Client Stories

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The impact of teenage anxiety on parents

Maxine has a daughter who was struggling with social anxiety, panic attacks and was ‘of clinical concern to the professionals treating her.’  My work however was not with the teenager, but to support Maxine through the stress of being a parent to an unwell child and this was all provided through an online forum called teenstress101.  In her own words. “I felt overwhelmed and did not understand what I was dealing with and how to help her.”

Teenstress101 is a closed facebook group for parents of teenagers where I provide tips and techniques on supporting teenage anxiety but also in helping support your own stresses that result from parenting.

She went on to say, “Honestly, what I found so comforting was that you, a professionally trained expert and mother of teenagers were willing to give your support to total strangers to genuinely help people who were struggling.

The support I got from you and your forum got me through some dark and difficult months/years.  I also gained some very valuable words/advice regarding my oldest daughter who was in a troubled relationship and the victim of domestic abuse.

I was a little broken at times and you helped put me back together more than once.  Whilst we did have some private message exchanges, sometimes it helped just reading other people’s posts and gave me comfort to know I was not alone.

I am very thankful and appreciate your wonderful kindness and I will remain a member of teenstress101.”

If you are a parent of a teenager (or nearly teen) then please feel free to come and join the forum and find out more about what support is offered.

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14 year old with a needle phobia

P is a 14 year old who had be experiencing increasing levels of anxiety when having to face any medical interventions.  It had led to three adults having to hold her down when a blood sample needed to be taken.  Extremely traumatic for her and everyone else too!

Since then she has refrained from any medical interventions which added to the stress of trying to manage ongoing medical treatment.

When working with teenagers, accepting that parents have a significant role in the process too is important.  P’s Mum expressed her concerns regarding hypnotherapy. “Having seen the hypnotic ‘shows,’ I was concerned that my daughter would end up clucking like a chicken.  I was also concerned about meddling with the mind of an already complex 14 year old.

P however took a different viewpoint saying, “I was quite excited because I have always wanted to be hypnotised.”

Having helped Mum understand the difference to the stage use of hypnosis and the science that is behind the therapeutic use, we went ahead and did a chemistry session with P.  This was done over zoom as we were in lockdown due to the Corona virus.  P dealt really well with working remotely and after having her first experience of hypnosis went on to say, “ I felt really relaxed and sleepy.  I really liked the feeling.”

There was a bit of a time delay until the second session where we addressed the phobia.  The ‘testing’ of the results however, took a little time as unlike phobias of spiders etc, we could not just take her to a medical appointment!  A few weeks later however it was holiday time and P had to have a Covid test before entering France which she managed, to her family’s surprise, with ease. “I would have been terrified and hysterical had I not seen Caroline,” she said.

Phobias are relatively easy to deal with as they are a very focused form of anxiety, however, as clients learn to use the power of their mind in a new way, there are often secondary benefits.  Her Mum added, “P had a stress free and intrusive medical intervention and her school attendance has improved with no time off for ‘anxiety.’  She has been going out with her friends more and going to the shop alone which she was scared to do before.”

Many people struggle with phobias for life and the reality is that they can be reduced in a short period of time. “I was delighted that it took only two sessions to see a difference.  We are well on the journey to helping our daughter deal with her anxiety,”  Mum concluded with.

So if you have had a phobia that is impeding your quality of life or just want to know more, please get in touch.

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Weight Management using Hypnotherapy

Maggie was unable to travel to have hypnotherapy in Salisbury due to being in the throws of the Corona virus pandemic.  She wanted help with weight management, and despite us never having met and all our work together being done remotely over zoom, her results were still exciting.

Getting Started

Maggie was familiar with stage hypnosis and in her words, “Doubted it would be like the TV shows.”  After her first experience which she had in the initial session, her first words after she opened her eyes were, “Wow, that was amazing!”  Understanding how it feels creates a confidence to then really dive into doing the therapeutic work.

