I thought that you might find is useful to find out more about the wide range of conditions that hypnotherapy can treat. I have included a range of case histories which are typical of the work I do.
Please note that in order to protect clients' confidentiality all names have been changed and no details included which might make is possible to indentify the individuals in question.
Ten year old Megan suffered from koumpounophobia an almost unpronounceable word that translates as "fear of buttons". I must admit that I had never heard of the condition but discovered that it is a surprisingly common phobia among both children and adults.
So severe was the problem that she could not even give her daddy a cuddle if he was wearing a shirt that buttoned down the front - he had to wear a pullover to make sure the buttons were hidden.
As far as Megan's clothese were concerned Velcro had done the job up to now but her new high school uniform required every girl to have buttons and she wanted to rid herself of her fear.
At the start of the session she was only able to look at a photo of buttons from the other side of the room. Less than one hour later she was not only able to hold a pile of buttons in her hand but was going off with her mum to buy “a jumper with big buttons” to celebrate.
Sally came to see me before what she and her husband knew was going to be their last chance to have a baby using IVF.
Previous pregnancies had failed because Sally had been unable to hold on to the foetus for more than a few days. She was unable to see any future life without her own natural child and felt her life had no meaning without a baby of her own.
Because of the timing of her treatment she only had one session of hypnotherapy with me. Firstly, under hypnosis, we addressed her concerns about natural motherhood. We explored the other options open to her - adoption, fostering and accepting the situation and living as a childless couple.
I also gave her suggestions that her womb was a welcome and comforting place and that her embryo would find a safe home there and not want to leave until he or she had reached their full term.
At the end of the session Sally told me that she felt much more relaxed about motherhood. She now completely accepted that if this last chance failed she could still lead a fulfilled life by exploring her other options. Becoming a natural mother no longer had the same significance for her, a revelation that came as a considerable surprise..
But this last chance did not fail. Sally held on to the baby and enjoyed a "normal" assisted pregnancy and in due course gave birth to a baby boy.
As a highly experienced police officer, Dai had been exposed to dozens of traumatic experiences during the course of his long career. However, after one particularly unpleasant incident he was left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD as it is called for short.
Most commonly associated with the psychological damage caused to soldiers and other combatants in war situations, PTSD is a debilitating condition that affects not only the individual concerned but also those closest to them.
Because of PTSD Dai felt unable to cope with the job that he loved and was on long-term sick leave.
Following treatment with Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, or EMDR, Dai was able to return to work and to achieve peace of mind as he recovered from his PTSD.
Sophie was worried about the amount of alcohol she was drinking. The occasional glass in the evening had turned into a bottle or more every night - and sometimes more at weekends. She didn't want to give up alcohol completely, just cut down so that she could drink socially. After four sessions of treatment she felt that her drinking was back under control and that she felt much better both physically and emotionally.
Judy was delighted that she was finally expecting a baby after trying unsuccessfully for some time. However, when we met she told me that she wished that she had the gestation period of an elephant - twenty-two months, in case you were wondering.
Although she very much wanted the child she was carrying she was terrified of the act of giving birth.
We worked together on the origins of her fears and developed suggestions for pain free childbirth which were given to her under hypnosis. After just three sessions her fear of giving birth had evaporated and she left the therapy room telling me "I wish I was giving birth tomorrow!"
Tony had suffered from OCD for many years. His condition was so severe that he spent hours cleaning his kitchen before and after preparing meals, had to retreat to his home if he got any form of dirt on his clothes, and spotting dog poo on the pavement effectively stopped him walking down the street.
At home he would take off all the clothes he wore in the outside world and had to wash them, twice, with bleach before he could bear to wear them again.
We worked together to help him tackling this debilitating condition. Now, although he still has some minor issues with dirt his life is much more comfortable and he is able to live virtually free of his old restrictions.
As an NCO Karen had driven trucks through the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan as part of the essential military convoys that regularly came under attack from the Taliban. To her dealing with enemy fire was just part of the job. The only time she faced real terror in her army career was back in the UK.
On her officer training course she dreaded having to give regular presentations to her colleagues and was worried that she might fail.
After just two sessions of hypnotherapy she was able to conquer her fears and to actually enjoy talking in front of others.
Pam was finding that all the fun had gone out of her sex life with her partner. With love-making dominated by their efforts to conceive she could hardly find the enthusiasm she wanted when they needed to have sex during her fertile period let alone at other times of the month.
Hypnotherapy got her enjoying making love again - not just for procreation but for recreation too.
Pam and her partner still have not succeeded in starting their family but they are having a lot more fun trying!
Liam's wife Rose was expecting a baby in five month's time. A moderate smoker up until she became pregnant Rose had stopped smoking as soon as she knew she was expecting. Liam continued to smoke but now wanted to stop. Not only did he want to support Rose but he also wanted to set a good example to his new son or daughter by being a non-smoker.
As Liam had the very best of reasons for wanting to stop he came to me for the usual two hour long session to cure him of his smoking habit. Some smokers need a follow-up session, provided free, but Liam was among the estimated 95% of my clients who succeeded in giving up after just one treatment.
Apart from the health benefits to himself, to Rose and to their new baby he also found the £2000 he was spending each year on his 20 a day habit a useful addition to the family budget.
Sam was in an isolation unit after receiving stem cell therapy to help cure his cancer. However the treatment appeared not to work and he was not responding as he should to the therapy.
I was asked to visit him in hospital where, under hypnosis, he was asked to imagine the medication he was taking to support the cell transplant as a well-trained army defeating the evil forces of cancer.
Almost immediately he started to respond to treatment and was well enough to leave the isolation unit the next day.
Petra was expecting her first baby and knew that she had to have a battery of blood tests to make sure that both she and the baby were healthy and fit to go through childbirth.
But Petra was absolutely terrified of needles and injections.
The last time she had to give a blood test, as a teenager, three nurses and her father had to pin her to a hospital trolley and hold her down while a fourth nurse took the sample.
Now she wanted to be able to give blood without experiencing such terrible fear and panic.
I used a variety of techniques for treating her severe phobia and, as a result, she was able to give blood and receive injections without the kind of sever distress she had experienced in the past.
This successful young businessman was so terrified of flying that the last time he had attempted to go on holiday he and his family had to quit the flight just before take off leading to the cancellation of an expensive trip and very frosty relationship with his wife.
Determined to conquor his fears he came to me for help. We had three sessions to prepare him for his holiday, with final appointment the day before his flight.
On his return he was so pleased with the success of the therapy that he asked me if I could now help him to stop smoking.
This well-travelled pensioner enjoyed taking lots of holidays each year but was handicapped by a long-standing fear of crossing bridges. Under normal circumstances he was OK with this and coped by avoiding them wherever he could and, if forced to cross, would also walk in the middle as far away from the edge as possible.
However, he had recently booked a holiday with friends to a new destination and, as part of his research for the trip, discovered his destination was full of bridges.
We decided between us that he would probably need two or three sessions to conquer this long-standing terror but after the first appointment he rang me up and cancelled the others. "I don't need them," he told me. "The fear has gone completely."
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