Yes I am. I trained at the prestigious Anglo-European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis and am listed under the college directory. I was awarded the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma, considered the gold standard in hypnotherapy qualifications. I’m a member of the General Hypnotherapy Register and the CNHC.
As a professional I’m committed to on-going training and supervision to keep my skills and knowledge up to date. I’ve completed additional specialist hypnotherapy training in anxiety management, sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, metaphor therapy, pain management and weight loss. I’m also a BWRT® practitioner and very excited to bring this rapid and dynamic therapy to Devon.
Hypnosis is an everyday experience that we’re all familiar with. Whenever you’re totally absorbed in reading a good book, driving on autopilot or even just day-dreaming, you’re experiencing a light state of hypnosis. The difference with hypnotherapy is that you are guided into hypnosis and the experience is deeper.
People often believe that hypnosis is a passive process, something that is done to you, but it actually requires your participation. Hypnosis is not like sleep, and you’re not unconscious; it’s similar to the state between sleep and full waking consciousness. Hypnosis is simply a state of focused inner absorption with a heightened sense of awareness.
Most people find hypnosis a very relaxing, calming and enjoyable experience. It’s common to have increased awareness of pleasant feelings and sensations in your body. Many experience a sense of comfortable heaviness, lightness or a floating sensation; although sometimes it feels just like relaxing or day dreaming with your eyes closed. While the majority of people are aware of and remember everything others will find they only have a vague memory of the session. Everyone is different and will experience hypnosis in their own unique way. Most people find hypnosis leaves them with a deep sense of inner peace and harmony.
Each session begins with some talking therapy – not all your time with me will be in hypnosis, though most of it will. I will help you to focus on what you want to achieve, to help you overcome the problems and challenges in your life. My aim is to help you achieve your goals as quickly and painlessly as possible – I don’t dig into the past unless absolutely necessary.
I will guide you in some simple imagination exercises to help you develop a relaxed inner focus. When you’re experiencing hypnosis your mind is more open and suggestible to positive new ideas and different ways of thinking, which then leads to new habits and behaviours. So I will guide you to imagine and mentally rehearse various scenarios and ideas to help you achieve the changes you’re aiming for. In addition to the work we do together, we’ll explore various techniques for you to use at home; for example practising self hypnosis and journaling.
Most clients will need between four and six sessions for effective change. Simple phobias may be resolved in fewer sessions, more complex issues may require longer.
It’s important to bear in mind that hypnosis is not something done to you. It’s a collaborative process in which the hypnotherapist is your guide and, using your imagination as suggested, you make it happen for yourself. Anyone who can understand and follow simple guidance can benefit from hypnotherapy. No-one can be hypnotised against their will, but if you’re ready for change and approach hypnotherapy with an open mind and a positive expectation, then you’ll definitely experience hypnosis.
What is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It may sound a complicated title, but it’s actually a very straightforward and down-to-earth method for making powerful personal changes. NLP focuses on what you want to achieve in life, rather than your problems; helping you learn how to use your mind to transform your life. While NLP may be used as a therapy on its own, I combine it with hypnotherapy for powerful results.
What is cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy?
The basis of cognitive behavioural therapy is that our beliefs, thoughts, interpretations and assumptions about the world determines how we feel and act; as opposed to the influence of the world itself. Cognitive behavioural therapy will help you to overcome problems which are perpetuated by unhelpful negative thought patterns. You’ll be assisted to identify distorted, unhelpful and unrealistic thoughts – substituting them with more positive, realistic and constructive thoughts. These are then rehearsed in hypnosis with imagery, and so have a much deeper and lasting impact than just positive thinking alone can achieve. This creates positive changes in the way you think and feel which will change your behaviour, and ultimately your life as a whole.
Change your thoughts and you will transform your world.
Hypnotherapy is a highly adaptable practice and all sessions are created to suit your individual needs. If you’re unsure whether I can help please get in touch as it’s usually quite straight forward for me to tailor my approach for your particular issue.
