As 2017 gets well underway, I have made a decision to refocus my therapy and coaching business on the unique needs of women. Over the coming months you will see this reflected more and more in my website, marketing materials, and services offered. So why this change of focus?
Firstly, being a woman myself I can relate to many of the problems and concerns my clients come to see me about. Not only that, but before becoming a hypnotherapist I have worked with and supported many women through pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood.
It goes without saying that there are a number of issues and concerns that are unique to women, for example pregnancy, childbirth, and the menopause.
However did you know that there are a number of physical and emotional problems that are more common to women than men, or that women experience in a different way?
One area of concern for many of my clients is anxiety and depression. A number of studies suggest that depression is not only more common in women than men, but women may experience it more severely and for longer periods. Similarly, women seem to suffer from anxiety related disorders more commonly than men, including social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, health anxiety, and phobias such as agrophobia.
More surprisingly perhaps it seems that women are much more likely than men to suffer from autoimmune disorders, including lupus, Hashimotos disease, fibromyalgia, and some types of arthritis. There are also other conditions that are more commonly reported in women, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The psychological impact of living with these conditions is often underestimated and has an enormous effect on quality of life and family wellbeing.
With all this in mind, I am taking the opportunity going forward to focus much more on women’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
I am very excited about this new direction for my business, which gives me a greater sense of clarity and focus. Not only does this help me to meet the specific needs of my clients, it also gives me a focal point for keeping on top of the latest research and developments that might be of interest to them.
Does this mean I will no longer work with male clients? Absolutely not! If you are a man with a problem such as anxiety, depression, or addiction then I am more than happy to see you. And of course if you are a partner of a women experiencing infertility, expecting a baby, or who has recently given birth then I would be delighted to support you as a couple.
I am also more than happy to continue to work with children and teenagers who may be experiencing anxiety related problems, including social anxiety, school anxiety, or phobias.
Over the next few weeks I will be updating my website and marketing materials to reflect this new direction, and watch out too for some special offers and brand new services for the coming months.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my clients both past and present a very Happy New Year. For new and future clients, I am very much looking forward to working with you.
“One woman can make a difference, but together we can change the world”
One of the key therapies that I offer my clients is BWRT®, which stands for Brain Working Recursive Therapy. In fact although I am a fully trained hypnotherapist, I am increasingly using BWRT® as my "first line" therapy for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, phobias, unwanted habits, traumatic memories, procrastination, depression, addictions, and more. I am getting great feedback from my clients, and what's more it is quick...often getting good results in just a few sessions (and sometimes in just one session!)
It is true that BWRT® is a relatively new therapy but word is spreading! Many people ask me if BWRT is "a bit like....." other therapies they might have heard of, such as CBT, NLP, counselling, or hypnosis. The answer is no, BWRT truly is not like any other form of therapy and has to be experienced for this to be appreciated. Of course saying it is "not like" other things rather begs the question of what exactly it is like!
I totally understand that as a client you would like to know what you are letting yourself in for. The first time I meet a client for a BWRT® session I will spend time explaining exactly how BWRT works so that you have a good understanding of the science behind it. This can be as simple or as detailed as you would like it to be.
The actual therapy part of BWRT is best experienced to fully appreciate it. Essentially it consists of me guiding you through a structured conversation. For the most part I will be doing the talking and you will be following along in your thoughts. I will ask you to close your eyes some of the time but this is purely to enhance concentration. You will be totally wide awake and conscious, all that you will be doing is focussing your attention on the process.
Although I will be asking you to think about or imagine various things, you don't need to worry if you are not particularly imaginative or visual, the vast majority of people are more than capable of working with BWRT®. In fact it might interest you to know that it has been used succesfully with people of all ages and backgrounds, including teenagers and children, and people on the autistic spectrum.
At the end of the session I will ask you to rate how you feel compared to how you felt at the beginning. Most people do notice an immediate difference, but the full benefit is often not noticed until later....for example a client with a fear of heights finds themselves happily going up to the top of a very high building without even thinking about it.
Depending on how the first session goes, we might need to meet again to fine tune the work that has been done, but sometimes this is not even necessary. Once something is "fixed" with BWRT it stays fixed, so there should be no need for follow ups.
BWRT sounds simple but there is a variety of ways it can be used, depending on the problem. It can even be used for issues like procrastination, fear of failure, and worrying about the future. BWRT can also help with Generalised Anxiety Disorder where there are multiple triggers for the anxiety.
