About Lucinda – Laugh Love Learn

Lucinda Leo - Laugh, Love, Learn About MeHi, I’m Lucinda. I started Laugh Love Learn to share positive stories about life in an intense and sensitive family.

I’ve always known I’m different from most other people. My closest friends consider me delightfully quirky. Other people would probably think me a bit weird if they knew me.

I learned to hide my intensity and eccentricities so well that I ended up in a profession* I hated. Everyone around me said I’d be mad to give it up, though, because I’d trained so long to get there.

From quirky adult to confused parent

Then I had children. A happy, full-on daughter, and a son who’s always on the move, needs lots of quiet time, and puts ideas together in ways that make us giggle. After he was born I retrained as a cognitive hypnotherapist, specialising in  helping parents enjoy their children more.

My search for answers

Meanwhile, I hunted for ways to help our sensitive, intense son fit into the world without changing the essence of who he is. My search eventually led me to a PowerWood workshop. There, to my enormous relief, I discovered what was going on not just with my children, but also with me.

I learned that we just have more sensitive nervous systems than most people, which causes us to respond and react more quickly and intensely to things other people might not even notice. These traits, which psychologists call  overexcitability (OE), mean we experience life differently. We’re easily overwhelmed by sensations and emotions, but our heightened responses also mean we’re capable of enjoying life more fully.

I sat with tears in my eyes during most of the workshop. For the first time in my life I felt understood and validated for who I really am.

Why I blog

Since then I’ve worked to raise awareness of neurological diversity as a positive force for change in society.

I’m passionate about helping other families realise that there’s nothing wrong with their intense, sensitive children, nor with their parenting techniques. I used to feel so lonely and isolated as a parent, blaming myself because conventional parenting methods never worked with my kids (no matter what everyone else says).

As part of my work  I’ve published feature articles about OE in the Huffington Post and  Juno magazine.

Is your family intense?

If you’d like to share experiences, information and tips about how to embrace family life with intensity and sensitivity,  please follow along by leaving your email address in the box at the top or bottom of the page and you’ll get my weekly blog posts delivered straight to your inbox.

You might also want to like my Laugh Love Learn Facebook page.

I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment anywhere on the blog or to email me at lucinda@laughlovelearn.co.uk.


* In case you’re wondering, I was a lawyer. The thought still makes me hyperventilate.

9 thoughts on “About Lucinda – Laugh Love Learn

  1. Hallo Lucinda!

    I’m an 18 yr old from the Bristol area and I’ve recently discovered overexcitabilities :0 I’ve been sent to you by none other than the Paula Prober of ‘Rainforest mind’ fame (you may be pleased to know she spoke highly of you)…

    Anyway, I can relate well to plenty information I have encountered on excitability and rainforest mindedness (or giftedness) and even the “characteristic personality traits of a high IQ” (despite both my midrange IQ and my distrust in the method itself). I also have always had difficulty with timidity and upon tackling that I now have realised that everyone is on a complete different wavelength to me in pretty much every social situation. Concisely, I’m trying to learn whether or not I can identify myself in any of these categories with veracity.

    To counterbalance the above persuasions, I’m also self-assured and self-imaged and part of my ego is at least enticed by the notion that I’m both different and different-in-some-genius-sense. I can’t be sure if descriptions are interpreted in accordance with my own non-excitable perception of reality or not. I mean I’m already attempting to act out the present reality in accordance with an idealisation of myself as a renaissance man with an IQ of 170+, but I secretly and confidently know my IQ is below 130, so many apologies for my weirdness. Sorry.

    I’m sorry for using the word “concisely” and not being concise at all, and on top of that I’m sorry for burdening you with my random struggles.

    To round it all off in a question, here is my question;
    Could I ascertain any overexcitability or giftedness anywhere in the U.K. that you know of? (Anywhere closest to Bristol would be fandabydosy!)