Take the first step – contact me today
I know that many of the clients I see have no idea that what they are experiencing is very common – according to research 10% of the UK population suffers from anxiety.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, accompanied by worry or fear. Some of the physical symptoms you may experience include: heart palpitations, increased breathing rate, perspiration, difficulty thinking clearly, dizziness or tremors. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, such as before an interview or exam. Often anxiety is linked to very specific events and if you avoid those circumstances then all appears to be well, although unfortunately this only exacerbates the problem. If your anxiety about speaking in public, for example, is preventing you from furthering your career; hypnotherapy can help. Exam or driving test anxiety is another area where hypnotherapy can be very beneficial – giving you the opportunity to perform at your best.
If you have general anxiety you’ll feel anxious about a wide range of different situations, rather than a specific event. The exact cause of your anxiety may not even be clear to you –anxiety about the feelings of anxiety is very common.
It doesn’t mean there’s anything fundamentally wrong with you – in fact our brains have evolved to react this way to protect us from anything perceived as a threat. This threat detection and defence system is referred to as the “fight flight” response; stress hormones are released triggering a chain of physical reactions, gearing the body up for a burst of physical activity. It’s a powerful force that enables us to act quickly, efficiently and even perform incredible feats of human endeavour. The problem is that our brain – and body – responds in the same way whether we’re faced by a dangerous predator, a mountain of work, an overwhelming social situation, or an imagined future event. When this response is sustained over time it has a negative impact on our normal functioning. Severe anxiety can result in panic attacks.
Anxiety may well affect every area of your life but it’s not something you have to live with – there are solutions. I will use a range of hypnotherapy techniques to help you overcome your anxiety and the cycle of worrying thoughts enabling you to feel more physically relaxed, mentally calmer, more positive and confident. I want to help you overcome your anxiety as easily and painlessly as possible – so there’ll be no raking up the past. We’ll be focusing on solutions, not causes. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve suffered from anxiety; age is no barrier! I’ve worked with clients in their 70s who have suffered from anxiety their whole adult lives, yet experienced profound transformation with hypnotherapy. All that’s required is an open mind, belief that change is possible and willingness to fully participate.
As well as the therapy we do together I’ll also teach you skills and strategies to help you cope more effectively with the challenges life inevitably presents so that you can feel calm, confident and in control whenever you need to be….giving you the freedom to live life to the full.
…pressurised working environments, job cuts, pay squeezes, endless emails and messages all demanding instant responses, let alone juggling a busy work and home life.
Stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably but there is a subtle difference. Stress tends to be triggered by very obvious external circumstances while the cause of anxiety may be less clear and related to excessive worrying about potential future events, as well as anxiety about the feelings of anxiety. Both stress and anxiety have some of the same physical symptoms, triggered by the same chemical reactions; palpitations, sweaty palms, muscle tension, churning stomach.
While short periods of stress can actually be beneficial to keep us safe and help us perform at our best, the fact is that our bodies simply haven’t adapted to cope with long term modern stressors. When we’re stressed our body is out of balance and when that’s sustained over a long period our health begins to suffer – maybe you start to get colds more frequently, find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep or your blood pressure goes up.
The good news is that the stress response can be turned down by thought alone. Hypnotherapy will help you to relax and learn how to breeze through potentially stressful situations with calmness and clarity of thought. Hypnotherapy helps you to change how you respond to the pressures of modern life, leading to greater enjoyment and fulfilment in life – and in the long term keeping you healthy and well.
Exam or driving test nerves are a form of anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of unease, accompanied by worry or fear. Perhaps you feel as if you haven’t prepared well enough and have thoughts like ‘I’m going to fail’ or ‘I’m going to forget everything I’ve learned’. Some of the physical symptoms you may experience include: heart palpitations, increased breathing rate, perspiration, difficulty thinking clearly, dizziness or tremors.
Everyone feels anxious from time to time, such as before an interview or exam. A little anxiety can help you to perform at your best, but if your anxiety is too severe it can of course have a negative impact on your performance.
I can help you to understand why and how you have these thoughts and feelings – then together we can work towards solutions. I will use a range of hypnotherapy techniques to help you overcome your nerves and the cycle of worrying thoughts enabling you to feel more physically relaxed, mentally calmer, more positive and confident about taking your exam or driving test.
