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By suesmith, Jan 16 2020 05:50PM

Hypnotherapy works for everybody. Yes that statement is true.

Only if they want it to work! You might know that saying,

‘How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb’?

The answer is, ‘It doesn’t matter the light bulb has to want to change’.

Hypnosis does not work for everybody, and in my experience with thousands of clients over 14 years there have been a rare few cases that did not work.

In 1995 a review of 18 different studies involving 577 participants showed hypnotherapy to be consistently effective for treating most types of psychological problems. In total there are over 11,000 studies showing positive benefits using hypnotherapy as an intervention. "CBT combined with Hypnotherapy has a synergistic effect and showed even greater benefit" (Kirsch et al). 1999:4). No intervention (treatment) can ever claim to be 100% effective. It would not be ethical for a therapist to say they can cure you.

A study by William J. McGeown. from the Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK, looked at the brain activity of people with high and low suggestibility while they were resting in the MRI scanner, engaged in specific visual tasks, and when they were in and out of hypnosis.

For the “highs” there was decreased brain activity in the anterior parts of the default mode circuit (DMC).

However, for the “lows” there was no change in these areas, plus, they also showed deactivation in areas associated with alertness.

The study concluded that hypnosis does produce unique brain activity in people who are highly suggestible.

Studies have also shown that people who thought they could not be hypnotised, could with training. All hypnosis is ‘self hypnosis’, but the therapist acts as a guide or coach to help someone go into a state of hypnosis. There is no such feeling as ‘feeling hypnotised’ and it is not the same as ‘Stage Hypnosis’. A professional therapist uses hypnosis as part of clinical therapy.

Recently one unique client came to see me with a long list of negative statements about herself about why she could not lose weight. For many years she had given herself a continuous dialogue for all the reasons she was overweight, and (she thought) she had ‘good’* reasons for being that way, and she believed that nothing would change her belief, and that she would never lose weight.

I asked her why she had come to me, and she said,

‘Well this is something I have not tried yet’.

I suspected that I would just be next in line for one of the many things she had tried and that this would fail again. I could not change her belief I could only point out that it was her belief she owned it and she could choose to keep it or change it.

Perhaps her real problem was deeper down, and she needed recognition for some deep seated hurt from the past. Maybe she was out to prove that nothing would work and thought that she would get some sort of satisfaction from proving yet again that even hypnotherapy would not work for her. I did not really want to work with this client, and spent some time using conscious therapy techniques. Eventually, she informed me that hypnosis had not and would not work for her, I don’t know. I responded by saying that she was an expert at self hypnosis and it was working very well for her! She did not like my response. Sadly until she learns how to change her belief, and negative thinking patterns nothing will change, and she will remain overweight.

I became just another in a long line of her ‘failures’ and somebody else she wanted to vent her inner frustration upon, but I would not accept that and gave her back the ownership of her feelings, which she did not like. My mistake was to agree to her demand to have hypnosis even though I did not think she was ready.

Until a time comes when she wants to change there is nothing I or anybody else can do.

On a positive note I am very glad to say that most of my clients respond very positively and that is the reason I continue. I have spent all my life caring for other people with my nursing background, then the pharmaceutical industry and voluntary work over the years, I find this type of work very rewarding and love hearing back from clients who feel the therapy was very successful for them. This includes deep seated phobias, relationship issues, smoking cessation, weight loss, confidence issues, fear of public speaking, pain management, and many other conditions where clients felt they had received limited help from traditional medical treatments, or other methods. I have won several national awards and recently the local Top Three Hypnotherapists in my region award.

If you are thinking of having hypnotherapy I would not hesitate; it is safe, and with trial evidence showing high levels of effectiveness. As for the fees every therapist charges a different hourly rate, but it is a very small price to pay a professional hypnotherapist for what can be a lifetime benefit.

By suesmith, Nov 6 2019 11:17AM

Stress is complex and has many causes. Unlike a physical illness it isn’t obvious to other people that something is wrong. In many cases also it is not recognised by the sufferer that they have stress. Although not recognised as a clinical illness as such, it is recognised in law and by such organisations as ACAS and all companies should have a formal stress management policy.

