I have a ‘head, heart, hands and feet’ approach to change.
Head – I help you get clear what’s going on
Heart – I help soothe difficult feelings
Hands & Feet – I help you put your changes into practice in your life.
Therapists & Coaches Are Different
The therapy and coaching world is confusing from outside. Even if practitioners use the same title like ‘counsellor’ or ‘therapist’ or ‘coach’, how they do things can be very different. If despite your best efforts, you have struggled with a therapist or coach in the past, don’t despair or blame yourself. It’s likely their approach wasn’t right for you.
A few principles I work on are
You have primal human needs – for attention, safety, challenge, stimulation, respect and so on. They’re like your emotional nutrition. When they are in short supply, you become more vulnerable to problems. Part of building your wellbeing and resilience is getting those back in your life.
You have resources and skills you can use to meet those needs. If you are struggling, I help you
identify things that would help you (resources)
become more skillful in handling your circumstances (skills)
Emotions, pattern matching and physiology drive thinking not the other way round.
If you’re stressed out, angry or sad, you can’t think straight.
When a situation now feels like something from before, you’re likely to respond in the same way even if the situation is different. It’s called a ‘faulty pattern match’. It’s perfectly natural, but it’s not helping you. Part of therapy is often calming emotions from previous experiences so you can start deal with the present as it is now.
Change doesn’t just happen in your head. Eating OK, sleeping and getting out and about are integral to your overall wellbeing.
Your answers lie in the present and the future. Understanding the past can be useful to an extent. But understanding is not changing. You can’t change your past, but you can change how you relate to it. Change happens now. And in the kind of future you start creating for yourself. For that reason, although I help you deal with any difficult experiences from the past, our focus is on supporting your present experience and future plans.
Therapy & Coaching Background
I am a brief, solution focused cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist. That’s quite a mouthful. It means
Brief – I start with the end in mind and try to get there as efficiently as possible.
Solution focused – We’re aiming to get to the outcome you want rather than get stuck in too much analysis. You don’t get to Paris by just talking about why you don’t like London (not that there’s anything wrong with London :-))
Cognitive – Your thoughts become your reality. If you keep criticising yourself, for example, that makes you feel bad and stops you learning. I help you step outside of unhelpful thinking patterns.
Behavioural — How you are is also shaped by what you do. You don’t get fit from reading books about exercise. I help you embed your changes in your life.
Hypnotherapist — Your experience is often driven by your emotions and unconscious patterns. If you have had difficult experiences in the past – such as being afraid of an aggressive person – they are liable to carry on in the present even if things are different now. It’s called a ‘faulty pattern match’. I help you use hypnosis and visualisation to calm past experiences so you bring your full abilities into the present.
What Happens in a Session?
Change in your life, not just your head.
As you’d expect, I don’t follow set scripts. We work flexibly with what’s going on with you.
Nevertheless, sessions often include
Being relaxed and friendly – High emotion and tension keep problems stuck, so I help you to relax so you can start to deal with whatever the problem is more creatively.
Mindfulness – awareness is the beginning of change. As you become more aware of what’s going on physically, emotionally and behaviourally for you, you’ll begin to see more opportunities to change it.
Understanding what the problem is – Understanding helps put problems in a ‘box’ so you can begin to work with them
Defining you want – It’s often often easier to say what you don’t want than what you do want! But that’s what gives us direction. So I’ll help you explore and get clear what you do want as well as what you don’t.
Physical awareness and movement – emotions and attitudes live in the body as well as the mind. Exploring your physicality can help you move your way into new feelings and ways of being.
Calming difficult feelings – Old emotions and habits can hold you back. I’ll help you calm them so bad experiences from the past are no longer controlling your present and future.
Laughter – It’s not mandatory but clients are often surprised how much they laugh while we work. That’s not accidental. Taking ourselves – including our problems – lightly lets them change more easily. It’s a good state in which to discover new things and make new connections.
Guided visualisation & hypnosis – Your imagination is a great place to start letting go of old patterns and making new connections so we often use this.
Practice – We might practice certain skills together so you’re ready to try them out.
Planning – We want change in your life, not just your head so we will agree specific actions you are going to take to put your changes into practice in your life.
Follow up – Either at the start of another session or by text/email if we haven’t planned another session, we’ll check in on how things are going, what has been difficult and where you’ve succeeded.
If you would like to book full sessions later including what I’ve described above, then they usually last about one hour along with email questions and follow up before and after and cost £50. (About $60).
Changing a deep pattern can take a while so I recommend booking six sessions so I can give you consistent support over several weeks or months. To help you do that and because I find it more satisfying, I reduce the price for six sessions from £300 to £250.
If you’d like to ask about this, fill in the form here and we can have an email chat or set up a Skype call to see if it would be right for you.