How I Can Help You
An addiction is an obsessive, uncontrollable and often damaging attachment to an activity, behaviour or substance.
There are records of a huge variety of addictions across the world, from substance abuse to odd addictions to eating inedible objects such as glass and sofa foam. More common types of addiction include alcoholism, smoking, drugs, gambling and Internet addiction. Awareness is currently being raised about other, less common and accepted addictive behaviours such as sex addiction, porn addiction and love addiction.
Your habit has become an addiction when it:
- overrides other feelings and emotions
- distracts you from normal life
- causes physical withdrawal symptoms
- generates a dependency
- becomes increasingly difficult to control.
Anger is an extremely powerful emotion and is natures way of empowering individuals to protect themselves against a perceived attack or threat. It is only the mismanagement of anger that causes problems. When anger becomes out of control it can have many negative consequences, including damaging relationships, causing problems at work, domestic abuse, road rage, violence and generally affecting the overall quality of an individuals life (and often the lives of others around them).
The goal of anger management is to control both the emotional feelings and physiological arousal that anger creates. Recognising anger and learning to express it in the correct way can help clients handle emergencies and solve problems more easily. The key is to learn how to react calmly when something causes those feelings of anger, without lashing out, shouting or becoming violent.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help a client to change the way they think or behave in situations that cause their anger to flare up. By accessing the unconscious mind, I can often help identify the root cause of the problem and help the client to learn how to deal with it in a calmer, more relaxed way.
Anxiety and panic attacks
Anxiety can be experienced at different levels, and although most people experience a relatively mild form of anxiety when facing particularly stressful situations, anxiety disorders are severe and can disrupt the day-to-day life of an individual. Anxiety can be brought on by a fear of something that happened, or what we think happened and dread happening again.
When clients suffer from an anxiety disorder it may lead to avoidance of certain situations because they fear their anxiety may be triggered. This can in turn lead to relationship and/or career problems such as not being able to achieve potential job opportunities or promotions and being unable to develop personal relationships.
Panic attacks are characterised by terror which suddenly strikes without warning and can be extremely frightening.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be a very effective treatment for anxiety disorders. I use it to seek out the root cause of the anxiety and change the client’s perception of a past event or release emotion from it.
Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Bruxism is a condition which is generally characterised by involuntary teeth grinding, clenching and gnashing, often performed unconsciously either throughout the day or whilst sleeping.
Although bruxism is not a dangerous condition, it can lead to permanent dental damage and a variety of unpleasant side effects such as headaches and jaw pain.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help to cease clenching and grinding by eliminating any underlying problems, helping you to deal with stress triggers to your problem as well as helping to reinstate any lost confidence.
Charles Bonnet Syndrome
Charles Bonnet syndrome is a common condition among people who have lost their sight. It causes people who have lost a lot of vision to see things that aren’t really there, known as visual hallucinations. Current research seems to suggest that when you are seeing real things around you the information received from your eyes actually stops the brain from creating its own pictures. When you lose your sight, however, your brain does not receive as much information from your eyes as it used to, and can sometimes fill in these gaps by releasing new fantasy pictures, patterns, or old pictures that it has stored. When this occurs you experience these images stored in your brain as hallucinations. These can be quite distressing and cause anxiety, which in turn, can make the hallucinations worse
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy we can break this cycle of events, lowering a client’s anxiety levels and helping them to realise what increases stress in their lives so that they are better able to prevent hallucinations occurring. We can also work on management of hallucinations if they do occur, helping to reduce their duration and frequency. Often, after just a few sessions, clients are able to focus on more positive matters, thereby reducing the importance of Charles Bonnet syndrome in their daily lives
Depression is a common psychological disorder and almost anyone can be affected at some point during their life; research suggests that between 5 and 10% of the population suffer from depression to some extent at any one time. It is important to recognise that there is a vast difference between feeling down one day and having a depression disorder. If feelings don’t go away quickly, or they start affecting an individual’s everyday life, it may be time to seek professional help.
Many clients find that a combination of treatments is most effective; medication gives them fast relief from the symptoms and therapy teaches them how to deal with the problems they have.
Eating disorders can affect anyone and are extremely common, affecting millions of people each year. The main characteristic of an eating disorder is the individual’s obsession with their weight. These obsessive thoughts can lead to severe consequences in both their health and their actions. Research has shown that females are much more likely to develop anorexia and bulimia than males, although males can suffer from both eating disorders too. However this is not the case with binge-eating disorder, which seems to develop in almost as many males as females.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be used to help clients suffering from eating disorders. Hypnosis is used to identify the root cause of the problem so that the emotional aspect can be dealt with. Negative behaviour patterns can be looked at and more positive habits can be learnt. I can help you to improve your self confidence and self image so that you can view yourself differently.
