What parents and other professionals have to say about Turnaround
Since Turnaround’s release, we have received hundreds of testimonials from parents, children and colleagues about the effectiveness of Turnaround. Below are some of the testimonials we have received with only very minor changes to protect privacy, add clarity or remove personal communication to the Turnaround authors. You can also read more customer testimonials on our Facebook page.
Dear Dr David and Dr Chris, I would like to thank both of you from the bottom of my heart for your Turnaround program. It has changed my youngest daughter’s life and therefore also the lives of the rest of the family.
In 2009 my son, who was then 9 years old, was diagnosed with fatal brain cancer. My youngest daughter was 5, my eldest girl was 12. My son lived for 9 more months after his diagnosis. Those 9 months were horrendous. Luckily he was not in any pain, as he was well medicated, but he slowly lost control over his muscles. My two girls coped as well as they could. When he died 9 months later it was as if the bottom fell out of our lives, our family was left with a huge open wound.
My eldest daughter seemed to cope well. My youngest daughter has a very different story. Right after her brother died, she became completely lost. How does a 5 year old grieve? She surrounded herself with her brother’s things and only seemed to be at peace in the house, amongst his things. After a while she did not want to leave the house at all. All she wanted to do was be at home with me. She became very anxious when she had to leave the house. She did not want to go to school any more, she did not want to go to friends house, she gave up her swimming class and her dance class. For the next few years she was a shadow of the girl she had been before.
There was only one thing that seemed to get her out of herself. She started horse riding around the time her brother got sick. Horse riding became her life. She seemed to find real comfort and strength with the horses. She became a very accomplished rider in the last few years. Horse riding was the only thing she happily went to every week. We started her going twice a week in the hope it might help her further.
She is now 10 years old. About 4 months ago, it all came to a head. She fell off the horse. She hurt herself a little but all of a sudden she became very scared of horse riding. Every week it seemed harder for her to go, after a few weeks, she needed me to ring the teacher in advance to see what horse she would be riding, was it saddled or not, which arena would she be in, who rode the horse before her…. It was as if the only thing that was still good in the world, now also betrayed her. She had to drop 2 levels because she was too fearful.
We tried to get her help. We had 3 different counselors for her. One did play therapy with her. But she just would not talk to them. She would just sit there, refusing to talk, patiently waiting till the hour past. We were getting pretty desperate at this stage.
This was the stage were coincidentally I found your turnaround program. I saw it on Facebook. To be honest, I read it and I was not convinced, but at that stage I would have tried anything.
When we finally started the program, the “turnaround” was unbelievable. I think for her the fact we could do this together, just her and I, cuddled up in the bedroom under the duvet, with her favorite teddies all around her, gave her the courage to at least give it a go.
I could not believe the effect the program had on her. The very first lesson already was so powerful. Naming your fear. I never understood how powerful it is to identify and name your fear. All of a sudden within the first lesson, her fear, her anxiety was not part of her any more. It was something outside of her, that influenced her very much, but was not her, her fear was not her, she is not her fear! That single realization alone made her into a different child.
During the next few sessions, she learned to talk back to her fear. She learned it does not have to control her, that she can “hold the reins”. She learned to laugh at her fear. It lost all power over her.
Within the first few weeks she really understood why her “yucky feelings” make her feel the way they do. She learned it is OK to be anxious and nervous. The fear itself is not something to fear. We decided to at the start only work on her new fear of the horse riding… one thing at a time.
Now two months later, she is a changed child. She is happy going to school. She seems to have more friends than ever. She is doing much better in school. Her teachers are amazed by her. She has gone on sleepovers with her friends. Most of all she is back horse riding. She is back in the higher-level class and she has taken part in a jumping competition.
She is not afraid in the dark any more and for the first time, she is able to stay home alone for 15 min or so if I run out to the shop.
We have just started the program a second time. She is hearing things this time she missed before. We are now digging a little deeper and going a bit closer to what happened with her brother. She is OK with this. She trusts the program. It has not hurt her the first time, it has helped her, so she is letting it help her further.
She is become a little bit of a counselor herself now. She listens to conversations and jumps in with “Mindreader!” Or “you are letting the bully talk again mum.” The program has helped me too. I suppose I ended up with my own anxieties and my own fears. Even though the program is aimed at children, it works for mums too!!
Turnaround has given me my little girl back. She is a stronger, happier girl. I am so grateful that I have found turnaround, I am so grateful you have written it. I would recommend it to any parent that worries about their child. To any parent that needs a little help trying to understand what is going on with their child.
