It’s now that time of the year when we sit down and think about New Year’s resolutions – from finding a healthier life balance to changing unwanted behaviours to weight management and avoiding those sneaky extra biscuits...
If this sounds like you, and you have been craving to change something or stop doing something that has been bothering you for a while, or perhaps you are looking to try something new, something you had never thought of trying, then contact us for a free initial consultation, to see how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works by looking forward, to see what small steps you can take to achieve the goals you are aiming at in life. In other words, what you can do to alter your future for the better.
Crucially the therapy works without the need of looking back at past events (which can sometimes be upsetting and unnecessary).
By working with a fully qualified and insured Solution Focused Hypnotherapy practitioner like Maral Kojayan, you can have confidence that you can make happen all those realistic goals you've been longing to achieve.
If you are looking for help with controlling your behaviours and habits (such as weight management or anger management) or becoming a more confident, calmer, more collected version of yourself, then hypnotherapy can be very helpful. We work with a client for a number of sessions so over a relatively short period of time a person learns how to gain and maintain control and can look forward to a healthier, happier future.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help in a variety of areas including improving sleep and reducing stress. If there is something you are struggling with, you can simply ask if Hypnotherapy can help you, there are too many things to list but I’ve worked with so many clients who have all benefited greatly from this therapy. As Solution Focused Hypnotherapists, my colleagues and I find that the therapy can literally transform people’s lives and help them to become more fully developed in their personal and professional lives whilst being calmer and feeling more relaxed in their overall approach to life.
To take the first step towards your wonderful changes, book a free initial consultation here.
Maral Kojayan MA, DHP, DSFH, HPD
Did you know that our brains can't tell the difference between what we call real and what we imagine or visualise?
It's probably something that most of us haven't stopped to consider, yet this is a fact worth knowing. Especially when it comes to learning or developing new habits, which we could call programming the brain.
It turns out that the brain can be programmed equally well by practising an activity just in the mind, using our imagination and visualisation, as by physically practising the activity. Dancers, actors and instrument players have known this intuitively for centuries as they are used to rehearsing by running a piece through in their mind or by 'marking' things through. In fact, we probably all know this intuitively because almost everyone has experienced waking up from a dream feeling emotionally moved by how real it felt. What most of us have sensed to be true through experience has now been proven, through scientific study, to be a measurable fact.
A study, published in the Journal of Neurophysiology in 1995, tested this by asked two groups of people to practice learning a 5 finger piano exercise over 5 days. They found there was almost no difference in brain changes between the group which practised the exercise physically on the piano and those who practised only in their mind, using their visualisation.
The significance of this study is that it showed the brain was just as plastic—meaning just as able to learn and change—with mental effort directed at learning something specific as with physical effort to do the same thing. This suggests that if a person spends time visualising in detail something that's practically doable, the brain develops in a very similar way as if they were to actually do it physically.
This has huge and far-reaching implications because it means that when we focus our mind and repeatedly imagine doing something well, we'll get better at doing it well. The reprogramming of the mind could be applied to many areas where people sometimes struggle in life, it could be to improve confidence in work or social settings or public speaking, it could be getting better at getting up on time in the mornings or it could be retraining yourself to be calmer or kinder to yourself or other people in your life. If you can simply imagine yourself in the new way, you are already starting the rewiring for that change of habit to happen easier. Conversely, what it also means is that if you don't see yourself changing and improving, if you don't see yourself as overcoming your anxiety or lack of confidence or if you cannot see a realistic path to uplifting yourself, you make it harder for yourself to put these changes you want into practice. And worst still, if you practise giving yourself negative messages, such as “I'm no good at...”, “I'll never be able to...”, “I'm such a...” all you do is teach and train your brain to get very good at thinking and being what you don't want to be.
Moreover, as your brain can't tell the difference between what you're really experiencing now and what you're imagining or remembering, whatever circuit you light up in your brain will be real for you. Even if it's an old feeling from years back or something completely imagined, you live it as though it's real in the present moment. This alone is reason enough to learn to choose your thoughts with care.
Ultimately, what this study proves is something I have seen a great deal of evidence for in my own Clinical Hypnotherapy practice. This study has proven both how powerful visualisation is and how a person's mind is plastic; able to change and create new patterns. At Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy, we use the power of visualisation within hypnosis to help individuals make significant important changes and take great leaps forward in many areas of their lives. In the process, a person learns to consciously choose their thoughts with care and become very mindful of the movements of thought in their mind.
