Tag Archives: hypnotherapy

Hypnosis–meddling with mental health

When you say hypnosis most people have an image that comes to mind. People on stage doing stuff that makes everyone else laugh.

When you suggest someone goes to a hypnotherapist, in many ways they expect a similar experience. To be put into a deep trance, have their problems sorted and to walk out ‘fixed’.

Belief number 1 : You can’t be hypnotised

Because of the association with stage hypnosis many people would not come to see someone like me because they either believe they can’t be hypnotised or they are worried about the loss of control of being in a trance.

But you see I don’t hypnotise people. In fact I’m not sure I would know how. I am more a de-hypnotherapist

Cognitive Hypnotherapy works on the basis that trance states are part of everyday life, and include daydreaming and fantasising. Science indicates that we are in these kinds of states 90% of the time. For example, have you have you ever driven somewhere and not remember anything of the journey?

If you are scared of spiders (or know someone who is) are they being ‘themselves’ when there is a spider is in the room? No. When they are ‘doing’ the behaviour that relates to the fear of a spider then they are in an alternate state. A trance. I need to de-hypnotise them to stop them going into that trance state to get them past that behaviour.

So lets say you believe me and get over the whole trance worry. I don’t need to hypnotise you so you don’t need to worry about not being susceptible to hypnosis. So now what?

Belief number 2 : As an ‘alternative therapy’ I am not a qualified mental health professional

Maybe you think it needs a medical professional to deal with mental health conditions. Maybe you think it is dangerous for a non qualified alternative therapist to tackle issues like depression and anxiety.

Well I am a qualified professional. These are my qualifications.

DipCHyp : Diploma of Cognitive Hypnotherapy

NLP ( MPrac) : Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

CNCH (Acc) : Accredited Member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy. The NCH is also the governing body who’s Code of Ethics I abide by.

HPD : Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma

It took me over 10 months to get them plus an exam at the end. I am registered with the NCH and I am covered by professional insurance.  

We are also trying to get Cognitive Hypnotherapy accepted on the NHS and as a result I complete the NHS research forms for every client (for those in the know these are GAD7, PHQ9 and SWEMWEBS). I measure the success of my therapy using these forms and they go into a database that will form the basis of an article in a medical journal later this year. I have seen 100% improvement over 2 sessions using these forms with a few clients but my average is 40-60% improvement over 2-3 sessions.

I am also under on going supervision and have completed risk training. I will not take on certain clients with mental health conditions that have impaired the cognitive function such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar…to name just a few.I ensure that all times I look after the wellbeing of my client and of myself. If I feel there is a risk to that I will not take on a client.

Belief number 3 : I am not qualified to diagnose and give medical advice

You are right. But then I don’t diagnose and I don’t cure.

I work with my clients model of the world to understand where their problem comes from and remove the trigger. I don’t need to diagnose to help I just need to understand the subconscious purpose of the behaviour so I can guide you to change it.

Cognitive Hypnotherapists can see four clients in one day for something with the same name, however it doesn’t mean the same thing will work for them. People experience their problem based on different miscalculations, so clients need to be treated individually – not just have the same ‘script’ read to them because they share similar symptoms.

Do you think every person that is depressed is depressed for the same reasons? Do you think we all experience our symptoms of depression in the same way? If you came to see me to lose weight and I said “ah ha I know all about that, I struggle with weight too…what you need to do is eat less chocolate” then I would be labelling all overweight people as eating too much chocolate based on my labels and diagnosis when actually it you might not like chocolate at all.

Cognitive Hypnotherapists believe that the everyone has the resources they need to make the differences they want in their life. It’s an interactive therapy where the therapist acts as a guide. The principle is that the client can find their own solutions with skilled assistance. It does not involve the therapist as a ‘controlling’ agent, or someone who dictates what is ‘best’ for the client. A Cognitive Hypnotherapist works within the clients model and experience of the world, not the other way round.

I work with you to guide you to your own solution. My personal experience is irrelevant to helping you deal with your problems. For me, what my personal experience does is give me an absolute belief in the power of Cognitive Hypnotherapy to help overcome anything – no matter how traumatic or fundamental to who you are that thing has been .

I believe I can help you. If you come to me willing to believe the same then anything is possible.

If you want to give it a try, drop me an email to dawn@thinkitchangeit.com and tell me how you think I might be able to help. And remember, I do my therapy both online and face to face so it doesn’t matter where you live. I can still help you.

Weight Loss and Calibration

There are more and more studies that show that diets don’t really work. Doing something for a temporary period of time to deprive your body of food is not how we are designed. Our body goes into starvation mode…slows down our metabolism and waits. When you have a day off your diet, it stocks up in readiness for the next starvation period.

And so you enter a cycle. Because almost everybody eventually has a day or a week or even a month “off the diet”. And each time you come off it, it’s harder to go back on again.

That’s not to say they can’t work. With a lifestyle change that involves fundamental changes such as exercise, weight lost on a diet can be kept off.

However, why not take a different approach. Often we connect food to something emotional – eating for comfort, food meaning more than fuel.

Imagine if we can reprogramme our brains to remove the emotional meaning of food and just see it for what it is – fuel to get us through the day. Able to truly enjoy what we eat because we can trust ourselves to stop when we’ve had enough or turn down those treats because we genuinely don’t want them and not because we feel we should.

