Friday, 25 January 2013

How to do Self-Hypnosis

Many people have their first (or only) exposure to hypnosis through stage hypnotists or Hollywood productions and from this; they understandably form the impression that hypnosis is something bizarre or even dangerous. In these arenas, hypnosis is portrayed as a scary form of mind control where the 'victim' gives up control of their mind and is therefore vulnerable or worse, gullible. If this was correct in any way then I would have no interest in hypnosis at all... the majority of clients who come to me are wanting help to establish more control over their lives in some way... never have I been asked to help someone lose control of themselves!

A few years ago I discovered hypnotherapy as a result of wanting to learn how to do 'self-hypnosis' as a way to help myself overcome stress and improve my sporting performance. I see self-hypnosis as a tool available to everyone for making changes in your life. Most people who want hypnotherapy choose to see a professional hypnotherapist to be 'guided' through the process, however with a little practice, self-hypnosis can be something available to practically everyone... it is just a matter of finding the right technique for the individual. It could even be said that in fact all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis... even when working with a hypnotherapist who is guiding and developing the hypnotic state, you are always in control. It is YOUR hypnosis.

So, self-hypnosis is a skill which can be learned, just like riding a bike. It is a skill which nearly all of us can do naturally and with practice, can become a route to you making very specific, positive and lasting changes to your life. You'll wonder how you lived without it!

If you would like to find out whether self-hypnosis is something which might benefit you, please contact Christy at or call 01252 334377.

Christy Hypnotherapy is now pleased to offer a "Teach yourself hypnosis" course consisting of 4 training sessions (over a period of 4 weeks) plus a pre-recorded CD for just £275.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Falling down... do you have a 'Growth Mindset'?

The following blog has been based on the chapter entitled "The Talent Myth Revisited" in the book "Bounce" by Matthew Syed.

Remember the last time you attempted to do something and didn't manage to achieve it, or 'fell down' in the process... How did it make you feel? Did you 'get up' and try again or did you accept that this was something you could not do and had therefore 'failed'?

In 1978 a Professor of Psychology named Carol Dweck conducted some ground breaking experiments with students to show that having a 'growth mindset' (people who believe that ability can be transformed through effort) as opposed to a 'fixed mindset' (the belief that 'talent' is something you are born with and therefore set in genetic stone and pre-destined) can make a dramatic difference in how motivation is sustained through adversity. What Dweck wanted to know was just how corrosive is the belief that innate ability rather than practice is what ultimately determines whether we have it within us to achieve excellence....This would infer that it's not worth spending time and energy seeking to improve if success is only available to people with the right genes?!

What Dweck found was not only dramatic but extraordinary. Even though the two sets of students had exactly the same ability, in the group with the 'growth mindset', more than 80% either maintained or actually improved their performance in tests when faced with a challenge or something difficult. They actually taught themselves new and more sophisticated strategies during the difficult problems. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset very quickly berate their abilities and blame lack of intelligence for failures, saying "I've never been good at things like this" or "I guess I'm not very smart".

So what caused this gaping difference in performance between the students with the fixed and growth mindsets? The answer is their beliefs... those who held the belief that ability can be improved through effort believe that ability is not fixed by innate talent (which you are either born with or you are not). People with a growth mindset therefore believe that although everyone may differ in initial talents, aptitudes, interests and temperaments, everyone can change and grow through dedication, hard work and experience.

One final quick story which illustrates this beautifully... a young girl named Shizuka Arakawa apparently fell down more than 20,000 times on her journey from wannabe schoolgirl to Olympic figure-skating champion. You could ask yourself, "Why would anyone endure all that? Why would she keep striving in the teeth of constant failure? Why not give up and try something else?" The answer is this: it is because she did not interpret falling down as failure. She interpreted falling down not merely as a means of improving, but as evidence that she was improving. Failure was not something that sapped her energy and vitality but something that provided her with an opportunity to learn, adapt and develop.

This may seem odd but it is actually central to the belief system of most top performers. Michael Jordan once said "I've missed more than 9,000 shots, I've lost almost 300 games and 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed". In saying this he is illustrating here that in order to become the greatest basketball player of all time, you have to embrace failure...

If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you to change your own beliefs and achieve your full potential, please email Christy at or call 01252 334377.