Understanding Clinical Hypnotherapy

Understanding Clinical Hypnotherapy

Often, people enquire whether I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist or ‘the other kind’ by which I discover they mean a ‘stage hypnotist.’ The object of this brief article is to explain in simple terms what Clinical Hypnotherapy means. Having spent many years in supervision for Advanced level training and qualifications in both hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, I am probably equipped to explain. So here goes.

Clinical Hypnosis is a natural state of being, one most people experience naturally in their day-to-day lives – imagine the  day dream state, one where you are travelling as a passenger in the car or on a train, and you’re gazing out of the window -whilst still awake, but not mentally thinking any more.

About Clinical Hypnosis and Therapeutic Suggestion since many people are concerned they will lose control, let me explain that the object of clinical hypnotherapy is to use suggestion as a means to assist you, the client, towards your desired goal and beneficial outcome. The client doesn’t lose control and is not placed out of their comfort zone or into a state of deep sleep.  Suggestion, is often undertaken during the general course of conversation, when a person is fully conscious in discussion with their therapist, or suggestion may occur during a more relaxed state of trance, (like the day-dream state previously  discussed) when consciousness is resting at which point ‘suggestion’ can be made to our unconscious.

The Benefits of Clinical Hypnotherapy

Clinical Hypnotherapy has many advantages and when it is used with progressive relaxation techniques it is a powerful tool in reducing anxiety and stress.  Ancient cultures, particularly the Greeks, understood the importance of the balance of mind, body and spirit to our wellbeing.  Modern day thinking has returned to this understanding and to valuing the connection between our mental and physical health and how this both influences our attitudes and behaviours – and ultimately, how we feel when we interact with the people in our lives.

Your Contract for Clinical Hypnotherapy

We have discussed that the difference between Clinical Hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis is that the former has therapeutic goals and outcomes.  Indeed, the goals of Clinical Hypnosis are quite clearly defined for my clients by me through means of a brief contract at the commencement of therapy. My clients can therefore be assured of clarity, trust and confidentiality.

My Personal Demonstration of Trance – As a registered Senior Level Practitioner, Supervisor and Trainer, I always demonstrate the trance state and how to achieve this. I do this so that my clients may feel perfectly safe and comfortable and they can join in the process when they are ready. When my clients watch and see how easy trance actually is, and the calming benefits it produces they want this too!

If you would like to learn more information, or a free phone consultation please contact me.

Sara Howard, Tel – 07827 505389

Pregnancy, Birthing & Work Transitions

Pregnancy, Birthing & Work Transitions

This programme is about helping you through the transitions of conception, pregnancy and childbirth, along with the day to day life changes ahead – from time off with new baby at home, to the preparation for your return to work.

Sara Howard is a highly experienced advanced Hypno-psychotherapist, Trainer and fully registered Executive Coach with the Association for Coaching. She is also a Consultant with the International Stress Management Association. As an experienced mother, Sara understands the worries and life changes that mothers experience, and as an Executive Coach, she found many businesswomen asking her for this type of transitional help. She now shares her wealth of knowledge with private individuals for 1-1 sessions.

The programme is 3-6 sessions – dependent upon personal requirements.

Brief course outline:

  • Preparing for changes with knowledge and the tools to cope well
  • Conception/Birthing: learning progressive relaxation techniques and positive visualization
  • Understand and acknowledge any anxieties and learn adaptive behaviour strategies
  • Maternity Leave – plan a new routine and daily rhythm with positive re-framing
  • Return to Work: planning your return to your previous job, or a new career change

Conception, Pregnancy and Birth – nowadays many women use hypnotherapy to ease conception anxiety and also to manage the birthing process and the pain.  This is with the use of taught techniques, including progressive relaxation and visualisation (with peaceful soothing images and sounds in your ‘safe place’). The aim is to help to reduce anxiety fears for an easier, calm transition for mother and baby.  Effective breathing and deep relaxation aids in the production of hormone Oxytocin, for effective and less painful contractions.

Enjoying Time off work with baby and preparing for your return – many women feel anxious about taking time out – whilst others really look forward to it.  Whatever your point of view, it is a time that is special for you and your baby. It is also a time that will allow you the space to review what you want to do with your life in the future. Some women extend their maternity leave, others choose to learn new skills and make a structured career transition.

Whatever you choose, this is a positive and highly enriching time in your life and I will be delighted to help you on this journey!

Contact Sara Howard for further information or a for a free phone consultation to discuss your requirements.

Telephone 07827 505389

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Fear of Falling (horseriding). Sara Howard in the media.

