Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Victoria Harris Interview - Wish


Photo Content from Victoria Harris

Victoria Harris is a Humanistic & Integrative psychotherapist in private practice who specializes in using creative techniques for emotional healing. Dr. Harris has trained in child psychotherapy and play therapy and researched the use of creative techniques in psychotherapy. She works with children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Harris believes strongly in early intervention and using creativity as a tool for healing. She has two children and enjoys spending time in nature, especially in West Cork, Ireland. It is here surrounded by the rugged beauty of the landscape and the local folklore that she finds the inspiration for her books.

      
  


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It was so rewarding to have the finished book in my hands! Also, to hear back from people who have read it and understand how it can be used as a vehicle for processing big feelings and issues.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
I didn’t have a great experience of school. I struggled in math and science and my teacher told my parents I was not good enough for university. But this experience made me determined to follow my heart. So I learnt to overcome obstacles and not give up on the things I believe in.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
As well as working on the second book in the Otherworld series, I am also working on a picture book for 5-7 year olds. This will help teach them coping strategies and promote mental well-being.

Can you tell us when you started WISH, how that came about?
I work in private practice as a child psychotherapist. One in six children today suffer from a mental health disorder, affecting the way they learn, behave, and manage emotions. In order to help them navigate an uncertain world, we need to equip them with the skills to manage their emotions. Early intervention is crucial for this. By teaching children to process and regulate their feelings while they are young, they develop lifelong skills to help them navigate times of stress and trauma they will face in life.

The classic stories I read growing up like Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz spoke to my unconscious mind and helped me through challenging times. Then during my early client work, I came to realize that sometimes talk therapy could not soothe every emotional pain. Working in a suicide and self-harm prevention center, I began to see clients for whom words failed and where it was difficult to engage verbally. I knew I needed to build a relationship and help them to express and process what was going on for them but I had no idea what to do when a person wouldn’t—or couldn’t—talk to me. Then I remembered my own therapist and how she used creative techniques to help unlock aspects of myself that needed healing. So I began to use techniques such as storytelling with my clients and had so much success I trained in creative techniques and later researched them for my doctorate. Wish shows children they can author their own futures and helps them build emotional resilience in the process.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope that readers will identify with Cara’s struggles and challenges, because we all have big feelings and issues that we have to navigate in life. But like Cara, they remember to use their coping strategies and step into their power.

For those who are unfamiliar with Cara, how would you introduce her?
Cara is a twelve-year-old who is blaming herself for her father’s disappearance. She is struggling with negative thoughts and feels overwhelmed. She is dis-connected to her truth. Yet when she begins to fear her family has been cursed, she finds the strength to step into her power, and embark on a quest to find her father and free them all from darkness.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would like Hugo the hedgehog to meet Eeyore from The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. Hugo, like Eeyore, can teach us that it’s okay to be who you are. In Wish he is a reluctant hero, too tired for quests and not afraid to express his feelings. Little does he know I have more in store for him in book two!

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
Growing up I have very fond memories of playing fairies and gnomes with my friend Louise in her garden. She had a beautiful stream in a wooded area and we would spend hours playing there, lost in our imagination.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Have an adventure and do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I went backpacking around the world straight after finishing University and it was both uncomfortable at times and an adventure!

Memorable Summer?
My husband is a keen sailor and we have a sailboat. My most memorable summer is sailing with him and my two children around Corsica. The freedom of living on a boat, and waking up in the morning to jump into the sea is amazing. It is also very grounding and bonding, because when you are living in such a confined space with uncertainty you really have to work as a team.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
I think this decade because kids now have so much more choice than I did growing up. It is a very creative and progressive time.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Alice in Wonderland was my favourite book. I grew up in the New Forest close to Alice (in Wonderland) whom C.S. Lewis based his novels once lived. I was captivated by the story of a portal to another world and spent many hours imagining finding a door and what would be behind it.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid.
Not having to be responsible for adult stuff.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
I was out with friends for dinner. I love a good belly laugh and after all the lockdowns it was great to be out with old friends once again.

TEN REASONS TO READ WISH
  • It is a fun fantasy adventure.
  • It speaks to your unconscious. Through the use of symbols and metaphor.
  • It has fairies and otherworldly creatures in it.
  • It is about empowerment. We all need to feel more of this!
  • It can help you process big feelings.
  • It offers tools to help regulate your body when overwhelmed.
  • It helps with understanding negative thoughts.
  • It has a green man of the forest in it. Growing up in a forest area I have always been fascinated by the green man.
  • It is based on Irish folklore.
  • It is magical.
Journey to writing WISH
My parents divorce when I was young had a huge impact on me. I struggled with my feelings and took refuge in my imagination. Interested in emotional suffering, I first studied psychology for A-level and then with undergraduate research on the influence of symbols on the mind. A Masters in Psychoanalytic Studies emphasized the importance of working with the unconscious if we want to heal emotional wounds.

I continued my training in child psychotherapy, learning play therapy and creative techniques which I used with clients when words were not enough. Often I wrote therapeutic stories for my clients, or used stories as a vehicle for healing. When I researched creative techniques for my doctorate, I found support that techniques such as using symbols and metaphor is a safe way to help bypass our conscious mind, working ‘under the hood’ to assist children and adults in processing emotions.

I wrote my book Wish in response to my research and my many years working with clients using symbols and metaphor. Wish on one level is an entertaining adventure, but on a deeper level it works to create change. Helping children process emotions and learn the skills they need to regulate and calm their system when they feel overwhelmed.

Most humans have forgotten their sparkle … hypnotized by the darkness that obscures it.

Twelve-year-old Cara O’Reilly always thought her father was teasing when he said she and her sister had fairy magic. But it’s been nearly a week since he went on a mountain hike and vanished—right after an argument with Cara. She wished him gone, and now he is.

Cara’s little sister Bri hasn’t spoken a word since his disappearance. In fact, Cara feels like her whole family is under a curse. And it seems like all the adults in their family are keeping some sort of secret. Her world further tumbles into chaos when, after a close encounter with a living, breathing fairy, Cara realizes the old stories are all true. Now, she must find the door to the Otherworld to retrieve an ancient treasure. But can she battle the darkness to save her family—and the entire world?
You can purchase Wish at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you VICTORIA HARRIS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Wish by Victoria Harris.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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5 comments:

  1. I would want Rob Mariano from Survivor, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lets see...Jennifer Aniston, Nicholas Cage, and Garth Brooks would be a good combination I think!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would want Steve Erwin, Edward O. Wilson and David Attenborough.

    ReplyDelete
  4. keith urban, elvis and marilyn monroe

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any 3 people who could get me off the island the fastest.

    ReplyDelete