If you'd like to teach your mind to practice you preferred thought and make positive practical changes in your life, you can book a free Initial Consultation to get started with this rewarding process.
TO BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION FOR CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY CLICK HERE
Maral Kojayan MA HPD
Pascual-Leone, A. et al., 'Modulation of muscle responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation during the acquisition of new fine motor skills', Journal of Neurophysiology, 74(3), 1995 Sep, pp. 1037-45.
Hypnotherapy for Confidence can transform a life
Confidence is one of the most common issues people come to see me for as a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
In fact, low self-confidence is also one of those things that many people have struggled with at one point or another in their lives, regardless of levels of success, intelligence or competence, because confidence or lack thereof, is a state of mind.
Sometimes low self-confidence can seem manageable, because it is mild or very specific, for example, related to taking a particular exam. But other times, these small self-confidence issues can accumulate, become more significant or prevalent and can cause a person a great deal of anxiety and problems in may areas. Social life, dating, relationships or work can all suffer leading to more loss of confidence and can begin a downward spiral.
Only recently I had two very different clients who were both objectively high performing, bright and capable individuals. They were even appreciated by their bosses, yet their lack of confidence at work had got each of them into such a state that one had developed insomnia and depressed behaviours and the other had looping thoughts, anxiety, a panic attack and had even got to the point of quitting her job before contacting me. The good news is that for each of them, in different ways, we were able to stop the downward spiral immediately at the very start of our sessions, and within a short period of time using Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (the Clinical Hypnotherapy I practice at Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy) both clients had turned their beliefs and experience around to enjoy peace of mind and a healthy confidence once again.
You can imagine they were very pleased with themselves and relieved to be over that period in their lives. And so they should be, because the knock on effect of their low-confidence had been very difficult for them, effecting their health, their relationships, their willingness to socialise, their finances, their sense of self-worth and much more.
And the subject of self worth brings us to the difference between confidence and self-esteem. Self-confidence is related to how we think and feel about our skills and abilities whilst self-esteem is to do with our sense of worth or value. They are different, but the two often come hand-in-hand and influence each other.
A person can be said to have low self-esteem when they believe others are better than them or they constantly focus on their weaknesses, when they always find it difficult to express their needs or to say no. Having a lot of self-doubt, always putting other's needs before their own or having trouble accepting positive feedback can all be signs of low self-esteem.
You can see how it would be difficult to demonstrate high self-confidence if one has low self-esteem. Conversely, if your confidence in your skills and abilities is low, it will very likely have a knock on effect on your self-esteem.
So be it a self-confidence issue or one of self-esteem it's very important to address it as soon as possible because if left unchecked, those subjective feelings and thoughts will effect a person's objective reality.
Hypnotherapy for Self-confidence and Self-esteem
So how does Hypnotherapy help overcome low confidence or low self-esteem?
Firstly, hypnosis (i.e. entering a state of trance) give us access to the subconscious mind, something that we find difficult to do for ourselves during normal waking state. This is why you can try to change your behaviour over and over again, without seeing much real-life change at all. You see, much of our thoughts about ourselves and our behaviours have been programmed in as a result of our past experiences, so our responses are often automatic, which is very useful for running away from danger etc, but not so useful if what's got programmed in is a negative idea about ourselves or our abilities. Those are programmings we don't want to have any more but we find it difficult to change.
What hypnosis does is help you to access you subconscious mind. It is a gentle way of bypassing the critical mind and, through the power of suggestion, have your conscious wishes reach the subconscious to programme in new, more desirable messages, thoughts and behaviours for yourself. And, it's important to understand that we are born confident, so what we are doing during the Hypnotherapy is reminding your mind and returning your thoughts to your natural healthy state.
As a result, hypnosis works much quicker than working on the conscious mind alone, because when the two are connected you have access to the power of your mind and you can make lasting changes quickly and comfortably.
In addition to this, what Solution Focused Hypnotherapy does is empower the client by having them make the most out of the conscious mind to come up with their own solutions, rather than by focusing on a problem (there is a big difference). It is also not prescriptive, it is not about putting on a generic hypnosis audio about confidence or telling you how to become more confident. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy teaches a client to move themselves from where they are to where they choose to be, so it is not only a therapy but a real education, a life skill that will serve a person not only in overcoming issues of confidence and self-esteem, but many other challenges they come to face in life.
Solution Focused hypnotherapy is the opposite of what most people think hypnosis is, it is about putting you into the driver's seat of your mind and that is the biggest boost to confidence and the best feeling of self-esteem one can have.
