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, 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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  • 02 Jul 2018 4:50 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Silvia Boric Oakes-Wilson

    Despite often being told that it is beneficial to think positively, many of us struggle to do so. It is also often argued that it is what we do that counts, not what we think.

    What you think about, you bring about
    Being able to act differently to how we think or feel can definitely prove helpful in certain social situations. Sometimes, it may even save our life. Still, if what we present as the truth differs from our internal reality over a longer period of time, it inevitably leads to inner tension. This is because our thoughts trigger the same chemical processes as our actions.

    The best way to illustrate this is perhaps when we are attempting to do something relaxing but find it impossible because our mind starts racing. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts can become more and more intense to the point of actually making us nauseous or gasping for breath. Sound familiar?

    Your self-talk creates your reality
    In the privacy of our own mind we allow ourselves to think whatever we like, maybe because we do not know that our thoughts eventually become part of our belief system. Moreover, our negative thoughts accumulate and are stored; in hypnotherapy we call this collection of negative thoughts our “stress bucket”. So, if we dwell on negative thoughts, we encourage our body to produce a lot of stress hormones which, once our stress bucket is full, will turn into anxiety and start waking us up at night. It sounds like a vicious circle, doesn’t it?

    Words are alive
    But we can stop this impacting our health.The first step is to become more observant of our self-talk. Now if we remember that even water crystals change their consistency when talked to nicely, imagine what effect this would have on your own life? Everything thrives with love, and there is no better love than self-love.

    Practice can make it perfect
    Now, I know it may not seem easy to suddenly switch this polarity around, but everything is achievable with practice! You can start by rewriting your negative thoughts into positive ones as this will direct your thought energy towards how you want things to be. By training our mind to think positively, we are actually acknowledging the potential for improvement and instinctively steering our actions towards solutions.

    Every cloud has a silver lining
    Even in challenging situations, instead of just labelling them as negative, adopting a positive attitude will boost our resilience, help us to persevere in the most difficult of times and even reveal some hidden potential.

    Silvia Boric Oakes-Wilson
    Oakes-Wilson Hypnotherapy
    30 Alma Vale Road
    BS8 2HY
    07827 061637

  • 06 Jun 2018 4:55 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Debbie Daltrey

    We all blush sometimes, usually from mild embarrassment. All that happens is that our cheeks darken slightly, which soon passes. However for some people erythrophobia (the fear of blushing) creates overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

    Why do we blush?
    Blushing is actually part of our primitive flight-or-flight response. When we’re faced with our old friend the sabre-toothed tiger, a blush isn’t going to save our lives – but, it’s a sign that our bodies are producing adrenaline, which will. When we produce adrenaline, our blood vessels widen to create a better blood flow, and this is why our faces redden.

    An erythrophobic may not physically blush any deeper than the next person (and some people go a really dark shade without ever worrying about it). The difference is that an erythrophobic is excessively anxious about how they’re perceived – it’s actually a social phobia.

    Erythrophobia creates a vicious circle: the more you fear blushing, the more you blush, and so on. People who don’t experience it can be dismissive (“it’s only your face getting a bit red”). However, for the erythrophobe, blushes create overwhelming anxiety.

    It’s not an unusual phobia, and it’s something that hypnotherapy can help with.

    Overcoming blushing in meetings: a case study
    I’ve recently worked with a client to help her manage erythrophobia. In every way, she appeared to be a confident woman, and with no fear of blushing in social situations. However, she had become scared of contributing in work meetings in case she blushed. This had led to a negative forecasting tendency: people would judge her, she’d be viewed as incompetent. You can see her thought trail. My client felt it was limiting her career prospects and so she came for help.

    The role of catastrophising
    My client was so anxious that she started to catastrophise, which means that she focused on the worst possible outcomes. To the anxious mind, the route from a blush to a work demotion is a clear and sequential one. The fact that her colleagues probably wouldn’t even notice a blush ceased to compute once her brain set out along a negative forecasting path.

    How hypnotherapy helped manage her erythrophobia
    We needed to set her along a new pathway, using a mix of techniques. We discussed ways to convert negative thoughts into positive ones, including solution focused questioning, which helps create a vision of a preferred future outcome (such as being confidently involved in meetings). We then used trance work to strengthen new perceptions and goal opportunities we had discussed.

