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  • Insightz to present ICH Hypnotherapy Foundation Course in Poole?

    The Institute for Clinical Hypnosis (ICH) in London has agreed for me to look at the feasability of presenting their accredited Hypnotherapy Foundation Course locally in Poole.  Course information as per the ICH’s website is as follows:

    Foundation Course
    in Hypnotherapy

    » Hypnotherapy is a practical subject and previous academic qualifications are not vital to those wishing to enrol on the Foundation Course. All we ask is that you are interested in the subject and enthusiastic about learning.

    » The course lasts six days and is spread over three weekends at two weekly intervals. 

    » A full agenda is packed into these sessions.  A significant part of the course is practical with numerous demonstrations, the remainder being made up of explanations of the theoretical aspects of hypnosis.

    » A Certificate of Attendance is awarded and over 90% of Certificate holders choose to continue their studies on the ICH Professional Course.

    Subjects covered on the Foundation Course include:-

    Arm drop
    Hand Catalepsy
    Hand Levitation
    Buildlng up suggestibility
    Creating powerful suggestions
    Hypnotic tests
    Vocal Techniques

    Definitions of  hypnosis
    Differences in response
    Hypnotic myths
    Hypnotic theories
    Ideodynamic processes
    Recognising trance states
    Step-by-step hypnotic procedure
    The everyday trance
    Trance Phenomena

    Habit removal
    Learning enhancement
    Stress reduction
    Weight managementGENERAL
    Basic neuro-physiology
    Case History taking (medical model)
    Code of Ethics
    Educating the client
    History of hypnosis
    Principles of induction
    Resistant subjects
    Requirements for success
    Individual supervised practice
    The Emotional Scale
    The Mind Model

    If you would like to attend this quality course in Poole rather than have to travel to London then please register your interest either by replying to this post or by contacting me through the Contact Page.  In some cases, students can obtain financial assistance for attending these courses, details of which are on the ICH website.  If I can get enough interest quickly enough, I would look to put the first course on in March 2011.

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  • PTSD – Why my treatments are different.

    I often get asked why should I be so different when it comes to treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD.  It’s a valid question that certainly deserves an answer.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t expect anyone to come to me with this issue without knowing that I have a great deal of success in this area.

    Firstly, as you probably already realise if you’ve read my other post on the subject, I have personal experience, having dealt with my own psycholigical trauma symptoms in the past.  It gives me a valuable understanding into just what it is like to have these sorts of symptoms.  That coupled with the fact I have served a full career in the Army enables me to have a certain empathy with anyone suffering with psychological trauma, both military and civilian.  I suppose any client is far more ready to open up to someone that has experienced it and I have certainly found this to be the case, especially with serving or ex service personnel.  Of course, having this empathy is not a pre-requisite for any therapist wishing to specialise in this area.  As an example, I know of one therapist that specialises in and has a great deal of success with natural childbirth.  But, he is a male, therefore, never going to have the experience of childbirth himself.  Yet he is highly successful!  Having this empathy though is a definite advantage.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, my ability to diversify is a profound advantage.  Time and again, I come across therapists or organisations who only have the ability to address the issue with one or perhaps two interventions at most.  One particularly well known charity in this country will only use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or dirivitives thereof, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) protocols.  I think they feel they cannot offer anything other than that which the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) approves of.  Personally I find this to be an extremely blinkered approach.  If we are not willing to try other things, how do we progress and learn?  I’m not saying that CBT and EMDR are ineffective, far from it.  But, what I am saying is that as we are all different, these interventions will only work with a set amount of individuals.  Good for the people it does work on, but what do we do with the rest?  Tell them they can’t be helped?  Now, anyone coming to me to address this issue will have a number of options.  CBT and EMDR type protocols certainly but they are also able to draw on other interventions like Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Gestalt Therapy and Hypnosis, all of which have shown efficacy in this area.

    It is my ability to use any and all of these techniques, willingness to mix and match them and tailor the therapy to the individual that is, in my opinion, at the heart of the success I have with Psychological Trauma and PTSD.  As I have said before, we are all different, ergo we respond to different things.  I feel, therefore, it is paramount in the interests of the individual to USE WHAT WORKS!

