Let’s Research If Hypnotherapy Works?

Research Programme for our Students

One of the questions our students are likely to have to answer from friends and colleagues, both during and after their hypnotherapy training is “Does hypnotherapy work?”

It is tempting to answer with a very short and simple “yes!” followed by a torrent of personal examples which students at CPHT Belfast have quickly amassed.  But stories and anecdotal evidence is not solid evidence.

There is a huge amount of very good quality evidence already out there about the effectiveness of solution focused therapy and the benefits of hypnosis.  This is also supported by the latest understanding in neuroscience.  As with all things, it sometimes takes a little time for evidence to become mainstream and more widely accepted by the public and the medical fraternity.  That should not be an excuse to sit and wait though.

At CPHT Belfast we encourage all our hypnotherapy students to participate in a far-reaching research programme. This has already demonstrated the effectiveness of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

The Research Programme:

By definition, solution focused therapy focuses on solutions rather than problems. This presents challenges in trying to measure its effectiveness.  The moment you start asking questions about symptoms (which some research programmes encourage in order to identify improvements or otherwise) you are focusing the client on problems. Generally, our clients are already well practised at looking at their problems and this is something we want to change in order to see improvement in their wellbeing. However, CORP (Clifton Practice Outcome Rating Programme) has been designed to measure effectiveness whilst remaining positive and solution focused.

We train our students to use the software in a very simple way that fits seamlessly into sessions and benefits both the student and client. Students ask their customers to rate themselves against the following scales in the initial consultation and at the end of each session thereafter.

The seven scales:

1/ How positive have your thoughts been?

2/ How interactive have you been with others?

3/ How would you rate your level of activity?

4/ How would you rate your confidence?

5/ How well are you utilising your strengths and resources?

6/ How much have you achieved?

7/ How would you rate your level of happiness?

The software allocates a score out of 10 for each answer and the changes are measured over a period of time and illustrated in graph form.  Now both student and customer can easily see what has changed across the scales.

We generally introduce the programme in module 6 of the 10-month course. This gives students chance to get a firm understanding of how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works and get some practice under their belt before taking part. After all, once they start using the software their outcomes will feed into the overall research programme and compare their results against their peers (which at the time of writing includes more than eighty Solution Focused Hypnotherapists), so we want them to be on a level playing field from the off.

The Benefits:

Students quickly realise the power of being part of this exciting piece of research. Not only do they benefit as practitioners (being able to compare their results to the global results of the other participating hypnotherapists), but the clients benefit from being able to see their own progress. The clients then have an expectation of the

Hypnotherapy Research Programme
Improvement rating

progress they can make from past global results. They are also reminded of the areas they should focus on to maximise their improvements.

And to those that do not believe the anecdotes, our students can show and explain this research programme and its results!

Train to be a Hypnotherapist in Belfast and become part of this exciting research:

Would you like to know more about becoming a Hypnotherapist? Do you live in Ireland or Northern Ireland?  Train with CPHT Belfast and participate in this powerful research programme which is helping to change the perception of Hypnotherapy?

The Power of the Next Small Step

Clients and supervisees are often talking to me about the need to get things done. Getting started on that goal, big or small. Whether its clearing out the garage or starting a new career. What is it that seems to be holding us back. I’ll not get in to the neuroscience of why we might procrastinate here, but I will tell you about one of the most powerful tools I have learnt to help beat procrastination, at least some of the time.

Several years ago I was lucky enough to attend a CPD (Continual Professional Development) event at CPHT Bristol, where I trained to be a Hypnotherapist in the first place. The CPD was on Mindfulness and Acceptance Based Strategies. The highly respected lecturer, Matthew Dyson, asked the group the following question: “where do you get the motivation to get on the treadmill from?” The group gave several answers including: “by visualising yourself getting fitter”; “reminding yourself how good you feel when you are done”; “thinking about the guilt free glass of wine afterwards!” None of these were the answer he was looking for. As Matthew explained, “The truth is you get the motivation for getting on the treadmill when you get on the treadmill”!

The next small step

And it’s true of course, you get motivation to get up and do, when you get up and do.

Small steps make a difference.

Again I won’t go in to the details of the neuroscience behind that, but it does remind us of the importance of simply focusing on the next small step.

Let me give you an example. I am a regular gym goer. I enjoy being at the gym. Notice I write “I enjoy being at the gym”. I often don’t enjoy getting there. Getting myself changed, ready, in the car and down to the gym with the thought in my head that I am going to put my body through its paces is often very difficult.

More recently I have chosen to simply focus on the next small step to get me there.

