Hypnotherapy is a safe and supportive way of addressing many of the issues which impact our quality of life. Our focus is on how you want things to be in the future and the strengths and resources you already have, rather than dwelling on the problems of past. In this way, we can move forward positively and help change the negative behaviours and thought patterns that are keep you from living life to the full.
Listed below you will find a few of the most common issues that can be helped with hypnotherapy. For those clients simply seeking to wind down in peaceful surroundings, relaxation therapy is also available.
- Stop Smoking
- Weight Management
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Fears and Phobias
- Confidence and Self Esteem
- Stress and Overwhelm
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Public Speaking
- Low Mood
- Unwanted Habits
- Chronic Pain
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if your problem is not shown here. I’ll be happy to discuss your issue and advise whether Hypnotherapy is appropriate for you and if I can’t help I may be able to point you in the right direction.
More and more people are turning to hypnotherapy to stop smoking. The New Scientist has reported on a study by the University of Iowa covering 72,000 smokers/ex-smokers from America and Europe. It concluded that hypnosis is the most effective ways of giving up smoking. “Sadly”, reported the New Scientist, “willpower counts for very little.” Hypnotherapy in general is also proven to be more than twice as effective compared with nicotine gum.
We can hold all sorts of self-limiting beliefs about why we ‘can’t’ give up cigarettes. Perhaps you believe that smoking helps you relax or feel somehow better; that there are certain times when you simply have to have a cigarette; or that you enjoy the actual experience of smoking? Or perhaps you’re afraid it’s going to be really hard to quit; that you won’t be able to deal with the ‘cravings’; or that you’ll put on weight?
Hypnotherapy can rid you of all those limiting beliefs and fears which have been preventing you from quitting and make them a thing of the past. In their place, you can develop natural and healthy strategies which allow you to feel mentally calmer, physically more relaxed and altogether more confident without cigarettes.
Do you eat when you aren’t hungry, or go on eating long after you are full? Do you find yourself wondering why you’ve eaten something that you didn’t really want or even enjoy? Do you eat when you’re sad, or angry or happy, but not hungry?
Many people regularly overeat, putting on weight, sometimes losing it, and then putting it on all over again. Diets rarely work in the long term; we tend to return to old habits and programming held in our subconscious.
Hypnotherapy very effectively removes unhelpful habits and addresses problems in a positive way, establishing a more helpful and healthy emotional response to food, leaving the negative and uncomfortable feelings behind. Sometimes it is not so much a case of what you are eating, but what is eating you!
These issues need to be addressed to achieve lasting change. We will focus on your relationship with food rather than your weight – losing weight is a by-product of having a good relationship with food and your own body.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
We all worry from time to time about the world, others or our own lives, bit have you ever found yourself worrying so much that you just can’t seem to stop? You might feel tense and hot, experience palpitations and shallow breathing. Perhaps you’ve even started to avoid things that you never gave a second thought to before, like driving or going to the supermarket or even social situations you once looked forward to?
There are many types of anxiety ranging from panic attacks to social phobia, excessive worrying to obsessions and compulsions. Severe anxiety serves no purpose in dealing with our everyday problems. It is like a faulty alarm system which goes off in response to an everyday situation or thing which we ‘perceive’ as a catastrophic threat to our physical or psychological well-being, even when there is no real danger – and, as with all learned responses, the more this happens the more it will happen.
Hypnotherapy enables you to switch off from your fears and anxieties and while in a state of deep relaxation you are able to reframe your perceptions about the situations, events or objects which have been triggering your fears. It gives you straightforward, common sense tools to develop your self-assurance and confidence in your ability to cope to help you take control of your life once more.
Fears and Phobias
Many people’s lives are limited by a persistent, irrational fear, compelling them to avoid certain objects, activities or situations. Phobias are irrational and unfounded fears which simply bypass your conscious rational thinking process leading to panic and/or avoidance of the feared thing. They can happen to anyone and have a crippling effect on our freedom to enjoy life to the full. They say nothing about your strength of character, your intelligence or your willpower.
