The Thrive Programme FAQs
Thrive Programme FAQs
Cure Your Vaginismus & Thrive - Frequently asked questions
For any woman who is highly motivated to overcome vaginismus and is willing to commit to putting in a good amount of effort to work through the programme, the workbook may be all you need to succeed. However, the advantages of working through the programme with me as your personal Thrive Coach, guiding you through the programme are as follows:
- I can support and motivate you. I'll help to keep you motivated and you'll have the confidence of knowing you have my support throughout the programme.
- Human engagement. My job is to teach, coach and guide you through the programme. My clients enjoy the interaction during our sessions because as well as being educational, sessions can be fun too and there are often laughs along the way.
- I can pace your progress, tailoring the programme to suit your own particular needs. I also help you pace your progression with physical/penetration exercises.
- I can bring the book to life. Working together, we'll get to know eachother. The insight I get into your life means that I can help you apply the concepts from the programme to your own experiences, making it much more relatable.
- You can share your successes with me! The journey to overcoming vaginismus on your own can be a solitary one - especially if you are single or don't have a supportive partner. My clients are often as excited about sharing their achievements with me as I am hearing about them - it's the best part of my job.
- I can answer any question you might have. I have been helping women to overcome vaginismus for nearly 20 years now so you won't have a question that I can't answer.
- I can steer you in the right direction if you go off-track. There will be challenges for every woman who goes through the programme, and in fact, we grow more from being challenged than from when life runs smoothly. However, with my help they should seem like molehills rather than mountains!
A past client of mine, Jess, offered the following words when asked what she found were the benefits of working with me:
"Cara is extremely perceptive in her way of working. She noticed things about me (both physically and emotionally) that helped further my understanding of myself immensely. She was far from just a trained consultant who read off a script following the outline of the book. She brought extra to the sessions that proved very helpful.
Cara is a helpful mix of firm but kind. She brought a “human explanation” to some aspects of the book. I was able to be honest when I truly wasn’t quite understanding something first time round. I have always been a deep thinker and can overcomplicate things sometimes (!!) but Cara was able to answer all my questions and keep me on the right path of understanding.
Cara also brought a healthy dollop of honesty to the programme which helped it feel less about a professional teaching a client. Instead, it was one genuine knowledgeable woman passing on information to another. The fact our sense of humour is cut from the same cloth kept the sessions fun and has given me some extra personal coping mechanisms that I shall never forget."
Basically EVERYTHING you need to know in order to overcome vaginismus and Thrive! It is a structured, easy to follow training programme that involves you really getting to understand:
• How vaginismus happens - what is really going on 'behind the scenes' to cause the condition.
• How to achieve penetration success with dilators and make the successful transition from dilators to enjoyable sex.
• The beliefs you have that dictate EVERYTHING about your life: how you feel about yourself, your body, your reactions to life, etc.
• The specific thinking styles you have that drive your thoughts and behaviour. Recognise and change the unhelpful ones, such as catastrophic thinking, brooding, perfectionism, etc.
• How much power you believe you have to make changes in your life, how in control you feel. Learn how your desire for control means you may avoid situations - including dilators, sex and intimacy...and how to regain that control.
• How to feel much more confident and in control in your relationship (or future relationships). Recognise and change any unhelpful feelings and responses towards your partner.
• The unhelpful cycle of behaviour that leads to vaginismus and how to change that to to a helpful, powerful cycle of behaviour that leads to success.
• The 'Psychological Foundations' that dictate how you lead your life: your Self Esteem and Sense of Control.
Alongside our sessions you will be required to study the Cure your Vaginismus and Thrive Programme workbook – you will learn essential and fascinating insights about yourself and the condition. There are also support videos to watch to help you on your journey. Ensure you apply your knowledge from our sessions and the book to your everyday life as much as possible.
Throughout the programme you will be given specific exercises/tasks to complete in between sessions. These will be tailored to apply to your own personal experience and degree of vaginismus. This is a very 'doing' programme where you get out of it exactly what you put into it. Put in a good amount of effort each week to apply what you are learning and you can overcome vaginismus and thrive in just 6-8 weeks.
This is one of the most, if not the most, common concerns that women express when they first contact me. Almost every women I have worked with initally believed that their vaginismus was more complicated, deep-rooted and difficult to resolve than anyone elses. It wasn't, and neither is yours!
They are doubtful & sceptical about whether or not it’ll work for them, or if they’re capable of making positive long-term changes. It’s completely understandable though, especially given many have already tried other interventions with little success and may have been struggling with this for some time.
I always encourage everyone to go onto my testimonials pages and have a good read of what past clients have said. These are from people who have worked with me - a first-hand account. I’d much rather people believed them than me!
The Thrive Programme clearly works and is proven to be a hugely successful, educational and enjoyable process. It’s also important to remember, there is NOTHING else like the programme. I can assure you, having a personal coach to help explain, break down and teach you how to develop strong, robust beliefs and a powerful mindset is the best skillset you ever learn.
And, if you're interested in some cold, hard statistics to show the efficacy of the programme, 80% of my 50 most recent clients clients believed that they would always have vaginismus (when they embarked upon the programme). By their final session, not one woman believed that. For more encouraging before and after data, see my blog page on the most commonly held beliefs of vaginismus sufferers.