The takeaway messages from clients who have had Hypnotherapy sessions with me at Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy are that:
“Because of her, I learned how to take care of myself, love myself, appreciate myself, and most importantly, keep myself happy. Overall, she helped me improve my self-esteem. Now I have the confidence to move forward with my life. I cannot thank her enough.” Zaw
“I am beyond grateful to Maral for her support in helping me manage my anxiety. While I was not 100% convinced about the hypnotherapy approach at first, it really worked for me. After a few sessions, I was able to see marked improvements... Thank you sooo much Maral for helping me regain my confidence” Claudia
TO BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION FOR CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY CLICK HERE
Maral Kojayan MA HPD
Photo Credit: Drew Graham
A client brought my attention to this video (it's always a joy to work with such proactive clients!)
See the video from 40 to 43 minutes to see what he has to say about why Clinical Hypnotherapy is so effective at helping us to rewire the brain to make the changes we want to so quickly.
This long and interesting interview is with Stanford University School of Medicine Neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Huberman. His laboratory studies neural regeneration, neuroplasticity, and brain states such as stress, focus, fear, and optimal performance.
In short, he says:
"Hypnosis seems to capture both the high attentional state and the deep relaxation at the same time... It's very clear that it leads to these rapid changes in behaviour because you are rewiring the brain. And the reason you're able to rewire the brain so quickly is because you're getting the trigger event (the focus) and you're also getting the relaxation event simultaneously, so it's much faster than separating the learning trigger from the rewiring of the brain"
Earlier in the video (23:40) he discusses how many other therapies, including traditional psychotherapy do the same thing, but that is a much longer process because these two process he describes happen separately, over longer periods of time, unlike with hypnosis which is simultaneous and therefore a very quick therapy. He also states that this information regarding the power of Clinical Hypnosis comes from his collaborations with his colleague David Spiegel, M.D, Associate Chair of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Center on Stress and Health.
Interview with: Dr. Andrew Huberman (Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine)
Subject: This Neuroscientist Shows You the Secrets to Obtaining A Growth Mindset | Andrew Huberman
Video by: Tom Bilyeu
Maral Kojayan BA, MA, DHP, DSFH, HPD
t: NL: 0644256844 / UK: 07855883967
TO BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION FOR CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY CLICK HERE
Today's tip is about catching things early before anxiety (which is initially a natural stress response) starts to have a negative impact on your life.
The first thing to know is that when stress levels go up our survival brain starts to play its programming and we can start to experience all sorts of signs of the primitive brain at work. Some obvious signs are if you find yourself being negative, worrying excessively, worst case scenario-ing, running the past in your mind over and over or negatively forecasting about the future. These are clear signs that you have probably moved out of your wise solution-focused prefrontal cortex of your brain down into your programmed-for-survial primitive brain. Similarly, if you notice your sleep effected, your mood being off, loosing your temper quicker or you're starting to lose that sense of your confident, capable self and avoiding things, these are all signs that stress is starting to tip the balance from your wise brain (that's supposed to be running things for you) to the survival (fight-flight) part which is useful for saving your life in an emergency, but not that useful in running your life successfully. If this part is left in control, it will often generate unwanted anxiety or a depressed mood or anger or a combination of all three and may sometimes even lead to unwanted physical effects as well.
So, if you're seeing some of these patterns, the wisest thing to do would be not to wait for it to spiral down before acting. By catching it early you will find it much easier to stop its momentum. There are many things you can do to catch it and you could come up with all of those ideas yourself. However, what tends to happen is that it is difficult for people to figure out what to do to shift back to the wise brain when they're sitting in the primitive brain. They often find it difficult to stick to the changes they know they wish to make and become easily derailed from their best intentions, which can feel disheartening and slow things down further...
The right kind of solution orientated support, such as Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, could help you turn it around quickly to getting the real you back and enjoying life as you want to. Solution focused Hypnotherapy is a modern, neurosciences based therapy, that incorporates the best evidence-based methods from talking therapies, with the power of hypnosis, to help people get the best out of themselves. Not only is it a therapy, but an education which you take with you into the rest of your life, having leant how to keep yourself well.
If you don't know where or how to start, just book yourself in for a Initial Consultation, it's free if you click through this link. You will be able to book yourself directly into the therapist's diary and have a good 30-40 minutes to discuss how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you effectively in making the changes you want to make relatively quickly and comfortably.
Take care of yourself (you deserve it).