First I might simply focus on the task of getting my trainers on. Then I focus on finding the car keys (why does that always take so long?). Then I focus on the job of getting in to the car. Throughout this whole process and on arrival I am telling myself: “just ten minutes and then you can go home, just ten minutes!” I stick out 5 minutes and then 10 and then, usually, the strangest thing has happened. Now I am warmed up, my heart is pumping, I am becoming less stiff and awkward, energy is returning, and the oxygen to my brain increases. I am building up momentum, I have got myself on the treadmill and that is where I find my motivation!

Now that I am there and have done my 10 minutes its rare I do less than 50, but my intention on arrival is always to do only 10.

The same principle can be applied to anything. We know the primitive brain can over-inflate the size of any task and underestimate our ability to achieve it. By focusing on that next small step with the understanding that we can stop and go home at any point we can gently steer ourselves more towards those activities which lead us to our goals and further from those that don’t. Just one small step!

Are you thinking of becoming a Hypnotherapist? Do you live in Northern Ireland and want to train in Belfast? I wonder if your next small step is simply to complete this application form: cphtbelfast.co.uk/application-form/… After all a “journey of a thousand miles starts with just one small step”- Lao Tzu.

Hypnotherapy with us is fun!

David Newton, Founder of CPHT
David Newton: “It has to be fun”.

As David Newton, founder of CPHT, is always saying: “It needs to be fun” and “We need to get on with it”.

If we were to take these two sentences and put them into practice with regards to our whole life, wouldn’t life be different?  Sometimes this isn’t always possible, but when it comes to training at CPHT Belfast we really do like to ‘get on with it’ and have fun.

Are all courses this much fun?

One of our students asked “Are all courses this much fun”? Our answer to that was “Yes, but the people from NI and Ireland seem to laugh more”!  On occasion there were absolute tears of laughter.

In addition to this there was also a great deal of concentration.  Especially in the early days as the students were getting to grips with neuroscience and how the brain works. However, we’d encourage them with words such as “Sometimes we just need to get on with it”.  Or we’d lighten it with one of Alex’s great drawings!

Alex’s drawing of the brain, nick-named ‘Paul’ by students on course 1.

Why do we sometimes have to ‘get on with it’?  Well the subconscious mind is an absolute professional at procrastination.  This isn’t a recent development, the word procrastination has been in the English dictionary since the 1600’s.  We suspect it was around well before then too.  Therefore gentle encouragement to get on and do something, or even simply start a process, can be very useful.

By not over-thinking things and taking the mental attitude of ‘yes I can’, we allow ourselves to concentrate more easily on what is being said.  Whether that’s about the chemicals in the brain; the physical symptoms of stress; the signs of depression.  All the things that make a CPHT Hypnotherapist knowledgeable, even in the early stages of their 10-month gold-standard diploma course.

Fun and laughter is good for the brain.

We encourage our students to transfer the fun to the therapy room so the client can benefit. Nic can recall coming down the stairs at a clinic with her client when the receptionist turned round and said with a smile: “I could hear you laughing down here, it’s not supposed to be fun you know”.  Ah well, that’s the good thing, yes it is – that’s how the brain learns more easily.

Take any child at school, they will do better in a subject if they’re enjoying it.  In therapy sessions with solution focused hypnotherapy, the brain can learn that it can laugh, despite what’s going on around it, and then not only can it overcome issues more easily, but it can come up with the correct assessment of any given situation and each individual can arrive more easily at the right solution for them.

One of solution focused hypnotherapy’s tenets is ‘find what works and do more of it’.  This can then help change negative beliefs and negative patterns of behaviour.Alex and Nic having a laugh whilst lecturing.

So keep smiling, it’s proven to be very good for you, and if you want cheering up, then perhaps it’s time for a change of career so have a chat with us! 😉

Nic and Alex

Tel: 0773 866 5172 (Nic) or 07917 415926 (Alex).

 

Hypnotherapy Practitioners Graduation

They’ve done it!

The Graduation Group!

Our first ever course in Northern Ireland has graduated and we’re so very proud of them.  It was rather a good final weekend with a fair bit of work undertaken and a little bit of partying going on as well.  It’s good to have fun, it helps the brain to learn you know! Our lovely students – or graduates as we can now call them – have their certificates for the Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (DSFH).

We also celebrated the first ever Solution Focused Hypnotherapist in Ireland (as we already had one in NI who had trained at our London school).  John Hand is based in Dublin and has been an excellent student.  He was grinning like a Cheshire Cat when receiving his certificate.

John with lecturers Nicola and Alex.

The majority of the students have now handed in their portfolios, a significant amount of work which includes case studies, video and audio recordings.  These portfolios will be marked over the coming months and if they are up to standard then the students will get the further qualification of the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (nationally accredited by the NCFE) and seen as the gold-standard qualification in the hypnotherapy world.

