Thought-provoking Lecture by Dr Jessamy Hibberd

On 10th September, we had the pleasure of listening to Dr Jessamy Hibberd’s talk, A lecture to my younger self. Dr Jessamy is a London-based Clinical Psychologist and author of the international bestselling series 'This book will make you…' which combines accessible and insightful information with evidence-based tips to tackle a whole range of common psychological issues such as sleep deprivation, low self-esteem and stress. Dr Jessamy is also the author of The Imposter Cure – a book The Sunday Times described as 'the definitive guide to tackling and understanding the psychological mind trap of imposter syndrome'.

Dr Jessamy’s talk captivated and inspired the audience; her years of clinical expertise and evidence-based approach was woven through warm and funny anecdotes, alongside her obvious passion for people and I’m sure the girls will rely on the advice that Dr Jessamy shared with us to cope with life’s stresses and strains.

She began by telling us about her journey to becoming a Clinical Psychologist; a story of learnt lessons, resilience and passion, all of which inspired the girls to think about their own career aspirations and future callings. I’m sure it has shown our UVI and LVI girls in particular the need for focused hard-work for A Level exams.

Dr Jessamy went on to outline five key pieces of advice, including not being afraid to fail – an important lesson for all of us. Dr Jessamy used a quote provided by the actor Hugh Laurie 'There is… no such thing as ready. There is only now', which really resonated with the girls and I felt will have inspired many to overcome their self-doubt and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Her advice was supported by years of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy research, and she eloquently explained how our thoughts, emotions, behaviours and feelings are all interconnected, but most importantly changeable.

Dr Jessamy talked of feelings as if they were clouds – fleeting and dynamic – therefore negative feelings are temporary, as well as encouraging us that you cannot be happy all of the time. Her insistence that ‘feelings are not facts’ has made me (and I’m sure the rest of the audience) think twice about my own inner voice and how I can control how I act in certain situations – a truly empowering piece of advice. Dr Jessamy told us not to compare ourselves to others, especially with the dangers of social media’s fake perfectionism and that there is no ‘right way’ through adulthood – inspiring the girls to forge their own paths of success. She talked about helping some very powerful and successful people in her role as a clinical psychologist, and the fact that on the outside they seem to have it all, but doubt themselves terribly on the inside (hence the term ‘imposter syndrome’) – an affliction that many of us can empathise with. Dr Jessamy asserted that insecurity and self-doubt are human, and that we should embrace vulnerability, rather than fight it.

Dr Jessamy ended with the advice to ‘live life as an adventure’– leaving us with the quote: 'What you do every day makes the biggest difference. It’s small steps that lead to the greatest changes.' It was a pleasure to listen to such an enthusiastic and intelligent psychologist and it was a talk that the girls will remember for years to come.

Mrs Ellie Waldron, Head of Psychology

More information about Dr Jessamy, her clinical work and her publications can be found by visiting her website:
Her TedX talk can also be found by clicking here