August 19, 2017


I have had the pleasure of working with some lovely clients who have taken the time to write about their experience of going through the Thrive Programme with me. They have kindly given me their permission to publish their testimonials below:

“Before I started seeing Victoria I was feeling very depressed, I struggled going into university and even getting out of bed, my self esteem was incredibly low and I just felt terrible.  I had tried counselling through my university and was on my third type of anti-depresssants and was feeling no better.

The Thrive Programme completely changed my way of thinking and I know now that I am capable of handling anything that life throws at me. I feel like a brand new person and I’m incredibly grateful for what Victoria has taught me.”

Faye, consulted for depression.

“I decided to start the Thrive Programme because I was not living my best life. I’d tried CBT, and it just didn’t work for me at all. I felt hopeless, useless, a kind of “oh god, I’m stuck with this forever” sort of feeling. My parents could see I was struggling, and mentioned the Thrive Programme. At first, I was terrified of starting. However, on one particularly anxious day, I realised giving it a go couldn’t hurt and, well done past me, that was a great decision.

Before Thrive, I had very debilitating anxiety. I felt constantly sick, with stomach pain, dizzy spells and was starting to enjoy things less. I was honestly scared of my brain and how it was working. I’d wake up and think “Really? Another day of this? How on earth will I cope?” I genuinely considered quitting college and quitting my A Levels, and basically quitting everything that used to give me enjoyment.

When I began Thrive, things started to change. Instead of my anxiety absolutely freaking me out on an every day basis, I realised that my body wasn’t working against me. It wasn’t my enemy, it was just trying to protect me. However, I didn’t need protecting, so I would tell myself that. Whenever a symptom of anxiety would grace me with it’s presence, I tried incredibly hard not to think “Oh no, this again. I can’t do it, I’m going to either die or pass out. I’ll make an embarrassment of myself. Everything is awful.” Instead I’d try to think “Okay, I’m just a human body with a little too much adrenaline running through it’s veins. I can make myself as relaxed as possible while this passes, and it’s all good.”

This was not easy. In fact, this was very hard. I’d wired myself to believe that any symptom of anxiety would ruin my day, my week, or even my month. However, once I tried to start training my brain to react differently, anxiety could wash over me, rather than consume me. I stopped being scared of anxiety. It was just an emotion, a feeling, and nothing more. After anxiety stopped scaring me so much, that’s when things improved.

Recently, I got up on a stage 3 times, and received rewards for my achievements in my A Levels and progress in college. Yes, I walked onto a stage THREE times in front of a crowd. Without Thrive, I would’ve never, ever even considered doing that.

But I did do it, and I walked out proudly, got into my car and burst into tears (happy tears!) because I realised how far I’d come.

Life is much better now. Of course, like anyone, I still have bad days. However, now I’m not scared of the bad days and I don’t berate myself for them either. The good days far outweigh the bad days, and that’s all the matters!”

Jas Brookes, consulted for anxiety.

I first contacted Victoria, in the summer of 2017 after reading a book (Happy by Derren Brown) and I decided to delve deeper. I knew that I didn’t need any serious help, however I certainly needed to learn better skills in order to live a less stressful, less socially anxious life. I found Victoria on Google and discovered the ‘Thrive’ programme. It looked, and sounded, ideal for me.

Before I started Thrive, I felt stuck in a bit of a rut. Myself and my partner had a 1 year old, a house to renovate and I’d been forced to quit my job due to an unusual eye condition. Amongst all of that I was incredibly anxious about how I smelt, causing me to avoid social interactions and even avoiding simple tasks such as going to the shop unless it was necessary.

When I first met Victoria I was immediately at ease. She helped me understand what the Thrive programme was about, and how to complete it in the best way for myself and my current situation. So I decided to go ahead, and do this for myself.

After reading each chapter I got a very happy feeling, as I knew I was helping myself and learning new skills. Meetings with Victoria meant that we could work together on reinforcing the areas I needed to work on and she really explained exactly what I would need to be doing in order to make the most out of the programme.

Victoria truly cares for your needs and is dedicated to finding the best way to help you and your current situation.

I’ve made some fantastic changes. I can manage any stress and I also understand that a small amount of stress can be healthy and positive. And I now don’t even think twice about social interactions or nipping to the shop. The difference it’s made is indescribable. It’s like bursting free from a chain, constantly holding you back, when you want to be let go.

When I look back on the process I think it was the best money I’ve spent.

You have to put effort in, which makes it all the more rewarding, once you start to reap the benefits. I wrote a diary along the way and looking back through the pages, it actually tells me exactly what Victoria has helped me to achieve.

