A woman in her sixties presented with a considerable weight problem and a painful
arthritic left hip which precluded strenuous exercise - though she was able to
walk slowly for a short distance round the local park. Hypnotic work was done which
induced her to walk the right rather than the wrong way round the park - which she
was able to do comfortably and sufficiently often, painlessly and strenuously to
enable her to take up other activities to assist a weight reduction program. Evidently
it’s the difference that made the difference !
A young and overly conscientious accountant presented with a profuse tendency to
perspire, which responded to treatment and then stubbornly re-appeared. Deeper
investigation revealed the un-admitted problem - that he was being severely bullied
by his departmental boss. The man would approach and hover over his left shoulder,
making him exceedingly nervous, and would then persecute him about any errors or
insufficiently prompt explanations he could offer for particular sets of calculations.
I told the client that he evidently wasn’t polite enough to his senior ! In future
he was to be ready to execute a series of manoeuvres, which - to the observer -
would appear to be manifest signs of politeness and deference, but which, skilfully
applied, might well result in his boss suffering painful and memorable injury from
his office chair - for which my client could incur no blame ! The young man subsequently
reported that though he had never had to resort to these strategies - his boss had
mysteriously stopped picking on him !
Somehow ( !!?? ) the boss had sensed that his bullying strategies were henceforth
doomed to fail with this person !
1. A woman writer with two young daughters, deeply depressed and unable to work
through a difficult marriage break-up, finds a new calm detachment and resumes a
positive and productive life after six sessions.
2. A highly talented and creative film editor, with ambitions to produce his own
work, but severely inhibited in his exchanges with the people he needed to influence
to achieve his aims, talks volubly, through four sessions - with only the briefest
of brief therapeutic (?) interjections. Finally he gets his pet project off the
shelf and into production ! Sometimes it can be very important for the therapist
to know how to take direction !
1. An international businessman, depressed long-term and socially and emotionally
isolated recaptures zest for life after three long sessions, almost entirely ridiculous
in content, during which he was induced to laugh
uproariously for most of the time. Life can be too serious to be taken other
than lightly !
2. A driving young woman perfectionist, with artistic leanings, in high-pressure
journalism, was depressed with life and lack of progress toward meaningful goals,
her frustration compounded by progressive physical exhaustion diagnosed as ME. Four
weekly hours of deep hypnosis arrested the downward spiral, reconnected her energetic,
optimistic style, re-educated her into a calm attitude of mind and led to steady
progress through to complete recuperation.
3. An Egyptian man, susceptible to seasonal affective depression, found our relentless
grey "summer" skies overwhelmingly miserable. It took three sessions of hypnotherapy
to break the cycle of tension and depression and the 'grey' weather bothers him
A man arrived saying he was losing the ability to drive. First having had a scare
on a motorway at night, in thick mist, after a long day's drive and a turbulent
Irish Sea crossing - he suffered vertigo and nausea and had to allow a companion
to continue the drive. Since then he had a persistent and increasing fear that
on any wide road the car was swaying uncontrollably and would go over the edge.
This fear increased and applied to smaller and smaller roads till he was threatened
with inability to drive at all. In the course of treatment, the pleasures of riding
on an elephant's back following each other in a line, on a photographic tiger hunt
- which he seemed unable to remember afterwards - were described graphically .
He disappeared without trace for two years, then sent another client who reported
that he had returned to driving with full vigour after - somewhat mysteriously buying
a caravan ! I was most amused - since I could understand quite clearly how that
had happened - but had no idea that he would so directly provide the solution to
his own problem !! Never doubt the astounding ingenuity of the unconscious !
1. A young woman barrister, suffering for 13 yrs from bulimia, disclosed that one
of her secret habits was to steal into the kitchen at night in order to eat flatmates'
discarded food from the waste bin. She lost that compulsion immediately after the
first session and the complete bulimic habit disappeared after only six hours treatment
- not unusual for such difficulties in my experience.
2. A woman doctor who had, for 15 yrs, binged secretly, regularly and uncontrollably
on supermarket food, had been unable to resist supermarket stickers which proclaimed
a food as 'new '. Her compulsion was frequently to fill a trolley with all the 'new'
products and take them home and binge on them. To her considerable surprise she
discovered she had lost the main part of the habit after only 2 hrs of seemingly
pleasant conversation. One further 2 hr session resolved it completely.
3. A 37 year old businessman in a leading company was increasingly embarrassed and
stressed by a virtually lifelong inability to eat in public. Caused by the punitive
attitudes of a headmaster in his prep school, this had made him an expert in smuggling
food from his mouth to his table napkin and depositing it surreptitiously in strategically
placed flower-pots, ashtrays, etc. After six sessions he recovered completely and
got promotion to a partnership - finding himself able to engage in all the social
activities connected with this in a totally uninhibited way. His wife's only lament
was that she had to take him out to get a whole range of larger suits !
1. A young man (27), so self-conscious and awkward he could not dance with his girlfriend
whom he feared losing because of his inhibitions, found that two sessions later
all the physical and mental restrictions had gone. Six months later they were married
and were soon starting a family.
2. A young bride - to - be, anxious, sleepless, fearing she will collapse in panic
in the solemnity of the service and awesome silence of the church, can't wait to
enjoy the big day after two sessions.
