Tag Archives: Talk Therapies

Self Care Advent Calendar Day 16

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I wrote this yesterday in an attempt to get ahead of the game – I hope you enjoy it. What did you get ahead of, and how do you feel about it today knowing that you have one less thing to do?

One of the reasons I wanted to get this done yesterday is that today is my Partner’s Birthday. He is away at work in the morning, but will be home by afternoon and I want to make sure that the house is nice and clean, his favourite food and drinks are bought and prepared and that I can spend all my time celebrating with him.

Which brings me on to today’s topic – time.

The most valuable commodity you have is your time. We all have a limited amount of it – 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year and who knows how may years in our life. We sell our time to our clients or our employers. We give our time to our friends and family. Some of us have more than we know what to do with, some of us could do with bonus hours in the day and days in the week. Time is precious.

I often have people tell me that they don’t have time to do things. Exercise , meditation, cooking for themselves, mindfulness etc. My response tends to be that we all have the same amount of time in a day, we just have to decide how we are going to use it. When you say you don’t have time, what you mean is I prioritise other things over this.

Have you ever had a conversation with a child who wants you to do something with them, and you’ve said that you don’t have time. Try reframing that sentence into a priority statement. Instead of saying I don’t have time, you say it as I am prioritising something else over doing this with you. Now if the thing you are prioritising is important, that’s ok. Some things have to take priority – earning money to pay bills, buying food to eat, cooking meals to keep them healthy. If the thing you are prioritising is less important or maybe even selfish, then this sentence can highlight that and help you to see things in a more honest way. For example if you tell someone that you are prioritising getting drunk over helping them with something important to them, then you are going to struggle to justify that.

So, spend your time wisely today – and every day. It’s one of the few things you can never get back.


One of the ways you can tell if you, or someone you know, has an addiction is the way they prioritise their time. If fulfilling the addiction takes priority over everything else, like being with others, taking care of themselves or their children, or working, then it’s time to get some serious help. Hypnotherapy and other talking therapies are one of the best ways to help you break free of addictive patterns. See if you can get the need today.

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How are you going through life?

I heard someone talking on the TV this morning. They had been married to a man who was an outspoken atheist and was killed by religious extremists – she herself had been severely attacked at the same time. The interviewer asked her how she coped now. She relayed something her husband said to her – ‘when I’m travelling along in my little sail boat and the waters seem to big or to dark, I look up and I find you, ready to pull me along’. I just stay who I am, solid, and keep going.

As a hypnotherapist I’m very interested in peoples metaphors. It has been said that our metaphors are actually a direct line to our subconscious. The words we choose, the way that we express ourselves, often has little to do with a deliberate thought – we just say what we feel. When that expression comes in the way of a metaphor it can be very revealing.

So I ask the question – How are you going through life?

Are you the centre of your own universe?

Are you travelling through an environment? If so what is that environment like? Is it scary or friendly? Is it free or constrained?

Are you on the ground or on water or in the air?

Are you in charge of your journey?

Have you got things or people with you?

If you are stuck – how can you become free?

If you are let loose – how can you take a step in the right direction?

What is around you?

How does this relate to other things?

Is there anything else that you notice about your metaphor?

What does it mean to you?

It doesn’t just work with your journey through life. You can use this metaphor process for anything. Maybe you want to think about the blog you are writing, the relationship you are in, your work life or business…what ever you want to think about.

It’s worth thinking about this for yourself, but it’s even better to talk about these things with someone else to see what their perspective may be on it…maybe a friend, maybe a therapist….that’s up to you.

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My WordPress Birthday

I had a message from WordPress today to let me know it was my 2 year anniversary.

How time flies.

There have been times over the 2 years when I have blogged daily, there have been other times when I was lucky if I managed to write something once a month.

I started slow.

I don’t really know what I expected.

As I have said in previous posts, I had two main reasons to blog. The first was to share ideas that might help people. I come across all sorts of issues in my hypnotherapy practice and some of them are relatively easy to resolve. It just takes a change of perspective and a little practice. I’ve tried to share these things and I’ve had some lovely feedback from people who have given it a go.

Which brings me on to my second reason for blogging – to showcase an promote my business. This has had a really positive effect for me. Not only have I helped to increase the visibility of my website on Google and Bing, but I have also had a resource to send clients to when they are looking to find out a little bit more about me and what I do. I have also had clients who have found me from my blog, which was a little unexpected, but an absolute thrill for me.

Another unexpected bonus was that I have had a few more likes on my Facebook and Twitter pages – again, helping to improve my visibility to clients.