As well as the therapy we do together I’ll also teach you skills and strategies to help you cope more effectively so that you can feel calm, confident and in control whenever you need to be….giving you the opportunity to perform at your best.
A phobia is an anxiety disorder described as a persistent, illogical and excessive fear and anxiety about a particular object, situation, place or animal, disproportional to the actual danger posed. In some cases simply thinking about the phobia will cause anxiety or panic.
To cope with phobias people often go to great lengths to avoid the source of their phobia (e.g. taking a detour to avoid crossing a bridge) or use safety behaviours (e.g. only crossing a bridge with a friend) – both of which actually exacerbate the phobia. So it becomes difficult to learn that you can cope and that heights are not as dangerous as you think. This also creates a vicious cycle – the longer you avoid something the more frightening it seems, making it more difficult to face in future. The degree to which a phobia interferes with daily living often relates to the ease and success of avoiding the stressor. It’s much easier to avoid having an injection than to avoid bridges for example. In severe cases sufferers will organise their lives around avoiding the trigger stimulus.
Phobias frequently begin in childhood or adolescence, often as a result of a specific traumatic event, or learned from parents or siblings. Phobias include animal/insect phobias; environmental phobias, e.g. heights; situational phobias, e.g. dentists, flying; and bodily phobias, e.g. fear of vomiting, which is often linked to social phobia. Complex phobias are related to particular situations and circumstances and tend to be much more disabling, e.g. agoraphobia, social phobia.
Physical sensations related to a phobic response include palpitations, shortness of breath, perspiration, tremors and an upset stomach. Clients often describe being paralysed by fear and wanting to run away, although generally people know that their fear is irrational. Along with this the mind goes into overdrive with a stream of negative and frightening thoughts, such as “I can’t cope with this”, “I’ll faint”, “this is extremely dangerous”. These overwhelming thoughts exacerbate physical symptoms, which in turn affects behaviour, creating a vicious cycle which is difficult to break out of on your own.
I will use a combination of approaches from hypnotherapy and NLP to help you overcome your phobia, enabling you to see it in a completely different light. Significant changes can usually be experienced fairly quickly for simple phobias; complex phobias generally take longer.
Hypnotherapy for pain management is well researched. There is much evidence demonstrating that thousands of people have overcome pain with the help of hypnosis and the power of the mind.
Everyone experiences pain in some form or another at various times in life. Pain is an important and necessary part of life – to act as a warning signal and to prevent us from harm. However it’s when pain becomes chronic that it presents challenges in life. We all perceive pain in our own unique and individual way; two people may have the same condition, but experience it in very different ways. It’s likely that your experience of pain changes depending on various situations and circumstances; sudden mental and emotional stress, for example, often exacerbates physical pain. Furthermore the emotional experience of pain – or level of suffering – varies enormously from one person to another. If you experience fear, anxiety, stress or depression due to chronic pain, be assured you are not alone. Chronic pain is an emotional roller coaster and this is fully understood and worked with. Every client and their experience of pain is unique and I will tailor my approach accordingly.
I’ve experienced chronic pain myself for 15 years – needless to say this has had a huge impact on every aspect of my life. Obviously your experience of chronic pain will be different to mine, but you can be assured of an understanding and empathic approach. I use self hypnosis regularly to alter my experience of pain to a level where I can do the things in life I enjoy most. Using self-hypnosis has also dramatically changed the level of emotional suffering I used to experience in relation to physical pain.
A willingness to practice and experiment with the various techniques you’ll learn is very important. Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand but can provide relief from pain with persistent effort. You have the ability to alter your experiences and responses to pain, as many others have, with the potential to lead a more comfortable and more fulfilling life.
Many sufferers have found relief from these distressing symptoms using hypnotherapy
Research evidence shows that in the majority of cases hypnotherapy improves many of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, enabling sufferers to live a far fuller and freer life than was possible before. In fact the evidence is so strong that hypnotherapy has been recommended to the NHS by NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as a treatment option for IBS.
