had put myself into a situation in which I just had to get on with it, regardless of my dyspraxia and its accompanying difficulties. 
I did it. I pitched the tent, unloaded the car and set up an enviable Glamping experience. It took some time to do it, admittedly, but I was proud of the results. 
It isn’t always easy to do what we want to but, with determination, (a characteristic often associated with dyspraxia), we really can achieve anything we want to. 


Posted by: barbaraneill | May 9, 2015

A broken voting system


I’m sure most people who know me will already be aware that I am a member, and staunch supporter, of the Green Party, and I believe that, in a democratic country, a government should represent the majority of people who live in that country.

The situation we are in, following the general election 2015, is that we have in government a party that fewer than half of the people in the UK actually want. Whichever way you look at it, this system cannot pretend to be fair. I have only heard one argument in favour of the current, ‘first past the post’ voting system and that is that we are currently represented locally, and that would be lost if we were to adopt proportional representation as our voting system. That particular argument doesn’t wash with me on two counts. Firstly, there is no reason why we couldn’t be represented locally under a system of proportional representation and secondly, we do not have genuine local representation under the current ‘first past the post’ system.

As an example, I live only two miles away from Maidstone town centre. We are served by Maidstone Borough Council. We have a Maidstone postcode. We have a Maidstone prefix for our landline telephone number. We even have a Park & Ride bus service into Maidstone town centre that, somewhat ironically, we can easily reach by walking. (In fact, my youngest son always walks into town but he’s younger and fitter than I am!). So, as we regard ourselves, quite reasonably, as residents of Maidstone, it may come as some surprise to learn that we had to vote for parliamentary candidates in Faversham, which is twenty-one miles away! I have been to Faversham a few times in the past, but I have never regarded myself as a resident of Faversham, or even a resident of the Faversham outskirts and, unless I decide to actually move there, that’s not going to change.

I was present at the Maidstone count on Thursday night, (which was located, incidentally, within walking distance of my home), with my friends and colleagues in the Maidstone Green Party. It was a strange situation for me because the other members of the Maidstone Green Party had actually voted for Hannah Patton, the candidate we were there to support. With the bizarre boundaries that we have in place, I had been unable to vote for her but instead had to vote for Tim Valentine, in Faversham. I must make it absolutely clear that I have nothing against Tim who is, as it happens, a thoroughly decent bloke and, had I lived in Faversham, I would have been proud and delighted to be able to vote for him. My gripe is that he cannot be expected to represent the interests of those of us who live in Maidstone. In fact, the boundary of ‘Faversham and Mid-Kent’ even covers parts of Chatham, as well as other areas that must be close to thirty miles away from Faversham! I know that Tim made a stalwart effort to contact people in those areas that are way outside the region that can, under any other circumstances, be described as Faversham. Frankly, he had his work cut out and I’ve no doubt that he, together with the residents of Faversham, would much prefer to have a realistic boundary in place. I couldn’t blame them if they are outraged at the thought of those of us who rarely even visit Faversham having a say in issues that affect them, and them only. A cynic might suggest that bizarre boundaries such as ours have been put in place to manipulate votes, but surely that couldn’t happen in a civilised, democratic society, could it?! Perhaps we should question at what point we cease to be a civilised, democratic society.

Having destroyed the only argument I have heard against proportional representation, (‘representation’ being the operative word), I can also conclude that, should the system be implemented, it would put a stop to tactical voting. As far as I’m concerned, the practice of voting for a political party, other than the one we truly want to see in power, simply to prevent another party from ‘winning’, is an inevitable symptom of a system that is broken beyond repair. If we wish to continue to see ourselves as a democratic society, we must implement a drastic change from the current system, and proportional representation seems, to me, to be the only fair way of doing it.

I am now finding it rather ironic that those in favour of what I regard as the polar opposite of the Green Party; namely UKIP, would also benefit from a system of proportional representation. So, we currently have a system that is so badly broken it can even unite UKIP and the Green Party! Who’d have thought it?! Surely, it MUST be time for change.

