Three things to bring with you to a hypnotherapy session

And get the best results when working with your hypnotherapist

If you haven’t experienced hypnotherapy before it can be a little daunting wondering what will happen and how you will feel when in hypnosis. Most of us have seen stage shows and hypnotists on television so understandably one may feel a little wary. However hypnosis could be one of the most relaxing experiences you have had but unfortunately the thoughts of “will I cluck like a chicken or tell all my darkest secrets” can make us somewhat guarded at that first appointment.

Now, a professional hypnotherapist would not make any of their clients cluck like a chicken and you certainly will not be telling anybody anything that you would rather keep to yourself.

However these worries can set up an unconscious resistance before we even cross the threshold so it is best to be aware of these thoughts to help allow yourself to participate as comfortably as you like in the session.

First, remember that the therapist is there to help you and has your best interests at heart. One of the strengths that Milton Erickson, the founder of modern hypnosis had, along with his remarkable skills was his ability to unconsciously convey to his clients how much he cared that they achieve the very best results.

Consciously knowing this means that there will be no need to “do battle” with the hypnotherapist. Just think how much more relaxed will you feel and how much easier it will be when both of you are working together. Those who arrive with arms folded and a “well fix me then” look on their face will take up valuable time in their session when they could be making valuable changes instead.

One reason for this resistance is that our logical thinking mind may not want us to do this work since our logical mind may not want to hand over control to the creative mind. (Yes you can relax, it will still be your mind not the hypnotherapists’!) What the logical mind can find hard to grasp at times is that accessing the power of our creative mind will help free our logical mind thereby encouraging the whole brain to work more harmoniously. The vast majority of clients are very easy to work with and if there is any discomfort then as professionals it is our job to help put the client at ease so they will leave the session happier and more relaxed than when they came so helping them achieve their best results.

So all you have to do is bring along the belief that you will be exploring wonderful and powerful ways to help let go of the issues you will be working on plus three experiences that will help you get the best possible results –

Focus, relaxation and imagination.

Hypnosis and EFT can help heal your past

Are you afraid of your past?

We all have a past and we all have “baggage” from our past but are those past experiences holding you back from connecting with the person inside that is “trying to get out”?

Many people do a wonderful job of getting on with their lives even though they may have experienced trauma or abuse in childhood or later. And many are getting on with their lives but unfortunately still stuck with feelings of guilt, shame, anger and fear.

I never cease to be amazed at the resilience of the human psyche, however if one can begin to heal these past scars and reclaim the real, authentic and confident self that you know could be “you” what difference would that make to your life now and in the future?

The problem here is that these experiences can be “tucked” safely away in our unconscious and the thought of going to therapy and bringing everything back into the conscious mind may seem too much to even contemplate. And I really do understand that.

Many survivors of an abusive past will go for counselling or psychotherapy to talk through these past issues and this can help bring resolution, but what if the thought of going over and over and sharing all the uncomfortable details of your past with someone you don’t know feels far too intimidating and frightening?

Well there are other options, and therapies using Self Hypnosis confidence and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can be a very powerful way of getting your life back and helping yourself to enjoy your life so much more and leaving behind that shame, anger and fear without having to go through it all again. And why would you want to “go through it all again”?

 

Now this is not to say that all hypnotherapists and EFT practitioners will use these techniques in a “content free” way so you will need to discuss with the therapist how they work before committing yourself.

I have found that the more I work in these areas with clients the less of the background details I need to know and interestingly the more I work in this “content free” way the more effective the changes become. If a client wishes to tell their story then that is fine but sometimes it is just too painful or we may not even consciously remember anything about it because we have safely repressed that information and trying to unearth it would probably not be a good idea anyway.

Using EFT and hypnotherapist glasgow in specific ways designed to help clients unconsciously release bad memories is often remarkably effective and I have seen clients achieve massive changes in confidence and self esteem within one or two sessions with very little discussion about their past and how it made them feel. An important part of the work is releasing that connection but releasing so that one can become free to build a life that looks forward instead of back.

So what I am saying here is that my experience tells me that releasing trauma and difficult past experience does not need to be a long and painful drawn out affair. You really can put space between you and the past in a healthy and safe way with the absolute minimum of discomfort.

