Variety is the spice of life!

One of the many aspects we really like about our careers as Clinical Hypnotherapists is the variety of issues we can help our clients with. We never quite know what the next new client enquiry will be for, so it keeps our lives interesting! Because of this, we need to teach our students how to deal with all sorts. So, on course weekend one, we teach the basics of how the brain works and what hypnotic trance is all about.
Month two is a fair bit of revision about the workings of the brain, with the addition of how we explain it all to the client. We also introduce the students to the wonders of the Miracle Question – that by itself is a game-changer for many!
By the time we come to the third month’s course weekend, we’re really picking up momentum as the students will move from working with just friends and family to working with the general public. At this point they will have learnt about personality types which helps build the all-important therapeutic rapport. They will also have begun to master the detail of how the brain works through practising their explanation to their friends and family. The students will be working with volunteer case studies at this point and the case notes will be written up on an anonymous basis to form part of a portfolio of evidence required to achieve the Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD).
From month four we move on to more detailed areas and, over the remainder of the course, we teach students how to help their clients with:
– Sleep issues
– Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour (OCD)
– Depression
– Fears and phobias
– Smoking cessation
– Pain management
– Weight loss
– Confidence building
– Sports motivation
and more!
We even have former World Champion Middleweight boxer, Glenn Catley, talk to the class about how hypnotherapy helped him achieve his world class status.  And there’s more! In addition to all of the above, we have modules on Marketing, Q&A’s on setting up a practice, and we even train the students to use software which helps monitor clients’ progression, so the client and the therapist can evidence how effective sessions are.
As each course weekend goes by, an essential part is the feedback the students give in the classroom on the variety of sessions they’ve run, the difficulties they may have encountered and, of course, the successes. Everyone learns from this valuable feedback.
Of course, we also give a significant back-up service to the students in between course weekends – we’re always on hand should they get stuck on anything!
Oh yes, we make it fun too! We know the brain learns in a better way if it’s enjoying itself which is why our lecturers like to laugh and smile a lot!
Our next Glasgow course starts in March, so get in touch soon!
Give Anne a ring on 07584 414715. She’s one of our course lecturers so will be able to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, email us at info@cphtglasgow.co.uk.  You can also apply here if you would like to do so.

The importance of repetition

We often get asked by students and clients alike, why we repeat the language patterns that we relay to clients in hypnotic trance?

Well, there are a few reasons why repetition is so important for the brain. Firstly, people learn through repetition. Repetition builds pathways in our brain. If we repeat a positive story (say within hypnosis) then we start creating new positive patterns in our brain. This is extremely useful for someone suffering anxiety or depression, especially when they’ve got into a pattern of thinking negatively!

We constantly repeat the following to our students: “The brain learns by repetition”. It’s a bit like learning to drive or teaching yourself a new language – do you do it once and master it? No, you need to repeat. This allows the brain to learn, so repetition is very good for us when learning new ways of thinking.

Another reason for repetition is a little bit more complex. You have one brain and two minds – the conscious and the subconscious. The subconscious has elements within it that are responsible for your survival (the fight, flight response) and it’s the subconscious that makes us feel anxious if it feels we don’t have control over life. It’s like a warning bell that can go off to alert us to danger. Now, that might be the potential danger of Covid-19 in current times, or it could quite simply be the bank statement arriving.

In order to help clients move forward, we help them understand how their subconscious mind works and explain that the fight/flight/anxious part of the brain loves repetition.  Why does it love repetition? Well, that part of the brain believes that if it repeats today what it did yesterday, then it stands more chance of survival. Makes sense really. But, it sees change as dangerous. If we haven’t done something before then the brain hasn’t got a pattern of behaviour to refer to from yesterday, so it doesn’t know whether a potential change is survivable.

Let me give you an example:

Imagine you’re a caveperson a few hundred thousand years ago, and you’re coming out of your cave with a homemade bucket to go and collect water from a nearby stream. There are two routes you could take; a left-hand pathway or a much longer route via a right-hand pathway. Most days you have quite a lot to do, so you always take the left-hand pathway for efficiency. Because this is a well-trodden pathway, your subconscious mind knows where the dangerous bits are i.e. a bit of ledge you have to walk around that has a big drop or maybe some woods where wild animals might hide? So, your brain will go onto alert as it approaches these known areas. However, it will also know where it can relax, such as that nice pathway where there’s a lovely view and you can see for ages and therefore relax knowing there are no wild animals around. Relaxing saves a lot of brain energy and reduces anxiety!!

But what happens if you come out of your cave one morning and there’s been a rockfall on that left-hand pathway which forces you to go the long way round via the right-hand pathway? Well, your brain doesn’t have a previous repetitive pattern to refer to and it doesn’t know where there could be dangerous bits or safe bits, so it starts to move into alert mode all the way along this pathway not knowing what’s around the next corner. This takes up a lot more energy and can make the brain anxious.

It’s a bit like giving a presentation for a first time or doing something outside our comfort zone – the subconscious starts knocking on the door asking “Are you sure you want to do this”?  Once we have been down the same path a few times, we relax! Hence, when in trance, if we’re going down a pathway we’ve been before, the subconscious mind feels safer and thereby less defensive. We know this allows it to become more accepting of positive suggestion in a trance state.

So yes, repetition is very good for the brain!

Depressed or are you just feeling a bit fed up?

Well, given all that’s been going on in the world, who can blame you?

If you are feeling a bit low, or worse, it’s worth noting that you’re certainly not alone.  Prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK rose by 173% (and the cost rose by 700%) between 1991 and 2001. That’s one heck of a lot of tablets!

When talking about depression, we’re not talking about a low mood for a few days, but an ongoing issue that causes sleep disruption, change in appetite, no enjoyment of life whatsoever, etc, and for a long period of time.  This could, possibly, be depression.

Now there’s no need to get depressed if you think you, or a loved one, has depression!  What if we start considering depression as a natural, and even a healthy response, to an inability to cope with certain life circumstances?  What if the brain is working correctly in sending signals to alert us to the fact that things in life are not good right now? If we’re experiencing challenging times, should we expect a person to be all light and life itself with a big grin on their face?

What if depression might be considered ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ given certain circumstances? It might allow us to get rid of it a bit quicker if we felt it was something we had more control over.  We know there’s a saying ‘It’s 10% the situation and 90% how we deal with it’.  Well, we can certainly take control of a number of things depending upon our mindset.  But how do we change that mindset?

Well, there was a clever chap called Assen Alladin at the University of Calgary Medical School (Canada) who wrote: “Hypnotherapy is a vital part of treatment for depression, based on the individual variance in the experience of this mental health problem and the adaptability of hypnotherapy, above and beyond the pharmaceutical treatments in offering an individualised therapeutic service”.

The Lecturers at CPHT are Clinical Hypnotherapists with busy private practices and have some considerable experience to their names.  They are great advocates for hypnotherapy for depression and anxiety as they’ve seen the results.  They share this knowledge with the students on our courses and explain not only how the brain works when in a depressed mode, but they also teach the students how to help their clients to improve their mindset and thereby their mood by taking positive action.  Of course, they have the added benefit of being able to use the gentle but powerful therapy of hypnosis which helps the whole process along nicely!

It makes the job of a Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapist a very rewarding one when you can help people overcome the negativity of depression!