    I set my client “homework”. As well as listening to the audio I gave her every night, she was to focus and reflect on her successes at work each day. This positive focus strengthens neural pathways and encourages more of the ‘solution behaviour’ for example, the desired thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

    At the start of our sessions, we would discuss progress in the week since we last met. One day she replied “I’ve been in meetings, this week, and it was fine”. I asked her how she knew she was fine, and her answer was wonderful: “Well, I didn’t even think about me. My focus was on the meeting and I was so engrossed in the discussion that it was natural just to join in.” We built on that, setting realistic weekly goals. She’s now finished her therapy programme, and is happily contributing to meetings and getting the recognition she deserves.

    Click here to find a solution-focused hypnotherapist near you who can help you with phobias.

    Debbie Daltrey – Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapist
    Great Minds Clinic
    07724 855395

  • 02 May 2018 4:57 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Nicola Griffiths

    I’m frequently being asked if it matters if “I drop off to sleep during hypnosis”, or “how the brain can change by listening to a download when I’m asleep”? So I was delighted to see a recent bit of research on sleep, by Researcher Sid Kouider, which proved that I had for the last 10 years been answering the questions correctly!

    Using both MRI and EEG techniques, Kouider looked to see how humans process information, both consciously and unconsciously, and his studies demonstrated that during sleep the brain does not switch off, instead it is actively engaged in reviewing and storing memories.

    We already know how REM sleep works, that the brain is busy moving information from the emotional, primitive mind to the sensible, intellectual mind. How this happens is now being discovered and reported by Koudier in his work. During the pre-REM stage of sleep, not only can the brain extract meaning from acoustically presented information, but it can also prepare a response and come to a decision – all whilst we’re asleep!

    I recall some years ago a psychiatrist telling me that “If we relax before going to bed then we get a better night’s sleep”. Well my response was “No surprise there then”! Yet it constantly surprises me how people put themselves through the mental wringer of The News (whether on TV or radio), a thriller, or some such negative experience and then complain of insomnia.

    So next time someone says “Sweet dreams”, take it literally and think positive thoughts as you drift off. It’s far better to be processing good stuff than bad, therefore pick up a good non-frightening book, listen to some relaxing music, or better still, watch a good episode of old-fashioned comedy – my favourite at the moment is Yes Minister (By Jove they knew how to write a good comedy back then).

    Nicola Griffiths DHP, HPD MNCH, SFBT Sup (Hyp).
    Clinic Proprietor / Senior Lecturer / Clinical Hypnotherapist
    Cirencester Hypnotherapy & Health Centre
    84 Dyer Street, Cirencester, Glos GL7 2PF
    01285 652449

  • 03 Apr 2018 4:58 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Helen Rogers

    There’s no denying that smartphones and technology in general have made life a lot easier in some ways. It can also pave the way for stress, anxiety and insomnia.

    Research has suggested that the average person checks their smartphone up to 10,000 times per year – which works out at around 28 times per day.

    In this post I’m going to talk about the link between anxiety and digital distraction, and share some tips on how you can reduce your over reliance on technology.

    Why Technology Can Cause Anxiety and Insomnia

    A study by Anxiety UK found that regularly using technology increased anxiety, especially with regards to social networking. The behaviour of many of the participants became more negative and involved comparing themselves unfavourably to other people and finding it hard to switch off and relax. And if they couldn’t get online to check emails or social media, almost half of the the respondents experienced a spike in their anxiety levels.

    The study concluded that people who are prone to anxiety can find that technology acts as a catalyst that results in their anxiety becoming overwhelming.

    One of the reasons that technology can become addictive is the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) when you’re not online.

    Another factor is that we find it so hard to step back from technology. Researchers have suggested that we get a surge in dopamine levels every time we get a notification. Dopamine is linked to rewards and even addiction, especially if we expect the message to give us pleasure.

    “Blue light” from technology is another issue associated with technology and is linked to sleep problems in particular. It reduces melatonin levels, which means it’s harder to get to sleep and stay asleep causing insomnia.

    What to do about it

    Here are some of my tips for reducing digital anxiety:

    Turn off notifications: most of the time, you check your phone because it pinged. If you set notifications to silent, you might still feel obliged to check “just in case”, especially to begin with but this is likely to happen less often because your attention isn’t being drawn to your phone whenever a notification sounds.