I will use hypnosis to help you relax deeply, releasing stress and tension, incorporating imagery techniques to relieve the symptoms of IBS. As well as the therapy we do together, you’ll learn self hypnosis, relaxation and imagery techniques to practice and use on your own. This new self-reliance enables you to gain control over your symptoms, giving you the freedom and confidence to live the life you deserve.
In the vast majority of cases high blood pressure has no identifiable medical cause. Instead it’s a complex interaction of lifestyle, environment and genetics. This is known as essential, or primary, hypertension and accounts for 95% of cases.
Your GP will only help you to manage the symptoms of essential hypertension – not the underlying cause. Once you start taking medication for high blood pressure you’ll likely be taking them for the rest of your life. Your doctor simply doesn’t have the time or resources it takes to explore and deal with the complex web of causes which includes diet, obesity, smoking, stress, lack of sleep and lack of exercise.
Hypnotherapy can help you to address some of the principal factors contributing to high blood pressure. You’ll learn techniques and strategies to cope more effectively with the stressors life inevitably presents us with. I’ll teach you how to relax more easily and switch off from the day so you can sleep better. If you need motivation to exercise and eat more healthily hypnotherapy can help with that too. Even reducing your blood pressure by a small amount can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
If you’re serious about reducing your blood pressure naturally contact me today.
My first encounter with hypnotherapy was because of insomnia and I’ve found it invaluable to help me sleep well.
It’s difficult to define what a good night’s sleep is as we’re all unique; some people function very well on six hours sleep – others can’t cope if they have less than eight. Your age, environment, diet, the amount of exercise you take, as well as your general lifestyle all play a part in determining how much sleep you need, as well as affecting the quality of your sleep.
The most common symptoms of insomnia are:
Difficulty falling asleep and being unable to switch off.
Waking during the night, often with a racing mind.
Waking very early and not being able to go back to sleep.
Feeling tired, irritable, poor concentration, difficulty with daily functioning.
Often there are underlying emotional disturbances which affect sleep, like stress, anxiety or depression and when these are addressed sleep improves. Sometimes sleep problems simply develop into a habit, persisting long after the original stressor has passed.
Using a range of different techniques I can teach you to relax more easily, calm your mind and re-establish a natural sleep pattern. You’ll also learn practical techniques to practice and use on your own, leading to better quality sleep. Your first hypnotherapy session includes my sleep hypnosis CD.
Recent research indicates that 1 in 5 people in the UK experience depression or anxiety.
It’s generally agreed that there are multiple factors involved in depression which interact in very complex ways. These include genetics, biochemical factors, life events, and cognitions (thought processes). If you’ve seen your GP for depression you’ve probably been prescribed anti-depressants. While there’s certainly a place for medication – anti-depressants are very helpful in treating biochemical imbalances and biological disturbances – they don’t address negative thinking patterns and limiting beliefs. This is where hypnotherapy is so effective.
If you suffer from depression it’s likely you have a tendency to judge yourself very harshly and to ruminate excessively – plainly speaking that means thoughts about things that have happened or could happen, run over and over in your mind. Using a combination of different techniques I will help you to break the cycle of rumination, say goodbye to your inner critic, and let go of limiting beliefs that are holding you back. I will use a range of hypnotherapy techniques to help you leave the past behind, enabling you to focus on taking control of your mood and your thoughts, building self-worth and self-esteem.
My hypnotherapy work does not involve delving into past issues as this is not helpful with depression. I’ll ask you a few questions about your past during assessment, but that’s all – we’ll be focusing on solutions, not causes.
You’ll also learn different tools and strategies, including self-hypnosis, to use to help yourself. I believe this is really important – so that you know that there is something you can do to help yourself – this helps to build self-esteem and self-efficacy. However, I’m very cautious about over-burdening you with things to do in the early stages of therapy – this is your therapy, so we will work at a pace that feels comfortable for you.
Hypnotherapy can help you look forward to a brighter future…
Everyone lacks confidence at times – it’s a fluid and changeable state. You may feel confident in some areas, but not others. Perhaps you’re confident at work, but lack confidence in social situations. Or you’re confident with friends and family, but lack the confidence to progress in your career. Real confidence is feeling that whatever happens, you can handle it.
