Perception Ezine is a quarterly magazine packed with advice and information on all aspects of your well-being and Cognitive Hypnotherapy. We’re very pleased to be included with Kim’s article on “5 Tips for Better Communication” featured in this issue.
This issue is full of fascinating articles from Brenda Cox about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and how hypnotherapy can help. As Brenda observes, there are many possible causes – and equally there are quite a few techniques which may be employed by your hypnotherapist to find the ‘right way for you to relax, enjoy life and achieve your goals‘.
Russell Davis is the fertility advisor to the National Council of Hypnotherapy (see his Fertile Mind site here), and is interviewed by Tina Shaw about his own personal journey of becoming a hypnotherapist and his family’s ‘infertility journey’ as well as his passions of barefoot running, Apple Macs and old Land Rovers!
Is the message from Chloe Cook (and her girls!) and if you’ve seen the Disney movie the Lion King, you may remember that Hakuna Matata actually means ‘no worries‘. Chloe discusses ways to overcome your worries and anxiety. Whether this is related to eating disorders, sleep, holidays, and all the other possible causes – Chloe shows us ways to take action and making small steps to overcome anxiety.
‘Do whatever you need to do to make sure that you live the life that you truly want, not the life that you find yourself putting up with.’
I found Hugh Osborne’s article about ‘living beyond addiction‘ very interesting; with his experience of supporting addicts, it reminded me not just that with the best of intentions sometimes it’s easy to fall into bad habits which can become addictions – but that there is support out for those who need it.
‘If you have an addiction, a dependency or compulsive behaviour, that you feel is getting out of control, then why not see if there is a cognitive hypnotherapist practicing in your area who can help. Whatever you want to work towards, whether it’s simply to stop, cut down, or to have a full life makeover. You may be surprised at the difference a few sessions could make.’
So, as you can see, there’s plenty to think about in this quarter’s magazine. Download your copy today (see below).
Kim was recently interviewed by the lovely Cat Paterson of Abbey104.fm, a local interest community radio station based in Sherborne, Dorset. Cat presents the breakfast show ‘Jam and Toast’, with interviews and music, as well as bringing attention to topics including local bands and public interests such as M.E. (known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
In the interview, Cat talks to Kim about Cognitive Hypnotherapy, how it works and who it may help.
Cat: Hypnotherapy is making headlines. With me today is Kim Wilson, a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. Kim, welcome!
Kim: Thank you.
Cat: Where would you begin when a patient comes to you with obesity or weight issues? They’re very worried about what hypnotherapy would involve. What actually happens in a hypnotherapy session?
Kim: The first session in our hypnotherapy is about putting people at ease. One of the misconceptions about hypnotherapy is that the hypnotherapist puts someone ‘under’.. and it’s not like that at all. We use a very light trance; such as you’d experience if you’re reading a good book, or you’re driving to work and you can’t remember the journey. That’s all trance, and that’s what we use as part of our practice in Cognitive Hypnotherapy. We treat each person individually, so it’s never just a ‘weight problem’, it’s how each individual does their weight, so we could see ten people in a week and they will all experience their weight problem differently. And that’s where we’d start from, to really understand what the problem is, and how they experience it.
Cat: So how do you discover what the problem is? Because people eat for comfort, they eat for stress, and I suppose you have to find a way to identify that. How do you start that? How do you go about that?
Kim: We go through a very detailed first interview really, and you’re right, people eat for different reasons. But the reasons that keep them eating are linked to emotional concerns. If you just generally have an overeating problem, you can take or leave food. If you have an emotional connection to food, that’s when it becomes a problem. Because as you’re stressed, as soon as you’re lonely, as soon as you’re bored – you reach for the food. So what we do is work out the contextual element of that problem, i.e. when do you eat? Why do you eat? We work towards breaking down that emotional link.
Cat: So, a customer comes to you. They sit down, and you go through their history, you identify the problem. Then what do you do next? How do you get them into this trance state?
