About Me

ASHLEY COSTELLO

Psychotherapist

Hi I’m Ashley,

A Psychotherapist and counsellor with more than 25 years experience around the world, specialising in the mental health and resilience of children and young people.

This is my story

A family breakdown that led to my own breakthrough

I was 16 when my dad had his first nervous breakdown.

My world just fell apart.

I had a six year old sister at the time who went to stay with relatives because we didn’t know how to talk to her about all of our big adult feelings.

Looking back I wonder how we muddled through. It was an awful time.

One thing that came out of it though was my own personal desire to learn. I wanted to know what had happened to my strong, stable and loving dad. How could he change so much and so fast?

This was just before my A levels so I naturally picked psychology which I continued to study at university.

Six years later, my dad had his second breakdown.

This time I knew what to do.

I understood what was happening, where to go and how to get help.

My sister was now 12 and asking questions.

Finally I could answer them and it made the world of difference to everyone.

I am happy to report that my dad has made a full recovery and I continue to help children and young people just like my sister all those years ago.

Finding my path

After I graduated, I explored different ways to put my qualifications to good use.

I have had various roles over the years including;

Training the Marks and Spencer customer complaints team
Volunteering in a village in South America that uses bread as currency
Head of wellbeing in a big international school in Abu Dhabi

All these experiences taught me that even though my degree had finished, learning would last a lifetime.

People are my greatest teachers; they all have unique lessons to share.

Little Boy Super Hero Concept
Family watching photos

Too young to be a counsellor

I knew that I wanted to do a job that gave me the opportunity to build deep connections; counselling was clearly the next step in my journey.

The problem was I was XX when I made this decision.

Too young apparently.They turned me down.

After a rather zealous appeal from my auntie (and greatest fan), I got on the course and became one of the youngest counsellors in the country. She had shared my family background and explained that although I was young, I had lived it.

I have a lot to thank her for.

Of course being the youngest was intimidating but I just kept remembering my little sister and how I could help more children like her with this qualification.

This is something that still keeps me going today.

My Ted Talk evolution and the Resilient Kid

In 2019 I delivered a TEDx talk on the topic of “Is Education broken?”

The topic wasn’t about resilience as such but that was what people kept commenting on afterwards, it seemed to be the biggest take away. I realised that this was what was missing from our education system and our society.

When you mention resilience to people, many of them associate it with hardship. They think it stems from adversity and challenge. None of this is wrong of course but I want to help children to build their resilience muscle in advance so they are ready for the curve balls of life.

The Resilient Kid was born as a direct result of my Ted talk and continues today to provide counselling, training, workshops and support for families, schools and organisations working with children.

So am I a parenting expert?

Hell no.

Yes, I bring my qualifications, experience and skill set to each family I work with, but the real experts are the parents themselves. They know their children more than anyone.

I believe we are here all simply here to walk each other home.

(read that again… it’s powerful)!

And as adults we are just here to hold our kids’ hands and get them through this thing we call life.

With over 25 years as a psychotherapist, I can safely say parenting is hard enough without experts putting pressure on us.

I support children, adolescents and families with everyday struggles. What I don’t do is sit here, barking orders and telling people how they should parent.

Afterall, despite all my years of experience and qualifications, my own kids still teach me new things every day.

This is a journey, and I am here to walk beside you as we all head home.

Children Childhood Super Hero Concept

MY MISSION

“To remind you that, amidst the challenges we all face, we are all walking solutions. It’s just that sometimes we have a few blind spots here and there.”

Children and adolescents need to be seen, heard and supported.

In a world where the pace is speeding up, more and more people are being left behind. We need to equip our children with their own superpower – Resilience!Resilient Kids was created from knowing education is broken. But more than that, we knew the ‘reactive’ gesture of putting a band-aid on a deep-rooted issue isn’t going to help our children proactively prepare for what the world will throw at them.

The latest NHS report states that

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