Frequently asked questions

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the Goulding SleepTalk® process:

What is the Goulding SleepTalk® process?

The Goulding SleepTalk® process is an alternative and substance-free self-help process for parents coping with a challenging child.  Sometimes a lack of knowledge, assistance and/or family support can cause parents to doubt their parenting abilities, feel misunderstood and on a merry-go-round of endless consultations and dead ends. This process is about presenting a substance-free, safe, non- intrusive and ethical process for parents to use in the safety and comfort of their own home while their child or children are asleep and it’s easy to apply.

The process helps to develop your child’s emotional resilience because all children benefit from developing a positive and confident sense of self. This occurs without disturbing the sleeping child, and allows them to awaken in the morning with a more positive mindset. It only takes the parents a few moments to present and it’s been called a 2 minute gift with changes that last a life time. Anxiety levels reduce which offers your child the ability to deal with their world. Positive change can start to become apparent after only a few weeks of implementing the process. The Goulding SleepTalk® process I think has some similarities to the work of Dr. Norman Doidge which he called ‘Neuroplasticity’.


How does this process help to create emotional health?

Emotional health in childhood ‘is the key to future happiness’. In Australia a national paper, The Observer, reported that Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE),  and his colleagues at the Wellbeing research program at the LSE Centre concluded that a child’s emotional health is far more important to their satisfaction levels as an adult than other factors. He further states that: “Emotional health in childhood is the key to future happiness.” The LSE study suggests that: “Money, success and good grades are less important.”

Society tells us that education is important; however emotional intelligence and resilience is equally essential for our children. This education and intelligence really starts with babies in the womb who are listening and feeling everything that the mother feels and this can impact healthy brain and body development. How can we have peace in the world without having peaceful happy children? A substance/drug free process taking only 2 minutes a night can help not only your child but also educate parents, who are the catalyst to ensure children develop with a positive mind set.

The process introduces an alternative substance-free model (without contraindications) and educates parents as well as assisting children. Behaviour modification and the development of alternative strategies are developed during sleep, assisting with communication and family dynamics. During sleep the physiological change from a state of deep sleep to wakefulness is reversible and mediated by the reticular activating system (RAS). Research published in ‘Current Biology’ studies show: “that complex stimuli can not only be processed while we sleep but that this information can be used to make decisions, similarly as when we’re awake.”

This 2 minute per night process that parents can offer, reduces anxiety, helps communication and develops positive behaviour modification.


Would all children benefit from this process?

Most children have problems so yes would be my answer; some parents often say, but my child doesn’t have any problems, however sometimes children don’t share them with anyone, especially not with their parents. I know I didn’t share my problems with my parents and I think many children in this day and age are the same. One of the main advantages or additional aspects about applying this process is the education that the parents gain about the use of positive language. The down line ramifications of change that occurs within the family unit can be quite profound as the process commences to be taken on board.


Which issues respond positively to the Goulding SleepTalk® process, such as issues dealing with education, stress and anxiety?

Positive feedback over the past 40 years has been received, especially issues dealing with aggression, behaviour management, stress, fear, anxiety and trauma. The process is particularly helpful when dealing with issues around education and study, co-operation and concentration. Health issues also respond in a positive manner, such as asthma, bed-wetting, nail biting and speech. It also covers and assists families concerned about sibling rivalry and negative communications.

Professor Ian E Brighthope, a very prominent expert based in Australia, has suggested that this process should be adopted by all parents. He has described it as a sensible, practical and easy to follow method of communicating important messages to the subconscious mind. He considers it especially useful for effecting changes to children’s behavior. He suggests that educators and health professionals consider SleepTalk® in the management of all disorders in which the mind plays a significant role.

The process has been described as the 2 minute gift with changes that lasts a life time. Because it’s important for parents to realise that: “It’s not what we leave to our children that matters, it’s what we leave within their minds”.


What areas of behaviour management can this process assist children with? For example, can it assist with Autism or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?