For some more complex issues, such as depression, the therapy process is a little more involved and takes place over several sessions. There is also homework in the form of worksheets which you would need to complete between sessions. However essentially the process is that same in that you will be doing the thinking, and I will be guiding you through the steps.
Unlike analytical hypnotherapy, counselling or even CBT, BWRT is a relatively quick therapy. There is no need to commit to a lengthy schedule of sessions, which makes it much more affordable for most people. It can even be done via Skype which makes it great for people who find it difficult to travel or make daytime appointments.
It is probably true to say that BWRT is not necessarily a relaxing process for the client, it does involve a certain amount of concentration and requires your full attention. However most people tell me that they have enjoyed the sessions. There can also be a sense of release, especially when letting go of long standing problems.
It really is as simple as that...no hypnosis, no tapping, nothing mystical or spiritual. You don't have to "believe" in BWRT®, it just is.
It might reassure you to know that as an advanced BWRT® practitioner I have undergone thorough training and must also keep up to date with regular mentoring and further training to maintain my membership of the Institute.
If you are curious about BWRT® and would like to know more, why not contact me to arrange a free, no obligation discussion? If you are local to me I will happily meet you in person, if you are further afield we can talk on the phone or via Skype. All my contact details are on this website or you can visit my main BWRT website which is www.bwrtcotswolds.com.
I was discussing this potentially life changing therapy with a client this week, and she was puzzled because she had never heard of it. "What is it again?" she asked, "Brain Washing Therapy?"
Well, I am happy to report that absolutely no brain washing is involved! However, Brain Working Recursive Therapy or BWRT® for short, does have the capacity to be absolutely game changing, because it literally changes the way your brain works.
Have you ever done something and then thought "why did I do that?". Or is there something that you keep doing over and over even when you would prefer to stop? Maybe there is something that you are afraid of, but you don't know why? Or perhaps you have experienced something stressful which just keeps going round and round in your mind afterwards.
Well, in all these cases BWRT® has the potential to make real changes in the way you think, to literally break the recursive loop that keeps these old patterns of behavior repeating themselves again and again. Just imagine how great it could feel to break free from these old habits and ways of thinking?
Part of the problem is that our brains work very quickly. In fact the instinctive part of our brain works so much more quickly than the logical/rational part. So the problem is that no matter how hard we try think about something differently, or how much willpower we try to use, the inner core part of our brain has already taken us off down a different route. BWRT® works within that core part of the brain to replace an old unwanted way of thinking or behaving with a new one.
The change can be so fundamental that you may not even notice, until you find yourself back in the situation which used to cause you a problem. For example a client who had a fear of spiders suddenly finds themselves calmly picking up a spider and putting it out of the window...and only afterwards notices what she did, with a sense of amazement!
One of the most interesting aspects of BWRT® is that if there is something you find difficult to talk about, or would rather keep secret, that is absolutely fine. The therapy can still be carried out "content free". BWRT® can also be carried out via phone or Skype, which means that anyone can access it from anywhere in the world.
BWRT® is not hypnosis, counselling, or CBT. It does not involve any physical contact, tapping, energy work or anything similar. All that you need to know is what you want to change and how you would like things to be different. As your therapist I will guide you through the whole process.
BWRT® is fast becoming my "therapy of choice" for any anxiety based problem. I have also recently completed the advanced level BWRT training which means I can now use BWRT® to help clients with an even wider range of problems, including
Anxiety including Social Anxiety and Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Fears and Phobias
Addictions (alcohol, gambling, pornography)
Yes, it is true to say that BWRT is a relatively new form of therapy although more and more people are starting to hear of it. It was created in 2011 by Terence Watts, a therapist, author of many books and training courses and principal of the Essex Institute in Essex, UK. Since then a growing number of therapists around the world have been trained in the technique, including me, and it is now being used in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Asia, Canada, the USA and Australia.
BWRT ® has been approved by the British Psychological Society for Continuous Professional Development, and all BWRT ® therapists must be members of the Institute of BWRT® . To become designated as an "institute" an organisation must meet certain stringent criteria. All of this gives you confidence that BWRT® is scientific, valid, and evidence based.
I'm really excited to be part of this exciting new development in therapy. What's more I am currently the only therapist in the whole of Gloucestershire trained to advanced level.
