Blog

14th September 2022

2022 AVE Virtual Vision Conference.

I am giving a talk at the above conference. This is at 3:00 pm UK time or 10:00 am EDT. To see full details of the conference click the link http://www.naturalvisionteachers.org/2022conference. Also my outline is below.

From Eyesight to Insight

 Seeing naturally can open doors to deeply held emotional blocks, I am suggesting a dual approach to (thinking about) EYESIGHT AND THE MIND.

“The Power of a Smile.”

“As the world comes into focus vision plays an increasingly important part in relationships. Eye contact becomes the main source of information about ours  and other people’s feelings and intentions: feelings are seen in the eyes and  on the face.” Sue Gerhardt, p 41 in ‘Why Love Matters’ 2004.

The central focus of my presentation is to consider the psychology of eyesight, thinking about it from  the very early days and weeks of the baby who is already ‘Learning to See’, and how the infant will be impacted by those very early visual experiences.

Keep in Mind “Children learn what they live, then live what they learn”.

 I want to share with you my thoughts and  ideas about the multi-dimensional nature of vision/eyesight, as a ‘whole person (body) phenomena’.

I am keenly interested in the psychology of eyesight, noticing how much the emotional and psychological experience varies from person to person even when their seeing challenge appears to be very similar to others who apparently have the same or similar eyesight complaint, i.e. any one of the ‘common’ refractive errors! (keep in mind there is no commonality in individual experience).

‘One size therapy’ does not fit everyone, so for me I need to shape the work to fit the needs and learning style of the individuals who come to my practice for help to improve their eyesight. In my experience it is never that simple!

‘?’ Is there something in here that there is so much scepticism about the worth of Dr. Bates amazing Method!

I believe improving eyesight is a complex ‘body/mind’ process. Dr. Bates concluded that ‘all  conditions of impaired eyesight are  part and parcel of the mindset of the individual’ (now there’s a can of worms!).

So to the title of this presentation:

‘From Eyesight to Insight’  A journey of exploration and discovery.

I’m looking forward to you joining me!

14th September 2022

Upcoming Talks/Workshops

From Eyesight to Insight

Introductory talks and workshop

Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh, Saturday 8th October 10:00 to 5:00pm.

Cockenzie House and Gardens, Port Seton, East Lothian, Sunday 9th October 11:30 to 5:30pm

Come and join me for a day and learn that eyesight can improve naturally,  there ‘is’ an alternative to glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery!

Using Dr Bates Method I have taught Natural Eyesight Improvement for more than 30 years, helping people  to improve their eyesight and to have a better understanding of the mind and how it plays a part in how we learn to see the world.

Dr W H Bates believed that ‘every eyesight problem has its origin in the mind!’

In the morning I will talk about my work  with Eyesight Improvement with an introduction to Dr Bates method. Lunch will be followed by a practical session demonstrating the activities, developed by Dr Bates that I utilise in my work.

Please note that lunch is not provided.

These are free events but a donation would be appreciated.

To reserve a place or for more information email Aileen at; vision.education@btopenworld.com

7th May 2022

Well with Pandemic rules mostly gone one of the things that pleases me is getting back to seeing people face to face. Over the pandemic time I began working with Zoom and found it useful to use to keep in touch with clients and also finding new ones. However in my mind nothing beats a face to face session. In this you are able to see the ‘complete’ person rather that just a face.

Face to face helps on assessing what is going on with the client, you can pick up on the body language and this can help a lot, especially with a new client.

But even with my preference for face to face I realise that it cannot always be possible, distance, etc.. so working with Zoom as well is an added bonus.

All I have said is relevant to both my Natural Eyesight work and my psychotherapy work.

Keep in touch

Aileen

25th February 2022

I have started to work on a series of Podcasts. These will cover all aspects of my work and also some interviews with Therapists that I admire and probably not just from the world of Eyesight.

Keep watch for news when they will be starting

Aileen

16th April 2021

Eyesight to Insight: An introduction 

What do we mean by “Eyesight to Insight”? I will be exploring and explaining this and the relevance it has to Natural Eyesight Improvement, commonly known as the Bates Method.

What right do I have to talk about and teach on this subject? So a bit about me. 

