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Hypnotherapy in Surrey & West Sussex
Practices in Horley & Crawley

Have You Got The Right Mindset?

It’s always scary taking that first step. Whether we are moving on in our personal or our working lives, change can be difficult. I have recently faced a new challenge in my business – an offer to open a second clinic. My part-time clinic in Horley has suited me very well. I am used to it and able to fit my work around my young daughter. Do I really want to change this comfortable situation? Well, if I want to grow my business, I need to do this. And I am pleased to say that I feel ready for that next challenge.

From Spare Bedroom to High Street Clinic

I reflected on my professional journey so far and I remember vividly the even scarier decision to take up the offer of a part-time practice at the Carlton Clinic in Horley. Leaving behind my spare bedroom where I had been treating clients so that I could achieve my Solution Focused Hypnotherapy certification.

I was very nervous but also very excited to be taking that next step. Committing to settling my 2 year old daughter into nursery and opening my practice in a proper clinic! And having made that decision, the rewards have been amazing! Seeing clients succeed in overcoming their own challenges. Seeing clients regain a sense of purpose and confidence in themselves so that they can really enjoy their lives.

The challenges we meet when running a business are not so different from the challenges we face in our personal lives. The same anxiety when you encounter something new, something different that you’ve never faced before, something you’re really not sure how to deal with.
But I have learned that it’s not the events in our lives that create anxiety. It’s our response to those events. The attitude and the thought processes that we adopt.

"If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you" Fred Devito

Let me introduce you to the Mindset. You can have a ‘fixed’ mindset or a ‘growth’ mindset.

Fixed MIndset

The fixed mindset is the idea that our basic talents, intelligence and abilities are “fixed.” If we are not confident that we can do something, because it’s outside our normal sphere of activity, we become fearful. We don’t want to step outside our comfort zone.

Growth MIndset

The growth mindset believes that your talents and abilities can be developed and enhanced over time. So that you are open to life’s possibilities. Prepared to challenge yourself to try new things. New skills, new coping strategies, new ideas. Allowing yourself to grow.

We all experience setbacks in our personal and working lives. A growth mindset allows us to focus on what we can learn from these setbacks and what we can do differently in the future. This encourages a positive attitude as we learn, develop and progress. You make a mistake. No problem. You learn from it and move on.

A Growth Mindset = Success

Carol Dweck, a world leading researcher at Stanford University, attributes success to having the right mindset.

One of the most important advances in understanding how our brains work is neuroplasticity. Until the 1960’s we believed our brains were ‘fixed.’ Unable to change once we became adults.. We now know that our brains continually make new neural pathways and connections as we learn and adapt and experience new things.

Blog. comfort zone versus success

Crawley Clinic – The Fruit of a Growth Mindset

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works with this understanding of the human brain to help people to change and to succeed. Whatever your challenge, with the right mindset - a growth mindset - you can make it happen! A Growth Mindset has enabled me to move my business forward. From my spare bedroom to a busy clinic in Horley and now to a second clinic, in Crawley.

What Could a Growth Mindset do for you?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps you develop a Growth Mindset. So that you can face your challenges in a thoughtful, positive way and then reinforcing those positive messages through hypnotherapy. Helping you to feel more confident and equipping you to be successful in whatever it is that you want to achieve.

Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty

Here we are stepping into September. The start of autumn after a really fantastic summer. I love autumn. It has always been my favourite time of year.

Not everyone shares my autumn optimism though. For them autumn is the end of summer, Back to School and back to work. The start of shorter days and bad weather!

I always begin my sessions in clinic by asking my client:
“What’s been good about your week?”

Over the last few months the weather has been top of everyone’s list! Does that mean that when the weather changes they will struggle to find that same positivity? Usually not, but as Mary Poppins sings:

‘That all depends on your point of view.’

Blog. Mary Poppins

Why Thoughts Matter

We often blame the weather or the dark evenings, or other events, for our unhappiness. For causing our stress and anxiety. But you don’t have to respond this way. For many people, the dark evenings represent cosiness and warmth. Some of us like a rainy day! So these external conditions and events cannot be the cause of our unhappiness or anxiety.

It is actually our thought processes or our response to these conditions and events, that causes anxiety.

Your brain is wired in such a way that every thought releases chemicals. Negative thoughts release stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol which reduce the brain’s ability to function effectively. Solving problems, creating memories, concentrating - all become harder. These ‘negative thought” chemicals also affect your sleep quality and have a generally detrimental impact on your health. Physical and mental.

On the other hand, positive thoughts give your brain a reward - the chemical serotonin. Serotonin makes you feel motivated, confident, optimistic, calm and in control. Serotonin can even help to manage physical pain.

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Are You a Glass Half Full or a Glass Half Empty Person?

