AfSFH Blog

Welcome to the AfSFH blog page!

Our blogs are designed to further the aims of the AfSFH, which are to increase public awareness about Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and its benefits, and to support our therapists and their clients.

AfSFH members can send in their blogs for publication to it@afsfh.com, with their name, contact details, and website information (so readers can contact you should they wish to do so).

For members of the public, welcome to the fascinating world of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy!

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  • 01 Oct 2019 7:26 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Trevor Eddolls
    Why is it the most natural thing in the world to think about painful situations over-and-over again? Why do people spend more time on negative issues than positive ones – the things that make us happy? I’ve seen posters (no source is quoted) suggesting:

    • 40 percent of all the things we worry about never happen.
    • 30 percent have already happened, so we can’t change them.
    • 12 percent are needless worries about health.
    • 10 percent are minor miscellaneous worries.
    • 4 percent are real worries that we can’t do anything about.
    • 4 percent are real worries that we can do something about.

    Somehow, those figures just feel right when you look at them rationally – which means that most of what people worry about is not worth the time spent worrying. Other figures are claiming that 80 percent of our thoughts are negative, and 95 percent are repetitive. Worryingly, in the Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha, it says: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought”. So, if we are repeatedly thinking negatively, what kind of person are we turning into?

    There are thought to be three leading causes of negative thoughts.

    • Fear of the future. The future is unknown and no-one knows what will happen. This can lead to ‘catastrophizing’, which is predicting failure and disaster.
    • Anxiety about the present, eg what people think of us, whether we’re doing a good job at work, etc. This can lead to ‘worst-case scenario’ thinking.
    • Shame about the past. Feeling embarrassed about past mistakes and failures – things that cannot be changed.

    It may be that by going over painful experiences or worries in our minds, we hope to find new insights or understandings that will reduce our distress and allow us to move on. However, quite often, instead of finding some kind of understanding and moving on, we constantly replay the same scenario, making us feel sadder, angrier, or more agitated, each time the scenario repeats. This brooding or rumination isn’t good for a person because it increases the distress they feel.

    Rumination can be almost addictive. The more people ruminate, the more compelled they feel to carry on. Rumination can also increase the likelihood of a person becoming depressed, And it is also associated with a greater risk of alcohol abuse and eating disorders. Brooding over one thing can increase a person’s risk of thinking negatively about other aspects of their life. Rumination can impair thinking, causing people to be slower to take steps to deal with an issue. Lastly, rumination increases a person’s psychological and physiological stress responses, putting them at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

    You can understand the evolutionary drive to have negative thoughts. Learning from past mistakes can make life safer for you in the future. But, clearly there is a tendency for many people to focus on the negatives. Rumination is a kind of negative thinking in which we go over-and-over the same thoughts. Rumination can make a person more-and-more anxious as they come up with more-and-more negative outcomes that could possibly happen. Ruminating can also make you feel depressed. You may focus on how bad you feel, why you feel so bad, what you did wrong to get in this situation, and how things could get worse and you could mess things up even more. This extended negative thinking can reduce a person’s motivation to take steps to solve the problem.

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) came up with the idea of cognitive distortions. These are ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are then used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions. By learning to correctly identify this kind of thinking, a person can then refute it. And by refuting the negative thinking over-and-over again, those negative thoughts will get less-and-less over time. Here is a list of cognitive distortions:

    • Filtering – a person takes the negative details and magnifies those details while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation.
    • Polarized thinking (or ‘black and white’ thinking) – there is no middle ground. A person with black-and-white thinking sees things only in extremes.
    • Overgeneralization – a person comes to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence.
    • Jumping to conclusions – a person knows what another person is feeling and thinking as though they could read the other person’s mind.
    • Catastrophizing – a person expects disaster to strike, no matter what.
    • Personalization – a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to them.
    • Control fallacies – a belief about being in complete control of every situation in a person’s life.
    • Fallacy of fairness – a person feels resentful because they think that they know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with them.
    • Blaming – holding other people responsible for your own emotional pain.
    • Shoulds – should statements appear as a list of ironclad rules about how every person should behave.
    • Emotional reasoning — if I feel that way, it must be true.
    • Fallacy of change – assuming other people will change to suit them if they just pressure or cajole them enough.
    • Global labelling – a person generalizes one or two qualities into a negative global judgment about themselves or another person.
    • Always being right – continually putting other people on trial to prove that your own opinions and actions are the absolute correct ones.
    • Heaven’s reward fallacy – the false belief that a person’s sacrifice and self-denial will eventually pay off, as if some global force is keeping score.

    These negative thoughts can be stopped by noticing what events trigger them and looking at what other ways of thinking might fit the situation better.

    The big question is, what can a person do to stop this excessive negative thinking? Here are some ideas:

    • Become aware of what you’re doing. Start noticing when you actively choose to revisit your pain.
    • Acknowledge that you’re thinking negatively.
    • Get up and do something else, eg go for a walk, read a good book.
    • Challenge your thinking. Is this really what you think or is it an inherited belief from your past?
    • Ask yourself, is this thought helping or hurting you? If it is hurtful, consciously choose a thought that is more supportive, understanding, or positive.
    • Give yourself a pep talk.
    • Ask yourself whether this thought is useful.
    • Bring your attention back to the present, and see that your negative thoughts are just that – thoughts not reality.
    • Be forgiving. Forgiveness is a necessary part of releasing negative emotions such as bitterness, resentment, and anger. When we truly forgive someone, we also heal ourselves.
    • Focus on ways to show compassion and understanding toward others.
    • Say “just because” and reason with yourself, eg, “Just because I’ve struggled to find a good job doesn’t mean I will never find one in the future.”
    • For negative thoughts that are linked to a specific strong emotion like fear, anger, or jealousy, write down all your pent-up negativity. Then destroy the paper, symbolizing your commitment to moving on.
    • Don’t phone a friend and moan to them (ie continue with your negative thoughts) and don’t drink alcohol.

    Positive Psychology suggests that memories of bad events (eg low test scores, social gaffs, etc) can continue to impact our emotional memory. Their way of dealing with this is to use positive reappraisal (positive reframing), which was shown to work well by King and Miner (2000). Watkins et al (2008) looked at grateful reappraisal. People were asked to remember an unpleasant open memory (like a police open case). Those people who were asked to do grateful reappraisal, wrote about the beneficial consequences of the event for which they might be grateful. This led to more psychological closure, fewer unpleasant feelings, and the memories became less intrusive.