I have a very long history of working with people of all ages, I worked for many years in nursing, both on the wards and as a Nurse Educator and examiner, specialising in Psychiatry. I  hold a Master of Science (MSc Advanced Education) from the University of Edinburgh. After leaving this field after many years I trained in Natural Eyesight Improvement and now have been teaching this for over 25 years. With a colleague I co-founded the College of Vision Education In London from which there many experienced natural eyesight teachers, world wide

In addition I have done extensive training in Meir Schneider’s Self-Healing Method and worked alongside him, we have been friends and colleagues for many years.

I have organised conferences workshops and presented at International conferences, given workshops and seminars. 

I am also a qualified and experienced humanistic counsellor/psychotherapist. An invaluable asset in this work.

I continue to provide therapy in both fields, jointly and separately.

Many ‘Natural Vision Teachers’ are using this title today and I am sure that if we look at all of them we will see some common threads but also some very different interpretations on how this so called improvement  works. I suggest it is about much more than ‘giving up your glasses/contact lenses forever’. Good Vision is multi-dimensional, it is a ‘whole person process regardless of the state or condition of your ‘seeing’. It is for everyone, of every age, every condition from sighted to blindness.

I will be presenting an introductory Zoom presentation on the above to introduce  you to my theories on this. Using my many years in Nursing and Nurse Teaching, as a Natural Vision Teacher and a qualified psychotherapist I will introduce you to the way in which this work can help you to not only improve your eyesight but to also help you to SEE yourself more clearly and feel better about who and how you are, improving your eyesight and clearing emotional blocks.

This introductory seminar will outline and introduce this proposed six weeks  programme/short course that  will help you, using  Natural Vision Improvement theory and practice and  personal development activities and  actions to feel more fulfilled in every aspect of your ‘being’.

The course will be limited to a maximum of ten participants and each participant will be guaranteed one personal session with me, at a mutually arranged  time, either during or following the course which will run every   every two weeks, this will give you time to absorb what we have done each week and be prepared with any questions you may have in time for the next session.

To introduce the course Aileen is presenting a free Zoom talk on Saturday 22nd May at 11am and repeated on Sunday 23rd May at 4pm. Both UK times. In it she will give details of the course. 

So if you would like to join my talk please email to register at vision.education@btopenworld.com. and please say which time you would like to attend. You can use my contact page for this if you wish.

This introductory talk is free and the course cost will be very reasonable.

And soon to go live is my new website, http://www.eyesight-2-insight.co.uk. Watch out for the release soon!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Lots of love from Aileen

18th March 2021

The following is the outline of an introductory talk from me before the BAVE showing of the film “Vision2020”.

How did I get into this work?

That’s a good one!

Like most of the people we see they come wanting to improve their eyesight and yes I am one of these individuals.

It’s 1992, I’m in a bookshop in Glasgow and I tripped over a box of books just being unpacked – The Bates Method by Peter Mansfield – so you could say I just fell into the eyesight work! And have stayed with it ever since.

However I, unlike most people who come to improve their eyesight and want to get out of their glasses,  my seeing difficulty has been around since my birth, it is complex, it seriously impacted my life, it does not correct with glasses. Help eventually arrived in the form of the Bates Method and no, my eyesight is not perfect, whatever that means, but it and I are immeasurably better with the help of this natural method. Because of this I have better vision, I learned to appreciate and make better use of what I have.

Eyesight is a complex and personal human experience and as such it needs to be understood in the context of the individual experiencing the eyesight challenge.

So who is natural vision improvement for? It is for everyone, at any age and regardless of their seeing challenge. Natural vision education is a whole person process. But outcomes are very dependent on the nature of the learner. NVE is not usually a quick fix.

In my experience even individuals with little or no actual eyesight (blind) learn to “look” better.

Generally, we want to see too much but that is not the same as looking better in a relaxed, interested and reflective way. Alongside that the quality of our attention is a hugely relevant factor. 

Vision is a metaphor, not simply eyesight but a relationship between “eyesight and insight”. It is about who we are and how we learn to see the world, i.e. our personality.

So, I work with the whole person and not simply the eyesight condition.