“I had four sessions with Sara Howard, I emerged calm and relaxed. it was fantastic.” …”And the one thing I was clear about was that I really did want to get on …. I wanted to enjoy myself!”   The writer describes the successful process I used combining NLP, hypnotherapy and coaching techniques. Article link attached with kind permission of Kat Brown.

Fixing the fear of flying (off the damn horse)

 

 

Managing Stress

“Sara helped me to eliminate stress and to distance myself from negative situations. She taught me the impact of stress and how to recognise it for myself. The result is that I’ve stopped my obsessive worrying and panic attacks. Sara has not only helped me to eradicate unnecessary stress but also to think more clearly and logically. Her manner was always very positive, gentle and kind. She has literally changed my life. I have recommended her to others, without any hesitation.” Ms L, Bucks.

Rebuilding Confidence and Self Esteem

“Sara, thank you so much for all your help. I came to you with low moods and no self esteem. You were honest with me before and throughout my treatment sessions….. Your holistic approach to my problems using hypnotherapy, NLP and psychotherapy helped me to become stronger and the self healing occurred in a way that made me grasp life again and rebuild my self confidence. I have recommended you to my friends and my family doctor has been very impressed with the results”. Ms J, Herts.

About preparing for your first hypnotherapy session

About preparing for your first hypnotherapy session

Preparing for your first hypnotherapy session is an exciting opportunity towards beneficial change.   For many people, their presenting symptoms may have been long term and sometimes a new event has served as the catalyst for change (for example, new career, partner, marriage).  It is your own motivation and desire that plays an important part in enabling the success of the hypnotherapeutic suggestion process.

Most practitioners offer prospective clients a free consultation session to determine suitability for hypnotherapy and also to help to prepare a new client with an understanding of what they can expect from the process.  In preparing for their first hypnotherapy session, I offer my prospective clients 20 minutes in which they can discuss their symptoms and related history and importantly, the desired beneficial outcome.   The practitioner may then indicate to the client a procedural plan which will become more defined after the initial session.  For example, two sessions of suggestion therapy will often be sufficient for habit cessation, however, where a habit is linked to other issues or past traumatic events, hypnotherapy may take longer.

The object is for the client to gain the most from the first hypnotherapy session and subsequent appointments. During my many years in practice I have been asked a variety of questions and here are a few brief points to consider further of which are often contained in a pre-consultation letter.

  1. Prepare brief details about your symptoms and any related events.
  2. Bring any GP or Consultant’s letter of referral containing clinical details.
  3. Full disclosure will be necessary for certain clinical conditions – ask your hypnotherapist.
  4. Eat something suitable prior to your session to prevent being distracted by hunger pangs.
  5. Avoid caffeine during the hours prior to your session to avoid hyperactivity.
  6. Location – allow time to familiarise yourself with the clinic’s location you are travelling to.
  7. Parking – unless parking is offered on-site, request details of local parking space.
  8. Payment facilities – ask the therapist before your appointment. Most offer paypal facility online or the use of electronic banking transfer.
  9. Cancellation policy – be aware of the therapist’s cancellation policy agreement so that goodwill is maintained. Many therapists make no charges for illness or unforeseen events.
  10. Your participation – the importance that you fully participate in the therapeutic process.
  11. Choose a time for your appointment that suits your body clock and allows you to relax.

When you arrive for hypnotherapy with me,  a simple contract letter will be undertaken. This contains your details, the therapist’s details, any medical disclosure notes/current medication, past therapy undertaken, and importantly what you are attending for (ie. smoking cessation, weight management, stress management)  and what you hope to achieve.  This protects both you and the therapist.

Enjoy your hypnotherapy.  Remember – The object is your desired beneficial change.

 

 

 

Menopause Transition

Menopause Transition

Easing the Menopause Transition. 

For many women, the menopause marks that time in our lives when we can positively reflect on what we want for ourselves and make small changes to ease and to optimise that transition. Many women find themselves becoming empty nesters with time to make suitable changes in career or lifestyle.  Menopause brings the space to reflect towards new possibilities. This can be an inspiring thing!

When I’m training groups or engaged in 1-1 private sessions, I always begin by explaining the natural chemical changes that occur from the start of the perimenopausal stage and therefore the natural feelings that will accompany these changes. Perimenopause can bring hormonal changes that happen several years before the start of menopause, that can have an effect on the routine and rhythm of our daily lives particularly due to the changes in our oestrogen levels.

Even after the actual menopause, the symptom of hot flushes can continue for several years, along with the anxiety. Many women report to me that they worry about work presentations and meetings with important clients; others worry about not letting friends down socially.  Women also worry about feeling, ‘why am I so tired?’  Much is written about adrenal fatigue and this is where anxiety and stress come in, bringing worry, feeling overwhelmed, and as some of my clients describe it, ‘washed out.’

