Phobia of spiders

Katherine had been struggling with spiders for years.  During most of the year it was something that caused her discomfort, however she dreaded the autumn months knowing that there was a high likelihood of her going into a room and finding one.

Her main motivation to address her phobia however, was the fear of passing it on to her children. This was a very realistic fear as often phobias are learned behaviour, passed from generation to generation.

How many sessions did it take?

Katherine elected to do a ‘deep dive session’ – an extended session where we use 3 key therapeutic tools that are proven to be effective with acute anxiety.  We start the session by paving the way – learning about the science behind hypnosis and developing awareness of how the mind works.  This can be very powerful in recognising that a phobia is not an illness, but more of a mental hypervigilance to protect.

Katherine commented, “I didn’t fully understand hypnotherapy before seeing Caroline and wasn’t sure how successful it would be.  Caroline fully explained everything.”

Many people have an impression of hypnosis developed from seeing stage shows or films.  This can lead to a fear of loss of control or lack of awareness.  So we spend time to dispel these myths and gain clarity on what hypnosis actually is – in Katherine’s words, “A deep state of relaxation.”

The result

After the session, Katherine left with an optimism that she certainly felt different.  She quickly had exposure when a spider was on her son and she did not react in the way she would have done previously.

I have noticed that I am already more confident at dealing with spiders and I am more conscious of my thought processes around spiders and my reaction to them.”

Katherine was also given a personalised recording that has two key objectives:  It helps develop the ability to relax which can reduce generalised stress and anxiety, and it also builds on the tools used in the session to help embed that work.  Whilst the autumn was a few months away from our work together, using it will help maintain this changed mindset, however Katherine added, “It is still early days and the true test will be in the autumn but I already feel I have more tools to deal with the 8-legged creatures!

Phobias tend to respond really well to hypnotherapy.  People often do not get help for them as they feel embarrassed at their reaction to what they consciously know is not dangerous.  However, a professional will help you understand how your mind is working and work sensitively with you to reduce and potentially remove your phobia.  It you would like more information, please get in touch for an informal chat.

A was just 9 years old and experiencing high levels of anxiety around loud noises.  At school, special steps were having to be taken every week during the fire alarm test which was escalating to A not wanting to go into school on that day.  Her anxiety was also spreading, leading to distress around the risk of car alarms going off and even her sibling’s noisy toys if they did not have an on/off switch.

A’s experience follows a typical pattern of anxiety and escalation.  In children however, this escalation can be quicker than in adults.

How many sessions did it take?

The age of a child is less relevant than their mental maturity.  In the first session we take small steps to identify if hypnosis is an approach that they can embrace.

A took to the approach easily and quickly and after just one session she was already showing signs of having changed her mental association with noise.  I then sent A a recording to help her learn to relax and feel more in control with the recommendation to use this as often as possible and definitely on Tuesday mornings before school.

The result

After just one session I received the following email from her Mum.

“She has had a breakthrough and it is completely down to talking to you.  Before seeing you she had to leave the school and wait on the field, last week she stood in the room while they set the alarm off!! I am so grateful to you.”

Deeming that progress was being made, we decided to continue to use the recording and then test out the other triggers for her anxiety.

“She isn’t as anxious about other noises now either like car alarms and is no longer having a complete meltdown when her brother plays with noisy toys, she asks him to stop but in a controlled manner,” added Mum.

Not every young child is a perfect candidate for hypnosis however equally, results such as those as A received are achievable and A now has an awareness of risk that will also be with her as she moves forward and faces other challenges as she grows up.

 

If you are not sure if your child is a good candidate for hypnotherapy, please get in touch for an informal chat and we can take it from there.

At 9 years old, B was experiencing high levels of anxiety.  She was a real worrier, concerning herself with things that most 9 year olds do not concern themselves over, and this was affecting her both at school and also leading to bad dreams at night.  She is an accomplished swimmer but was often feeling very sick on the way to lessons and competitions and was also dreading a school sporting event that was on the horizon.  B said her anxiety left her feeling “sad.”

How many sessions did it take?

The age of a child is less relevant than their mental maturity.  In the first session we take small steps to identify if hypnosis is an approach that they can embrace.

B was clearly a very bright little girl and was able to engage easily and quickly.  Even after the introductory session, B reported that she was falling asleep better and was feeling a little less anxious.  The second session is one where we start to use the therapeutic tools under hypnosis.  Children tend to respond very well as we are working with a part of the mind that is playful and imaginative.  We used age appropriate concepts to help her reframe the fears and create a mental resource she could use when she wanted to feel brave.

After the two sessions, I created a personalised recording for B to listen to that would help embed the work we had done together.

The result

I will hand that over to the words of her Mum.

B is doing brilliantly !!   

She is now going to bed without her anxiety attacks and is sleeping right through!! Bedtime is now taking 5 minutes as opposed to 30/40.

She did brilliantly in her sporting event and had no anxiety around it at all.  She ended up looking forward to it and was excited! She came in the top 5.  This was such a confidence booster for her, especially as she had not wanted to participate initially due to her anxiety. 

She had her first gala this weekend.  Yesterday she had lots of tears and didn’t want to attend, so she went into her room, listened to your recording, and calmed herself.  She managed to control her anxiety so well, and although she had a few wobbles on the way, she was fabulous, and once she had managed her first race, the rest went very smoothly, and she loved every minute. She was so excited about the second leg today, with no anxiety at all, and she again did so very well!

Further, much to my surprise, she has decided, pretty much on her own, that she would like to commence tutoring for the 11+. This was never an expectation, as we had always felt that the pressure would be too much for her.  The fact that she feels confident enough to proceed, is incredible.

She is happy and positive and hasn’t had a bad dream for several weeks.  We have seen fabulous results after so few sessions, and the recording has been a excellent tool, which she can access whenever she needs, often of her own accord.  We are most grateful.

 

If you are not sure if your child is a good candidate for hypnotherapy, please get in touch for an informal chat and we can take it from there.

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.

R was just 10 years old and emotionally very intelligent.  She had been persuaded to behave in a way that she knew was wrong by children that were older.  This left her feeling huge amounts of guilt, not only in the knowledge of what she had done, but feelings of having let her parents down.  This had changed a vibrant, bubbly young lady into one that was withdrawn and unhappy.

How many sessions did it take?

We had  just 2 sessions.  The first session all clients experience is what is called a chemistry session.  This is especially key for youngsters as if they do not feel comfortable with the therapist or their methodologies, they will not get the results they deserve.

R was naturally nervous about hypnosis but having had it explained to her, was very open to having her first experience of it.  After this first session, even though we had not used any therapeutic techniques, her Mum reported back that, She is so much more relaxed & happy. She really enjoyed the hypnosis. I don’t want to speak too soon, but it feels like we’ve our daughter back. She’s so much happier.”

So we progressed to have one therapeutic session, using a range of techniques to help address the guilt and to bolster her self-esteem to feel more confident around other children.

The result

R was able to let the past go and move on from the incident and return to being a happy, bright child ready to progress into secondary school with a new level of mental agility and resilience.

And in her own words, “I was really nervous about seeing Caroline, but she comforted me and assured me there was nothing to be nervous about. Before I saw her, my problem was always on my mind, but now I rarely think about it thanks to Caroline.  Thank you for what you did for me Caroline.”

 

If you have a teen (or near tween) who is struggling with inter-personal relationships, please get in touch for an informal chat.

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!

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.

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.”

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.

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…

Getting started

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…

The result

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!!!”