Harnessing the power of words to transform mothers’ experience….
In her practice Kaye Heyes promotes the power of words to transform mothers’ experience of post natal depression and traumatic births. She focuses on three areas: use of language when talking about lived experience, changing self-talk and creative writing as therapeutic practice.
Kaye advocates the use of the term ‘post natal transition’ instead of post natal depression: it is a much more objective way of talking about the sometimes difficult adjustment to motherhood with its overwhelming physical, mental and emotional demands. She set up Post Natal Transition http://postnataltransition.wordpress.com/ in October 2012 as a personal blog. It quickly became apparent that she had struck a chord, both with her re-framing the post natal experience and using creative writing as a way to connect to herself and others as well as encouraging others to do the same.
During her NLP practitioner training Kaye became fascinated with self-talk: that continual track running in our head throughout the day. It may be the voice of a parent or chastising teacher and very often that self talk is negative: ‘you klutz, you’re always so clumsy’ as you drop your keys or ‘you’re useless, you’re always getting things wrong!’ as you struggle to reverse-park into a tight space. She discovered how simply changing the words, tone or location of your self-talk can help instigate change at a core level.
Kaye also writes and performs poetry, which has been central to her own post natal recovery. Most of her work centres on her experiences of motherhood and its recurrent themes of loss and longing. She writes to first transform her own experience and then to tell the truth in order to resonate with others.
In March 2013 Kaye’s poem ‘See Life’ was shortlisted for the York Literature Festival Poetry Prize. She is working on a collection of poems – Body of Work: Body of Love –exploring how her relationship with her body has been transformed through motherhood. In 2013 she set up Alphabet Soup: a regular writing group for mothers to improve emotional well-being (as well as eating lovely soup!) and she hopes to develop an anthology of poems written by other mothers who have struggled adjusting to motherhood or have/had post natal depression.
Kaye lives in the Calder Valley with her partner and two young children. She is a qualified nutritional therapist, NLP practitioner freelance writer and food features writer at Nutrition I-Mag.
A sample of Kaye’s poems are available on her Post Natal Transition website http://postnataltransition.wordpress.com/poetry-and-other-musings/ or her profile on Write Out Loud http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/kayeheyes