The Long Haul!

The Long Haul!

As full-time hypnotherapists (as well as lecturers), we’re coming across clients needing help with Long Covid.  Sadly, we can’t get rid of Covid with the swish of a magic wand, but we can help to reduce symptoms in some cases.  This is because one of our primary jobs as hypnotherapists is to reduce stress and anxiety.

No matter what illness someone might be suffering with they’re not going to be very happy, are they?  When people are anxious/ stressed, the brain floods the nervous system with hormones and chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, designed to help you respond to a threat.  This can cause rapid heart rate, palpitations or chest pains.  Stress and anxiety can also affect the digestive systems and bring on stomach ache, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.  There are quite a few more symptoms too.  Are you feeling happier having read all that?  We suspect not!

This is where we come in, we help our clients to become happier or enable them to cope better.

In order to feel happier or cope better, we need to balance the negative stress chemicals with positive ones.  We therefore explain to our clients how they can help themselves by producing those positive chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine.

We can get dopamine quite easily, simply by eating a jam doughnut, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that way of doing it!  There are far better and healthier ways of producing positive chemicals.

There are always small steps people can take to help with any challenges, including long-term illness.  We encourage clients to come up with ideas, that are achievable.  These can be related to positive actions, positive interactions with others and positive thoughts.  By doing this, the client produces positive chemicals just by thinking about it – if they’re doing so in a positive way!

Below is an extract from the British Heart Foundation’s website on Long Covid:

Boost your mood and stay on top of your mental health

  •  Be kind to yourself during your recovery – be prepared that some days will be worse than others
  •  Connecting with other people can help you feel happier – make sure to keep in touch with family and friends.
  •  Having a daily routine can be good for your mood and sense of stability.
  •  Stay active – continuing to move will help release endorphins and improve your mood.

We couldn’t agree more.

If you want to learn more about how the mind and body works, then have a read of the rest of our website here and consider our training course.  Our next course in Scotland starts in March in Glasgow, followed by our Edinburgh course in September.

But What If?

The word ‘but’ is an interesting one. It’s quite incredible how it can change the course of a life if you apply the word ‘but’.

For instance, if we start a sentence with “I’m thinking of doing something different…” then the brain kicks in with the word ‘but’, we end up not doing something that could turn out to be very rewarding and inspiring.

In the same way, when we ask clients “What’s been good”, they can start relaying a negative experience, but when we raise our eyebrows to highlight the fact they’ve gone off track, they can frequently come up with the word ‘but’ to tell us how the whole story ended up with something good.

Broadening Horizons

Here at Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training, we’ve used the word ‘but’ when talking about Covid.  For example, “For sure Coronavirus has negatively affected a huge number of people, but if it hadn’t been for the epidemic then therapists wouldn’t have discovered a whole new audience, who are happy to work online. This has expanded our students’ and graduates’ potential client base. Now they can work with people not just across the whole of the UK but overseas too.  Obviously we’d have been happier if Covid hadn’t materialised in the first place, but sometimes we need to look at the silver linings in order to help us move forward.

Prior to Covid it was rare for talking therapies to be undertaken online.  Clients would have to travel into clinics etc. But then things needed to change and quite quickly they did. Back in April 2020, New Scientist talked about ‘talking therapies having now proven themselves online’!  What a nice result.

Small Words Make a Big Difference

So, be curious as to how such a small word can make a big difference to your life, if you really think about how you use it. For instance, if you’re on this blog, you might like to click on the HPD tab above to discover a whole new potential world for yourself… just keep the ‘but’ word under control as you do so! It can make all the difference between whether you say yes or no to opportunity.😉

If you would like to say ‘yes’ to the opportunity of training with us go straight to the application form here.

A Step into the World of Hypnotherapy Training

CPHT Edinburgh and CPHT Glasgow both run a yearly diploma course in solution focused hypnotherapy.  It was Edinburgh’s turn to kick off their 2021 course recently and one of our lovely lecturers, Anne Wyatt, did a guided tour of the facilities.

Whilst filming the video, Anne was able to capture the students on their first weekend taking part in a trance exercise.  For some this would have been their first opportunity to experience trance.  Others will have had hypnosis before they joined the course.

Just Getting on With It

We don’t hang around in getting hands-on experience of hypnosis.  Straight after the first module, we ask the students to encourage friends and family to help them by listening to the student read out loud the provided language patterns.  This can cause some laughter and hilarity, but it gets the student off to a flying start.

Have a look here at Anne’s video:

Practical and Theoretical

We are a very practical course, which means by the time the students graduate they have a good amount of clinical hours under their belt.  The one weekend a month in the classroom provides them with plenty of theory too.  The two combined means that students graduate feeling confident in their abilities.  There is no substitute for practical work with real-life clients in order to build that confidence.

Meanwhile, in between the course weekends, should the student need help with a client case, we’re on hand to support them in a ‘Supervisor’ status.  The feedback we get at the end of the course is very rewarding. Something we hear a lot is how the students find the support of the lecturers so good.

So, if you’re in Scotland and want a new full-time or part-time career, and want o know about the course content please click here.

If you would like to apply please click here, or just contact us to ask a question please click here.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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  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!