SFH is a type of ‘talking therapy’
That combines the use of psychotherapy with hypnosis. Hypnosis or ‘trance’ is a very natural, relaxing state, encouraged by using guided relaxation, where the mind can relax and then focus on thoughts and suggestions that might be useful. As a modern psychotherapeutic approach, SFH uses practical, structured, and well-researched strategies to help people make significant, positive changes in their lives in a relatively short period of time. Crucially, SFH, therapists look at what the client wants to achieve(the solution) rather than at whatever prompted them to seek help (the Problem)
What is hypnosis and is it safe?
Hypnosis or trance describes times when we experience a shift in our conscious awareness. Trance used during hypnotherapy is very different from the kind of things we might see in ‘stage hypnosis’.
In our day-to-day lives, we naturally go in and out of a trance state many times during the day-perhaps when we are driving, reading a good book, or even washing the dishes. In this relaxed state, we experience changes in our conscious awareness-almost like being in a daydream. During this time, the unconscious mind is more aware and can focus on more helpful suggestions and thoughts.
Trance is a very natural and safe state. Contrary to what you might see on the television, trance is not mind control! When we are in the trance state we are still in control, and we process and decide whether information or suggestions are useful to us or not and will not accept or do anything against our will.
Being in trance is a very relaxing experience, and it is something that all of us will frequently experience in our daily lives. In fact, experiencing changes in our conscious awareness is a vital part of our existence as humans. We need times when we can relax, reflect and consolidate information, and utilise different parts of our brains for different activities.
From a scientific perspective, changes in conscious awareness can be demonstrated using EEG,which is a method of recording electrical energy in the brain. Our brain wave activity changes all the time, particularly as we enter different phases of when we go to sleep. When I use guided relaxation and mental imagery it can encourage you to go into the trance state, which causes a natural shift in our brain wave patterns. This means that we might shift from being in a fully alert mental state (like when we are hectic and busy working during the day – as shown by beta brain waves activity) into other states. As we are guided into deeper levels of relaxation, the brain demonstrates more alpha and theta wave activity, where we feel calmer and more relaxed but can also visualise images and reflect on different ideas that may be useful to us.
This is why SFH can be so beneficial because it combines powerful solution-focused discussion, followed by encouraging a relaxing trance state so that the ideas and solutions discussed can then be explored and utilised by the brain for positive benefit.
Yes, but you still have to change those unhealthy eating habits! I just make it a lot easier. As you know when something is at the forefront of our mind its is very difficult to think of anything else.
There are many reasons why you find it hard to lose weight, stress, and lack of sleep factor high on that list. Along with emotional eating, comfort eating, rewarding yourself, and associating food with a time, place person, or activity. That’s why my approach is more holistic. You might not even know why you overeat but feel frustrated and out of control.
I like to think of myself as your guide, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, it is a way to connect with your subconscious mind. This part is in charge of your emotions, memories, beliefs, fears, and phobias. It’s also the part that automates everything we feel, think, or do. And our brain not keen on change so put obstacles in our way.
So, this is where I come in, rather than going at the problem full steam we will start at a gentler pace. You will decide on one thing you can stop or do more of! This needs to be something you feel sure you can succeed at but still feels challenging. You will then explore all the benefits that this change will bring.
This conscious thought process creates a link in the mind between your goal and outcome.
The next part can sometimes be more challenging as it is finding the thing that could stop you from achieving your goal. It could be an emotion, an irrational belief, or just a bad habit, whatever it is when you find it you will know!
Lastly, you will create a plan which will stop you when the obstacle arises.
The conscious effort of doing this triggers an unconscious process in the brain that does the work for you.
You’re not sure you believe me? 20 years of scientific research went into creating this wonderful tool which I will teach you. https://onelinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/spc3.12271
The second part of the session is properly more what you might think of as hypnotherapy, I will guide you into a relaxed state using guide imagery and positive thought. over a number of sessions, you will build on the changes that are important to you.
Why not take a look at what my clients have to say.
Contrary to popular belief positive thinking can be detrimental to achieving our goals!
During the 90’s it was discovered that a group of lady dieters who had a positive attitude to losing weight did worse than others who were more pessimistic! This was at a time when positive thinking was thought to be the way to achieve anything our hearts desired! And we still say to friends and children think positively, believe in your goals and you can do anything!!
Studies were done over the next 20 years on the effects of positive thinking and reaching our goals. Findings were dismissed at first but, over time more and more evidence showed that positive thinking alone just doesn’t work, and this is because our brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality.
Think of a time when something bad happened to you or someone you love; you can recall that feeling vividly? The same is true when we think about special times in our lives, maybe the birth of a child or falling in love. Take a minute to enjoy that happy memory.
Now I am not saying that positive thinking is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination Positive thinking is helpful to increase low mood, but, it can also trick our brain into thinking it achieved something already. So the evidence shows we are less motivated to carry out our goals. The brain likes to automate everything we do, think, or feel. For example, when we learned to ride a bike or drive a car, at first, we thought we would never learn and how hard it was, but now you don’t give it a second thought. Imagine just how exhausted we would be if we had to think about every move we made. The same thing happens with our habits, over time they become unconscious actions that we do without thinking!
