I use a combination of coaching and cognitive hypnotherapy because it is such a powerful and effective combination which means that you can bring about the changes you want so much more quickly.
I recommend four to six sessions to begin with but you may need more or less depending on what you would like to work on and how quickly you want to bring about change. Everyone is individual so I would always go at your speed.
What is coaching?
What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy?
Maybe you haven’t encountered hypnosis before or you’ve seen it on stage as entertainment. For this reason a lot of people tend to think of hypnosis as something that is ‘done to them’.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Cognitive Hypnotherapy we see the trance state as something we’ve been doing to ourselves all of our lives – think about daydreaming. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is quite unique and is an effective combination of the best from neuroscience, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, Gestalt, Traditional Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).
Watch this three-minute animation where Trevor Silvester, the founder of the renowned Quest Institute, describes exactly what cognitive hypnotherapy is:
Everyone goes in and out of natural hypnotic trances every day, without perhaps knowing it. Have you ever been so absorbed in a book or film that you’re surprised at how the hours seemed to fly by? Have you ever driven from A to B and not remembered anything of the drive? But, if something surprising had happened you would have been instantly alert and able to respond to it, wouldn’t you? This is an example of everyday trance we all experience. Hypnosis is no different; it’s simply an altered, but completely natural, state of awareness.
You see, the things that we are most likely to call ‘problems’ are negative everyday trance states, we’ve ‘done’ them on autopilot because somehow the wrong programming got put into our unconscious software. Think of someone jumping or screaming when they see a spider, they do this automatically because it is a trigger response from the unconscious. If you’re not scared of spiders this might seem a stupid reaction, because you don’t have that bit of software.
So Cognitive Hypnotherapy aims to ‘re-programme’ your unconscious in a very safe way that’s right for you, so that after a while it becomes more and more normal for you to live life more happily, whatever that is for you.
Will I lose control in any way?
No, you’re in control at all times. A hypnotherapist doesn’t have any control over you and you can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do. I won’t make you dance like a chicken or act like a washing machine or any other silly, sensational things you may have seen in stage(d) shows.
Why is Cognitive Hypnotherapy different?
Clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy is a generic term use for hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. These methods tend to be focused on the problem so all clients with the same issue tend to be treated in the same way. Cognitive Hypnotherapy is different. Unlike many hypnotherapists, as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist I approach everyone, and their problem, as unique, requiring an approach entirely tailored to you and your needs. Although the results can sometimes be spectacularly quick, we never go faster than is right for you so that looking back you’ll realise why we went at the pace we did. The pace that’s right for the changes you want to make.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy combines the best from other therapies which, combined with my corporate and public sector work experience here in the UK and around the globe, many years as a nurse, coaching qualifications and just an awful lot of general life experience, gives me a wide range or tools and techniques to draw on to help you achieve your outcome.
By identifying unconscious patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviours related to your issue I create a programme especially for you to guide you towards the solution that you want. I can’t tell you exactly what I would do in a session as everyone’s needs are different – therefore your therapy programme will be unique to you. You’re a person, not a label.
Why do we work with the unconscious mind?
90% of your behaviour happens without you having to think about it, driven by your unconscious mind rather than your conscious mind. We consciously learn something and then that runs as a programme in the unconscious mind. This is how habits are formed. Most of the time that works for us, we don’t have to think about how to put our socks on every morning, or brush our teeth.
But we can also learn a negative behaviour pattern, which can run automatically, for example we may have been bitten by a dog when we were little so our unconscious tells us that all dogs are dangerous. Not true obviously and not always helpful. But if the subconscious has laid down this belief then every time we see a dog it will trigger the stress response to keep us safe. The subconscious doesn’t care if we are happy, embarrassed, inconvenienced by the response – its’ primary concern is to keep us safe and it does it in the only way it knows how, priming us to run, fight or freeze.
So although we consciously want to change, unconsciously the programme continues to run without you even being aware it’s there. This is when you might find yourself looking back and saying
‘What’s the matter with me?