Exam or interview nerves
Many of us will be able to recall how nerve-racking it can be to take an exam. Butterflies in our stomach, sweaty palms, a racing heart and panicking that we won’t be able to remember anything we’ve learnt are all common feelings before an exam. Feeling nervous is a natural emotion and for lots of people these feelings actually help to motivate them and focus their minds. However if these feelings become intense they can threaten an individual’s performance and even cause them to achieve below their true potential.
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help you to increase your confidence and motivation, learn how to control your anxiety, increase your memory and concentration, encourage you to focus and to overcome your fear of failure, and perhaps most important of all, help you learn how to relax
Fears and phobias
Fear is a natural response caused by real danger. For example, we are all scared of coming face to face with a wild, hungry animal, and fear is a survival instinct which warns us against certain things or situations. A phobia, on the other hand, is an irrational fear of an object or situation that causes little or no danger. Phobias are linked to our unconscious, and because they are irrational, they can often be dealt with effectively.
Phobias are extremely common and range from fear of flying to fear of open water, from fear of buttons to fear of dogs, from fear of heights to fear of dentists and everything in between. There will usually be strong avoidance behaviour connected with the phobia, and feelings of anxiety, loss of control and panic. Clients usually know their fear is irrational, but they cannot control it.
Phobias often begin early in a client’s life and may occur for a number of reasons. It seems phobias can run in families; however whether this is hereditary or simply learned behaviour is unclear. For example a child may learn a phobia by observing a family member’s reaction to an object or situation. Traumatic experiences and brain chemicals are also believed to influence the development of phobias.
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help to identify the root cause of the phobia and, by reframing it, enable clients to react to the particular object or situation they once feared in a calmer manner when encountering it in the future.
Fertility and childbirth issues
Many clients have found Cognitive Hypnotherapy extremely useful whilst trying to conceive. During what can be a very stressful time I can help you remain calm and positive and visualise the outcome you desire.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy for childbirth has a plethora of benefits which could help any client during and after her pregnancy. Listed below are a few examples of issues hypnotherapy can help to address:
- can reduce labour time
- can reduce fatigue in the mother during and after birth
- can reduce postnatal recovery time
- can reduce the risk of intervention
- increases the chances of children feeding and sleeping better
- can help aches and discomforts during pregnancy
- can help morning sickness
- assists the natural birth process
- can speed up post birth recovery
- can improve oxygen levels in mother and baby.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gut. A functional disorder means there’s a problem with the function of a particular part of the body, even though the structure appears normal. With IBS, an individual’s bowel is extra sensitive and the nerves and muscles do not work as they should. The condition causes re-occurring pain or discomfort in the abdomen and an altered bowel habit.
With Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help a client to learn relaxation techniques and new ways to manage stress. As our state of mind can have an impact on our physical well-being, the tension, stress and anxiety that living with IBS can cause, may undermine our immune system and actually further compromise our health. Therefore learning how to relax and manage stress become useful tools. Hypnosis can also promote positive thinking and coping strategies by accessing the client’s unconscious mind in a deep state of relaxation.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Insomnia is the disturbance of a normal sleep pattern, and it’s estimated that approximately one in four people will suffer from the condition at some point in their life. Sleep gives an individual time to rest and build up their strength. Insomnia can leave people feeling drained and exhausted, resulting in poor performance at work, lack of concentration and irritability.
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help you relax, both mentally and physically, using varying relaxation techniques. I can also help you understand some of the causes of insomnia and sleeping problems.
Low confidence and/or self-esteem
Cognitive Hypnotherapy often has high success rates for helping those suffering from low self confidence. Using it I seek to determine the root cause of the low self confidence and then find ways to resolve it. Hypnosis can reach the unconscious mind and modify belief systems, and replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. This can boost self confidence and completely change an individual’s life.
A common assumption is that self esteem and self confidence are the same things. However, although self confidence is related to self esteem, they are not the same. Self-confident people may also suffer from low self-esteem, and this can be seen by the vast number of actors, celebrities and public figures who appear to be overflowing with self confidence, yet totally lack self esteem when away from the media or when they’re not performing. Unfortunately low self esteem is extremely common in today’s society and individuals can often struggle to find their sense of worth in the world. Those who find it hard to answer ‘yes’ to questions such as ‘do I like myself’ or ‘do I deserve to be happy’ are often suffering from a lack of self esteem.
With Cognitive Hypnotherapy I seek to discover the root cause of low self esteem and use the power of suggestion to create more positive thought patterns. Reprogramming your beliefs can lead to an increase in self esteem and help you to overcome negative thinking patterns.
I can help with this or any other unwanted habit by using various Cognitive Hypnotherapy techniques and interventions to access the cause of your issue and then promote a habit you do want to replace the old, unwanted one.