Over the 5 sessions we had together we uncovered the key root to her current eating behaviour.  This was buried deeply in her childhood and was not something she was consciously aware of.  But as we spoke about it, the logic became obvious.

As is common with weight management, whilst the focus is on food related habits,  other changes also start to emerge

The result

“It gave me confidence, self-worth, determination and helped me use positive language to achieve my goals.  I am now confident, have lost some weight already and I feel energised and worthy!”

It is quite common for weight management issues to go hand in hand with low self-esteem.  By working with the power of the mind, not only can the physical image change, but the clients view of themselves also changes.  This then stops a downward spiral and creates a very powerful upward spiral.  The better you look and feel, the more confident you become, the more you look after yourself and so it goes on.

Maggie was a pleasure to work with.  I hope that post lock down, we’ll get to meet each other face to face.  In the meantime, she will have the last word:

“Just to say that Caroline is a complete professional, whilst putting clients totally at ease.  I am so glad I found her.”

If you can relate to Maggie’s story and would like to chat, please get in touch.

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Relationship Problems

Jenny’s request for help came from obsessive thoughts regarding  a relationship problem.  Whilst living apart, she was constantly over thinking, picking at every detail of every conversation.   This led to her not being able to enjoy the time when they were together.  This was putting a huge strain on the relationship and also very detrimental to Jenny’s overall confidence and happiness.

Getting started

Jenny’s interest in hypnotherapy was stimulated by having seen dramatic changes in a friend whom had worked with me. Thus she felt more curious than nervous about the process of hypnosis.  When later asked how she would describe the feeling of hypnosis to someone her answer was, “All it is , is a deep sense of relaxation.  It’s as easy as falling asleep and effectively that is what part of your mind is doing.  It’s a strange sensation of falling asleep yet being awake.

Jenny chose to travel up to Salisbury for her 4 hypnotherapy sessions which were spread across 2 months.  There were some large gaps in between some of the sessions, allowing Jenny to do some work on her own that didn’t need my guidance, helping her build her own ‘toolset’ and experience the impact of using them.

Our work together started with a focus on the relationship problem; what it meant to her in the past, and where continuing those patterns would take her in the future.  We then switched to focusing on the future and recognising that she could influence it and create a future of choice.

The Result

At the end of our work together, this is what Jenny said:

“I now look at all aspects of my life in a completely different way.  A far more positive way.  I was able to leave a relationship that wasn’t healthy for me.  I’m able to look back at our time together with a sense of gratitude that it happened and that I still have that person in my life.

I have started yoga which I have been meaning to do for ages; I absolutely love it and wish I’d started it sooner.  After buying my house, a goal I had had since I was 16, I felt a bit lost.  Through our sessions, I now have a new dream ..” and that dream is very clear for her.

Jenny still has the person in her life. Whilst their paths are now on very different courses, when they are in contact, it is still a very positive connection – no bridges burned.

In a follow up contact with Jenny a few months later, Jenny had also changed jobs – leaving one that was not making her happy and using the tools she had learned to now develop other areas of her life.  Her story is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when you learn how to use the power of your mind.

If you can relate to this story and would like to have a chat, please get in touch

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Needing Help at a Difficult Time

Anne’s motivation to contact a Hypnotherapist in Salisbury was triggered by her needing help to get through a difficult time in life.  Her husband had suffered from 2 strokes, resulting in significant care needs.  Anne found herself in a role of carer, whilst also trying to continue her busy lifestyle.  As a result, the pressure and stress was taking its toll on her.  She was starting to have problems with sleeping and also noticed changes in her eating habits leading to her gaining weight.  She also had a stress related sinus issue which, understandably, was escalating.

Getting Started

Anne was curious about hypnotherapy and very open minded.  When she was asked how she would describe the feeling to someone else, she said, “It is nothing to be concerned about.  You are in a relaxed and safe environment.  Tension is dispelled and reassurance is given throughout.”