I have successfully steered my own course through the menopause without the need of any HRT and therefore will happily share my secrets of success with you – along with my in depth training.

My coaching and wellbeing programme for menopause transition includes :

  • An understanding of the natural chemical changes that are occurring
  • Making lifestyle changes to assist your transition (diet, exercise, positive thinking)
  • Positive anxiety and stress management – visualisation, meditations, self-hypnosis
  • Evaluating any emotional changes and unresolved issues to reduce stress
  • Deciding future goals and plans, e.g. career changes, lifestyle changes

It is so important to give space to our ‘inner voice’ to acknowledge the often varied and changing emotions that arise during this time of change. In doing so, we can address any unresolved issues and plan a path that will facilitate changes – and even new goals of what we want to achieve.

Sara Howard, registered Advanced Hypno-psychotherapist (Senior status GHR), Stress Management Consultant (ISMA), Executive Coach (Association for Coaching) and Trainer. Over 20 years experience working with private individuals and companies. Post-grad psychology education; special interest in anxiety/stress related conditions. Registered Clinical Supervisor (GHSC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easing the Menopause Transition

Easing the Menopause Transition

Let’s Ease the Menopause Transition!

For many women, the menopause marks that time in our lives when we can positively reflect on what we want for ourselves and make small changes to ease and to optimise that transition. Many women find themselves becoming empty nesters with time to make suitable changes in career or lifestyle.  Menopause brings the space to reflect towards new possibilities. This can be an inspiring thing!

When I’m training groups or engaged in 1-1 private sessions, I always begin by explaining the natural chemical changes that occur from the start of the perimenopausal stage and therefore the natural feelings that will accompany these changes. Perimenopause can bring hormonal changes that happen several years before the start of menopause, that can have an effect on the routine and rhythm of our daily lives particularly due to the changes in our oestrogen levels.

Even after the actual menopause, the symptom of hot flashes can continue for several years, along with the anxiety. Many women report to me that they worry about work presentations and meetings with important clients; others worry about not letting friends down socially.  Women also worry about feeling, ‘why am I so tired?’  Much is written about adrenal fatigue and this is where anxiety and stress come in, bringing worry, feeling overwhelmed, and as some of my clients describe it, ‘washed out.’

I have successfully steered my own course through the menopause without the need of any HRT and therefore will happily share my secrets of success with you – along with my in depth training.

My coaching and wellbeing programme for menopause transition includes :

  • An understanding of the natural chemical changes that are occurring
  • Making lifestyle changes to assist your transition (diet, exercise, positive thinking)
  • Positive anxiety and stress management – visualisation, meditations, self-hypnosis
  • Evaluating any emotional changes and unresolved issues to reduce stress
  • Deciding future goals and plans, e.g. career changes, lifestyle changes

It is so important to give space to our ‘inner voice’ to acknowledge the often varied and changing emotions that arise during this time of change. In doing so, we can address any unresolved issues and plan a path that will facilitate changes – and even new goals of what we want to achieve.

Sara Howard, registered Advanced Hypno-psychotherapist (Senior status GHR), Stress Management Consultant (ISMA), Executive Coach (Association for Coaching) and Trainer. Over 20 years experience working with private individuals and companies. Post-grad psychology education; special interest in anxiety/stress related conditions. Registered Clinical Supervisor (GHSC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you suffering from workplace related stress?

Are you suffering from workplace related stress?

Does unwanted workplace related stress have a negative impact in your life?  If you are reading this then the likely answer is, yes, it does. This article is to help you to recognise what may be happening in your life.

Stress is defined by ISMA UK as, “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.”

Whilst many companies are aware and vigilant to the signs of stress in their employees and even have procedures in place to help cope with and prevent stress – it has to be said that some companies do not.  A further problem is that many employees deliberately hide the signs of rising anxiety levels due to fears that their stress may be negatively interpreted as an inability to manage their workload. This includes hiding the truth from loved ones and friends.

You may already know someone suffering stress. The Health & Safety Executive’s 2016 Statistics conclude that work related stress accounts for 37% of work related ill health and 45% of days lost in the period of 2015/16.

Some of the main issues people report regarding workplace stress include: –

  • The perceived pressures linked to workload, deadlines and expectations
  • A belief in insufficient support from line management and colleagues
  • Fears of change, pending mergers and acquisitions and new leadership styles
  • Conflicts between personal beliefs and corporate culture demands

The physical symptoms of stress may vary from person to person (and are discussed in my earlier article); they can include – raised heart rate, palpitations, perspiration, feeling a rush of adrenaline, irritability with colleagues, poor sleep patterns and tiredness, stomach h upsets headaches and migraines.

