The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Judy Bartkowiak

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Judy Bartkowiak


Summary: Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP Master Practitioner and has long experience with children, not least having four between the ages of ten and twenty two. She loves working with children and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
Date: 10 March 2011
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP Master Practitioner and has long experience with children, not least having four between the ages of ten and twenty two. She loves working with children and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Judy Bartkowiak: Me! 8 or 9 years ago probably just before I first started learning about NLP with Sue Knight. I put it into immediate effect with my toddler, tween and teens and it worked a treat! Before then I was like an out of control car blindly swerving about trying to steer a reasonably sane path through the seemingly endless daily traumas. When I write I think of busy mums desperate to do their best for their children and needing bite size practical ideas that make sense and work rather than fluffy academic claptrap written by men who have no idea what it’s like to feel guilty whatever you do as a mum.

  • BB: Judy, you’re obviously a great enthusiast for NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). What drew you to it and do you believe that everyone can benefit from it?

JB: I was drawn to NLP because it worked on all my children and it worked so well that they actually used it and still use it today. We mums know that we lead by example so by us learning and doing, they automatically learn. I hear of so many children labelled by the teaching system and by mums frantic to understand and help their child yet in channelling children through a tightly engineered educational system we end up with mediocre children and sideline those who are different and in their own way – amazing. Naturally I think all would benefit.

  • BB: Are you visual, auditory or kinaesthetic? Small chunk or big chunk?

JB: I am kinaesthetic big chunk, towards and process. I can’t sit still for two minutes and I have more ideas than I have the energy to pursue. I find choices get in the way of achieving the maximum variety of activities in a day. My perfect day starts with breakfast, then exercise after the school run (a run, circuits, tennis ) then I write all day. I see children in my therapy room in Taplow Friday and Saturdays.

  • BB: We’ve been impressed by the number of books you’ve written both for parents and children. Have these been a labour of love? Do you feel that the approach is more successful with parents or with children?

JB: Certainly my books are a labour of love and I feel the approach works well with parents and children and possibly best with teenagers because they have so much to gain at such a crucial time for them when important decisions have to be made and with the temptations of drink, drugs, sex and so on.

  • BB: Where and how do you write?

JB: My office is quite small and I sit looking out of the window onto the garden and my hens. I am not distracted because my fingers flying over the keyboard keeps my kinaesthetic needs met and I aim to write 1,000 words a day every day even if I’m doing a workshop and have to write at night. I am a driven woman!

  • BB: Do you see NLP as a cure to be applied when something goes wrong or as a method to be adopted before there are problems?

JB: Ideally children would be taught NLP as a core curriculum subject to equip them to learn from feedback, reframe failure as feedback, access their resources through anchoring, choose positive goals and know how to achieve rapport and self esteem.

  • BB: You've used it with your own children: what did they think of it?

JB: I use NLP on a daily basis with my own self talk and everyone I come into contact with including of course my husband and children. Ideally it is seamless and not obvious that I’m using NLP so all they would notice is a happy parent and harmonious family life.

  • BB: Do you read to relax and if so, what do you enjoy reading? Have books played a big part in your life?

JB: I love reading although I prefer to be doing something more active. I read just before I go to sleep so I love the Kindle because I can adjust the font size for my tired eyes from screen work all day. I have been a member of a book group for about 15 years and love our meetings.

  • BB: Who is your favourite author?

JB: I go in phases and when I’ve read a book I like I then read others by the same author so I don’t have one favourite or even several favourites.

  • BB: Do you still have any books from your childhood and which book has had the most influence on your life?

JB: The book that most influenced me was probably Little Women and yes I definitely identify with Jo who was a writer and who is believed to represent the author Louisa May Alcott.

  • BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?

JB: For my mum to be able to walk again.

  • BB: What’s next for Judy Bartkowiak?

JB: In the Engaging NLP series there will be NLP for Relationships. I’m writing a book for Young Drivers sponsored by Hertz and I want to write a Guide to Brand Licensing. I have a children’s 6 book series coming out in May (Queens of Africa) and a couple of children’s books that I’ve translated from the original French coming out in July. Then next year my ambition is to write a novel.

  • BB: Good luck with all of that, Judy, and it's been a real pleasure talking to you.

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