Absolutely, the spectrum is actually very wide and registered SleepTalk® consultants around the world are indicating positive results with a wide range of behaviour disorders. Children diagnosed with Autism or the Autism Spectrum disorders actually do appear to be responding well to the process. The label ‘Asperger’s’ and ‘Autism’ seem to be very prevalent at the moment and some of the case histories are reporting major changes in the children’s social skills and behavioral management.

Another area that is sometimes described as a controversial diagnosis by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which of course is the (DSM) is the Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). This disorder is sometimes described as an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior. Children who have it may appear very stubborn and angry. SleepTalk® does appear to be able to assist this area of anxiety.

One of the benefits of the Goulding process is the down line ramifications of change that ends up creating change for the entire family. Calmness replaces anger and frustration, co-operation replaces oppositional defiance.


I’ve bought the SleepTalk® for Children book so why contact consultant Michelle Mayur?

Great that you have bought the book, however a private consultation with Accredited Goulding SleepTalk® Consultant Michelle Mayur will assist with the continued application of the process. It’s important to realise that following the specific directions and consistency in facilitating the process is very important. The assistance of a consultant helps the family with the ongoing development and selection of the primary areas of need, developing specific statements and the continued commitment to the process each evening – even when holidays or life gets in the way!


Does it matter if only one parent does SleepTalk®?

The Goulding SleepTalk® process is less effective if only one parent is involved, but only marginally. It would be more efficient if both parents were involved as that balances the energy of the male/female, Mum and Dad component within your child’s perception. Your child receives their basic self-image, self-worth and sense of balance from both parents and it is most important for the well-being of that child to have a sense of acceptance and love from both.


When there is a stepmother or stepfather, what happens then to the basic script regarding the other absent partner?

This can be a very emotive issue. In some cases it’s appropriate to just say “Mummy loves you, Daddy loves you, and we all love you”. Remember that the child’s basic self-image comes from both parents and it is important that your child is comfortable loving both parents without guilt. Where there is a mother and a step-father for example, your child can feel anxious, guilty, disloyal or even believe he/she doesn’t have the primary carer’s permission to love the father. This could lead to feelings of helplessness, of “It’s my fault Daddy’s not here”, or “It’s my fault Mummy’s not here”. If this issue is inappropriately dealt with then great confusion can occur within your child and guilt may become a component of their emotions. How can they love one parent without being disloyal to the other? If they are given an image of fear or hate from one parent, or they are subjected to negative comments about the other parent, the only result will be confusion and disharmony and sometimes an enormous degree of guilt and helplessness, which may, in turn, develop into aggression and anger.


What happens if a non-custodial parent is restricted in terms of access? Doesn’t that cause conflict with SleepTalk®?

No, the Goulding SleepTalk® process will in fact assist your child to manage the situation. The cause of the disharmony is the family structure and the influences within the family home. SleepTalk® for Children provides examples of how to effectively deal with the issues, which may depend on the individual counselling technique the family may be receiving and the distress that may be occurring. The result of using the Goulding SleepTalk® process would be to allow or establish a sense of security and confidence. If it is introduced correctly, there will be no problems. The Goulding SleepTalk® process provides a sense of self-worth and self-confidence as a consequence of the knowledge that your child is unconditionally loved.


In SleepTalk® for Children it is said that it is not appropriate to use persuasion with SleepTalk®. Why?

Using persuasion such as “I love you because you were good today” may activate the “conscious critical analysis”. In other words it could awaken the awareness of the child. Also using persuasion causes problems, if, for example, you said, “You will be happy today because it is school holidays”. What happens when the child needs to go to school? You have created a situation and a belief that they will only be happy if it is school holidays.


How would you describe the child who awakens very easily, has difficulty going to sleep, or is often awake throughout the night?

Very anxious. The Goulding SleepTalk® process should be able to help but it may be difficult the first week or so, to actually access the deep subconscious mind. Your child may be fitful or have difficulty going to sleep, possibly wakes up easily. If you persist in your SleepTalk® process your child will gain a sense of confidence, the anxiety will be reduced each time you use the Goulding SleepTalk® process because you will be reinforcing their basic self-image and a belief that “it’s OK” and hopefully get a good night’s sleep eventually! By reducing the state of anxiety you compound the amount of suggestion given and accepted by that child. Very gradually, creating a new positive belief system and self-image. A distressed or anxious child will gradually accept the positive suggestions. A quietness and anxiety-free state of mind will develop and gradually they will become more and more able to accept the suggestions. Remember, you can never eliminate a memory, but you can add to it, alter or change the energy of that memory. As you create a compounding effect with a positive suggestion it will eventually become more powerful than the “negative” effect of the “I’m not OK” belief structure.