Understanding the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of stress in yourself and being able to recognise it in others is important before resolution and healing can take place. In the work place it is important to create ‘safe’ spaces, giving staff time out, proper breaks rest areas and an opportunity to talk to confidants. Employers should provide all employees with copies of the company, ‘Stress Management Policy’, and provide adequate ‘sign -posting’ to professional services and support. Ideally the support should be external to the company as quite often employees feel it will be a ‘blot’ on their work record if they show signs of ‘weakness’ by saying they feel they cannot cope or feel stressed, so the ‘open door’ policy or in house H.R approach first may not always be a way of encouraging staff to talk or ‘open up’. Even offering stress awareness classes might not work as staff may not wish to attend simply because it might be seen as a sign of ‘weakness’ by colleagues or their manager/s. Especially in high pressure atmospheres such as a sales company. From my experience in the pharmaceutical industry, the work place stress was often created by management to help drive motivation, competitiveness and ambition among employees. That sort of stress can be good up to a point, but becomes counter productive when staff become ill. Usually stress is not the admitted ailment, often employees say they have some other illness instead such as food poisoning or migraine.

Physical illness, exams, relationship issues past trauma, debt and many other contributory factors can create ‘stress’. Managing stress in a negative way by smoking, using alcohol, gambling etc can actually create more stress or make it worse. The first step is always to recognise changes in yourself or another that seem to have a negative effect, then to find positive ways to manage the symptoms and root causes using positive methods, such as talking to a confidant, seeking counseling, or help from a therapist, taking more exercise, planning rest periods during the day or proper holiday breaks, managing lifestyle to accommodate change and if necessary taking medication from the doctor along side other talking therapies.

For more detailed information, a talk a training session or a personal consultation you can contact me at info@suesmithassociates.com

By suesmith, Oct 16 2019 10:57AM

12 o clock Saturday 7th December at my home in Stanley.

A Festive Get Together

This will be the final session for this year, and an informal get together with light Christmas Buffet,

followed by short update, and relaxation session.

Please book by return e mail or let me know before :-

2nd of December.

Address will be given when you book.

Donation on the day of around,

£2 per head towards costs of

refreshment and Christmas Buffet.

By suesmith, Oct 2 2019 09:29AM

By suesmith, Aug 14 2019 12:38PM

Tuesday 8th October 6pm- 8pm

Our next session

Purple Dragon

(Shop and Therapy Centre)

37 Front Street, Stanley

DH9 0JE (Near Pact House)

Book by return e mail, the link below, pop in to the shop,text or call me on

07725 814742. Friendly Small Group

Date - Tuesday 8th October 6pm to 8pm

Venue - The Purple Dragon

Cost just - £ 8 per head, includes refreshments

Every second or third Tuesday monthly

To book go to :- Booking

More info go to www.suesmithassociates.com

e mail me at info@suesmithassociates.com

By suesmith, Sep 10 2019 04:33AM

An average of 3000 people commit suicide each day. That’s one million people dying every year from a preventable cause. For each of these, more than 20 people may attempt to end their lives. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Since 2003, the day has been observed annually on 10th September to promote worldwide action in the prevention of suicide.

We need to be able to talk openly and honestly about our feelings especially if feeling suicidal and this day gives us the opportunity some of us may need to do just that.

So please talk to somebody, preferably not on social media but face to face, and if somebody wants to talk to you remember to listen. Do not be judgemental when listening, show empathy with gentle questioning and ‘sign-post’ the person to a professional if possible. It is so easy sometimes to say, ‘You should talk to ….’, ‘You should do this, or you should do that’, or ‘If I were you I would do this or that’, or worse ‘Pull yourself together’, or ‘Just go and get smashed’, or go in to sign posting somebody too quickly, ‘Go and see somebody else’. Because if you tell somebody who has opened up to you to go elsewhere it is a type of rejection, you are saying that you cannot help them.

But taking time to listen is a great help, and they chose you remember so remember how important it is to just listen.

Far better to listen and try to understand, and ask the person’s permission before you give advice. Far better to say ‘How do you feel now you have talked about it?’ ‘Would you like my advice?’ Then you can sign post them to professionals such as the G.P, Samaritans, Help lines, or counselling services etc’ But first and foremost take time to listen as it takes a lot of courage for somebody to open up and start talking about their feelings, and if they have chosen you to confide in, then accept that and take that time to actively listen.

World Suicide Prevention Day is advocating people to ‘Take 40 Seconds’ to think about reaching out to somebody to talk about your problem.

A large contributor in the decision to take one’s life is the feeling that our problems are insurmountable. You may be afraid to talk about what's going on in your life or think that no one is listening or will not care. Sometimes what we need is re-education to cultivate the ability to listen to other people's problems, and let them be truly heard, or work on our own mind, so that we are better equipped to handle the issues that modern living presents to us.

On World Suicide Prevention Day, the World Health Organisation are launching a “40 seconds of action” campaign to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it.

For more information go to the World Health Organisation Website. Take just 40 seconds today to learn more.