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:
‘I started seeing Victoria for anxiety relating to exams and interviews. I can honestly say that the Thrive programme has changed my life for the better. It has helped me to view the world in a different way, and has made me realise when I am creating and sustaining unhelpful thoughts. Ultimately, I have regained control of my life!
Victoria has been kind and understanding throughout our sessions. She made me feel at ease from the beginning. Most importantly she has an amazing breadth of knowledge which ensured that any questions I had were never left unanswered. I have recommended Victoria and the programme to many of my friends already. Thank you so much Victoria!”
Tom, consulted for exam and interview anxiety
Ann, consulted for emetophobia
“I had emetophobia for as long as I can remember. At the ripe old age of 40, I was so tired of it that I needed to do something about it, but really had no idea what and how.
I found the Cure Your Emetophobia and Thrive book online 3 years ago, worked through it on my own and saw improvements which I was hugely pleased with.
But we now have a toddler, who has already had a couple of sickness bugs and I know more are inevitable and so I knew things needed to change. I was not at all happy with my inability to look after my little boy when he was sick, was conscious that I was teaching him to be fearful too, and that I was limiting his activities to fit in with my avoidance behaviours.
I re-visited the book but felt I needed a different approach so decided to seek out a Thrive Consultant to work through the programme with me.
Thank goodness I chose Victoria – she has been exactly what I needed. From the start she inspired me to work to overcome my phobia and to achieve the life I truly wanted for me and my family. She told me it wouldn’t be effortless – but it would be a simple, straightforward process which worked.
She has such an open, enthusiastic and caring approach which immediately made me feel comfortable being honest with her about my fears and sometimes strange behaviours!
There were several light-bulb moments where she gave me totally different ways of looking at something, or understood how I was thinking and made me realise how unhelpful and inaccurate it was. Just for these alone, it was worth starting at the beginning again and working through it all with Victoria
Throughout our sessions she gave me the confidence to continue, the knowledge that I could seek her support at any time and I totally felt that she was on my side cheering me along.
Several months later and my life is, on the surface, not a lot different. But in my head, life is totally different. I still have days where I have to consciously change my thinking, but overall I do not fear everything, am not looking for danger, am not resisting doing anything because of my fears and I now enjoy the moment and soak up the fun.
I do not have my phobia any more. I will not use that label, nor will I consider myself ‘cured’. There was nothing to ‘cure’ – just to change. At this stage I do still have occasions where my old style of thinking and patterns of behaviour sneak back in. These continue to get fewer and fewer, but I also now recognise them quickly and take steps to nip it in the bud before I spiral into panic and anxious behaviour.
Thank you Victoria for everything, our sessions were like spending time with an old friend and I will never forget how pivotal you were in changing my life and allowing me and my family to enjoy every moment together having fun, making memories and thriving.”
Ruth Smith, consulted for emetophobia
“Doing Thrive is the best decision I ever made, it has given me to skills to effectively manage my anxiety and stress levels and it has enabled me to do so many amazing things I never thought I could, due to low self esteem and anxiety.
I would recommend the programme to anyone who feels they need skills to become more resilient and powerful over their own life, as for me, this is definitely what it has done!”
Olivia B, consulted for exam stress and low self esteem
“So glad we made the decision to pay for Thrive with Victoria to help our teenage daughter. I worried at first about the expense and if it would work, but it’s the best thing I could have ever bought for my daughter as it’s made her so much more confident.
The difference it has made to her is truly astounding and our family is also happier because she’s happier.
Thank you so very much Victoria.”
“I initially visited Victoria as I had learnt to create a lot of limiting beliefs and worries in my life. I was making myself feel helpless and worried about a lot of situations and making challenges out to be much bigger than they actually were!
I had been studying the programme for a little while and hadn’t really ‘got’ many of the important insights around it, so decided to go through it with a trained Thrive Consultant.Sessions have been really useful and helpful for me to develop insights and gain perspective on what I thought were challenges.
Victoria is really lovely and patient and I’ve always felt comfortable discussing any limiting beliefs I have created or am in the process of solving.
My progression through the programme (and I say progression as I continue to learn!) has led me to create a lot of challenges. Early on, I would get frustrated, angry, upset and give up quickly, all because I had created the limiting belief that it should be smooth, linear progress and that Thriving = ‘Perfection’, as well as the assumption that the situation I’d created would last ‘forever’! However, this is just not true. I would be apprehensive of challenges and avoid possibilities of things going wrong as this would mean I ‘wasn’t Thriving’, ‘had failed’ and would be stuck like that, but this is also just not true. The Thrive programme teaches us that we are SO powerful, that we always CHOOSE how to address the challenges in our lives, or even how we create them.
It also teaches us that if we haven’t yet established the skills necessary to overcome challenges, we can ALWAYS learn to get stronger. Our skills and ability to excel in any area is never fixed in place. As a result, I am now learning to welcome challenges into my life as I know I have the skills and resources to deal with them, or I can continue to develop them through adjusting my process. No one enjoys being uncomfortable in the moment necessarily, but this is where the most growth in our lives occurs! By processing challenges in the scope of the bigger picture and developing our skills and resources we know we will overcome them through effort. Retaining the belief we will prevail no matter what is so important and true. Thriving is a journey and a lifestyle, not an exam to pass!
For anyone who is met with any unhelpful anxieties in their life, I would strongly recommend engaging with the Thrive Programme. It shows us that all our fears and worries are created BY US, not by external factors such as the situation or people we find ourselves with. This is so important as it demonstrates that if we are creating them, then, with a bit of work, we can overcome them!! We are so much more powerful than we might think!”
Stephen, consulted for anxiety and worrying.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.