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Hypnotherapy in Hebden Bridge

Wimbledon and Online

07525 012221

How has dyslexia affected your life?

People who are diagnosed with dyslexia as adults, rather than in their younger years will often report having suffered many years of failure and criticism in school. They may have been accused of being lazy, not paying attention or have been made to feel they were stupid. As a consequence they may have had a poor attendance record through truanting or school refusal. For those who did attend regularly they are likely to have achieved lower academic results than other pupils without this additional challenge. Discovering as an adult that they are dyslexic (after years of being treated as if they were thick or lazy) helps only insofar as it explains their difficulty; psychologically the damage to self-esteem has been done.
Low self-esteem and a general lack of confidence are often the effects of undiagnosed dyslexia, as are depression and anxiety. It is impossible to attribute with any accuracy the specific origins of these various negative states as there will usually have be an accumulation of different triggers which may include teasing, bullying, ridicule, isolation and abuse. The disappointment of teachers or parents can compound the problem. In addition the dyslexic individual may doubt their ability to achieve any kind of qualification or promotion to a position of high status in the workplace.

This year the focus of Dyslexia Awareness Week which runs from the 7th to the 13th October is on schools and businesses empowering people with dyslexia. For young people who are diagnosed with dyslexia early, there is a lot of support within schools and the education system in general. Different methods of teaching and additional resources can be accessed in most colleges and centres of learning. In my own hypnotherapy training school we can assist students who are dyslexic in a variety of ways including giving them longer to submit their homework and supplying coursework early or in different formats. We also don’t penalise spelling errors as long as students are able to convey their meaning.
For those diagnosed late, as with those who have experienced criticism or abuse in their childhood or teenage years, low self-esteem can be a problem that can continue into adult life. They might not pursue career ambitions or take risks for fear of failure. Lack of assertiveness can also be a problem. Hypnotherapy can be very useful for helping to change negative self-beliefs and issues of low confidence. Working with clients to improve their self-worth and ability to assert themselves is very rewarding and I love to hear from clients who have made powerful changes such as applying for promotion, asking for a raise or standing up for themselves in difficult situations.
If you’d like to know more about how I can support you in overcoming negative self-beliefs book here to have a chat on the phone at a time that suits you.

Are you making time for yourself?

All of us know that taking time for ourselves is a good thing; we’ve all heard of the phrase “me time”.  But how many of us actually do it? Stress and overwhelm is one of the most common reasons that people seek therapy in the UK.  Those feelings of stress are the response to a situation, or a range of situations which tell us that we need to take action. 

When we ignore those feelings of stress, telling ourselves that we just need to get our work done or the kids to school, we feel productive.  Society rewards us for keeping on going. However ignoring those mounting feelings of stress can be deadly, warn researchers.  A study published in the European Heart Journalfound that people who reported high levels of stress to the point where they were concerned that it was affecting their health were twice as likely to experience a heart attack as those who reported that they were unaffected physically by stress.

September 6th is National Read a Book Day. Reading, more than some other pleasurable pastimes has been linked to lowered stress levels and other health and social benefits.  However, regularly making time to do something that you find absorbing and relaxing is an excellent way to reduce stress levels and increase feelings of well-being. The act of taking time to yourself to engage in an activity that you find rewarding is enough to lower your stress levels and give you a new lease on life.

If you struggle to find time for yourself because you’re busy taking care of others, you might want to re-prioritise.  Perhaps you could designate the washing up to someone else and take an hour or two on a weekday evening to absorb yourself in a book, rather than watching TV.  Or maybe substitute your weekend newspaper full of doom and gloom, with a novel.  Joining a book club can be a great way of committing yourself to reading a book which you’ll later discuss with others. This provides a sociable outlet and accountability that makes you more likely to read the chosen publication and attend.

Many of us feel guilty when we take time for ourselves.  It can feel selfish.  However, taking that time for self-care means that we can be more present and less frazzled in other areas of our lives. Often when we feel as though we have no time for ourselves it’s because we aren’t prioritising ourselves.  How many things in a week do you say yes to when you wish you could say no? Perhaps you could make a deal with yourself to leave work exactly on time just one day a week or say no to the request to make 200 fairy cakes for the school fete.  While it might feel uncomfortable at first, you’ll grow to love the difference in how you feel as you have more time for yourself.

Many people who come to see me have trouble saying no to others.  This could be because of self-esteem issues, or because they were brought up in a family where they were expected to take on the lion’s share of household tasks.  This habit, whilst pleasing others around us, is detrimental to both our health, happiness and even success. 

If you want to learn the art of saying no or to find a way of making more time for yourself and your interests, hypnotherapy can be a useful tool.  In my practice I regularly see people who want to learn to prioritise themselves higher in their to-do list.  To find out more or arrange a free consultation, please get in touch.

What you need to know about flying phobias

The last couple of weeks will probably have been the busiest of the year at airports around the country. People heading off to far flung destinations will have been crowding the cafes and concourses waiting to depart. Some will consider their holiday as having started once they sip on their first wine or beer in the airport bar, whilst others will be attempting to steady their nerves. The seasonal rush to sunny climes will be a time of great excitement for many, but for a sizeable minority it will be filled with trepidation. These are the folk who fear flying. If you are one of these, your initial pleasure at the idea of a break in the sun or a visit to relatives may quickly dissolve into a time of tension, when you might even be considering the idea of a trip overseas a foolish mistake.

