Hypnosis Myths and Misconceptions – No 6 of 6: Does hypnosis work instantly?

It really depends on the issue that needs addressing in hypnosis. For example, I can often treat a phobia in a single session but issues such as depression and panic attacks may take 3 or 4 sessions. It is also helpful to reinforce and sustain changes, and so in addition to using the recordings I provide for use at home, face to face sessions are spread over an appropriate period to ensure success.

Hypnosis Myths and Misconceptions – No 5 of 6: what if I have no experience of being hypnotized?

In truth, you have experience of being hypnotized already! For example, whenever you are engrossed in reading a book and don’t hear someone calling your name, or you drive somewhere and don’t remember the route or cut yourself without noticing – these all involve hypnosis to some extent. It usually helps to understand hypnosis when you stop thinking about it as some very different, weird state, and start seeing it is a natural extension of everyday awareness.

Hypnosis Myths and misconceptions – No 4 of 6: Are people who can be hypnotized somehow mentally weak?

No, in fact, more often the opposite is the case! Hypnosis is most accurately described as a state of mental focus, which is not the sort of capability traditionally associated with ‘mental weakness’ (whatever that may be!). Sportspeople at the top of their game often use self- hypnosis to improve their focus and achieve the ideal mental state for training and competing. Are these people ‘mentally weak’?

Hypnosis Myths and misconceptions – No 3 of 6: Am I helpless in hypnosis?

Absolutely not! Because you are still ‘wake’ during hypnosis you can make decisions in the usual way, yet with more flexibility as you are less under the control of your automatic reactions. So if the fire alarm went off, you will still hear it and think ” that is a fire alarm. I need to get out of here now!” Compared to waking up from sleep to a fire alarm it will be much less jarring as you are already conscious.

Hypnosis Myths and misconceptions – No 2 of 6: is hypnosis the same as sleep?

No. Hypnosis is not the same as being asleep. While the term hypnosis comes from the Greek word for sleep (hypnos) you are actually not asleep. You need to be able to listen for hypnosis to work because you need your brain to be processing words and responding to instructions while you relax and go into trance.
Some studies suggest that the hypnotic state is similar to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep state which is when dreaming occurs (whether you can remember dreams or not!). Others suggest that the hypnotic state is closer to that of Alpha when you have ‘in the zone’ levels of concentration and things just ‘flow’. Alpha is also the relaxed state you enter just before you drop off to sleep.
When you are hypnotized, you have an experience in parallel with your conscious awareness. You are fully aware of what is happening and where you are while at the same time you have an internally focused awareness.

Myths and misconceptions about Hypnosis – No 1 of 6: Can only some people be hypnotized?

No. Most people can be hypnotized although some can take longer than others to relax and use hypnosis effectively. There here are a small group of people who may not respond to hypnosis due to their inability to perceive context and implication, which can be an aspect of Asperger’s syndrome.

Once you experience the state of hypnosis you will understand why this is the case. Hypnosis is simply an engaging and deepening of the brain’s natural ability to focus and imagine. And in this relaxed ‘altered’ state of mind, the critical conscious mind can be bypassed to access your subconscious mind. In doing so,  suggestibility increases, such that the suggestions given are accepted as being true and effect beliefs, habits, perceptions and behaviours.

Feeling overwhelmed by your To Do list – Try having a Not Do list

I came across this idea today and as it is counter intuitive it immediately appealed to me!  And so I thought I should share it for those who have a constant dread of getting out of bed in the morning because the to-do list is so long and just keeps getting longer. Apart from having so many things to do, yet not enough time to do them, there is all the you also get the pain and anguish caused by not getting though the To Do list.  It is not good to feel stretched too thin, overworked, and dissatisfied.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a to-do list but it can often act as a block to what we really should be focusing on and that is productivity—doing more in less time.

As Greg McKeown argues in his excellent book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Doing Less, focusing on productivity—doing more in less time—without first deciding what is essential is a prescription for suffering.

Greg McKeown defines essentialism as:

“… a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.”

It’s not about getting more done in a shorter period. It’s about getting only the right things done.

With this in mind, one tool you might find helpful is creating a “not do” list. Instead of listing all of the things you have to do (with hopefully a priority rating and completion date/time), as you would in a  normal “to do” list, you instead list the things that you’d rather not do at all. Then you start finding ways not to do those things.

For example, maybe you really dislike grocery shopping and feel frustrated by how much time you spend doing it. You could sign up for supermarket delivery to  your home, which would dramatically reduce the time you spend doing it. Ditto getting a house cleaner, dog walker, car washer or anything else you consider a chore which someone else could call to your home and do for you – even if just temporarily while you get on top of things.

Or maybe you’re participating in an activity at work or in your personal life because you think you “should,” but it is not a “must”. This is something you could let go of to free up more tim

So why not create your Not Do list then update it  on a monthly basis to help determine what you need to say no to and where you need to cut back.


NBC News July 2017 – Tummy Troubles: Hypnosis might be the answer

This article  from the USA, shows that for patients who don’t get relief from medication, their gastroenterologists are turning to psychologists for help. Hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for heartburn and other stomach conditions. It’s a powerful alternative treatment, backed with plenty of scientific evidence, that is increasingly being offered at the nation’s leading medical centers.

It describes a range of gastrointestinal conditions that have been treated using hypnotherapy including IBS. I have treated several patients with IBS and know that for them it made a massive difference.


How to work 40 hours in 16.7 hours

For those seeking to achieve more yet work less, here is a  a thought provoking and useful article about the Pomodoro technique. Don’t let the name put you off!  It is a simple technique really but requires some discipline and focus. I for one am going to give it a go and see if I can make it work well for me.

For my life coaching clients, buffer.com where you will find this article is a resource you might like to check out and consider adding to your favourites list.



A Phobia is not permanent unless you choose to keep it that way

A new client asked me what different phobias I have cured and this got me thinking. Firstly, there are over 500 phobias and to date I have treated 13 (apologies to anyone with triskaidekaphobia – a morbid fear of the number 13!).  Public speaking phobia is the most common one people come to see me about, with spiders and flying sharing second place.   What continues to sadden me is that so many people who have a phobia either don’t do anything about it ever, or have tried to confront it and been overwhelmed. Either way, people fall into the trap of mistakenly believing it is something they are just stuck with for life.

Phobias of course can be installed in different ways…through traumatic events or maybe  ‘inherited’ (i.e. learned from parents, siblings close school friends etc) or may have just have developed over time with no know source.  Once installed the coping strategy employed by someone with a phobia is usually avoidance. For example running away when a dog comes into view, driving many miles out of the way to avoid going over a bridge, not entering a room where spiders may be lurking and so on.  So people put up with a lifetime of  suffering when in fact it is needless.  It may seem hard to believe but it takes me just one or two sessions to cure someone of their phobia – just ask my clients who are now phobia free. So if you, or someone you know, no longer wants to have that extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something, do give me a call.