Sue Breton

Biography

I grew up in the 50's and 60's in a Surrey village but left home to attend University in Swansea. In those days the Welsh universities didn't make you commit to your Honours subject until the end of the first year. I didn't know what I wanted to do. At one time I had wanted to join the Diplomatic Service but when I discovered that women were expected to leave if they married I decided it wasn't for me. Polite society would shun you if you lived with a man to whom you weren't married!

My 'A' Levels were in French, German and Latin. I'd wanted to do Maths but in those days you couldn't mix arts and science subjects. So in my first year I studied French, Politics and took Psychology simply because I was curious about it. And I never looked back. After my degree I went on to do in-service training in Clinical Psychology. I currently work for the NHS.

I raised five children, learnt to sail yachts in races and on long trips across the world, kept and still have horses, ring church bells, and could once do the Highland Fling and the Scottish sword dance. I have just about finished a three-year project renovating an old cottage to be my new home. This entailed learning to do lime hemp plastering among other things as my restricted budget meant I could only employ others for those things which I really couldn’t do myself. It was hard work and it felt never-ending at times. But now I sit and bask in the self-satisfied glow that comes from achievement and the knowledge that I personally know every inch of this building I call home.

At one time I attempted to write romantic fiction. I did get one title published by Rainbow Romances but I soon realised that I was unable to make my characters suffer sufficiently so reluctantly I gave up. I do still have a steamy novel about a riding school lurking somewhere on my hard drive and maybe one day I might feel a desire to revisit it and see if I can adapt it at all . . . I have contemplated writing a psychological thriller, but never seem to find a plot that satisfies me. So for now I stick to what I can do —writing psychology self help texts when I feel inspired.

Fortunately from childhood I had my own anxiety and obsessive tendencies. These later enabled me to use my own experiences to work out what did and didn't work therapeutically. When Jon Kabat Zinn introduced the concept of Mindfulness I took it up and then later when Acceptance and Commitment Therapy developed I felt I had come home.

I am about to retire from my NHS post where I have most recently been helping to launch the primary care mental health service in the area I work by developing psycho-educational courses among other things. I will be sad to leave as it will be the ending of another chapter in my life. But I will continue to offer my expertise to a wider audience through my website —what-to-do-about-anxiety

On the other hand the change is exciting because I will then have time to devote to my other passions. First there are the other self-help titles which are desperate to escape from my head, along with my digital magazine, “U Can Just B”. But I also have itchy fingers just waiting to make more of the necklaces, knitted baby garments, dolls, photography and other more artistic ventures which I have only had time to dabble in up to now.

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I wrote a series (if you could call them that) of books when I was about 8 years old. Each one was based on a girl from another country. There was no internet for research so I think I wrote from what I knew. Each book had about four pages and a big colour picture, drawn and crayoned by me, of the subject on the front. Even then I couldn't just do one of anything—it had to be a series! I think my mother was the only person who ever read them but she was duly appreciative.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
As a child most of the stories I read were in books such as Hans Andersen's or Grimm's Fairy Tales. I used to read a lot of Greek mythology when I was about 11. My favourite stories were the ones where the person who had been disregarded and downtrodden came good—the typical Cinderella story. One of my two favourite films is still 'Pretty Woman'. I do recall that my favourite nursery story was "Little Red Hen". She planted the seed, tended it, harvested it, and made it into bread all by herself. Each time she asked the other animals for help they refused. When she had baked the bread and asked them if they wanted any they all said they did. But Little Red Hen told them they couldn't have any because they hadn't been willing to help her create it, so she ate it all herself!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Sue Breton online


Where to buy in print


Books

Can't Meditate, Won't Meditate
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 35,540. Language: British English. Published: August 12, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health, Nonfiction » New Age » Meditation
The approach to learning Mindfulness described in this book was developed by the author within a mental health service. For that reason the method had to be accessible to those who were unable to concentrate or whose mental state left them unable to grasp the philosophy as it is normally taught. Lengthy meditations are avoided as are complex explanations. This is mindfulness made simple.
The Blackmailer in Your Head: What To Do About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 22,040. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health, Nonfiction » Psychology » OCD
OCD often holds its vicitms to ransom for years. It makes them do things for fear that something bad will happen if they don’t. But this blackmailer is in the victim's own head. It is purely their own thoughts. Therefore they are the only ones who can put an end to it. This book was written to help them understand how it gets a hold and how to go about stopping the payments.

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