Childhood Fears

Addressing Childhood Fears

Fear of Dogs

Mum called feeling very distressed about her daughter, E who had been suffering a real phobia of dogs and also with high levels of social anxiety and separation issues. The teachers at ‘E’s’ primary school had also noted that E had been seen quite often on her own in the playground.

Both parents had tried absolutely everything to help their daughter with her phobia of dogs which had got out of hand to the point where they weren’t able to visit anyone who had a dog which wasn’t locked up. In the past both parents had taken ‘E’ to see a child psychologist, a pediatrician, a male hypnotherapist (E didn’t feel comfortable with him) and a GP and nothing had been able to help their daughter up to this point.

Feeling fed up and at their wits end with what to do mum told me “You are our last hope, we just don’t know what to do anymore?” The parents started the Goulding Process- Sleep Talk® Foundations Phase  straight away and within a few weeks they already started to notice a marked improvement in ‘E’s level of confidence at being able to be left on her own.

Within the next 6 weeks, E was beginning to demonstrate a much higher level of more confidence around dogs, herself and others. There was a very noticeable in E’s response to dogs, when they went to the park and she saw a dog instead of the old reaction to run and scream, E stayed calm and didn’t panic; both parents were amazed by such a quick positive change in behaviour. Previously she would have been petrified and screamed and now she was much calmer.

During the 3 months both parents described the results as astounding. Mum said “we have our daughter back and you have changed our entire family’s lives, we can’t thank you enough”. Mum told me they can’t believe after all they have been through just how much this whole processed worked to get their girl and their family such amazing results…

The end result, E is now playing happily in the playground at school with friends, E is calm, confident and happy. E no longer suffers separation anxiety and is a happy confident little girl AND E asked her mum and dad if she could have a family pet; A DOG!!!!

Nicole Lane – Accredited Goulding Process- SleepTalk® Consultant.


Felt like a knot had been undone. 

“Parents feedback mum has shared with me that many nights ‘E’ was responding physically to the Goulding Process- SleepTalk® and has often either voiced a sigh or even smiled. 

During the day, manifesting what was said during the night, with parts of the suggestions seemed to make a huge difference to her. Mum had forgotten about it, when I called her a week in to check on her, I reminded her and the result became really visible immediately.  ‘E’ is very vocal and loves to talk things through.

The Goulding Process- SleepTalk® had a response in her that “felt like a knot had been undone”. Given the opportunity to talk her through her emotions mum found it much easier to parent her.

Also dad felt that The Goulding Process- SleepTalk® as a tool, had made him feel a lot more competent as a father because it was so tangible. Both parents also agree that the energy created while doing the process  before they themselves are going to bed, has helped to create an overall better energy in the household.

As this case has been a while ago and the family has come back to me for further level 2, I can overall say that it has been a strong tool in their toolbox, helping ‘E’ to grow into challenges she was facing and come out stronger at the other side.

Really, as a parent coach I see the value also for the parents who feel more competent with a tangible tool and really supported.”

Accredited Consultant – Cornelia Dahinten – Zurich 2014


No longer afraid

Parent Feedback: “Hello, I have known Mrs. Lahode by my pediatrician. He told me about the Goulding Process – SleepTalk®. Because my first boy was agitated, was afraid of  anyone and for my 2nd he was also shake but on the other hand it was a lot of whim. 

So on September 7th, 2016 I went to see Maha and after that I started the Goulding Process SleepTalk® and I can tell you that my children have completely changed in some time they are more calm, the big one is no longer afraid and the little less capricious.

A big change. A big thank you to Mrs. Lahode for those words and advice and the Goulding Process- SleepTalk® that really works.”

Accredited Consultant and Trainer: Maha Lahode – Genève 2017


Not frighened anymore of spiders or flies anymore.

Feedback received from the parents:  “Our son is doing much better all round, he is not crying so much, not freaking out so much, more confident in his studies as he is top of the class and he wants to go to a specific school.

His creativity has improved no end and he is suddenly NOT frightened of spiders and crane flies anymore!  He is also more confident in training other kids in kick-boxing and his overall confidence has improved.