Obsessions and compulsions (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Obsessions can be intrusive and recurrent thoughts, ideas or impulses and they can be worrying, repulsive, obscene or blasphemous. These thoughts, ideas or impulses are not voluntary and often invade a sufferer’s consciousness. Obsessing over germs and dirt, nagging doubts, sexual thoughts, fear that things are not safe and having things in a particular order are common obsessions. Most of us will have experienced the odd obsessional thought, however if these thoughts occur regularly and interfere with normal daily routines and relationships, they can cause extreme distress.
Compulsions are actions an individual feels compelled to perform to reduce the anxiety they feel from an obsession. They are repeated continuously and often carried out without conscious thought. Examples of compulsions include excessive washing and cleaning, counting and touching things, hoarding, incessant rechecking, repeating certain words or phrases and performing ritualistic behaviour.
With chronic pain, pain signals consistently being sent from the nervous system for weeks, months and sometimes even years. Often chronic pain begins with an initial injury or illness, such as a long-term serious condition like cancer, an ear infection, arthritis or a sprained limb. Even in situations where these injuries and illnesses have healed, pain signals may still remain in the nervous system for long periods of time and thus chronic pain persists. Some people also suffer from chronic pain despite no past injury or evidence of damage to the body.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy for pain management can either be used either alongside prescribed medication or alone, but if you are considering hypnosis then it is essential you have been to visit your GP for an appropriate medical evaluation before proceeding. Pain is often a warning signal of a more serious underlying medical condition, for example a serious case could see an individual experiencing migraines which are a symptom of a brain tumour. If a hypnotherapist was to then go on and treat the migraines before the root cause of the problem had been found, this could lead to the tumour remaining undiagnosed.
Once the patient has been to see the doctor and the pain has been diagnosed with more serious causes having been eliminated, it is then fine for hypnotherapy treatment to commence.
Hypnotherapy has been used by many to manage numerous instances of pain, including irritable bowel syndrome, sciatica, spinal stenosis, burns, joint pain, neck pain and a variety of other injuries and illnesses. The basic premise of hypnotherapy is to change the way individuals perceive pain messages in order to reduce the intensity of what they are feeling.
Performance issues (sports/music/acting)
I spent many years working in the media and have used Cognitive Hypnotherapy successfully with several presenters, newsreaders and actors to help them overcome various performance issues.
Successful athletes are often able to control their state of mind so they have a psychological advantage which prevents them from underperforming or giving into their nerves. Hypnotherapy seeks to engage an athletes mind in a positive way to help them focus on their goals and achieve them. Being able to control negative thoughts and emotions is the basis of sports psychology and can often be achieved through hypnosis.
Sports people often refer to being in the ‘zone’. This means that they get totally absorbed in what they are doing and barely notice outside distractions when performing at their best. Hypnosis can often help individuals access the ‘zone’ so that they can use this to enhance their performance.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can improve and enhance an individual’s mental attitude by helping them to relax, removing anxieties and boosting confidence. Each individual is different, so results will vary from athlete to athlete, however in general, individuals can use hypnosis to maintain composure, overcome distractions and fears and gain confidence in their ability.
The brain can’t distinguish between doing something or imagining doing something so visualising winning a competition can help tune your mind for success. If the human mind is capable of imagining something, it’s capable of making it happen. Hypnosis can help athletes:
- improve their confidence and self belief
- remove negative thoughts or beliefs
- increase motivation and dedication
- use deep relaxation and concentration to imagine success
- maintain composure and overcome distractions.
What is it about standing up and talking in front of other people that causes so much anxiety? The fear of public speaking is a form of social phobia, and our natural ‘fight or flight’ response takes over us – making us believe we’re in some kind of danger that we need to escape from. This unconscious response can cause our throats to feel tight, our heart to beat faster, sweating, breathlessness, sickness and a number of other symptoms.
The good news however, is that we have the ability to re-educate our mind to no longer see public speaking as a threat, and therefore create more appropriate responses for those situations that require us to talk in public.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy has been found to be extremely successful for those suffering with a fear of public speaking. It can build confidence levels and allow you to remain calm and relaxed, while developing new positive ways of thinking and feeling. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy aims to seek out the root cause of the anxiety by accessing the part of your mind that is triggering the fear and help you to change how it responds.
Relationships can bring much meaning and happiness, and it’s usually the relationships we form with others that define our lives. However they can also cause problems and unhappiness if they break down. Whether it’s a relationship with a family member, colleague, friend or lover, everyone will experience relationship problems at some point during their life.
If relationship problems aren’t dealt with they tend to build up over time, and because each individual reacts differently to situations and emotions, it can sometimes be hard to know how to resolve certain issues. Lack of communication can be a major problem in a relationship and not being able to express feelings may create pressure on the relationship.
