GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling
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GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling
March Newsletter

Welcome to our early Spring Newsletter.

Here’s hoping for more sunshine and less rain than we saw in February.  Days are getting longer, and we have a little more light every evening to enjoy.  Buds are emerging and cherry blossom is in full flourish.

 Despite the Corona virus, we are carrying on as normal until such time as we are informed differently (with an increase in handwashing it must be said).

Here at GroOops Base we are gearing up for our workshops over the next couple of months and look forward to meeting you at one or other.

Dyslexia Show Birmingham NEC

Date: Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March 2020

This show is put together by our friend and colleague Arran Smith at Birmingham NEC. It’s free but you do have to pay if you want to attend any of the workshops.

Our Director, Pennie Aston is presenting one workshop on Saturday the 21st March at 10.30 in Seminar Room 2 entitled “The Emotional Rollercoaster of Dyslexia – and what you can do about it”. It can feel very isolating to be in the support role of parenting someone with dyslexia and this talk will look at helpful interventions and strategies to understand why family members react in the way they do and what you can put in place to minimise stress and anxiety. This workshop is at present full but keep looking – things may change and there are lots of others to choose from.

For more information visit:

Register for the event by clicking the link below.
Register Now

INTRO TO: The Dyslexia Aware Therapeutic Approach addressing the Emotional Repercussions of Dyslexia.

Date: Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th April 2020
Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Venue:  Finchley N3
Cost: £300

We have one or two spaces still available.

This stimulating and intensive three-day experiential workshop offers both an understanding of the Emotional Repercussions of Dyslexia*, and also practical applications to address the issues that it creates.  It is a valuable toolkit for all those who support dyslexic people such as counsellors, trainers, supervisors, social workers, SENCos, youth workers, tutors, teachers, teaching assistants, and managers etc., and will provide knowledge and skills that can be used directly with clients.

The workshop has been designed as a foundation for professionals who already have a basic understanding and practice of dyslexia support and wish to expand their learning within a therapeutic framework.

It is also excellent in helping dyslexic professionals appreciate their abilities and life experiences.  It will help develop your skills and confidence in working with dyslexic clients and add new techniques to your strategy toolbox.

*We use the term ‘Dyslexia’ because it is the most common of all Sp.L.D.s. What we do is largely applicable to all the other conditions known to be related such as Dyscalculia, A.D.H.D., A.D.D., Autism Level 1 (Asperger’s Syndrome), Dyspraxia and Dysgraphia.  Many of these conditions can overlap and often coexist.

What you’ll be getting?

You will join a small group of like-minded individuals for a three-day, retreat-style therapeutic, skills training programme addressing the Emotional Repercussions of Dyslexia based in a tranquil, harmonious setting that nurtures personal and professional wellbeing.  We will be focusing specifically on integrating the learning from our GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling experience; developing your personal practice further and direct you in ways to benefit your client base in new and innovative ways.

You will leave this workshop with improved clarity and confidence to incorporate new understanding and skills into your clients’ lives.

You will gain:

  1. An understanding of how and why emotional repercussions of dyslexia occur
  2. Strategies to address anxiety and depression
  3. Opportunity to practice with like-minded practitioners
  4. Space to reflect and recharge in a retreat style setting
  5. A theoretical overview underpinning our approach including aspects of:
  • Human Givens
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • PolyVagal Theory
  • Ego-State Work
  • Neuroscience
  • Psycho-education
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
Parents & Partners Day

Date: Saturday 16th May 2020
Time: 10:30 – 4pm
Location: Finchley N3 3DR
Cost: £50 per person




This day is an opportunity to meet others who are dyslexic; have dyslexic partners/children and want to understand more about how dyslexia can present itself.

The goals of the day are to:
  • Understand behaviours.
  • Establish reasonable adjustments in a relationship to increase compassion and minimise friction.
  • Increase understanding and emotional intelligence.
Schedule for the day
  • Presentation by Pennie on Relationships and the emotional rollercoaster of Dyslexia
  • Open discussion and creative workshop
  • Lunch: Homemade soup and salad. We also have access to a charming outdoor space for reflection and relaxation
  • Film
  • Discussion and networking
  • Moving forward – Further signposting
  • Finishing at 4:00pm
For more information, click the following link:

Each month we like to focus on an achievement.  This month’s focus is on an article entitled “Living with Dyslexia”, written by Laura Newman, published in BACP’s ‘Therapy Today’ March 2020 magazine.  Laura is a GroOops Graduate from one of our 3-day Dyslexia Aware trainings in 2017.  She then went on to complete a further 6-month Placement with us throughout 2018 and subsequently became a Dyslexia Aware Network Member.

