Anger management

Vlatko was experiencing high levels of anger that were affecting his relationship and causing him concerns regarding his employment as he was finding it harder and harder to control his outbursts.  Along with the anger, he was also starting to feel a lot of physiological pain in his chest, feelings of nausea and bloating and regular headaches.

Vlatko had grown up with a very controlling father who often belittled him as a child.  He also dictated what career he went in to preventing Vlatko from following his heart’s desire.  His Mum tended to back his Dad up leaving Vlatko feeling very alone.

How many sessions did it take?

We had a total of 5 sessions over the space of 6 weeks.

In between each session Vlatko was experiencing improvements and each session moving him further forward towards his goal.

The result

During our work together, Vlatko’s sleep improved significantly.  Throughout the process he started to notice himself not reacting to situations that would previously have caused him to flare up.  He found himself feeling happier and many of the physical symptoms had dramatically reduced.

His relationship improved and his partner  commented, “I feel much more relaxed with him now, I dont feel like I have to ‘walk on egg-shells.”

A significant change for him was to then be able to talk about his father without feeling any negative emotions – talking from a place of calmness.

He was able to return to the gym and all the breathing discomfort, headaches and nausea disappeared.

 

Anger can be more common in men but women can experience high levels too.  If anger is impacting on your life, and that of those you love, let’s chat.

Clare had a debilitating fear of spiders leading to her being unable to go into parts of her home, such as her conservatory, when alone in the house incase there was a spider in there.

Her motivation to gain support was not only the impact on her life, but an awareness of how her fears were starting to be picked up by one of her young sons.

Clare had not experienced hypnosis before but was willing to do anything to help resolve her problem.

How many sessions did it take?

Clare had just one session.  There are a number of techniques that reduce phobic reactions and the one that was used with Clare was a visualisation based technique.

Whilst many phobias, such as fear of flying or heights, can have a controlled exposure to the risk – ie you can control when to fly or go up a skyscraper, the risk of seeing a spider, especially at Autumn time is faced daily.  Therefore, this requires an approach that is easy to implement so it does not drain the mental resources.

Clare is a very visual person.  The subconscious mind, where fear is managed from, is very playful and we used this playfulness to imagine any spiders she saw as having  wellyboots on.  This gave her a mental strategy to apply at the trigger of seeing a spider, rather than her mind defaulting to the fight or flight response.  Her technique was to mentally boot up each of the 8 legs.

This technique supports the fact that the mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination and in Clare’s mind, seeing a spider with wellies on was not something that instilled fear.

The result

Clare is still not a fan of spiders, however….. “Although I still don’t like them, seeing them with coloured welly’s on takes the fear away.”

This is a significant result in one session and enough for Clare to be happy knowing that any exposure to spiders is something she can deal with.  She can now spring clean those corners of the house that in the past would have been avoided and garden without fear of spiders emerging from the shed – and her husband is happier not to have to do those jobs now too!!

 

For more information on techniques used for resolving phobias, please read on here

Jeremy had a fear of public speaking, largely focused around running large team meetings.

Like many, he had reservations about hypnotherapy. “I didn’t think it would work,” he said.

The first step in exploring working together is typically an informal chat with Caroline so that concerns such as these can be discussed.  It helps people make an informed decision as to whether this form of therapy feels worth exploring more.  Jeremy was based outside of the UK which also added another element to our work as it would all be done over zoom.

Jeremy was experiencing high levels of anxiety whenever a need to present was on the horizon.  This had not been made any easier during the Covid pandemic and everything going online.  His sleep was also being affected prior to doing any talks.

In the first session, clients have an experience of hypnosis so that they know how it feels before plunging in any deeper.  Jeremy’s description of this experience was; “It feels deeply immersive and out-of-body at the same time.  The body is in a deeply relaxed physical state while the mind is somewhere on a venn diagram between meditative sleep, alertness and deep introspection.

During the 4 sessions we had together, we worked on uncovering the root to anxiety which went back to college days for him, and then developed some strategies to boost confidence when presenting.

The outcome

The result in his own words: “I believe working with Caroline helped my mind re-categorise how it perceives public speaking.  Now I have significantly less anxiety, more confidence and can perform better than before.  100% worth it.