If you feel your future is being blighted by your past then you can call or email me and I will be happy to discuss this with you.

Have you pressed your “Like” button today?

Now this could be my shortest post yet and it could also be the shortest and simplest way to helping you on your way to finding much more pleasure in your life.

Question. How much time do you spend on Facebook? (Just skip this if you’re not on Facebook, it won’t matter!) How often do you “like” someone’s post? How often do you receive a message saying someone “Likes” your post. How does that make you feel?

Now if you want to create more pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction in your life start to notice today, starting right now any small pleasurable experience however seemingly insignificant, any satisfying achievement that happens and just press your own internal “Like” button. This simple thought process will send a subtle but powerful surge of Alpha (dreamy) waves through your brain and you just rewired your brain right?

As a hypnotherapist and mind coach, clients come to see me to help them change their experience of the world they are in. How can we do that?

A/ By letting go of past issues that are keeping us stuck where we are.

B/ By reorganising our thinking patterns which in turn rewires our brain.

Do this on a daily basis and see what happens. Start right now.

Press your own “LIKE” button.

(And press it twice if you liked this post!)

Are you talking “Absolute Turnip”?

Have you thought about changing your thoughts?

Andy Murray competing in the 2016 French Open tennis quarter finals was heard to shout “Absolute Turnip” to himself as he fought to break the serve of big hitter John Isner. Apparently this is a phrase he has been using for a few years now, presumably for shots that were not his best and it certainly worked on this occasion.

However, how often during the day do we talk to ourselves and are we really listening to what we say to ourselves carefully? Pretty much everything we say to ourselves will have some unconscious effect on our perception of ourselves and our skills. It may not be enough for us to notice any immediate difference but the “drip, drip” effect of this self talk can easily make a big difference to our confidence and self esteem over time.

Now we may find it amusing to call ourselves or our tennis game “absolute turnip” but remember that your unconscious mind is listening to everything you say and may not be translating it the way you expect.

Have you ever told a child “now don’t drop those plates”? Seems to be very good advice and a very good suggestion. But what message does the unsuspecting youngster hear first? Drop the plates!! Why, because the brain will first do a quick rehearsal of “drop the plates” before adding in “don’t”. Too late! The plates are on the floor and broken before the conscious mind has a chance to save the situation.

There is a very good book “Your body believes every word you say” and if we think about it for a moment we cannot have an emotional feeling without a physical reaction any more than we can experience something physical without some sort sort of emotional experience. Plus, our mind is constantly making decisions for us before we know we have even thought of them. This is a very useful thing since this leaves the prefrontal cortex free to make our executive decisions and operate hopefully with our best interests in mind, while we carry on doing our everyday tasks like walking downstairs or washing up.

So it’s well worth paying a little more attention to your “self talk” bearing in mind that there are lots of different parts of you listening to what you say and interpreting that information perhaps not in the way you expect. Maybe saying our tennis is “absolute turnip” is no big deal but saying derogatory statements about ourselves and our skills certainly is. We all deserve better so make sure you do a bit of weeding around that unconscious vegetable patch and grow some more positive thoughts. It really will make a difference.

Mental Health, let’s talk about it!

Talk about mental health with Time to Talk

On Thursday this week (February 4th 2016) it will be “Time To Talk” day.  Time To Talk day has been organised for the last three years by charities Mind, and Rethink Mental Illness under the umbrella Time To Change and the aim is to encourage people to share their feelings and discuss their stories and personal experiences about mental health in person and via Facebook and Twitter.

Although this is primarily a project that has been been organised in England over the last three years, in Scotland, England and Wales one in four people will suffer from some sort of mental health issue and encouraging people to talk about it can only help break down the taboos and difficulties around discussing mental illness.

For various reasons people find it hard to talk openly about mental illness so engaging everyone helps bring into the open a subject that has been in need of more awareness and understanding for a long time now. It is really much more common than we think and this initiative can only help and encourage a greater understanding and support for anyone going through difficult times. Knowing that you are not alone is invaluable in helping support the healing process.