He will now go to shops on his own, he went down a huge Zip Wire at Go Ape much to his parents amazement.  However, he is not dealing with anger so well – probably as it has been the summer holidays and he gets irritated with his sister, but we are continuing to work with that issues. ‘E’ is much more affectionate and cuddles all the time.”

Consultant: Paola Bagnall – UK 2009


Much Calmer

“What a session!  Mum was so happy and said that ‘L’ was hugely, hugely better and has not mentioned her anxieties at all. ‘L’ keeps waking up and sits up when mother goes in to her bedroom and says: “what are you doing?”

Thus I suggested not doing the touching before the Foundation from now on. Mum has been texting one of the foundation suggestions to both girls since our first session every day . One day she missed doing this and ‘L’ texted her “where is my text?” Mum feels that ‘L’ needs lots of reassurance.

I suggested an additional suggestion. Mum also said that children mirror you and she has seen this, now she is calmer having done the Goulding Process – SleepTalk®, ‘L’ is calmer.”

Consultant: Paola Bagnall – UK 2009


Met some new friends.

Parent Feedback: “I love this process, its easy and builds better connections with my boys.

My son is now more positive about eating some other things (but still prefers chips). Need more work in this area, but it’s a big improvement.

He is feeling like he belongs in his new 4yr old kinder program now and has met some new friends.

Have had big improvements with boys wanting to go to dads overnight and they even like his new partner. Overall, very happy with the process.”

Accredited Consultant: Anneliese Luz – Vic 2019


No longer panics when it rains

“The end result was very positive in this case as ‘E’ no longer feared storms with the same intensity as she did 4 months ago. She no longer wakes when it rains or start to panic when  grey clouds appear.

This means she has become less anxious and her parents are also less anxious knowing everyone will be able to sleep even if it rains!

The extra energy she has now that she is no longer anxious has been put to good use with new gymnastics and swimming classes. ’E’ is also beginning to try new foods which previously she rejected by simply smelling them. 

The family are keen to use The Goulding Process – SleepTalk in the future when different challenges arise.”

Accredited Consultant: Olivia Walford – Vic 2018


No more grinding teeth. 

“The parents reported that ‘A’ had improved in physical ability and her approach to kindergarten.  She is taking more risks and attempting tasks that in the past may have been too overwhelming. 

Although still some anxiety but seems to be working in herself to overcome it. It takes a great deal of effort but now she can do it.  She is calmer; some of her fears are no longer a factor and Mum cannot recall her grinding her teeth at all recently. 

Mum reports that there has been considerable change in several areas that justifies moving to Level 2.  Fear and Anxiety are still issues for ‘A’ as she is still being affected by her difficulty to cope with change. It is being addressed at Kindergarten, and the parents still have some concerns. 

She is sensitive and empathetic and needs to improve her confidence and ability to handle “whatever comes along” and to keep herself calm when she is overwhelmed with nerves.  Specific Suggestion were introduced and the “sandwich” structure explained and to repeat the new suggestion 5 times.

Feedback: The new baby arrived a week after our meeting, and Mum said that while it has been a little difficult, they have been doing The Goulding Process- SleepTalk® whenever possible – both siblings. Feedback from this family has been delightful.

 ‘A’ has told her mum at kindergarten that she feels “strong and happy today”! I am concluding the case study at this point, but I intend to follow up monthly.”

Accredited Consultant: Kim High – Australia 2019 

Separation anxiety, Fear

A Goulding SleepTalk Consultant talks about case histories.  The Goulding SleepTalk Process is a method whereby parents are involved in building self esteem and an awareness of unconditional love in their children, as well as dealing with behavioral and emotional issues. SleepTalk is a valuable parenting tool for all parents.

PTSD / Visual Hallucinations / Fear

Yarra Valley Practitioners Project (YVPP) SleepTalk® for Children – Case Study mothers report:  “Some months after the fires my son developed a significant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including visual hallucinations.  With psychological support, a trip away and a summer without fires he improved but remained anxious, unable to separate from us easily and with ongoing vague physical symptoms.

With the assistance of SleepTalk® – a year on he is a much healthier boy.  He sleeps as well as before the fires, has made new friends, tried new foods, can’t wait to go on his school camp and is engaging in life with a new confidence.  He is less fearful of change than he has ever been in his life.  When things go wrong as they inevitably do in life he deals with them far more calmly.  At the end of 2009 I wondered if the fires were still going to take my boy from me; now I have him back. Thank you Joane.”