    Check in every so often: if you can’t shut yourself off from your devices altogether to begin with, wean yourself off them bit by bit instead. Set an alarm to go off every 15 minutes and give yourself an opportunity to check in online for a brief minute or two each time it goes off. The idea is that you can gradually get used to going longer between check ins until you feel able to go up to an hour or two.

    Filter your emails: one of the biggest causes of digital distraction is the number of emails that come through in the average day and the compulsion to check them as soon as a notification pings. Setting up your emails to filter only the most important emails directly to you and arranging for the rest to go into folders to be viewed later can significantly reduce the amount of notifications you receive. You can then set time aside to view the less important emails rather than feeling compelled to look at them there and then.

    Limit “blue light”: With “blue light” being a problem for sleep, you don’t want to have too many devices in your bedroom or be active on them at the wrong time. Switching off devices at least an hour before bedtime limits the amount of “blue light” that you’re exposed to just before you go to bed. “Blue light” can affect the quality of your sleep, which can increase anxiety and encourage low mood – especially if you’re prone to worrying and negative thoughts. If you’re not currently affected by anxiety, insomnia can make you more likely to develop it.

    Try a digital detox: a short term digital detox can have a lot of benefits for your emotional wellbeing, including helping you to concentrate better, sleep better and be less stressed. Doing this for too long may not be that realistic if you need to stay connected for work but if you can do a digital detox for even 24 hours, it can help your mind to switch off. Even a couple of hours of digital detoxing on a regular basis can be great for your mental health.

    Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

    If this advice doesn’t help to reduce digital distraction, hypnotherapy could help.

    Hypnotherapy has a great success rate in treating stress and anxiety and can also help to break the habit of checking devices all the time.

    It can help you to get to the bottom of why you check your devices so much and provide tools and solutions to deal with the trigger(s) in different ways. You may not be consciously aware of what is behind it but emotions can often play a bigger role than you think.

    Take the first step towards reducing technology-related stress and anxiety by contacting your local solution-focused hypnotherapist.

    You can read the original blog here.

    Helen Rogers BA(Hons) DHP HPD MNCH(Reg)
    Lower Ground Floor, 5 College Fields, Clifton BS8 3HP
    10 Harbury Road, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4PL
    07915 093588

  • 05 Mar 2018 5:00 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Elizabeth Newton

    Thousands of people are stopping smoking every month and the good news is, you can too. Here are 10 things you perhaps didn’t know about smoking. All the more reason to make today the day YOU decide to quit for life.

    1.     We smoke as a result of both brainwashing and chemical addiction.

    2.     It is not as addictive as we are led to believe. Some scientists estimate the addictive element (nicotine) is only 10% addictive.

    3.     Most people who are hooked as adults disliked the taste of that first cigarette when they were adolescents.

    4.     There is evidence to show that substitutes for smoking, eg gums or patches, actually make stopping harder and pangs seem worse.

    5.     Cigarettes kill hundreds of thousands of people. This is more each year than heroin kills.
    stop smoking

    6.     The UK government makes £8,000,000,000 per annum out of nicotine addiction.

    7.     Smoking affects the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Regular smokers are up to 80% more likely to be diagnosed as clinically depressed than non-smokers.

    8.     Smoking is not a relaxant. It is a stimulant. Increasing blood pressure and putting extra strain on the cardiovascular system.

    9.     Smoking increases the chance of contracting 14 different types of cancer. (Not just the lungs)

    10.Cigarettes contain cyanide, lead, mercury, and carbon monoxide.

    Click here to find a solution-focused hypnotherapist near you who can help you to stop smoking.

    Elizabeth Newton – Clinical Hypnotherapist
    HPD, DSFH, AfSFH (Reg)
    Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex CM24 8AA
    twitter @freshleafhypno

  • 05 Feb 2018 5:01 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Trevor Eddolls

    Too many people decide that they want to make a change in their lifestyle and use the New Year as a way of making the required change. Or that’s what they plan to do. And sometime in January, too many people find that they haven’t succeeded in giving up alcohol, losing weight, stopping smoking, going to the gym, or whatever, and go back to their old lifestyle once more. So, how can people make and keep their resolutions?

    Firstly, many resolutions fail because:

    ·        They are based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change rather than what you feel you want to change.

    ·        They are too vague.

    ·        You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.

    The goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).

    There’s evidence to suggest that a person’s chances of success are greater when they channel their energy into changing just one aspect of their behaviour. So, it’s recommended that people make only one resolutions rather than lots.

