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Hypnotherapy in Horley, Surrey

Blog. Fear

How To Conquer Your Phobia!

Recently, I have had many enquiries from people who are interested in whether hypnosis can help them with fears and phobias. And that got me thinking. What is a ‘Phobia’ and why do some people suffer from them?

What Do We Know About Phobias?

Scientific research demonstrates that a part of the brain called the amygdala is activated when it perceives a threat. The amygdala regulates the Fight Flight Freeze response. This instinctive response stimulates the production of hormones which produce physical effects – feeling hot, faster breathing, sweating etc.

The amygdala is connected to the hippocampus, where we store our memories. The next time you encounter the situation which caused the instinctive response from the amygdala, you will be reminded of it. This is how a phobia develops.

A phobia is a fear of something and fear is an emotional response to different situations, ranging from generalized anxiety to specific phobias.

Fear is a natural and desirable response to a dangerous situation. But when fear is out of proportion to the stimulus that caused it, it can become a real problem. This irrational fear may stop you going out or taking part in normal activities.

The Three Types of Phobia:


  1. Social phobias - a fear of social situations. Social phobias range from the specific, e.g. public speaking , to generalised social anxiety - the fear of being negatively judged by other people.
  2. Agoraphobia - a fear of open or crowded spaces, or of being trapped in an inescapable place or situation. The sufferer may begin to avoid certain situations. This phobia can become so overwhelming that the individual is afraid to leave their home.
  3. Specific phobias. Examples include:

    - Animals - spiders, snakes, rodents
    - Environmental - heights, deep water
    - Situational phobias – visiting the dentist, flying
    - Bodily phobias – blood, vomit or needles

    When you suffer from a phobia, you will often adapt your life in order to avoid whatever it is that you consider to be dangerous. The imagined threat is greater than any actual threat. Phobias can severely limit your ability to engage with and enjoy normal life, and often lead to relationship difficulties.

    Most people know that their phobia is irrational. However, no matter how they try to rationalise it away, they are unable to do so.. Phobia sufferers come to me for treatment because they want to be free from their fear.

    So How Can Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Help?

    With solution-focused hypnotherapy, we are able to address all three types of phobia by drawing on a range of techniques designed to treat anxiety.

    Hypnotherapy is a combination of psychotherapy and hypnosis. Psychotherapy in itself is extremely helpful. Its beneficial effects are enhanced further by the application of hypnosis. Hypnosis allows the subconscious mind to make the desired, positive changes.

    The good news is we don’t delve into your past to discover and analyse the cause of your phobia. Instead we focus on the positive outcome you want to achieve – freedom from your fear.

    Treatment for Overcoming a Phobia

    Treatment starts with an initial consultation to assess your situation and to understand your phobia and what type of phobia it is.

    Specific phobias can generally be treated over a course of 4 sessions.

    Just 4 sessions and you can board that flight this summer! Or clean out the shed freed from your fear of spiders!

    Social phobias and agoraphobia will take a little longer. Normally 10-12 sessions.

    It’s so rewarding to hear a client share their experience of presenting in the board room without feeling shaky, hot and embarrassed.

    Our fears and phobias do not need to define us. Happily, advances in neuroscience and psychology mean that they can be managed effectively.

    Hypnotherapy uses a variety of techniques to overcome phobias which are effective, very gentle and non-threatening. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy focuses on finding a solution, even for those who don’t believe it’s possible! Overcoming a phobia through Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is not a matter of belief. it’s a matter of wanting to find that solution.

    I always remember a client who was very sceptical that I could help her to overcome her overwhelming phobia of spiders, but she was willing to try. When she walked into the clinic for her third session she said:
    "It’s worked. Wow!"
    I will never forget that moment!

    Proof that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for phobias.

    Contact me on 07850 995869 to book your initial consultation

    Not local to Horley? I offer Skype consultations too.

    With my help you CAN conquer your phobia!


Blog. Exams

It’s Exam Time! Reduce Stress, Perform Better - April 2018

How Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Can Help Reduce Stress and Improve Performance

Facing Exams Again!

It's exam time in the UK and many stressed-out teenagers need support.

Recently I have been studying again as part of my professional development and, even though I am passionate about my work, I found that the pressure of deadlines and producing quality assignments never gets any easier. I have every sympathy with all those facing exams and coursework deadlines in the next few months.

My personal way of coping with the stress I experienced when studying was to tap into the very essence of Solution Focused techniques, which is - if you find something that works, do more of it!

What works for me is physical activity. Making time for more exercise and physical activity had a very positive effect on my mental health and my sense of wellbeing. This in turn, enhanced my academic performance, as I felt calmer, more confident and in control.