SleepTalk Mum – JW – May 2011

Fear and lack of confidence

Feedback received: “A little girl 5 years of age with lots of fears. ‘S’ has separation anxiety, going to others, fear of school outings, of noise, of being alone and if also fearful of expressing her opinions. She has lots of temper tantrums and lacks confidence.

At the completion of Phase 1, ‘S’ is less shy, she willingly participants in school outings, temper tantrums have decreased and she plays willingly alone. However she still accepts all that her friends ask of her, as she is afraid that her girlfriends do not like her.

At the completion of the 2nd Phase: ‘S’ has improved  a lot. She is willing to express herself more and is much less disturbed by noises.”  

Accredited Consultant: Maria Amella-Burcher – France


Ten year old sibling of Case 1 presents as a well adjusted young person with no apparent need for SleepTalk®.  Joane encourages the parents to use the Foundation process on the sibling also.  After 2-3 weeks the brother’s name is inserted into the Foundation statements. (as per case 1).

Case 2 is a competitive acrobat, having represented the state at National Level at the age of nine.  On the surface she seems capable and the sort of person who takes everything in her stride.  However, she is actually highly stressed due to the demands of competition and she is starting to doubt her ability to execute certain skills within the routine.
Joane and the girl’s mother quickly work together (first qualifying competition is three weeks away) to come up with some primary suggestions to add to the Foundation process.

The ‘Specific’ suggestion they choose incorporated statements that encouraged remaining calm, relaxed, secure and remaining positive”.

Due to school holidays and absences of other members of the team, it is uncertain for the first two weeks if the primary suggestions are being accepted.  At the first training session of the new term, with only one training session to go before the competition, case 2 reports how she executed the routine from start to finish, including her back sault to tummy (her primary fear), with absolutely no assistance from the coaches.  She is clearly delighted with her performance.


Aged 4 years ‘E’ is still reliant on her dummy/pacifier. The habit does not seem to be easing the older she is getting. She is very good in the morning in terms of not needing it, however later in the afternoon, around bath time and the more tired she becomes the more dependent on the dummy she becomes. She also takes her younger brothers dummy. Other issues that have been raised is specifically around separation anxiety, as she lacks a bit of independence and this comes through in her needing to sleep with Mom in the middle of the night or being fussy when dropped off at school. 

Sleep issues are also a challenge as ‘E’ doesn’t like to sleep in her own bed, not wanting to greet new people and being quite shy. In terms of her eating habits, she can be quite fussy about what she wants to eat. But is quite strong willed and is capable of getting her own food or water or will stick to a singular item to eat like only bacon or only chicken on some days. 

Mom has definitely found the process the most useful and encouraging. She has thoroughly enjoyed implementing this into her household and has called it a very “beautiful process”. ‘E’ has systematically begun to desensitise the dummy habit. Other notable improvements ‘E’ has also begun to sleep in her own bed, has decreased the dependency on Mom, going to bed and falling asleep by herself. Mom has successfully completed The Goulding SleepTalk process, with positive results and feedback. 

Accredited Consultant: Tarryn Pickup – Sth Africa

Feedback received: “A little girl of 8yrs was having trouble building relationships with other children of. She over-reacts, feels rejected by others and was the victim of school bullying by her peers.

At the end of the first phase, ‘C’ now associates herself better with others and conflicts have less impact. She has a lot of confidence in her relationships and expressing her thoughts.

The suggestions chosen to offer further support in Phase 2, enabled ‘C’ to develop her confidence and she now feels proud of herself.”

Accredited Consultant: Rose-Marie Mauron – Genève

Overcoming Trauma and Fear

This is a case history of a 7 year old child, who was trying to deal with trauma and fear. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. My sincere thanks are offered to the parents for allowing us to share their very personal journey.

Young B was a normally happy and very active little fellow. During a 6 month period his grand mother was diagnosed with cancer and as a result his mum spent a lot of time away from the family home. Obviously the physical changes in B’s most precious Nan were quite confronting for him. Also at this time the devastating effects both financially and emotionally of the drought were starting to become evident. Bushfires were only kilometers away and we where blanketed by the smoke during the day for weeks and could see the flames by night. On New Year ’s Eve during a massive storm, lightning hit a tree in our paddocks and started a fire. With this came the immediate trauma of fire engines, panic and mayhem.

