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personal development, hypnotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy

Hypnosis For Personal Development: Is This What You Need?

personal development, hypnotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy

Personal development is a lifelong process of working on our individual qualities, behaviours and feelings to help us achieve our goals and live the life we desire. For some of us this is an easy process but for others, it is difficult to find what is ‘missing’ in our lives. We may find it difficult to recognise the patterns of habits and behaviours that stop us from achieving our goals.

Many of us have self-destructive behaviours that undermine our ability to achieve our goals. They are learnt over time and are often associated with negative thoughts about ourselves. They may make us feel low and unmotivated, they may represent  that voice in your head saying, ‘I can’t do it.’

Personal development is important. It doesn’t have to be about progressing in your career or running a successful business; it can just as easily be about obtaining balance in your life, having healthy positive relationships, or having the strength to create a new life for yourself.

If you are struggling with personal development and want to break the cycle of negative thoughts that may be sabotaging your efforts, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and hypnosis is a great way to be focused and formulate your goals while changing negative thought patterns.

How Does CBT And Hypnosis Work?

Generally, we all believe that achieving success in life is difficult, and failure is easy. Our language confirms this belief – we strive for success, we climb mountains, we believe that achieving our goals is a challenge.

If we already have this belief when we embark on personal development, is it any wonder that it feels so easy to fail?

Of course, some things are difficult. Quitting smoking, losing weight, breaking habits and behaviours that have become embedded over time. Failure can also become a habit, those self-destructive thoughts that say, ‘I will never quit smoking because I’m addicted’ or ‘I will never lose weight because I comfort eat.’

Therefore before we even give ourselves a chance at success, our subconscious is already doing its best to make us fail.

So if you are serious about personal development, you need to break the habits that set you up for failure, recognise when those behaviours are sabotaging your plans, and then focus on positive and achievable goals that will help you view success as easy.

This is where CBT with hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help change the way you think, feel, and behave. It can help you understand when those past negative thoughts and patterns are affecting you NOW, and teach you how to get rid of these feelings and focus on positive thoughts instead.

CBT and clinical hypnosis are highly effective at with personal development in the following key areas:

  • Confidence building
  • Fears and phobias
  • Breaking bad habits
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Panic attacks and overcoming anxiety
  • Boosting self-confidence
  • Emotional upset
  • Relationship advice
  • Personal and career development
  • Goal setting and achievement

Clinical hypnosis programmes are tailored to suit the individual, their needs and goals, and the issues they are struggling with. It has been proven to help people remove the restraints that are holding them back and motivate them to find the success that they desire, and motivate them even further to live their life in a positive and constructive manner.

It is more than important in today’s world to learn more about yourself, know how your emotions work and manage them in everyday settings. Changeable times and rapid developing circumstances have created a cascade of emotional issues. There has been an increase in anxiety disorders, panic attacks, depression, anger issues and stress related problems. These emotional difficulties have made presenting psychological support and information the appropriate way very valuable.

Personal development is something all of us can embrace; just make sure that you provide yourself with the right conditions to make it a success.

If you would like to talk through your thoughts and feelings about personal development, book a free 30 minute consultation with me here.

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight, weight loss solutions

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight?

How Many Hypnosis Sessions Will I Need to Lose Weight, weight loss solutionsGenerally, when a client comes to me for hypnosis for weight loss, it’s after struggling with diets and exercise plans and not seeing the desired results. While most diets and exercise regimes work in theory, in practice it can be very difficult.

Keeping on a restrictive diet is a challenge, and requires immense amounts of willpower and motivation. Similarly regularly exercising can also be hard to do, especially when there are so many other pressing activities we need get done during the day.

This is why hypnosis for weight loss can be so effective. It doesn’t replace a healthy diet or regular exercise – but it can help change the way you think about food and your body and help you achieve your goals.

I often think that it would be much better if clients came to me first before embarking on their weight loss plan. Then we can deal with those self-sabotaging thoughts, install positive behaviours, and maintain the motivation and energy to lose weight long term, right from the start.

However, whether someone uses hypnosis at the beginning of the weight loss plan, or comes to it after being unsuccessful, here I answer some common questions clients have about hypnosis for weight loss:

What happens during a hypnosis session and what does it feel like?