    Before we leave the subject, negativity isn’t all bad. Some psychologists believe that pessimism has its advantages. People who expect the worst often are more resourceful because they are better prepared when things go wrong.

    It seems that people are hardwired to worry, but most of what they worry or ruminate about are things that they cannot change – which makes it seem like a waste of their time, especially because it can have a negative impact on their life. It helps if you can identify when you are falling into the trap of using any of CBT’s cognitive distortions. And if you do find yourself ruminating for any length of time, then, hopefully, some of the techniques listed above will help you to stop.

    Trevor Eddolls
    iTech-Ed Hypnotherapy
    Chippenham, Wilts SN14 0TL
    01249 443256
    trevor@ihypno.biz
    ihypno.biz
    @ihypno2004
    fb.com/iHypno2004/

  • 04 Sep 2019 11:50 AM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Sarah Sollom
    Life is a series of transitions. Most are manageable and enjoyable, but the ride can often be bumpy. I can truly empathise with many of life’s phases having experienced them myself with varying degrees of joy.

    A phase that I can particularly identify with is later middle age. For many, turning fifty can be a time of  feeling a little uneasy.  Are we past the halfway point?

    One’s fifties often coincide with massive changes. You may be trying to help your moody teenagers facing  their own challenges, as well as ageing parents needing increasing amounts of care and attention. Life can become frenetic, as you drive your youngsters here there and everywhere, help with their school to further education or work transition, or their preparations for leaving home. Meanwhile you dash off to attend to the needs of your parents, while your own hormones are coursing around your menopausal body causing mood swings, hot flushes, and sleep problems. And for some, a marriage or relationship may have collapsed. As chief cook, housekeeper, taxi-driver, counsellor, and probably sustaining a career, you may feel exhausted, put upon, resentful, and guilt the last person to receive any respite or TLC. 

    Does any of that sound familiar? You need to look after your own needs in order to be everyone else’s rock. Apart from that, don’t you deserve to enjoy life?

    That’s where Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can come to the rescue. Learning about how the brain works and why you feel at breaking point is the first positive stride towards a turnaround. It also helps you to manage your relationships with those who are relying heavily upon you, as you learn to draw on your own inner strengths, unlock solutions and coping strategies, and rediscover your joie-de-vivre.

    Sarah Sollom
    http://hypnotherapystudio.co.uk/
    sarah@hypnotherapystudio.co.uk
    01793 750180
    fb.com/The-Hypnotherapy-Studio-Cricklade-643531265744249/
    twitter.com/helpuhelpu

  • 01 Aug 2019 2:39 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)
    Written by Tania Taylor
    It is more than likely that all of us will have trouble sleeping at some point in our lives. This blog is all about how to improve our sleep hygiene and get some ZZZs so that bedtime is one less stress we have to worry about. We all know that a good night’s sleep can make us feel on top of the world, so let’s look at how we can make a good night’s sleep be the norm for us.

    1) maybe you can consider a time when sleep came more easily to you. You might want to think about what was different then, what was good about that sleep, and how did it change your day-to-day behaviour? Are there any behaviours or actions you can replicate in the future?

    2) a healthy sleep routine before bedtime can help your body get into a regular pattern of knowing when it is time to start winding down. If we use electronic devices before bed, the natural melatonin our body produces may be blocked, so our body doesn’t think it is bedtime yet and getting to sleep can be a real challenge. You may want to minimise drinks and exercise before bed too because these can cause disruptions to our sleep. Consider now, what your 1-2 hours before bedtime routine could involve.

    3) having a regular set time for getting into bed and getting out of bed helps our body to create a habit. A healthy amount of time would be from 7-8 hours, but you know what is right for you and your body.

    4) when we feel anxious, frustrated, or angry, we get adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones released into our bodies. These are also given to us to help us during a fight/flight situation to give us a burst of energy and strength. Not so helpful if we are trying to sleep or if we wake during the night. You may want to consider how you would like to feel or think if you were feeling a 10/10 and you were waking in the night. How would your thoughts/feelings differ if you were on Cloud 9? What kind of thoughts help you to feel good and relax normally? Could you then try and have these particular thoughts/feelings practiced and ready to go the next time you struggled to get to sleep or wake in the night?

    5) our fight/flight part of our brain is also in control of our habitual behaviours. Habits can, at first be ‘one-offs’, but, before we know it, turn into a regular pattern of behaviour for us. This part of our brain is purely focused on our survival, it isn’t connected to our intellect, so it can’t be innovative. Intellectually we know a few hours’ sleep isn’t good for us, but our fight/flight brain (also known as our limbic system) doesn’t connect with this. Instead it assesses that we are alive today and so examines what behaviours we used yesterday, last week etc, and encourages us to use the same behaviour patterns again. Why? Because it knows those previous behaviour patterns kept us alive because we woke up again today to face another day.

    6) we often focus on the problem. When I speak to people and ask how I can help, the first time we see each other, we often hear phrases such as ‘I don’t want to do...’ or ‘I want to stop doing...’. When we focus on what we don’t want, we are still telling our brain to focus on the very thing we don’t want. So, what helps our brain is to instead focus on what we might like to happen in an ideal situation. Focusing on for example; getting xx hours of sleep, instead of x hours – small, achievable steps. Giving our brain a destination or goal, enables us to identify ways of getting to that point. Think about a sat nav, with no destination it cannot tell us which direction to go in. Achievable goals are very important, we don’t want you to ever set yourself up to fail, because that is counterproductive. If we tell ourselves we will still wake up at x time, or we will still only get x hours of sleep, we are reinforcing that behaviour to our fight/flight brain and reinforcing that habit.

    7) using hypnotherapy tracks to help you get into a deep state of relaxation to encourage and enable a better-quality sleep is what all of my clients who come to me with Insomnia will use.

    Using it as part of your healthy sleep routine can have you falling asleep, and staying asleep, in as little as a week. For some people it can take longer, usually because there are some other things they have to work through first that are causing them stress.

    I have a several free tracks on YouTube (no ads, I don’t get paid for you to listen to them) that I have made especially for people who are struggling with Insomnia, sleep difficulties, anxiety, stress, frustration, pain and anger.

    It is always best to find one that you like and stick to the same one (to help create that habitual behaviour our fight/flight brain loves so much).

    Here’s a link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCos7z3Tc87AQoEIsAMwXxqg. It doesn’t have to be mine that you listen to though, YouTube has an array of hypnotherapy tracks you can choose from. Please do ensure that you check the content is what you would like to listen to beforehand, and please ensure you’re listening in a safe place where you won’t come to any harm should you fall asleep.

