Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hypnosis can help you change

I have a toolkit of techniques that have helped me and other to make changes and feel better. One thing I help people with on a day basis is hypnotherapy. Its not stage hypnosis, rather its a way of helping people that is researched and evidenced based.

Yet many people have no idea what hypnotherapy is. In this blog I will attempt to give you some information about hypnosis.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Everyone needs their own reason to stop smoking

Many years ago I used to be a smoker. Then one day I decided to stop. My reason was my children as I didn't want them breathing in my smoke. I wonder what your reason might be?

 Over the years I have met many smokers. I was even a smoke stop advisor in the NHS. Then I tried to help people with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches or gum or some other NRT product but sometimes nothing seemed to help.

Since becoming a hypnotherapist I understand a lot more about smoking but the thing I have found most is that different people have different triggers to help them stop. It doesn't matter what information is out there or who nags them some people will only stop when they find their reason.

Recently I helped a man who had been smoking for 42 years. I will call him Richard (Not his real name as I will never disclose any information that could identify a client).

Richard said he had wanted to stop smoking for years and he had been one of those people who had tried all the NRT products and tables but nothing worked. So what was the reason that he came to see me? He thought it was to stop smoking but the real reason soon became apparent. He had poor health connected with his smoking but that hadn't stopped him. Financing cigarettes wasn't a problem. Other people like his GP telling him to stop didn't make him change.

Following our discussions I discovered that he had been feeling lonely and bored and the cigarettes were a habit that he was reinforcing. After probing deeper he told me that he was going to see a lost member of his family. Suddenly he had a goal and a reason to stop as he would not be able to travel with his health issues unless he did something now.

He had found the solution to his problem. With my help and CBT hypnotherapy he is now a non-smoker. His reasons was completely different to everyone's thoughts. Health reasons should have been at the top of the list but a previously unknown reason for stopping gave his drive as he could visualise the meeting.

If you want to stop smoking look for a different reason and get help. Like Richard you may have wanted to stop any times before but you probably didn't find the right reason then.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Change expressed in metaphors

A metaphor is a figure of speech or a symbol that gives richness to our vocabulary. Metaphors can be categorised  and discussed at length but I am mainly interested in the metaphors that people use when they want to explain their problem and are looking for change.

Some metaphors about change express change through the environment, some through the weather and many more related at all areas of life. Here are some examples of metaphors that I hear that tell me someone is thinking about change.

Its the season of change
I'm in the driving seat
I feel like I am being dragged along...
I feel like I am climbing a mountain.
It's and uphill journey...
I'm on a roller coaster...

From today I wonder how many ways of expressing change you might notice? How many metaphors of change can you add to my list?


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness in Practice

Hi, I'm a hypnotherapist, coach, counsellor and now I have added Mindfulness to my list of tools to help people focus their minds, and make positive changes so they feel better. Mindfulness is very much in the limelight so I sent myself to a Mindful teacher, I completed a course and continue to expand my knowledge and skills in Mindfulness. I like to find evidence that supports my practice and it was clear that Mindfulness has a lot of research to support it and it can help people.

But I soon realised that there are many similarities and also some differences between Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness. So how do clients choose who to seek help and support from when they want to change something? I thought about what I might do if I was looking for a solution to a problem. Well years ago I would just talk with others, gather information and then make a decision. Today we have access to so much information via the web that this wealth of choice can sometimes make decisions more difficult.

So this is just a taster of what I have found:
1. Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy have been around in one form or another for years.
2. Both practices are built on a wealth of evidence and research.
3. There are myths surrounding both Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy. Some people think Mindfulness is about religion and some people think Hypnosis is a way of accessing your secrets and making clients do silly things. Stage hypnosis has given a negative view of hypnotherapy.
4. Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness practice is developing.
5. Hypnotherapy has been endorsed by the medical profession for a long time but getting referrals from doctors to hypnotherapists can be difficult. On the other hand doctors are more likely to refer to a Mindfulness practitioner.
6. Both hypnotherpists and mindfulness practitioners are asking questions about each others practice.
7. There is no statutory regulation of either practice but both use self reglation and focus on helping the client with ethical practice.
8. Both Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy can help people to feel better and make important changes in their lives.
9. There is a big overlap but Mindfulness is about noticing and being in the 'here and now' while hypnotherapy can also add suggestion and regression to explore the future and the past.

These are just a few of the things that I have found out and I continue to add information to my list. So how does a person looking for someone to help them with their problem choose a private practitioner- Mindfulness practitioner or Hypnotherapist?