Turnaround changed our lives. Katrien, Ireland
I truly can’t express the deep gratitude I have for your work. When we purchased Turnaround my husband and I felt mostly despair over the intense fear our daughter was living with. It started when she was only a toddler, cursed with night terrors. By the time she was 3 she slept with us every night. Sleeping on her own was totally out of the question. We were fine with this arrangement until recently, over the summer, when our situation became out of control. Our daughter was so scared to have a bad dream that she would keep herself awake most of the night. If she fell asleep and dreamed badly, she’d wake up screaming in terror. Many times she became scared even of me, hallucinating things that weren’t really there. I had to wear my hair a certain way, make sure I didn’t smile too large or frown slightly or open my eyes too large, even sleep with my glasses on occasionally in order for her to relax! When she told me she felt scared most of the day because she thought she might actually be in a bad dream, and couldn’t tell if she was awake or asleep, that’s when my husband found your program. Thank God he did.
Today, she is a different person than 2 months ago. She is stair-stepping her way towards sleeping by herself in her own new room! She is successfully falling asleep on her own and no longer asks me to sleep in her bed, nor does she ask to sleep in ours…although I am still sleeping on her floor, this is a major leap forward. No more waking up screaming or hallucinating, just a little manageably scared. But the best feeling is hearing her laugh all day long, instead of being stressed out and tired all day long.
I just want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You have created a wonderful rapport without ever meeting her. Your chill kit is incredibly useful, and your use of humor was tremendously successful in engaging her throughout the program, even as you asked more and more of her. The humor especially was a great tool for us to latch on to as parents (my husband does an excellent Krank imitation!), as was all of the great vocabulary you introduced to us as a family. The use of journaling really empowered her to take control and speak her mind. We will be repeating it at least once more as we stair-step. Thank you for helping us and my daughter to believe it was even possible for her to overcome her fear in the near future.
I have attached her letter to you. You should know the “love” signature was heartfelt – she is so grateful to both of you for helping her be free! Monica M.
My 9 year old daughter developed emetophobia at the end of school year. It took us four months to find out the cause of her unusual and unpredictable behavior. When her moods and actions became so severe, she told us that she is afraid that somebody at school will get sick and she could not be able to deal with it. Her fear completely overwhelmed her. It was very hard to deal with it for our whole family! While I was searching online for anything to help her and to learn more about emetophobia, I found the Turnaround website. After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to try it with my daughter. It was such a huge eye opening for her to learn that many other kids have the same problem as her. We were all listening to the stories every night and reading the pages in the journal. You created such a clever, precise, useful, and wonderful program for kids with anxiety! My daughter loved the characters in the program, especially Jordan and Emily! After even the first night, her negative emotions and moods started changing and after several days, we were seeing that she was, little by little, going back to her normal, happy and enthusiastic self. We are so grateful for you amazing program! We highly recommended it to the school counselor and psychologist in my daughter’s school. We are also doing the CBT with your Emetophobia guide with a therapist. That is also a wonderful tool and we are grateful that you created that too! Thank you for helping our family! 😊 Mili
Where do we start? The success our child has had with your program is beyond words at this point. The first 3 weeks of school this year were of the greatest stress that my wife and I have ever experienced. The feeling of helplessness when trying to help your child with something you have no idea how to overcome was beyond stressful. We both work in the Film and Television business and thought our little worlds provided enough stress, but a child with anxiety proved that what we go through is nothing compared to what she was going through.
After the first run through Turnaround, our daughter found herself beginning to see that tools were available for her to use to begin to overcome her fear and anxiety. After the 2nd and into the 3rd time through, and with every night listening before bed, she actually began to use the tools and amazing things started to happen.
She is in 2nd grade, and considered at the top level of gifted students in her school. Because of her anxiety attacks on a daily basis in the car line, simply getting her to school each day almost eliminated her participation in the gifted program. The idea that she would have to exit the school after the first class and get on a bus to go to a different school for the gifted program was thought by the school and us as well, too much to put her through. I made 4×6 cards with quotes from the program as a “CHILL” package and she carried them with her in her bag. Her Teacher shared that as anxiety began to present itself, she would grab her cards and suddenly start to smile as Chill began to take over and she would stop an attack in its tracks.
She now gets out of the car line each and every morning with a smile on and says, “Good morning,” to the guidance counselor, who has been simply fantastic in patiently dealing with her. Every Wednesday, she is the first one in line to catch the bus to the gifted program and cannot talk enough about how much she loves being in the program.
She is simply amazing, so many things in her life may have been eliminated or avoided had we not come across your program. We continued with another treatment for a while, once we spent the first $2,100 we simply lost confidence in the program and wanted to see how she did with Turnaround. She has excelled!