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  • The Life of a Service Family.

    In the Guardian yesterday an article by Sam Winston  (name changed) where she quite honestly writes about what it is like to be an Army wife with your nearest and dearest fighting for Queen and country in Afghanistan (or anywhere for that matter).

    She writes with a refreshing honesty about saying goodbye to her husband and father of their children and the loss of a dear friend and colleague to the family.  So much feeling has gone into that article and I applaud her for being brave enough to write it.  It’s title “No Medals for Those Who Stay at Home” powerfully calls our attention to the other people in this equation.  The FAMILY!  Although I do have to say that most service families I know wouldn’t ask for one.  Just like their spouses doing their job in far away places, they ask no thanks for what they do or put up with.

    I applaud the good work that unit welfare offices do for the families back home in difficult times.  They tend to be the glue that holds the unit together back home and very much becomes the centre of many families lives while the unit is deployed.  But it’s when the unit returns from operations that support seems to wane into nothingness.  Especially for those that are unfortunate enough to be suffering from Psychological Trauma.  For these families, their lives can turn into a living hell, having to watch their spouse/father/mother come to terms with what they’ve seen and/or done and struggling to readjust to “normal” daily life.  All of which can lead to “Vicarious Trauma”.  Just as serious an issue as PTSD itself in my opinion. 

    I think that one of the main reasons that this support is difficult to come by is the fact that PTSD can take years to manifest after the seeds that have created it were planted.  Of course, the family may have moved on or even left the services by the time it rears it’s ugly head.  In the case of the latter they are firmly OFF the MOD’s radar and on the NHS’s.  Lamentably, understanding of these issues is still far from perfect within the NHS with Psychological Trauma symptoms often being mis-diagnosed.

    Whilst the family is still serving though, the help is there for these issues, yet horrifyingly seldom includes the family.  Where diagnosed, the primary sufferer is whisked off to receive treatment, yet 99% of the time the family is left behind AGAIN!  It’s an importnat issue and one I feel needs addressing which is why I became associated with Garrison Girls.  A charity whose vision it is to not only take a broader approach to the treatment of Psychological Trauma but also to treat the whole family as a unit.  Something which is sadly lacking as things stand.

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  • The NHS shows an increase in fraud cases.

    Full article on the NHS showing increases in cases of fraud at and it really doesn’t surprise me.  It seems the bigger the organisation the more it leaks money e.g. the NHS, the MOD and the Government in general!  But lets face it, the more the government squeezes every last drop out of us, the more cases of fraud there will be!  Just take the petrol prices!  Is it only me or isn’t the economy suffering because the government refuse to assist with the price of petrol at the pump.  Part of the price of any item on the shelves in the shops is the cost of getting it there to be sold in the first place.  Therefore, the more the haulier has to pay in fuel the more he’s going to charge for hauling stuff.  The more the shop pays the more they charge for the goods.  The more we have to pay for everyday stuff just to live, the less we have to spend on other things.  I even had to chuckle the other day when I was invited to a fuel protest rally on Facebook.  The majority of the answers the organisers were getting was “Would love to but can’t afford the fuel to get there!”.

    Mind you, it’s not just fraud is it?  It’s general value for money.  Why throw money at a long term cost saving measure, when you can hit a target more quickly by employing a quick (but usually more costly) fix?  The NHS are past masters at this one.

    Rant over!

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  • Relaxation – Do we really know what it is anymore?

    re·lax [ri-laks]

    –verb (used with object)
    1. to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax: to relax the muscles.
    2. to diminish the force of.
    3. to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
    4. to make less strict or severe, as rules, discipline, etc.: to relax the requirements for a license.
    5. to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.: A short swim always relaxes me.
    –verb (used without object)
    6. to become less tense, rigid, or firm.
    7. to become less strict or severe; grow milder.
    8. to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., esp. for the sake of rest or recreation.
    9. to release oneself from inhibition, worry, tension, etc.

    So that’s the online dictionary definition but how often have you heard someone say “I’m going to put my feet up and relax with a good film.” or “I’m off down the pub for a relaxing pint with the lads.”?