Every hypnosis session is tailored to the person’s individual needs, so experiences differ from person to person. Some of my clients feel calm and relaxed during our therapy sessions and some have experienced an increased state of awareness. While some daydream and others feel euphoric, still others feel as if they are asleep and wonder where the time went.

Regardless of how someone feels during a hypnosis session, it’s what happens afterwards that really counts! Typically, when a client has completed their first session they experience increased motivation and willpower with regards to their eating behaviours and are in control of their triggers for chocolate, sweets and fatty foods.

So how many hypnosis sessions will I need to lose weight?

Hypnosis works uniquely for each individual. When helping a person to lose weight, first it is important to reprogram the way they think about food, strengthen their resolve to eat healthily and not overeat. Clinical Hypnosis can help an overweight person lose weight by finding out what negative emotions are in play when they overeat. Why are they eating foods that emotional fulfil them, how does this affect their confidence and self-esteem, and how do they feel emotionally when they eat these unhealthy and junk foods? Hypnosis can help with the triggers that cause an individual to overeat, cravings for unhealthy foods, changing they way this person thinks and feels about their bodies and the way they perceive themselves.

The number of Clinical hypnosis sessions varies from person to person and can be determined during the initial assessment session. Normally a client will come each week for the first month to increase their willpower, release any emotional attachments to food and build their motivation to stay on goals to lose the excess weight they feel they have.

These sessions are extremely important at the beginning, then the sessions are tailored to the individual and their progress and goals to reach their desired weight. Often clients will come every alternate week until they have achieved their goals, reinforcing their positive behaviours and increasing motivation levels every time.

The client then moves on to the once a month protocol for support and maintenance to keep themselves focussed on their goals and desires what they want their ideal weight to be. Some group sessions are also provided to share their weight loss goals and have a supportive environment, the shared experience that keeps the motivation and progress going.

Why should you choose clinical hypnosis over other weight loss programs?

Hypnosis is a natural and long-term approach to obtain a healthy body image you desire. It helps you to be in control of what you eat, recognise when you feel emotional, stop you from reaching for those unhealthy foods. If your normal emotional response would have been in the past to eat junk foods when you felt sad, angry, frustrated or emotional, hypnosis will teach you how to manage this response in a healthy way.

When you go on a diet if feels like a chore and the negative effects are that our subconscious mind thinks we are starving and this feels uncomfortable. After a while you will feel under pressure to stay on this diet – it becomes a negative experience. Your body craves foods that will sustain you, especially those that have emotional connotations for you, and eventually, your diet fails. Your mind will trigger your self-preservation mechanism and you will go back to eating things that are not good for your weight loss.

Clinical hypnosis for weight loss is safe, natural, there is no use of medication: extreme dieting that makes you so unhappy or counting calories is not a part of the treatment.

Instead, it uses a combination of clinical hypnosis and CBT that changes the way you think and feel about food.

The focus is always on keeping the weight off long term so that once a client has achieved their weight loss target, or feels that they have the strength to continue on the right course, they don’t need further sessions.

To find out more about how clinical hypnosis can help you lose weight and keep it off, and to get started right away at home – download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success here.

If you have any further questions about clinical hypnosis for weight loss, please leave a comment below or contact me directly.

Why Do Men Find It Easier To Give Up Smoking Than Women?

Why Do Men Find It Easier To Give Up Smoking Than Women?

Why Do Men Find It Easier To Give Up Smoking Than Women?Samantha says, ‘I have been trying to give up smoking for years. I have managed 3 times for a short time but always find myself starting again. I have tried really hard but find myself hopelessly addicted. My husband was trying to quit the same time as me and has given up for 3 weeks now.’

She’s not alone. Many women have similar stories of finding giving up smoking much harder than their male friends and family. So, why do men find it easier to give up smoking than women?

Generally, men find it easier to quit smoking than women because of the different ways our brains respond to nicotine addiction. Cigarette smoking tends to be a more of an emotional attachment to women, than physical. This is why addressing the emotional satisfaction and associations with the act of smoking, before the physical cravings, is so important for women to successful quit smoking for good.