If you agree, please sign the petition

Posted by: barbaraneill | March 20, 2015

The power of limiting beliefs

The Power of Limiting Beliefs

As a hypnotherapist, I fully understand and appreciate the power of the mind particularly, to coin a phrase, ‘mind over matter’. In my work, I rely on the power of my clients’ minds to effect positive changes in their lives. As an adult who happens to have dyspraxia, which was undiagnosed until well into adulthood, I also appreciate the importance of positive thinking if those of us who have the condition wish to function, happily, in society.

Of course, as a hypnotherapist and as an adult who has dyspraxia, I am aware of the power of the mind when used to positive effect. However, our minds and beliefs are not restricted to working in a positive way. There’s no discrimination between ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ where our minds are concerned and beliefs, in particular, can wreak havoc when focused on the negative, making them powerful.

Recently, I’ve been giving a good deal of thought to the power that limiting beliefs can have over our lives. I have noticed, particularly, that this can happen all too easily with regard to dyspraxia and, unfortunately, limiting beliefs can also impact negatively within hypnotherapy.

To be honest, I could probably write a book about the power of limiting beliefs so please bear in mind that this short article is really just the tip of the iceberg. Firstly, I’m going to deal with the issue of limiting beliefs with regard to dyspraxia.

The power of limiting beliefs in Dyspraxia

I was fortunate to have grown up knowing absolutely nothing about dyspraxia and, for that, I’m grateful. That’s not to say my childhood was problem-free; quite the opposite, in fact. My schooldays, in particular, were extremely difficult, as I faced trial after trial, all day, every day, thanks to the fact that nearly everything on the curriculum appeared to have been designed to make life as difficult as possible for a child who has dyspraxia. In spite of that, I’m still thankful that I didn’t know about dyspraxia in those days. Actually, no-one did; certainly not my teachers, who were baffled by the fact that I was ‘bright’ but still struggled with nearly everything I was expected to do. The reason I’m thankful is because there were no limitations placed on me, by teachers, parents, psychologists or anyone else, because I’m dyspraxic. There were no allowances made for me because I’m dyspraxic and, while there were certainly times when I would have appreciated that, it meant that I, like everyone else, was encouraged to believe that I could aspire to be anything I wanted; to do anything I wanted.

It saddens me when I hear well-meaning people exclaim that their son, daughter, niece, nephew etc. will never be able to drive, for example, because he or she is dyspraxic, or that he or she will never be able to play sports because he or she is dyspraxic, along with a myriad of limited beliefs about dyspraxia, because the truth is, they probably won’t. That’s because if we hear something presented to us as fact often enough, we start to believe it. It frustrates me when, after explaining that I have been driving for more than thirty years without a single point or endorsement on my licence, I’m told that their son, daughter etc. must be more severely dyspraxic than I am, in that case. (As a matter of fact, my diagnosis states that I am “severely dyspraxic”). Those who believe it’s impossible for a dyspraxic person to learn to drive, play sports, play a musical instrument etc. etc. are so entrenched in their limiting belief that they have to find a ‘reason’ to justify it, hence, “If you can do that, you can’t be as severely dyspraxic as…”. In fact, anyone who has dyspraxia can learn and accomplish anything they want to. It will probably take longer than it would for their neuro-typical peers, and it’s likely to be more difficult, but it certainly isn’t impossible.

This is the message that my dear friend, and fellow dyspraxic, Matthew Munson, and I work hard to get across, in our roles as The Two Dyspraxics (T2D).

The power of limiting beliefs in Hypnotherapy

I am in the unusual situation of having been brought up by a hypnotherapist; my father, Bob Neill. He was practising hypnotherapy before I was even born, (and I celebrated my 60th birthday recently), albeit it in a small way at that time because generally speaking people weren’t open or forward thinking enough to accept hypnotherapy to the extent that it is accepted today. So Dad was something of a trailblazer, and I’m very proud of him for that.

For most of the seventies and eighties, Dad was the only hypnotherapist in Maidstone, Kent, where we lived, and was in increasing demand as hypnotherapy gained popularity, due in no small way to him and his reputation. In fact, his reputation spread to such an extent that one of his clients travelled all the way from the USA to England, specifically to see him. During the decades that he was practising, Dad developed his own technique. He always aimed for complete success in one session of hypnotherapy and, for the vast majority of his clients he achieved it, because no-one had told them it couldn’t be done. He readily accepted that some clients might need a second and, in very rare cases, even a third session. Because he saw hypnotherapy as a means to empower his clients, (as I do, my clients, I hasten to add), he would always leave the decision to them as to whether or not they felt they needed a second session.

