V came to see me for weight loss. She was a very attractive woman in her fifties, but clearly obese and also suffering from MS. Encouraged by her daughter, V had made up her mind to take responsibility for her health and make a determined effort to lose weight.
As we talked it was clear she had had much sadness in her life and was carrying a great deal of guilt. I took her into deep relaxation and allowed her, in trance, to leave the past in the past and to let go of her guilt, sadness and regrets. I also worked with her to increase her motivation to lose weight. At the end of the session V said she felt wonderfully relaxed and positive.
Ten weeks later, and after just this one session, I received a note from V saying that she has lost more than three stone, is still counting down the pounds and is feeling wonderful.
I visited J in her own home, as she was too ill go out. She was very depressed and suffering from chronic reflux. She had lost a great deal of weight, her eyesight was deteriorating and she could find nothing positive to look forward to in her life.
We had three sessions together and J was able to come to my practice for the third of these. As she was not keen to try hypnosis, we concentrated on breathing and progressive relaxation of the muscles, including the oesophageal sphincter, and I encouraged her to visualise cooling, calming enzymes assisting her digestion. I discovered her great love was walking her two dogs and that she was also looking forward to being able to play bowls when she was better.
At the end of the first session J asked if I would give her a hug. It was clear she desperately needed physical contact with others and so we ended that and subsequent sessions with about 20 minutes gentle head and shoulders massage. This greatly increased J’s sense of well-being.
Six months later J is getting out and about again, enjoying walking her dogs, meeting friends and playing bowls regularly.
I have recently seen a client who was suffering severe anxiety and panic attacks following a bout of vestibular neuronitis which affects the vestibular nerve and can also affect the eyes, causing nystagmus or involuntary eye movements. The onset had been sudden and very frightening and, although he was fairly quickly reassured once arriving in hospital that it was not life threatening and would pass, the symptoms had continued at a lower level for some time and he was in constant fear of a further severe attack. He was uncomfortable playing golf and unable to do normal chores, such as cutting the lawn, without becoming tired and anxious. I suggested to him that we use the "fast phobia cure" or "visual kinesthetic dissociation technique" to treat what was, in fact, a form of PTSD surrounding his initial attack. We did this, including some deep relaxation and metaphorical story telling, and, after just one session, the improvement in both his physical and mental well being was dramatic.
To find out more about the technique, visit the Human Givens website or http://www.mindfields.org.uk.
A is in his early 30’s and came to see me because he had reached a stage in his career where he was being asked to make presentations to colleagues and customers on the software products he had been developing. Throughout his life to date he had successfully avoided making any kind of public speech, despite having achieved a university degree.
A is a keen football player and could easily visualise a time when he felt full of confidence about himself and his performance. Under hypnosis I enabled him to anchor this good feeling (by pressing his thumb and forefinger together) and then use the anchor to recreate the same feeling in situations where he needed to feel confident and in control. I also asked him to visualise himself in as much detail as possible making a perfect presentation, noticing how confident he looked and how easily he was able to remember all the details of his speech.
A’s first presentation went well, which further increased his belief in his own abilities. After three sessions, A no longer feels nervous about making presentations and is making good progress in his career.
Working with children
Children are particularly good hypnotic subjects and therapy can be very effective for a range of disorders – behavioural and eating problems, thumb sucking, bed wetting. Below are two case studies:
Following an extremely effective treatment for a spider phobia on his mother, 10 year old P asked if he thought I could help him with his eating problem. Although he ate a wide variety of foods as a small child, P had developed a dislike of everything except a very narrow range of foods – pasta, fish fingers, cucumber and carrot – and at one stage had stopped eating all together. He was small for his age and lacking in energy. He longed to be able to eat normally but found many foods repellent. He was keen to overcome his problem and his ambition was to sit down and enjoy a roast dinner with his family. After just one session of hypnosis and positive suggestion, P began to try a range of foods and had actually eaten a roast dinner at a friend’s house. After two treatments, he was trying a wide variety of foods and feeling very proud of himself.
F is 15 and still habitually sucks his thumb. Thumb sucking had become a completely unconscious habit, he had a sore and unsightly blister on his thumb and longed to be able to stop. F responded well and went into trance almost immediately. Again, after just one session his thumb sucking habit had become a thing of the past.