There are two types of phobia – simple (or specific) and complex phobias. Simple phobias relate to a single situation or object (spiders or enclosed spaces) and are quite common. Complex phobias are less common and involve a number of anxieties – for example agoraphobia may involve fear of crowds and public places, fear of various means of transport, and fear of being unable to get safely back home.
Hypnotherapy can free you from specific phobias and fears quickly and effectively. During hypnosis you can learn to overcome your fears by adjusting the way that they affect you and diminishing the fear response. One technique that has proven to be very successful is known as Systematic Desensitisation, where you confront the phobia very gradually in hypnosis while in a very relaxed, calm state of mind. Once you have completely mastered your fears in your imagination you will be encouraged gradually to encounter the feared object or situation in reality whilst practising the relaxation techniques you learned in hypnosis.
Confidence and Self Esteem
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you had more confidence? Do you see people and wonder where their self belief comes from, and wish you could feel like that about yourself? Do you frequently find that you’re thinking negatively about yourself?
So many people suffer from low self esteem, and have lost touch with the inner voice that guides us and helps us to live according to our potential. For most us, it probably begins early in life when, for a variety of reasons, we learn the habit of thinking negatively about ourselves and our abilities. The kind of negative ‘self-talk’ this results in has harmful effects on the way we feel and the way we behave and affects every aspect of our lives, preventing us from developing our full potential socially and at work.
Both low self-esteem and lack of confidence can be overcome using Hypnotherapy. You can develop the skills to stop negative thoughts in their tracks and replace them with helpful, realistic thinking; to become more assertive; and to relax on cue; and you will be given positive suggestions which strengthen your self-esteem and confidence, as well as rehearsing confronting and mastering problem situations.
Remember, the way we think affects the way we behave and the way we feel, and hypnotherapy can dramatically change the way you think for your own good.
Stress and Overwhelm
Modern life can stressful and high levels of anxiety can build up very easily. Stress affects us in many ways and can also cause or exacerbate physical symptoms. We can feel overwhelmed when things get on top of us, and sometimes this can be difficult to overcome without therapeutic help. While a little bit of pressure can help you to perform better at something, too much pressure or prolonged pressure can lead to stress which can result in physical, mental and emotional problems.
When we’re stressed we can’t think clearly, our judgment is impaired, we become irritable, even fearful. Our physical symptoms may include increased heart rate, sweating, sleeplessness and poor digestion, to name but a few. Whatever circumstances are causing us to feel stressed, with hypnotherapy we can quickly learn to take control of our response and so manage our stress levels.
Hypnotherapy can build your confidence by teaching you how to relax on cue and develop constructive ways of thinking about your problems.
Insomnia and Sleep Problems
We’ve probably all experienced the frustration of lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to arrive and becoming more anxious as the clock ticks towards morning and sleep seems further away than ever. But when this happens night after night it can cause great anxiety or even lead to depression.
Many people are sleep deprived due to the stress of modern life, but if you want to start to break the pattern of lying awake getting increasingly tired and anxious, please get in touch. Together we will look at the possible reasons for your insomnia – sometimes it is due to an underlying unresolved issue. Using hypnotherapy we can work to reduce the worry and stress of not sleeping and help you again to have a refreshing and relaxing sleep experience.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Have you been suffering from pain, discomfort and bloating? Do you worry about going anywhere new in case you need the bathroom? Perhaps you have to avoid certain foods and are tired of your life being ruled in this way? IBS affects the colon, or large bowel, which is part of the digestive tract that stores stool. IBS is not a disease. It’s a functional disorder meaning that the bowel doesn’t work correctly. It does not damage the colon or other parts of the digestive system and so does not lead to other health problems. While doctors are not sure what causes IBS, stress is now known to be a major factor in triggering symptoms.
Hypnotherapy is now recognised as the most effective interventions for dealing with IBS. NICE recommended hypnotherapy for the treatment of chronic cases of IBS in 2008 as tests have shown that it improves symptoms in 70% of cases. Leading researchers such as Professor Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine & Gastroenterology at the University Hospital of South Manchester, writes: “During hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, and then seem able to change the way the brain modulates their gut activity. We have found it to help all the symptoms, whereas some of the drugs available reduce only a few”.