If you would like to know more, why not take a look at my other website www.bwrtcotswolds.com? You can also link up with me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course you can also call me on 0772 0887205.
Happiness is a topic of discussion that often crops up in my conversations with clients. Of course it is easy to say we all want to be happy, but what does happiness mean? How do you know when you have it?
What is very clear is that happiness means different things to different people. Some people think of happiness as something like a good mood, feeling positive and upbeat as they go about their daily lives. Other people think more in terms of their happiness as something more along the lines of life satisfaction, having a deeper sense of meaning or purpose. Either way it is certainly a complex issue, and what makes one person feel happy may leave another feeling cold!
I personally find the subject of happiness such a fascinating area, and for that reason I am absolutely delighted to be working with my friend and colleague Meidi Goodson on a new venture, Positive Therapy Workshops. Together we are planning to deliver a series of interactive and fun personal development workshops, beginning with the subject of "Happiness".
Our first workshop is taking place in my home town (village?) of Bourton on the Water in the heart of the Cotswolds on 14th May 2016. Some participants are making a weekend of it and combining the workshop with a relaxing stay in one of the many hotels or B&B's in the area.
If you would like to know more take a look at our website www.positivetherapyworkshops.com or drop me an email. I
#1 I can only hypnotise you if you want me to
The process of hypnosis is a two way partnership between me as the hypnotherapist and you as the client. I will only work with you if you have come willingly to therapy and are interested in getting results. Yes of course you can resist the process, but that will only make it more difficult for me to help you. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know so that we can discuss them and set your mind at rest.
#2 Hypnosis is not mind control
Despite what you might have seen on TV, there is no way for me as a hypnotherapist to see into your mind, read your thoughts, or access your deepest secrets, unless of course you want to share them. Hypnosis cannot be used to force someone to tell the truth, or to make someone do something that they do not want to do.
#3 Hypnosis is not like being asleep
Hypnosis feels different for everyone, although most people find it a relaxing experience. However unlike when you are asleep, you are still aware of your surroundings, and can choose to come out of hypnosis at any time (should you wish to). When the session ends, the hypnosis ends – there is no way for you to stay “trapped” in a hypnotic state.
#5 Hypnosis gets easier with practice
Some clients find that the first time they experience hypnosis, it feels a little strange. Sometimes they might feel a little self conscious or anxious about what might happen. I can assure you that hypnosis is something that becomes easier the more you experience it. I will also often suggest to clients that they practise at home between sessions, perhaps with the use of a CD, and this certainly seems to help.
#6 You might not be able to tell when you are in hypnosis
Because hypnosis is such a normal and natural state, it can sometimes be hard to tell when you are in hypnosis. Afterwards you might wonder if what you experienced was “really” hypnosis at all. However even if your mind is wandering or you are finding it hard to relax, the session can still be effective. What’s more, I can generally tell from your body language and facial expression what depth of hypnosis a client has reached and can change my approach accordingly to make sure that you get the most out of the session.
#6 I will never say “look into my eyes”…
Unlike hypnotists on TV I do not hypnotise people just by having them stare into my eyes! Nor do I use a pendulum or pocket watch. I will help you go into hypnosis simply by talking to you and asking you to think about various things. All that you need to do is listen, and be prepared to give me your full attention.
#7 Hypnosis is usually a pleasant experience
Most people find hypnosis a pleasant and relaxing experience. It is very common for clients to tell me they didn’t want the session to end. Afterwards most people feel relaxed and refreshed, and ready to go about their day.
#8 but….sometimes can be challenging
There can be times when hypnosis involves thinking about experiences that have been uncomfortable, or exploring inner conflicts or beliefs. Depending on the issue we are working on, it is not uncommon for clients to feel emotions such as anger or sadness at times during a session. However be assured that these feelings are a normal and healthy part of the process and I will support you through this.
#9 Hypnosis is a powerful tool for personal change
Hypnotherapy has helped many people to make extraordinary changes in their lives. It is a very safe therapy which almost anyone can benefit from, whatever their age, gender, or background. Hypnotherapy can be very useful in understanding why you might do certain things, and identifying what might be stopping you from achieving your goals. Hypnotherapy can also help to increase motivation, reduce stress, and help you focus on your goals. Hypnotherapy can be useful for a very wide range of issues and concerns.
