Study suggests that stress in pregnancy ‘makes child personality disorder more likely’

I came across an interesting  article on the BBC website today about a research study which suggests that the children of women who experience severe stress when pregnant are nearly 10 times more likely to develop a personality disorder by the age of 30.   Even moderate prolonged stress may have an impact on child development and continue after a baby’s birth, the research study said.

The study involved more than 3,600 pregnant women in Finland in 1975 and 1976 who were asked about their stress levels thoughout their pregnancy, and their children were followed up. Of course the study is only indicative and other factors such as upbringing, physical health,  traumatic life events and family break ups could have played a part. It does however seem self evident (to me at least!) that amount of cortisol and other neurochemicals that high stress levels creates would significantly increase the risk of harm to the brain and emotional development of a baby.

So while not conclusive it is a useful warning about the need for pregnant women to be aware of the effects of stress and to seek help as necessary to minimise stress during pregnancy. I shall be interested to see if the publicity this study generates brings an increase in the number of pregnant clients who come to me for help to prevent and manage stress.



Self hypnosis and other thoughts – my article in the Sheffield Telegraph

This week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by local newspaper journalist Nik Farah and her resulting article about me features in the Sheffield Telegraph today (18 July 2019). It gives some insights into my journey to becoming a hypnotherapist, the power of hypnosis (including self hypnosis) and  I also share some of my thoughts on the misuse of smartphones and the alarming rise in the number of children with mental health problems. As followers of my posts will know, both issues are subjects close to my heart.

The article begins ….”When it comes to the misconceptions surrounding hypnotism – movies and stage performers have a lot to answer for,” laughs Gerry McAuley.  Click here to read the rest of the article.


My BBC Radio Sheffield interview on 4 July 2019

The 4th of July is a very memorable day for the USA, and it is now also a memorable day for me as I appeared for the first time on live radio. It was an interesting experience sitting in a studio with a large microphone looming large in the eyes.  The interview includes the play of one of my favourite songs  and is here if you would like to listen.


8 Steps to overcome overwhelmedness

As well as being a hypnotherapist and life coach, I also work with a great bunch of people in The Change Maker Group, one of whom (a marvellous woman called Vanda North) has just posted a really nteresting and useful short post on simple, practical ways you can help yourself when you have too much to do or are overloaded with information or  emotional issues (or are experiencing all three!).

You can read Vanda’s post by clicking here



Scientific study in Belgium shows the power of hypnosis in healthcare

Interesting article in the Telegraph yesterday (2 June 19) entitled….“Hypnotise older patients undergoing minor operations instead of using anaesthetics, study says” 

The research, involving surgeons at a hospital in Belgium, showed how hypnosis not only avoided the need for heavy sedation and its side effects, but also improved recovery times.  This finding echoes the findings of other scientific studies, for example use of hypnosis in treatment of cancer patients, about how of hypnosis can help patients to use the power of the unconscious mind for healing.


Sleep Is Your Superpower

Click here to watch this excellent Ted Talk from Matt Walker, an English scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and he is also the founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. His research focuses on the impact of sleep on human health and disease and his work reveals the true impact of the widespread sleep deprivation in our modern world and the threat this poses to health, including long term mental impairment. 

Sleep problems is one of the most common conditions I treat today and am glad to say with great success. So for anyone who is not getting a regular 8 hours of quality sleep per night, this talk should be a wake up call to get this sorted as soon as possible and prevent the very real and truly scary consequences of sleep deprivation.





You do have a thinking gut! How gut directed hypnotherapy can help with digestive ailments

For sufferers of IBS, Chrohn’s disease, food allergies and other digestive disorders, new research is demonstrating the ability of integrative mind -body approaches such as gut directed hypnotherapy can provide great benefits.

Modern medicine today is increasingly realizing that different systems of the body are interconnected and cannot be completely understood in isolation. The brain-gut connection is one very important example of this phenomenon. Given the strong mind-body/brain-gut connection, it should come as no surprise that mind-body tools such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, and gut-directed hypnotherapy have all been shown to help improve GI symptoms, improve mood, and decrease anxiety. They decrease the body’s stress response by dampening the sympathetic nervous system, enhancing the parasympathetic response, and decreasing inflammation.

To find out more about the following short article is well worth a read – click here






Ease anxiety and stress with ‘belly breathing’

Typically, people who come to me for treatment for anxiety and stress have become “chest breathers” and forgotten how to breathe deeply and naturally in a way that counteracts stress.  I teach each of my clients a simple yet powerful breathing technique called 7/11 breathing (breathe in to a count of 7, exhale to a count of 11) and also to breathe as a child does i.e with the diaphragm not the chest!

To find our more about the virtues of ‘belly breathing’ and how to do it, click here  for a great short article on the subject- it’s from Harvard Medical School health publishing (which by the way is a a great website free source of helpful advice).

Sleep Myths That Are Damaging To Health

A team at New York University trawled the internet to find the most common claims about a good night’s sleep. Then, in a study recently published in the journal Sleep Health, they matched the claims to the best scientific evidence.

They hope that dispelling sleep myths will improve people’s physical and mental health and well-being.

So, how many of the 6 myths below are you guilty of?

Myth 1 – You can cope on less than five hours’ sleep

Myth 2 – Alcohol before bed boosts your sleep

Myth 3 – Watching TV in bed helps you relax

Myth 4 – If you’re struggling to sleep, stay in bed

Myth 5 – Hitting the snooze button (the notion that an extra few minutes in bed makes all the difference!)

Myth 6 – Snoring is always harmless

To read more about each myth and the researchers findings, see this post on the BBC website here

And of course if you have sleep problems which you want to overcome, just give me a call on 07976 701223 or email

The Truth About Stress – How Stress Affects Your Body

For anyone who wants to know more about stress this super animation, which is just 90 seconds long, gives a good explanation of the impact of stress on the body. To watch the video click here

This animation was produced to accompany the BBC programme called The Truth About Stress in 2018  and if you are interested in this hour long show, you can find this on  BBC iPlayer here