I don’t work with eyesight –  I work with people who want to better understand their eyesight issue and learn to do something about it. Seeing/looking is about so much more than giving up glasses and lenses.

Excluding congenital or birthing accidents it is estimated that close to 100% of babies are born with the potential for perfect eyesight – then life and experiences impact how we learn to see the world.

A good catch phrase – ‘change your mind – improve your eyesight’.

So largely speaking I teach and support my learners to work in this dual way. It works, it is profound and the changes last and generally there is much less incidence of eye pathologies, e.g. cataract, MD Glaucoma and RP.

And – no need for reading spex at 40! Reading glasses are not ‘cool’  

Keep in mind eyesight improvement is a big ask, it’s a gradual self-healing process and does not happen overnight but the benefits can be immeasurable.

With Dr Bates’ method, given the best conditions for healing everyone can benefit even people with so called 20/20 eyesight. But the outcomes are dependent on emotional change and growth, i.e. “personal development”.

I have been a natural vision teacher and psychotherapist for more years than I can remember working with hundreds of people experiencing all the usual and unusual eyesight challenges, the majority of whom are helped, supported and even surprised with their eyesight changes and enhanced sense of self.

This is a whole person process integrating mind, body and spirit. 

As a teacher and psychotherapist I sometimes think this work should come with a health warning – generally it doesn’t just impact the individual but impacts how we see the world and our life in  general. 

Quotes from learners 

  1. “my wife said, oh! just put on your glasses and stop this nonsense”, 
  2. “I liked you better the way you were before”.

12th October

Nature, Naturally!! An Autumn Feast for your Eyes. As we enter another stage of our battle against Covid it sometimes seems hard to remember that at this time of the year we have some natural events going on that are good for our Natural Eyesight Improvement work.I know that it is hard to “see” positives throughout all of this but there are a lot.

Where we stay we are very lucky in that a very short walk of about 3 minutes takes us into mature woodland and we can stay in the woods for almost all the walk if we want to, with only one or two roads to cross, the inconvenience of those roads more than outweighed by the pleasure of seeing the trees, the undergrowth, squirrels, birds and of course our dogs playing in the woods.

At this time I recall a lovely old song written and performed by Johnny Cash in the late 1950’s and many others following him, called Forty Shades of Green, inspired by his first visit to Ireland

.Now I don’t know if there are forty shades or not but when you walk in the woods or even a park just enjoy taking the time to notice the trees and their colours and especially at this time of the year the changing of the colours. Also look below the trees, at the grasses, flowers, weeds, again the range of colours to be found there can be wonderful. Take advantage of this time of year and enjoy nature, naturally!

2nd September

Aileen has just announced a new one-to-one on-line course for eyesight improvement. If you would be interested in this contact us either through the contact form or the contact telephone number. Look forward to hearing from you.

1st September 2020

We all have been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic leaving us locked down at home, taking away the opportunity to see our regular pupils and find new ones it meant that we all have had to find some ways to use our time.

Personally before all this started I was very unsure about using technology to work remotely with clients but I soon realised that I had to do something as otherwise my clients would possibly disappear or find that they were missing ‘seeing’ me.

What did I do? Decided to embrace technology and now find myself working comfortably with Skype, Facetime, Zoom and even WhatsApp. As I am doing, I expect a lot of teachers are now doing.

At first I was apprehensive, setting my room up to ensure a good clear image on the screen, making sure I had no ‘problematic’ rear views behind me (as some politicians seem to have had!). So even before I started I was working on vision, focussing on my surroundings so that whoever I was talking to had no distractions around me on their screen.

I have used these technologies now for some time and feel that they are a very useful tool in our ‘work bag’. I use them in my vision work, my psychotherapy practice, my sessions with my psychotherapy supervisor and of course to chat with friends.

The one downside of working this way, for me anyway, is the lack of seeing the full body. Sometimes we can tell a lot from noticing body language, this may be telling us something different than the words. I find this important, especially with my psychotherapy clients.

But, all said and done, it is a good way of keeping in touch and has allowed me to have new clients from further afield than just the Edinburgh area. Even so, I still look forward to working face to face in my office soon.

http://www.aileenwhiteford.com