I specialise in stress and anxiety, but I also have lots of experience and find it really fulfilling to work with all sorts of areas.
Examples of other issues SF Hypnotherapy can help with:
* Low Mood and Depression
* Improve Performance e.g. sport, speeches, music
* Stop Smoking
* Weight Loss
Low mood and Depression
Clinical depression is incredibly common - different statistics give different figures but a any one time over 10% of the UK population has diagnosed depression. Over a lifetime the figures vary e.g. patient.co.uk states that 65% of the population will experience depression at some point. Depression is complex and can be experienced as low mood and sadness; loss of interest in the things that used to interest you; feeling tired; sleep disturbances; feeling guilty and worthless; losing confidence; feeling numb and empty and much more. It will very often alternate with anxiety. The reasons for becoming depressed are also complex and involve both biological and social factors. In all it means that depression can interfere very heavily with everyday life and can lead to suicide and self-harm.
Depression, just as anxiety, had survival value to us as stone age men and women. Evolution works in its own way and over very long time periods. Therefore, just because humans have made extraordinary advances "lately", this does not mean that the brain has changed in the same way. The brain is wired to become depressed under certain circumstances which is why depression and low mood are so common. As an SF Hypnotherapist, I work with you to realise that your brain is perfectly normal and in fact is trying to help you (in its very Stone age way), and then learn how to use your brain so it functions well in our modern world. We will talk about how you would like to feel and do in small, doable steps to get the ball rolling so you know that you are taking control again. I use hypnosis for about half the session to reinforce this change and help you feel calm and confident in your own abilities to change.
fMRI and other types of studies have shown that in trance, the brain treats mental and physical practice in much the same way and therefore achieves similar results. Mental practice in hypnosis not only gives gives people endless opportunities to practise, it also lets people practise excellent performance. After all, you decide what to focus on in trance. It can be used for job interviews; sports or music performance in general or for a competition; public speaking; doing well in exams; managing difficult conversations or any other situation where you would like to practise how to handle a situation.
Performance hypnotherapy looks at how the brain processes your issues and how to work with the brain instead; it works on lowering stress levels that interfere with performance and during the hypnosis you will practise how you ideally would like to perform.
A phobia is an extreme and overwhelming fear of something. It is out of proportion to the situation and can significantly restrict people's lives. It is stronger than a fear. The list of possible phobias is so long, it doesn’t make much sense to give examples here. The point is if the phobia has become a problem to you.
How it is treated depends on if it is a specific or generalised phobia:
A specific phobia only affects you when you come across the scary situation, for example avoiding flying, but it probably does not stop you travelling in other ways. Specific phobias can be treated in 4 sessions (incl. the free Initial Consultation). The treatment is very suitable for extreme phobias, as well as other fears, as it uses hypnosis in stages to confront the fear, rather than go full on to physically doing what scares you (immersion therapy). I will monitor your physical responses on a device during hypnosis to make sure that it does not become too uncomfortable for two reasons. Firstly: I want you to dare to start this process so you can be free to do what it is you want to do, and secondly: becoming too scared can increase the phobia rather than reduce it. You may not love spiders or buttons or heights or whatever it is afterwards, but you will be able to cope well or be indifferent and therefore continue to learn that the phobic response was unnecessary.
A generalised phobia affects you in a much more widespread way e.g. having a phobia of being sick can stop you from eating lots of foods and drinks; avoiding situations where people may be ill etc. This type is related to a more widespread anxiety, so it is much better to address the anxiety first. If this is treated as a specific phobia, it can very well cure that particular phobia, but the anxiety which is at the root of the problem could well express itself in other ways.
We all know how dangerous smoking is to our health. With a packet now costing about £10.40, it is also very expensive. If you can imagine yourself without wheezing when you exercise or not having to worry about your health or keeping all that money for something much more fun like a wonderful holiday, then the good news is that hypnotherapy is very effective in helping you to quit smoking.
The University of Iowa conducted a meta-analysis of studies using different methods to try and help people to quit smoking. This was the largest ever scientific comparison – looking at more than 600 studies which contained 72,000 people in total, from America and Europe. The results showed that hypnosis was three times more effective than nicotine patches or nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone, and concluded that hypnosis is by far the most effective way of giving up smoking (published in the Journal of Applied Psychology 77(4):554-61, 1992).
A reason hypnotherapy is so much more effective than nicotine replacement is that smoking, despite what people in general think, is only to about 10% a physical addiction which is quickly resolved in any case. The rest is psychological. In a stop smoking session, we will talk about your reasons for smoking and then look at what happens in the brain when you smoke. You will then have a long hypnosis session that will reinforce all that we have talked about and this will carry you forward until it is not necessary any longer. You will also receive a hypnosis download to use at home.
Many people will have successfully lost weight in the past, only to gain it back and then tell themselves lots of unpleasant things about their own perceived lack of self-discipline. Imagine instead knowing that you will not only loose the weight, but also keep it off. Imagine being kind to yourself as you are settling in to your new habits. So if you didn't always stick to your plan for various reasons, you will know that you are still ok and importantly, you are still in control.
Weight loss is also very much about brain and body chemistry. When we are stressed for a longer period of time, the body thinks we are in some kind of longer term danger such as a famine. The body then releases cortisol which, among other things, helps the body store fat, especially the dangerous type around the abdomen. This extra fat helped us survive famine - great survival mechanism but thoroughly unhelpful for most of us nowadays. There is obviously a lot more to it than this, but this is one reason why SF Hypnotherapy treats weight loss holistically by talking about how the brain and body work, making sure that the client is keeping stress levels down so the weight loss is not stalled by unhelpful body chemistry. Stress and anxiety also stop people from being in control of their decisions, so feeling calm means that clients can stick to their diet decisions. The losing weight hypnosis will also raise your confidence and help you be encouraging to yourself.