    I really hope you found these tips useful. Sticking to them for a good 2-3 weeks, every night without fail is how you will get the most benefit. A little like if you broke your leg and had exercises to do every day so you could walk again. You would do them, as you really want to be able to walk again and the physio told you how the more you do them, the sooner your recovery would take place. We often place more attention on our physical health and neglect taking care of our brains. So, treat this as you would a physical health recovery, do your exercises that you choose for yourself and stick to your healthy sleep routine etc) and you will reap the rewards.


    Tania Taylor
    https://www.tania-taylor.co.uk/
    Tania.Taylor@live.co.uk
    07442 169 033
    fb.com/TaniaTaylorHypnotherapy
    twitter.com/TT_Hypnotherapy
    instagram.com/taniataylorhypnotherapy/

  • 03 Jul 2019 11:39 AM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Sarah Stanley
    Hypnosis is known to most people merely as a form of entertainment. Making people do things they don’t want to do while in a hypnotic ‘trance’.  In earlier times hypnotists offered miracle cures and hypnosis was associated with the occult. All a bit ‘woowoo’ in many people’s minds!

    In fact, hypnosis is the oldest Western form of psychotherapy. it is a very powerful way of changing how we use our minds to control perception and our bodies. Most clinicians now agree it can be an effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain and anxiety.  And it can help in improving confidence, reducing phobias, and developing heathy habits.

    MRI Scans – the Key to Our New Understanding

    Modern science has enabled us to understand the power of hypnosis more fully. Scientists are finding out more and more about how the brain works and our understanding of the benefits of hypnosis and hypnotherapy increases apace.

    The invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, has been an enormous step forward in researching how the brain works. Magnetic resonanace imaging allows us to see the impact of hypnosis on the human brain.

    Using MRI technology, David Spiegel, a scientist at America’s prestigious Stanford University, has conducted research showing that hypnosis actually changes the way blood flows to different areas of the brain.

    What the Science Shows About Hypnosis...

    Under Hypnosis:

    • Activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate is reduced. This is the part of the brain that is active when you are worried.
    • Certain areas of the brain become better-connected, specifically the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (responsible for planning and organization) forms a stronger connection with the insula (which gathers information about bodily sensations and our emotions).
    •  Other areas of the brain lose some connectivity. In particular the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex becomes less connected to the part of the brain which is responsible for self reflection.

    Combined together, these changes mean that under hypnosis you are more relaxed and less self-conscious. You are living in the present moment, more open to new ideas and less concerned about what might go wrong.

    These changes in brain function can be used in a constructive way to alter thought patterns and so make behavioural change easier to achieve.

    Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy – What’s the Difference?

    Hypnotherapy makes use of the effects of hypnosis to enable patients to make positive changes in their thought processes and behaviours.

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, which I practise, maximises the opportunities provided by hypnosis to bring about change and improvement.

    In my clinic I ask the client to lie or sit comfortably on the couch and close their eyes, if they are happy to do that. Then I guide them into a relaxed ‘trance’  state, followed by a progressive ‘body scan’ during which they focus on each part of the body in turn, leading to further physical relaxation.

    I then use positive, indirect suggestion to encourage new ways of thinking. Any suggestion can be disregarded if it is not consistent with their values, interests, or judgement.

    I enhance this state by using a ‘deepener’ using visualization or guided imagery to help clients focus on becoming even more relaxed, while using their imagination to reinforce the change we want to make.

    Usually I include metaphor. A metaphorical situation is different from the conscious problem you are struggling with and allows your conscious mind to relax. At the same time, the unconscious mind will register the behaviour pattern being followed, and it will use the metaphor for therapeutic change.

    It is now acknowledged that we dream in metaphor and metaphor is often called the ‘language of the unconscious.’ Metaphor is ‘hypnotic’ because it speaks to the unconscious mind.

    Hypnosis is quite safe when it is practised like this with a trained professional. You remain completely in control throughout.

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and Positive Change

    The combination of coaching therapy to help you identify a positive way forward in your life, and hypnotherapy, using your subconscious to consolidate the changes you want to make, is very powerful. I have seen it work for so many clients.

    With support from a trained coach or therapist, people under hypnosis can bring about real positive change in their lives. Negative self talk is diminished. Positive suggestions are accepted more readily.

    Sarah Stanley
    https://www.sstanley.co.uk/
    sarah@sstanley.co.uk
    07850 995 869
    fb.com/sstanleyhypno
    twitter.com/StanHypno
    instagram.com/sarahstanleyhypnotherapy/

  • 03 Jun 2019 5:21 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Georgia Riley
    There are approximately 34 known symptoms of menopause, and they're largely due to changes in the brain. Oestrogen is the main chemical that changes during the menopause and affects the same brain regions that also regulate:

    • Temperature
    • Sex drive
    • Sleep
    • Emotions
    • Attention
    • Memory

    HOT FLUSHES
    Up to 85% of women in the UK report hot flushes during menopause. Body temperature is regulated between set thresholds within a few tenths of a degree above or below 37C.

    Like a thermostat, the brain detects when our core temperature crosses one of these limits and triggers the body into action. If you are too hot you sweat, flush red, take off layers, kick off bedclothes, etc. If you're too cold, you shiver, seek heat, and cover up. During the menopause, these thresholds move together, so your thermostat narrows and becomes very sensitive to tiny variations in temperature. You will sweat and shiver more easily.

    SLEEP
    Disrupted sleep is a frequently-reported complaint in menopausal women. Getting a good night's rest seems to be harder during this time of life, just as it can be during puberty and pregnancy, due to hormone fluctuations.

    You may be sleeping or wanting to sleep but your oestrogen levels are still up dancing all night long, and that continual action can interrupt healthy sleep. This, in turn, reduces both the quantity and quality of your sleep. And when that happens, hormones can go further off kilter, filling your waking hours with even more symptoms, particularly emotion-based problems.

    Disturbed sleep can cause no end of troubles, no matter what age or gender we are. When a child has a bad night's sleep, they can become emotional, irritable, and have poor concentration the following day. When a man has poor sleep, he can be moody and forgetful. Night sweats and anxiety can be a cause of sleep disruption but in turn be caused by lack of sleep!

    While hormones influence your mood and your temper, what can make everything seem worse is a lack of sleep. One of the first benefits commonly experienced from solution focused hypnotherapy sessions is an improvement in sleep quality and this can occur quickly.