Anything new takes practice! And quite frankly sometimes our brain doesn’t like change! We have thousands and thousands of neurons that fire and wire together, they form our memories and behaviors. You’ve been traveling down the same old road, the same road that you’ve traveled down every day. But, one day you hit a roadblock, what do you do? You can’t go over it and you can’t go around it so you have to find a new route. And that is what hypnotherapy does it finds you a new map to follow.
This is where I come in as a Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist I’m always being asked (mainly women) if I can hypnotise them to lose weight, stop eating chocolate, crisps whatever their downfall might be!
I know through my training quite a bit about how the brain works concerning our thoughts, believes, and habits. But knowing that didn’t help me to kick my bad habits, there is a thing called the GI Joe fallacy: The idea that knowing is half the battle.
The type of hypnotherapy I do is well researched and evidence-based, I help people to imagine their preferred future using solution-focused questions and guided imagery. So, I’m combining this research and my Solution Focused Hypnotherapy training to help you to achieve your goals.
I have walked my talk. At first, I used my approach to get my own snacking under control, I lost 1/2 stone in three weeks, that how much snacking I did!!
I then used my approach to get over my lazy thoughts towards exercising at the weekend. I get up on a weekday and do 30 minutes yoga each morning apart from Friday and the weekends which I consider my days off, but why? That’s the time, I have more time! I know how much yoga benefits me, my flexibility, and mental well-being, but still, my brain went ‘THE COMPUTER SAYS NO! The next Friday was V.E day, I got up feeling motivated and did yoga. I mention it was V.E day for a reason, I am not going to lie I did have a few drinks that day, but Saturday I still wanted to get up and do yoga!! And I did, and yes, I have been surprised.
Weight is affected by many factors, stress, and sleep issues among them, hypnotherapy lowers the stress hormone cortisol so it helps you to relax and unwind, your sleep patterns improve, which in turn helps with weight management and mental well-being.
Painting by Cameron Patterson.
Have you ever seen a mountain in the distance, snow-capped, surrounded by blue sky and fluffy white clouds? Maybe you felt the excitement of an adventure bubbling. And then doubt your ability to reach the summit? This my readers is being human.
Many years ago, I returned to learning and the said to me ‘women were not so good as men at making five-year plans.’ She went on to say men were better at seeing and saying what they wanted and forging on to achieve their goals.
I don’t know if that is true, but she did go on to say that taking the first step, however, small is the start of your journey. An important lesson for me. I had always wanted to be a hairdresser. This was something my parents didn’t want me to do when I left school. In those days it was not thought of as a creative job but something you did if you weren’t so bright!
Now in my mid 30’s with 2 young children, I enrolled in an adult hairdressing course. I worked one day a week in a salon for 4 years getting my practical training as payment. I was the oldest junior in town! And I loved it! I never minded the mindless tasks of sweeping up, and cleaning mirrors, after all that was second nature to me being a Mum. Life experience had taught me how to deal with clients. That and my charm and the ability to talk on any level. As time went by I had my clients and managed to find a work-life balance.
Fast forward 20 years and my husband tells me that he won’t ever retire. So at a time when some of my friends are planning their retirement, I find myself embarking on my next career.
While on a yoga holiday I was inspired by my group of yogis. They all had alongside their careers a holistic side hustle. This got me thinking and I remembered a fascination I once had with hypnotherapy. All be it from a stage hypnotist. Never the less it had left a lasting impression. I remembered afterward that I had had the most relaxed feeling.
After returning home, I started to look into courses. Feeling I was somehow being propelled down a path. Because every article I read, every program I watched or listened to, everyone I spoke to, everywhere I went hypnotherapy was mentioned. Was this my destiny? I now know that was because it was in the forefront of my mind. I enrolled in a Solution Focused Hypnotherapy course and started my next adventure.
Once again I found myself at the bottom of the mountain looking up. I took that first step, stumbling many times on the way to the summit, but I took that first step! Now here I am standing enjoying the view, taking in the mountain ranges in front of me. Steading myself in readiness for what my future brings, knowing that I have the strength, and the inner resilience to take on any challenges.
Maybe you have your mountain to climb and maybe I can help you also to reach your summit.
Fed up with making New Year resolution?
Just to feel deflated a week later. So many times, we start off with all good intentions, motivated, goals set, but our will power wanes at the first offer of cake or drinks for someone’s birthday. One won’t hurt? Then the guilt! You might not be surprised that our brain is hard wired to pleasure seek and if we are feeling down on ourselves our brain will look elsewhere for comfort. Food and drink release the feel-good neurotransmitter’s endorphin, so for a short while we feel happy and content. But not for long, soon the brain starts looking around for something else to make us feel happier and that’s when we can start spiraling out of control with our eating habits.
Hypnotherapy can help break this cycle by helping you take back control.
We focus on what you want and how you can achieve your goals through relaxation and visualization this coupled with an understanding of how the brain works in relation to stress and food consumption will put you back on the road to success. When we take action, we take control, this releases the neurotransmitter Serotonin, and the more Serotonin we make the happier our brain is. Other ways of making this wonderful neurotransmitters is by doing the things we enjoy in life, like meeting up with friends and laughing, taking part in enjoyable activities or hobbies. When we are doing a combination of these things, we start to think more positively about ourselves and our life.