Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and how it can help you

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)

CBH is a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Hypnotherapy. CBT is an evidence-based method that the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved.

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation that you allow yourself to go into. But it’s something that everyone has experienced before, either when daydreaming, or when extremely focused on an activity. Hypnotherapy enables you to use this state to access the power of your imagination to help you change your thinking and feelings about an issue. You are in control at all times, in the same way that when you are daydreaming you can ‘snap out’ of it whenever you want.

Is this like stage hypnosis?

No, not really. Although stage hypnotists do use some similar hypnotic techniques, they employ selection methods, trickery and illusion to provide entertainment with audience members who are usually extraverts who enjoy the ‘permission’ that being ‘hypnotised’ gives them to have fun.

What issues I can help with

The issues below are those that I specialise in.  Click on the + sign by each for more details.  The list isn’t exhaustive so if you need something that isn’t listed below, just call or email me. If I need to refer you to someone more experienced in that area, I will, and if Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is unlikely to help (though there are not many of those) I will try to point you in the right direction.

You may have tried to quit smoking using other methods already, like nicotine patches, vaping or gum but found you’ve picked it up again, perhaps being tempted in a social situation or when under pressure or stress.  So, if you are motivated to quit but need help to work on it, we should talk.

Because smoking is a habit that can be stopped altogether, unlike over-eating, there are methods available to us that can’t be used with other habits.  A smoking cessation package of one session of up to 2 hours is usually enough, but the package includes a free follow-up ‘booster’ session or telephone support if it’s needed.

See the Fees page for the cost – it’s only about  two weeks’ supply of cigarettes if you’re on 20 a day!

People end up over-eating for many reasons.  It’s possible that you’ve already tried conventional diets, like low carb, calorie counting or food replacement bars and shakes, but either it’s not worked or you’ve put weight back on again later.  Part of the process of creating a new ‘healthy eating approach’ is to identify what causes you to go off the rails so you can manage your new healthy lifestyle without relapse.

How does the weight loss process work with Hypnotherapy?

Three to six one-hour sessions of CBH to establish new patterns. Homework in between sessions allows you to experience new habits, build your confidence and identify strategies that help you to maintain your weight loss and avoid relapsing.  Things should start changing from the first session.  Sessions are charged at my standard rate – see below

Habits can take many forms.  At one end of the scale there are nervous habits like nail biting, teeth grinding and scratching.  At the other end are frequent email checking, constant Facebook browsing, shopping, and obsessive porn viewing.  All habits can develop as ‘protection mechanisms’ or ‘self soothing’, but as a coping strategy they are rarely successful, and frequently counter-productive.  It may be that others have drawn attention to your habits, or you may have become aware of them, but haven’t yet found a way to eradicate them.

I work with you to identify the triggers for your habits and find different strategies for coping that are more positive and productive.  Hypnotherapy can help to install these new, more positive, habits in an easy way, so that you don’t have to be constantly vigilant but you are naturally guided into the new behaviour next time the trigger happens.

If you have anxiety around life events like taking exams, making presentations, meeting strangers in social situations, or asking others for what you need, this can have a major impact on your life.  At times it can lead to depression.

The techniques for dealing with anxiety are well-researched and proven to work.  I teach you relaxation methods, develop coping strategies, and provide homework so you can see progress as it unfolds.

We will agree a treatment plan in the first session with typically 4-6 sessions being sufficient.

Technically speaking, phobias and fears are different things, but so many people lump these issues together that it helps to consider them under the same headings.   A phobia is usually defined as something you are unable to cope with, like spiders, snakes, clowns or the sight of blood.  Even hearing the name of your phobia can cause the same reaction.   However, a fear is something that you may be able to deal with, but would rather not, like heights, flying, travelling in lifts or using an escalator.  Usually, thinking about it doesn’t cause the same level of fear as experiencing it.  Both phobias and fears can stem from a past experience, a parental fear that has been learned, or a vivid imagination.

Dealing with both phobias and fears can follow similar patterns and can often be resolved in a few sessions.

Lack of self-confidence  can come from a number of sources – inability to deal with certain situations, confronting feedback,  struggling with a new job, or feeling like you shouldn’t be there – imposter syndrome.  I work with you to develop new approaches and to build your confidence, not by giving ‘fake feedback’, eg “you’re great”, but by building strategies to be successful in those situations and by using hypnotherapy to help you plan and feel more confident before and during the event.  Often by changing your perception of an event (cognition) your actions (behaviour) are influenced positively and you get better outcomes.  In other words, when you feel more confident, you perform better, get better results, and feel better afterwards.  This ‘virtuous circle’ feeds on itself, so each repetition can be even better.

Building self-confidence may usually take 4-6 sessions.  It depends on the circumstances and you.

Stress comes from our perception of being unable to cope in certain situations.  Long term, chronic stress has been shown to be extremely detrimental, not only to mental health but also to long term physical health.  We can’t always avoid stress; indeed, avoiding it can be counter-productive, and turning to drink or drugs creates more problems.  It’s better to be able to accept and deal with stress by learning some relaxation approaches and/or find ways of dealing more effectively with the source of the stress.

Building your resilience and ability to deal with stress is a great way of giving you a better life.

An effective resilience programme is typically 6 sessions.

See the Fees page for details of costs.  Sessions are normally for one hour, but for smoking cessation, longer sessions work well and the therapy is priced as a ‘package’, not per hour.

Please note that your motivation, being willing to work on the issue, and following the agreed treatment plan is crucial to getting the most out of the process.  Hypnotherapy is not something that can just be ‘done’ for you.  Everyone is different so a treatment that works for someone in, say, four sessions, may take six or more with someone else.

What conditions should not be treated with hypnosis?

There are some conditions for which Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is not effective or may do more harm than good.  These ‘contra-indications’, as they are known, include individuals with psychosis, schizophrenia and clinical depression.  If you have a diagnosed mental health issue, speak to your doctor first to confirm that hypnotherapy is suitable.