According to a Time to Change survey 60% of those interviewed found the stigma and discrimination around issues such as depression, anorexia and anxiety were as debilitating as the symptoms they were suffering. If we have a physical illness we are much less likely to keep it to ourselves than a mental one because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Talking with friends and family is a great therapy but there is a point when one needs to take the next step and that is of course seeing your GP, and or appropriate professional organisation who will be able to help you get the best treatment. 

The three charities below are a good place to start if you or someone you know is having difficulty in getting the support and advice they need.

For more about Time To Talk day follow this link

Time to Talk

See me Scotland  is a Scottish charity also with the aim of ending mental health stigma and discrimination and for Wales follow the link below for  more information 

Time to Change Wales

Hypnosis, alcohol addiction and “dry January”

So here we are halfway through January 2016 but also halfway through “dry January” which means taking up the challenge not to drink any alcohol until February. Alcohol Concern who are running The campaign point out the significant benefits such as weight loss, better sleep and of course more money in your pocket.

The question is, what happens on February 1st? On that day many people will make an important change in their habits and from their experience of “dry January” take stock of their situation. Having experienced the benefits of moderate drinking or even not drinking at they will make the decision to stop or cut down on their habit.

However writing in The British Medical Journal Ian Hamilton, lecturer at York University  raises the question whether after this 31 days abstinence it might just give some people unconscious permission to continue with their dangerous levels of drinking until the next New Year’s Day.

The good news is that according to research by Public Health England after the 2015 campaign 67%  of participants actually continued the changes they had made in January and were still maintaining a more healthy level of drinking after 6 months.

However if you find you are using drink to support or ignore other issues in your life this self medication is not a healthy way to deal with problems in one’s life especially on a long-term basis.

There is help available and just taking that first step to get help is the most important thing to do in this situation. There is a wide variety of options available from an appointment with your Doctor, a visit to AA and other specialist organisations that have the skills and knowledge to help. The sooner one deals with this the better and the sooner, as one long term alcoholic described it, the sooner one will be released from “living in the madness”

There can be many reasons why one may use alcohol but it is almost always to divert one’s attention from issues that at some point will need addressing. With the right help one can start to put one’s life back together and learn the skills that will make the difference between fulfilment and pleasure in life or a steady descent into “the madness”.

If you feel you may be “Living in the Madness” and would like to know more about how I help clients with addictions I will be pleased to discuss this with you. I offer powerful tools, strategies and techniques that have helped many of my clients completely rebuild their self belief, confidence and their lives. Please call or email and I will tell you how I can help you.

Why do New Year Resolutions often fail?

Happy New Year everybody. (January 2016)

Have you made a resolution yet? We are all definitely going to the gym every single day from now on,we are going to  stop eating those chocolate cakes and we are giving up the ciggies! Yes?

Luckily I don’t smoke and I exercise at home but.. chocolate. Hmm. See why I don’t normally make New Year Resolutions? Because like you I know how easy it is to break them and forget them.

So why do New Year Resolutions fail and why is it a smoker finds it so hard to stop doing something that they know is ruining their health and taking their hard earned money? They have probably tried to stop various times but have succumbed to temptation and soon been back to where they left off or worse. And why is it that by the end of January that daily visit to the gym is just a distant memory or those chocolate cakes that we struggled to “not buy” for three weeks seem to have magically appeared back in the cupboard?

One of the biggest reasons is that if we only use our conscious mind to make the change then we are missing out on a very important part of our mind that can help us make these changes easier, quicker and permanently. (And we all want it sorted quicker and easier don’t we?) The part that we are probably not using is our unconscious creative mind.

The unconscious creative sounds a bit scary or strange doesn’t it but in fact you have an unconscious creative mind that you are using all the time. If you want to get a newspaper you will start by creating a picture of the newspaper shop in your mind (think about it, it’s there already isn’t it?). Otherwise you would not be able to get there or even know you wanted a newspaper. Your unconscious mind is in charge of a massive proportion of the information you are experiencing every moment in your daily life which leaves you free to get on with making the everyday decisions that we all make in our lives. For instance which TV programme do I want to watch!

So here are a few answers to questions that you may have been asking yourself about hypnosis, and connecting with the unconscious mind to help you make effective and powerful change.

Question: So how can I engage that part of me and use it to make change?

Answer: There are lots of different ways and going into a trance (if you are in trance you are in hypnosis) is one of the most powerful.

