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Archive for the ‘Hypnotherapy’ category

As you will have seen elsewhere on my site, hypnotherapy is very much about using your unconscious mind and the strength you have there.

But sometimes it can feel as if your unconscious is working against you.Filling A Brain With Funnel Vector Stock Vector - Illustration of ...
You might be keen to quit smoking, or be friends with every spider you see . But down in the back of your mind, where you may not even be aware of it, there could be a part of you that has other ideas.
Your unconscious mind has a number of roles, one of which is to keep you safe. In order to do this, it creates anxiety and fear around situations that are – or could be – dangerous. The problem is that the unconscious mind is emotional rather than logical. So it can’t always judge the level of threat correctly.
This is where the spider problem can arise. Here in the UK spiders are generally harmless, but if you had an experience in the past that associated them with bad feelings, your unconscious mind loses sight of the actual amount of risk you are in and will try to keep you away.
The closer you come the higher your anxiety gets, until it’s so bad you run away, and your unconscious mind thinks ‘Yay! Now we’re safe!’ and next time it will do the same again.
Change – even good change – can be scary, so your unconscious mind treats it like a dangerous situation. While you might have had enough of smoking, your unconscious might believe that quitting would be really difficult and stressful, or worry about how you would feel if you failed. To protect you from that, it stops you even trying, or sabotages your attempts and sends you back to the cigs.
This isn’t the only reason people struggle with change, of course, but if you find yourself stuck and unable to create any positive change in your life, this could be what’s happening.
Now imagine – what if all the strength of mind that goes into preventing you quitting was working for you instead of against you? Wouldn’t life be easier? You’d make every change effortlessly, with ease and enthusiasm. Everything could just flow. What you need to do to achieve this is to negotiate successfully with your unconscious mind.

How to negotiate successfully with your unconscious mind:
Remember your unconscious mind works with feelings, imagination and memories, not logic.
It sends its messages as physical sensations, like butterflies in your tummy when you are anxious. However, just because you’re receiving a message doesn’t mean you have to act on it. You have choices. Think of the sensation as a suggestion and you can decide if it’s a good one to listen to or not.

Tap into your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind is active when you are doing activities automatically or in a trance or daydream state. So, if you have a question like ‘why is it difficult for me to quit smoking?’, write that at the top of a piece of paper. Then start brainstorming answers. Just write them down as they occur to you whether they seem right or not. Imagine your hand is writing them by itself with no input from your logical self, almost like doodling. You might feel silly at first, but let the creative part of your brain take over and keep writing words on the paper. Most of what you write will be irrelevant or something you know already but keep going until new ideas start to come out. Avoid giving up too soon because your intuition will tell you when you discover something important or something that will help you make the changes more easily.

Make friends with your unconscious mind.
It’s trying to be helpful even if the way it has chosen to do that isn’t working out for you Suppose you find it hard to save money. There is a reason for that, a part of you that either believes having money is bad, or that having little money is good. Using meditational techniques can be useful. Clear your mind as much as possible, and relax your body. Ask yourself questions and listen to the answers. Sometimes it helps to imagine having ‘another you’ to ask, a kind of ‘wise advisor’ version of yourself who has all the answers. Once you have them, negotiate a compromise. Maybe your unconscious believes that having too much money is selfish or greedy. You could ask if giving some of your increased earnings to charity would be acceptable.

Enlist the help of a hypnotherapist.
In hypnosis, your unconscious mind is much more accessible than usual, and it’s possible that information you didn’t know you had can be reached. This might include what is holding you back, and also what you can do about it. Properly worded hypnotic suggestions can also help the unconscious mind see new ways forward so that change is possible.

Remember that your unconscious mind might be behind the mental blocks you’re experiencing, but it’s not to blame.
It’s trying in the only way it knows to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it can’t do much logic and may have faulty data or information taken out of context from your past experiences. For example, just because one dog growls at you doesn’t mean they all will, but your unconscious mind may not realise this.

It’s important to know how to skillfully negotiate with your subconscious.
If you are experiencing a disagreement between what you know (in your logical mind) and what you feel (in your emotional, unconscious mind) what you feel nearly always wins. The trick to resolving the disagreement is to get what you know and what you feel working together because fighting with yourself is the biggest obstacle of all.

How many times have you found yourself repeating that unhelpful thought or thing that you do, when it brings down your mood and you REALLY don’t want to be doing it anymore?  You know – those little devil thoughts like “I deserve another glass of wine”, or “I need that piece of chocolate cake!”, or “I’m so stupid and forgetful”.

There is a very useful technique, from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), called Thought Stopping which you can use to interrupt the process of negative thoughts or unhelpful behaviours.  This is how it goes.