We had 4 sessions together, in some of which we used hypnosis, in others we spoke about her future.  The sessions were spread over a total of nearly 4 months. This gave Anne time in between sessions to use some of the techniques she’d learned and to feel the impact of them.

One of these was to practise a relaxation process.  Clients are offered a personalised recording.  By listening to this regularly, it can not only relieve stress but also enhance a relaxed approach to life.

By our final session together she had made some adjustments to other areas of her life which had reduced her stress.  She was sleeping better, felt more in control of her food choices and her sinus condition was noticeably improved – something she felt delighted with.

The Result

At the end of our work together she expressed the following:

“I have been able to clear the wood from the trees, able to look at perceived problems and have a different perspective now.  I’ve re-prioritised my life and am handling things better.  It is like I’ve gone through a tunnel into the daylight and am leaving my negativity behind.  Many thanks for steering me in the right direction, the relaxation recording helps me back to normality when I need it.”

We cannot predict what challenges lie ahead in life. When those challenges originate from those we love, it can often make the impact higher.

If you are experiencing something in your life over which you feel you are losing control, please do get in touch. I’d love to chat about how hypnotherapy may support you adapt in a way that can still support a quality of life for you.

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Name withheld – Insomnia

A mum came to me for help with her child who was still bouncing off the ceiling in the evenings and despite being a very physically active young man, could not get to sleep. In her words:

Saviour of my sanity! Best money ever spent!

My 9 year old son has always found getting to sleep very difficult and could lie in bed for over an hour each night without falling asleep. With young children of her own, Caroline Cavanagh made my son feel comfortable with their meeting immediately. Caroline’s method was simple and effective. I know very little about hypnotherapy, but there was nothing scary about the session. The only way I can describe it, is as the most calm hour ever spent in a chair. All through the power of a relaxing voice. Since his first and only required session, my son is now getting to sleep in about 20 minutes or less. My son is delighted with the result and I no longer need to dread bedtime”.

Insomnia can affect people in one of two ways, either stopping them falling asleep or waking them throughout the night. The sub conscious causes are different but hypnotherapy is a very effective treatment in overcoming them, regardless of age!

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Laura – Addictions: Alcohol

Laura was drinking more alcohol than she had become comfortable with. ‘Habits’ had formed that had got to a level that she knew were becoming detrimental to her health.  She was concerned she was developing an alcohol addiction.  She was particularly worried about a developing habit of coming home from work and drinking alone. But with an active social life, she didn’t want to become teetotal and never enjoy a cocktail with the girls again either.

Getting Started

Like many people, the decision to get help starts with taking a brave step! “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from hypnotherapy and I was embarrassed about why I wanted the help,” said Laura when she first got in touch. However, as we got talking, Laura felt more able to relax and be honest about her habits accepting that she was in a safe environment where there were no judgements.

She, like many was also concerned about being hypnotised having seen various stage shows where people ‘performed’. We spoke through how hypnosis worked and the fact that it is a natural state of relaxation. The way that Laura now describes being hypnotised is, “It is very calming and relaxing – like when you are so tired you want to go to bed but can’t move…..without being really tired!

Laura travelled quite some distance to the hypnotherapy sessions here in Salisbury so to make her journeys viable, we sometimes did double sessions which also allowed us to make swifter progress. The result of our work together was explained in her words:

The result

I no long drink on my own (big deal!!). I’ve lost a stone, I feel confident and happy ….and I’m finally in a really good relationship.” Laura’s experience reflects many of the secondary benefits of hypnotherapy. Whilst the focus is on helping one area of life – in her case, the drinking – improvements here can ripple out to other areas. Laura’s priority was not to lose weight, but the change in her drinking resulted in this, which has supported feeling more confident in herself also. It is a bit like the chain of dominoes – you knock the first one over and others behind it start to fall too.

