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Fears and Phobias

A phobia is an irrational fear, literally a fear without good reason, or a fear of something that may not happen. People with phobias often experience unwanted responses to animals, objects, insects, actions or places.

This physical response is known as a stress response; people often describe their reaction to something as being “paralysed with fear” or “having butterflies in my stomach”, “just wanting to run away” from whatever is triggering the response.

Phobias are far more common than many people realise. Generally people manage their phobia on a day-to-day basis and only seek help from a hypnotherapist when it prevents them doing something they want to do, or when they know a situation will force them to face it. People are also aware of the possibility of unconsciously passing on their phobias to their children, who learn from their behaviour.

People often say to a hypnotherapist, “you’re my last resort” or “my final hope”. The most common phobias seen by hypnotherapists are: fear of flying, claustrophobia, fear of sickness (often linked to social phobias), fear of insects, fear of heights, fear of needles, fear of dentists, fear of pregnancy and fear of water.

An irrational fear of something is a learned behaviour, sometimes from a parent or a respected friend or relative. It is part of the body’s natural defence system: often phobias are exaggerated fears of evolutionary memories; imprints on our brains that help protect us through caution, making us innately aware of something that could harm us.

How do you treat phobias?

Generally, the solution is to see that phobia in a different context starting from an objective perspective and then gradually building up exposure from a minimal to comfortable level.

By using hypnosis this can be done rapidly as the unconscious mind is able to process information more effectively without the interference of the critical mind. This is a known as desensitization.

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Stress and Anxiety

We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us. While some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress and this can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

You may be one of those people but now you feel ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life, free to do things that bring you inner peace.

Anxiety and stress can manifest itself differently for everyone but common physical signs of anxiety or stress are : racing heartbeat, an urge to pass urine/empty bowels, tremors, sweating, panic attacks and insomnia.

Common psychological signs of stress and anxiety are:

  • Inner tension
  • Agitation
  • Fear of losing control
  • Irrational dread that something catastrophic is going to happen (such as blackout, seizure, heart attack or death)
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Phobias and fears

It could be an event is causing your anxiety, such as an exam, an Interview, speeches and presentations for work or occasions, flying or sports competitions.

Anxiety can also manifest itself in different worries; it may be fear of being around other people, it may be anxiety in specific social situations, anxiety in your relationships with particular people at home, at school or at work.

Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this. The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or “fight-or-flight”. This is a primal response that protects you against threats in your environment, so if danger is present your body triggers a rush of blood to your arms and legs so that you can fight or run away. It is an adrenaline response that causes your heart to beat faster, pumping oxygen around your body to those parts that need it to protect you. You may feel as if you are on high alert as well, unable to calm down or relax, your mind may race unable to focus or quieten down.

It is a normal part of the human protection system to experience this fight-or-flight response, but only when there is real and present danger. To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety. It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as “free floating” anxiety.

So why is it important to reduce anxiety in your life? What difference will it make to you? Research shows that prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress related hormones can cause:

  • Memory problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weaker bones
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Reduce fertility

How can hypnotherapy help?

As a hypnotherapist I can help asses the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.

Then I will set you a goal asking how you wish to feel, how you would like to be, and things that you would chose to do in your life if you were free of anxiety. Then I will work with you to reach your goals using a range of different and unique techniques.

After the hypnotherapy session you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.

It is as if hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious.

 

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Bereavement and Grief

What is grief?

Grief describes the numerous thoughts and feelings we experience when we lose something or someone we love and value. Grieving comes in many forms and may not necessarily involve the death of a person, although this is the most widely known cause of bereavement; we can find ourselves grieving at the end of a relationship or a friendship, at the loss of a job or of financial security, after a miscarriage, because of infertility, or because of serious illness or disability – our own or someone we love; or even at the death of a pet. The more central to our lives the thing we have lost, the greater the sense of loss and grief.

Grief Stages

Although the experience of grief is absolutely natural and normal, and something which everyone goes through at some point in their lives, it is nonetheless extremely difficult and painful. And although we all go through the process of grieving, each individual experiences it differently

Stages can include initial shock, denial and disbelief, followed by suffering, sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety and, finally, recovery. However many people don’t in fact experience every single emotion which are stated to be part of the grief stages, and very few people experience them in the order in which they’re set out. It can even make you feel worse if you try to fit your own feelings into this sort of pattern, and find that they don’t match. This can lead to a feeling of isolation and of guilt that you are failing to grieve “properly”.

Many people feel guilt at things they did or didn’t say or do; feelings of anger and blame are also common, as is increased anxiety and stress. You may suffer anxiety about how you will cope without the person you have lost, about your own health, about dying, about financial insecurity, or about the loss of your place in the world. You may lose confidence and self esteem, or develop a fear of loneliness. You may also experience physical symptoms of grief – loss of appetite, weight loss or weight gain, sickness, fatigue, sleeplessness, increased susceptibility to illness. Hypnotherapy can give you positive suggestions to help cope with anxiety, insomnia, deep sadness and depression and other symptoms of grieving; it can reduce feelings of guilt and blame, and help you to find ways to cope in the future. It can give you suggestions to encourage you to look after your physical health. Hypnosis can also help you to begin to move on, to begin to live your life again and to learn to enjoy yourself once more without feeling guilty. It can help you to find ways to remember the person you have lost, and to still feel that they are part of you and part of your life. Hypnosis also helps to rebuild confidence when you have suffered the loss of a job or financial security, and to get rid of anxiety and insecurity when you are getting over the loss of a relationship or the death of a pet. Hypnosis helps you to regain confidence, enthusiasm, and motivation in your daily life.