Naturally, the reasons people are afraid of flying differ greatly and so as a therapist it is important for me to discover what the real fear is that triggers their phobic response. It may have been caused by an earlier turbulent flight, a concern about claustrophobia, a fear of being sick or getting an upset tummy. Loss of control is something that is commonly cited by clients, although in truth we have very little control over most things; it’s the perception of control that has been lost. Anxiety about the inability to ‘get off’ is common too, with the fear of collision surprisingly rare in my experience. 

With the causes and concerns being so different it is important that I adapt my approach and not make assumptions as to what is required. I generally set out to discover if a fear relates specifically to flying, to all forms of travel or transport or is instead perhaps connected to Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Knowing whether someone’s fear is very specific or much broader is useful so that I can select my treatment approach.

Whatever the cause of your fear, I’m confident that I can be of help. I’m trained in a number of psychotherapeutic and psychosensory techniques, NLP interventions and of course hypnotherapy and I use all of these methods to help my clients overcome crippling fears and phobias. If you have a flight booked that is beginning to unnerve you, get in touch. Pushing a forthcoming flight out of your mind might seem a smart approach, but it’s best to seek therapy before the prospect of flying is making you anxious. Therapy for phobias can take as few as one session or may require a few appointments, but it is likely to be quicker than you might expect, which is good news, isn’t it.

Do you secretly fear being rumbled as a fraud?

If so, you may be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome (IS) is an unpleasant manifestation of self-doubt or low self-esteem. Those who have IS will often believe that they have achieved what they have through a fortuitous fluke, rather than hard work or capability. Individuals (often women, but certainly not always) will fear being ‘discovered’ as not being good enough, knowing enough or deserving of a position or title. For this reason they will often undertake further qualifications or work twice as hard as their peers in order to become ‘good enough’. However, as the belief that they are undeserving isn’t based on evidence, but rather is a deeply entrenched distorted self-perception, no accolade or prize will boost the ego of the troubled individual.
Currently many young people are waiting, perhaps preparing for interviews, to find out if they have been accepted into their choice of university course.  Many more are on the cusp of graduation and about to enter the workforce. As Ore Ogunbiyi writes “...I begin to question whether I had done enough, even though I had done all that I could, or whether my passions were even welcome in this space at all?”
Friends or colleagues of IS ‘victims’ will often be completely baffled by their chum’s inability to recognise their success or achievements. To them it seems self-evident that their friend is a natural, a talent to be recognised. But those who struggle with IS continue to be crippled by doubts. So, who develops Imposter Syndrome? Sadly, it is often the children of high achieving or critical (if well-meaning) parents. Striving to impress to feel accepted becomes a habit that is often carried throughout a person’s life.
If you recognise yourself in this description, what can you do to feel better? Well, certainly not try harder! Sadly, that route which is undertaken by many high achievers fails to result in increased esteem; in fact it mostly has the opposite effect. This is because ‘the problem’ was not the lack of competence or experience, but one of low esteem. It is therefore this area which needs attention and a therapist’s help will need to be sought.  
Low self-esteem is not something you are born with, it’s a learned response to life situations including criticism or bullying throughout your school years. When you have a robust self-esteem you are more confident in pursuing your dreams. You can also make your life choices based on what you really want rather than what you hope will make you feel better or to achieve the acceptance of others.
Understanding that almost everybody has times when they feel like an imposter may help. Gaining perspective through working with an impartial therapist can help you to understand if your feelings have any validity or if they are a natural part of expanding yourself and stepping into new and challenging experiences.
Want to get started on your new, more confident life? Call me now on 020 8947 3338 or email me.

Volunteering will make you feel happier

Globally, 300 million people have depression making it the world’s largest cause of disability. Around the same number have anxiety disorders.  According to Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression each year.

While the causes of these periods of lowered mood are varied, from relationship breakups to redundancy or physical illness, the outcome is generally the same. It can cause long-lasting and severe feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities as well as sleep problems, appetite changes and physical pain.

Studies have found that helping others, in the form of volunteering has tangible benefits, both mental and physical, from lowering your blood pressure to reducing feelings of depression. Volunteers’ Week runs from the 1st to the 7thof June and highlights the benefits of volunteering and recognises the contributions of volunteers in our community.  Giving to others is now one of the five recommended ‘Steps to Mental Wellbeing‘ promoted by the UK’s National Health Service. “Acts such as volunteering at your local community centre can improve your mental wellbeing,” claims the NHS website.

Volunteering can benefit you in a range of ways; one of the most important of these is that it reduces social isolation and connects you to others in your community. Often when volunteering you spend your time in a team with other people working towards a common goal.  This means that you not only get to meet new people who have interests in common but you also get to enjoy the satisfaction of working towards a worthy cause. Volunteering can also strengthen your ties to the community, broadening your support network.

While some people are naturally outgoing and meet others easily, more of us feel shy and awkward when meeting new people.  Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet new people without expectation, this gives you the opportunity to develop and practise your social skills. Once you have some momentum going, this can make it easier to go on to make more new friends and strike up conversations at the pub.

Volunteering can also help to counteract the effects of stress and anxiety.  Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Further to this, the act of giving to others can help lift our mood and we can gain greater perspective about our troubles by working with those less fortunate.

Depression and anxiety can make people feel alone and isolated and as though they don’t have the ability to connect with others in a meaningful way.  When you are in this state it can be difficult to reach out to volunteer, and perhaps it might be more important for you to connect with a therapist who can help you.  Contact me today for a chat so that we can discuss how to help you experience positive changes in your life today.