Therapy or Tough Love?

One in 5 Britons has had therapy and the number of qualified counsellors has tripled in the last 10 years to keep up with demand, but does therapy work in the long term?

Hypnotherapy is often used to help obese clients and those with eating disorders, obsessive disorders or generally unhealthy habits such as smoking. This aims to change bad habits for good ones.

With the help of the therapist, a trance-like state alters the state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert and receptive. The brain is inhibited from using any conscious processes and the subconscious mind is more directly accessible than prior to the hypnotherapy.

During this time under the trance, the therapist can start to suggest ideas and concepts and can add healthier more beneficial adaptations to the client’s lifestyle directly into the long term memory.

The advantage over traditional types of therapy is that hypnotherapy achieves results much faster and avoids the need to explain your life story to the therapist, opening up to them and working backwards to understand what went wrong and how and why.

Traditional therapy attempts to fully understand the conscious mind and delves into deep rooted issues of the past, to shape a new and brighter future. This can be slow and arduous and at times ineffectual as the conscious mind has many barriers. The therapist has to work through various emotions and analyse insights to desensitise the client to making progress.

NLP aims to improve one’s your life by installing positive attitudes to life and uses goal setting. Unlike other approaches to therapy, NLP is a how to technology that tells you how to be what you want to be. Widely used to achieve personal success, it helps you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and enables you to take responsibility for your actions in all areas of your life.

Behavioural therapy aims to change any behaviours that are harmful or not helpful. Various techniques are used such as avoidance and exposure. Using deep breathing techniques the therapist helps you cope and control the anxiety when a feared situation arises.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a mixture of cognitive and behavioural therapies. They are often combined because how we behave often reflects how we think about certain things or situations. Depending on the condition being treated, the particular emphasis on cognitive or behavioural aspects of therapy can vary,

Cognitive therapy can be very useful in dealing with depression, but behavioural therapy is useful where repetitive compulsive actions take place such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

One of the disadvantages of therapy is a feeling of dependency. It may be the first time you have someone to talk to who actually listens without judgment. Finding someone to take over this role once the therapy ceases can be tough but necessary, as long term therapy can actually inhibit a career or lifestyle change.

Long-term psychotherapy may encourage self-absorption and narcissism. Two qualities that make relationships at work and at home very difficult.

There is the possibility that therapy may also rationalize inaction and encourage procrastination. Certain therapists also encourage inaction by resisting giving advice, whether this is due to a conflict of interest or a general unwillingness to be blunt with the client.

Although therapy may bring a new insight into why you do what you do, is your life any better? Has it enabled you to blame your past for your actions and give you a reason to be the way you are today?

Perhaps instead you should try tough love, a method widely used in military forces throughout the world. You may think you need sympathy and support, but in fact being shown that your problems are not life threatening, may actually be relatively insignificant in the complex web of life and being told to “man up” may work much better for certain individuals.

If you are still unsure, ask yourself, are you holding yourself back from achieving your goal? Are you blaming others for your failures? Whether that be your parents, partner or boss, do you find a barrier to changes?

We don’t need to see a therapist to tell us to focus on the positive in life. Mother Teresa always said she was not Anti War, she was Pro Peace, she preferred to focus on the positive rather than the negative, an attitude which stood her in good stead and for which she will be well remembered.

Try writing down your goals in life and in business. Each night take a moment to write down 3 things that you have done during the day to work towards your goals.

When a stressful decision arises, ask yourself which action would be most beneficial to achieving your goal and go do it.

You may just find this approach quite liberating, making you more productive and helping you develop a more positive attitude about yourself and your life.

Images reproduced from dheesanyogini.blog.com, mybindi.typepad.com and ivyleaguedandunemployed.org

Can Hypnosis Help Me?

London Life Coach & Clinical Hypnotherapist Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about hypnosis. Follow Sloan on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s website www.sloansw.com

Thank you very much for your question. We often get asked if hypnosis can deal with this type of health issue so I thought it best to clarify what hypnosis can help with, what life coaching can help with, and when it’s time to seek a different therapist.

Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that allows you to understand how the subconscious or unconscious communicates with your conscious mind and how it does most things for your protection – although its idea of protection is sometimes very different to what you actually need.

The types of things that hypnosis works well with are things like:- Weight Loss, Stop Smoking, Fears and Phobias, Eating Disorders, Stress, IBS, Interview Nerves, Exam Nerves, Addictions, Self Confidence & Self Esteem, and Infertility to name just a few.

On the other hand, life coaching deals with the conscious mind taking you into a new chapter of your life and leaving the old one behind. It is very good for letting go of ex-boyfriends, work colleagues you no longer get on with, and painful memories that belong in the past.

At its best, life coaching can help you achieve a life you both desire and deserve whilst all the time breaking things down into manageable, easy to complete tasks. A good life coach can explain your personality type, work on your intrinsic drives and create coping strategies incorporating all their tried and tested techniques to help you attain each and every one of your goals.

In relation to your question about whether hypnosis is clinically effective, I would highlight a quote from the Royal Society of Medicine which states:

“A wealth of scientific evidence has emerged in the last decade relating to the scientific basis of mind and body interactions. This has allowed for a neurologically plausible model of hypnosis to be developed which aids our understanding of the role of hypnosis in health and enhances the clinically effectiveness of hypnosis.”

It is excellent that we have seen hypnotherapy be recognised by a body of such standing as the Royal Society of Medicine and hypnosis can be useful for a lot of your complaints apart from your muscle complaint of Repetitive Strain Injury.

I would like to highlight here that Bowen Technique therapists across the country are now conducting a study into treatment of this particular type of injury. If you are interested in being treated by a Bowen Technique therapist, log on to www.bowen-therapy.com and you will be able to find a practitioner taking part in the study near you.

As for the other conditions you mentioned, it would be really useful for you to see either a hypnotherapist particularly trained in clinical hypnosis and/or a life coach.

Unfortunately until hypnotherapists are more widely recognised, which hopefully will come very soon after the Royal Society of Medicine’s acknowledgement, we are not able to offer any treatment on the NHS. You can get referrals from some NHS doctors but you do not need them. Saying this, a note from your doctor is very useful if dealing with a clinical hypnotherapist.

I am sorry that I can’t see all clients unless they are located in London or Cambridge but I will e-mail you personally to give you details of other therapists in your area.

For anyone else wanting to try hypnosis or life coaching, more information can be found at www.baileybradmore.com.

Image reproduced from spiritcharmers.co.uk

Five Steps to a Better Life

London Life Coach & Clinical Hypnotherapist Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about 5 steps to improve your life. Follow Sloan on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s website www.sloansw.com

Clients often come to hypnotherapy or life coaching expecting us to delve into the past and drag up and rake over old memories to produce a multitude of emotions for the client to then deal with. This used to be the way that the likes of Freud conducted his hypnotherapy sessions. However there is a much easier way to do this in a pleasurable and exciting construct. So rather than starting at the beginning, I often tell my client “let’s start at the end”. What would be the point of jumping into the car and driving using only your rear view mirror? You wouldn’t get very far in life. However, many of my clients and people in general often live their life concentrating solely on past mistakes.

In order to have a happier life we need to be thinking about what we want rather than what we don’t want. In a lot of circles it is believed that the Reticular Activating System (a specific part of the brain) will move you to what you concentrate on. For example, if you buy a particular brand of aftershave or perfume you’ll often smell it on other people or notice it in the promotions in shops far more than something you haven’t bought previously; just like if your car is silver you are more likely to notice other silver cars or cars which are the same make as your car. So if we apply that to everyday life it is actually quite easy to get more of what we do want by focusing on just that and ignoring what we don’t want.