Nicotine Receptors And Giving Up Smoking

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine in the US conducted a study that found that men had more nicotine receptors compared to men that did not smoke. Conversely, women who smoked had an equal number of nicotine receptors to the woman that did not smoke.

“When you look at it by gender, you see this big difference,” said study researcher Kelly Cosgrove, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

These findings are important because it suggests that addressing nicotine addiction is not as important for women, as for men. While men may benefit from smoking cessation treatments such as nicotine patches and gum, women need to take a different approach. The researchers in the study suggest that women benefit more from cognitive behaviour therapies that help to address the emotional and cultural reasons they smoke. Relaxation and deep breathing exercises may also help more than using nicotine replacement therapies.

Emotional Reasons For Smoking

For women, smoking can often be associated with emotional triggers such as having coffee with a friend, occupying themselves when feeling insecure or the tactile sensation of having a cigarette between their fingers.

Here are some of the reasons why women find it difficult to give up cigarettes:

  1. Women often find when they are stressed and anxious they relapse because they equate smoking with relaxation,
  2. Women may find withdrawal symptoms harder to manage because they are not just fighting their nicotine addiction but also the sensation or act of smoking,
  3. Aids like nicotine replacement – gums and patches are not as effective with women due to how nicotine affects their brain,
  4. Women may also be apprehensive about putting on weight, it’s a popular belief that they replace cigarettes with junk food, and may justify smoking for weight control,
  5. Hormones fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can make quitting harder as women may also have to contend with emotions that cause them fall back into the smoking habit.

How Women Can Increase Their Chances Of Quitting For Good

If you really want to stop smoking you need to learn to cope with difficult feelings or situations. This may mean finding alternative ways of dealing stress.

For many, smoking is seen as a stress reliever (although it actually increases stress) so deep breathing exercises that mimic the habit of cigarette puffing, can really help. In fact, deep breathing exercises can not only provide a substitute for smoking but effectively reduce stress levels, unlike cigarettes.

Motivating and building self-confidence can also play an important role in quit smoking.

  1. Identify triggers to your smoking habit: when are you likely to feel like smoking? Recognise your patterns and understanding what your triggers to smoking are,
  2. Identify the reasons that you keep smoking. What causes you to have low mood and self-esteem, be anxious, get stressed etc.?
  3. Do things differently. Don’t try to do quit using the same approach as your male friends and relatives. Get support from a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist; try mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and ask for support from family and friends and the people closest to you,
  4. Set goals: SMART- simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals: Set a date, time and clear all the cigarettes from your home, desk and car,
  5. Drink plenty of water at least 6-8 glasses per day,
  6. Start a plan to exercise regularly and keep the momentum going,
  7. Avoid situation that will cause you to smoke again – social situations, friends that smoke, going to the pub. Don’t worry it’s only a temporary measure, once you’ve taken control of your smoking you can start to do these things again!
  8. Get a new hobby to replace your addictive habit,
  9. Use positive self-talk that will motivate and distract you from smoking. Many women find that delaying smoking a cigarette is an effective way to reduce the amount you smoke over time. For example, instead of having your first cigarette on the way to work, decide to have it later in the day and gradually extend this period of time. The feeling of empowerment can be very motivating – taking control – in fact, you might then decide to delay that first cigarette for good.
  10. Your nicotine craving will last only for 20 minutes so tell yourself, ‘it will pass, I can get through it.’

Women need to develop the confidence to find the best way to give up smoking for them. Instead of being influenced by what works for other people, particularly men, or what manufacturers of nicotine replacement products advocate, women need to understand what techniques will be effective for them.

In my opinion, the first step is to understand why you smoke. Forget about nicotine addiction, but focus on the emotional reasons you crave cigarettes and address these first.

If you would like to find out more about cognitive behaviour therapy and how this can be used to uncover those emotional triggers and teach you healthier ways to manage these, and give up smoking, contact me for an informal chat.

You may also like to take advantage of a free 30 minute consultation to chat through any issues you currently face.

Weight Loss With CBT A Case Study

Weight Loss With CBT: A Case Study

A wake-up call from his doctor warning that he was pre-diabetic and on a slippery slope to becoming morbidly obese; was the catalyst that resulted in him contacting me.