The issues:

  • B would not sleep in his room on his own, he would wake screaming and become violent both verbally and physically when trying to put him back to bed.
  • During the day he wouldn’t go anywhere (inside or outside) without being able to see me and was very argumentative with all family members.
  • B was very disruptive in the classroom, couldn’t stay still or take instructions and actually fell asleep in class. He didn’t respond to any form of teaching.

The results:

  • February, I discovered the Goulding SleepTalk for Children process and began using the foundation process.
  • By mid March B was starting to go to sleep, but still with me sitting on his bed. He would at least sleep in his own bed all night and the teachers were reporting improvement in his behaviour at school.
  • By the end of March Bs daytime ‘tantrums’ were becoming much less frequent and he was going to sleep on his own and sleeping all night.
  • April: B continues to sleep well, and if he does wake in the night, he’s happy to go back to sleep in his own bed. He is moving around on his own a lot better and he is responding the teachers a lot more readily.
  • May: Introduced 2 ‘specifics’ with help from Joane. “You are confident, positive and calm; learning is good, interesting and fun”.
  • June: End of school term and his parent/teacher interview was amazing. The teachers told us he’d improved 1000 percent!
  • July: B continues to improve in all areas. He moves around, inside and outside, quite freely and independently and his general happiness is fantastic.
  • Added to siblings statements “B loves you”.
  • October: Bs behavior is consistent, his cooperation with the family is fantastic and he adds valuable contributions to conversation and play.
  • December: I have changed B’s suggestion to ‘you’re safe, secure, confident, positive and calm. N loves you, you treat others as you would be treated’.
  • Feb-May: I stopped SleepTalk for these months and by May started to notice signs of regression in B’s behavior and sense of self. So I resumed SleepTalk with almost immediate results just with the ‘Foundation’ process. The immediate results are nothing short of fantastic, with improvement continuing. No, I wasn’t really surprised, but excited to enhance my experiences with sleep talk and so easily make an effective difference for my little man!
  • Now I continue with SleepTalk, only adding N loves you to the ‘Foundation’ process at this point. I am pleased with the feedback but will stick with this suggestion for a little longer, my next idea will be to reuse, ‘you treat others as you would be treated.

Comments: Simply, where would my family be without the Goulding SleepTalk process? Given the enormity of the primary reason for starting – the answer is “On the scrapheap with a mentally ill mother and similarly affected children.”

“Feedback Received: “11 year old ‘R’ was suffering from sporadic “night terrors” since the age of 10 years at least two to three times a month for the last 8 months to a year. When they do happen, ‘R’ will wake up screaming, disorientated and seems to be “lost”. He will also have no recollection of the behaviour in the morning, nor does he recall the contents of his dream. Mom is fully committed to this process, but the father has not shown interest in engaging in the process or even recording his voice so that mom can use it at night. 

Mom has thoroughly enjoyed the process and sees it as a real gift for her son. She is also so impressed with the results that she has seen, not only with the night terrors but his behaviour in general, his confidence showing a 90% improvement.

During the 12-13 week process (phase 1), ‘R’ only had one night terror, which he resolved to calming down very quickly and going back to bed immediately. Other notable improvements have been his confidence levels which Mom noted about his ability to explore new foods and be less fussy. He is starting to drink fruit and vegetable smoothies with his sibling. 

Primary area to work on for Phase 2 was FEAR making sure ‘R’ felt confident and secure. Throughout Phase 2, Mom has been positive and consistent with her feedback enjoying the process and the warmth it brings to her family. She has mentioned that the technique is so beautiful she wants her children to use it on their children one day. 

‘R’ continues to have no more night terrors and his anxiety also showed a few improvements. Mom also noted that it is a continuous work and says there are positive changes every day. ‘R’ has had much success, and this is a massive difference considering that ‘R’ was having night terrors for almost 8 months to a year before this process was implemented in their household. 

Accredited Consultant: Tarryn Pickup – Sth Africa