Cogntive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) is hypnosis combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.    CBH is based on the principle that hypnotic states are a normal part of existence and whenever you arrive at your destination without having consciously driven there, you have been accessing a form of hypnosis.  Similarly if you lose yourself in a book or film to the extent that you forget the characters and action are not real, then you have had a form of hypnotic experience.  Hypnosis is then a naturally occurring state that:


  • has an intention or goal
  • harnesses the imagination
  • requires a relaxed but focused  alertness to what is happening


In CBH clients are aware of what is happening, are able to respond and remember most of what occurs because they are using their own minds and imaginations to create the results they want.  The hypnotherapist is merely the facilitator.    The approach is collaborative and therefore less directive than some forms of hypnotherapy.   I always teach the client self-hypnosis techniques and this means that outside the therapy room, the client can practise the new behaviours or perspectives, and apply the techniques to  other problematic situations.    This makes treatment very good value for the client.


It is a problem solving approach and whilst this may make it seem less magical than stage hypnotism and it is important to realise that whilst hypnotherapy is very helpful  in smoothing the path of change, and can often seem magical, it is not a magic wand in that it cannot make you do anything you do not want to do.   This means that you must be ready to change and willing to behave differently and try new ideas.  Believe it or not, those people up there clucking like chickens do actually want to be there, curious as it may seem.  All  successful hypnosis depends on the individual cooperating with the hypnotist.


I have used CBH very successfully for a number of problems including  weight loss, smoking, anxiety,  confidence building and habit control.  It also works well alongside mindfulness based practice which is another well-researched and effective method of stress reduction.   If  ou wish to know more about how CBH could help  you, get in touch soon.


New Years, New Starts

I can’t quite remember when exactly we all start abandoning  our new year’s resultions but I think it is about now.  Personally, I always find September a better time for resolutions which I think must hark back to the new school term.  Still, that’s me.  If your resolutions are beginning to falter, then you might like to spend a bit of time thinking about why.  In my experience there are several common reasons why people fail to implement their plans.  Here are some things to consider if you are at the stage of reviewing/relinquishing your previous resolutions


Do you really want to do it?

Not as daft as it sounds.  Many people resolve to be the person they feel (in their dreams) they should be.  Or they are responding to someone else’s idea about who they should be or what they should be doing.    Research shows that to really succeed you need to be internally motivated which means in effect that you are doing it for yourself.  If your goals are the same every year, and you never achieve them, reconsider your goals.


Is it overwhelming?

Much better to make a small change that sticks rather than create a grand plan, and feel exhausted before you start.  Think small if thinking big creates paralysis.


Is it too dull?

Change requires effort and so if a goal does not enthuse you, it will be difficult to get started and certainly difficult to keep going.  Focus on the ends, not the means and remind yourself, when you waver, why it is important to you.


Is it important enough?

As I have already said, change requires effort and commitment so if a goal does not matter enough, you aren’t going to focus on it.  You need space in your life to make changes and if you don’t have it, then your first priority is to create the time and resources you are going to need.


Are you trying to do too many things at once?

Far be it from me to tell you how much you can cope with but given that time and effort is required, be realistic about what you can achieve.    Would it work best for you to concentrate on making one big change in one area of your life or would it be better to take small steps in three different areas?


Notice how you feel

As you consider  your options, notice how you feel .  This is important feedback.  Many people don’t pay any attention to how something feels but as humans we tend to move towards pleasure and away from pain.  As you think about your plans do you feel: excited, exhilarated, determined, depressed, bored, bewildered,  focused, frantic, challenged, chilled, stressed or calm.  You get the idea.  The thing to do is to relax, think about your plan and notice the first thing that pops into your head or that you feel in your body.


Way before you get round to the SMART aspects of your planning you need to make sure that

  • It’s for you and nobody else
  • It excites or interests you
  • It is important to you
  • You have the physical and mental resources right now
  • It feels good






The Art of Illusion – Slender Dressing

This refers to clothes not salads. You will know instinctively that there are some outfits that make you feel slimmer and which attract more compliments. Everyone needs a couple of these outfits in their wardrobes for those days when we need an extra boost. One idea is to dress in one colour head to toe – and I don’t mean only in black. One colour dressing avoids breaking the body up so the eye travels up and down much more quickly. If you want to break up the look, add colour high up the body with accessories – a scarf, necklace or eye-catching earrings.

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Beware old ladies in car parks

You know that life is getting more stressful when you witness, as I did last week in a car park, an elderly and rather frail looking lady battering the window of a 4 x 4 with her handbag.  I only saw this part of the interaction so have no idea what offence the hapless driver of the  4 x 4 might have committed.  Suffice to say she looked nonplussed, though luckily her window was up she was safe.

Stress is sometimes hard to pin down as it is our response to events, rather than the events themselves, that cause stress.  Therefore our stressors are many and varied.  Whatever the cause of the stress, the sight of a spider or car park rage, the effects on the body are the same.  Once the fight or flight mechanisms are activated we need to use up the stress hormones released or they begin to harm our bodies.  The stress response is activated in an instant and research shows that even mild stress affects the cortisol levels (one of the stress hormones) in our saliva immediately.

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