Our aim however was not for Laura to give up drinking. Sharing a glass of wine socially is a source of pleasure for many. Our aim in working together was for Laura to be able to have those one or two glasses when out with friends and thoroughly enjoy them but also be aware of when she has had enough and be able to then swap to soft drinks comfortably. During the follow-up contact a couple of months after the last session, she was still happy with the changes she had made and confident they are the new habits.

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Angie – Depression

Angie came to see me with the brief simply that she had lost her direction. In her own words, “I feel like I am drifting on the sea and don’t know which way is up.

She was someone with a number of pressures in life; a dependent mother, a single Mum to a teenage son with learning challenges  and most significantly, a job she hated. She wanted to move away from the area but felt that her responsibilities meant she had to stay in Salisbury.

Getting started

Our work together was two dimensional – firstly looking backwards at what was ‘anchoring her’.  We started accessing emotions she had buried that she was unaware of, and then looking forwards to create a future that motivated her to take action. The result:

  • She put her house up for rent and is in the process of moving back to where she grew up and where she feels she belongs.
  • Her mother has also found new accommodation and is moving with her so they can retain their close relationship.
  • Her son has found the perfect course he has been dreaming of doing in the local college and his application was accepted.
  • She has been offered a job and financially will be secure.

Whilst I will miss seeing her in and around Salisbury, I am delighted that she has found a new life for herself and is no longer drifting. What I also found particularly exciting was that her work not only found her new direction, but just like ripples in the pond, her action had an impact on those around her. Her mother was delighted at the prospect of going back to her home town and her son has opened doors to opportunities he had not found in Salisbury.

The result

A few final words from her: “I am more confident and more focused. It (hypnotherapy) has changed my life dramatically. I could not have done any of this without you.”

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Caroline – Sports Performance

Sports performance is often not associated with therapy, however most top athletes now use techniques derived from hypnotherapy.

Caroline was fit, regularly completing demanding gym sessions but when it came to running, she found herself giving up after just minutes. She was struggling to understand why her body would respond to the demands made of it the gym, but would not do so out on the track.

“I knew it must be something in my head but I just couldn’t work out what! Caroline Cavanagh  was able to take me back to the age of 4. I was very badly asthmatic as a child and I recalled my Mum telling me as she dropped me off at school ‘not to run around or I would get wheezy’.  My asthma was no longer an issue as an adult but I was amazed that this repeated comment heard has a child had had such a lasting impact.

The result

Having realised that, the behaviour was no longer relevant, Caroline helped me to let go of that child like instruction and the next day I went out and ran for 30 minutes. The difference was incredible and it was clear that the problem had been totally in my head. I then decided to sign up for a half marathon. I quickly progressed to covering 5-6 miles but then met another block. At this stage I would start getting painful stitches. So I booked another session. This time I went back to a time when I was 9 or 10. I was training 6 days a week as a gymnast and my developing body was struggling with the demands being put on it and I recalled getting various random aches and pains that would stop me training for a bit.

I understood this was my body’s way at that time of getting its own down time and now that I was back to making higher demands of it with the running, this old pattern was clicking back in. Caroline helped my adult mind to understand that I was in control and had the ability to train responsibly and again the child like behaviour was no longer relevant. From that point on, the stitches also stopped.

As part of the treatment I learned how to hypnotise myself and found this a great technique when I was running – just took my mind off to another place and let my body get on with the running.

I completed the Reading marathon in a respectable time – something I don’t think I could ever have done without hypnotherapy.”

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Rachel – Depression

Rachel came to see Caroline with a desire nothing more specific than “I just want to feel better.” She found herself feeling very down and demotivated.  Her eczema was bad and she was frequently tearful and over-emotional.  And there were many days where it was a struggle to get out of bed.  All signs of an increasing state of depression.