Obviously I'm biased, but I believe that this programme is THE most effective and predictable way of permanently resolving vaginismus. The results from The Thrive Programme directly reflect the effort YOU put into the process. Ultimately, YOU are the only person who can change you. In the same way that if you wanted to lose weight, no one can make you eat well and exercise - that effort has to come from you.
My job is to be your personal coach throughout the journey but it is your responsibility to fully engage with the programme, applying what you learn in between sessions. Everyone who thoroughly engages with the programme WILL always hugely benefit from it and overcome vaginismus.
This programme will not work for people who are looking for a magical quick fix or for someone else to cure them.
Unlike Psychosexual Therapy or CBT, Thrive doesn’t just focus upon giving you some isolated insights, tools and techniques to cope with or reduce your anxiety. These approaches are ‘fire-fighting’ – trying to control or reduce the anxiety AFTER we have created it by our thinking. Often people tire quickly of having to maintain this level of effort of fending of negative thoughts.
Likewise, the value of dilators is often limited because they only tackle vaginismus on a purely physical level. Unless their use is accompanied by helpful cognitive processes, their success is often limited.
The Thrive Programme gives you the unique insight to understand the component parts of your thinking and beliefs that are causing the vaginismus – rather than just trying to combat the end result of muscular clenching. The Programme will teach you how to regain control over your thinking and responses to life, both inside the bedroom and outside of it.
I was a hypnotherapist for many years before the Thrive Programme was even created, so this section is written from a position of first-hand experience.
The appeal of hypnotherapy is entirely understandable. If you feel powerless about overcoming vaginismus and are desperate for a cure, who wouldn't like the idea of being 'put out to sleep' to find that your problems are gone when you wake up! And this can indeed sometimes be the case when a person has a very simple symptom and if their mind is conducive to absorbing and responding to hypnotic suggestions.
However, ALL psycho-somatic symptoms, including vaginismus, are caused by very specific ways of thinking and responding. Therefore, in order to permanently overcome vaginismus, the most empowering thing we can do is really understand and address what is happening behind the scenes to cause the vaginal tension.
The aim of hypnosis is to suggest away symptoms. However, the physical response of vaginismus is only the END RESULT of what we really need to focus on. The CAUSE can be a whole number of factors including our beliefs about sex and our body, our social anxiety with our partner, feelings of being out of control, etc. Therefore, unless these primary issues are addressed, any positive results gained from hypnotherapy may only be temporary.
Hypnosis may well help to give someone an initial boost in the right direction, but without the knowledge or insight to support new thinking and behaviour, we run the risk of quickly undoing the hypnotic suggestions by reverting back to old, familiar habits and patterns of responding.
Additionally, it can be easy to attribute any successes achieved after a hypnotherapy session to the hypnotherapist or the hypnotic process. This is shaky ground! If you believe that improvements were due to something that was done TO you, rather than viewing it as something YOU are doing, it's difficult to give yourself credit for them and understand how to maintain them. With the Thrive Programme, you own your own successes, which is a wonderful, empowering feeling. They are understandable and predictable. You'll know exactly what you did to achieve them and that gives you the power to continue to make positive changes in order to reach your goal!
Counselling can be beneficial by allowing a client to off-load or talk through a problem. This is particularly useful if that person is unable to talk to friends or family. However, the disadvantage of counselling can be that you may find yourself going over old ground, dredging up past hurts and negative experiences but with no resolution or change of perspective.
This can be particularly the case with counselling that is focussed on our childhoods. A recent client of mine had been told by her counsellor that her vaginismus was caused by the emotional response to her father dying when she was ten years old. This isn’t just disempowering….it’s just simply not true!
Very often, when we feel unhappy with ourselves or our lives in the here and now but feel powerless to make changes, we look back to their past in the hope of resolving our current problems. However, just by being able to trace back in time to when a problem or anxiety first occurred, doesn’t necessarily mean that you feel empowered to overcome problems or change your life now.
With Thrive, the focus is upon your beliefs and thoughts TODAY, regardless of how they may have been created in the past. Which is great because we can’t change the past! With vaginismus specifically, Thrive focuses on your current unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about penetration that are creating the anxiety and tension NOW.
You cannot pick individual elements and expect to get the same results as someone completing it the whole programme. As you work your way through the programme every week, there is a gradual build up of knowledge and insights, like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Everything you learn will give you essential insights into yourself and it's important that you understand all the components that make up who you are and how you respond. Knowledge is power so we want to avoid there being any gaps in your knowledge.
I appreciate that for some people, it may be a lot of money to spend. Because this programme is so completely different too ALL other interventions, it really is impossible to explain to someone who is yet to go through it just how transformative the programme really is. I hope the reviews from past clients help to give you a sense of that.
If your budget doesn't stretch to the cost of going through the programme with me, there are a couple of options:
1. I do accept payment in instalments.
2. It is absolutely possible, with a lot of effort and determination, to do the programme at home with the Workbook by yourself.
It's not advisable to, for a few reasons:
- There is nothing like this programme, so it’s very likely that any other intervention you are going through will conflict in some manner, lessening the positive affects.
- The programme involves consistent effort, so it’s important to devote full attention to it.
- It’s helpful to see cause and effect and you will want to know exactly what you are doing to achieve your positive results. Engaging in other interventions is likely to just muddy the water.
Buy the book here
- Enjoy successful, pain-free sex
- A step-by-step, 6-8 week programme
- A completely different and fresh approach
- Feel comfortable and in control of how your body responds