Hypnotherapy uses the trance state to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle changes to the client, the seeds of which become firmly planted. It is particularly effective with phobias and habit breaking.

Hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy and aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.

How does it work?

Recent research has shown the trance state in hypnosis to be the artificial activation of the REM sleep state.

The methods for inducing hypnosis are paralleled by aspects of how the REM state is naturally induced and maintained. Shock inductions, when hypnosis is instantaneously induced through an unexpected occurrence, such as the hypnotist suddenly thumping a table or ringing a bell, fires the orientation response into action, focusing attention, just as happens at the start of REM sleep. Also inducing deep relaxation creates the same electrical patterns in the brain as occurs in REM sleep. Guided imagery switches people into their right hemisphere and mimics daydreaming, a state associated with problem solving and learning in which new patterns of knowledge can be pattern-matched metaphorically and integrated.

The traditional swinging of the fob watch for people to follow with their eyes mimics the rapid eye movements that are triggered by the orientation response in REM sleep. Indeed anything that focuses and locks attention (e.g. “I want you to stare at that spot on the ceiling”) fires the orientation response. In fact, even an unexpected event, idea or trauma induces at least a mini-trance, just through firing the orientation response and momentarily focusing attention. (

For more information on how I use hypnosis please see

EMDR is an acronym for ‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing’. It is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s. Since then a wealth of research has been conducted demonstrating its benefits in treating psychological trauma arising from experiences as diverse as war related experiences, childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or neglect, natural disaster, assault, surgical trauma, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents. Since its original development, EMDR is also increasingly used to help individuals with other issues and performance anxiety.

EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults. EMDR is a complex and powerful therapy. Therapists always have a background in mental health before undertaking training in EMDR. My training is approved by the EMDR International Association and by the EMDR Europe Association.

Testimonial: “Since our last session and the unbelievable thing you did with the EMDR I cannot believe how different I feel, its truly amazing, for a few days after I questioned HOW it can work, in terms of the power of the mind etc, but then just started to relax about it and see I had achieved what I wanted to achieve which was to feel like ME again, relaxed, peaceful, happy yet strong enough to deal with life and its tests!!” Rachael Beeton, victim of the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake in September 2010.

REBT, previously called Rational Therapy and Rational Emotive Therapy, is a comprehensive, active-directive, philosophically and evidence based psychotherapy which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioural problems. REBT was created and developed by the American psychologist Albert Ellis, who was inspired by many of the teachings of Asian, Greek, Roman and modern philosophers. REBT is one form of CBT and was created by Ellis in the mid-1950s.

Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist practice which is relevant for life today. Mindfulness is a very simple concept. It means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.

In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including:

substance abuse
eating disorders
anxiety disorders
obsessive-compulsive disorder

Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people to accept their experiences — including painful emotions — rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance.

It’s become increasingly common for mindfulness meditation to be combined with psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. This development makes good sense, since both meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy share the common goal of helping people gain perspective on irrational, maladaptive, and self-defeating thoughts.

ACT is a third wave behavioural therapy (along with mindfulness based cognitive therapy) that uses mindfulness skills to develop psychological flexibility and helps clarify and direct values-guided behavior. ACT is a directive and experiential form of therapy. ACT does not see clients as damaged or flawed, and does not define unwanted experiences as “symptoms” or “problems,” but resolves to define the function and context of behaviour (ie. actions, thoughts, memories, emotions, sensations) in order to determine its helpfulness for the purposes of creating rich and meaningful lives.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a method of influencing brain behaviour (the “neuro” part of the phrase) through the use of language (the “linguistic” part) and other types of communication to enable a person to change the way the brain responds to stimuli (that’s the “programming”) and manifest new and better behaviours. Neuro-Linguistic Programming often uses hypnosis and self-hypnosis to help achieve the change that is wanted.

Dr Richard Bandler invented the term “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” in the 1970s.

BWRT® – Brain Working Recursive Therapy is a way of rewiring the brain to lead a person to have a healthier and more desired response to a situation.

BWRT® utilises the accepted scientific idea of the way the brain processes information from the environment and uses this to help people to change.

The brain reacts to stimuli from the environment by looking for common themes from its history bank and then fires an electrical signal along myriad of neural pathways and gateways at lightning speed.

It happens so fast that a person is in the middle of a reaction even before they get to consciously comprehend what is happening. Hence the instant immediate palpitations, rapid heart beat and butterflies in the stomach, a person who has a spider phobia experiences, even though the spider might be small, harmless and dead.

BWRT® offers an approach based on the way the brain processes information, to help anyone to change.

QUIT DRINKING: "I decided to quit drinking for 'sober October'. So went to see Nicola. We had an in depth consultation and not only did I get through October without drinking. I now find I don't want to drink at all. I have been so pleased with the result and my life is getting better and better without Alcohol in it. I have recommended quite a few people now for different things. Thank you Nicola. " Clare