Toby knew that he needed to change his behaviour and habits around food. Slimming products were not having the desired effect as he was overeating and not exercising. Having found out about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and clinical hypnotherapy, he decided that this was the way to turn his life around.

In just 6 sessions Toby was able to:

  • Gain control over his excessive eating and take control over what he eats,
  • Start an exercise regimen to suit his schedule and has now been going to the gym for the last two months,
  • Lose his target weight of 1 and a half stone in the 2 months since he has been to therapy with me.

Overweight And Miserable

When Toby came to me he was 42, four stone overweight, and living with his mother. He was increasingly finding that his weight was affecting his health, he found it difficult to get around and a blood test had shown his blood sugar levels were too high. His doctor had spelt out the prognosis, ‘lose the weight or you’ll become diabetic’ – diabetes and obesity can lead to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

As well as the impact on his physical health he was also feeling unhappy, self-conscious, anxious and lacked self-confidence because of his weight. This meant that he didn’t socialise and spent most of his free time playing computer games and watching old movies with his mum.

Bad Habits

When he first contacted me Toby said, ‘I snack a lot after my main meals, eating bread, chocolate, fatty foods and fizzy drinks. My mum cooks huge meals and I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I eat even when I am not hungry. I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks and eating makes me feel better, but that has meant I’ve withdrawn from the outside world and I’ve been hiding at home with mum’.

As his weight has increased Toby has found exercising difficult. He’s self-conscious of his body fat and his low mood has prevented him from feeling motivated and strong enough to go to the gym or to the pool for a swim.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy And Clinical Hypnotherapy

‘From the minute I met Andrea I know that she understood exactly how I felt and she immediately put me at ease. The sessions were relaxed, informative and I learnt calming and relaxation techniques that I will take away for the rest of my life’.

The warning from his doctor came at the right time and Toby decided it was the time he took charge of his weight and life too. He thought clinical hypnotherapy would give him the motivation to change his thoughts and feelings about his image, and also his behaviour towards food. He wanted to eat less and exercise more. He wanted to start eating healthy meals, cut back on the snacks and find the motivation to exercise to tone his body. As a result, he would feel confident to go out with a few people at work and make friends. He thought that this would also give him the courage to move out and then start to cook and look after his own dietary needs. He was right!

I worked with Toby over 6 sessions and during this time he made some significant changes.

Initially, we worked on his self-esteem and his negative and self-critical feelings – ‘I am useless, worthless, unattractive, not worth loving’. We also changed his focus on food and the thoughts he had around eating – ‘if I start eating I cannot stop – I am really out of control’.

Instead, we found a new focus revolving around exercise, healthy eating and mindfulness. Taking control over his diet and food consumption has radically changed the negative emotions he had around food, and this has improved his self-esteem.

At the same time, Toby has made some changes at home and in his social life. He now cooks his own meals to ensure that they are healthy and for portion control, and he has started to socialise with a few people at work. As well as swimming once a week, he has also renewed an old hobby (bowling), which also gives him an opportunity to meet new people.

The stand out feature of this therapy was that it has changed him and his eating habits for good. He felt better that he had ever felt in his life. He also felt confident and asked his boss for a promotion and started doing a course on weekends and online so he could work towards this. CBT and clinical hypnotherapy has given him a new lease of life, and one new friendship he has made has the potential to become more serious.

‘After 6 sessions I was able to change my habits and behaviours with CBT’.

Now two months on from starting CBT and clinical hypnotherapy, he no longer has any sessions but is continuing to achieve his goals.

Toby now exercises four times a week and has lost 1 and a half stone. He feels confident that he now has the right mindset to continue this good work and lose the rest of the weight in a healthy and sensible way.

He has also moved into his own home.

Toby says, ‘In my opinion, CBT and clinical hypnotherapy is a healthier way to lose weight as it has dealt with the negative emotions and behaviours I had about food and my body image. Andrea has gently guided me towards a healthier way of living, giving me the tools to continue working towards my goals.’


If you would like to talk in confidence about your relationship with food, weight loss, body image, anxiety or any other issue that Toby’s story highlights, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation. You can call 07967 151 790, email [email protected] or book a consultation here.