    FOGGY HEAD
    You are not losing your mind!

    Menopause is a time of increased vulnerability to foggy thinking and memory issues. Many fear it’s the start of dementia, which can lead to a great deal of anxiety. However, as we have seen this may be due to poor quality sleep too, compounded by stress, mood, and life circumstances.

    Oestrogen maintains sharp thinking by keeping synapses healthy. Therefore, as oestrogen-levels drop, forgetfulness, brain fog, and fuzzy thinking are normal in menopause. Functioning from the intellectual mind with an empty stress bucket will make dealing with a foggy head so much easier, and you will readily be able to come up with ideal solutions.

    WEIGHT GAIN
    Oestrogen helps to control body weight. With lower oestrogen levels, we tend to eat more and be less physically active. Oestrogen may also lower metabolic rate.

    Research suggests that the drop in oestrogen changes how effectively the brain uses glucose, which is why the risk of Type 2 diabetes increases. However, as women age, many other changes contribute to weight gain. You're less likely to exercise and lose muscle mass, which lowers your resting metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.

    The rate at which you can use up energy during exercise declines as you age.  Therefore, to achieve weight loss, you may need to increase the amount of time and intensity of exercising, no matter what your past activity levels were. An awareness of these aging factors can help reduce negative feelings, like guilt or shame for gaining weight or negative feelings like “exercise is pointless because its not working anymore”.

    ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND LOW CONFIDENCE
    Serotonin (our feel-good chemical) regulates sleep, energy, mood, and libido, and is central to our wellbeing.

    Serotonin requires oestrogen for its production in the brain. So, when oestrogen levels drop abruptly, so does serotonin, and mood changes can be fairly sudden and dramatic. During this time, women are vulnerable to developing concerns such as anxiety, depression, low confidence, mood disorders, and cognitive change. As well as health fears, embarrassment, and forgetfulness, a frequent cause of anxiety during the menopause is losing your temper or being seen as moody with loved ones or work colleagues.

    The low serotonin levels caused by menopausal loss of oestrogen can sometimes be offset by vigorous exercise or use of a lightbox. Low serotonin levels can also be treated with antidepressant medication. The SSRIs, the newest category of antidepressant, work directly on keeping the serotonin in the brain longer. This is where solution focused hypnotherapy can offer you a natural way to increase your own serotonin production and improve symptoms.

    FEAR
    There is much fear and negativity in our society fears around health and memory loss caused by the onset of dementia; fears about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), taking it, not taking it, does it cause cancer, does it cause dementia; loss of confidence and looks – weight gain, hair growth or loss, spots, saggy boobs; divorce, relationship issues, and mood wars in duelling hormonal households with hormonal teens going through puberty as mum goes through the menopause.

    Take into account: mood swings, anxiety, and depression are common at this time whether you are male or female! Midlife is a time of busy lives, jobs, managing kids, teenagers, elderly parents needing more help, problems in long-term relationships, and financial issues. There is often a lot of reflection and ‘what ifs’.

    STRESS
    There are a few key things you can do that might make a huge difference in managing this change. Among the most important is to reduce the stress in your life. According to a Harvard University stress expert: “the effect of stress on hormone activity can be so profound that it is capable of inducing symptoms, reducing stress can have the opposite effect”. Other studies report that women who participated in organised relaxation saw a 30% decrease in their hot flushes, plus a significant drop in tension, anxiety, even depression.  They also reported fewer mood swings and more stable emotions overall.

    Think about what’s going on in your life
    Be aware of what is piling into your stress bucket.

    • What is happening in your life?    
    • What is happening in your brain?   
    • What is happening in your body?

    Acknowledging the contents of your stress bucket can be a vital first step in dealing with menopause. Being self-aware can help you to understand why you are feeling the way you are, and give you the tools to manage menopause effectively.

    You are not alone
    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can increase your understanding of menopause and change your perspective from being overwhelmed to building the confidence to maintain a normal, healthy lifestyle.

    Georgia Riley BSc, MBPsP, DSFH, CNHC, AfSFH, NCH, NBMP
    Solution Focused Hypnotherapist & Modern Psychotherapist
    www.thelifeofrileyhypnotherapy.com
    thelifeofrileyhypnotherapy@gmail.com
    01704 601010
    0743 2154 586
    fb.com/HypnoSouthport/
    instagram.com/HypnoSouthport/
    twitter.com/HypnoSouthport


  • 02 May 2019 10:39 AM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Jane Pendry
    Anxiety in teens and young adults is on the rise.

    Why is it a worsening problem? And how can young adults manage and resolve anxiety related issues and flourish in our ever changing world?

    Frontal lobes in adolescent brains, needed for executive function, impulse control and judgement, are not fully formed in young adults. In fact neuroscientists agree that brain development continues until at least the mid-20s, and possibly until the 30s.

    Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

    The young developing brain is much more vulnerable to stress and anxiety than the fully developed adult brain.

    We know trainee adults need to work out the answers for themselves. But they are facing an unprecedented number of challenges and they need our support more than ever.

    It’s a Problem That Can Be Fixed
    Solution Focused approaches use skilled open questioning to help clients work out what they want and how to get there. For adolescents this feels respectful, supportive and empowering.

    As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I know that even the most anxious adolescent can learn to manage their anxiety and take control of their thought processes.

    Young minds are more plastic than adult minds. New wiring and connections are being made and unmade all the time. So what has been learned and is unhelpful, can be unlearned.

    When Laura, aged 16, came to see me, with her concerned mother, she was terrified of travelling to school and back. She was tearful, and extremely anxious about walking down the street; even accompanied by her family.

    Yet, three sessions later, Laura was travelling to school on the bus, walking along her street at night, and even travelled to a music festival.

    These incredible results were due to the plasticity of her young mind.

    Why do young people get anxious?
    Anxiety triggers the production of stress hormones that make us take action; study harder, prepare more carefully for a meeting or presentation, or focus our attention on an important social event such as a wedding. But that’s a healthy level of anxiety. We can manage it and resolve it once the exam has been taken, the meeting is over or we are off on honeymoon.

    For adolescents, emotions are, as you may have noticed, WRIT LARGE.

    Frances Jensen M.D, and Amy Ellis Nutt in ‘The Teenage Brain’ explain what is different about the adolescent brain and what that means for managing anxiety and stress. Hormones impact on the teenage mind, and result in moodiness, impulsivity and sometimes poor choices. Jensen and Ellis Nutt add, - “… there is more at play in the teenage brain, where new connections between brain areas are being built and many chemicals, especially neurotransmitters, the “brain’s messengers,” are in flux.”