Question: How do I go into a trance?

Answer: Just close your eyes right now and imagine a very relaxing and pleasant picture or feeling. There you are; do that and you have already engaged the alpha waves in your brain which are a sign that you are slipping into a daydream or trance. We are doing it all the time.

Question: Hypnosis? Won’t I be doing something that puts me under someone else’s control?

Answer: No, hypnosis is a natural state and we are all in various states of trance during the day. Hypnosis is just a method of utilising and channeling that experience in a way that works for you. You will create your own particular creative experience to make the change. Some people will use pictures, some sounds, some feelings or a mixture of all three. The therapist is just there to help guide the client into their own modality of creating change.

Question: Is it really that simple?

Answer: Yes. It certainly can be as many of my clients will testify. However it is important when making this change (or any other change you want) to have the firm decision that you really intend it to work and will do whatever is required to achieve your aim. Once that mindset is in place then it really does not matter whether you think you have very little willpower or that you never managed to achieve your goal before. Your unconscious creative mind is your real powerhouse of change.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment then please call or email me and I will be very happy to help.

EFT can help you make remarkable changes in your life

I have been using EFT in my practice for many years now and it never ceases to amaze me how simple and effective this technique is. If you want a technique that you can use and take with you “in your back pocket” wherever you are and whatever circumstances you are in then EFT is the obvious choice.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has been around now for 20 years and was developed by Gary Craig from Roger Callaghan’s Thought Field Therapy. It is termed as an energy psychology and works by tapping on certain acupressure points around the body whilst verbalising (internally or out loud) the issues you are working on.

It is a favourite technique of mine and often clients will come in with no knowledge of it and I will demonstrate to them without initially explaining it a simple round of tapping on the specific points to see what experience they get. They may look a bit perplexed as we begin the “round” tapping on the side of the hand then tapping with the fingers on 7 points around the body whilst reciting the problem out loud. The interesting thing is that even after one or two rounds which will take only a minute of two at most, their face and body will relax and when I ask them how they feel they will usually say, with a pleasantly surprised look on their face, “well, I seem to feel a bit more relaxed”.
This almost instant reduction in the discomfort of the problem is to me proof that meaningful and powerful change has already begun. We may have only just started the session and the work we will do but now my client is also learning a technique that will help empower them on a daily basis. And this will be a technique they will soon learn and be able to take with them and use without me having to be there. As I say to clients “I don’t know what you will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow any more than I know what I will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow” but if it is something you want to deal with then EFT can help you deal with it on the spot.

The well respected complimentary medicine and nutrition expert, osteopath and best selling author Dr Mercola has written various articles about the benefits of EFT and has a video and information about how effective it can be for relieving stress and tension headaches.

EFT can help with many issues including:

Phobia – Sickness phobia – Animals phobia – Insects phobia
Fear of water – Fear of darkness – Social phobia – Night phobia – Fear of plants – Any simple or complex Phobia
Stress – Anxiety – Tenseness – Insecurity – Nervousness – Anger – Hate – Grief – Depression – Guilt – Feeling incompetent
Fear of abandonment – Fear of the future – Fear of persons – Fear of the unknown – Fear of death
Traumatic memory: Rejection, Failure, Duress, Abandonment, Accident, Abuse, Rape, Love pain
Headache – Nervous stomach-ache – Back pain – Pain in the neck – Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pre-menstrual syndrome – Physical pain with no organic cause – Constipation – Irritable bowel – Jaw tightness
Asthma – Constricted breath – Dyspnoea – Chronic diseases – Hypertension – Hypotension – tachycardia – Arrhythmia
Sexual problems (non organic) – Myopia – Vision problems – Allergies of any kind
Dyslexia – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – Learning problems – Low school grades
Panic attacks – Bulimia  – Cravings – Anorexia nervosa – Overeating – Specific food dislike
Drugs – Alcohol – Smoking – Addictive food – Nervous habits
Plus general improvement and happiness in one’s personal and professional life: 

Self-confidence – Self-image – Better relationships – Forgiveness – Procrastination – Goal achievement – Work performance – Sport performance – Personal peace
To find out more about how Emotional Freedom Technique can help you just get in touch and I will be happy help.