Kim: Generally we just talk to them. For example, if I asked you about a holiday that you had in the past you would actually be going through a form of age regression. Because you would have to remember back to that holiday. We use a similar technique. Generally if people have an emotional connection to food, it can start in early childhood. Not necessarily, it can start in teenage years later, but generally its childhood, so we would ask them to look back over their history and by doing that you’re already putting them in a light trance.
Cat: So it’s as simple as that? It’s literally recalling which brings back memories, and that is a form of trance. Is that what you’re saying?
Kim: Yes, absolutely. If I said to you ‘tell me about a favourite holiday you had when you were a child‘ you have to go back and recall those memories. Because you are recalling them, you are actually ‘age-regressing’ so you are going back to a childhood memory and because of the way the brain processes that information you are basically in a trance. To remember that holiday you have to go back into a trance-like state to experience it.
Cat: You’re experiencing this memory, so where do you go from there? So, you have found the memory that is the key. How do you go about changing it? Do you change it, or… what do you do next?
Kim: What we basically do is… if it’s a childhood memory – the way that our brains work up to the age of about seven, possibly up to the age of twelve depending upon what happens in your childhood… You only ever process in black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. So what we actually do is, we process that emotion, that memory that’s attached to food with an adult perspective which obviously contains many shades of grey and that actually releases the emotion out of the issue. We can use many other techniques as well, but that’s a very good starting point for us.
Cat: Do you mean by that, that you kind of… you see the memory, and then you rise above it and see it from an adult perspective? To come to terms with it, to understand it? How quick do you see the changes? Can someone change in one session, or.. I presume I suppose it depends on the patient.. is there any way of knowing?
Kim: We tend to say on average between four and six sessions. But, absolutely I’ve seen people change in a single session. It really depends on how complex that particular emotion is to that particular problem that they have. People can make changes incredibly rapidly.
Cat: I have to admit, a friend of mine who was eighteen stone had a couple of hypnotherapy sessions and within a year she is now eight stone, which is extraordinary. She said to me, she would go into a supermarket. Before she would just head to the aisles with the crisps and the chocolate, but then [after the hypnotherapy] when she went there she didn’t want to go there anymore. She felt uncomfortable with it. She just went to the fruit and veg. It’s just incredible how she’s changed. So, it really is possible, isn’t it!
Cat: So what are the key problems? What else can you deal with as a hypnotherapist?
Kim: It’s absolutely amazing what we can deal with. It’s anything with an emotional content, or a behavioural content. We can deal with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), depression, bereavement issues, weight loss as we’ve mentioned, smoking. Quite often I get people because they don’t quite know what’s wrong, and we work through that and find out what’s changed for them… and what they want to ‘get back’. People tend to lose an essence of themselves, so we work with that. We work with whatever people come to us with [bring to us].
Sometimes people come to a session and say it’s weight loss, and it turns out to be something completely different.
Cat: That’s interesting. I know you told me once before about a friend of yours who had a phobia about getting into swimming pools, and now she swims the whole time. I think that’s amazing. She had that from a very young age, didn’t she?
Kim: Absolutely. The thing with phobias, they’re very interesting. Again, you can have a simple phobia that is just about one thing, i.e. Most people recognise that spider phobias exist. But they can get generalised as well, and they can become complex phobias. So, that spider phobia becomes generalised to things that move in a certain way, or a lot of people have a phobia of a spider in the house, but not outside. So they can be very interesting things to deal with. And again, you can see change in a single session.
Cat: So, if someone wants to go and see a very good hypnotherapist, like yourself Kim, but one that doesn’t live in Kent! Where can they look? How can they find out more about hypnotherapy?
Kim: Well, I was actually trained by an institution called the Quest Institute. [They offer] very good training, and it’s a particular type of hypnotherapy called ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ and it’s based on the latest research on how our brains work. We take elements from positive psychology, neuro-science, behavioural science and we use it as a framework. So anything that works basically, we pull into our tool-bag. I would recommend that people, in the first instance, look up the Quest Institute and find a therapist in their local area.
