Bristol mum overcomes ‘Stepford Wife’ syndrome with brand of therapy

Words by Angela Brennan

BRISTOL mum-of- four Nicky Maidment was deeply depressed and feeling suicidal when a long-term relationship ended.

She felt worthless as a mother a human being – she had effectively become a ‘Stepford Wife,’ who lived to serve her partner.

Nicky, 55, from Clifton, said: “I thought I had to be perfect and had given everything I had to the relationship. So, when it ended, I blamed myself and held the belief I was worthless as a mother and a human being.

Nicky Maidment
Nicky Maidment

“I had lost my own identity and just become ‘someone’s girlfriend’ or ‘someone’s mother,’ so when it didn’t work out, I was broken. I would physically shake and I couldn’t eat or sleep.

“I lost two stone in a matter of weeks and took sleeping pills to get some rest. In the end, it was actually thoughts of my children that kept me going.”

But it was at this low point in her life she discovered Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which involves a set of techniques to develop the way people work on a personal level.

She credits the use of NLP with saving her life and developing her sense of self-worth.

Nicky grew up with the belief that ‘behind every successful man was a good woman’ and it was her role to be supportive – ahead of her own needs.

Nicky said: “I was run ragged. I worked three jobs, looked after the children, housework and my partner around the clock. Of course, this was a recipe for disaster.

“When it ended I told myself my best simply wasn’t good enough.”

But a couple of months after the break-up, one of Nicky’s friends sent her on an NLP course, which proved to be a real turning point.

“I realised I had a choice about how I felt and I didn’t have to carry around all these negative emotions,” she said.

NLP is a technique developed in the 1970s, showing a connection between the neurological processes, language and behavioural patterns learned through experience.

Created by John Gridner and Richard Bandler, it has been further developed by practitioners such as Robert Dilts.

Nicky, who has been practising NLP for 15 years, has found it can be used to achieve specific goals in life and treat problems such as anxiety, allergies and phobias.

Today the grandmother of five has her own identity and is set on helping other people overcome anything from depression to phobias.

She has set up Purpleminds in Richmond Terrace and uses NLP techniques, such as  hypnotherapy, to help people resolve their issues.

Nicky, who has trained with celebrity practitioners such as Paul McKenna, said: “I once ran off a stage in panic after holding a presentation. My own thought processes were stopping me from performing well.

“Now I’m happy to talk in front of big groups. I’ve also used the tools I’ve learned to quit chocolate, which led to me losing over a stone in weight. But most importantly, NLP has enabled me to be accepting and proud of who am I.”


Nicky Maidment has been practising Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) for around 15 years. She set up Purpleminds in Richmond Terrace, Clifton, in 2010.

She works with people on a range of issues, including allergies, Post Natal Depression, weight loss, eating disorders, quitting smoking, overcoming phobias, relationship issues, insomnia, anxiety and stress.

She was introduced to NLP and its benefits following a low point in her life and hasn’t looked back.

She has trained with John Seymour in Bristol and Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna in London. She also attended NLP University Santa Cruz in the USA where she trained with Robert Dilts, Judith Delozier and Suzi Smith.

She helps people to explore their issues and overcome them through a mixture of techniques, including hypnotherapy and visualisation.

She is a 55-year-old mum of four and grandmother of five and has recently re-launched and re-branded Purpleminds.

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