What a super(A)star!

Making the news | Meet Dwayne
study and concentration success
The Jansz family were excited by the prospect of moving from their native Sri Lanka to Dubai to embark on a new chapter in their lives. The boys had new schools to go to and Mum Rochelle was hoping they’d get off to a flying start. Dwayne, her eldest, had always been a high flyer after all and she wasn’t too concerned, believing that his academic abilities would shine through no matter what the context. However, when Dwayne began to plead with his parents to take him back to Sri Lanka, her initial positivity about the move turned to worry. She watched her son become a shadow of his former self, feeling the pain and anxiety any parent would experience seeing their once confident child withdrawing from the world.

“Dwayne really struggled to fit in at his new school,” his mum Rochelle remembers. “He started at a time when friendship groups were already well formed and he ended up spending a lot of time on his own feeling self-conscious and excluded.” The more Dwayne experienced feeling on the outside of things, the more his anxiety levels shot up. “He became so reluctant to go to school. Each morning the inner turmoil he was experiencing was written all over his pained face and it broke my heart. Nothing we said or did could alleviate the stress and when his grades started to plummet we were desperate to find a way to help our lovely, sensitive boy.”

hypnosis with Russell Hemmings
Peer acceptance is very important to young people and when they struggle with it, for whatever reason, it can rock their confidence to the core. The knock-on effects can be devastating to a child’s sense of self-belief and their academic attainment can be dramatically affected. Parents can do much to help support their child, but sometimes it takes the experience of an expert to really untangle the complex emotions at play and Rochelle knew she had to find that person if Dwayne was going to achieve what he was clearly capable of. She didn’t want the doors to his future success to shut because of poor academic performance and it was when she read Russell’s Ask the Expert column in Friday Magazine, she realised here was the person with the expertise and the insight to help.

“From our very first meeting with him, Russell made such a deep impression on Dwayne and me. I felt I knew him even before we met. He took the time to call me before our initial session, giving me the chance to explain the situation, so that he was fully briefed from my perspective, before meeting Dwayne for the first time. Dwayne was a little nervous to start with, but within minutes Russell made him feel relaxed and I knew then I had made the right choice. After just a couple of sessions, the difference in my son was striking. Gone was that tension he was carrying and that showed so much in his body language. He walked tall and his smile was back. It was so long since we’d seen that and such a relief to feel that weight being lifted. As every parent knows, when your child is struggling, you struggle too, so it was felt great.”

Using motivational life coaching Russell helped Dwayne to work through and understand the complex emotions he was feeling, building his confidence back up in the process. “Teaching him a range of strategies to deal with difficult social situations was the key to him unlocking new friendships that would ease his sense of being on the outside,” recalls Russell. “The fear that had built up by feeling self-conscious had become so great in Dwayne that it had become a barrier he couldn’t break down. It was that fear that was driving his inability to engage and once I had given Dwayne the tools to control it, then everything fell into place for him.”

And the end results? Well, those all-important sessions with Russell have yielded results even Rochelle couldn’t have imagined. “We knew Dwayne had the ability to do well, but his anxiety was holding him back. Once Russell dismantled that barrier, the world just opened up for him and when we opened those exam results we were blown away!”

6A*’s later and Dwayne and his family couldn’t be prouder or more pleased that they took that decisive action. “Dwayne is such a shining example of how Russell can help turn things around dramatically,” says Rochelle, a smile lighting up her face. “It’s amazing what that sense of self-belief has done for Dwayne. Now he’s got his sights set right at the very top and his future looks as bright as his results!”

Russell Hemmings
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