Tag Archives: neurological

How to influence people

My Job is to influence people.

I’m a Hypnotherapist and people pay me to influence the way they think and feel, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way.

One of the least successful methods to get anyone to change is to tell them to, yet that seems to be what most people do most of the time.

Another thing people think will work is to explain things to people. They believe that if the other person just understands that what they are thinking/doing is wrong then they will change their behaviour. Unfortunately, this rarely works either. Take smoking for instance. We all know that smoking is damaging to us, and that we are likely to suffer ill health if we do it, yet there are still millions of smokers in the world. Telling them so stop doesn’t work. Explaining that it is bad for them doesn’t work. So what does?

Generally speaking, the best way of influencing someone (who isn’t hypnotised) is by leading by example.

If someone has a phobia of spiders there is a pretty good chance they were influenced into this way of thinking by someone close to them who was also scared of spiders. They saw this person freak out and subconsciously decided that this was a good way to react. Conversely if a person with an existing phobia is surrounded by people who are calm and relaxed around spiders, they may start to feel more relaxed themselves.

I had a client the other day who desperately wanted their partner to come for a hypnotherapy session with me. The partner was adamant that it wasn’t for them and refused point blank to even think about it. So my client booked 3 sessions with me to work on an issue she had. She went home after each session and told her partner how good it was making her feel and how much she was gaining from it. By the third session, he was asking if he could take her place.

When I was 11 years old I was told by a headmaster that the best piece of advice he could give me was to choose my friends wisely. It was a great piece of advice. Not only have my friends helped me through some difficult times and made good times better, but they have also influenced me. They have shaped my ideas and beliefs, they have led by example and I have learned so much from them. If I had chosen other friends, who knows where my life would have taken me. My advice to you would be to choose friends you respect. Choose friends you care about. Choose friends you want to be like.

If you want to influence someone be the example. Be their friend and show them by your words and more importantly your actions how good life can be. Show them what it is to be strong, caring, committed, healthy, reliable, responsible, fun, interesting and non judgemental. It may take some time, but you will be amazed at the impact it can have.


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Everyone said

Here’s my weekly poem – I hope you enjoy it

It Couldn’t Be Done


Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


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Word of the month

word of the month

My word of the month for January is …


January is a time when a lot of people are trying to make new habits or break old ones. It’s that New Year, New Me stuff.

We are fast approaching the time when most New years resolutions fall by the wayside.

According to studies most people give up on their resolution by the 22nd of January. If you’re still going for it, well done, but if you’ve already let old habits slip back in, don’t feel to bad about it – these things happen.

In some ways I was surprised to find that the resolutions were broken after 3 weeks. We are often told that it takes between 2 and 3 weeks to make a break a habit, which would suggest that by the 22nd we should have that habit firmly established. So, what get’s in our way?

I think part of the problem is that we still have the habit of thinking about whatever it is we are trying to change.

Whether you are trying to diet or exercise, study more or worry less you eill find yourself thinking about ‘how it used to be’. This is a habit you are creating too.

What can you do about this?

The main thing you can do is notice that you are doing it. When you notice these thoughts popping into your head, think about what you are saying to yourself. Are you saying things like ‘I’d rather be doing…’ or ‘I’m missing out on…..’ or ‘I’d normally be eating….’ All of these are really tempting difficult thought patterns for you to deal with.

Imagine being on a diet and you have a best friend who was constantly with you. Every time you get hungry they say ‘some cake would be lovely around now’ or ‘that salad is rubbish compared to the takeaway we normally have on a Friday’ or ‘wouldn’t you rather have a biscuit?’

That would be really hard to deal with, and you’d probably fall of the wagon.

Now imagine that best friend was really supporting you. Instead of all that unhelpful talk they were saying things like ‘You are looking and feeling better every day’ or ‘That healthy choice you’ve made for dinner is helping you to get into those jeans you want’ or ‘I’m so proud of you sticking to your diet, even when it’s tricky’.

That friend is going to help you to achieve your goals.

Make a new habit to be your own best friend and think about what you are saying to yourself. Support yourself as you would a true friend and you’ll be surprised what you can do.

Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with negative thought patterns and this is where therapy and in particular CBT and Hypnotherapy can be very useful. With CBT you work on changing the negative thought patterns into positive ones by completing exercises to challenge your thoughts. With Hypnotherapy we use access to the subconscious to change these thought patterns in an easy way. There’s no reason not to get help with these things if you find them too difficult to do on your own. You used an instructor to teach you how to drive, why not use one to help you think in a productive, fulfilling way?

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Make it happen

new years resolutions hypnotherapy coventry


January 1, 2015 · 5:20 pm

How to stop thinking


Have you ever had a thought that just won’t go away?

Maybe it’s the thought that something is going to happen, or not going to happen.

Maybe it’s the thought of needing to do something that you don’t really want to do.

Maybe it’s an argument that you keep playing over and over again in your head.

Whatever it is there are some tricks that are worth knowing if you really want to get the thought out of your head.

Just get on with it.

Our brains have this annoying habit of not letting go of something that has been left incomplete. Various studies have shown this to be true, and it is a technique hypnotists, like myself, use to get you to remember something in your subconscious. Once the task has been completed our brains file it as done and forget about it. So, if you have a nagging thought about doing your taxes, cleaning the loft, having a conversation with someone – just do it!

Stop thinking of Pink Elephants.

Ok, so if I tell you to not think of a pink elephant, the first thing your brain does is bring up the idea of a pink elephant. It has then failed to NOT think of a pink elephant, so it will then keep reminding you of it (see the above point). You can complete the action by deciding that you want to think about pink elephants for a minute. When the minute is up, you have completed the task and your brain can file it as done – no more pink elephants!

Plan to think about Pink Elephants.

If you can’t think about Pink Elephants now (or whatever it is you don’t want to think about) make a decision to think about Pink Elephants at a certain time. Write it down, schedule it in. Your brain can now file this under another heading – it’s not done yet, but you know when it will be, so you can stop thinking about it.

Do something that takes ALL of your concentration.

Your brain is amazing, but it can’t do too many things at once – not even if you’re a girl! By doing a task that really takes concentration you will forget about the pink elephants.

Talk about the Pink Elephants.

Talk about them, write about them, sing about them, draw pictures of them. Make use of friends, family, religious leaders, doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, therapists, bar tenders, co-workers, the woman who serves you at the supermarket, the guy who delivers your Pizza – who ever and where ever you can, go on about the Pink Elephants until even you’re so bored of them that you don’t want to think about them any more.

Self Hypnosis

I wrote a post a while ago called let it go with hypnosis – check it out! It’s a really useful technique to get an unwanted thought out of your head – what have you got to lose?

And if all else fails, maybe you should try a little professional help – It’s what I’m here for!


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Exercise your brain – Left and Right

Most people have a dominant side to their brain, one that they tend to use more.

If you are left handed then that tends to be the right hand side of your brain. The part that controls imagination, visuals, intuition and creativity. That’s why you tend to see a lot of actors using their left hand to write with.

If you are right handed then you would tend to be left brained. The left hemisphere is in charge of logic and planning. It is dominant with logic, facts, science, language and maths. You don’t tend to find too many left handed accountants.

Nearly all of us use both sides of our brains. Unless you have a brain injury or an operation like a hemiectomy then they work in conjunction with each other. This leads to our ability to see the world and interact with it. To make the most of this wonderful part of us, it is important to keep it healthy and to develop both sides as much as we can. Our tendency to be left or right brained can lead to us neglecting the activities that develop out less dominant half, but in reality they should be the ones we are focussing on.

If you are left brained try some of these activities to develop your right brain.

1 Astute observation plays a key role in developing a photographic memory. Take five minutes to really observe your surroundings. Remember the details with your eyes closed. Doing this regularly will strengthen your powers of observation.

2 Word association, doodling and memory games help unlock your right brain’s creativity. If you have shied away from sketching or painting, now is the time to take up that sketch-pen or brush.

3 Take up an art of your interest; music, painting, dance, theatre or writing, as they are all right-brain activities. Playing an instrument is a guaranteed right brain booster. While humming to your favourite tunes, make up random lyrics that rhyme (or don’t rhyme if you prefer!).