You can have any minor issues, and you’ll be taken seriously and put back on the right path. Or you can have more serious issues, and you’ll be treated just the same.

One key thing I would like to add is, we all have problems and challenges in life. You don’t have to struggle alone. But, you do have to reach out, in order for others to help you. And here is where I found my help.

Thanks again Victoria! I’ve truly benefitted from your help!

Sam Salthouse, consulted for stress.

“Thank you Victoria for helping me overcome my panic attacks. I found the programme brilliant- really useful and easy to understand. It has really helped me understand myself and has improved my well-being. Victoria is excellent. She is a lovely person who explains everything. I would definitely recommend Victoria and the Thrive Programme.”

Claire treated for panic attacks.


“The Thrive Programme was very useful in teaching me effective strategies to challenge unhelpful thinking styles. The strategies that I learnt have become invaluable and I am now able to apply them throughout my life. The Thrive Programme has also helped me to increase my self-esteem, which I have found particularly beneficial and I am very thankful for this. I would highly recommend the Thrive Programme. Thank you.”

Name withheld – treated for low self-esteem.


“I had not flown for 23 years and thought that I never would because although I had never had a bad flight even the thought of flying made me feel ill. My youngest daughter went to work in Florida for her placement year from uni and the thought of not seeing her for a year motivated me to try to overcome my fear of flying. A friend recommended Vicky and the Thrive Programme.

After our first meeting I felt so positive about being able to actually fly again I was amazed. The program made me think a lot about myself and my beliefs and changing my way of thinking about flying. I had a few ups and downs over the weeks, which I had been told to expect, but we always talked these through and gradually I realised I could do this, I could actually fly!! I finished the course, continued working on my book regularly got on a plane and flew to America.

I would not have achieved this without Vicky and The Thrive Fly Happy Programme and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the programme to anyone in my position.”

PT treated for a fear of flying.


“Hi Vicky just a great big thank you for working with me on Thrive. I feel amazing, empowered, in control but really peaceful. I cannot believe the difference I feel and so many family and friends have commented how calm but positive I am. Thanks for everything forever Thriving Jules x”

Jules treated for negative thinking.


“My daughter Emily is a 15 year old girl who has Aspergers. She has struggled through life with anxiety and emetophobia. All through her early days at school she never ate anything at school.

Emily wouldn’t bond with children her own age and was frequently bullied about being different. Emily was coming home from school very upset and anxious about life. She never joined in with after school activities or school trips. She had counselling from CAMS and was discharged. She also saw a therapist for CBT at the Priory but still life didn’t change- she had no school friends or any social school groups.

She started seeing Victoria on the Thrive Programme and gradually started to realise the positivities in her life.This year she attended a school trip to Rome and has also signed up to a summer out of bounds course. She has also expressed an interest in the school Prom.

Victoria is very easy to speak to and Emily felt at ease during the sessions. We are very grateful to Victoria and the Thrive Programme. She has improved since doing the Thrive Programme, giving her more confidence about doing things she wouldn’t usually do.

The Cure Your Emetophobia and Thrive Young Person’s Edition book was very easy to understand and work with. Emily has learnt through the programme to feel better about herself and has improved her self confidence.

I think the sessions were brilliant and the timings were perfect: familiar, unclinical meetings which allowed Emily to relax and speak out and she really opened up. The sessions have given Emily a more positive attitude to life and how to manage her anxieties.” Lynn.

Emily treated for anxiety and emetophobia.


“Going through the Fly Happy Programme with Victoria has made me look at my thoughts and perception in a different way. I used to think that I had anxiety when really I had created it myself. By doing the thrive programme it enabled me to get on to a plane which got me on holiday with my friends. It has opened up new adventures for me.”

AG treated for a fear of flying.


“I have struggled with emetophobia for as long as I can remember but, after a marriage breakup 18 months ago, I found it was getting progressively worse and taking over my life so I decided to get some help once and for all.

I came across Rob Kelly’s Cure Your Emetophobia & Thrive book on Amazon and, having read the reviews, I  thought I had nothing to lose giving it a go (I did this in conjunction with a lovely Thrive consultant – Victoria Bourque).  I could relate to everything that’s written in the book and Rob is the only person I’ve come across that seems to actually know what he’s talking about.

It’s not a case of just reading the book and you’ll be cured…you have to put consistent effort in and make sure that you complete all the exercises to start noticing a difference.  I’m still very wary about being sick but am in a much better place than I was – so much so that I ate bacon that had been open in the fridge for seven days last week – any emetophobe will confirm that this is a complete no no, however, I’m still here to tell the tale!

I would highly recommend the programme and Victoria Bourque.  From my extensive research, there is no other treatment available that even comes close.”

Sarah treated for emetophobia.


