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.
Click here to listen to the full interview:
Here is the transcript:
[START OF INTERVIEW]
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]
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