    Our perception of relaxation, it seems, is becoming far removed from what it actually means to be relaxed.  How is one relaxing when watching a good film?  Take a thriller for example.  The clue is in the name of the genre.  The film is designed to thrill you, keep you in suspense or get your heart racing through a chase sequence for example.  God forbid you’ve chosen to relax to a horror film!  The other example of relaxing down the pub with mates.  You might be stood at the bar so no muscle relaxation there.  Animated conversation means you’re not relaxing your mind.  The added pressure you’re putting on your body to process and deal with the alcohol.  If you get a bit tipsy and start acting the fool.  All have nothing to do with relaxation.

    In this modern, fast paced, hurley burley world in which we live, it is becoming more and more important to RELAX!  Give our bodies time to regenerate and heal, our minds time to recuperate and calm themselves.  Of course sleep is one form of relaxation, but if one has watched a horror movie or had a skinful in the pub how well do they sleep?

    Hypnosis is said to be a state of intense focussed natural relaxation.  I have often had a client comment “I’ve never been so relaxed”, and yes even the ones who thought they couldn’t be hypnotised.  You can learn self-hypnosis to achieve relaxation.  After all, another defintion of hypnosis states that “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis”.  In being so relaxed during a state of hypnosis, one automatically starts to address issues like stress, worry, tension and anxiety so it follows that any clinical ailment experienced as a result of these also starts to get better.  IBS is a good example of this and there is much empirical research to support it.  All this even before I’ve used any suggestion with them.

    So next time you say you’re going to relax, just think for a moment; Are you really relaxing?

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  • The “Try” Word – How we are negative without even trying.

    Sometimes, just sometimes the movie world comes up with an absolute gem of a quote.  A very relevant quote in this case is from Yoda in the film “The Empire Strikes Back”.  When training Luke in the ways of the Jedi on the distant swamp planet of Dagobar, Yoda is teaching Luke to use the power of his mind (ok the force) to lift his fighter out of the swamp and Luke says that he’ll try. Yoda retorts in that wonderful backward style of his “NO! Try not! Do, or do not, there is no try”.  PERFECT!  Of course I realise that the realms of Star Wars is complete fantasy, I’m not completely away with the fairies.  But, that quote is one of my favourites because it is so true!  If ever I’m addressing an issue with a child (and children love the word try) I will often use this quote.  It brings me into their world of fantasy whilst teaching a valuable lesson at the same time!

    In my opinion, unless you’re a rugby player, the word TRY has no place in the english language!  To try implies failure nothing else.  So why imply to others all the time that we are going to fail before we even attempt something?   

    Think about it, your boss at work has given you a task and a deadline.  You say “I’ll try” and immediately you’ve implied that you think there is a possibility of failure.  No surprise then that the boss is probably thinking “Yeah right, like that’s going to happen on time.”  Wouldn’t it be much better to say “OK boss but remember you gave me those other tasks to do as well, so which would you like to prioritise?”  This then puts the onus back on him without implying any failure anywhere on your part.  He might even realise that actually, he’s given you too much to do and go and pick on someone else.

    So I challenge you!  Eradicate the word try from your vocabulary!  It has no place in a positive person’s life.

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  • Success! Selection Event Volunteer for the 2012 Olympics.

    You may recall that I recently attended an interview for selection to be an interviewer of volunteers to run the 2012 Olympic Games at the Weymouth &  PortlandNational Sailing Academy (WPNSA), having originally volunteered last year.

    I am delighted to report that they have just emailed me to offer a place as an interviewer for the Games!  So if you have in turn volunteered to be a 2012 Olympic Games Maker and are invited to an interview at the WPNSA, there is a small chance I might be the one interviewing you!

    Good luck to all those who have volunteered!

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  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – A Speciality

    Now my new site and blog has been running for a few days, I feel it it would be remiss of me not to write something about my speciality, PTSD.  So to kick off, it would probably be prudent to tell you how I came to specialise in the area, a story which is inextricably interlinked with why I became a hypnotherapist in the first place.  Lets face it, it is a striking contrast from being a 22 year Army career man to a therapist! 