    It seems that humans are driven by ‘loss aversion’, ie people are more motivated to recover a loss than they are to make gains. So, resolutions should be worded to recover something lost, eg an old hobby or a former level of fitness. They also must be realistic. Also, people are more likely to keep resolutions if they can see them as being somehow important to other people, according to Dr John Michael, a philosopher at Warwick University. Making resolutions public can help people keep them because the fear that people will think worse of them if they don’t see them through adds to their resolve.

    It’s also important to plan for what you want to achieve, identify any obstacles that you’ll meet, and identify ways round them. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, suggests thinking of New Year resolutions as New Year plans. He suggests that rather than setting a far off goal, eg running a marathon, it’s better to set an immediate plan that you can start straight away. So your marathon goal might begin with the goal of running half a mile every Monday morning, and building on that.

    Duhigg suggests breaking down a new habit into its three parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward. For running, a cue could be just putting on your running kit, even if, to begin with, you don’t go running. And then you get a reward, which helps your brain to establish the behaviour. These small steps can then build up to running a marathon.

    Implementation intentions is a technique that uses an ‘if-then’ structure. So a resolution might be to run half a mile on Monday mornings. The implementation intention could be: “If it’s Sunday night, then I will set my alarm 30 minutes earlier, so that I have time to run”. The rule is to identify the situations related to the cue in order to find the ‘ifs’ and link them to appropriate responses to make the ‘thens’. A recent study by Chris Armitage, professor of health psychology at the University of Manchester, found that 15% of smokers who formed implementations stopped smoking, compared with 2% of those who did not.

    One of the obstacles that people face, for example with running a marathon, is that running a mile may be OK, but they still have to run 25 miles more. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Consumer Research found that focusing on the smaller number in reaching a goal kept people more motivated. So, instead of looking at the big number left to get to a goal, look at what’s already been achieved. Later on, when that goal number is much smaller, focus on what little remains to achieve the goal.

    It’s interesting to note that a study by Marion Fournier, a lecturer at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, found simple habits form more quickly in the morning than in the evening. Researchers believe this may be to do with levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which tend to be highest when we wake up. Apparently, cortisol elevation changes the mechanisms in our brain, blocking the prefrontal cortex, resulting in a behaviour becoming habitual.
    Gabriele Oettingen, professor of psychology at New York University and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, suggest that people shouldn’t daydream about their future success because they’ll have less actual success. She suggests that it’s better to look at what obstacles are in the way and how to get over them – Oettingen calls this technique WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan):

    ·        Wish – what do you want?

    ·        Outcome – what would the ideal outcome be? What will your life look like when you hit your goal?

    ·        Obstacle – you know yourself. What will try to stop you? What has sidelined you before?

    ·        Plan – how will you get around it?

    Similarly, Gretchen Rubin, the author of Better than Before, suggests it’s crucial to avoid listening to the excuses that make our habits falter, such as the false choice loophole, eg you can’t go for a run tomorrow because you have to do X. Recognizing them in advance can make them less powerful, when you realize you’re doing it, you’re much more likely to resist.

    And should your New Year plan be flexible or rigid? In a 2015 study, researchers paid two groups of people to go to the gym for a month. Group 1 was paid if they started a workout within a two-hour window they chose in advance. The second group was paid whenever they went to the gym. The result after a month was that group 2 was more likely to stick with the gym habit. So be flexible with your new habit.

    In contrast, Prof Neil Levy at the University of Oxford suggests making detailed resolutions is important. For example, “I’ll go to the gym on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings”, is more likely to be successful than simply saying “I’ll go to the gym more”.

    And treat everything like an experiment. If something doesn’t work, then treat that as more data for what will finally work. Remember Edison took 200 (in some versions 1000) attempts to develop a working light bulb. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.

    For a New Year’s resolution to be successful, it needs to be as easy as possible. A study showed that people who travelled 8km to the gym went once a month, whereas people who travelled 6km went five or more times a month. “That 2km makes the difference between having a good exercise habit and not. That is how our habitual mind works – it has to be easy.

    And be kind to yourself. For many people, according to Dr Jessamy Hibberd, a clinical psychologist, the biggest obstacle to new habits is self-criticism. Study after study shows that self-criticism is correlated with less motivation and worse self-control, in contrast with being kind or supportive to yourself, as you would to a friend – especially when confronted with failure.

    Whatever you set as your goal, solution-focused hypnotherapy can help you to achieve it.