    This mind ‘in flux’ has some benefits. Teenagers see wonder and excitement in events and experiences about which middle-aged brains can barely muster a flicker of interest, from boy bands and Ariane Grande, to heavy metal and rave; from go-karting and paragliding to pink hair and Doctor Martin boots. Whatever their interests, their experiences, good and bad, are heightened. 

    When we are young, we see Romeo & Juliet as the greatest tragedy of two young lovers kept apart by warring families with tragic consequences. As an adult, remembering Romeo first loved Rosamund hours before he fell for Juliet, we know that the real tragedy is that this young love is a passing fancy founded on nothing more than pheromones, the thrill of climbing a balcony, and the frisson of the elicit.

    Jensen and Ellis Nutt go on to explain, “Because of the flexibility and growth of the adolescent brain, adolescents have a window of opportunity with an increased capacity for remarkable accomplishments. But flexibility, growth, and exuberance are a double-edged sword because an “open” and excitable brain also can be adversely affected by stress, drugs, chemical substances, and any other number of changes in the environment.” They conclude that these influences can have dramatic consequences.

    So we know a young mind is both open to learning and new experiences, but much more vulnerable to stress and environmental change.

    The Stresses of a Changing World
    We also know that the world in which adolescents now live is changing at a dramatic pace. Let’s look at some of the challenges our young people face:

    There is the old ones – been there, done it:

    • Social anxiety; a desire to fit in and find your ‘tribe’
    • Sex hormones; the unspoken complexities of the dating game
    • Exam anxiety; choosing subjects, revising, university interviews
    • Career choices; thinking about careers, interviews, training and so forth

    And the new - thank goodness we have never had challenges to deal with:

    • Social media: air-brushed images and friends or celebrities with ‘perfect’ lives; cyberbullying and endless gossip; the sheer volume of tweets, and the constant flip, flip, flip of images and snippets of text.
    • Computer games; often highly addictive and stimulating; violent and highly realistic images may help process feelings, or over stimulate their young minds.
    • The internet: easy access to extreme and sometimes violent porn, hyper-sexualisation of some young people, which creates further anxiety in their social lives
    • TV: endless fascinating TV shows on all channels; when do you go to bed?

    Need I go on. You all know what the external stressors are because you see the impact on the young people you love and care about. Or you experience them yourself.

    Anxiety is a Natural State
    As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, my first free initial consultation focuses on how the brain works. 

    Anxiety is a natural state; a signifier that there is danger. For tribesmen living in a rain forest or a jungle, the danger will be real, present and physical; snakes, tigers, alligators. Tribesmen in these environments need to be on high alert. If they see an animal they know to be dangerous, they fight, flee or freeze. But when they respond to danger they are not using their intellectual brain. The responses to anxiety and fear all come from the primitive mind, which we know cannot innovate or create solutions.

    The Primitive Mind
    The pea-sized amygdala is the ‘flight, fight, freeze’ part of the mind. It is closely connected to two other primitive parts of the brain: the hippocampus that stores the patterns of behaviour, both helpful and appropriate, and unhelpful; and the hypothalamus, which regulates hormones in the brain. When the amygdala is responding to stress or fear, the hypothalamus floods the body with stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, giving enough short term energy to take instant action.

    Now if our adolescents were living in the jungle, that would be hugely useful for their survival. But in our more complex modern world, anxiety can develop over time. Stressors, such as exams aren’t just related to the day the exam is taken, but impacted by many months of revision prior to the exam. Social anxiety isn’t experienced on the tribe’s festivals and holidays, but every day at school. Many stressors are experienced daily.

    Freddy, aged 17, couldn’t stop playing computer games. Some were violent; all of them had an addictive quality. His mother was concerned that his obsessive playing was impacting on his mental health, and on his future as he was not sleeping, nor studying for his A Levels. He became ‘wired’ and developed chronic sleep issues and, almost inevitably, chronic anxiety.

    When Anxiety develops over time, it no longer has any useful function. It becomes debilitating, and can lead to exhaustion, chronic depression and obsessive behaviours.

    What can we do about it?
    Nothing. That’s right. You can’t do anything.

    But your trainee adult child can do something. The good news is that the teenage brain is particularly plastic. Their young brains continue to make connections and they have the capacity to learn extraordinary quickly, whether academically, creatively or practically.

    Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Hypnotherapy
    As you know from the adolescents and young adults in your life, you can’t tell them anything. And that’s great for a Solution Focused Therapist as we don’t tell them to do anything.

    Nothing. De Nada. Zip.

    The great thing about Solution Focused approaches is that they don’t require the practitioner to dig in to the past or to ask lots of personal and penetrating questions, nor do they require the therapist to give any advice.

    “So how does that work then?” I hear you ask.

    We all know that lovely, warm, affectionate children seem to wake up one morning and turn in to mono-syllabic, uncommunicative, eye-brow raising teens that find parents just the most annoying, pointless and frustrating people on the planet. Just like Harry Enfield’s Kevin, for those of you old enough to remember.

    That makes young teens very hard to help. They know everything; you know nothing. Yet you see them suffer with anxiety about things they either don’t want to discuss, or can’t articulate.

    Instead of exploring ‘problems’ and looking for reasons, Solution Focused therapies and coaching turn that idea on its head.

    We don’t worry about what caused the anxiety. We don’t need to know if the boy who caused the pain and despair is called Ryan, Brian or indeed, Romeo. We don’t need to know who said what to whom and when. We don’t need to know anything (although I am happy to listen when clients need to talk but it isn’t actively part of the therapeutic process).

    Exploring Best Hopes
    I ask specific questions that focus on, ‘What’s been good about your week’. These questions move a young client out of their primitive mind, and into their left pre-frontal cortex - the intellectual mind that searches for solutions.

    Through tears, and after a series of skilled questions, Laura said, “I want to be able to go to school on my own without feeling anxious. I want to feel calm and in control. I want to be able to see my friends and come home without being terrified about getting home.”

    You can imagine it much easier for her to focus on what she wanted, rather than what she didn’t want. Her subconscious mind began to create a picture of what was possible and what might be better, and the tears dried. She was not focusing on what was causing her distress. That’s the first shift in thinking.