When excessive pressure goes ignored or unnoticed over an extended period it can have a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. For some it can lead to depression and more serious physical conditions.  Stress can also affect us psychologically and in our changing behaviours.  The behavioural aspects that increase pressure include lack of assertiveness,  procrastination and absolutism – perhaps these sound familiar?

The anxiety of constant worry about past or future events can lead to unwanted habits and addictions, sometimes in a misguided belief that they help us to cope, for example, the use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, chocolate etc.  Some people engage (often unconsciously)  in habits such as nail biting, skin picking, mouth chewing, teeth grinding, hair pulling without realising the link to their anxiety levels.

In managing your workplace stress – A stress audit will help you to develop a plan to enable you  to recognise and identify problems and to make suitable behavioural changes to help you regain a sense of control in your daily routine.  It is also about how we believe we interface with ‘our world’  the ideal of course being in a satisfactory and productive way in which we are supported and can complete our tasks and achieve our goals… and find time for the importance of  work/life balance.  

Effective stress management increases our self belief in our ability to cope and to develop ‘resilience.’ In simple language, resilience can best be achieved and built on sound foundations, when we have recognised and moderated our emotional self demands to a new understanding in harmony with our values and a position of control.

 

Sara Howard has designed and delivered large scale training programmes in stress management and resilience to leading multinational companies.  She also works with private individuals as an executive and lifestyle coach and hypno-psychotherapist.

Sara is available to see private clients in Highgate London, Wheatley Oxford, Kings Langley Herts. and Aston Clinton Bucks.

Please call to discuss how she may help you with your stress management plan.  Tel – 07827 505389.

 

Building Emotional Resilience

Building Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience means having the ability to manage pressure and to recover quickly and effectively from setbacks. This article explains how you can learn the tools of resilience and improve your wellbeing.

First – Identify Your Stressors

Most people lead fast hectic lifestyles, with the result that multiple sources of potential stress can occur in the workplace, family and social life. My clients often report their tipping point comes when ‘that something extra occurs’, such as unexpected demands at work or experiencing the emotional changes of a death, divorce, redundancy.  Emotionally resilient people have the tools to manage pressure and therefore do not suffer the negative effects of prolonged stress. Without resilience, a person may find that prolonged bouts of stress can harm confidence and self-esteem and may even lead to worse mental and physical conditions.

Second – Identify Your Beliefs and Behaviours

A person’s belief structure is important. Emotionally resilient people retain a positive outlook on life, and they have a belief in their own ability to return to a normal state of wellbeing.

So, the next time pressure starts to build up and you experience the negative effects, note the changes in your perception. For example, stress can manifest itself in varied forms, through physical, psychological and social dysfunction.  In other words, people with stress may experience symptoms of increased respiration, palpitations, headaches and they may present changed and negative behaviours to other people, suffer self doubt, and even withdraw from social activity.

Third – Just How Balanced is Your Mindset and Lifestyle?

Emotionally resilient people bounce back quickly. Some have good defences against adversity –  they have a history  that has formed a narrative for coping mechanisms; others, have learnt the tools, gained through having a  better understanding of themselves.

In learning the tools, it is very important to set realistic goals in our daily life and not to over face ourselves.  Different personality profiles adopt different behaviours – and behaviours can be modified. People with absolutist mindsets who are unable to compromise increase their own expectations with deadlines and self-pressure.  Whereas, people who seek to please tend to lack assertiveness and take on too much work.  Many people procrastinate endlessly over decisions – and this increases pressure. The result is that when goals are not met, negative behaviours can arise and self belief can become affected.

So, when we have a narrative or the tools to cope, we move in a balanced zone of wellbeing.

Regular exercise and a support network are very important to a balanced life, along with the knowledge that we have other skills and abilities we can be proud of outside the workplace – such as a hobby, and thus creating the idea of ‘work-life balance.’

How to Work Towards Resilience

It is key that we recognise the importance of enabling behaviours

  • Maintain our self belief and feel a sense of control
  • Have motivation during difficult times
  • Set ourselves realistic goals we can achieve
  • Be empathetic and caring towards other people
  • Communicate well and feel good about ourselves
  • Accept our own mistakes as part of our learning framework

If you would like a more in-depth discussion on the subject of Resilience and how you can learn the tools to increase your well-being to enable you to become more effective contact Executive Coach and Hypno-psychotherapist, Sara Howard for a free phone consultation. Tel: 07827 505389 or email sara-howard@sky.com