    When I originally trained as a hypnotherapist I was told not to worry too much about specialising in any particular area.  My specialty will find me!  In my early days of practice I thought my speciality would be weight management or depression as I seemed to get a fair few of these  and had a lot of success in treating them (and still do).  But I found I was being asked more and more of my experiences over my 22 year Army career and my own battle with psychological trauma.  So perhaps it would be better to start from the beginning and what inspired me to become a hypnotherapist in the first place.

    Born on the Isle of Wight, the son of hoteliers, I became interested in hypnosis at a very early age when witnessing a stage hypnotist give a spontaneous show in the hotel bar.  Later in my teens, this led to a further interest in matters of the mind, devouring any material I could get my hands on regarding the subject.  But being a youngster and feeling the need to get off the island and away from it’s insular life style I decided to join the Army straight out of school.  Originally it was a means to an end.  I thought, OK I’ll do 3 years and move on.  Then at my 8 or 9 year point I thought I might as well do 12 years (the half pension point).  Before I knew it I was staring 22 years squarely in the face!  During my time in the Army I served in places like Northern Ireland and Bosnia and it was certain lamentable incidents from both of these that saw me tackling psychological trauma type symptoms.  But my interest in hypnosis and wider interest in the human mind saved me.  Through all my reading over the years, I recognised the symptoms for what they were and more importantly sorted myself out before things got too bad. 

    But the real inspiration to become a hypnotherapist came in the form of two lads who had accompanied me on operations.  Both had seen me suffer the same sorts of symptoms they were suffering from, but they also saw me “deal with it”.  Separately they asked me what I’d done and how I’d come to terms with it all.  Looking back on it now, I realise that I gave them both a session on the couch.  6 months later one of them came back to me and in thanking me he stated that my advice and the “tips & tricks” I had taught him had not only helped him with his demons but also saved his marriage!  THAT was my inspiration!  I got such a buzz from helping these guys, that I immediately set about researching how to train as a hypnotherapist.  After months of casting a nervous eye toward “civvy street” and wondering what the hell I was going to do when I got out, I was suddenly inspired to turn a life long passion for hypnosis into a profession.  I trained with the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis (ICH) in London and qualified with about 18 months left to do, during which time I set about assisting as many as I could find who were suffering psychological trauma type symptoms.

    So it was people with psychological trauma that inspired me to turn professional in the first place.  I realised PTSD was becoming a speciality when the first peer groups asked me to talk to the groups on the subject or give presentations.  Now a member of the faculty at the ICH, I also lecture to their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) classes. Giving therapists who might be apprehensive in going  anywhere near someone with PTSD the added confidence to do so and make a difference.

    I’ve had people say to me “But you can’t cure PTSD because you can’t take the memories away” and looking at it that way you might think they would have a point.  But you CAN deal with the emotional sting attached to the memories.  It’s not the memory that upsets us, but that emotional sting and it is possible to have had PTSD and go on to lead healthy and productive lives.

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  • Website Update

    Web site now updated with details of the “Other Services” on offer.

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  • The Therapeutic Value of Animals

    Many of us know of the therapeutic value one gains from swimming with dolphins or the wonderful work achieved by organisations like Riding for the Disabled (RDA).  I remember a few years back when holidaying in Florida the wonderful feelings and emotions I experienced when swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.  To a lesser extent, even snorkeling with Rays and tropical fish has a wonderfully calming and relaxing effect on the spirit!  Why do you so often see fish tanks in places like Dentist’s waiting room?  Think about it.

    I was reminded of this wonderful power that animals have recently when I was out in Moors Valley Country Park.  One of my hobbies is keeping and running Huskies.  I can often be seen out with them either on the CanX belt reinfocing command words or actually being pulled along at speed on their specially built scooter.  By chance I happened across a group of handicapped children on a day out in the park with their carers.  I stopped as it would have risked injury to pass so close to them but the kids LOVED the three huskies that were pulling me.  They took such an interest that I gave them a brief insight into the world of Huskies, what is involved in keeping them, how the lines are set up etc etc.  They were spellbound.  In thanking me one of the carers remarked that this spontaneous “lecture” had obviously been the best part of the day for them.  She hadn’t seen them so bright for a long time and felt sure that all they would talk about in the coming weeks was not their trip to the country park but meeting the Huskies!

    Just one example of how the partnership between man and animal can have such beneficial effects!

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