    For Hamza, aged 19, he wanted to rid himself of his crippling social anxiety. He wanted to be able to go to the pub or parties without feeling his heart thumping in his ribs, and without finding it hard to breathe and feeling a hard lump in the pit of his stomach. Now that was a good description of what he wanted but it was still framed in negative terms.

    What did Hamza really want?

    I asked him to turn his thinking around, and a few questions later, this is what he said, “I want to look forward to going out with my friends. I want to be at ease and to not worry about what I am going to say, or whether I am liked or not. If I see a girl I like I want to be able to speak to her in a normal way…” Through further open questions, he was able to build a full, colourful, experiential picture of what he wanted.

    Now we were ready to make the changes Laura and Hamza wanted.

    Hypnotherapy: rewiring the brain the painless way
    Parents and their older children often have concerns about hypnotherapy.

    But I am not Derren Brown, or Paul McKenna. They use hypnotic techniques and are highly skilled. But they are entertainers. I cannot make your child do anything they don’t want to do. The trance state created through suggestions is similar to the dreamy feeling of watching an absorbing film or listening to a favourite album.

    The SF Hypnotherapy uses Ericksonian language, which is hypnotic language primarily centred around suggestions that can be accepted or rejected by the subconscious mind.

    After a brief relaxation script to help the body unwind and the mind let go, I deliver a script focused on walking down stairs to a room where ‘nobody goes but you’. This is an imaginary place where your son or daughter can ‘rehearse the person they want to be’. Once they are in a state of deep relaxation, similar to being absorbed in a book or film, they remain conscious and aware, but deeply relaxed.

    I then deliver tried and tested scripts focusing on creating firm boundaries, or being in control of their thoughts or whatever is appropriate to their circumstances.

    Patents are most welcome to stay in the session with their children and often enjoy and benefit from the experience.

    Prior to the first active session, clients listen to a recording of a hypnotherapy relaxation session daily to prime their minds for the tailored  hypnotherapeutic process. Usually we then have two to four sessions, sometimes more in the cases of OCD, embedded anxiety, sensory overload due to Aspergers’ or depression.

    So for Hamza, it took just the initial consultation and three hypnotherapy sessions before he was able to comfortably socialise. For Laura, it was three sessions in total before she was able to go back to school on the bus.

    Laura’s mother wrote the following, “I have had the experience of getting support from Jane Pendry, at Sense Ability, for Laura and I would highly recommend trying her approach to unblock issues. She has helped Laura feel more in control of her situation and reduced her anxiety to an appropriate level”

    “After two or three sessions each, Laura has had, what I would term as, a remarkable improvement. She now feels comfortable taking the bus to and from school every day.“

    For my client Tammy, her issues were more profound. She had been diagnosed with BPD and in her early twenties found she was unable to work full time, frequently felt dissociated and was often tearful and depressed. Ten months later she was a feisty mentally healthy young woman on her way to university. So the process still works for profound and embedded issues.

    From Anxiety to Calm and in Control
    There are many ways to help your older children with anxiety issues, including CBT, which is highly effective with a well-trained therapist who can tailor their approach to your child, and some hard work on their part. Counselling and more traditional talking therapies, and medication as a last port of call (to be avoided if possible), are all effective. But Solution Focused therapies are uniquely suited to help young minds create resilience and overcome anxiety related issues, without drugs, and with relative ease.

    The names used in this article have been changed to protect the identity of my clients.

    Jane Pendry
    www.sense-ability.co.uk
    jane@sense-ability.co.uk
    @senseabilityUK
    fb.com/senseabilityUK
    @senseabilityUK

  • 01 Apr 2019 4:02 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Trevor Eddolls
    When you first visit a solution-focused hypnotherapist, you’ll be asked a little about yourself, and you’ll be asked what brought you here today, and, most importantly, you’ll be asked how you will know hypnotherapy has worked for you. The answer to that last question will, in effect, be your goal. It will be you doing something – going on a plane on holiday without feeling panicky, being able to visit the dentist, going for a whole day without a cigarette, enjoying a small piece of cake rather than a large one, etc. Hypnotherapy can help people to achieve their goals and to lead happier lives.

    Goals in life, according Erich Fromm (1976), can be divided into two categories or orientations. There are those with, what he called, a ‘having orientation’ (like having wealth and status) and there are those with a ‘being orientation’ (like self-actualization). He found that people with a being orientation goal are happier on average. That all sounds very good so long as you know what self-actualization actually means. Abraham Maslow came up with a hierarchy of needs. At the bottom of his triangle were physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, and rest. Once you had those, you could satisfy your security needs. And then move up to belongingness and love needs, and then esteem needs, and, finally, self-actualization. Self-actualization is the realization or fulfilment of a person’s talents and potential. It’s being creative and similar activities. So, those are the best kinds of goals to set yourself.

    Goals can also be divided into intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Intrinsic goals are all about doing or chasing something that’s personally meaningful to you. These goals fuel your core needs and wants, and they fit with your passions, interests, and core values as well as your relationships and your personal growth. Extrinsic goals help you achieve something outside of yourself. They are often about obtaining other people’s validation and approval or external signs of self-worth, eg becoming famous, earning lots of money, or seeking power over others.

    Now, Kasser & Ryan (1996) found extrinsic goals are associated with lower self-esteem, more drug use, and more TV watching. However, Oishi et al (1999) found that the important thing was not the content of the goal but how congruent it was with a person’s values. Congruent here means how well they matched.

    So, what are a person’s values? Values are the things that are important to us. Values form the basis of why we do what we do. And a person’s values can change during their life. Shalom Schwartz (1994) identified ten values that he thought could be found in all cultures. They are power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security.

    Although goals are important to wellbeing (which is often used as another name for happiness), sometimes people don’t pursue them. Why? Ford & Nichols (1991) found that people may pursue goals that are less important, but urgent and attract more attention (like housework or events). Sometimes people fear that they won’t be able to accomplish something, so they don’t try. And sometimes people give up before achieving their goal because it’s just too hard to keep going.

    According to Lyubomirsky (2001), wellbeing is enhanced when people choose to pursue goals that are:

    • Feasible, realistic, and attainable
    • Being progressed towards
    • Personally meaningful
    • Highly committed to
    • Intrinsic
    • Concerned with community, intimacy, and growth
    • Self-concordant and congruent with their motives and needs
    • Valued by their culture
    • Not conflicting.