Cat: Kim, thank you very much for talking to me today. That was Kim Wilson, and her website is…
[END OF INTERVIEW]
We hope that you enjoyed this update! We certainly had a lot of fun putting it together. Please let us know in the comments section below what you thought, and your suggestions for future interviews, and areas of interest that we should focus on.
The first session takes the form of an in-depth consultation that may or may not include hypnotherapy techniques. The information gained from this session is vital so that I can understand more about you, your current issue and what you want to achieve from the therapy. As Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a collaboration between us it is important for both of us to fully understand your goals and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved.
Occasionally people come for therapy with expectations based on stage and entertainment hypnosis where a subject is ‘put under’ hypnosis and the hypnotherapist removes their problem or takes control of them while they are in trance. The idea that something or someone can take a problem away instantly, without the need for you to participate is not a realistic expectation. Although this can sometimes happen, it is not the norm. Change is a process, it doesn’t have to be a long process but it is rarely instantaneous.
If your current behaviour, pattern of thinking or emotional state is creating a problem for you we will work together to explore what it will be like to have what you want instead. We will then consider what is blocking you from getting what you want and uncover the elements of that pattern that need to change to resolve the issue. I will always aim to resolve the underlying cause of your issue not just the symptoms of it.
It’s very important to trust the therapeutic process because sometimes it is necessary to take an seemingly indirect route. A person that comes to stop smoking for example, may find themselves exploring a memory from childhood in order to let go of an emotional connection to smoking such as ‘it made me part of the gang’. Subsequent sessions will depend upon the feedback you give me on the changes you have been noticing between sessions. Although it is difficult to predict how many sessions you may need because it depends on your particular issue, generally changes can be noticed within 2 to 4 sessions.
The decision to get therapy can require considerable courage and is only often considered when a problem has become compelling so if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
As part of our service to our clients, we often provide bespoke recordings, made just for you, to help you with the issues you raised in your session. Here’s a free MP3 download designed for general relaxation, ready for you to download today.
With the impending launch of the film called ‘A Fantastic Fear of Everything‘, it seemed timely to blog about fears and phobias. Up to 70% of us will experience a mild fear or phobia during our lifetime and a high percentage of that 70% will think that they are the only one suffering from their particular fear. Although experiencing a level of anxiety can be useful and help with general performance, awareness and learning, think exam nerves or stage fright it has the reverse effect if experienced in excess, reducing our performance and ability to focus. Anxiety isn’t an ‘all or nothing’ experience it generally follows a scale from mild to acute that leaves some people with fears that are irritating but liveable and others with anxieties that are disabling.
In the movie, Simon Pegg plays ‘Jack’ who becomes paranoid after he changes career from being a children’s author to become a crime novelist. It is the research he conducts into the lives of Victorian serial killers that leads him to an irrational fear of being murdered. Fears and phobias can develop when we have a scary experience with a particular thing or situation (a sensitising event). Experiencing a strong negative emotion in the presence of an object, person or creature can lead to an unconscious link between that object and a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation.
A structure in the brain called the amygdala is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. It will trigger a fear reaction if a situation arises that seems to be the same or similar to the sensitising event. This leads to adrenaline and other chemicals being released into our blood, which speed up our heart-beat, sharpen our senses and increase our physical abilities preparing us for one of three things ‘fight, flight or freeze’. When experiencing a extreme fear or phobia the body will react in exactly the same way as it would if faced with a real danger. Your natural reactions are working normally but in response to inappropriate triggers. You could liken it to a loss of perspective from the part of the brain that controls anxiety. Some of the symptoms of anxiety can include:
Restricted or ‘fuzzy’ vision or hearing
Many people will struggle to manage their fear or phobia because they are ashamed, embarrassed or think it’s silly. However if a fear or phobia is affecting you and your quality of life then it’s not silly – it’s a problem. You can choose to get rid of the problem and may be surprised how quickly this can be achieved with hypnotherapy. Some of the most common adult fears are: public speaking, making mistakes, failure, disapproval, rejection, angry people, being alone, darkness, dentists, injections, hospitals, taking tests, open wounds and blood, police, dogs, and spiders.