As hypnotherapy has gained in popularity, there are many more hypnotherapists nowadays, (and a very wide variety of hypnotherapy training schools), and we can be spoilt for choice when choosing which one to visit. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are many different techniques and methods used so it’s unlikely that two hypnotherapists will work in exactly the same way. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the techniques employed by hypnotherapists vary widely from one to another. For example, because of my background, I was horrified when I first heard of hypnotherapists who wanted their clients to commit to a series of sessions in order to address one single issue. Regardless of the fact that probably all professions have their share of charlatans, I’m not suggesting, for a moment, that this is the case as far as my colleagues are concerned. In fact, I know several hypnotherapists who don’t aim for success in one session, whose integrity is certainly not in question. I have no doubt that they believe more than one session will be necessary because that is what they have been taught and, in consequence, they have limited beliefs about the power of hypnotherapy and its ability to be successful in a single session.

I asked a number of colleagues, recently, how many sessions they would expect a client to book in order to deal with one issue and the response was incredible. I suspect that particular debate will rumble on for some time to come. I was dismayed to find that those of us who expect success in one session appear to be in the minority. This is where the power of limiting beliefs comes in. Even complex issues can be simplified enough for the mind of a hypnotherapy client to deal with positively, in one session, and it doesn’t have to keep being reinforced; unless that client strongly believes that more than one session will be needed. So what happens, effectively is that the client has heard, be it on the grapevine, from other therapists or wherever, that success cannot be achieved in one session, and then goes on to believe that to be the case, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, the limiting belief would have to be tackled before the therapy itself could begin.

I was saddened very recently, when a client told me that he had been advised that he would need at least four to six sessions. There is no way in the world that any therapist could know that in advance of seeing the client. We are all individuals. Some individuals are so open to the power of their own minds that they ‘get’ how important it is to accept that they can make positive changes quickly and easily and, guess what; they’re the ones who do exactly that.

I have had to make a drastic decision in my hypnotherapy practice because of the power of limiting beliefs. There are now so many people who are being led to believe that they cannot achieve success in one session of hypnotherapy that I have had to make a small change to the way I work, without compromising my values. From now on, when a client comes to see me, at the end of the session of hypnotherapy depending on how they feel, they will have the option of paying for the one session, or booking up to two more sessions (at a reduced cost), if they really believe that more sessions will be needed. There is one thing about the way I work that will never change. I will always aim for complete success in one session, regardless of anyone else’s limiting beliefs.

For more information about hypnotherapy and/or dyspraxia:

Posted by: barbaraneill | July 4, 2014

Peeing standing up

I honestly never thought I’d live to see the day when I could pee standing up. I’m female, you see, and always have been. Now, I have in my possession, a little gadget that rewrites the rules when it comes to peeing.

I’m sure most of us must have heard of the ‘She-wee’ by now. It’s effectively a funnel that’s shaped to fit ‘lady parts’ and direct a flow of urine away from the body. I have to confess that when these items first appeared on the market, I was one of those doubting Thomas’s who couldn’t really see the advantage in such an item and I suppose I could have been accused of, well, taking the piss. It’s a different story, now, though.

My interest in these revolutionary funnels was sparked when I was making plans to go to a festival later in the summer. I would be camping for three nights and feasting my ears on live music. Brilliant! I wasn’t, however, looking forward to the much maligned experience of using festival toilets. I’ve done that countless times over the years and it’s never a pleasant experience, so I decided to make my own arrangements.

A bucket in the tent seemed a bit of a crude option, but I actually considered it, albeit briefly. Nowadays, it’s possible to buy buckets that are shaped like toilets and have a toilet seat, (complete with lid). Although this may seem like a more civilised option it is still a bucket with a lid, whichever way you look at it.

With the ‘bucket’ idea all but dismissed, my attention turned to alternatives and I was amazed to discover that it’s possible to buy bags, (such as Bog in a Bag), that contain a gel that absorbs urine and neutralises odour; is thoroughly hygienic and can be disposed of in a rubbish bin. Eureka! These bags, together with the aforementioned ‘She-wee’ could revolutionise my festival experience!