It is possible. Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy to retune the mind. You can read about how I can help with that here

Now most people come to someone like me as a last resort. When they have tried every diet going. Some of them pretty extreme. These people have amazing willpower. Willpower they have used to deprive themselves of something they love. I help them so they have a more natural relationship with food – without constantly battling their subconscious and using their willpower.

But…those of us who have dieted for life (and I am one of those people!) are so used to following strict rules about carbs, syns, points, calories etc that we have never let our body and mind communicate with each other on what they want.

And that can be a tough step to take.

That is where calibration is important.

Think about when you play a game like netball, basketball, bowling etc. Any sport that requires you get a ball into a limited space. Let’s take basketball.

You throw the ball to the net and you have not thrown hard enough so it falls short.

You throw it harder but this time it’s too hard and it bounces off.

You throw a couple more times going a bit too far left and a bit too far right.

And eventually you find the net. You respond to the feedback from the misses and adjust your throw until it goes in.

What does this have to do with weight loss?

Well when you lose weight by retuning your mind you need to calibrate your mind and body. They need to learn to communicate with each other on what works and doesn’t work for you because they’ve never had the freedom to do that before. They have been ignored in favour of diet rules!

So to calibrate sometimes you need to eat more. Lots of food so you know how uncomfortable it is to feel full. And other days you may eat a lot less so you can know how much is too little. That’s calibrating on quantity. It’s important that you take the time to eat whilst doing nothing else. To listen as your stomach becomes more full. To be focussed on that and nothing else.

And then there is calibrating on quality. Sometimes you need to eat that food that you regard as unhealthy – fatty food, food that is all carbohydrates, sweet food. To allow your body to see how that feels. To truly taste it without guilt or fear of consequence because you’ve blown that diet for the day. And then other times you need to eat healthy food or diet foods. And with quality you need to truly taste it. See how it feels on your tongue – the texture and flavour. Savouring and enjoying each mouthful. Or maybe not. Because it might be when you truly notice what you eat that you realise that some things don’t taste as nice as you though they did.

Following rules of a diet are like playing basketball with a blindfold on. You can never calibrate the results if you can’t pay attention to the consequence of what you do.

Be Kind to Yourself

It’s an interesting thing that sometimes say isn’t it? 

“Be kind to yourself”

What does it mean? I know my response is often “Why should I be?” and I also know that’s not a good response. It’s something I need to work on!

So I thought I would start us off and maybe you could add to this. 

Why should we be kind to ourselves?

  1. Because only I understand what that means. I am noone elses responsibility
  2. If we do unto others as we would have done to ourselves, then I would always choose to be kind to others so why not myself?
  3. Other people are dependent on me so I need to be the best I can be for them

Hmm that’s not the most comprehensive of lists. What other reasons might we have for being kind to ourselves?


Addiction is an interesting thing isn’t it? A need for something that is driven in combination of physical and mental.

Of course, when it comes to smoking they do everything they can to keep you addicted even to the point of putting molasses in the cigarette paper to give it a bit of sweetness.

And the thing with addiction is, the more you do something the more you need to because our bodies are pretty clever and adapt. To get the same adrenaline boost you got when you smoked your first cigarette, you need to smoke 2, then 4, etc…to a point where to be able to get what used to be a normal adrenaline rush before you started smoking, you now need to smoke 40 a day. You are smoking to get your body to feel like it used to before you started. Because your body has adapted.

So it doesn’t do for you what you thought it did.

You can see that pretty soon smoking stops being about the physical addiction and switches to what is going on in your head.

On this basis, it makes sense that if we purely address it from a physical point of view then the chances of successfully quitting are more limited.

So if you want to do something with the NHS initiative of “Stoptober” or even if you’ve just decided it’s time to give up smoking or anything else, why not browse my website and/or drop me an email and see if I can help.

If you don’t know where you are going…

…how will you know when you get there?

I’ve always resisted goals because I don’t deal well with failure and as a natural pessimist I assumed I would fail. 

But if you are taking a journey, do you work out where you are going or do you just walk out of the door and see where you end up? 

A goal is just a marker for where you are trying to get to. 

Sometimes journeys don’t go to plan. I don’t know about you but I find it very easy to take the wrong action in response to the instructions on my GPS in my car. 

Do I abandon my journey immediately given that I have now failed? No.

A new route is calculated and I follow it. 

Sometimes taking a different path than planned actually works out better

Sometimes your new route is shorter, or prettier. Indeed, I’ve often said that if you want to get to know an area the best thing to do is get lost there. A goal is just a marker for a place we want to get to.

We often learn more when the journey to that marker doesn’t go as planned. 

And sometimes, the journey to that goal takes you to such an interesting place that you decide to change your goal to fit the new place. That’s ok. There are no “Goal-police”. 

In August I set myself a simple goal of getting my book into print so that people who didn’t read books electronically would also have access to it. 

As it happens, the book is still going throught the process. That’s ok. It’s still a place I want to get to, even if it didn’t happen when I wanted it to.

I also have a goal to get into size 12 jeans in time for my 40th birthday in October. So far I can put one of my pairs of jeans on and fasten them (without lying down!). They are still too tight to wear but I think this is a goal I may hit. We’ll see. 

So what goals are you going to set yourself for September and beyond? Let me know. 

And if you need my help to unblock something that is getting in the way of your goals, I can help you with developing the map to get you there so drop me an email to dawn@thinkitchangeit.com and we’ll see what we can do.