What is CBH?
What is CBH?
At the root of cognitive behavioural therapy (and CBH) is an understanding that the way we respond to events is not due to the event itself but the way we interpret that event, based on our beliefs and assumptions built up over time. The consequences are often a complex mix of feelings, thoughts and behaviours, which over time have tended to reinforce our core beliefs, sometimes in unhelpful ways. CBH involves addressing feelings (emotions), thoughts (cognitions) and behaviours individually and together. Sometimes simply being aware and able to conceptualise these relationships changes things profoundly.
CBH integrates hypnosis fully with CBT, drawing on the way we can use our imagination to challenge negative thoughts and feelings and to replace them willingly with more positive suggestions, and to enable us to achieve complete relaxation quickly and effectively. Both CBT and CBH are therapies that focus on the present rather than the past. While patterns of behaviour and thinking may have developed over time cognitive behavioural therapies focus on practical solutions to dealing with present experiences - you cannot undo the past, but you can change the way you respond now to the past, present and future.
What is hypnosis?
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is simply focused attention on a dominant idea - most often relaxation - with an expectation that something will happen and an acceptance of and responsiveness to suggestions. It is not something I, as the therapist, do to you - it is something you willingly do yourself. In this way all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The experience of deep relaxation in hypnosis can be truly transformative.
It does not involve entering into some sort of mystical 'trance' - hypnosis in hypnotherapy is a million miles from the TV comedy magic shows (which is what they are - full of illusions). Hypnosis is a normal waking process - you may have experienced it yourself, for example, in a negative way when worrying about something and you are so focused on it that you may be completely unaware of what is going on around you, or when day-dreaming. I can help you use self-hypnosis to relax deeply - to calm the body and the mind entirely - and to challenge and replace negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours with positive ones, changing your entire outlook on life. Using your imagination in hypnosis you can rehearse and challenge your responses to anxiety-provoking situations, freeing yourself from fears and worries. You are in control, at all times.
Hypnosis is fully supported by peer-reviewed, evidence-based scientific research over many decades, on its own and integrated with CBT, which is the model of psychotherapy recommended by NICE and the NHS. All the techniques I use are tried and tested - my academic background is in natural and social sciences so for me the evidence-base for CBH is crucial.
You will have come to me following a phone call or email and, while we may have had a brief conversation then, the first session is always a full assessment session of up to 90 minutes, so I can understand what is going on and begin to conceptualise with you a working model and treatment plan. It also allows us to see whether the whole process is suitable for you. That first session in itself can be very therapeutic as we begin to unpack what it happening. We will then agree - if hypnotherapy is likely to be appropriate for you - an initial number of one hour sessions and a point at which to review progress. Hypnotherapy treatment is typically short-term (e.g. 4-6 sessions), but it could be fewer or more depending on the situation; the approach we take will be tailored to, and agreed with, you.
As with any therapy you have to want to change - motivation is essential since the techniques used involve you as the client actively participating and practising. The aim is to build coping and long-term resilience skills so you are better able to deal with difficult situations and have a more positive outlook generally on life. We will focus on practical techniques and solutions so that even after the very first session you have something useful to take away with you and use.
Confidentiality is assured and is covered by a code of ethics as part of my professional registration.