    Trevor Eddolls
    iTech-Ed Hypnotherapy
    Wilts SN14 0TL
    01249 443256

  • 03 Jan 2018 5:03 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Marcelle Crinean

    New research shows that almost two thirds (64%) of Brits are on a diet to lose weight “all or most of the time”. Of these, many achieve some weight loss by trying different diets but often end up in a yo-yo cycle where they start a diet, lose some weight, and then ‘fall off the wagon’ – either because they have unrealistic expectations about the diet or their weight loss goals, or the diet is just not sustainable. And the reality is that over 98% of people who lose weight on a diet gain the weight back within 2 years, and then some. In other words, diets don’t work – at least, not in the long term.

    If diets did work, and there was a magic pill or formula that allowed us to lose weight and keep it off, we’d all be doing it. And we wouldn’t have an ‘obesity epidemic’ where, in the UK, obesity prevalence has risen to 26%, such that 58% of women, 65% of men and 1 in 3 children are now classified as overweight or obese.*

    The thing is, we’re thinking about weight loss all wrong. Most people want to lose weight simply to get the weight (or fat) off. But here’s the rub – most of the time the weight is there for a reason. Excess weight or fat is a symptom, not the cause. If you lose the weight but don’t address the cause, the weight will come back.

    So, it’s not just about eating less calories or doing more exercise, or being a willpower weakling – we need to address the cause of our excess weight.

    So, what are some of the causes of excess weight? They might include:

    ·        Poor food choices

    ·        Emotional hunger

    ·        Too much stress

    ·        Lack of sleep

    ·        Overeating or binge-eating

    ·        Loneliness

    ·        Self-hatred

    ·        Lack of awareness or ‘mindless’ eating

    ·        Financial worries

    ·        Fear

    ·        Hormone imbalance

    ·        Someone else’s belief that we need to lose weight

    ·        A misguided self-belief that we need to lose weight

    ·        Past sexual abuse

    ·        Toxic or ‘crooked’ thoughts about ourselves and others

    ·        And many more!

    It’s time to understand that our issues with weight require a whole new approach. To truly lose weight and keep it off, we need to address the underlying issues – and this takes time and patience. There is no quick fix.

    If you want to learn more about how Hypnotherapy can help you address your underlying issues with weight, and help you lose weight and keep it off please get in touch. You can find an AfSFH hypnotherapist in your area by looking here.

    *Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet – England, 2016 [NS]. Publication date: April 28, 2016

    Marcelle Crinean, PhD, DSFH, AfSFH, MNCP, MNCH Reg., CNHC Reg.
    Brain Reframe (Weybridge, Surrey and Oxshott, Surrey)
    07968 910 009

  • 01 Dec 2017 5:05 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Claire Noyelle

    As a practising pharmacist, people are often visibly surprised that I would also be trained in something as ‘alternative’ as Hypnotherapy. And I admit, I was slightly cynical when I first started studying it at The Clifton Practice; right up until I actually started working with clients as a student practitioner and was quickly impressed with the real improvements my volunteer ‘guinea pigs’ made in just a few sessions. And the truth is, while there’s still huge amounts of work to be done in studying its potential, our particular branch of hypnotherapy has a vast amount of scientific research to validate its efficacy. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy has its roots in the American technique of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, but has been supercharged by adding the ancient and mystical powers of hypnosis…joke… there’s no mysticism to what I do with my hypnotherapy clients! It’s a therapy rooted in neuroscience and uses an understanding of how our brains work at both a structural and a cellular level to explain why we can behave as we do and how we are able to influence that to make lasting positive changes. And that’s what sold it to me – hard science.

    Hypnotherapy really isn’t something mystical or mysterious, relying on superstition and sleight of hand, but something validated by the most modern of research techniques and with an evidence base that’s growing all the time. Whilst I don’t actually offer hypnotherapy during my hours of work as a pharmacist, I often wish I could. There are so many patients I see that I know could and would benefit from adding hypnotherapy to their standard NHS treatment, and the bonus for me – and them! – is that there are no known side effects to hypnotherapy. Modern medicine uses powerful, scientifically tested and effective drugs to treat many different health problems, but many of these drugs have significant side effects that limit their use, or reduce their benefit to the person being treated. In some cases, the patient may need to be prescribed other drugs to counteract these side effects when it’s vital to continue taking the original drug. Hypnotherapy on the other hand, is safe for just about anyone. Age isn’t relevant, neither is high blood pressure, heart failure or any other health issues such as cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, asthma, diabetes or even cancer. In fact, there’s no real physical limits to its use, which is why it’s becoming such a valuable technique to those aware of its potential.