Researchers have found that physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance. Physical activity can increase our ability to concentrate on tasks, improving our learning and memory consolidation. Physical activity can also be very effective in relieving stress, increasing our serotonin levels which enhance our mood, confidence, motivation and self-esteem.

And, of course exercise can also enhance our physical performance. My 3 months of studying and exercise made me fitter and stronger, and reduced my metabolic age by 9 years!

Memories of School Exams

I remember so vividly going into that intimidating exam room aged 17 and feeling intense pressure. Would I remember anything? Exam nerves can affect anyone, at any age. It doesn’t matter how much you have revised or how much experience you have, the chances are you will still have a feeling of panic.

Many people will feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety when sitting an exam, or before submitting an assignment or dissertation. Many of us know how nerve-racking it can be to take a test. Our driving test often provides the most vivid recollection of exam nerves!

Stress is a Natural Reaction to Exam Pressure

Feeling stressed and anxious before an exam is to be expected. Some people are able to use these feelings to help them stay focused and motivated. Others find the pressure overwhelming. Sometimes stress can cause a person to achieve below their true potential.

Stress is a natural, healthy physical response evolved by human beings in order to protect them in times of danger. When an individual is faced with a stressor, a hormone is released within the body which causes various physiological changes; the heart races, the hands go sweaty, breathing can become fast and shallow, the stomach begins to churn!

Although this evolutionary advantage is excellent at preparing the body for a fight when facing a polar bear or similar, it’s not so helpful when it comes to students and exams.

Achieving the Right State of Mind for Exam Success

It is important to understand that the anxiety is not caused by the events. Anxiety is caused by negative thinking. It is not the events in one’s life that cause the perception of crisis. If it was, every student would be having a panic attack! It is the thought patterns we create around our life events.

Hypnotherapy can be an excellent way to understand the thought patterns which lead to anxiety and so learn how to manage it.

Exam preparation is not just about hours spent studying and revising. It is also about your state of mind.

If you can feel calm, relaxed, focused and confident when studying for your exam and when sitting it, you will be much more likely to achieve a positive outcome and attain the best result you can.


  • Are you feeling overwhelmed by your upcoming exams or coursework deadlines?
  • Do you find the exam experience very stressful ?
  • Are you worried that due to stress and anxiety you will not be able to perform as well as you would like?

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help to:

    • Reduce stress and anxiety
    • Boost self confidence
    • Heighten motivation
    • Improve memory

      Keeping you calm and focused during this difficult period

      Contact me on 07850 995869 for a no-obligation chat.
      Or email me at sstanleyhypno@gmail.com


      For tips and ideas on managing and reducing stress and anxiety visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sstanleyhypno

      Not local to Horley? Skype consultations are also available.



Blog. Best you

The Best You - March 2018

I love to learn and to expand my experience, both personally and professionally. So, last month I was delighted to attend the 2-day ‘The Best You Expo’ in London.

What is The Best You Expo About?

The Best You Expo is all about personal development and health and wellness. It included some of the top names in the health and wellness industry, including Paul McKenna, Judy May Murphy, Marie Diamond, Bernardo Moyà, Jason Vale and many more.

The main topics were:

• Living better lives
• Creating a better world
• Managing stress and anxiety and Mindfulness

I attended workshops and talks on all aspects of personal development including nutrition, entrepreneurship, confidence, ageing, mindfulness, cures for phobias, female empowerment, breaking self-limiting beliefs, communication and much more.

I feel I have benefited from The Best You Expo in 3 ways:


  1. Connecting with likeminded teachers, therapists, coaches and experts in their field. It offered a fresh perspective and really helped me to bring all of my experience and knowledge together.
  2. Exploring the new – I picked up new ideas and tools for developing as a person. These included memory techniques, nutrition tips, feng shui and business tips.
  3. Passion for personal development and for helping to make the world a better place. So much passion for making a real difference and changing the world for the better! Helping to inspire a global and local movement to save and restore the oceans, abolish slavery and inspire our youth.

    The Expo has inspired me to continue learning and expanding my knowledge. Not only for my enjoyment but as part of an ongoing strategy for mental wellbeing.

    A Mental Health Strategy based on Learning

    Our brains are plastic. They continually remould neural connections as we learn and experience new things.

    Lifelong learning promotes better mental health and wellbeing

    Dr. Michael Merzenich, a leader in the field of neuroplasticity research, claims that we can constantly change the structure of the brain and increase its capacity to learn. His research demonstrates that if the brain is not challenged with new learning, its function can gradually erode over time, leading to decreased memory and cognitive function.

    If you’re feeling stuck or depressed, perhaps learning something new could help you. Learning can help to open up new neural pathways so that you feel mentally stronger and more able to cope with the challenges of your everyday life.