As with all things, people have to know you’re there before they can get to know you, so when I’m going through one of my more prolific stages I try to like and comment on other peoples blogs to advertise my presence. This has been one of the most rewarding things of all. Getting to know some of you, reading your wonderful thoughts and experiences and seeing your struggles has helped me enormously. If you want a better understanding of what people with depression or anxiety go through – read their work. If you want ideas on how to help and support them – understand them. If you want to see things from a different perspective – look for different perspectives. The people who write and share on here are heroes who have a wealth of knowledge and experience for you to see. Go and find them – it’s truly brilliant.

So I guess what I want to say on my two year anniversary is Thank You.

Thank You for clicking on my links.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Thank you for all the support and feedback you have given me.

Thank you for helping me with technical issues that confused and bothered me.

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me.

Thank you for helping me to understand.

Thank you for everything.

Hopefully we’ll all still be here in another couple of years – tapping away on our keyboards and sharing our thoughts with the world – but until we get to celebrate that milestone – Thank You.

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My Happy Jar

My Happy Jar

This is the latest post about my Happy Jar. It’s been a little while since I posted an update on this, but don’t worry there’s still plenty going in the jar 🙂

The Happy Jar is a way to look back and remember all the little things that make us happy.

The idea came from a nice story I once heard about a woman who had a jar. Every time she thought of something that made her happy, she would jot it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Whenever she felt down, or fed up, she would go to her jar and find all the things that made her happy. Some things were big things, events that happened that she could look back on and smile, but most were little things that she could cherish and maybe even recreate to make her feel better.

So here are a few things from my Happy Jar this month.

A pink sunrise (yes I know, red sky in the morning – shepherds warning, but it’s still pretty)

Catching up with old friends at a house warming

Seeing friends happy – on a new journey, full of excitement and anticipation.

Fresh Blueberries in my porridge for breakfast.

A gift to myself being delivered.

The smell of freshly cut grass after it has rained.

Seeing my old dog act like a puppy when she finds a new walk.

Listening to an album I haven’t played in years (and still remembering the words).

Sprouting seeds.

Finding an old friend on social media.

Getting my nerd on with a friend.

Finding out that some amazing shoes I want actually come in my size (I’m 6ft tall and have size 9 feet)

Getting great feedback from a post

Getting caught in the rain and running for cover (then getting home and dry!)

Rediscovering a joy in drawing.

I know none of these things are amazing, there is nothing earth shattering about them, but all of them have made me smile and brought a least a little joy to my soul.

What will you put in your happy jar this month?

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Magical Metaphor

I’m over the moon to be writing about metaphors. You know – metaphorically speaking.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Metaphors are also described as figures of speech, allegories, parables, analogies, word pictures and symbols.

They creep into our everyday life without most of us even noticing.

Have you ever really been as sick as a parrot? (I didn’t even know parrots were particularly prone to sickness).

Do you ever get run off your feet?

Have you ever actually been on cloud 9? (or clouds 1-8 for that matter)

Does your head get foggy? (or rainy, snowy or windy?)

When was the last time you said something was amazing or awesome? When was the last time you were genuinely amazed or in awe?

Is the world a stage?

Have you ever drowned in debt?

Metaphors are everywhere.

Personally I rather like looking out for them? When you start to spot them you can start to notice the language people are using with regards to their metaphors – it can be quite revealing.

As a hypnotherapist I deal a lot with metaphors and symbolism. The subconscious mind is much better at changing things if you give it symbols to work with.

You might want to give this little exercise a go.

Let’s imagine you have something coming up that you feel uncomfortable with. Maybe it’s a test or exam, maybe it’s a meeting that you are worried about, maybe it’s a conversation you are not looking forward to having. What ever it is try to think of a symbol that represents how you feel about it at the moment. The symbol can be a shape, a colour, a character, an object – whatever works for you. Now think about a symbol that represents how you would LIKE to feel about it – easy, relaxed, confident – whatever is best for you.

Once you’ve got the new improved symbol in your mind, make it destroy the other, less useful symbol. It can squash it, rub it out, fade it away, blow it up, burn it down, screw it up and throw it away – what ever suits you – just make your new improved symbol the only one that left afterwards.

Now – ask yourself how you feel about the thing that you were concerned about….

…better?

Using this technique along with hypnosis can and does make powerful changes for people – you should give it a try – it could leave you feeling on top of the world!

(metaphorically speaking of course)

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Mental Illness is not contagious

Don’t be scared about being around someone who has a mental illness – it’s not contagious!

You can’t catch it by being kind to them.

You can’t catch it by spending time with them.

You can’t catch it by asking them what you can do to help.

