What’s a boulder got to do with Hypnotherapy?

What's a boulder got to do with Hypnotherapy? Quite often I meet people that are sceptical of hypnotherapy. They don’t see the point of ‘dragging up the past’ or having to go through painful memories again. Although I assure them that hypnotherapy isn’t always about reliving painful memories or digging around in the depths of their emotions some people won’t be swayed to the benefits of hypnotherapy.

That’s OK hypnotherapy isn’t for everyone, but if you are thinking about taking the plunge and are still unsure I wanted to share this story with you.

‘In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand- every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.’

So if you are considering hypnotherapy but think your issue is a boulder that is too big to move remember what is waiting for you underneath.

The Missing Keys

Hypnotherapy helps you rethink your directionAt some point in our lives we will probably find ourselves looking for something. This may be something as simple as keys but often we are seeking so much more.

Whether we are looking for happiness, fulfilment, success, wealth or any number of other things it doesn’t really matter because the way in which we search is as individual as the thing that we are searching for.

But how do we begin to look for the thing that we want or the thing that we have lost when sometimes we don’t even know what ‘it’ is. It can feel like we are searching in the dark.

When we are having difficulty we just need someone to direct us to look in the right place. As I use stories and metaphors in my work I thought I would share this one with you.

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The missing Keys

It was late and Nasrudin was down on all fours on the street in front of his house. It looked like he was searching for something.

‘What are you looking for?’ people asked him.

‘I have lost my keys,’ he answered.  

Some men bent down to assist him in the search. They looked everywhere, but could not find the missing keys.

Finally, growing tired, one of the men asked him, ‘Where exactly did you drop them?’

‘Inside my house.’

‘But then why are you looking over here?’

‘Obviously it is easier to look for them over here! There is more light here than inside my house!’


For a no obligation chat why not give me a call.

Take care,


Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Cognitive Hypnotherapy Youtube

This week’s update from Sunray Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a little different. We have published our first movie on youtube! It’s an introduction to hypnotherapy and how it can help you. We’d love to hear from you with your feedback – please let us know in the comments if you like it!

Here’s the transcript to the video:

Introducing Cognitive Hypnotherapy

It’s a toolbox of techniques and approaches…

It combines elements of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Evolutionary Psychology, hypnosis, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Theory and EFT(Emotional Freedom Technique) to form a modern, science-based approach to therapy.

But how does that help me?

Your Cognitive Hypnotherapist will act as a guide to help you find the best way to the solution of your issue – so it’s an interactive partnership.

Hypnotic trance is a relaxing, pleasant feeling similar to daydreaming.

You remain in full control at all times.

The flexibility of the Cognitive Hypnotherapy approach ensures that the most effective techniques are used a part of a tailored solution that is specific to you and your desired outcome.

But is it safe?

You can only enter into a hypnotic trance voluntarily; the hypnotherapist is simply a guide and does not have any ‘power’ over you.

Will I bark like a dog? No, you’re in control!

What kind of things can Cognitive Hypnotherapy help me with?

Most things:

  • Confidence
  • Limiting beliefs
  • Hypnosis
  • Public Speaking
  • Self Esteem
  • Relaxation
  • Panic Attacks
  • IBS
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Emotions
  • Letting go of limitations
  • Behaviours
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping issues
  • Weight loss
  • losing weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Giving up smoking
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Fears, like fear of flying, or spiders.

Thanks for watching!

Quote of the day. Do you agree?

Right or WrongQuite often clients will tell me about the things they think they have done wrong in their life and what they think they should have done differently to get it ‘right’.

Having a black and white divide can be unhelpful and a barrier to seeing the whole picture. So when I came across this saying I thought it summed up perfectly what I hope happens as part of therapy.

See you there.

‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.’

– Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, Sufi poet and philosopher (1207-1273)

Goal setting – the good, the bad and the ugly

The Good.

The internet seems to be besieged with articles about goal setting. So why am I adding to them? Goal setting is one of the most useful ways to help you achieve what you want.

Setting goals should be a positive and motivational way of helping you move forward on any project where you want to achieve a successful outcome.

Decades of research show that setting goals can increase people’s performance. However as anyone that has made a new year’s resolution or has decided on an action plan of some sort, eat healthy, lose weight, stop smoking knows, they don’t always work.

Unless you are completely new to the idea of goal setting it is likely that at some point you will have come across ‘S.M.A.R.T” – goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Although having goals and goal setting is important they are perhaps better viewed as a mechanism to get you closer to your overall aims.

The Bad.

Sometimes they just don’t seem to work. We get stuck, feel unmotivated by them and they can sometimes seem unachievable.  There are several reasons why this may be so.

  1. Too Many. If you set yourself too many goals, the chances are that you will focus on the easy ones ignoring the difficult ones even if they are more important. This means that your overall aim can suffer and lead to a lack of motivation.
  2. Too Specific. Although the S.M.A.R.T model encourages specificity don’t get bogged down in the detail of specific goals always keep sight of your overall aim.
  3. Too hard. Goals should be achievable. You should not have to resort to extreme measures in order to reach them. Stretch goals can be de-motivating so if your goal seems too hard why not try to break it down into smaller goals or have a re think about where it fits into your overall aim.
  4. Too Soon. Try to encourage yourself to think long term. Short term goals are often successful but they need to be repeated. A great example of this is something I read recently on Psyblog, – the reason it’s so hard to get a cab on a rainy day in New York is partly because cabbies do such good business that they go home early, having met their daily target.

The Ugly.

So your goals are specific but not so much that you lose sight of your overall aim. They are achievable without you resorting to extreme measures. You know when they should be completed by and you haven’t made too many.  So why aren’t you achieving them?

The number one reason why people don’t succeed in achieving their goals is lack of commitment. Sometimes this is as simple as the goal that we have set ourselves is not congruent with our overall aim so it is worth revisiting the bigger picture of what you want to achieve.

Tell other people about your goal, I mentioned in my previous blog, peer pressure works and increases motivation.

Record your progress. Often we forget how far we have come in achieving our goals. Keeping a record of your progress it can be a  fantastic motivator.

Reward yourself for your progress, as our brains work on the principle of moving us towards pleasure and away from pain even small rewards will move us forward to much greater success.

Think about what will happen once you achieve your goal. Focusing on the future and the steps you need to take to achieve it makes us more likely to take action.

Goal setting.

Goals should be motivational and have personal meaning. When you think about achieving them you should feel positive. We would love to hear how you get on so drop us a line and we will share your goals and achievements on line.

Success – how do you know?

Most of us strive for something in life. Whether your goal is to make money, live a simpler life, retire early, or simply to work on improving yourself we all have things, big or small that we want to achieve.

But how do we know when we have succeeded? Sometimes this is easy to answer. If you set a goal to earn enough money to go on holiday each year then success can be measured by reaching your chosen destination.

When our goals revolve around improving ourselves the question is much harder to answer. I was talking to a friend recently about her desire to be ‘good enough’ to do her job but when I asked her how she would recognise when she was ‘good enough’ she didn’t know.

If we can’t measure our success or our progress along the way then we will always be working towards an unachievable goal. As our brains work on the basis of moving towards pleasure and away from pain then striving for something that will always be out of reach becomes unsatisfying and ultimately futile. It reminded me of a story I heard a while ago that I would like to share with you.

The Fisherman and the Businessman

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small fishing village. As he sat, he saw a fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite a few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?” The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished. “This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman. “I have a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village to the City, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

So how do we improve or achieve success if we can’t measure how far we’ve come or how much further we need to go? Sometimes it’s just about recognising and appreciating the success we have right now.