They have been helping people overcome so many different issues, from insomnia and anxiety through to sports motivation and weight loss, and they can now go from strength to strength as they widen their client base.

We wish them much success and we look forward to welcoming the next group who start in September.  Let’s hope they have as much fun as the first group!

Scientists discover how hypnosis actually works

We just love Stanford University!  They do a lot of research on what happens with hypnosis.  In fact there’s buckets full of research going on about hypnotherapy as scientists glimpse how it affects the brain.  And it’s all good stuff.

A group of researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine just used brain imaging to see what was actually happening to people while they were under hypnosis.

Stanford psychiatry professor David Spiegel, reported “That [hypnosis] has therapeutic potential. You can get people to shake up the way they react to problems and approach them from a different point of view.”  He added “”It is a neurobiological phenomenon.”

If you’d like to read the full article, just click on the link below:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/28/youre-getting-very-curious-scientists-discover-how-hypnosis-actually-works.html

We love it!

Fear of Flying?

Our students are progressing extremely fast as they near the end of their 10-month diploma course. We’ve had all sorts of great feedback on how clients have positively responded. One story reflects this so well and it wasn’t even to do with a client.

Sara, one of our students, was on a flight back from Birmingham to Belfast when she noticed a chap sat by himself looking worried. Sara went and sat beside him and asked if she could tell him a story and that it was a good story. She then went on to talk about relaxation within this story. She also talked about closing her own eyes and he could do the same if he wished, whilst concentrating on breathing more deeply.

Fear of Flying

He relaxed nicely to the point that when Sara had finished telling her story he fell asleep!

At the end of the flight she gave him her business card of course.

Our students learn early on in the course how to relax people before progressing on to deal with anxiety issues, confidence building and all manner of other problems that people encounter.  It is such a good thing to be able to relax a person, to allow them to feel better and to deal with their day or their life in a more confident way.

We love happy endings.

Make a Huge change in 2017

Does it seem like only five minutes ago since we were about to celebrate Christmas of 2015 and were gearing up to bringing in the New Year of 2016? Yet here we are getting ready to do the same again and welcome in 2017!

It seems like a year flies by so fast and sometimes nothing changes.  So how about making 2017 the year that something BIG changed for the better?

Our class of 2016 have, so far, achieved the following:

  • Found themselves people to practice on free of charge
  • Learned how the brain works based on the latest neuroscience findings
  • Worked with clients to help them overcome issues such as: insomnia, anxiety/panic attacks and Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour (OCD), to give just a few examples!
  • Already worked with clients, on a student basis, with anxiety and depression
  • And a lot more…..!

    Hypnotherapy Training Course at CPHT Belfast
    A very happy and cheerful lot who are already achieving great things with their clients.

We’re only on month 5 of the existing 10 month course and already the students are achieving so much with their clients. Currently they are practicing free of charge on a student basis, by month 8 they will be charging 50% before graduating in June 2017 and charging full rate.

Note: If you know anyone who could benefit from a better night’s sleep, or someone suffering from anxiety or depression, do let us know and we’ll put you in touch with the student nearest to you.

If you want to make a difference to your life and other peoples’ lives in 2017 and create one of the most rewarding careers we can think of, then simply get in touch.  Nicola and Alex have nearly finished planning the next course, we’re having a huge laugh whilst doing so, we also have a huge laugh on the course itself.  We know learning becomes so much easier when you’re having fun!

Our next course starts on 20th/21st May 2017 at the Source Wellbeing Centre in Beersbridge Road.  We already have students signed up and are currently carrying out skype interviews every other week.
For more information visit our website: www.cphtbelfast.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Christmas and we hope 2017 we’ll be a great year for you!
Nicola and Alex

Anxiety – what you can do about it

I’d say the majority of clients I work with come to see me because of anxiety in some form or another.

Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways: nervousness; panic attacks; insomnia, overly worrying about something that may never happen, etc. It can have a crippling effect by bringing on range of symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin complaints or negative patterns such as over-eating, drinking etc.  The symptom list of how anxiety can present itself is pretty long.

Anxiety can build up over a long period of time without us even realising it, alternative it can come on suddenly as a result of something such as illness or a change of circumstances for instance.

Anxiety

At the extreme, people who’ve been fully in control of their lives suddenly find they can’t leave their own home; can’t work; can’t drive their car etc.  For some it’s simply a matter of feeling negative or under-confident.

Case study:

Annie (name has been changed for confidentiality) arrived at my clinic having had panic attacks come on over the previous couple of weeks.  She’d been stressed at work with a heavy work load, her husband had just been posted overseas plus she hadn’t been very well a few months previously.  

