I have some understanding of psychology – how does The Sunflower Effect achieve long-lasting change to confidence

The Sunflower Effect offers a non-judgmental space in which you can free yourself from the psychological barriers that are holding you back.

The approach works through the capacity of drama to bring about significant change in people – using an adapted form of drama  – which goes much further than an ordinary drama class.


It works directly with the unconscious patterns deeply buried within you. It does this by using the language the unconscious operates in, story, the language too of your dreams. So it’s a bit like being able to communicate with people who only speak a foreign language, in their own tongue.

We are thus able to work directly with the unconscious in the language it understands and resolve many issues that otherwise would remain insoluble.

Our psychology is often a mystery to us and we often don’t know the reason we feel the way we do – and it is difficult to make changes because the reasons we have shut down or retreated into our shell are so deeply hidden from us, i.e. in our unconscious.

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 her that have been locked away


Both Jung and Freud understood the power of working with stories to effect powerful psychological change – particularly when working with ancient myths some of which are many thousands of years old. In fact, this healing system was an ancient form of medicine and has been around for thousands of years – and it worked.

The power of working with myth to unlock unconscious patterns

Making Moves draws on Jung and Freud’s work but takes it a step further through enacting powerful stories- you are working directly with your unconscious mind but also liberating yourself physically of old habits and behaviours.


I also draw on Joseph Campbell’s work – a wonderful man who encouraged us all to “follow our bliss“, and he created what is called “The Hero’s Journey” – a way of seeing our journey in life and to overcome obstacles in our way.

This is of course very relevant to people who have encountered a lot of obstacles in their lives, offering them a pathway to realising that they can overcome even their toughest obstacles.

Joseph Campbell was a mythologist, and he saw how ancient myths were still relevant to us today. Indeed he went further than that to say that working with myths put you back in accord (in harmony) with Nature. What he means by this – is that working with myths enables you to access your true self, your natural self.

This is one of the key reason that the Sunflower Effect is so effective at enabling you to access your natural confidence. This is the confidence that is within you – but is deeply buried due to your personality or life experiences. See my book From Wallflower to Sunflower – sign up for your three free chapters.

He also saw that as a civilisation that we are hopelessly out of touch with Nature.  This is another reason why we are stuck in our heads and cut off from our instincts and intuition. And this is even truer in the twenty-first century with the increasing impact that electronic gadgets are making on our everyday lives.

I was delighted when Phil Cousineau, author of the seminal book on Joseph Campbell’s work, recognised how much Joseph Campbell would have loved the approach I have developed – if he was still alive. He saw my approach as fulfilling Campbell’s vision.

“Claire Schrader’s new book … fulfils Joseph Campbell’s vision of a remythologized world, one in which we would be, as he loved to quote Cezanne, more “in accord with nature.”
Phil Cousineau, author of The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on his Life and Workwhat is the making moves approach


In my courses, you will draw on all this as well as learning how to bypass your mind and connect with your natural instincts through which it is possible to truly free yourself of the limitations, fears and anxieties that keep you locked away.

This is also what will put you in touch with your natural confidence.

See also The Curse of Being Too Nice and The Curse of Emotion

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 – so that my clients can make much faster progress than I did.

See my background and training.

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

If you are a counsellor, psychotherapist or a professional working in this field, you may want to take a look at the textbook I edited Ritual Theatre.

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New here?

Want to know what’s coming up soon?

My regular courses started January 19th 2021 and all are running on zoom.

If you’re feeling ready to take the plunge and book for one of my courses – here’s a bit of useful info as to where to get started:

The Breakthrough Group is the first step for many people – particularly if you feel shy, self-conscious or experience social anxiety. I’ve seen some miraculous transformations in my 20 years of running this course.

The current course started:
Tues 19th Jan @ 7pm

Or, if speaking up in groups, being heard, or any kind of public speaking is your challenge, then the  Finding Your Voice course is a good place to start. Particularly if anxiety or nerves are an issue. I’ve had people with very severe symptoms including panic attacks, overcome these issues with relative ease.

The next course will run on zoom and will start:
Wed 20th Jan  @7pm

“I don’t know what to say” improvisation for social confidencei s great for people with average confidence who experience some form of social anxiety or awkwardness but find themselves stumped with knowing what to say. Working through improvisation and will transform your verbal confidence and social skills.

The next course will run on zoom and will start: Wednesday, 20th Jan @ 10 am & Thursday 21st Jan @ 6 pm

All these course will run again in May (face-to-face).

Next Express Yourself Workshop, is on March 14th 10.30 am-5.30 pm (subject to govt restrictions_ – another great way to get started.

Find out what it’s like to attend a Sunflower Effect  Course by the next Introductory Evening on  April 13th 7.30-9.30pm. We plan to run this face-to face.

A great way to get a taste of what to expect before joining one of my courses.

You can book online for all my courses and events.

If you’re not sure which course is right for you, book a telephone appointment with me or get in touch by email

I look forward to hearing from you

Best, Claire