Have been meaning to get back to you for ages to say thank you so much for your support with myChronic Fatigue Syndrome. As you know we met just before a very big trip abroad. The two sessions really helped lift my energy levels pretty much from zero to high enough to allow me to pack and get myself to the airport, which was looking a bit doubtful at that point in time.Your techniques supported me throughout the 3 months I was away and I would recommend your methods and support for anyone living with this condition.
Thanks again

Addiction and the reality of addiction

People can become addicted to a wide range of substances and behaviors and these substances and behaviors are often things that most of us partake in on a daily basis. They may be drinking, gambling, sex or drugs and although the majority of us don’t engage in class A drug even food, sugar, prescription drugs are all substances that one can become addicted to in an unhealthy way.

There is plenty of debate around whether addiction is a mental illness or a “brain disease” and it is interesting to note that people can often readily switch from one addiction to another. At AA many in the group may well have switched their addiction from drinking alcohol to smoking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. A shopping addict may turn to gambling. It is not necessarily the particular substance or behavior that is important. Getting the hit is the prize.

In fact an addict is always chasing the experience of their first hit, that almost primal experience that took them out of themselves and the reality of the world they found it hard to be part of. Of course the first hit will never be repeated for intensity and experience so looking to repeat it only continues the cycle.

I work with eating disorders, gambling, prescription drug taking etc. and many of my clients have “done the rounds” of therapies talking about their experiences and being talked to about how to change their lives. However sometimes things can better be “said without saying” which is why I thought it worth posting this video.

Please watch this short video if you or someone you know could be suffering from an addiction

The answers are not in the drug of choice but in our own feelings of self worth and value. Addressing these issues is the first step to freedom from the nightmare of addiction.

 

Are we healing or just “fighting a good fight”

Should we “fight” an illness or heal it?

 

These days we regularly hear phrases such as we will “beat this illness or must “battle” against it. On the surface this fighting talk can sound very positive and help demonstrate that we are not just going to lie down and let ourselves be walked over whatever the odds. This in itself may be no bad thing but are there other unforeseen consequences to using this sort of terminology. A recent study at the University of Lancaster found that using “war metaphors” in the “fight” against cancer may not always be as helpful as it might appear.

How often do we hear that someone has” lost their battle” against a serious illness. This type of terminology is glibly used by media, pundits and experts but does it help the person suffering and does it help people recover or prolong their lives? In fact although these battling terms may be helpful for charities to raise money interestingly Macmillan Cancer Support has consciously held back from this sort of terminology. According to researcher Elena Semino professor of linguistics and verbal art at Lancaster University it is best left to the individual to choose their own metaphors to help them with their illness. It was also found that when battle terminology is applied patients may begin to feel a sense of responsibility if their condition deteriorates.

When we are ill what are we looking for? Health.

Whether one is suffering from an emotional or physical illness are we not looking for good health? And the first four letters of health are HEAL. By healing we are truly mobilising the resources of body and mind in a way that makes so much more sense. If we are in a “struggle” to lose weight implicitly we are in a struggle with ourselves. If we are “fighting” a life threatening disease then we could find ourselves fighting our own body! Will we really be able to muster the energy to “battle” with depression when one’s internal resources seem to be so low?

Anyone who has studied and qualified as a hypnotherapist, counsellor or psychotherapist will have been trained in the use of language and the importance of the words chosen and how how best to use them. Hypnosis uses it’s own particular language patterns and these patterns are designed to bypass the conscious mind and communicate with the unconscious mind. Without this we would have to rely on conscious communication to make a change and as we have all experienced at some time or other the conscious mind knows what we “should” be doing but does not always have the tools to make the required changes. Smokers may know that they want to quit but telling oneself is one thing and doing it is another just as telling ourselves to eat healthy food does not always make it happen.

We are using words constantly when communicating with others and when talking internally to ourselves. But are we really aware of what the message might be that is often hidden behind our thoughts and internal conversation and the effect it is creating? I see healing as the focus to bring together the natural resources of mind and body for real and meaningful change. However using such terms as fight, beat, and struggle could just be setting up an internal conflict that will block the results we are looking for.

For more information on how Hypnotherapy, EFT and NLP could help you please call or email and I will be happy to help.