Showing posts from January, 2020

Why we should stop using the words ‘quitting’ or ‘giving up’

Somebody quits or gives up smoking. Somebody else gives up alcohol for January. Another person quits biting their fingernails. They are all positive behavioural changes, and I would the last person to belittle their efforts, but I believe the language they (and the rest of us) are using is, in fact, putting obstacles in the way of success.  The language we use must be positively phrased, a statement of what is going to happen; that something is going to take place. We must avoid ambiguity, or leave room for other behavioural possibilities.  Any Hypnotherapist will tell you that if someone wanted to stop smoking, it would be pointless to use the post-hypnotic suggestion that they are going to not smoke. Following that instruction, the person is going to spend most of their time thinking about what they do not want to happen, rather than what they do. The result? They are likely to continue smoking...and even a bit more! To change habitual behaviour is straight forward if a person is

Not Letting the Bed Bugs Bite

Once we understand that we suggest to ourselves all of the time, through our actions ad thoughts, we can look at problematic sleep behaviour from a different angle. Is it possible that the individual struggling to get a good nights sleep is unknowingly encouraging the problem? It is entirely possible that the ‘better sleep’ routine they have employed is, in fact, suggesting that the will not sleep well? Let’s imagine that we have sat in front of us a person who has been struggling to get a good nights sleep for a long time. They tell us that there is little pattern to their sleep. Sometimes they struggle to get to sleep easily, other times they get to sleep fine, but keep waking during the night.  They tell us about the techniques they have used to help rectify the problem: “I’ve made sure I don’t eat too late and certainly do not drink coffee anymore in the evening; in fact, I’ve stopped drink it after three o’clock in the afternoon. I turn off my phone before bed and never

Who's Fault is it Anyway? Dealing with Shame and Guilt with Hypnotherapy

Guilt and shame are two of the most toxic emotions we experience. They have great power over us and can be substituted into other destructive behaviours. Certainly, in therapy, guilt and shame are the most common emotions that clients grapple with, but why are they so toxic?  Guilt and shame are abstract emotions. They are a composite of a number of feelings. Guilt is made up of a sense of undermining our responsibility, status and the expectations we have for ourselves as well as those placed upon us by others. At the same time, embarrassment, feeling belittled, shy or lacking confidence are all parts of shame.  Guilt and shame lead us to question how we see ourselves and how others might think of us, and with that, a feeling of being judged is added. The complex make-up of guilt and shame mean we find it difficult to process it in the same way as other emotions. For example, I can feel happy for you, or sad for you. I can feel excited or disappointed with you. I can share those em