 

Learning To Keep The Weight Off, weight loss goals

Learning To Keep The Weight Off And Change The Way You Think About Food

Learning To Keep The Weight Off, weight loss goalsHave you had trouble with losing weight? Learning to keep the weight off is difficult, isn’t it? Does it sometimes feel like your weight fluctuates more than the stock market? Do you feel you could write a ‘diet’ book all by yourself but for some reason, even though you ‘know’ what to do, you just don’t do it?

The effects of ‘diet quick fixes’ are not long lasting as many of us have tried dieting to lose weight and failed. Sometimes we see short-term successes, but let’s face it, more often than not the diet fails, lowering our self-esteem and making us feel like failures.

Whether you have a few pounds or a few stones to lose or just want to cut out junk food, you need to make long-term changes and stick to them. When it comes to losing weight, the good news is this needn’t be difficult!

Keep The Weight Off By Changing Habits

Beating yourself up about being lazy and calling yourself harsh names is not motivating, and actually makes losing weight harder. Note-to-self: You are none of these things, you are worth it, and you are beautiful!

So why isn’t your diet working? Changing your diet is necessary but sometimes it’s not enough on its own. The basic formula of ‘eat better + exercise more = weight loss’ is correct, but the problem is the psychological aspect of changing unhelpful patterns that we may have got stuck in.

Tips for keeping the weight off:

  • Start with a healthy eating plan: a protein-rich meal will keep you feeling fuller for longer and you will snack less between meals. This will help maintain your weight loss;
  • Make a weekly meal plan and shop accordingly. Even if you go out or have a change of routine such as holidays, keep to your plan and stick with it;
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. You can control your weight if you are eating regularly and don’t snack, so start the day as you mean to go on;
  • Exercise and stay active. Build your exercise slowly by doing a gentle jog or more vigorous walk, and then increase the amount and intensity gradually. Build your activity slowly and keep at it;
  • Get your friends and family to support you so that you stay on your plan to eat healthily and keep you activity plan;
  • Try different things so if you get bored you don’t slip back in the old unhealthy eating pattern. Buy a new cookbook or do a cooking course with your diet in mind and try a new exercise class that is fun and motivating;
  • Set some SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals and motivate yourself to not give up.

Why Does Hypnotherapy And CBT For Weight Loss Work So Well?

Hypnotherapy with CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) can expose hidden reasons that you have not previously been able to lose weight. This process allows a person to break through the barrier that makes it difficult for her/him to achieve their weight loss goals. During the session, you will go into a state of deep relaxation and you are able to link what you think and feel with your actions, to put things into perspective. When the mind and body are in the relaxed state, you are given suggestions that will help you with your weight problems and change your way of thinking about food. After a series of sessions, you can be successful in achieving your weight loss objectives and regain your self-confidence again.

Ever heard your mind thinking and saying, “I just can’t stop eating. The more I try the harder it is?”  This is because the ‘unconscious’ is still making you think about food, making the battle of Mind vs. Food – Food: 1, Mind: 0.

Also, if you have the wrong diet your body may lack the right nutrients and so be driving you to eat more food in an urgent attempt to meet its nutritional needs. When you have a healthy natural diet, there is much less need for willpower because your body stops craving sugary foods.

In combination with eating healthier, the therapy works with the unconscious mind, changing your inner feelings and thoughts towards food. By resolving conflict, the ‘unconscious’ becomes aligned with the conscious, to bring about change on all levels.

You will come to learn how powerful your thoughts are and then harness that power to focus on what you want. Your unconscious mind will direct you to the healthier outcomes you desire and will change your behaviours to reach your goal, making permanent weight loss a reality!

Hypnotherapy and CBT help by:

  • Removing your desire to eat sugary foods or overeat.
  • Forming a positive self-image, using visualisation techniques.
  • Producing a more robust feeling of determination and strength.
  • Providing you with the motivation to exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Improving your confidence, self-esteem and positive thinking.
  • Giving you tools and techniques to cope with the stress.
  • Resolving any past events which may be connected to weight gain

Hypnotherapy together with CBT is a safe and effective method of embedding the habits that will allow you to lose weight. Through this process, you will feel in control of yourself, your weight and your life.  Why wait any longer for the weight to drop off and live the fulfilled life you wish for?

For a chat about how you can learn to keep the weight off, contact me on 07967 151790 for a free consultation.