Half Full

Congratulations! This gives you many positive outcomes:

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Good mental health
  • Effective coping strategies
  • Success at work and in sport
  • A stronger immune system and the ability to make the best possible recovery from illness and surgery

    Half Empty

    It’s never too late to change!

    You can train your brain to reduce negative thoughts so that it rewires itself and you become more positive.

    To retrain your brain however, does require effort and commitment. This is where Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help.

    Solution Focused Hypnotherapy teaches you how the brain works and how you can use your mind to adapt in these 2 steps:

    1. Solution Focused talking therapy is oriented to the future. We don’t focus on your problems or on why you have negative thoughts. We concentrate on where you want to be and what changes you want to see in your life.
    2. Hypnosis is designed to get your mind into a positive state. This is achieved in a very simple way through guided relaxation and visualisation. You use your mind in a different way, so that you can focus on the positive aspects of your life and shift your perspective.

    Our brains are more than capable of rewiring themselves.

    Recently a client came to see me and I was struck by the effectiveness of their treatment. After just two sessions their response to my question “What’s been good about your week?” was:

    “Lots really. I thought about what you said and I decided to make the effort to do at least one positive thing every day.” Result!

    In his book “You Are Not Your Brain” Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, one of the world’s leading experts in neuroplasticity talks about:

    “Using the power of focused attention, along with the ability to apply commitment, hard work and dedication to direct your choices and actions, thereby rewiring your brain to work for you and with your true self’.

    If you would like to experience the benefits of positive thinking, and put anxiety and unhappiness behind you, book an initial consultation with me. I would love to help you move forward in your life.

    Call or text me on 07850 995869 or email me at [email protected]

Blog. lightbulb moment

Creating Light Bulb Moments!

Have you ever felt anxious, fearful, lacking in confidence? Or low and depressed?

If you have you will understand how difficult it is to think clearly or to feel positive about anything.

Here’s a message I received recently from a client who had an irrational fear of being alone at night.

“Was just having breakfast after a perfectly lovely night’s sleep by myself in my flat. I quite often think ‘thank you Sarah’ and thought I would actually say it to you a year on. I am picking up my new puppy on Friday. Soppy as anything and totally incapable of protecting me from anything, which is fine these days thanks to you”

It’s always lovely to get these messages and it got me thinking about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy enables people to make lasting, effective changes in their lives.

The Solution Focused Approach

When I first meet a client, they are often surprised and relieved when I tell them we don’t need to talk about the problems.

It doesn’t matter how you got here. We don’t need to analyse it. We find solutions. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. We look for strengths and positive moments.

Above all we find your desire to change and to feel better.

Using Your Brain to Bring About Change

If you’ve worked with me or been to one of my talks, you will be familiar with my best tool - an explanation of how the brain works.

This is such an important part of the therapy. When you understand how the brain works, and how negative thought patterns are created, you have a real advantage.

This part of the therapy is a resource that I give to clients. They take it away with them, so they can tap back into it whenever life presents a challenge or an emotional difficulty.

Yes, You Can Change!

I firmly believe that each client that comes to see me has the ability to change and the necessary resources, which they need to make that change. Solution Focused questions are used to direct the attention towards the present and the future, not to the past or problems.

This approach allows the client to begin a process of envisioning what their preferred future might look like. And then to create small steps towards achieving that outcome.

I remember a meeting I had during my training with my (exceptional!) tutor. The questions she asked allowed me to literally have that ‘light-bulb moment’. I was stuck. Between the challenge of my role as a mother and wife and attempting to set up a business. She asked me a simple question, “What difference would it make to you?” My response was easy, I want to go back to work and establish a working identity again.

Her focussed approach allowed me to come up with the solution. I decided to arrange child care every Tuesday and started practising in the Carlton clinic here in Horley.

Blog. Iced cake

The icing on the cake

Hypnosis. to me, is the icing on the cake.

When we come up with goals and solutions, deep relaxation or trance is a very effective way of reinforcing that message to our subconscious.

We possess something rather remarkable called the Reticular Activating System. Our brain’s Reticular Activating System can bring about change when we know what we want, and when we are focused on the desired result.

This part of the brain is activated during hypnosis.

Many clients just love to experience that time of deep relaxation. Some continue to attend monthly or ad-hoc ‘top-up” sessions.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a multi-faceted approach. Each element is equally important in helping you to find your solution and to create your better future.

Solution Focused Top-Up Sessions - Special Offer!

During August 2018, I am offering a £10 discount to all my previous clients who would like a Solution Focused Hypnotherapy top-up session.

I am always delighted to hear from you so please get in touch with your news or to share your thoughts.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer holidays. And watch out for lots of exciting news in the autumn!

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?

Blog. Fear

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 [email protected]

      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.

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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 [email protected]

    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 [email protected]

      Not local to Horley? Skype consultations are also available.

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