#10 Hypnosis is not a magic bullet
Hypnosis can achieve some great results but at the end of the day it can only work if you really want it to. If you don’t really want to stop smoking, then no amount of hypnotherapy can make you stop. If you want to lose weight, then realistically you will need to change the way you eat and take appropriate exercise. Put simply, hypnotherapy is a partnership and your participation and commitment is a vital part of the process.
In working with you I promise to bring all of my professional skills, experience, and training to the party, and to provide you with an individualised course of therapy to help you meet your goals.
In return I ask you to come with an open mind and a willingness to work with me. Together we can do amazing things!
To find out more about how hypnosis can help you, why not give me a call on 0772 0887205 or drop me an email at email@example.com.
Every year it seems as if Christmas comes earlier and earlier. For some weeks now the shops have been full of Christmas decorations, Christmas food, Christmas decorations, even Christmas jumpers. Even for those who do not celebrate Christmas as a religious festival it seems there is no escaping the madness of the holiday season.
Magazines and TV advertisements paint a highly idealised picture of the "perfect" Christmas to which we should all aspire, a perfectly decorated home, an array of luxurious gifts beneath a beautiful tree, a smiling and beautifully dressed family enjoying a delicious and stylish Christmas dinner together. The pressure is on!
Of course here in the real world Christmas may not quite work out like that - the children are overtired and supercharged on sugar, the cat climbs the tree and destroys the decorations, the turkey turns out dry, nobody wants to play games, and there is nothing good on the telly.
Yes Christmas can be a magical time and has the potential to be full of joy, but for many it can be a stressful experience. Existing pressures such as financial insecurity or family tensions can seem even more intense at this time of year. Spare a thought too for those struggling with additional problems such as bereavement, caring for elderly or sick relatives, coping with depression, anxiety, or health issues.
So how can we avoid feeling overwhelmed? Here are my top 5 tips for how to maintain a sense of perspective, and have a calm and happy Christmas.
#1 Let go of Your Expectations
If we set ourselves unattainable goals, we are leaving ourselves open to disappointment. Try to let go of your expectations about what the "perfect" or "ideal" Christmas is. Ignore the Facebook photos showing everyone having a great time and remember the reality is heavily edited for public consumption! So what if the decorations on our tree are not perfectly colour co-ordinated. So what if we don't have the perfect free range organic three bird roast with handmade stuffing. Letting go of the need for perfection can be so liberating.
#2 Don't be Afraid to be Selfish
Find time among the festivities for the things that really make you feel good and nourish the spirit. Remember that you can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself. Taking 5 or 10 minutes away from the madness to practice some deep breathing or do some stretches can really help recharge the batteries. Even better, find the time for a hot bath or encourage everyone to go out for a walk in the fresh air.
#3 Do It Your Way
Don't like a roast dinner? Make a curry instead. Don't want to have drinks with the neighbours? Don't go. Prefer a hot chocolate to a mulled wine? Feel free. There is no law that says Christmas must be done a certain way, or that New Years Eve must involve a party. In fact it can be fun to create your own family traditions and ways of doing things that mean something to you.
#4 Give the Gift of Your Attention
Instead of getting stressed trawling the shops for that perfect gift, think of spending your time rather than your money. Your children won't care if they don't have new pyjamas and a matching Christmas duvet, but they will care if you are stressed out of your mind and unable to relax on Christmas Eve. Remember that your attention is more valuable than any gift. Spend an afternoon with your children making wonky home made mince pies. Visit a friend for a cup of tea and a chat. Help out at a local homeless shelter or dog rescue. None of these things cost money but they have enormous value and will be remembered longer than the most expensive present.
#5 Count your blessings - this may be a cliche but it really does work. Taking time to be grateful for what you have, however modest. Sometimes helping others can put our own troubles into perspective. Christmas can be a good time to think about giving something to the community, perhaps even more so if you will be alone at Christmas or do not celebrate it yourself.
#6 Be Kind to Yourself - okay so I lied, there are 6 points and not 5 but I feel this one is actually the most important. Be kind to yourself. This is even more true if you are struggling with a personal issue such as depression which can seem even more of a burden than normal. Resolve to cut yourself some slack over the holiday period, and when Christmas is over perhaps consider seeking some professional help to help you get the New Year off to a more positive start.
In the meantime, wherever you, and whatever your personal or spiritual beliefs, I wish you a calm, and happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year.