My name is Claire Schrader and I started out in life as the proverbial wallflower – until I found a way to break out of my shell and acquire some of the skills that the most successful people naturally have. As a result I have achieved things that would simply been impossible if I hadn’t come out of my introverted hidey-hole.
I have developed a fast and effective system, The Sunflower Effect, enabling my clients to free themselves of inhibitions, develop an effortless self-confidence and break through their barriers to expressing themselves powerfully in the world.
But I started out as a quiet, shy introverted child. We lived in flats where childhood noise was not liked and my mother says that she deliberately repressed both my sister and I. We were so good and so well behaved that teachers used to comment on it. There was something unsettling about having such good, well-behaved children.
The photo on the right was taken when I was 13 but looked more like a nine year old – I felt as awkward as I ever had.
Shyness followed me into my early twenties until I got to the point where I knew I had to do something about it.
Through a series of coincidences I became involved in drama at university where I discovered that theatre was naturally therapeutic and gradually I began to emerge from my shell.
When people meet me these days, they find it hard to believe I was once a shy introvert. In fact the first thing they say to me is “You’re never an introvert” – because I appear to be more outgoing than most, very comfortable on stage and in front of an audience, and somewhat of a free spirit.
And then they wonder how on earth I managed to effect such a thorough transformation. Since being an introvert is something that you’re supposed to be stuck with. There’s no cure for being an introvert!
Well I am still an introvert, and very happy that I am – and I wouldn’t want to stop being one, because there are many wonderful things about being introverted.
I now feel I have the best of both worlds – the ability to go within and think and experience things deeply, and the ability also to be outgoing, expressive and social.
How I did it?
Well it didn’t happen overnight…. it happened over a period of time. And it didn’t happen because I had any special gifts or abilities. In fact I was for most of the time stumbling blindly in the dark. Drama enabled me to come out of my introverted hidey hole and undo the negative programming that had kept me locked away.
And for most part it was relatively easy and highly enjoyable.
After my first training as a nurse and finding myself a square peg in a round hole, through building my confidence through drama, much to my surprise I found myself pursuing a career in the theatre – something I would never have dreamed of doing.
In my theatre career every acting role enabled me to explore and develop new aspects of myself and that was empowering. It enabled me too to free up parts of myself that I had suppressed for years. And it was fun.
In the course of this, I came across the improvisation techniques of Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin. On top of the discovery that improvisation was nothing like I thought it was, improvisation released creativity in me that I never knew I had. Along with this my social anxieties disappeared, and my whole life, confidence in myself and what I could achieve began to open up.
(This is why I also run the “I don’t know what to say” improvisation course because they are extremely powerful at building confidence and developing many other aspects of self expression)
And I discovered much to my amazement that there were so many gifts locked away inside me – gifts I never knew I had.
Because as an introvert these gifts were all held within and there they would have stayed, if I hadn’t have found a way of getting them out
Becoming a playwright
Some time after this, I started writing my first play. Suddenly I could write with ease, even though for years I had been blocked. I got up early every morning and wrote for a couple of hours. I didn’t know what the play was about but I knew somehow I was accessing my unconscious. The play was writing itself.
I realised that all the improvisation work, had freed me from the self imposed restrictions of a lifetime and I could finally let my ideas flow.
Later on this play, CORYVRECKAN, was produced at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London, an extraordinary experience for me, not only did I see my play enacted by a talented and committed cast, also on the last night I had two agents who wanted to represent me, one was Margaret Ramsay, the most famous agent for stage writers.
The play went onto to be nominated for three awards in the London Fringe Awards, and Julia Tarnoky won Best Actress (pictured above with the award and publicity) and she still considers CORRVRECKAN the best work of her career.
Much later when I trained to become a dramatherapist, all these experiences began to make sense and I was able to bring them all under one roof. My love of theatre had set me free to express myself in the world, and the extensive personal development work I had participated in had brought me insight and understanding.
I founded Making Moves in 1997 and over time developed The Sunflower Effect system. I have been helping inhibited and quiet people find freedom ever since. The improvisation work underpins my approach – the belief that we are all innately creative. I seek to create a safe place in which people can rediscover these natural skills.
The power of achievement
It is powerful to achieve things. It builds self respect and confidence and brings with it expansion. Because the fact is we live in an extraverted world and that isn’t easy for most introverts. I have achieved all kinds of thing which I never would have thought possible if I hadn’t discovered drama.
On top of the things already mentioned I have also been featured in women’s magazines and on the radio for my solo fire-eating act La Dame de Flamme, the fire-eating ballerina and performed at a Royal Function attended by H.M. the Queen. (See my media page)
I won an Arts Council award for Corryvreckan, and had other plays performed. I’ve given presentations at big events including the Women’s International Networking Conference in Rome, and run powerful programmes in business for advertising professionals, CEO’s, Organizational Development Consultants and Innovators etc.
How I work
My style is open and encouraging, allowing each individual to flower at their own pace and in their own way. Laughter and humour is an important part of the process. I share openly about my own life and experiences: as one who has been through dark places and come out the other side stronger and with renewed zest for life.
I continue to pursue my own growth bringing back what I have learned to the groups and individuals I work with. I work intuitively, sensing the energies that are present, feeding back that awareness so that negativity can be shifted and transformed.
These are some of the things people have said about the way I work, which at one time I would have been too embarrassed to put on my web site!
She is very intuitive and sensitive to the needs and dynamics of the work. And fun to work with. Open-minded, great inner strength, expertise and professionalism. She creates a very deep space for a wide range of emotions to be re-experienced and expressed in a safe way, allowing people the time and space to do that.”
You are a marvelously ego-less workshop leader. You empowered a bunch of potential starts to twinkle and shine – I ended up feeling like a 1000 watt light bulb.”
Scilla Elsworthy, Author and Director of Oxford CND
A wonderful transparency. No apparent difficulty in being with whatever is happening. Deep understanding of everyone’s process and full acknowledgment of where we were.”
J.W. Communications Coach
Here’s some more detail about my training, qualifications and background.
If you are resonating with my story or drawn to discover this for yourself, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you get started by subscribing to my free e-book “The Self Confidence Myth” and discover how you can break out of your shell the fast, fun and easy way.
My very warmest wishes
Who is it for?
How to get started
How it works
How to break the pattern of struggle
Why the things you’ve tried haven’t worked.
Frequently asked questions
Inspiring stories of the people who’s lives have been transformed by my approach.
And if you have any questions that are not answered on this website please don’t hesitate to send me an email