If you have any of these symptoms it is essential to consult your GP to ensure that you are not suffering from any other medical condition before seeking complementary therapy for IBS.
Perspiration, nausea, fogged thinking, constricted throat, a desperate desire to escape? These are just some of the reactions we can have when confronted with the prospect of having to give a speech, making a presentation or speaking to a group of people.
Hypnotherapy can be used to get rid of those feelings of dread and make the idea of speaking in public an enjoyable prospect. We identify just what your current physical, emotional and mental responses are in the situation and we set specific goals for the changes you want to bring about. You learn how to centre yourself and relax on cue so that you can master the physical symptoms of anxiety.
During hypnosis you imagine being in the situation, all the time remaining completely calm and relaxed, until your anxiety level is reduced to zero; and through guided visualisation of behaving, feeling and thinking exactly as you want to in the situation, your confidence is increased until you feel sure that you can do this in reality.
At the end of treatment, you know you can stay calm and relaxed and focused on getting your message across – that you are now a natural communicator, whatever the event.
Low Mood and Sadness
Reactive depression is the type of persistent low mood which can follow a loss or a disappointment such as the break-up of a relationship, the loss of a job, or the failure to achieve some long-cherished goal. Very often this type of depression will naturally lift after we have had time to absorb our loss and it won’t destroy our ability to live our lives normally. However, it can be the case that this type of depression is long lasting and our mood is so low it affects our work and our social life to an unacceptable degree. Our symptoms may include sadness, apathy, poor concentration, difficulty making decisions, irritability, fatigue, guilt, and sleep problems. We may lose belief in ourselves and see the future as bleak.
Using hypnotherapy we can deal with any underlying anxieties, build self-esteem and confidence, and lift our mood. You can learn to stop ‘toxic’ negative thinking in its tracks and replace it with positive, helpful ways of looking at yourself and your life.
It’s a rare person who doesn’t develop at least one bad habit during their lifetime that they’d rather be without, whether it’s nail biting, itch scratching, hair pulling, binge drinking, chocolate munching, or one of the many other activities we may engage in when we are stressed or bored. We develop a bad habit initially usually as a way of distracting ourselves from anxiety, and it may in fact bring temporary relief, but it quickly becomes automatic so that we find ourselves doing it all the time without thinking consciously about what we are doing.
As hypnosis is a combination of relaxation and focused attention it is very successful in treating unwanted habits. Firstly, it helps you to feel calm and relaxed and so reduce any feelings of anxiety that are contributing to your habit, and, secondly, it makes you conscious of what you were previously doing automatically.
When you become consciously aware that you are engaging in, or about to engage in, the bad habit, it is much easier to break the habit. This combination of relaxation, focused attention, and coping strategies is extremely effective.
The way the body feels pain is quite complex. Inside your body is an intricate network of nerves which run from every part of you to your spinal cord. They carry messages of pain from various part of your body and deliver these messages to the spinal cord. The Gate Control Theory of Pain suggests that in the spinal cord, there are ‘gates’ which can be either open or closed and the more open they are, the more pain you feel.
Interestingly enough, the factors that cause the gates to open (and therefore make you experience more pain) are related to the way you think and feel. These factors are stress and tension, focused attention on the pain and inactivity, which can all cause the ‘gates’ in the spinal cord to open, which means that you feel more pain that usual.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, hypnotherapy can help you to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you feel about the pain, teach you how to focus your attention so that the ‘gates’ will close and you will feel less pain. Hypnotherapy also allows you to visualise having the ability to control your pain and learn strategies to lower discomfort which you can then apply in your everyday life.
Before any treatment can begin when working with pain conditions, all clients must have consulted a medical practitioner for a complete diagnosis. Once that has been confirmed, we can proceed with hypnotherapy.
If you would like to book an initial consultation with me, or if you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you with your individual situation, please get in touch and I will get back to you as soon as possible.