Thank you for all you have done as we are so blessed to have come across the Turnaround program. Marten and Caroline
Dear Dr. Chris and Dr. David, Hi. My name is Dana. I am nine years old, and I have this fear of vomit. So big, that whenever someone pukes, I scream and shout and stuff, and try to run away. I want you to know that tonight, my little sister got sick. It sounded big. But I did not do what I usually do (like scream, shout, holler, cry, and freak out). I stayed calm, and got through it. It felt a little yucky, but then she seemed fine, she asked me to brush teeth with her, and I did. And it was like nothing ever happened. Now usually if she got sick, I would not brush teeth with her. I would keep well away from her! Even though there was no danger. If I hadn’t listened to Turnaround, I would probably scream, shout, holler, cry, and freak out. But now I don’t, when my little sister gets sick. My fear isn’t totally over, but that’s BIG progress. From Dana, your biggest fan
This programme changed our lives for the better in so many ways. Dana is so PROUD of herself that she is responding instead of reacting to things that used to run her life. YOU ARE HEROES!!!!
Yes, even this morning, she said things like, “I’m still just so proud of myself.” I was delighted that she wanted to write to you about her success, and I will pass along your reply. She will LOVE it. Thank you!
The week before we received our Turnaround kit, this girl was refusing most foods, losing weight, and demanding elaborate bedtime rituals that lasted hours. I was ready to commit both of us to a mental institution, and I’m not even kidding. I was desperate.
Now, two months later, she is a changed child. Her creativity, joy, and resilience are shining through. She is physically vital, mentally stable, and well on her way to fully embracing life instead of fearfully avoiding it.
I think the most helpful thing about this program is the way it empowers kids to take responsibility for their own experience, and empowers PARENTS to actually SUPPORT their kids by reiterating the messages from the Turnaround kit. This depersonalizes it enough that I have a positive role to play, instead of my kid just wallowing in her misery and tuning me out.
When she calls me in a panic I can say, “Go ahead and do your 4-4-4 breathing,” or “If you want me to come and get you from the fair, I can do that, but understand that if you face this fear— if you can feel the discomfort and remind yourself that you’re actually in a fun place and not a dangerous place— you can have fun. If you give into your fear now, it just becomes harder to face it later. I know you can do it, Honey. Dr David and Dr Chris know you can do it too.”
And she LISTENS to me! And she FACES the fear! We read through the vomiting paragraphs you sent, and it was such an amazing illustration of how freaked out you can feel reading it the first time (“I can’t even finish this paragraph. I feel too scared! My fear is at a 10”), do some breathing and collect yourself and read it again (“This time I finished it. I still feel scared, but it’s about a 5 now”) to desensitization (“Huh, now that I read it through the fourth time I don’t really feel anything at all. It’s kind of boring actually”). I remind her of this experience every time she thinks that the flooding she’s feeling is too much to bear. “Remember those paragraphs, Honey? How boring they got, because you read them again and again? This is the same thing now.” What I eagerly anticipate is her emancipation from the prison of emetophobia! And you gave us the keys! Bless you!!!!!
Sometimes the Universe delivers. I think, “Why didn’t I find this sooner?” Well, because sometimes you have to REALLY suffer before you’re ready to change. My daughter knew she had worn me out, and she was feeling new levels of self-loathing and desperation. It was going down fast. When I offered this program to her, she jumped at it, and loves listening along. She’s hungry, truly hungry for healing. So I guess I can forgive myself for not finding it sooner. All part of the sacred journey, I guess.
Thank you all for your work. Know that there is a family in Victoria, BC that appreciates all you have created here, the drawings, the voices, the stories, the music, the precious wisdom packaged up in a way that kids can hear easily and assimilate. Mollie and Dana
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Michelle, A Very Happy Mama
My name is [name removed], I come from Australia and I am 7 years old. I have fears at night time when it is dark and my dad and mum go upstairs to their bedroom and I’m left downstairs in my bed. Tonight I took the plunge to go outside by myself in the dark and walk around the house by myself. I was very scared to start off but then I didn’t care. I have enjoyed the program. I am up to day 9. Thank you for helping me.
We purchased your program online back it the fall, and I have to say that it has helped my son make a complete “Turnaround!” You named your program appropriately, as it has been the tool that helped us both think about this issue of anxiety in a way that has helped us get our feet on the ground. Understanding and knowledge are so powerful, and you gave that to him in a way a 10-year-old both can grasp AND remember! I really can’t thank you all enough. I have told many many people about this program, including our school counselor, and certainly hope they will utilize this amazing resource. So thanks again for helping Michael and I approach his anxiety with some power versus the powerless, helpless feeling he and I both had. What a gift…
Keep up the great work! Marie