3. A young woman under years of psychiatric treatment for depression and an inexplicable
but uncontrollable embarrassment with young attractive or authoritative older men,
completely transforms to normal reaction and natural hetero-sexual relationships
after ten hours treatment.
1. A judo expert, who had previously experienced difficulties in competition through
becoming sick with tension and anxiety, was finding it increasingly difficult to
increase his competitive rating - though his experience and competence clearly warranted
it. To win his seventh Dan, he first could engage in any number of contests but
had to win three fights in order to have a chance to win a further four fights in
a row, with people of equal skill. Ideally one would win the seven fights with no
losses - but this was extremely unlikely. He reported success - surprised that he
lost the first fight, one he had expected to win easily, by being too relaxed -
but by a slight increase of tension he was able to win the next seven outright !
2. A young woman who became hyper-aware of herself and lost the ability to serve
at tennis, rediscovered how her body knew how to do that even if her mind had forgotten.
Paradoxically she had to discover how to do it easily backwards in order to be able
to do it comfortably forwards ! It only took two sessions.
3. A runner, bored and lapsed from training for the London marathon, found a natural
way of rebuilding her motivation and performance through learning to enjoy running
in several dimensions simultaneously !
4. An overweight business-woman, unable to sustain a diet of exercise and moderation,
discovered how to build a natural way of achieving her desired weight by turning
it into a personal investment project - with the aid of a spreadsheet.
An Indian lady who had to fly to Karachi and who suffered profoundly from fear of
flying was given a two hour treatment during which she never closed her eyes - except,
perhaps, to blink. Reporting back two weeks later, it was discomfiting to hear that
she had been churned with anxiety all the way out there. But then she explained.
“ It was because I was so worried that I wasn't frightened - that I kept waiting
for it to happen ! Anyway, on the way back I decided it was silly to worry about
not being frightened and I really enjoyed the trip !"
A young woman, holding down three jobs to support an extensive family in Croatia
and a massive international phone bill, racked with guilt about her advantages compared
with them, but ruining her own life and relationships through this obsession, discovers
her own needs and transforms her appearance, her health and whole approach to life
after six hours work. She now lets the family back home shift a lot more for itself.
A young man with a profound and long-lasting muscular spasm of the hips - resulting
from severe childhood abuse - was put into a hypnotic state. With good reason he
was allowed to be conscious of what was said and to respond - even though a very
deep state was induced.. Suggestions, made in the course of an hour, linked sensations
in his hands, placed on the affected areas, to the generation of heat and healing
vibrations. He soon remarked very strong but pleasant sensations in his hands which
he could not move. It was suggested that these
sensations could continue for a further five minutes after his eyes opened - and
the process was deepened and broadened so that it might be resumed in his sleep -
previously severely disturbed by the condition.
He soon opened his eyes - but quickly and comfortably closed them again - realising
he could not move his hands while the heating continued. Five minutes later this
faded and he was impressed by the intensity of the
comfortable experience that had generated. Although this was a very specific kind
of physical problem, similar principles - learning to engage mind productively with
matter - apply in many other cases, including skin disorders, irritable bowel
syndrome, even pregnancy difficulties. A surprisingly wide range of physical and
psychosomatic conditions can be addressed With expert guidance, a short series
of individually tailored and structured sessions can also succeed with relationship
and sexual difficulties.
A young woman executive going through difficult times in her career after several
rapid, enforced job changes was anxious, demoralised and severely insomniac over
a period of months . She knew she could solve her problems if only she could stop
worrying, get some rest and rebuild her energy.
A very specifically focused tape recording was made with her to target the difficulty.
Some considerable discussion was held about the merits of a voice recording alone
or voice overlaid on a music track.
On departing I remarked that it was probably good that she had chosen music because
then she could choose to concentrate on listening to that rather than my 'boring
old voice'. She subsequently reported a fortnight of returning home from work, switching
on the radio to a music channel and remembering nothing till waking next morning
- still fully clothed on her bed - just in time for breakfast.
The recorded tape was apparently very useful - particularly because it had never
actually been listened to !
M.E. A young woman freelance journalist, highly striving and perfectionist had been
scarcely able to work for a year due to condition. She was impatient to resume
a hard working and hard playing lifestyle. Work was done to make her far more aware
of her energy levels. As a failsafe strategy, suggestions were embedded to make
her capacity to work conditional upon a more nurturing attitude toward herself
- so that if she tried to over-exploit her increasing health her system ‘failed’
before she could break it - and would only rally again if she expended her energies
A city gent reported that he had developed an annoying nervous mannerism - making
strange throat noises by forcing air up behind the soft palate and through the nasal
passage - making a sound that was a cross between a frog and a chipmunk. Under large
stress he could rap them out like a machine-gun. His wife was not amused - especially
in the car !
I suggested we should measure the maximum extent of his bite - and that to get maximum
reliability we should do this with the aid of large Granny Smith apples and a ruler
applied three times per day to get a properly averaged sample.
Much time was spent in the discussion of the intricacies and niceties of measurement
and error theory - including parallax error - the importance of observing office
protocol in setting up the experimental site and equipment , etc. Some little
time later he reported success.
' Ah good !' I replied ' Did you do as I suggested ? '
‘ Well, actually, no... ' he responded - seeming a little apologetic.
‘ Never mind.....' I said ' I had never really expected that you would. '
He had a jolly sense of humour and didn't seem to mind at all !