    So, if people set themselves goals, how can they be motivated to actually achieve them? Brown & Ryan (2004) had some advice for getting children to do their homework (or other tasks). They said to avoid rewarding, forcing, or cajoling children because this can lead to a lack of responsibility. They suggested that parents provide a meaningful rationale for an activity, make it more interesting, empathize with any difficulties that the child faces, and give plenty of praise. They say that parents, who support autonomy and who are interested and caring, help children to become self-motivated. I’m sure the thinking must also apply to a degree to adults.

    When it comes to motivating ourselves, there’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the natural, inherent drive to seek out challenges and new possibilities. Extrinsic motivation comes from external sources. Ryan and Deci (2000) came up with four different subtypes of extrinsic motivation. They were:

    • External motivation occurs when we feel driven by outside forces, performing an activity either to obtain a reward or to avoid a punishment. People do things because they have to.
    • Introjected motivation is based on self-control, acting in order to avoid guilt, pressure, and anxiety. We do something because we would feel guilty if we didn’t.
    • Identified motivation is where we do something because we can see why it’s important (even though we may not enjoy it).
    • Integrated motivation is where we do something because we fully subscribe to the values underlying our behaviour, which have become part of ourself.

    As mentioned above, autonomy is important for intrinsic motivation because when we are free to choose our actions, it’s easier for us to appreciate the reasons for performing them. If we’re compelled to do something, then it becomes harder to internalize the motivation. And that’s why offering rewards for activities that should be internally motivated can undermine performance and achievement.

    So, when deciding on goals for ourself, it’s important to bear this information in mind in order to be happy and successful at achieving our goal. Make sure the goal is intrinsic rather than extrinsic. Don’t give yourself rewards for tasks that you want to accept need to be done. Try to make the goal a self-actualizing one. And try to match it to your values.

    Trevor Eddolls
    iTech-Ed Hypnotherapy
    Chippenham, Wilts SN14 0TL
    01249 443256
    trevor@ihypno.biz
    ihypno.biz
    @ihypno2004
    fb.com/iHypno2004/

  • 05 Mar 2019 1:46 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Georgia Riley
    Here is a brief account of how a sixth month hiatus turned into building a successful business as a hypnotherapist. It all started while I was writing my dissertation for my degree in 2018...and I began to panic. However, not the usual panic of an individual with perfectionist traits mid-way through their final year of university. No, this was the onset of panic when I realised that I was going to have 6 months off soon, before continuing onto a master’s degree. I wanted to maximize this time off, and kept thinking - what I could do to better myself during this time? 6 months is too much precious time to waste. And so, the Google searches began.

    Before I knew it, I had opened the lines of communication with several training programs. I was then booked in for an online interview with a hypnotherapy training centre in Manchester. After my interview with two wonderful lecturers and a great deal of research into the course, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I fell in love with the concept and values of this therapy. In February 2018, I began my hypnotherapy training and started my journey onto what has become a truly life changing experience.

    Following my university graduation in July, I was already half way through my hypnotherapy training with a registered business, seeing 12 weekly clients under regular supervision. Although accepted onto a masters degree, by the time September came around I was moving into a new, bigger therapy room so I had to think long and hard about my options… and it was then that I made my decision to become a hypnotherapist full time. And by November, I was a fully-qualified hypnotherapist

    It was through the training centre that I came across the CNHC and the importance of becoming a registrant to be recognised as a practitioner that stands up for standards in the industry. I then stepped out in the big wide world of business and I have absolutely no regrets. The endless hours of hard work, the money, the sacrifices have paid off and I love it!

    I continued to use every spare minute wisely to promote my new venture. I joined the CNHC’s Local Champion’s programme and I have been busy walking the streets hand delivering invitations, leaflets, posters, pens, etc. I have taken the time to approach and talk to other businesses, schools, advertising agencies, newspapers, cafes, doctors and local people. And I have been successful approaching a local newspaper as they recently published an article about my work with CNHC as a Local Champion.

    I currently run one-to-one sessions, wellbeing groups and provide talks for many different establishments from my local council, to schools and to the local rugby team. These talks and workshops involve teaching about the brain and how to use our mind to the fullest benefit to live a positive and happy life. My recommendation to anyone thinking about their career is to not wait for it to find you, find something you are passionate about and go out and make yourself a success!

    Georgia Riley BSc, MBPsP, DSFH, CNHC, AfSFH, NCH, NBMP
    Solution Focused Hypnotherapist & Modern Psychotherapist
    www.thelifeofrileyhypnotherapy.com
    thelifeofrileyhypnotherapy@gmail.com
    01704 601010
    0743 2154 586
    fb.com/HypnoSouthport/
    instagram.com/HypnoSouthport/
    twitter.com/HypnoSouthport



  • 01 Feb 2019 12:02 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Jane Pendry
    When I say I am a Hypnotherapist, people joke, in a mock serious tone,: “Look in to my eyes, not round my eyes, in my eyes”. Sometimes they refer to the snake in Disney’s Jungle Book, making suitable hand gestures  to induce black and white spirals in my eyes. Others ask me if I’m going to make them ‘Bark like a dog” – to which I usually reply jokingly, “Not unless you want me to” (by the way, I can’t actually do that).

    The first thing to know about hypnosis is that there are many different ways of inducing it. For therapeutic reasons, in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, my own school of training, hypnosis is a state of trance where clients increase focus and reduce peripheral awareness that enables them to access their subconscious and make changes to the way they think and feel.

    Ivan Tyrell of The Human Givens Institute explains how hypnosis can be potentially a cause for good, or a cause for harm. You might be intrigued to hear a hypnotherapist say that hypnosis might be a cause for harm. But let’s be clear what I mean by hypnosis and in what context.

    Tyrell explains, “Unfortunately, something mysterious often attaches itself to talk about hypnosis, especially amongst those who style themselves hypnotherapists, as if practitioners who use it have highly specialised, even esoteric, skills – indeed, some seem to encourage that belief.”

    As a hypnotherapist, I feel it is important to address people’s fears, and to be honest about the potential for harm. This potential is why qualified hypnotherapists spend so many months training, use tried and tested scripts, and in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, use suggestions not directions.

    Trance is a commonplace experience
    The first thing to understand about hypnosis is that the experience of trance is very common place. We move in to a trance-like state quite easily and regularly. There is nothing mysterious about it. Hypnotic trance is a state in which we are both focused and deeply relaxed, for example when we are watching an absorbing film, driving along the motorway or playing a sport at which we excel. Trance is a pretty ordinary and every day state.

