Holly loves psychology, quantum physics, the finer points of all religions; and finding the common ground within all three. She thrives on making complex psychology simple and available to people.
"I began writing formally after the birth of my second child. 'The Theory of Post Natal Depression and Intergalactic Space Travel' was my response to not being able to find anything to read to help me with PND and my not wanting to go on antidepressants. I tried to find other ways to re-invigorate and understand my brain. And it worked"
~ Holly Bridges
Whilst home-schooling her kids, Holly began to teach classes on women warriors of the world, like Grace O'Malley the Pirate Queen and Wang Chonger of China. It was around this time that she began her consultancy business Licence To Think, teaching children and adults how to enhance their capacity to learn. The people she saw all had perfect brains, they just had forgotten how to use them or had not been taught to enjoy what they had. Holly had done a 'Kolbe test' for herself at this time (a test to show you how your brain likes to think) and loved that it described her particular brain so beautifully! It gave her license to be herself.
The autism puzzle
Then Holly met a friend and his son with autism. Their experience instantly resonated with her experience of her life, and she began to look at what autism was, compared to what people thought autism was. Having such an implicit understanding of it, and a background in psychology, Holly looked a little deeper at what people were saying about autism and found that often it did not make much sense. When she did look deeper she found the Polyvagal Theory and Anat Baniel, and the book was born.
Supporting and working with autists
Since then Holly has worked for a leading autism provider, (earning her a nomination for the National Disability Awards in 2014) as well as a post school options Coordinator and a Community Inclusion project officer as part of Australia's NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). Holly has been involved in planning and implementation for NDIS with individual clients and she has worked closely with a number of organizations around Australia in ideation and collaboration of ideas for implementing co-design and community inclusion. She has developed programs for PSO, run workshops on co-design and mentored staff.
Holly has worked with a wide range of autists and their families, from the severely challenged and non-verbal, to adults with Asperger’s, right through to the very young in her private practice.
She can attest to the many individual differences in autism and to the great changes you can bring about by working from a poly-vagal perspective.
"Holly introduces a variety of intervention models that potentially could function to rehabilitate the social engagement system and to optimize autonomic regulation"
"The book enables people with Autism to feel understood and validated about their experience and feelings, and shows a way to tap into the wealth of resources trapped under the surface"
"My son has discovered his feet and now hands. He wiggled his toes on command and just laughed and laughed. I can now say 'squeeze mummy’s hand', there is a 3 second delay and then he squeezes"