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.
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.”Let's Talk
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.Let's Talk
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’.
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.”Let's Talk
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.
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.
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.Let's Talk
I have a strong belief that the body and mind need to be on the same page for full health. And this is never more true than when someone is trying to conceive and experiencing unexplained infertility.
The story below comes from a lovely lady who had been trying for some time to conceive. She was visualising her life with a baby, created vision boards with all the lovely things that she would buy, but still no baby. We had one session together and her story, in her own words, goes like this…
“My husband and I had been trying to conceive for several months without luck and it was starting to get me down. I confided in a friend that even though I was desperate for a baby, that I was feeling these feelings of stress and overwhelm in my business and that I was worried how on earth I’d manage to juggle a baby as well. She suggested this was why I was not conceiving.
I spoke to Caroline, a hypnotherapist in Salisbury, about this and aside from working on the key issues of stress and anxiety we focused on conception for a short time at the end of the session. After the session I felt so much more relaxed, things which would have added stress previously didn’t bother me. I continued to use some of the visualisation techniques we’d used in the session, particularly after intercourse and I couldn’t believe it when just a few weeks later I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! After months of negative tests it felt like magic! I’m certain it wasn’t a coincidence and that feeling more relaxed and less worried about my business definitely released a lot of tension from my body.
When we were trying to conceive so many friends had said- ‘it will happen when you’re relaxed about it’, and any woman who has been in the position of having several months of negative pregnancy tests will understand that that does not lead to a feeling of relaxation about the issue, it only makes you more anxious and worried that something might be wrong. The hypnosis finally helped me to let go of the tension I was holding and the mental anxiety I was harbouring about how to juggle family life with my business. I could literally see a way for the two to work together harmoniously and I feel like I have a really clear vision to work towards. It really feels like the hypnosis was a key that unlocked something inside me.”
And one of the things I love about what my clients learn though the hypnotherapy we do here in Salisbury is that it helps them in other areas of their lives. Her story continues…
“I’m more relaxed about my workload. Instead of panicking about how to get it all done, or feeling overwhelmed I know I’m in control of it. And if the feelings do come back I have strategies to bring back the feelings of calm. And I’m pregnant!!
In addition, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you Caroline! I was starting to just feel so depressed every month with another negative pregnancy test again. It feels like magic that I had only one hypnosis session, did some visualising and was able to fall pregnant just weeks afterwards, but I know it wasn’t. You were able to bring out of me some of the best qualities about myself which had somehow got lost in the midst of all the anxiety and stress of running a business. You’ve helped me to see how my life can be, without stress, a clear and realistic vision to work towards.
Thank you!!!”Let's Talk
Kath had one child and had had been trying to give her a sibling for over 6 years. Not only had no sibling appeared but she had actually stopped ovulating. There was no physiological reason the doctor’s could find for the infertility and she was put forward for IVF but there was a long wait. At her whits end, she decided to try hypnotherapy.
Her story, in her own
“Prior to having ICSI treatment, I commenced a course of NLP with Caroline Cavanagh.
Caroline used time line therapy, with the aim of identifying the possible cause of my infertility. During the initial session it became clearly evident that when I was aged five there were several traumatic incidents. These were predominantly related to starting school and my mother giving birth to my second brother, releasing feelings of fear and insecurity. Other incidents that came to light were an issue of bullying at nursery school and a week long hospital stay, during which time I only saw my parents once a day.
I found the treatment very relaxing and was reassured that I was completely aware of my surroundings and in control at all times.
Following the sessions I was very relaxed and slept well, although I had quite vivid dreams.
Caroline gave me exercises to do regarding bonding and strengthening the relationship between me now and me aged five. I felt this helped relieve a lot of internal anxiety and also improved my confidence socially.
Shortly after commencing our work together, I started ovulating again.
When I commenced my ICSI treatment I felt quietly confident that it would work. I was also surprised at how calm I felt throughout the treatment and that I didn’t experience any physical side effects.
I am now 36 weeks pregnant and can’t wait to meet my baby.”Let's Talk
Lesley was facing an acute illness, potentially terminal.
These words have come directly from her.
“I have known Caroline in a professional capacity for 10 years. Caroline has a wonderful trait – integrity. In everything that she undertakes she approaches it with sincerity, professionalism, honesty, decency and truthfulness.
In 2012 I had a personal crisis related to my health. I was in deep despair and felt that I needed to help myself deal with my illness both physically and mentally.
I had had clinical hypnosis about 5 years ago – through someone I had researched on the internet – to give up chocolate. That worked and still does – so I believed that Caroline could help me to help myself.