If a child has a basic negative structure and a feeling of “I’m not OK, I can’t do something, or I’m not as good as someone else”, won’t the Goulding SleepTalk® process create confusion?

Possibly yes. Initially, it’s possible that confusion would be a result of the Goulding SleepTalk® process. You may be aware of the process called psycho-cybernetics, which discusses the fact that it takes up to 21 days for the acceptance of a change of thought. This is very similar. Over a period of time, the new process of thinking starts to build against the “I’m not OK”.

The information accepted into the computer (the subconscious section of the mind) would be stored as fact alongside the negative belief. So if we say to the mind memory bank of belief “I’m OK. Mummy loves me. Daddy loves me, it will be a happy day today” and we place that positive suggestion alongside the negative “I’m not OK” directly into the child’s belief structure without conscious critical analysis, without negative analysis, without any alterations, then the belief structure within that child will start to change. Yes, it may cause initial confusion, but very gradually becomes the primary accepted suggestions.

In other words, we are able to bombard the subconscious belief structure with the positive fact “I am loved, I’m OK, It’s OK”. Suddenly, the suggestions of “I’m OK” will become stronger than the “I’m not OK” previously accepted belief. The top hat (consciousness) is now replaced and the positive suggestions lodged within the subconscious mind can only express themselves as positive thoughts into consciousness. Remember, when you press a button on a computer and it sends a message to the screen, it doesn’t matter whether it is truth or not, the computer will still relay that message word for word. The process of acceptance into the subconscious mind is no different. With the Goulding SleepTalk® process, we don’t deny a belief or try and get the subconscious mind to forget a belief.

If you compound a suggestion of “I’m OK, I’m loved”, clearly and without distortion, through and into the belief structure of that child’s mind (the subconscious) in the process of SleepTalk®, then eventually that child will start to believe “I’m OK” and will have an acceptance of a positive self-image and a positive self-esteem. Gradually creating a new belief structure and with that new belief structure, your child will develop the ability to become more discerning about issues. Keep the positive suggestions going each night and you get a compounding effect. It’s like putting money into a bank. One dollar adds onto the next dollar and before long accumulates into something worthwhile – much like compound interest. The positive suggestions will eventually take over and have more power than the (negative accepted) belief.


What would you say are some of the worst examples of negative statements that parents sometimes say to their children?

Most parents that I’ve talked to, admit that sometimes they say things to their child that they don’t mean, or later regret saying. And according to American psychotherapist Antonia Van Der Meer, a parent’s temporary loss of control may, unfortunately mean permanent heartache for the child.

Van Der Meer, states that sometimes when parents come home tired and irritable and discover their daughter or son has again left their books for homework at school, even the most understanding parent may find themselves blurting: “How can you be so stupid?” “When are you going to learn to think?”

Or perhaps taking the children on holiday and all they do is fight with each other, even the most patient parent might ask aloud: “Why did I ever have children”.

He suggests that all parents are bound to lose control occasionally – and lose sight of the fact that their words can make a child feel wounded, rejected or unloved. Whether menacing, negative or hostile statements are said intentionally or just slip out, the result is always the same: you feel temporarily relieved perhaps, but real damage may be done to your little one’s self-esteem and the bond of trust between you both.

It’s important to recognize – and resist – saying hurtful things. A parent must learn to handle their own anger and frustration in order to teach a child how to behave.

You know as parents we have all made mistakes when communicating especially to our children. We all need to learn from those mistakes, forgive ourselves, take the learning, leave the negative memory behind, and just move on. I always explain that it’s never too late to learn and that this process gives parents a second chance to redefine the basic self-image of their child and create if you like, a positive belief in place of previously accepted negative ones.

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Accredited Goulding SleepTalk® Consultant