Rebecca - Chelsea and I went to the sleep school here when she was 8 months old and 2 days in, it was like I had a light bulb moment! Chelsea HATED the sshing and patting and I could see it was either pick her up or leave the room. She never responded to the sshing and patting (some nights she would scream for over 2 hours!) Where as now....well she sleeps 6pm-5:30am. We have the odd night where she grizzles, but only for a few minutes and I can hear that she is just moving between cycles.
Even when she is upset, I can't soothe her by holding her. I need to be near, but need to let her come to me. Yesterday (for the first time ever) she had worked herself up so much that we couldn't control her and nothing was working, so I just put her in her cot and walked away to let her work through it. Worked a treat. After 5 minutes she had calmed down and she was laughing a few minutes later