A fear of public speaking is often a source of anxiety but one that many overcome.  However, if a fear of something starts to affect your sleep, your ability to eat or you feel that it is a level of anxiety disproportionate to the activity, then please do get in touch.

Rachael had had an accident at work leaving her in extreme back pain resulting in her losing her job.  She had gone from living a busy life as a single Mum to being in constant pain, living off benefits and having a very restricted life.  In her words, she had “no joy” in her life which had led to a suicide attempt.

Going back further into her life, there were other factors such as successive controlling and abusive relationships, various medical conditions, and a tendency to always putting herself and her needs secondary to everyone else’s.

Rachael was recommended to me by her partner, so we were able to get a swift start as her awareness of how I worked was already in place and after the first experience of hypnosis, she could feel a change in the levels of pain in her back.  Her aim was to be able to throw away the crutches she was using.

After two sessions, she walked into the house without crutches – she was not quite ready to throw them just yet but was confident enough to walk short distances without them.

In total we had 4 sessions spread out over nearly 3 months.  On our follow up call a month after her last session, she reported that she was now “able to walk upright without my crutches and am off my pain medication.  When I am in pain, I can relax and use my mind to help control it.”

Whilst this was a great result, the increase in her self esteem was for me, more significant.  “I am able to vocalise my thoughts.  I have stopped being all things to everyone and am now my true self.”

I now have the confidence and strength to look to go back to work and hopefully enjoy a job I really want to do.” (Rachael was waiting to hear if she has been accepted to train as a phlebotomist).

Working with Rachael helped her use her mind to not only heal her body but also to create a mental strength to create a life of her choice.

“I have no doubt that Caroline saved my life as I was in such a dark place.”

If you can relate to any elements of Rachael’s story, please get in touch

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.

 “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.”

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.”

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.

Getting started

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!”

The result

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!

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.

Getting started

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.

The result

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.”

Jo contacted me because she wanted to develop a healthy relationship with food and to lose weight.  But she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life on a diet to have good weight management.

Whilst her own health was a high priority for her, her main motivator was to be a positive role model to her two beautiful young daughters.  Jo really didn’t want to pass on her own food issues to them. She had developed what we refer to as ‘the black lab syndrome’ – if there is food around, it needs eating!  Every day it felt she had a battle with food.

Getting started

In therapy, it is important to have a goal to work towards. Jo’s goal was to lose 2 stone and to get into a specific dress that was in her wardrobe. We had 4 sessions spaced over approx. 10 weeks. Hypnotherapy for weight loss involves developing new habits and these take time. I challenged Jo after each session to do some ‘homework’- simple activities that create new behaviours. Her success was strongly influenced by her commitment to doing the activities suggested.

6 months after our first session, Jo reported that she had lost 42lbs and the weight was still reducing. Here is her story in her own words:

The result

“I am now a healthier, more active person. I have become more in tune with my body’s needs and make simple daily choices that simply didn’t feel available to me before.

My daily routine was focused around food…notably, what I couldn’t eat battling what I wanted to eat and a destructive pattern of starving and stuffing.

I am now more contented, at peace with food and generally have a calmer, more confident attitude to life.Thoughts about food don’t dominate anymore.  I trust that what I put in my mouth will not only be delicious but also exactly what my body is telling me I need. As Caroline said, my body is not a bin.

We can now have crisps, chocolate and snacks in the house without the nagging fear that I might quickly stuff them all in in a bid to get rid of them. I can take or leave them and feel no guilt if I simply fancy a piece of chocolate.

Food has taken on a new place in my life. I think more about what I would like to eat rather than what I can’t or shouldn’t eat. Menus and flavours are suddenly more interesting. I drink more fluids and have a lot more energy.

Before I visited Caroline my life was on a very unhealthy destructive path. I feel like this process has not just enhanced my life by losing weight and starting to enjoy food but it has made me healthier and given my body a new form of protection.”

The thing that I love about hypnotherapy when it comes to weight management is reflected in Jo’s words – it is not about being on an eternal diet but having a relationship with food that is positive. ‘Treats’ can still be a treat and enjoyed but food ceases to be a constant focus.