4 Try Origami to develop your motor skills. Folding paper into fascinating shapes will push you to be more innovative with each attempt. All kinds of crafting and scrapbooking is good.

5 Thinking up a strategy, visualising it and then immediately implementing it is the right brain’s delight. So when you play sports such as tennis,table tennis or badminton, the right brain is at its peak.

If you are right brained try some of these activities to develop your left brain.

1 From crafting the right sentence structure to perfecting spelling and grammar, the process of writing and the planning that goes behind it is one of the best ways to enhance your analytical side and stay sharp. This means blogging is good for you!  Even social networking may not be such a ‘waste of time’ after all. Tweeting compels you to spruce up your communication as your thoughts are limited to only 140 characters.

2 Logic-fuelled activities such as crosswords, anagrams, Sudoku, tough maths problems or a game of chess are great for stimulating the left brain. Try and crack reasoning and aptitude tests to boost your grey cells.

3 Being systematic has more advantages than improving productivity. Making to-do lists, organising data, chalking plans for the day or maintaining a diary aid in improving your left brain.

4 Learn a new skill, activity or language. Doing so optimises left brain functions as it is good at being focused and works well with conditioning exercises.

5 READ that book or Blog, don’t skim. Reading engages your mind, while skimming content and running your eyes through a page only weakens the left brain in the long run.

What ever you do this weekend, enjoy it.



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Self Hypnosis – The Betty Erickson Method

Eye (2)Betty Ericksons’ self hypnosis method

Betty Erickson was Milton Erickson’s wife. For those of you that know about hypnosis, this will be a very familiar name. He is often considered to be the most influential hypnotist of all time and was studied to develop other techniques such as NLP. His wife, Betty, describes this method for inducing self hypnosis.

Find a comfortable place so that you can sit or lie and relax.

Breathe slowly and focus your attention in front of you. Relax and let your body feel easy and lazy.

Decide how long you want to practice hypnosis for. When you tell yourself, “I want to practice hypnosis for (your choice of time)”,your subconscious becomes aware of this and will nudge you when the correct amount of time has elapsed
You also decide what you would like to achieve with this hypnosis. Write down a statement about the results you want after hypnosis. Doing this will help your subconscious mind to focus on that issue. One way to do this is to write, “I am practising hypnosis so that my subconscious mind can focus on issues like _________.”
The blank is for you to fill in. Speaking the sentence to yourself and writing it down helps you to tune your subconscious mind towards the results you want to achieve.

Now, focus on three things in front of you. Give each of them a reasonable amount of your time. Small things like a shadow or a photo will be good to focus on. Some people even speak out the object they are focusing on to help the mind tune into that mode and mood.

Now focus on what you hear. Separate three things that you can hear. This will help you differentiate the sounds from the surrounding.

Next think about three things that you can feel.Feel each of them for a reasonable amount of time. Subtle feelings like the weight of your watch, the temperature of your ankle or how heavy you feel would useful for your sensations.

Repeat the process of thinking about the things you see, hear and feel but only for two things each. When you have completed this do it again, but with only one thing each time.

This brings to end the “external” things that you need to take care of to hypnotize yourself. Now beings the internal hypnosis.

Shut your eyes. Remember an image. Make it an easy image to imagine – hypnosis is for relaxation, not to bring in stress. Accept whatever image comes to your mind. Don’t be judgemental – accept any image. If no images comes up, then try to think about something you would like to think about.

Next, let your mind acknowledge some sound and pin a name to it. Though the hypnosis is internal, you are allowed to hear sounds that are external to your body. The point is to accept whatever comes to you.

Do the same thing with feeling. Feel a feeling and name it. Use you visualization to do this. It could be a sensory experience, like feeling the breeze of wind, or it could be an emotion that arises. Accept whatever you can feel.

Continue the same way as you did with the external hypnosis. Use two images, two sound and two feelings and maintain this cycle.