    Hypnotherapy, for me, really shines in the treatment of conditions such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and many other stress-related conditions – interestingly, the very conditions which standard prescription medication struggles to deal with. While it would be unethical (and potentially harmful in the short term) to suggest to all my patients taking medication for these conditions that they should simply stop them straightaway, and come to see me instead, there IS a real role for hypnotherapy in their treatment. For example, the current ‘NICE’ guidelines, followed by the NHS itself, recommend hypnotherapy as an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As sufferers know, IBS is often triggered or made worse by emotional distress, so hypnotherapy can help sufferers deal with flare-ups more effectively than using the next best treatment of anti-spasmodic tablets and restrictive diets. And that’s the clincher. Hypnotherapy can be more than just a supportive add-on therapy, softening the impact of conditions like depression, eating disorders, anxiety & IBS – it is a real standalone treatment in its own right, often acting more rapidly and effectively than antidepressants, the current drugs of choice for such issues. Let’s look at the way depression itself is treated for a moment. More and more people are being prescribed antidepressants than ever before – I counsel several of my pharmacy patients on their new medications every day. A report from the government’s Health & Social Care Information Centre says the number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in England has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2015, there were 61.0 million antidepressant items prescribed – 31.6 million (107.6 per cent) more than in 2005 and 3.9 million (6.8 per cent) more than in 2014. Unsurprisingly, there’s a huge cost associated with this – it’s risen by £19.7 million (7.4 per cent) to £284.7 million, meaning that in 2015, antidepressants cost the NHS £780,000 per day. There’s a huge social burden associated with this, too – many depression sufferers are unable to work for extended periods, causing problems with their employment as well as adding financial pressures to the stress of being unwell. It’s no wonder so many people visit their GP, desperate for support and relief, and after the briefest of chats with their stressed, time pressured doctor, end up with a prescription for ‘tablets’. These can often include sleeping tablets or other additional sedatives for anxiety as well as an antidepressant.

    In line with World Health Organisation guidelines, and those adopted by the NHS/NICE, most are on their medication for at least a year, (often several years) for fear of a relapse if they should stop. While it’s understandable to want ‘happy pills’ or a ‘quick fix’, antidepressants can actually take up to three weeks before they show an effect, while the side effects include nausea, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, heart beat irregularities and, worryingly, suicidal thoughts, especially in younger patients. Taking sedative medicines for long periods can often lead to dependency and abuse, not to mention unpleasant withdrawal effects. Contrast this with hypnotherapy sessions – my clients report feeling better after their first hypnotherapy consultation with me, as I have been able to explain to them exactly what’s going on in their brain to make them feel so low, and how, by working together with me, they can help themselves feel better. And that’s the difference. Hypnotherapy teaches the client themselves how to make their brain work better, from the very first session onwards, in an environment where they’re not rushed in & out in 10 minutes, without any nasty side effects or potential dependency. After around four weekly sessions, when antidepressants are perhaps only just starting to kick in, at the time when most GP’s are issuing another antidepressant prescription, my clients have made real, positive changes and are feeling better about themselves and their ability to cope with things, making real progress towards a depression-free future. And whilst medication certainly has its place, I think we will see that Hypnotherapy also has a significant role to play – something I sincerely hope to see expanding in the future.

    Claire Noyelle / Clinical Hypnotherapist
    MRPharmS BSc.(Hons) DSFH HPD MNCH (Reg.) AfSFH (Reg.)
    Inspired to Change (Maidstone East)
    07712 220880

  • 03 Nov 2017 5:06 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Adam Pearson

    A mathematician recently noted that if you take six standard LEGO blocks there are 915 million ways of putting them together. And hence I suppose the choice: follow the instructions, or go solo – either way you’re bound to come up with something fun! Applying this to our lives, we can all no doubt remember times when things just seemed to fall into place … when out of the hundreds of millions of possible answers we just seemed to arrive at the right one … right?