Sometimes we just need a little help saying goodbye, healing and moving forward with our lives. During hypnotherapy I will endeavour to help you find peace and acceptance at this difficult time.

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Problem Behaviours

A problem behaviour can be defined as an unwanted habit or addiction; something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about.

Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common, but there are many other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.

If you have an unwanted habit or behaviour, it may often feel as if you are out of control, that there is someone else or something inside of you that is making you do this. A “little voice” that always tells you to do something when you don’t want to do it. But that little voice is part of you and is part of your protection system.

As a species we evolved to survive and thrive so our subconscious, the heart of our being, is always creating mechanisms that support this. However, sometimes things get distorted and what your subconscious thinks is a protection mechanism becomes an unwanted habit that causes you upset rather than allowing you to survive and thrive.

The good news is that you are in control, you can change how you react to certain situations, and you can protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you to succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can.

The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently.

Just a few examples of bad habits that can be worked on with hypnosis are:

  • Smoking
  • Over eating, poor relationship with food and weight gain
  • Biting nails
  • Teeth grinding
  • Addictions (drinking & drug use)
  • Sexual performance

Overeating and Weight loss

If you are overeating, you may find you are nourishing yourself with food, rather than love. Of course, we all need nourishment, we just need to discover the healthiest and happiest way to nourish ourselves.

When you come to see me for weight loss I will ask you lots of questions about when you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits and avoid doing exercise.

I will then put together a programme of treatment that will motivate you to exercise more and eat less. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.

Stopping smoking

Imagine how different your life would be if you stopped smoking, what you would gain ?It is important to understand your motivation for giving up, in order to give up.

I am an ex-smoker, having smoked for many years, so I totally empathize with smokers. I also went to stop smoking with a hypnotherapist over 20 years ago and became a non-smoker then and I still feel very proud of myself for achieving this. I still have the confidence I had found to becoming a permanent non-smoker. This was the reason I decided to train and become a hypnotherapist and feel passionate about passing on these feelings and achievement to all you non-smokers to be. 

A great number of people find hypnotherapy for smoking an effective treatment. The method works to break the negative behaviours and thinking patterns associated with smoking. The thoughts and behaviours the smoker holds is often what prevents them from successfully giving up.

When a person makes the decision to stop smoking, the key aspect is to let go of the routine and change their perspective of cigarettes. Breaking a habit like this is a challenge. Many people find changing how they think about something difficult. As hypnotherapy focuses on this change, it has become one of the most popular forms of treatment.

When considering stop smoking, the first thing the person has to do is make sure they are choosing to quit for themselves. Hypnosis for smoking has been found to be most effective when the person really wants to quit.

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Physical Conditions that can be treated with hypnotherapy

Hypnosis has proved successful with more than just obvious areas such as stopping smoking or stopping unwanted habits. It has also been shown to successfully treat physical issues as well. Common conditions that have responded well to hypnosis and shown significant improvement include:

  • Irritable bowel Syndrome
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Weight management
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Pain management

Often, physical conditions are exacerbated by underlying stress or anxiety. If you suffer from any of these conditions you may have begun to notice a pattern in your symptoms, that they are often related to more demanding or stressful periods in your life.

Hypnosis can help you identify these triggers and to stop them happening.

 

Skin Conditions

Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have also responded well to hypnosis. Treatment for skin conditions will often be focused on visualisations of the problem behind the problem – e.g. stress. You might then be taught self-hypnosis and other techniques for reducing this stress in your life.

 

Insomnia

Insomniacs generally respond very well to hypnosis. I can create a programme of personalised treatment that identifies your sleeping patterns and teaches you self-management techniques which make a big difference not just to how long you sleep but the quality of sleep you enjoy.

Pain management

Hypnotherapy is often highly effective in dealing with pain management. In fact, people often undergo surgery and dental work using hypnosis as an anesthetic! Hypnosis techniques can be taught to you by your therapist to help you manage chronic pain as well as pain post-surgery. It has also been shown to reduce the post-operative recovery time on some surgical procedures. By using certain visualisations it can help the process of healing and managing  treatment in a gentle, empowering way.

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Past Lives

You only live once … Or do you? Does a past life influence our present, every day lives? Do you sometimes wonder where a certain habit, fear, or other unusual behaviour comes from? Why do we think we’ve been somewhere before? Perhaps we have!

Past life regression is an exciting trip into your own past lives, unlocking doors in your mind that open other worlds, worlds that were yours in another time.

Regardless of personal beliefs, past life regression can work for everyone, so the important thing is to accept it and enjoy the benefits that it brings.

Reasons you may want to explore past life regression:

  • Maybe you are just curious
  • It is possible that trauma experienced in past lives may affect a person in this life.

Understanding past life regression can help to alleviate fear of death for many people, to believe there may be something after this life can be of great help.

Regression is a technique used to take you back through time, so far back in time that the memories of your life are rediscovered and explored.

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