(Un)Happy Childhood

Anxious children, worried adolescents, stressed students, school fears and phobia, bullying, anger, body image, shyness, social media issues, panicing parents..... the list seems endless

Anxious child? Stressed adolescent? Student under pressure at Uni? Anxiety affects their lives and reduces their opportunities. Low self-esteem and confidence levels can be crippling. Many children and adolescents suffer from social anxiety and phobia, some from making friends, others from night fears or being away from home. Some are teased or bullied. Some become the bullies, and many are increasingly angry. Body image and self-esteem concerns are increasing among our young people. Coping with educational pressures affects many. Peer-group and cultural influences can cause conflict and distress. Social media has a dark side. Pushy parents with high expectations make matters worse. 24 hour rolling news creates anxiety.

Our culture and social expectations often add to the problems. Get better grades to get to a better university to get a better job to get further up the success ladder to get a better house, and so on creates a vicious cycle which many young people are not able to counter. Reality TV shows where you are deemed a failure if you are not the best dancer, cook or cake-maker only add to the problem of self worth. School banners proclaiming how good your OFSTEAD results are only adds to the pressure for staff and pupils to succeed.

This retreat teaches young people the necessary skills to flourish in the increasingly demanding educational and social environment of youth and to develop that sense of being a worthwhile human being in the midst of all this judgement. It is also available for parents, teachers and carers who wish to understand the pressures on young people and how to help them grow and thrive in daily life. The retreat shows how to overcome negative conditioning before it gets incorporated into adult life.

The programme is taken by David Keighley, Director and Chief therapist at Therapy Retreats. As a qualified teacher he has taught in the Adolescent Crisis Unit at a Hertfordshire psychiatric hospital as well as in state and special schools.He has treated young people across the whole age range from young children to students in NHS and private practices for over 40 years, as well as working in youth clubs and a range of church based youth programmes. He has established three Nursery Schools in Hertfordshire, Hampshire and Cornwall. His belief is thatvteaching for life starts at an early age.His adult teaching posts have included teaching counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy at post-graduate medical centres in Devon and Cornwall. He has run seminars for teachers and Headteachers in Hampshire.

David also takes any courses or seminars when he is appointed to teach the programme to outside agencies or schools. He is available for pre-retreat meetings or discussions on this programme.

He is an enthusiastic supporter of J.Krishnamurti's view that school should prepare you for life not knowledge. Most come out of education 'magnificently unprepared' to meet the challenges of life. This is reflected in the unhappy conditions so many adults endure in their adult life.

Most parents simply want their children to be 'happy'.

"What we call life, or what most people call life, is really getting into a particular pattern, a particular framework, a particular groove, and then going on, if we can, along that particular groove, along that particular, narrow technological training. All we are concerned with is to get a job which will give us some money. You are not trained to be intelligent. You are trained to be clever. Intelligence is the capacity to question, to argue, to discuss, to find out. Observe the tree, the bird, the river, look at the stars so that everything becomes alive. That is the beginning of intelligence. That is the beginning of education. I hope you are getting there. "

J.Krishnamurti

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