Laura’s article nicely consolidates her learning of our unique Dyslexia Aware programme incorporating understanding of the energy required to process information visually; psychoeducation in relation to co-occurrence; time-line approach; use of metaphor and visual representation; visualization techniques; appropriate disclosure and a compassionate approach to dyslexic traits - to name but a few.  It also touches on a few of the emotional repercussions experienced frequently by dyslexic people such as shame, anxiety and depression and goes some way to explain why these occur.

Unfortunately her article can only be accessed if you are a BACP member and can be read here:

If you would like to access the same abundant knowledge as Laura and make use of it in the way she has, as you will have read above, our next 3-day Dyslexia Aware training is on Wednesday 15th/Thursday 16th/and Friday 17th April and we have a couple of spaces still available.  If you would like to join the growing community of Dyslexia Aware practitioners throughout the UK trained by GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling then give us a call.  Full details are on our website:

If you can’t do this one, we will be running another in October (Wed/Thurs/Fri 26/27/28th) – Watch this space.

Taking part in our Intro To: training workshop qualifies you to apply to join our Network of GroOops Dyslexia Aware Therapeutic professionals.


You may have read in the news that Kirk Douglas passed away recently.  We wanted to honour his life by sharing the following which you may not be aware of:

During his entire lifetime, Kirk Douglas had to transform his relationship with his illiterate father. His son, Michael Douglas moved the family from Bermuda to NY in order to have their son attend a private school for dyslexia. Emotional, financial and academic losses occurred as no one escapes the losses that occur when the freedom to learn is denied.  His son, Erik Douglas was dyslexic and passed away with a drug overdose. His son, Cameron is dyslexic and has been incarcerated due to drug addiction. His grandson, Dylan was the first to attend a private school for dyslexia.   The family history of learning struggles impacted the entire Douglas dynasty.  In return, he set up the profoundly compassionate to help struggling learners, homeless, health care, playgrounds for children, parks and facilities for well-being, health and social justice.  

The " secret was out" in the 90’s movie about dyslexia called "The Secret" in which he starred. The Kirk Douglas High School was created to help struggling learners.  He lived 103 years and, unbelievably, our society is still struggling to provide lliteracy for all let alone acceptance of difference.  May his example and legacy continue to inspire others to help all of humanity.  Transformation is possible in our mindsets to create a community that sees the value in all children and all people.  Hopefully, the next 103 years will bring change in a positive direction where literacy and well-being are connected. Credit to Dyslexia Inspired.

If you want to have a look at this charming 90’s film you can find it here.

Likewise, Kirk Douglas’ daughter in law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, recently posted her son, Dylan, (15) talking eloquently about his dyslexia and his indebtedness to good teachers who knew how to approach his learning needs.  Thank you Catherine.



In September 2018, Dr. Shawn Anthony Robinson published the book "Doctor Dyslexia Dude!” with his wife Inshirah. Now, His second book will launch this March. Robinson said not being able to read as a kid lead to him reacting in anger. He was kicked out of high school as a sophomore. Then, he met his mentor, Dr. Nash, a professor at UW-Oshkosh.

Robinson said Nash diagnosed him with dyslexia and taught him to read at 18 years old. That's when his love for learning began. Robinson is now a researcher at UW-Madison, specifically focusing on African American boys with dyslexia. Robinson often reads his book to children and dresses up like Doctor Dyslexia Dude, the character in his book, based off his life.

"I’m taking a risk by as dressing up as this. I could be vulnerable. I want to let you know it's okay to be different. It's okay to fulfil your dreams, live your dreams, be okay with who you are as yourself and not be embarrassed about your learning disability or maybe stuff you're going through with yourself," said Robinson.

Available at the beginning of March. The book is titled "Doctor Dyslexia Dude and the Battle for Resilience." Once 10 thousand of the "Doctor Dyslexia Dude!" books are sold, 20 percent of proceeds will go towards scholarships with the International Dyslexia Association.

Read the full article here: " Author writes second book for children with dyslexia after learning to read at 18 "

That’s all for now.  Hope to meet up with you at one or other of our events.  As always, if you have any queries or questions that you want to talk through do give us a call.  We love hearing your news.

As always, we want to thank you again for your ongoing support.

Best wishes,

Pennie and Amanda
on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

 For further info contact Amanda on 020 8346 0941 or
Copyright © GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling 2020, All rights reserved.

020 8346 0941

REG. CHARITY NO: 1168098

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PO Box 53287, London, N3 9AD

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