Why do I keep acting/feeling/behaving in this way?
It’s stupid/embarrassing/childish etc.’
Stop beating yourself up. It’s not your fault. Your unconscious is just doing its job. Because of this, talking alone or trying to solve things on a conscious level doesn’t really work, or works for a short time and then you slip back into old unhelpful habits and ways of thinking or behaving. It’s frustrating isn’t it? The key to lasting change resides at an unconscious level and this is why Cognitive Hypnotherapy is so effective.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Yes, anyone can be hypnotised, provided that they want to be. No one can be hypnotised against their will.
I’m not sure I want to go into things that happened in the past
‘Sometimes the best thing about the past is that it’s over’, according to Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP.
You can’t change the past, but you might be surprised at how powerful it can be to go there to change the effect that it’s having on the present. But you don’t have to tell me anything about it if you don’t want to. We can work on issues from the past without my knowing the detail, or we can just focus on the present and the future.
What is a hypnotherapy session like?
In the first session we’ll talk about your problem and where you want to get to because, unless we know where you want to go how would we know when you get there?
You might be concerned because you’re not sure how to explain your problem, but don’t worry. I’m an ex-nurse and I’m used to talking with people. I’ll guide you with questions and put you at ease so that you feel comfortable expressing yourself in your own way.
Most people are surprised at how much clarity they begin to get simply by answering questions and having the time and space to talk completely honestly about things they may never before have said out loud.
Don’t worry, it’s all confidential and, as you can see from my photograph, I’ve been around the block a bit and I’ve experienced life so I doubt if you will shock me. Interest me yes, but shock me, no.
At this time we’ll also discuss your personal treatment plan and you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions. Then in subsequent sessions we’ll use powerful techniques to move you forward.
Depending on which package you choose you also have the option to have a personalised recording of hypnotic suggestions to listen to at home to help the changes stick and inter-session tasks and motivational emails or messages.
If you want to know how it feels watch this video of someone describing her experience.
How many sessions will I need?
This is a difficult one to answer as everyone is different and each problem is unique. I would usually recommend around six sessions. However, it varies according to your problem and your aims so this is something we would discuss before we begin and also during your therapy.
How much does it cost?
That depends on what your issue is and how many sessions I feel you may need. To begin with we would work together over four sessions paid for in advance and then you can add sessions as you need. But some issues, like phobias and smoking have their own price band. It’s best to speak to me and we can discuss this – don’t be shy about talking about money. It’s important but it’s also important for you to overcome your problems and move on. Cognitive Hypnotherapy doesn’t tend to be long term therapy so, although it may sound more expensive than some other therapies, the results are generally quicker and more long lasting.
Where’s the evidence that it works?
The school I trained with, Quest, is the only hypnotherapy organisation and training school that has evidence-based research specific to and whose in-house-funded research project is listed with NICE in their research area.
Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy (QCH) launched a unique research project in 2011. Using a team of QCH therapists, clients with anxiety and depression were assessed using the same outcome measures currently used to assess the effectiveness of talking therapies within the NHS. The pilot study was published in the Mental Health Review Journal in 2015. It recorded that, using 118 cases measuring the effectiveness of Cognitive Hypnotherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety, 71% considered themselves recovered after an average of 4 sessions. This compared to an average of 42% for other approaches using the same measures (like CBT). To our knowledge, this is the only hypnotherapy approach to have been validated in this way. For further information concerning the research project and pilot study released in the Mental Health Review Journal please visit the evidence-based therapy research page.
You can read more information about the research project here: cognitive hypnotherapy research overview
What are your qualifications?
My relevant qualification include Diploma in Cognitive Hypnotherapy having trained at the prestigious Quest Institute in London. I am registered with the National Council of Hypnotherapists, the Complimentary and National Healthcare Council and fully insured. I am also a qualified Transformational Coach, a member of the Association of Professional Coaches and Trainers and an approved Institute of Environmental Health Trainer.
I am a former Registered Nurse and Health and Safety Inspector with a specialism in Stress Management.