“When I first started the Thrive programme I did not imagine I would learn so much in such a short amount of time and that it would help me to develop an understanding of the way I think and my thought patterns, which I was really struggling to do before. Using the Thrive techniques I have learnt alot about myself, I have gained my confidence back which I somehow managed to lose sight of and I generally feel much happier!

Thank you Victoria for helping me to find myself again, it has been such a pleasure working with you and I will miss our sessions together! I would highly recommend the programme: it’s extremely useful and most of all enjoyable for anyone who would like to have a better understanding and relationship with themselves and the world around them.”

A. Smith treated negative thoughts.


“The Thrive sessions with Vicky have helped my child deal with negative thought patterns enormously; he is making good progress maintaining friendships and settling more at school.  The holistic approach used by Vicky, including family sessions and pastoral support from school, means that Thrive isn’t used in isolation and everyone is aware of the journey your child is undertaking. I’ve learnt much myself which I will use in my own life! It’s easy to understand, makes sense and doesn’t dwell on what’s gone before…only creating a happier future!!”

Name withheld – treated for anxiety and problems at school.


“I have suffered with emetophobia for as long as I can remember (over 60 years) and it has had a significant effect on my life and that of my family.  I came across the Thrive programme while browsing the Internet and decided that, after several other ‘treatments ‘ had failed, it was worth a try and my last hope of a cure.

I recently finished working through the programme with support and guidance from Victoria.  She kept me on track and ensured that I fully understood everything in the book and the importance of completing all the exercises.  The result has been well worth the effort, the time and the cost; not only has it helped me overcome my fear,  I also feel much more confident and in control in all areas of my life.  Victoria has been patient,  encouraging and supportive throughout the programme and I’m certain that, even had I read the entire book and followed all the instructions, without her help I wouldn’t have achieved as much as I have and I have her to thank for my new positive attitude to life and my belief in my own skills.

Name withheld, Emetophobia

After suffering daily with the torment of thinking I was going to be sick all of the time, and it getting me down and stopped me living my life doing the things I loved, like going out for meals, going to the gym and even made work difficult I knew there was something wrong with me. I went to the doctor who didn’t really listen to me, asked me questions about my eating habits (which I have never had an issue with) and diagnosed me with severe general anxiety disorder and prescribed antidepressants and anti-nausea tablets and put me on the waiting list for therapy.

I started taking the antidepressants thinking I had no other choice however they made me so so ill that I was darting to and from the toilet every 5 minutes thinking I was going to be sick, which was certainly not helping my irrational thought about being sick! I stopped taking the anti-depressants and just relied on the anti-nausea thinking that this would just pass once the stress of a change of career went away. However, whilst on holiday in Orlando, supposedly one of the happiest and most fun places in the world I knew there was something more than just stress wrong with me.

I was constantly carrying a plastic bag around with me in case I was sick (though there was no reason for me to be sick), not eating at restaurants, running away from the table to the toilets at times and just generally being consumed with this thought about sick, I actually came home from Orlando having lost weight! When I got home, I made it my mission to sort myself out and came across the term emetophobia. I have always been uncomfortable around sick, people being sick, even the sight of it and I would take travel sickness tablets for public transport even though I’m not actually travel sick, just to be safe in the knowledge that I had taken all precaution.

After a lot of research and reading those damned forums I came across Rob Kelly’s website and then his “How to cure emetophobia and thrive” book and ordered it straight away. I read it from cover to cover within about a week but although I understood the book intellectually and I really felt like it resonated with me, I wasn’t getting any better. I decided if I was to get over this fully, I would need support and I found Victoria who was able to complete sessions with me over Skype, which was so much easier than having to take time off work for session.

The sessions with Victoria were the support I needed, she pushed me through and helped me completely understand the book and why each action was important. She has been there when I have needed her on any given day and when I had a catastrophic blip not so long ago, she was there straight away making time for a few extra sessions. I could not have got myself over this without her help and support and I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone suffering with this dreadful phobia.

Although I am not completely over my emetophobia, I am feeling so so much better and I am on the tip of the iceberg of getting myself over this phobia. I am back to enjoying going out for meals and not thinking 24/7 about whether I am going to be sick or not, it’s just a thought that pops up every now and again. In fact, I have just returned from a trip to New York that I immensely enjoyed without hardly thinking about my phobia. I know that I am going to get myself over this emetophobia completely and it’s within touching distance, I just need to ensure that I am putting the effort in daily in order to make my new way of thinking a habit. I am so glad I found this programme/book and Victoria and I am confident in the fact that not only am I going to get myself over this phobia, but I am going to thrive as a result of going through this programme.”

CK treated for emetophobia.