Counselling and psychotherapy are terms which are often used interchangeably for talking therapies. We offer counselling which is adapted to the needs of the client, drawing on a range of approaches as appropriate. These include, but are not restricted to:
This approach, pioneered by Carl Rogers (1902-1987), involves deep empathic listening by the therapist and is the best place to start before other approaches are considered. To be heard without judgment by someone impartial to your situation can take a weight of your shoulders and begin the healing process. Person-centred counselling acknowledges the person who knows most about your issue is you and you are best placed to guide your journey toward wholeness, regardless of which other approaches are offered.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) works on the assumption that our thoughts (cognition) affect our feelings, which influences our behaviour, which then has consequences. For example someone who was bitten by a dog as a child might have the thought (conscious or unconscious) that all dogs are dangerous, avoid dogs and be limited where they can go. CBT would question the belief that all dogs are dangerous and test it out, e.g. by looking at pictures or video of dogs and moving onto stroking dogs. Anxiety over dogs would be gradually dissipated, disproving the belief all dogs are dangerous. It is used particularly for anxiety and depression.
Sigmund Freud is the best known of a number of psychologists who have sought to locate psychological problems in early childhood development, particularly the relationships with our parents or first caregivers. While Freud emphasised the expression of instinctual drives, particularly sex, his followers have focused on other needs (e.g. interaction, affirmation) in those early relationships. Undoubtedly our early relationships do affect our relationships now and this is often played out in the therapeutic relationship. Psychodynamic therapy brings childhood conflicts into focus and provides a context to resolve them, enabling current relationships to be more in the “here and now”).
Other approaches that might be employed include Transactional Analysis, Gestalt Therapy, Human Givens and Solution-focussed Therapy.
Hypnotherapy involves using the power of hypnosis to bring about desired change. The mind is like an iceberg in that we are only aware of a small proportion of it. There are vast untapped resources in our mind that hypnosis can reach to bring about the changes we would like to see in our lives.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation in which the mind is more open to suggestion. You have probably been in a mild hypnotic trance while driving, listening to music or relaxing in the bath. During this state the brain wave pattern changes and deeper parts of the mind become accessible.
How does it work?
The subconscious mind contains all the things we have been told about ourselves, both positive (you’re pretty, you’re clever, you’re kind) and negative (you’re fat, you’re stupid, you’re mean). Notice how the positive ones leave us feeling better and the negative ones lurk around like a bad odour? At its simplest, hypnosis replaces those negative thoughts with positive ones when the mind is at its most receptive. Suggestions can be used to help us smoke less, eat less, have more confidence, overcome phobias, for instance. Because the mind and body are interconnected, suggestions can also be used to help the body heal itself faster.
Hypnotherapists also talk about a superconscious mind which is a store of wisdom and, some would say, our connection with the divine. It is sometimes called our Higher Self. Hypnosis can be used to contact the Higher Self to help with decision making, to gain self-knowledge, and understand our life purpose.
Hypnosis and regression
Because the subconscious contains a record of all our life experience, suggestions to go back in time can be used to uncover traumatic events in childhood that still shape our lives today, for instance, someone with a cat allergy discovered it was resolved when they uncovered a childhood memory of being badly scratched by a cat. Even more surprising is that when some people are told to find the earliest event which started a pattern of behaviour they talk about a lifetime previous to this one.
When this happens, it is called past-life regression. Some people believe these memories are evidence of reincarnation while others see them as symbolic, like dream images. Regardless of the belief system of the client, working with this material can bring about deep healing.
How can Hypnotherapy help you?
Hypnotherapy can help treat a number of conditions from smoking to weight loss and phobias. Through the use of hypnosis it is possible to successfully treat a range of conditions including:
- Weight Issues
- Physical health
Mindfulness has been described as “focussed attention to experience of the present moment without judgement”. Instead of avoiding difficult feelings, which can make them persist, mindfulness attends to them in a way that allows them to be without being overwhelmed by them. It is used to treat depression, anxiety, chronic pain and overeating, but can enhance everybody’s experience. It often begins with learning to meditate, but mindfulness is really a way of life. Mindfulness can be taught in individual or group sessions.
Many people are puzzled by their dreams and want to understand what they mean. Using group dream work, dreams can be explored by each member sharing their insight into the dream, is if it were their dream. Working with dreams can reveal our deepest desires, which give meaning to life, and resolve inner conflicts. Individual dream analysis can also be arranged.