Conducting my research on the Internet, I discovered that that there are now several alternatives to the She-wee. I decided on a Whiz Freedom, as it is more pliable, is claimed to be completely leak-proof and happens to be purple. I love purple! No more long queues for the loos, with an unpleasant, smelly toilet at the end of it. No more traipsing across the campsite in the wee (sorry!) small hours. Whiz Freedom would, indeed, be as liberating as its name suggests.

In the early days of the She-wee, I failed to be grabbed by the joys of being able to pee standing up but, now that I can see a very positive use for this little device, I have actually gone ahead and invested in one.

My juvenile side can’t help hoping my female friends will follow my lead. Then we could all discover that previously forbidden joy of seeing who can pee highest up the wall!

Posted by: barbaraneill | July 3, 2014

Dyspraxia and Knitting 2

photo 6

Well, arguably against the odds, the back of the jumper is finished and the wool has been cast off. I can’t believe it only took a week to get that far. I was hoping to get the jumper finished by Christmas… 2015! It looks as though I may hit that target, with time to spare!

Before I get started ‘casting on’ for the front of the jumper, I can’t help being a little bit amused at how the few remaining stitches in the middle of the back are being secured. They’re held in place by a nappy pin; one of MY nappy pins, from when I was a baby. At last, a use for it after all these years. 😉


Posted by: barbaraneill | June 30, 2014

Dyspraxia and Knitting

Knitting; Day 1

Knitting; Day 1





Knitting; Day 2

Knitting; Day 2

Knitting; Day 3

Knitting; Day 3

Knitting; Day 4

Knitting; Day 4

Knitting; Day 5

Knitting; Day 5

As I’ve said before, I’ve ever considered myself a ‘natural’ when it comes to knitting. Dyspraxia doesn’t help, of course. My fine motor skills, as a dyspraxic person, are as expected; not brilliant. However, I do like a challenge now and again and, in spite of my earlier misgivings, I have made progress with my knitting project that I can hardly believe.

After only five days, I have something that is beginning to look more like a jumper than just a few rows of knitting on a needle. Because I have chosen stripes of different colours, it has helped to spur me on; looking forward to the next colour-change, which has, undoubtedly aided progress. Tying the ‘new’ colour onto the existing one is, I’m finding, very challenging as it’s quite reminiscent of that old dyspraxia favourite, ‘tying shoelaces’.

However, I won’t focus on that. I shall, instead, revel in the progress I’ve made, so far, and keep my sights on the next stage in the process. Time to go now. I have some knitting to do.

Posted by: barbaraneill | June 30, 2014

Writers’ Prompts – Blurb 1

NTW audio cover

Writer;s block; it’s something everyone has heard about and it can be so frustrating when it happens. Maybe you have a deadline to meet but the words just aren’t flowing.

I have been blessed with dyspraxia and, although it has its associated difficulties, I use the word, “blessed” because creativity tends to be a by-product of dyspraxia and, for that reason, I am rarely short of ideas. That includes ideas for projects, including writing projects. I have lots of ideas for stories but, realistically, I will never be able to write all of them. That’s why I’ve decided to publish, here, in my blog, some of those ideas. Please help yourself to any story ideas triggered by these ‘blogs’ for stories that have yet to be written. You may be the very writer that the blurb has been waiting for!

Blurb 1 – Andrew’s Secret

Marion is delighted when Andrew, the mysterious and captivating man she has been dating for the past few weeks, invites her to join him on a weekend away. A stark contrast to Marion’s controlling ex-husband, Andrew showers her with gifts, flowers and undivided attention.

Envisaging luxurious spas and four-poster beds, Marion can’t wait to see the surprise venue that Andrew has arranged for them, but is stunned when he parks his car outside a disused block of flats. The surrounding area is deserted and Marion begins to fear for her safety. Andrew, on the other hand, has a gleam in his eye and a horrifying secret in the boot of his car.

There is an even easier way to combat not only writer’s block, but also procrastination, keeping to deadlines and other problems experienced by writers, and it can be done, easily, in less than half an hour! All you have to do is download and listen to The Neill Technique for Writers mp3, available for a limited time only at just $16.75 (approximately £10). The Neill Technique has helped aspiring writers and established authors alike, and is suitable for novelists, article writers, web authors, songwriters etc. Check it out now!


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