By using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help your relationships in a number of ways, from learning how to relax to building confidence. Specifically, I can help my clients to:
- Gain new perspectives on relationships and develop an appreciation for another’s position.
- Recapture the lost feelings of love, friendship and commitment.
- Re-experience past memories in a more positive way.
- Learn relaxation techniques allowing you to be calm around each other.
- Develop a self belief that builds on your confidence and ability to create new and successful relationships.
Strong relationships are about opening communication channels and this can’t work unless you unconsciously open these channels. Hypnotherapy can help you to communicate with your unconscious more effectively, and ultimately enhance communication within your relationship.
Many people experience sexual difficulties at some point during their life, sometimes these problems will resolve themselves but if they don’t then professional help may be required. Sexual difficulties can occur early in an individual’s life, develop suddenly after a previously satisfying sex life or develop gradually. It is important that physical factors are ruled out before hypnotherapy is sought, so consulting your GP should be your first step.
Sexual difficulties are generally problems that prevent the individual or couple from enjoying sex, and make sex difficult. The most common sexual problems for men are erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, and for women, failure to reach orgasm or vaginismus.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be beneficial for clients who want to release negative or limiting beliefs by identifying the triggers that started them. Learning how to manage and deal with them may then be possible. I will work with you gently and at your own pace to get to the root cause of the issue and deal with it.
Stress can be both positive and negative. As a positive influence it can motivate individuals to perform at their optimum level and boost energy, but as a negative influence stress can lead to adverse physical affects and be detrimental to health. Stress is caused by the body’s natural reaction to defend itself, so in an emergency stress will force us to exert maximum effort to protect ourselves. However when our body is prepared to face an emergency and no emergency happens, all the extra energy has nowhere to go, and negative stress is caused. Feelings of anger, depression, distrust and rejection, ultimately leading to headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure can all be caused by negative stress.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help clients to understand why they think the way they do and how these thoughts can be positively changed to manage stress.
As it is not the situation itself that causes stress (or everyone would be stressed by the same situation), but our reaction to the situation, hypnotherapy can be effective for managing stress. By altering our reaction to a particular situation during hypnosis to a more positive one, the feelings about that situation can also become more positive. When a client then experiences that situation in real life, their reaction will often be completely different.
Trauma/PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
For some clients, certain traumatic and frightening events can trigger a reaction which can last for a period of months, or even years.
This reaction is known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short, a condition which manifests both physically and psychologically and is thought to occur in approximately 30% of individuals who experience traumatic events.
The term PTSD is used to describe a range of symptoms which occur following on from involvement in a traumatic event. These events are considered to be both beyond our control, and outside of our normal human experiences. The event itself could be anything from witnessing a road traffic accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack, through to being the victim of a mugging, or witnessing harrowing scenes whilst serving in the armed forces.
Whether you are present during a traumatic event, a witness, or a direct victim, the intense distress and helplessness you felt in the midst of that situation can have a deep and long lasting psychological effect and can trigger a series of symptoms which can seriously impact your life.
In some individuals the symptoms will develop very shortly after the event, but for others the onset may be delayed by a number of months, or even years after the trauma first occurred.
As well as undergoing the treatment recommended by their health care provider, some PTSD sufferers also find that hypnotherapy treatment is beneficial. Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help to unlock stored emotion so that the trauma can be revisited and explored from a different perspective.
There’s no denying it: trying to lose weight can be a long and challenging journey. If you’ve ever tried and failed to lose weight before then you probably know just how frustrating it can be – especially when feelings like stress, low self-esteem, sadness and boredom crop up.
It’s not unusual for people to get into a cycle of dieting, overeating, feeling guilty and dieting again. This is known as ‘yoyo dieting’ and makes weight loss difficult to sustain.
While fad diets and nutrition plans focus on what you put in your mouth and how often, hypnotherapy changes how you feel about what you eat. For instance – on a diet you might eat a carrot and wish you were eating a carrot cake, but with hypnotherapy you can learn to enjoy the carrot and not give that cake a second thought. It might be hard to imagine a world where you’d happily turn down your favourite food for something healthier, but with certain hypnotherapy techniques it may be possible to change your thinking patterns and gain control over cravings in a way that doesn’t depress you.
By targeting the unconscious mind with powerful suggestion techniques, I can help you develop a new, positive relationship with food and exercise. The aim is to make you feel confident about your body, change any negative thoughts about eating and help you lose weight healthily and responsibly without impacting your emotional wellbeing.
If you don’t see your particular issue listed here, it really doesn’t matter. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a very flexible tool, and I can adapt my techniques to suit you. So, whatever your problem happens to be, please get in touch – I’m sure I’ll be able to help.