Gillian is an expert in the field of brain, language and behaviour, and has been researching the subject of Resilience ever since she discovered that the ability to delay eating a marshmallow at age three has proven to be a better predictor of success and wellbeing in life than any underlying IQ.
Qualified as teacher of English and as Addiction Therapist (member of BACP also), she has taught, lectured, coached, worked in prisons and in Harley Street. Author of three books – most recently The Significance Delusion (Crown House Publishing) – which investigate the neurobiology of behaviour, and with appearances on TV and radio, she is committed to challenging some of the orthodoxies which have long surrounded our attitudes to mental health and resilience. This challenge to an easy acceptance of ‘what works’ is at the heart of the many talks she gives at schools and at educational conferences.
The focus of her work is on the ways brain development and language use may determine our whole understanding and experience of life, as well as our ways of behaving and communicating. Today, she divides her time between working therapeutically with clients who have a range of cognitive disabilities, some intrinsic and some acquired, and in training young people, their teachers and parents, in emotional and behavioural resilience – the greatest possible gift in life, for which she has coined the term, Surthrival.