    The Human Givens Institute clarifies what the state of hypnosis is in their considered opinion.:  “…hypnosis is not a state of consciousness at all; it is any artificial means of accessing the REM [Rapid Eye Movement period of sleep] state. Thus hypnosis is a process, separate from the trance state that it induces, and its effects are no longer mysterious because this can account for all phenomena associated with it.”

    So that clears that up.

    This trance like state can be induced by a number of things: drugs, sudden shocks, rituals involving music or clapping, charismatic preaching, unexpected touch, sexual experiences, a beautiful sunset, particular breathing patterns, mindfulness and meditation, being asked to recall specific memories. In fact, any stimulus that arouses strong emotion while paradoxically creating a deeply relaxed state that lowers emotional arousal, can induce trance.

    Dreaming is the deepest trance of all.

    Trance states are powerful catalysts of change
    The Human Givens Institute issues a word of warning. The trance like state is powerful. It can be used for harm or good. Solutions Focused Hypnotherapists are insistent that the state of hypnosis they induce is natural and safe. It’s natural because it is induced through the open and suggestive nature of Ericksonian hypnotic language, and not by using any tricks, shocks or mind control. And it’s safe because Solution Focused Hypnotherapists undertake 450 hours of training, and commit to ongoing Continuous Professional Development. We are also governed by the Code of Conduct laid down by the Association of Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (The AfSFH) and are fully insured and governed by ethical guidelines. I am a full member of the AfSFH.

    Most professional hypnotherapists belong to professional bodies and have been thorough trained in the same way. Any therapist who is a member of the National Council of Hypnotherapists (The NCH) will be equally well trained and will follow its Code of Conduct.

    Hypnotherapy is not hypnosis
    Hypnotherapy is not hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is a therapy that uses hypnosis to benefit people in a controlled, disciplined, supportive and safe way. The NCH defines hypnotherapy as the, “…application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes.”

    Hypnotherapy can help clients overcome negative perceptions of themselves, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts about people or things. Some people experience irrational fears of animals or insects, or even objects such as buttons, and hypnotherapy is the ideal therapeutic approach (along with NLP) to overcome these often disabling conditions

    What can Hypnotherapy help you with?
    For those that suffer from a wide variety of distressing feelings such as panic attacks, social anxiety, shame and guilt, anger or feelings of not being good enough, hypnotherapy is more effective than drugs and psychotherapy. Hypnotherapy can also help people overcome bad habits, from smoking to nail-biting. In all these cases, these positive results come with no side-effects.

    Hypnotherapy can help you with a huge range of issues: weight control, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, stress related illnesses, anxiety related disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, sleep issues, self-esteem issues and specific things such as panic attacks, exam stress and performance anxiety.

    So if the idea of World Hypnosis Day piqued your interest, do your research. Look for a Hypnotherapist who is trained with an accredited body, fully insured and a member of an appropriate Professional Association. Then you can be assured that the hypnosis you will experience will be safe and you will remain in control of the process.

    No tricks, no mind control, no manipulation, just a supportive therapist helping you to make the changes to your own subconscious without stress, and no side effects at all.

    Jane Pendry
    www.sense-ability.co.uk
    jane@sense-ability.co.uk
    @senseabilityUK
    fb.com/senseabilityUK
    @senseabilityUK

  • 02 Jan 2019 1:51 PM | Trevor Eddolls (Administrator)

    Written by Trevor Eddolls
    I love being a hypnotherapist and helping people achieve their goals, and one of the things I enjoy is talking about the brain. I am often surprised by how common some brain misconceptions are. So, I thought I’d start the year by debunking some brain myths that I hear.

    People are left or right-brained
    There are two hemispheres to your brain and people think that left-brained people are analytical and logical, and right-brained people are creative and expressive. The truth is that certain types of task and thinking tend to be more associated with one hemisphere or the other, no one is fully right-brained or left-brained. In fact, the corpus callosum connects both sides pf the brain and information passes between them all the time. So, people use all their brain.

    People use only ten percent of their brains
    We use all the areas of the brain perform some type of function. PET and fMRI scans show that much of the brain is being used even during simple tasks. Why would evolution create a brain so big that 90 percent of it wasn’t used? If we did use only ten percent then brain injuries to the other 90 percent wouldn’t have such a significant impact.

    The brain is hard-wired
    Brain are organized in a standard way, and some parts are specialized for certain tasks. But neuroplasticity shows that parts of the brain that normally have one function, can, instead, be used for a different function, eg following a brain injury.

    Brain damage is permanent
    In fact, a person's ability to recover from brain damage depends upon the severity and the location of the injury. The human brain is plastic! Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change throughout an individual’s life, including after an injury.

    Adults can’t grow new brain cells
    In 1998, a Swedish team showed that new brain cells form in the hippocampus, a structure involved in storing memories. In 2014, another Swedish team found that the striatum, a brain region involved in motor control and cognition, produces new neurons throughout life. Neurogenesis is the name for creating new brain cells.

    People see the world as it is
    We aren’t passive recipients of external information reaching our brains through our sensory organs. In fact, brains actively search for patterns (while at the same time ignoring any details we aren’t expecting. We have only a limited amount of attention that we can pay to anything – hence why multitasking ends badly. How we see the world is not just built of objective observations layered together in a logical way, it’s also driven by expectations and interpretations.

    People learn best when the teaching style matches their learning style
    Tests in 2006, at the University of California, found that students didn’t perform any better on a test when given instructions in their preferred style. Similarly, a 2009 review paper found no studies upholding the claim that teaching and learning styles should match. It’s best to use repetition, testing, and spacing out learning sessions.

    Humans have the biggest brains
    A human adult brain weighs around three pounds and is about 15 centimetres in length. Sperm whales have the largest brain, weighing 18 pounds! An elephant’s brain is around 11 pounds. Could it be that humans have the largest brain size in proportion to body size? 'Fraid not. The animal with the largest body size to brain ratio is the shrew – its brain makes up around 10 percent of its body mass.

    Memories are precise, detailed, and persistent
    When a significant event happens, people remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, who they were with, and what they saw or heard. But like all memories, they decay over time. Each time a memory is accessed, details are lost and other information is added. That’s why eye-witness accounts vary so much.

    Brains are like computers
    No!

    So goodbye myths about the brain. Hello neuro-scientific facts.

    Trevor Eddolls
    iTech-Ed Hypnotherapy
    Chippenham, Wilts SN14 0TL
    01249 443256
    trevor@ihypno.biz
    ihypno.biz
    @ihypno2004
    fb.com/iHypno2004/

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