How Can Cognitive Hypnotherapy Help?
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is an approach that uses the most recent research on how the mind works to uncover, remove or change the unconscious ‘triggers’ that can cause negative behaviours or patterns. Hypnosis can assist in discovering the underlying connection between emotion and behaviour and transform it so that the problem disappears.The most common concern people have when considering hypnosis is the fear of losing control. This cannot happen. You can only enter into a hypnotic trance voluntarily; the hypnotherapist is simply a guide and does not have any ‘power’ over you. You retain control at all times.
If you experience fears, phobias or similar anxieties and want to understand more about how cognitive hypnotherapy may help, please contact us.
ME Awareness Week takes place from 6-12 May 2012. Organised each year, the week seeks to enhance understanding of M.E. as well as increase funding for research into this difficult condition .
ME can certainly have an effect on various areas of the body and it leads to muscle pains, severe fatigue as well as problems with memory. It is usually extremely challenging for sufferers to live with , but there is support available .
ME is an illness with many names . Within the NHS it is commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFS/M.E). Sometimes it is known as Myalgic Encephalopathy or diagnosed as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS). It is a long-term chronic , fluctuating illness affecting 250,000 people in the UK. M.E. symptoms may include persistent exhaustion , muscle and/or joint pain, sleep disturbance, feeling ‘flu-like’ and having problems with memory and concentration. Many people with M.E. experience persistent fatigue or pain. However, M.E. is characterised by a range of additional symptoms.
A few of the signs and symptoms of M .E and Post Viral Fatigue are muscle fatigue and not being able to concentrate for lengthy amounts of time. Hypnosis and hypnosis may help the individual struggling with the problem handle the emotional and physical symptoms of the condition. Aching joints, discomfort , disturbed sleep, excessive fatigue, lack of ability to concentrate, as well as feelings of exhaustion are indicative of M.E. and Post Viral Fatigue.
Even though its cause is unknown it is thought probable that M .E and Post Viral Fatigue can develop following an infection or may be triggered by an emotional upset . Often the sufferer develops flu-like symptoms in the first instance and then the symptoms of M .E and Post Viral Fatigue worsen. The symptoms often get worse as the result of stress.
Individuals with M.E. and Post Viral Fatigue may find themselves too tired to work or even go out in some instances. The physical discomfort may also be very severe plus they may start having loss of memory, which could effect their lives. making it difficult to allow them to understand verbal instructions and loss of co-ordination. Many become exhausted by simple tasks . Evening sweats or severe shivering are typical, much like issues with balance .
Should you recognise all or any of those signs and symptoms in yourself then hypnosis may help – either directly, or by focusing upon related issues such as stress and depression.
Action for M.E. is the leading UK charity for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) and their carers. They were founded in 1987 and throughout the previous twenty years they have been campaigning for better treatment solutions and research. In the course of the awareness week , Action for ME will be organising fundraising activities in addition to asking you to become involved. On the official ME Awareness Week web site you may learn everything about the charity, the week, as well as a great deal of fundraising hints and tips.
Some days, weeks or months things just don’t seem to go right. We often lose perspective and think that ‘everything’ is going wrong or that life isn’t easy.
Re framing negative thoughts into positive alternatives is a really useful ability to have. Instead of thinking what you don’t want – ‘I don’t want to feel stressed’ think about it in the positive, ‘I would like to feel calm’ and the mind will help you achieve it.
Also taking a look at the bigger picture can help you gain perspective, sometimes we get so involved in the small stuff we forget that it is small and lose sight of all the positive things we have in our lives.
So for a much bigger picture take a look at this, what a wonderful way to change perspective!