When you are done or your subconscious gives you a nudge, open your eyes. You might feel out of place and bit fuzzy, but you will come back into the real world as per the time you had decided. Take a few deep breaths and have a good stretch. You may find that you just feel relaxed, but depending on what you wanted to achieve at the start of your self hypnosis, you may find yourself in a much better place, or closer to the solution you were looking for.

If at first you don’t succeed – it’s fine. Try again another day. As with all things, some people are better at this that others, but we can all get better with practise.

May you find peace, harmony and all the answers you are looking for 🙂


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The Plank Challenge

As much as I don’t always like to exercise, even I accept that keeping physically fit is important to your mental health.

The same things that keep your body healthy also help to keep you mentally healthy – lots of clean water, good natural foods and appropriate exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is important as it keeps the blood flowing round our bodies and that includes making sure that your brain has a good supply of oxygen. The best sort of cardiovascular exercise to stave off brain degeneration in diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s also includes mental stimulation e.g. going for a run in a wood as opposed to on a tread mill.

But other sorts of exercise are important too. Planking is a great way to strengthen your core muscles, is easy to do, takes no special equipment and can be started by anybody no matter what fitness level, though you should always check with your GP or health professional before starting any exercise programme.

Increasing your core strength helps to improve balance, improves your posture, makes you a more efficient runner or walker, improves stability, increases upper body strength, strengthens hips and pelvic floor and increases low back strength which reduces risk of injury.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s always best to start with achievable goals – so if you would like to increase your fitness, why not start with planking. It will take less than a minute a day to start with – and anybody can commit to that, no matter what time pressures are on them. By slowly building up the amount of time you plank for, you will steadily increase your core strength which will help you to do whatever exercise goals you set yourself next.

If you look it up you will find lots of different 30 day challenge patterns for planking. The one I have added at the bottom is for demonstration purposes only. If you decide to follow one of these you should choose the one that fits in best with your ability levels. If you can do it with a friend or partner – even better – you’ll be able to keep each other motivated and the competition element will keep you doing your best.

I hope you do something today to increase your fitness. It will make you feel better, it will give you a sense of achievement and your future self will thank you for the effort you make today 🙂

plank challenge sue


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Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease, sometimes known as PD or just as Parkinson’s is a neurological disease that has made itself at home in my family. My mother has it. Her Mother had it. My Brother has it. There are some thoughts that it may be genetically linked, but it could equally be environmental or lifestyle factors that have caused this cluster of cases.

Whatever the cause, it has made me look at the disease more closely, and as a hypnotist, made me think about ways that I can help sufferers cope with their symptoms, reduce the effects of these symptoms and generally improve their quality of life.

Parkinson’s is a slowly progressing degenerative disease that causes a loss of Dopamine producing brain cells. This lack of Dopamine causes the following symptoms

  • Tremor or trembling of the arms, jaw, legs and face
  • Stiffness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement (Bradykinesia)
  • Postural instability, impaired balance and poor coordination

As well as the motor symptoms listed above it can also lead to sleep disturbance, emotional changes and depression.

Parkinson’s affects about 1 in every 500 people and although it is most common in the over 50’s, about 1 in 20 sufferers are under the age of 40.

Current treatment of Parkinson’s involves anything from lifestyle change, drug combinations and in severe cases, surgery, but hypnosis is rarely recommended by doctors despite it’s ability to relieve many of the worst effects of the disease.

As a hypnotist my aim is to communicate with the subconscious part of the brain – the bit that you’re not really aware of. This is the part that helps to regulate and control your emotions and your hormones. By using hypnosis in the first instance I can help clients manage stress, feel better about themselves and gain control. Secondly I can help them with visualisations and techniques that have been shown to improve muscle control and stability. Hypnosis cannot cure Parkinson’s – to my knowledge nothing can at the present time – but it can make it easier to live with.

If you have Parkinson’s or know someone who has, consider speaking to a hypnotherapist who specialises in working with people who have this condition – and if you have any question please feel free to contact me either by leaving a comment, by emailing me directly at talktherapies@gmail.com, messaging via facebook at  www.facebook.com/TalkTherapies

Good Luck with your journey. I hope you find Balance.


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