    One way to achieve more is to USE the LEGO sets in our brains. There are three things we can do to make the most of the absurd collection of multicoloured blocks in our heads:

    1.     Understand it;

    2.     See ourselves using it; and

    3.     Enjoy the journey!

    It is useful to understand that the brain is a bunch of LEGO blocks. There are 100 billion of them and each one has thousands of connectors (known as axons and dendrites), so the possibilities are effectively endless.

    This is why we need focus. When we see ourselves doing or achieving the things we want, we are setting out specific and unambiguous instructions to the subconscious brain, which acts like a perfect team saying “OK boss, leave it to us. We’ll get it done”, and we are sometimes surprised at how quickly the team delivers. LEGO, the company, very nearly went bust in the 1990s, losing focus and control of everything from theme parks to the colours of its blocks. A new CEO saw the future quite differently (simple colours, social input into design, girls as customers). It’s now the No 1 toy company in the world.

    Finally, it’s when we enjoy ourselves that we are most effective and our visions most likely to come to reality. Enjoyment is essentially evolutionary encouragement. Positive activity, interaction, and thought are enjoyable precisely because they produce chemical responses in our minds that encourage more of the same – and that’s good for our survival. Perhaps the little people with removable hair and hooks for hands (who now outnumber humans in the world by the way!) are onto something – thanks to them there is now even a Professor of Play at Cambridge University.

    We all have lots of LEGO in our heads – let’s USE it!

    Adam Pearson
    Newquay Hypnotherapy
    1 Towan Heights
    St Georges Road
    Newquay TR7 1RD
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  • 06 Sep 2017 5:08 PM | Helen Green (Administrator)

    Written by Trevor Eddolls

    One problem that many people have is that they tend to think that the road to success starts here and ends there – ie, it’s a fairly straight route. The truth is, for most success stories, that people set out on one road and met failure, they then set out on another road, and met failure, and they kept giving it a go until they arrived at the success they were aiming at. And it’s important for people to bear in mind, when thinking about how successful they’ve been at making changes in their own lives, that this is so often the case.

    Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look at some examples…

    This person wasn’t able to speak until he was almost four years old, and his teachers said that he wouldn’t amount to much. Who was he? Albert Einstein. And you don’t need to be a theoretical physicist to have heard of him.

    Or this man, who was sacked from a newspaper for lacking imagination and having no original ideas. He was Walt Disney. Or this woman – she was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she wasn’t fit for television. She’s Oprah Winfrey. Or this person who was told by a teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything and that he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality. That was Thomas Edison. Or the would-be author whose first book was rejected by 27 publishers. That was the best-selling children’s author, Dr Seuss. Or what about the man whose fiancé died, who failed in business, who had a nervous breakdown, and who lost eight elections? That was Abraham Lincoln, who went on to be the 16th US president. Or you might be more familiar with the guy, aged 30, who was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he’d started. That was Steve Jobs and Apple.

    If you like sport, there was the lad who was dropped from his high school basketball team, who went home, locked himself in his room, and cried. That was Michael Jordan, six times NBA champion, five times NBA MVP, and four times NBA all-star. Or the 11-year-old boy who was dropped from his football team after being diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency that made him smaller than most children his age. That was Lionel Messi, who became three times FIFA world player of the year.

    Then there was the high school dropout, whose personal struggle with drugs and poverty culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. That was Eminem, who became a 13 times Grammy award winner. Perhaps, most famously, was the popular beat combo, who were rejected by Decca recording studios because they didn’t like their sound. Decca added that the band had no future in show business. That was The Beatles, arguably the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in history

    The argument is that if you haven’t failed, you’ve haven’t tried anything new. So maybe, you can get control of your life and go on to become a great success in some area of your choice.

    But how can you motivate yourself? The argument is usually between the carrot and the stick approach. You motivate someone away from pain and towards pleasure. With the stick you threaten them with something bad unless they start to improve. With the carrot you dangle a reward in front of them if things go well. But first it’s important to identify your particular goal and then work out the stepping stones along the way to achieving it, so that no step is too far or too hard, but all those small steps put together lead to a much bigger change in your attitude and behaviour, and soon your goal is achievable.

    And while not everyone can be an Edison or Einstein, It’s important not to write yourself off as talentless. Make sure you use every opportunity to explore what talents you have and what they can bring to overcoming whatever issues may seem to be preventing you achieving your goal. And then visualize successfully achieving each step on the way to your ultimate success.

    Trevor Eddolls
    iTech-Ed Hypnotherapy
    Wilts SN14 0TL
    01249 443256

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