    Thankyou so much for your time, and I didn’t mention it earlier but I actually discovered overexcitability on your website and have since read countless articles so thankyou for your regular slice of entertainment!
    Please keep going with your noble internet work, I’m positive it’s of real benefit to many people.
    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Benjamin and thank you for your generous and heart-warming words! I’ve been in the middle of some intense personal change over the last few months and I’m afraid my blog has been languishing somewhat, but comments like yours inspire me to pick it up again so I can connect with people like you. 🙂

      ‘Everyone is on a completely different wavelength to me in pretty much every social situation.’ Yep! I totally get what you mean. But I also love what you say, ‘To counterbalance … I’m also self-assured and self-imaged…’ Have you read Paula’s book? As I read Your Rainforest Mind I felt a delicious sense of kindred spiritness, even without actually meeting any RFMs in real life. Just knowing there are other RFMs out there cheered me up no end about my social weirdness!

      As for ascertaining overexcitability, the PowerWood overexcitability questionnaire is a pretty good indicator. I’ve never personally taken any giftedness test other than one I found in a random library book (back in pre-internet days), but funnily enough when my daughter was recently tested, her IQ came out exactly the same as what that book said. (And my mum’s was the same, too.) Nothing off the charts (for which I’m very grateful – I can’t imagine how tough life must be as that much of an outlier) but enough to reassure me that I am indeed at the extreme end of the bell curve and that it’s natural that I’m not going to relate to people socially in the same way those in the middle do.

      You might be interested in watching a short talk I recently gave to some fellow therapists about RFMs – you can find it on YouTube here. In the first part I outline OEs; in the second I share some of my experiences where I’ve received ‘the blank look’ in social situations. 😉

      Are there any aspects of overexcitability or giftedness that you’re especially interested in? I started this blog to support parents of kids with OEs but I’d love to widen my focus to explore how overexcitability affects life at all its different stages and ages. Any ideas for what I might write about would be much appreciated!


  2. Hi Lucinda,

    I too, am here because Paula Prober recommended that I might want to find you as we are both in the UK .I have to hold on to my excitement for fear of not finding what I want and need !
    I am a calloused 53 year old whom life has been grossly unkind to ….but …. I’m a fighter and an insanely self directed individual.Life started rather wrongly and set me on a wrong trajectory.Narc mother and codependent father and the scene was set .CPTSD later Im still in recovery .The problem being that I believed that i was a weird little twonk so much that I have sought the ‘ help’ of two psychologists, numerous therapists to prove that I was weird , twisted and bad ! They have all done a good job at cementing that point .I am now armed with various labels like low self esteem, anxiety, too self critical etc ( or bla bla bla)
    Enter the posts about giftedness, OEs, HSP, introvert and I cry buckets ! I relate so much to these that I could just stay indoors reading article upon article and never come out to meet so called ‘normal’ people.My problem is that I am terrified of claiming my true nature because I was severely abused for them but at the same time living a lie has become unbearable!

    Thanks to Paula for directing me to you.I am hoping for validation.I am not looking to be a genius etc ( frightens me ) I am highly sensitive and perceptive etc.

    I look forward to hearing from you .

    Kindest Regards,


  3. Hi Lucinda. My son is 10 and was said to be ADHD in grade R by his teacher who is not a qualified phsyciatrist or therapist of ant sort (year before grade 1 in South Africa). We refused medicine and a long few years later we discovered that he is gifted and kinestetic learner (cannot sit still). This year he is in grade 4 and first term of exams were lying in front of us like Mount Everest. Needless to say, I managed to take the advice from the therapist about his inability to sit still (he can also double process i.e. ability to do non-related activity yet still focus on what is being taught). I let him bounce on an exercise ball to learn spelling words, times tables and pretty much any studying involves this ball. He would lie on it to read his notes and learn the facts before I asked him questions to see if he knows his work. This worked brilliantly and he got an average of 81% with his first exams which is really good considering we have no frame of reference on how to study. Regards Elsie

  4. Hi Lucinda,

    I appreciate this website! I’m not a parent, but find what you’ve written so helpful in my journey to understanding my childhood and current self. I’ve been diagnosed with ASD, as a young child and later in life, and I’m trying to figure out if this is correct. Wow, there’s so much I’m trying to figure out! Your writing helps. Thank you.



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