Eleanor Copp is a hypnotherapist and Bowen Technique practitioner in the South West. Her practice began in 1997 as a reflexologist and continued to grow in 2003 when she trained in hypnobirthing. She has also been a NHS midwife since 1993.
Eleanor has a regular column in JUNO, a magazine with “a natural approach to family life”. The publication aims to inspire and support parents as they journey through the challenges of parenting by sharing fresh perspectives in this fast-paced technological world and creating a non-judgemental community.
— — —
1. What inspired you to become an NHS midwife?
I have been an NHS midwife since 1993 and have always felt a call to be a midwife. Partly, I think, because when I was 13 my dad (who was a farmer) gave me 10 ewes and a ram to look after. I was in the barn with them as shepherdess all the time.
I left Somerset to train as a nurse in London in the mid 1980’s. My first job post-qualification was on a neurosurgical ward, which was full of sadness. Patients were ill through life-changing diagnoses or accidents so it was continually traumatic. I wanted to be in an optimistic place where life is beginning and loss is rare.
2. Could you tell us a bit more about your ‘Empowered Birth’ column in JUNO?
I’ve been writing a column for JUNO since 2011. I enjoy the process of sitting down with an idea and learning more about it. I first research the history or the current information on the subject. I find books to be a great resource as well as journals and look beyond midwifery for inspiration too. I have completed additional trainings in counselling and work with Rebozo. I am always looking for new teachings and broadening my knowledge and experience.
I am usually inspired to investigate something that’s happened in my work life, whether private or hospital, as these are real issues that affects us all.
3. What has been your biggest discovery throughout your career as a hypnotherapist and Bowen Technique practitioner?
My biggest discovery over 20 years in private practice is that you never know what will happen.
Before we start, I have no idea where we will be an hour later. Touching the body using Bowen has the impact of deep relaxation and this can result in a deeper breathing, alleviation of tension and pain and a feeling of relief and well-being.
However, I can never assume or predict everyone will feel the same. Being prepared for the unexpected is something I’ve become used to.
4. What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing a column?
Writing the column takes me several hours. I then return to it and rewrite , add or change the focus of what I want to share. My message is that women are strong and capable even in challenging circumstances; I see this daily in midwifery work.
However, there is so much media bombardment about birth being difficult and problematic. Every single programme from around the world depicts labour and birth as loud stressful and busy: it’s frustrating! Many programmes such as documentaries or stories edit, distort and create doubt around the abilities we are born with to give birth to our children.
The idea of having a self with a belief is never included. Women have a habit of patronising women, especially in birth. I think we feel more respected for our achievements when we’ve had support to manage a challenge, be it a conversation or negotiation, or just to be heard than support to do as we are told and to live in worry as a consequence.
I want to tell readers that they matter and to value themselves.
5. Is there a particular column you’re most proud of?
I am proud that I have remained involved, loyal and committed to JUNO over the years and that I have been included and had a voice in a lovely magazine. In every issue I find something interesting and thought-provoking; even though my children are adults now, I still enjoy seeing what is current. I also enjoy reading other articles from activists and authors I have met along the way.
— — —
Thanks so much for your time, Eleanor! What an insightful look into midwifery, hypnotherapy and the Bowen Technique.
You can find out more about her work on her website, here.
Digital-only subscriptions to JUNO, which feature unlimited & fully-searchable access to the complete archive dating back to 2003, are available in the Exact Editions shop.