Rachel had a total of 5 sessions and her condition showed “significant improvement.” In her own words…

There is way less intensity in experiencing negative emotions, definitely a ‘lighter’ feeling and the joy of rediscovering laughter. It is almost as though my range of emotions has broadened in number and variety…with less angst and intensity.

My goals and activities to achieve them are now crystal clear and my limiting beliefs are greatly reduced. This has led to increased motivation, a huge reduction in fear of failure and rejection and increased excitement in achieving goals. Also I am not put off by adversity along the way, am able to keep more balanced, deal with things and keep my eye on the prize…

Everyone’s experience of hypnosis is unique to them, but new clients often ask what it is like. In Rachel’s case, “It actually felt like being completely awake but as a different part of me, if that makes sense? A focused part and a part that could not be presented in a non-authentic/self controlled light.

Rachel is now motivated to build a new career and is finding that new opportunities are coming to her now that her energy levels have a direction.

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Sue – Lack of self worth

 “My experience of working with Caroline”

Caroline has the unique ability to ‘know’ when someone is ready for change. Her natural perception, intelligence and strong kinesthetic awareness means Caroline ‘instinctively’ uses the ideal intervention, every time, to enable people to ‘see’ and deal with the underlying problem or root cause of a particular behaviour.

In my case Caroline noticed I exhibited a strong desire to please people, often at my own expense.

Caroline suggested a timeline style intervention and used a ‘hypnotherapy’ style questioning approach to help me discover where this belief of ‘HAVING to please others first’ had originated.

I remember clearly that ‘we’ went back through 2 or 3 generations and I discovered a ‘bizarre’ piece of information that, although made no logical sense at the time, gave me peace of mind and more importantly an understanding of the ‘root cause’.

The result

Once Caroline had ‘bought’ me safely back ‘into the room’ I was amazed at ‘our’ discoveries. I seem to remember feeling peaceful and calm. The experience has now given my conscious and unconscious minds a chance to ‘rationalise’ and ‘move on’ thus ‘freeing’ me from the old strong desire to please! I am now ‘in my own power’ and my choice to please others is NEVER at my own expense.

The intervention, followed an emotional period following the breakup of a 13 year marriage in 2000.

Caroline’s ability to ‘maximise’ the opportunity for change was profound and I am deeply grateful to her on all levels.

If you have Caroline ‘in your life’ now, please know you are safe and ‘seen’; allow Caroline to heal the parts of you that are ready to change now.”

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Sally – Addictions: Alcohol

When Sally first contacted me, she was experiencing a growing dependency on alcohol over the last 12 months.  It had reached a point where she felt there was an alcohol addiction and she wanted to gain back control.

She, like many, expressed a slight scepticism towards hypnotherapy. Her scepticism was fed by a 6 week counselling course (based around another condition) which she felt had delivered little benefit.

Getting Started

The first session is always a gentle session supporting an experience of hypnosis. Sally described the feeling as deeply relaxing and noted how time had just flown by – as in this state of relaxation your perception of time changes!

Returning for her second therapeutic session Sally told me that she had not had a drink since the last session and more importantly, was not missing it. This session was a few days before Christmas and she was experiencing some anxiety that the normal festive activities would take her back to square one. However on her next visit (early Feb) she told me that Christmas had been great and she had gone through the whole Christmas period without a drink.

The result

In Sally’s own words: “Some how through the process of working with Caroline, I have overcome my ‘addiction’ to alcohol. I woke up one morning and simply said, enough is enough. I believe this is down to Caroline.”

Sally has since made periodic visits as a ‘top up’, typically when life is stressful, and she seeks to reinforce her new beliefs around drink. She is not teetotal and can enjoy a glass of wine of an evening, or share a few glasses with friends and enjoy it. But she can also go out and not drink and no longer feels the NEED to drink.

When asked now what her impression of hypnotherapy is, she has moved from scepticism to, “It worked – amazingly!!”

If you are experiencing something in your life over which you feel you are losing control but may also have some scepticism, please do get in touch to find out more.

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