Step 1

Write a list of what you do want in life, not only that which you desire but that which you also deserve. So for a moment just put out all the thoughts that are negative and concentrate only on how your ideal life would be looking at the follow areas:-

  • Love & Romance
  • Work & Performance
  • Finance
  • Friends & Family
  • Travels & Hobbies
  • Health & Vitality
  • Your Home & Personal Life

Now just as our minds are very capable of seeing that which we don’t want to see, they are also an amazing tool to create pictures or movies in our minds at any given time. The aim here is to control what your brain works towards and make those negative images obsolete.

Start by looking at the list you created in Step 1 imagining what you do want out of life and just take a second to focus on that. Your brain will use its subconscious to store what you do want be it words or images, feelings, smells, sensations and start to get rid of those negative thoughts of what you don’t want. The good thing about the brain is that it does not understand the difference between your real life and your imagined life so as soon as you start imagining all the things you do want you are like a big magnet attracting as much as that to you as possible at any given moment in time.

So just start by imagining what you want. Get a very nice vivid clear picture in your mind and just have fun with this on a daily basis for up to a week. If you find visualisation hard, you can create a Vision Board. For example, over the next week every time you read a magazine, newspaper article or just see something that means something to you, just cut out the picture or object and pin it to a pin board – also known as your Vision Board. Over time if you are not able to visualise what you want you will have a concrete pin board with everything you need to work towards. Try and fill this up over the next week leaving a few spaces for additional wants, needs and desires.

Step 2

Once you’ve got your brain clear as to what you want, you need to align your feelings with your thoughts. We all know that the better we feel the more positive a story we can create and therefore we can attract a more positive reality. So in this step keep your feelings powerful, clear and concise. We often don’t realise that we are actually in control of how we feel at any given point. So to keep these feelings positive although may seem unnatural at first is very much following the principle of “fake it to make it.” Therefore the happier we perceive ourselves the happier we become and the more successful we will be in each and every area of our life that we’ve chosen to work on.

Step 3

Once you notice good things are happening and you are beginning to achieve that which you set out to on your Vision Board, the next step is adding exercise into you daily routine. For example, if you are an early bird getting out and doing what I like ti refer to as the Hour of Power in the morning before work is extremely good for not only your endorphin level but your general wellbeing. In this hour all you need to do is play music that makes you feel vibrant, happy and energetic or repeat affirmations as you either exercise like perhaps going for a daily run or doing something as simple as some sit-ups, crunches or push-ups in the comfort of your own home, repeating a positive affirmation at each rep. For example:-

“I am confident”
“I am successful”
“I deserve to be loved”
“I am doing well in my work”
“I am excited about what the future holds”

Step 4

Once you have accomplished this step the next stage is to avoid and cut out negativity in the form of bad energy. For example, those people around you that tend to complain all the time and are emotional vampires with their moaning and whining about just everything and anything. You will find that you no longer enjoy partaking in idle gossip and the more you stay away from it you will realise that not only are you privy to others gossip but you are no longer the subject of idle gossip yourself which allows you to complete the next stage.

Step 5

We all have a story. There is a famous Sex and the City episode where Miranda realises that she’s telling the same story on loop about not having a husband and being single in her 30s. As she progresses through the episode we find that Miranda notices that she is not the only one with a story but her loved-up married friends are also creating stories of their own. For example one of her friends has a story about why they haven’t conceived after two years of marriage. What this displays is that we all concentrate on what we don’t have and make excuses for it. However this goes against the attraction of positive thinking.

So take this time to notice what stories you are telling and just stop. Remember that whatever we talk about we attract into our lives, be it through the physiology of the Reticular Activating System or the more spiritual concept of the Law of Attraction. Either way whatever is causing it, this is one of the most powerful points in the series – change your story.

Now you’ve finished the main changes, I would like you to take a moment and write down five things that you are grateful for today and five things you need to action to get you closer to your life goals.

You know need to make a contract with yourself that you are going to do everything within your power to achieve what you both desire and deserve. With every new beginning you need to have a thought, an action, a feeling and then willpower. So using these steps you will be able to take abig leap forward into the rest of your life.

If you have any further questions about life coaching, go to http://www.sloansw.com/

Image reproduced from changeoflifecoaching.com