Firstly I believe that people need to know where the practitioners are and how to access their services. This means that Mindfulness practitioners and Hypnotherapists need to advertise their services so the client can compare. People wanting help can discuss their problem with their doctor especially if they have a medical problem. Recommendations and checking training and qualifications are important but as there are different training schools and different approaches sometimes that cam be confusing for the client. Questions need to be asked to make an informed decision about which practitioner to use. For example, how long has the practitioner been in practice? Do they specialise in helping certain people e.g. people with depression? Are they members of any organisations? Do they have additional knowledge and skills in counselling, psychotherapy or practice in the medical field? Good rapport and developing a relationship of trust could be argued as one of the most important aspects when looking for a practitioner.

I now provide a range of helping services to my clients but if you were faced with the choice- a Mindfulness practitioner or a Hypnotherapist how how might you decide who to go to?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Hi I'm Linda

Welcome to my blog. The theme of my blogs are about change and how I view change and apply it to my business and my life.

Life doesn't stand still. We are all in a state of change. Some of my clients come to see me because they feel stuck but even then change is happening.

There are lots of theories of change. Some are helpful especially if you are a theorist, a researcher or like to understand change. These theories also help me  to make sense of what a person is saying. As a therapist these theories are certainly useful when I am looking for research and evidence to help with my practice. But I am not going to talk about theories. You can find all that in a book and on the web.

I'm gong to start by writing about metaphors because I find that they help some people to understand the stages of change more easily.  This then helps them to go on and make the changes that they want to make. I just empower people to find a way to do the things that they want to do.

Looking at change in this way gives people hope and an awareness that doing the same and being unhappy isn't an option. I think it's as much about removing the resistors to change as driving change.

So I will leave you with this thought. If you believe that you are sitting still reading this blog think again... are you changing?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Beliefs can help or hinder

What do you believe? I believe in emotional and physical life balance. I believe that our minds are very powerful as we can make ourselves feel sad or happy when thinking. I have a positive mindset for working hard. I love working, but that belief is only part of my journey because I also love learning and I believe in change. This is my story…

About fifteen years ago I was working as a nurse in Bournemouth. At that time I was working as an ophthalmic nurse. I loved ophthalmic nursing. I met amazing people; staff, patients and carers. I learnt so much and I enjoyed sharing my knowledge. As I progressed I realised that people would often come to me for advice or support. I knew that the people around me were important. But I was searching for something more than nursing, giving advice and education. I didn’t know what at that time. Over the years I followed the usual two routes of education and management in the healthcare arena. My experiences played with all my emotions. I studied for a diploma, a degree and then a masters degree. I completed counselling courses and then a diploma in hypnotherapy, coaching courses and I have done many other courses since. I married and had two wonderful children who have always supported me in what I have decided to do. I have made many great friends. Consequently, I learnt a lot about people and myself.

I believe in progress.

People used to say to me ‘Linda, Why do you do so much. How do you fit it all in?’ For years I couldn’t answer those questions. I just did what I thought I needed to do. For 10 years I worked with four other nurses to develop an international ophthalmic nursing journal and I continued to work as a nurse full time.

I started my own hypnotherapy, coaching and counselling business in 2006 and I worked at home on my time off from my full time job. Yet it didn’t feel like I was working all those hours because I enjoyed what I was doing. I knew that I could help people to help themselves. But I also believed that I didn’t know enough. This hindered me in some ways because I didn’t believe in my abilities. It was a self-limiting belief. I allowed this thought to change when I had gathered some evidence that most people were feeling better after using my services. So I continued to learn.

I believe in life-long learning.

Today I believe that the only person that can make your life is yourself. It requires an awareness of self and personal development, and sometimes a lot of hard work. But it’s worth it for what you can achieve. I have reframed my thoughts about not knowing enough because I now have plenty of evidence of my learning through courses and my successful work with different people. Now I seek to understand others beliefs as much as my own.

I believe that you need to stop and reflect on your life and understand that every chapter is valuable.

Over the years I changed jobs a few times and continued to meet all types of people. I even went to work in Australia for a few years. Wow! That was my biggest challenge but worth every moment for the experiences and people I met. I believed that I could live and work in Australia and I succeeded.
I believe you can fulfil dreams and desires if you stay focused.

I now work full time in my business. I still live in Bournemouth and I have my office in Ferndown, Dorset. I help individuals and businesses to invest in the future and make change. I specialise in reducing stress related problems.

Are you like me? Do you believe that you have the power to change things or your attitude towards them? Do you want to learn more? Do you believe that you need to do a bit of work sometimes to get to where you want to be? What evidence have you obtained through your experiences and reflections on life that have developed your beliefs? Enabling beliefs are drive us and limiting beliefs hinder us. Have you got any limiting beliefs that you need to change? I wonder do you just see the problems or are you looking for solutions?

My business, Awaken the Change, helps you find the solutions to business problems such as poor performance, rising levels of sickness and difficulties reducing workplace stress. I also help individuals with work and personal issues such as lack of confidence, insomnia, IBS and stopping smoking and much more.