I had around 6 sessions during 2012/13. My medical prognosis was not good and I was at an all time low mentally. Caroline helped me to manage this very difficult period in my life. Her skills enabled me to find the way forward and now all I can say that I have exceeded my medical prognosis and I am in good health, leading a full and active and very happy life.
I’m not one to gush – but I really could not have coped without Caroline’s input. She facilitated my medical outcome by working with me under hypnosis. I have an awful lot to thank her for and words just don’t seem to be enough.
If you are at a crossroads in your life – physically or mentally, you have the power within YOU to change. Caroline can help make that happen.”Let's Talk
Caroline had suffered from asthma from an early age and had been hospitalised with it a number of times. She could not leave the house without having an inhaler with her. It had got to a stage where finding that she was without an inhaler would instantly result in her starting to wheeze. She had not considered hypnotherapy for her asthma until it was suggested she look into it by a friend.
Here is her story.
“I could understand why I could get wheezy when rushing about but I hated being so reliant on having a ventolin with me all the time. But I would panic and start wheezing if I realised one was empty or there was not one in my coat pocket.
I had read a bit on using suggestions in hypnosis but was surprised when visiting Caroline, a hypnotherapist in Salisbury. She started talking to me about anger! I didn’t consider myself an angry person but the more I thought about it, the more I realised I did have a pretty short fuse.
In the sessions we went back to things in my childhood and I realised that my dad had pushed me really hard to be successful. As an adult I could see that he was trying to live his life through me. He wanted deflected glory from my success. I had bottled up all this resentment at being made to do things I didn’t want to do as a child.”
“It was a very emotional experience but the difference I felt at the end of the session was amazing. I genuinely felt lighter as if a weight had been lifted. It was still tricky to go out without an inhaler close by at first but it didn’t take long to notice that I wasn’t using it. Slowly the confidence grew and I increasingly left the inhalers behind.
I also noticed that I just felt calmer. There is a much longer fuse before I ‘blow’ and my relationship with my Dad also changed for the better. I used to go through a ventolin about every 6 weeks. It has now been over a year since I went to the GP for a repeat prescription.
It’s hard to comprehend how an emotion I had unknowingly bottled up could have such a physical impact. However, the evidence is undeniable.
I suspect the boundaries for how hypnotherapy can help reduce illnesses are almost limitless and have encouraged lots of people to now look at alternatives to just keep taking drugs.”Let's Talk
Julia came to me reluctantly, having been sent by another client and coming only to pacify him! Her insomnia had led to her not slept for more than about 4 hours in over 10 years. We did just one session and that night she slept for 7 hours. We kept in contact for a while and she was regularly sleeping through the night.
Extracts from her email to me are below:
” My Dear Caroline I can not tell you the difference in my sleep pattern, and I feel as if I have more energy.
I had no idea the Arthritis in my hip was waking me, now I turn and continue sleeping. Since my session with you I sleep much MUCH better. Not every night/day is the same but I do sleep for at least 5 hour, often up to 8 hours.
I did think what you do is “mumbo jumbo” but not any more. It was amazing and if I could bottle your voice I would make a fortune as the gentle way you speak was very relaxing. I do go through your relaxation process as I get into a comfortable position and often fall asleep before I get to the end.
My husband says its likened to a switch that I sleep so well compared to before we met. I’m sorry I haven’t emailed you before now but my life is very busy, but one thing not worrying me is insomnia!”Let's Talk
Jude was referred to me by someone close to her and came with the request, “I want some of what she has found!” He friend had done some weight management work with me and at that point, lost over 3 stones.
Despite having seen the impact of hypnotherapy on a close friend’s weight loss, Jude, like many others, had concerns about it. “I was concerned that it wouldn’t work in that I wouldn’t be able to be hypnotised and that if it did, I wouldn’t get the results I wanted. I was also concerned about being out of control.”
This is a common feeling based on the TV and stage shows that use hypnosis but after talking her through the differences between stage entertainment and the therapeutic use of hypnosis she agreed to give it a go! “It was just like being really relaxed. You are still aware of everything and sometimes still wondering if you are actually hypnotised!”
Jude and I had a total of 7 sessions together. The results that she felt she had made included;
“Weight loss was slow but steady. I had no desire for or reliance on sweet, sugary foods and there was no more snacking between meals.”
Weight management through hypnotherapy is not all about abstaining from foods or constant calorie counting, it helps that part of your mind that controls eating to make better, more healthy decisions that also reflect what the body needs. However, there are often secondary benefits that come out of hypnotherapy:
“I now value the need to look after myself more and better protect myself from the slugs and arrows!” (Jude’s metaphor for the ‘stuff’ that life throws at us!)