You can’t catch it by talking to them.

In actual fact you can’t catch it at all.

That’s not to say that it is always easy living with someone who has a mental illness. It can be hard, confusing, scary and frustrating because you want them to be well and struggle to understand how you can help and support them.

Help is out there.

Help is there for people struggling with mental illness and help is also there for people trying to support someone who is suffering.

Getting help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you can’t cope – it just means that it’s OK to make it easier on yourself.

If you had to move a piano down a flight of steps would you try and do it on your own? Maybe you could, but wouldn’t it be easier with some friends to help – or even better some people who’s job it was to move pianos. Those people have the tools, skills and experience to do it in the easiest way.

So if you know someone who is suffering – either personally or because they are trying to support someone who is – be a friend. Lend a hand, or an ear, or even a shoulder to cry on. I know it can be difficult to know what to say or do, but just ask them if they’re ok and let them know that you’re there if they need to talk. You might be the only one who does and it can make a world of difference.

Did you know that statistically the biggest killer of men under 50 in the western world is suicide. Notice that I said men not people.

That’s because men are much more likely to commit suicide than women.

Do you know why? Because women talk more.

If you walk into work and see a woman colleague in tears, it’s pretty likely that at least one other woman will gather her up, take her off to the toilets and talk to her.

Now imagine it was a male colleague – what would happen then?

It should be the same, but it’s not.

Talking doesn’t make the problem go away, but somehow it makes it easier to deal with. You get support, caring, understanding and find a way through. When you try and do it all alone, you find that you can get into very destructive negative thinking patterns and have no one there to offer a different perspective. The downward spiral can be fast and horrific but it can be stopped – just by talking.

If people can’t talk to friends or family encourage them to talk to someone else. Maybe it’s a doctor or therapist, maybe it’s someone on a help line – hell, maybe it’s a bartender, but talking is always good.

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How to stop thinking

brainworm

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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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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Know your Talking Therapies

Do you know your Therapies?

There are so many ways that we can alter how we feel, what we think and how we behave, how do you choose the right one for you?

A good starting point is to have an understanding of them and what the benefits they offer.

The following is a brief summary of the benefits offered by some of the more popular talking therapies available…


Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

The benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy include the speed that it works, its simplicity to understand and its effectiveness as a therapy. There is very little (if any) need to understand the causes or roots of an issue, so can be used very effectively where a cause is not known e.g. a phobia that a client has had for as long as they can remember. C.B.H. works on changing the way the client thinks in order to change emotions or behaviours. It has a huge variety of uses including, but not limited to, phobia cure, Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour modification, habit change, anxiety and confidence strengthening

NLP

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is the use of language to effect positive change for the client. By examining their use of language, modifying it and using various visualisation techniques the client learns to change their responses. One of the benefits of this therapy is that the client can practice a lot of these techniques on their own. It is commonly used for phobia cure, confidence building, motivation, accelerates learning and habit change.

EFT

EFT or Emotional Freedom Therapy uses tapping to reduce an unwanted feeling. This feeling can be fear, as in the case of a phobia, or a compulsion as in the case of an addiction or obsessive behaviour. As with NLP one of the benefits is that a client can practice this technique on their own, as and when they feel the need. It is also useful for a client who finds it difficult or uncomfortable to be hypnotised.

Person Centred Counselling

Person Centred Counselling can be used for any type of issues. The key benefit is that the client will often dictate the pace. Also if the client is anxious or has confidence issues then they may feel more at home with this as they may feel more in control.

Regression

Regression is a particularly useful technique if the client has a problem which they are aware of starting at a specific point in their life. Regression can help the client to look back and understand things in a different way allowing them to move forward in a more positive way. This is often linked to things like emotional eating or a phobia, but can also be used to help physical issues such as psoriasis.


There is so much choice available, there is certainly something that will suit you.

Good luck with your Journey

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You’re a Star!

You are amazing! 

Yes, You.

You are made from atoms that formed stars.

You live on a giant, self sustaining, organic spaceship, flying through space at incredible speeds.

You are alive.

You have survived every obstacle that life has thrown at you – you literally have a 100% achievement record when it comes to getting through another day.

The water in your body once formed lakes that dinosaurs drank from.

You can change – just by deciding!

You can help make someone or something else’s life immeasurably better. Don’t believe me? Speak to a homeless person, volunteer at a hospital, adopt a cat or dog from a shelter.

You are not perfect, but then, neither is anyone else.

(and if you were that would be kind of annoying to the rest of us)

Photo(137)

Be kind to yourself, forgive your flaws, encourage your efforts, show yourself a little love…

You deserve it.

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