Self-esteem refers to how you view yourself; how much you value and respect yourself. Low self-esteem is associated with self-doubt, self-criticism and sometimes shame or even anger. Both lack of confidence and poor self-esteem are linked to anxiety and depression, affecting overall quality of life.
While lack of self-esteem and confidence often restrict people from achieving their full potential, this isn’t necessarily always the case. Low self-esteem is also linked to perfectionist traits. Perfectionists are often very high achievers which may lead to imposter syndrome and fear of being ‘found out’.
Poor confidence and self-esteem are often related to beliefs about:
Not being good enough
Being less worthy than others
Being a failure
These beliefs lead to negative self-talk and self-criticism, and comparing oneself negatively to others. Despite the fact that this internal voice may be relentless and debilitating it’s frequently not even recognised because it’s a permanent feature of our internal world – rather like a TV on very quietly, just there in the background.
People who feel confident and have a good sense of self-esteem are usually happy, feel secure and have a good overall sense of well-being.
Hypnotherapy will help you to develop a stronger sense of self, increased self-awareness, assertiveness and confidence in a wide variety of situations. I will use a range of techniques to help you develop greater self-esteem and confidence including cognitive behavioural therapy, NLP and mindfulness. Developing self-compassion towards oneself is also central to my work. We generally recognise that being kind and compassionate towards others is a positive thing, but what about showing the same kindness to ourselves? This is a crucial factor in enhancing self-esteem; hypnotherapy will help you to change the way you think about yourself, enabling you to overcome negative beliefs and self-doubt. So if you’d like to say goodbye to your inner critic and develop the confidence and self-belief to live life to the full…
Studies show that by using hypnotherapy to stop smoking, you are far more likely to quit than with willpower alone.
I believe that a two session programme gives you the best chance possible of easily quitting smoking for good. So my stop smoking programme consists of two sessions a week apart. You’ll also be given a self hypnosis CD to practice every day at home in between appointments.
These sessions will provide you with tools to aid relaxation and overcome stress, explore unconscious reasons preventing you from giving up and remove all old associations with smoking. Limiting beliefs – like how smoking helps you relax or how you’re addicted to nicotine – will also be addressed and effectively overcome. In addition I will use lots of positive suggestions and various imagery techniques to help you quit smoking for good.
Stopping smoking is also about overcoming ingrained habits; such as smoking during your work break, with a cup of coffee or after dinner. Habits form part of our unconscious mind and hypnotherapy can help break the connection in the unconscious. It’s also important that you’re very clear on what’s motivating you to quit – this will really help with the therapeutic process and we can reinforce this in hypnosis for you.
By the end of your two hypnosis sessions you’ll also have techniques to use independently to help you feel mentally calmer, physically more relaxed and altogether more confident about your ability to stop smoking and to remain a healthy non-smoker. For those who engage with my stop smoking programme, quitting becomes so much easier and less stressful than those who stick it out using will-power and patches alone.
A large study conducted by the University of Iowa and published in New Scientist in 1992 found that hypnosis was three times more likely to help clients stop smoking than other approaches tested. The study concluded that “Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking.”
Another study by the North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2007 found that hospitalised patients were more likely to quit through use of hypnotherapy than any other method.
The best diet plan in the world is pointless without motivation and commitment. Hypnotherapy can help you shrug off temptation, stay motivated, overcome limiting beliefs and maintain the inner strength and will-power you need to reach (and keep) your target shape, weight and size. If you’re committed to making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle hypnotherapy can help you reach your goals.
With my weight loss hypnotherapy programme I will help you to clearly identify your goals and then together we can put in place strategies to help you achieve that. Hypnotherapy will help you to overcome unhealthy eating habits and establish healthier eating patterns for life. Your personalised weight loss hypnotherapy sessions will provide you with practical coping skills to use in the long term as you progress towards your goal.
Of course, diet is only one half of the weight-loss equation; hypnotherapy can help you with the motivation to exercise – and to enjoy exercise, and so begin a whole new, healthier phase of your life.