Jude had a high convincer filter – a filter we all have but can be set at different levels and hers meant that she needed to see a good amount of evidence to trust that the changes were not just temporary.
Her final comment was: “The belief that it has changed my behaviour and that I will remain that way gets reinforced every day!”Let's Talk
It is very common that people come for help in one area of their lives but then experience benefits in other areas too. Bev came to me for help with weight management and along with success in that area, “I have more confidence, I have the ability to now take a step back from things that previously would have made me feel stressed and to feel in control of situations.”
This is one of the key benefits of hypnotherapy; you cannot only change an area of your life that you are not happy with, but you also learn a sense of relaxation and calmness that also makes other areas of life much better.
Bev had a total of 4 hypnotherapy sessions here in Salisbury spread across nearly 8 weeks. After the first therapeutic session she was amazed that she had had a chocolate bar in her bag for several days and not felt like eating it. After further sessions she had changed her eating habits considerably, was drinking less and exercising more.
Our eating behaviour often stems from lessons learned or experiences earlier in life that you would not naturally attribute to eating habits. For Bev this was also true: “The biggest surprise to me was the feelings and recollections that surfaced from when I was younger that contributed to my over eating. Things that I hadn’t even given a second thought to.”
And it is accessing the subconscious through hypnosis that allows these childhood patterns to be adapted to something appropriate to adulthood. Bev started to lose weight slowly after the first session and her weight loss has continued at a steady rate. The key difference between dieting and her new behaviour is that it was not a chore and the changes felt natural.
“I would like to say you again Caroline for everything you helped me with. The weight loss has slowed down a lot but I am in a new ‘stone zone’ , I will confess, I still pick up a size 18 in the shop forgetting that I am a 16 now!!!
It’s taking a little getting used to. On Monday I fly off to Corfu for a week and I have discovered some of my old holiday clothes fit me again as well as new ones I’ve had to buy, of course. Sounds silly, but I am looking forward to sitting in the plane seat and feeling comfortable.
I still feel as though I have a way to go until I will be happy with my weight but I am getting there and know I will be the size I want to be for my daughters wedding in a few months.”Let's Talk
Ann-Marie came to me to seek assistance in losing weight. She found herself snacking regularly and had got to a stage where her self image was also affecting her self-confidence and motivation.
Like many people who come for hypnotherapy, the only experience Ann-Marie had of hypnosis is that seen on entertainment shows.
“I was surprised how in control I remained whilst hypnotised. Following the taster session when I first experienced being hypnotised, I was much more relaxed during the process as I knew the myths about hypnotherapy were just that. It was like my conscious mind was watching from the sidelines, ready to step in if needed but happy to allow the rest of my body and my unconscious mind a chance to be heard. No matter how stressful work had been just before arriving my mind and body was completely relaxed through the whole experience.”
“I can be quite nervous meeting new people and being open and honest. Caroline made me feel completely relaxed and unembarrassed about talking openly and honestly. I knew I wouldn’t be judged; she just wanted to help me.
Ann-Marie started to lose weight straight after the first therapy session but she was surprised that she did not feel as if she was dieting. In her own words….
“ I am much more aware of my body and the elements that affect my choices. This awareness has helped me lose weight by making better choices, supported by my subconscious mind, rather than feeling like healthy choices were always a battle between what I wanted and what I knew was good for me. I am now losing weight in a steady, healthy manner, without dieting.”
But weight loss was not the only benefit she experienced.
“I have learnt how useful full body and mind relaxation can be, and this has been incredibly helpful in other areas of my life, such as dealing with work stress. I have also realised that I am strong enough to achieve my goals and that when I am feeling alone and somewhat beleaguered by the world I can recruit those separate and powerful parts of me to help.”
Ann-Marie had a total of 4 hypnotherapy sessions here in Salisbury and her weight loss had been consistent and at a healthy rate, losing 9 lbs over the month that we worked together. It was felt that at that stage, she had the resources and new skills to continue to reach her goal alone. Ann-Marie has the last words:
I also felt that the therapy was being tailored exactly to my needs, down to Caroline saying when she felt we didn’t need any further sessions at present. It was incredibly refreshing to hear work effectively being turned down as she genuinely felt it wouldn’t bring me any further benefit at that point in time.
I would recommend Caroline Cavanagh to anyone and would consider using her again.”Let's Talk
This lady was struggling with performance anxiety. After a few sessions she became a World Champion.
It is still common for men to believe they don't need help and Keith only came after his wife had had sessions. His experience is shared in this short video