    Becoming The Best You

    If you’d like to find out more about personal development and how you can train your mind so that you can be The Best You - more positive and more confident - get in touch.

    And I would love to hear from you if you have thoughts or experiences around your personal development that you would like to share.

    Call me directly on 07850 995869 or email me at sstanleyhypno@gmail.com

    For tips and ideas on managing and reducing stress and anxiety visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sstanleyhypno

    Not local to Horley? Skype consultations are also available.



Blog. sleep

Do You Want Better Sleep? - Feb 2018

  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Do you sleep through the night without waking?
  • Do you wake up feeling refreshed?

    Sadly, for so many people the answer to these questions is NO!

    Sleep is the most important biological function. It affects everything. From your productivity to your health to your mood.

    Research suggests that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, increased risk of stroke, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer's.

    We all live increasingly busy and hectic lifestyles, Stress levels quickly build up. We assume that time we spend sleeping cuts into our productive hours. In reality, we are more productive when we have had enough sleep.

    How Full is Your “Stress Bucket”?

    We all have a metaphorical stress bucket that can easily become full. The more stress we experience, the more we add to our bucket. This stress bucket can have a negative impact on our emotional wellbeing, and our ability to sleep properly.

    When we go to sleep the brain normally reduces stress levels by using something called Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep.

    Unfortunately, REM is limited to 20% of our sleep pattern. So if there is a lot of perceived stress in your life, you quickly use up that 20% of REM. As a result, you may find that you wake up and struggle to return to sleep.

    How Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Can Help You Sleep Better

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help by enabling you to find a different way of thinking about life. It can help you to cope with stress more effectively. In this way, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help ease insomnia and help you achieve a quality night’s sleep.

    Top 5 Tips for Better Sleep

    1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekend.
    2. Keep your room dark. At least one hour before bedtime, dim the lights and turn off all screens. TV, laptop, phone.
    3. Keep your bedroom temperature cool.
    4. Avoid caffeine after 1pm. Also avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative and sedation is not sleep. Also, alcohol blocks your REM dream sleep, a very important part of the sleep cycle.
    5. Practise a relaxing bedtime ritual.

      I have helped many clients achieve better sleep.

      Get in touch to see if I could help you.

      Call me on 07850 995869 or email me at sstanleyhypno@gmail.com

      Not local to Horley? Skype consultations are also available.



  • Blog. winter

    Hello Winter -Nov 2017

    Hello everyone

    I hope November is off to a positive start for all of you, as the clocks have gone back this month. This allows us to gain as much daylight in the waking hours as possible, however, it sometimes feels like a struggle to get out of our snug warm beds in the darkest of mornings.

    As all my clients will know that when we get good quality sleep every thing just seems easier, so I always encourage you to prioritise sleep, practice good sleep hygiene and relaxation.
    Despite all the research that consistently shows us the importance of sleep, there is not always enough helpful tips about waking up. so here are a few tips to help you wake up in a more positive way.

    1. Harness natural light to stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, adjust the blinds
    2. Don't hit the snooze button falling back to sleep will tend to make you feel groggier
    3. Have a big stretch in bed, research shows a big 'power pose' in bed will start your day much more positively, than all curled up.
    4. Freshen up, try adjusting the temperature on the shower dial
    5.Have an incentive, plan something for first thing that you really enjoy- breakfast, exercise, music ....

    To learn more or share your experiences or thoughts.
    Contact me directly
    Sarah 07850995869
    Email: sstanleyhypno@gmail.com

    or
    Stay in touch for lots of inspiring tips & solutions to managing & reducing anxiety at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sstanleyhypno

















    Blog. Library Image: Doorway of Hope

    'Use it or lose it!' -Oct 2017

    Hope you have enjoyed a wonderful summer holiday. It has been an amazing summer for me too, here at The Carlton Clinic. I am inspired so much, by the progress my clients continue to make.

    This autumn, I am looking forward to a training course with the legendary David Newton, founder of The Clifton Practice and Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
    It is without exception that clinical therapists must actively engage in learning & professional development to provide the best for clients.
    I am expanding my social media use too, although, I find this challenging, I am confident in my abilities to learn these skills.
    If we don't learn new skills we don't engage our brains plasticity, highly focused activities help to keep our brains in good shape.

    What do you plan to learn this autumn ?
    The power of brain training, means that the brain can not only learn new skills, it can actually restructure itself ,especially as we get older. Whether, you are trying to change a behaviour, overcome additions, learn a new skill or language. We can all harness the power of Neuroplasticity & rewire our brains.

    To learn more or share your experiences or thoughts.
    Contact me directly
    Sarah 07850995869
    Email: sstanleyhypno@gmail.com

    or
    Stay in touch for lots of inspiring tips & solutions to managing & reducing anxiety at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sstanleyhypno


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