  • Sit quietly, close your eyes and put yourself in the kind of situation where you might usually think the negative thought or act out the behaviour, e.g. pour yourself another glass of wine.
  • Now go back in your mind to just before you have the thought or start the behaviour and notice what your thoughts are as you lead into it.  For example, let’s take the glass of wine scenario.  Maybe, as you think about it, you become aware that you feel your partner, or the kids, or your work colleagues don’t appreciate how hard you work.  This leads to the next thought that you deserve another glass of wine (because you work so hard).
  • Next blank your mind and start again, this time saying the thoughts out loud.  Just as you get to the problem thought interrupt the process by clapping your hands and shouting the word “STOP!”.   As you do this “see” in your mind a BIG RED STOP SIGN.  Make it as vivid as you can, use flashing lights, sirens going off, etc.  Immediately take your mind to a pleasant memory that is not related to the problem you are dealing with.  Relax and let yourself enjoy the memory and the good feelings that go with it.
  • Repeat these steps 3 – 5 times, relaxing and enjoying your pleasant memory between each repitition.
  • Blank your mind once again and repeat the steps again, this time imagine hearing yourself clap, a loud voice shouting STOP and see the flashing lights.  Enjoy the pleasant memory between each repition as before.
  • Keep practising!  Habitual thoughts and behaviours can be stopped but just as you learned the habit in the first place, you need to keep repeating it until it just happens.

Simple exercises like this can make a real difference if you spend a few minutes every day following the steps.  So, go on have a go – see what a difference you can make!

This is a question that gets asked a lot! And I understand why, for no-one wants to waste their time or money but unfortunately this isn’t a question that can be answered with a simple yes or a no. Hypnotherapy may be quite a big investment for you in terms of time, money and effort so it’s natural to want guarantees that it will work.

Most people can be hypnotized although some can take longer than others to relax and use hypnosis effectively. There are a small group of people who may not respond to hypnosis due to their inability to perceive context and implication. 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. Hypnotherapy can be very effective, if indeed life changing in certain cases. However, whether its counselling, coaching, psychotherapy or hypnotherapy, a therapist cannot guarantee a 100% success rate in every case, if they could, no-one would bother to learn, provide or use anything else.

I have a varied set of techniques that can be altered, personalised and adapted to each individual but there are no 2 clients the same. To be 100% sure of a technique being effective, each client would have to have the same type of anxiety or the same issues with weight loss etc. They would all have to have had the same experiences and upbringing, the same motivations in life. For this reason a technique used in hypnosis might work brilliantly for one person but not so well for another. For every different situation there will be a different solution and sometimes this can be found straight away and sometimes it’s not so easy. It has to be applied in a unique way for each individual.

Having said all this I can guarantee you that if you came to see me I would give you 100% of my time and commitment, you would be listened to attentively, treated with respect and only given the number of sessions you really need. Your privacy would be paramount and I would do everything I possibly could to help you achieve what you would like to achieve. In most cases if someone is determined to change and has the motivation and resolve to do so, then the process of hypnotherapy is generally successful!

Please call or email if you would like to come for a consultation with me regarding something you may like to change. I am approachable and ready to help. Call me on 07528637825 or email

As a clinical Hypnotherapist in Sheffield, near Chesterfield , , with many years of experience, I am often asked whether hypnotherapy is better than counselling and it’s a difficult one to answer. Partly because I feel that I do incorporate counselling into my sessions anyway, particularly during the initial assessment, and partly because it depends on the person and what it is they require.

Some people who are going through a challenging time in their lives just want a listening ear whilst they vent and seek guidance, others have deeper, more persistent problems and accept that they need specialist help to get to the root of it and want a reassuring hand.  Someone who believes in you and offers you a space of empathy, growth, empowerment and possibilities. Hypnotherapy can be used for all kinds of problems, not just weight loss, smoking and phobias but anxiety, confidence issues, bereavement and depression, amongst several others. Counselling can change the way you feel and help your understand your situation better. Hypnotherapy can also do that and bring about powerful changes in your life at the same time. With hypnosis you become a force which can overcome challenges.

If trying to decide which road to travel down, this may make it clearer for you:

Counselling gives you a safe space in which to talk and reflect whilst being given support, guidance and understanding. It is cheaper per session than hypnotherapy untitledbut you may require years of therapy in order to feel better. The other limitation to counselling is that you are not necessarily given the tools and support to make the necessary changes in your life.

Hypnotherapy is a process which is much more proactive and dynamic than counselling as hypnosis goes straight to the unconscious and subconscious part of the mind much more effectively than talking therapies and therefore produces faster results. Change can and does happen very quickly and successfully.  While some people do experience profound change within one or two sessions, usually it tends to take around four to six sessions – depending on what they wish to achieve.


The length of the sessions for each are about the same, both are confidential and safe, both are usually done face to face but can be done over skype. At present, counselling is available on the NHS whereas Hypnotherapy currently isn’t but attitudes are changing and many doctors now recommend Hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy usually focuses on changing behaviours, while counselling and psychotherapy more often help with self-understanding and acceptance. Using both together, side by side is probably the best combination, breaking old habits through self awareness and developing the skills and confidence to create new, more adaptive behaviours.

I try to combine both within my sessions so give me a call on 07528637825 or go to my contacts page on my website and leave a request:


Many thanks for reading,

Becky at Abbey hypnotherapy