In the Initial Consultation, as I explained how the brain works, I could see she began to relax and then through a few tears she said “So this isn’t me, I’m not going mad”?

The brain is a funny and complex thing.  It has its own way of ringing alarm bells when it’s had enough of dealing with stress or anxiety and can suddenly change its pattern of reaction.  Previously we might have been able to deal with whatever life threw at us, but all of a sudden it all becomes too much.

By teaching clients very basic relaxation and breathing techniques, we start the process of taking back control. The hypnotherapy allows guided relaxation showing a preferred future and because the subconscious part of the brain, the part that’s in charge of our reactions (i.e. the anxiety), doesn’t understand the difference between imagination and reality, the guided relaxation starts to bring calm and control back into our lives.

The number of people suffering stress and anxiety these days is staggering.  However people rarely talk about the negative symptoms they’re suffering.  Once you do start talking about it, you might be surprised how many other Insomniapeople have suffered the same!  Insomnia can frequently be anxiety peeking through, and how many of us suffer from sleepless nights?

If you’re suffering from anxiety try not to focus on it.  I know this sounds ridiculous if you’re anxious, but the sooner you distract the subconscious mind onto something more positive, the better you’ll feel. Using a breathing technique such as breathing in to the count of 5 and breathing out to the count of 7 helps regulate the breathing if you’re having a panic attack.

Avoiding alcohol can be very helpful! Watching good things on the TV, comedies etc, rather than watching the news is also very helpful indeed.

Alternatively, if you suffer from any form of anxiety or know someone who does, then get in touch with us here at CPHT Belfast.  We have students who are currently helping clients, free of charge whilst they are students, and they’re having good success in helping people overcome negative thinking and anxiety. Our contact details are at the top of the home page of this website.

Hypnotherapy training progressing well

Would you believe we’ve already carried out our second weekend of hypnotherapy training in Belfast with our lovely bunch of students? Admittedly the start of the course was put back a week so as not to coincide with the start of school going back, so we only had three weeks till the second course weekend.

We’ve decided we’ve got the best students ever.  In the first month’s training they really got to grips with how the brain works and they were amazed at the long list of symptoms that we can help our customers with. We introduced them to hypnotherapy in that first weekend and had them practising on each other which caused some laughter.

In between the first two course weekends the students have been out practising guided relaxation with volunteers (mainly friends and family) with very good results.  We’ve also discovered they can certainly tell a yarn in the classroom!

Hypnotherapy Training Course at CPHT Belfast

In our second course weekend, we went on to explain brain research and the aspects of neuroscience that help us in understanding our customers. We also talked about different personality types, identifying a few characters in our classroom at the same time!  We had good feedback on the breakout exercises we did, one of which put the students in the client’s chair and gave them a whole different perspective.  It’s so easy to see things from just one perspective – switching it around to see things from the other side can be very helpful indeed both in training and in life.

On the second day of the weekend we introduced the Miracle Question – that got a few raised eyebrows I can tell you! It is one of the great tools we use, in addition to hypnosis, to help the client to move forward.

Between now and the next course weekend the students are out practising their Information Gathering techniques with friends and family.  This enables them to become adept at getting the information they need in order to progress their customers in the best way possible.

The best thing of all is we had so much fun, there was a lot of laughter in the room.  Learning becomes easier if you have fun!  We’ve even started interviewing for our next course starting in May, so Alex and myself will be out twice a month at that point – our airline is going to love us!!

Finally, we’ve discovered that Northern Ireland and Ireland seem to rather like solution focused hypnotherapy and its beneficial effects.

A Graduate’s Story of Training with CPHT

This is a lovely story from a CPHT Graduate, Michèle Lazarus:

Having had hypnotherapy for insomnia, I decided to train at the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training school (CPHT) as a hypnotherapist myself. That was three years ago and now I’m working pretty much full time in three different locations and loving it.

I chose CPHT because of its solution focused methodology. Its no nonsense, positive, goal oriented approach works time and again to help clients with an amazing range of issues. There’s nothing more exciting than facilitating clients in their journey towards making their lives happier and more fulfilling.

 

The training was interesting, informative and fun, and of course challenging at times.  We all looked forward to each weekend coming round in the month and missed it hugely once we’d qualified. Fortunately there’s a variety of Continual Professional Development workshops on offer from CPHT, so we continue to develop our knowledge and skills.

 

One of the best aspects of the training was its emphasis on practising with clients from the off. This was an incredibly helpful way of building our confidence, so the transition between being a student and a qualified practitioner felt relatively easy as we already had a substantial number of practice hours under our belt.

 

Three years on, I’m still on a learning curve so it’s never boring and I can honestly say there’s never a day goes past when I don’t  appreciate my luck to have found such a rewarding occupation.

 

Michèle Lazarus