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  • Writer's pictureJulianne Downham

Who is behind Creating Courageous Children?

Julianne has always been drawn to helping others, she has from a young age been offering a kind word or a supportive hand. Being the oldest of four she has had it become second nature that she looks out for others. She has been told that as she grew up she would always be the first to offer her toys to others or show them how to pick up a paint brush.

When she started school she would be the one who played with the children that seemed lonely or alone and when she got older she'd be the one her friends would turn to when they needed a shoulder to rest on or to find some encouraging and soothing words of advice.

When leaving school her desire to help others guided her to completing her BTEC in Health and Social care in college, this was an opportunity for her to widen her interest and understanding in how she could work towards a career in the care sector.

The years passed as she worked in various roles within social care settings from a sessional worker for children's services to a support worker for young adults with learning and physical disabilities. This led her to deciding to embark on her nurse training, and she attended Bangor University in 1999 to begin her 3 years of study. Julianne threw herself into the process of developing her knowledge and skills and thrived on the placements she was allocated. These ranged from general nursing and mental health settings, she gained a confidence in her ability to engage with people from all walks of life and recognise and acknowledge people's varied and complex needs, attitudes and values.

On finishing her studies she had secured a staff nurse position in a large mental health hospital in Middlesbrough, leaving Wales to start a new life in a new part of the country with no friends or family was a huge transition for her, but one she found the courage and determination to do as she knew she wanted to expand her skills and life wider then what she had become comfortable with.

Julianne has from there always pushed herself to try new ways of working, new places to live and found a new confidence to trust herself and her decisions that she could navigate an interesting and varied career. She has worked in adult and children inpatient settings, she has been the mental health lead in a young person's drug and alcohol service and in a leaving care team. Her roles within the CAMHS services have involved being the primary health specialist, supporting services, organisations and schools at meeting the needs for children, young people and their families as well as offering consultations to professionals and direct work to young people. She has worked with neuro-diversity and eating disorders in specialist posts. She is also a trained advocate and worked within this role for a considerable time during a time when she was back in Wales.

Her life and job roles have taken her to different parts of the country and she finds that seeing how the country differs in needs has added to the richness of her experience. Being able to work alongside a multitude of services and professionals of all backgrounds and training has instilled in her the ability to hold a non discriminatory and judgemental approach, understanding that others will have different views and experiences that have laid down the patterning and programming of their perceptions and behaviours.

After 20 years working in her nursing capacity Julianne decided to begin embarking on some further training. Her life had been through some challenging periods and she was guided to find the healing powers of energy therapy. She began her journey with Reiki, a Japanese hands on healing therapy. The treatments she had begun to regularly receive had allowed her body to begin to find a softer, easier sense of being .She was able to slow her mind down as well as her pace of life, this opened her up to a deeper connection to herself and what she wanted her life to look like. Learning and experiencing that our body has this innate wisdom that can allow us to heal and grow gave another level of understanding to how she wanted to help and support people. She began to see how for a real change to occur we needed to work both with the mind and the body, appreciating that it's within our bodies make up that our emotions are experienced and stored. And that from it's from this place we give meaning to our experiences that then form our beliefs that we filter ourselves and the world through.

She extended her training through completing her 3 levels of Reiki and becoming an advanced practitioner in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It was here that her own healing and her her own acknowledgment of how her early years and experiences had formed her subconscious level of functioning. That the patterns she kept seeing herself repeat within relationships, friendships and life stemmed from how she had interpreted her experiences and formed programmes that where still playing out in her adult life.

This information and learning was like finding the missing piece to her understanding of how to move through emotional experiences, how to change mental constructs and to enhance life and the choices she made. EFT changed everything, she found a way to support people through the engaging of the body (stimulating meridian points on the surface of the skin) and the mind (vocalising issues that have been identified). She began to see changes in her clients well-being. She would offer this approach as firstly a simple form of self help, a first aid technique that was able to be used when emotional overwhelm was occurring and then on a deeper level to explore where emotions were stuck within the energy body that needed to be processed so the body could find its way back to balance. (For more of an understanding of EFT please refer to the website).

Creating Courageous Children was born in 2020, during the Covid pandemic when Julianne wasn't able to work in the way she had been used to, and had decided this was the time and opportunity to follow her passion and dream to step into being able to work in an independent way to offer her own wisdom and experience in an alternative way then she was used to through working in her capacity as a nurse.

Julianne began offering online 1 to 1 work and was quickly finding that there was a great calling for authentic and alternative ways of engaging with therapy. People were frozen in fear and anxiety was coursing through everyone's system. Introducing people to EFT gave them instant relief, the tapping helps short circuit the stress response that was in constant engagement and move the body into the more restorative and relaxing state.

Over recent months Julianne has been collaborating with other practitioners and companies to offer bespoke packages of support. Julianne was extremely keen to become affiliated with TEC Wales when the opportunity was presented to her. She found that they shared many of the same values and attitudes to how support could be offered and delivered to a wide range of individuals. The creativity that was offered to meet a diverse level of need was inspiring. Seeing how someone else had also seen that things needed to change and be offered differently and then took the courage to do it appealed to Julianne.

Being a strong believer that we all aren't supposed to follow the same path or guidance, that we all have our own unique way of being in the world and that this will need a way of being nurtured and expanded by various means is a fundamental part of what Julianne wants Creating Courageous Children to offer. She appreciates that people don't fit in neat boxes, that we all will be wanting to and needing to follow our internal navigation system. For many this needs support and guidance, and with her own life experience, her extensive professional training in the field of nursing and her in-depth training Julianne aims to offer individually or group tailored package of interventions.

Julianne's work offers a psycho educational element as well as therapeutic. She can deliver simple 1hour workshops designed to offer people an understanding of the nervous system and how to support through simple self help tools, she has programmes on emotional health, resilience, self esteem and confidence as well as more targeted one to one programmes to support those individuals that need more support. She works with adults and groups of parents, offering a space for them to come together and support each other and also offers therapeutic support through EFT and relaxation techniques.

TEC Wales and Creating Courageous Children between them have a wealth of experience, a drive to bring about change and a real understanding that everyone has something to bring to the table and can learn in a diverse way. Together they can offer bespoke packages and delivery can be done both online and face to face. The future looks bright, lighting up a new way of accessing both education and therapeutic support. Which is recognised that both is needed for people to succeed and grow.

Julianne is available through her website;, by email at or on her mobile at 07956426426.

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