What is the psychology behind the Sunflower Effect

This section is designed for people with an interest in psychology. I have tried to explain it in as simple terms as possible so you can grasp the principle behind my approach.

If you are a counsellor, therapist or psychologist you may want to take a look at this section Psychological underpinning for therapists and counsellors

How does the Sunflower Effect build lasting confidence?

The beauty of the Sunflower Effect® is that you don’t need to understand anything for it to work for you.

But for some people, it can make a real difference to understand more about the psychology. In fact, it will enable you to get more out of participating in the Sunflower Effect Courses®.

A non-judgmental space

Do you judge yourself? Is your head full of self-criticisms? Do you worry about what you think other people might be thinking of you?

Perhaps you have memories of times when you made a fool of yourself or other people laughed at you, which is triggering anxiety in you about the same experience being repeated. You get tense. You feel stressed.

For most of us, it’s hard, and probably impossible, to be confident when you have these kinds of experiences.

They have a deep psychological impact, which is why you are struggling to build confidence.

The Sunflower Effect Courses® firstly offer a safe, non-judgmental space in which you have permission to take risks and to make mistakes.

This has a liberating effect.

Most people say it’s the other people on the course that makes the real difference. People who are not judging you because they understand what it’s like to be quiet, shy or self-conscious.

They are too, going through the same challenges and are 100% in support of you making a significant shift.

Together you will be discovering how to free yourself from the limiting thoughts and behaviours that are holding you back from expressing yourself authentically.

This will have a significant psychological impact on your ability to make progress.

I have gone through a transformative process with a group of people who were going through similar issues, which showed me that I was not alone. I was not the only one with these issues. We have all grown together, supporting each other every step of the way and I am proud to call these people friends for life.


Working with Unconscious Patterns

For many people, our psychology is a mystery to us? We don’t know the reason why we feel the way we do.

We find it difficult to make changes because the reasons we have shut down, or retreated into our shell, are deeply hidden within us. This is what psychologists call our unconscious.

The Sunflower Effect® works directly with the unconscious patterns deeply buried within you. It does this by using the language the unconscious operates in – story.

Both Jung and Freud, the two key pioneers of modern psychology, understood the power of working with stories to effect powerful psychological change.

Story is the language too of your dreams. And this is why you often don’t understand quite what your dreams are telling you.

The Sunflower Effect® thus will enable you to directly talk to your unconscious in a language it understands

So it’s a bit like being able to communicate with people who only speak a foreign language, in their own tongue.

As a result, you will be able to resolve many psychological issues that otherwise would remain completely insoluble.

You would just stay stuck, endlessly repeating patterns of behaviour that are not serving you.

Most people are not aware that that is happening. They are just having fun.

This is one of the reasons why participants of the Sunflower Effect® make such surprising shifts that stand the test of time

I felt like I was simply engaging in innocent play with the other participants, laughing and having fun.… while not realizing that the process was stirring up the patterns in my subconscious that were keeping me stuck and unhappy.


The power of working with myth to unlock unconscious patterns
Working with ancient myths will enable you to effect deep psychological change

The Body/Mind Connection

The Sunflower Effect® principally works through the capacity of drama to bring about significant change. However, it is using an adapted form of drama based in dramatherapy.

This goes much further than an ordinary drama class and also provides the emotional safety that isn’t present in most drama classes.

In enacting the story, you will be working through the body. Body, mind and emotions come together so that you can liberate yourself physically from old habits and behaviours.

It is now recognised that embodiment methods are far more effective at bringing about psychological change.

See The Body Keep the Score by Bessel van der Kolk who explores this idea in a lot more depth.

The photo below shows a participant making a significant shift. At one level, she is having great fun expressing herself. But at a deeper level, she is liberating the parts of herself that have been locked away.

A participant liberating herself of old patterns of behaviour

My background and training

My training is in dramatherapy – which has enabled me to work in a safe and empowering way, as well as speeding up the process in which change can take place. (See more about my training and background out of which I developed the Sunflower Effect)

Joseph Campbell

The Sunflower Effect® also draws on Joseph Campbell’s work.

Joseph Campbell was a mythologist, who was influenced by modern psychology and saw how ancient myths were still relevant to us today.

He created what is called “The Hero’s Journey” – a way of seeing your journey in life and how to overcome the obstacles in your way.

This is, of course, very relevant to you if you have encountered a lot of obstacles in your life. It offers you a pathway to realising that you can overcome even your toughest obstacles.

Joseph Campbell also encouraged us to “follow our bliss“. By this, he means to discover and follow your deepest calling in life. The path that’s going to lead to fulfilment and happiness.

For many participants, this happens naturally as a result of doing the courses. A new career or life path opens up. Or they start doing things they never thought were possible for them. Or they discover what truly brings them fulfilment.

Joseph Campbell saw how exploring ancient myths will enable you to change your life

By-passing your mind

In the Sunflower Effect Courses®, you will draw on all of this as well as learn how to bypass your mind and connect with your natural instincts.

This is what’s going to make it possible for you to truly free yourself of the limitations, fears and anxieties that are keeping you locked away.

See this Article: Is living in your head doing you any good?

There is, of course, an awful lot more to the process, based in complex psychological theory.

But I hope you have a little more understanding as to why the Sunflower Effect® is more effective than the other confidence methods you may have tried.

You can find out more about how The Sunflower Effect® in my book From Wallflower to Sunflower the quiet person’s path to natural self-confidence.

I would highly recommend that you purchase this book if you want to understand more of how the process works.

I find that Claire’s methods and compassionate approach complements hypnotherapy as clients can actually practise, explore and build on what they achieve through hypnotherapy while being held in a safe space.

You don’t need to be a wallflower anymore. You can become the sunflower that you really are. This book will show you how.”

Kirsten Dahlerup, Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP Master practitioner kirstendahlerup.com

Claire Schrader

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