Maral Kojayan MA HPD
Credit: Photo by Artem Beliaikin
Why does it seem harder to stay happy than to stay suffering?
This is a question that comes up very often for people in all sorts of situations in life.
To really understand why many of us experience happiness and suffering in this way, a neuroscientific understanding of how the brain works is very useful.
Extremely simply put we could say we have three brains (neocortex, limbic system & reptilian brain). Two of these are relevant for the purposes of this discussion, one is a part of the neocortex, the left prefrontal cortex and the other a part of the limbic system which we sometimes refer to as the primitive brain. The left prefrontal cortex is where you could say happiness lives. That is where our solutions are, where we are creative and inventive and positive. Then there is the limbic system, within which is the amygdala, our fight-flight centre. When any insecurity/threat/stress is perceived this primitive brain takes over and stays in control until it perceives the external world to be a safe place again. Although this is effective, there are two problems with this for us modern humans in our overloaded lives.
The end result is that people experience suffering and they can remain suffering for what seems almost permanent, except for little glimpses of happiness. What's more, it seems difficult to come out of it, whilst it seems very easy to fall out of happiness into suffering.
The good news is, it does not have to be this way. Like most things in life, maintaining happiness can also be learnt. Happiness, interestingly, has a great deal to do with awareness and a degree of self-discipline as shown by a number of studies of Buddhist monks, which found that Buddhist monks had significantly larger left-prefrontal cortexes compared to the average population. (Look up Matthieu Ricard/Dr Richard Davidson for more info).
Now you could feel disheartened, and say, 'well, I am not a Buddhist monk, so what use is it to me'. But if you look at it from another perspective, you see that this is very good news indeed, because it means that the physical brain can actually changed based on your behaviour, your activities, your choices... Another words, the plasticity of the brain means you can change your physical brain, patterns habits and personality tendencies.
So, in the end, thankfully, the supposition in the question may not be true. Happiness can be very robust if you know how to work on yourself to develop your happiness 'muscle'. And that's exactly what I facilitate at Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy.
Why? because we all deserve to be well!
And thankfully, we can always find small ways to be better than where we are at right now, right?
TO BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION FOR CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY CLICK HERE
Maral Kojayan MA HPD
Photo by Lidya Nada Lidya Nada
More and more people all around the world are enjoying the benefits of Hypnotherapy, more specifically Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, the method practiced at Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy.
However, when you're new to anything, its perfectly reasonable to wonder about safety and you'd be especially forgiven when it comes to wondering about Hypnotherapy.
After all, Hypnotherapy is one of those things we don't get taught about at school and perhaps only catch very small snippets of confusing information about it. Sometimes this can be in the context of stage hypnosis, which has a very different purpose to Hypnotherapy. Sometimes it can be strange images of swinging pocket watches or of someone clicking their fingers and saying 'sleep!'. Naturally, a rational person would have questions—I certainly did and at the top of that list is the question of safety.
So let's get straight to answering at least one of these important questions. The first one at hand for today is, “Is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy safe?”
The short answer is, Yes! Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is very safe.
But that doesn't tell you much, after all, everyone has a different idea of safety. So let me explain why I'd say it's very safe and you can draw your own conclusion.
First of all, trance is safe because it's really a natural process. The trance state—which we go into during Hypnotherapy—is as natural as daydreaming and as safe as falling asleep or reading a good book.
When we're reading, watching a film or even driving, we can slip seamlessly into trance. You know that feeling of being so engrossed in your book or film that you ignore your name being called? Or that feeling of loosing a sense of time whilst driving? Then you know how trance feels. And you know it's safe, because if you wanted to, of course you could respond to your name when called and you are of course safe and in control of your vehicle on the road when driving. Not only are you safe, but from within this trance-like state of focused attention, you could suddenly have a great idea come to you. Proof that you're subconscious mind is actually nicely active and creative.
Another reason it's safe is because during Hypnotherapy all hypnosis is self hypnosis. What this means is that a person chooses to go into trance state and chooses to benefit from accessing their mind in a particular way. Hypnosis is an opportunity to receive and accept positive suggestions that are beneficial, but you are in control, you choose to be in a state of trance and you choose to accept beneficial suggestions made by the therapist. The Hypnotherapist facilitates the process, just like a personal trainer facilitates and directs your training. A personal trainer helps you get the most out of the process because through experience, they know what to suggest when, when to suggest you try to go deeper, stop or move to a different strategy, but they are doing nothing to you as such—you are doing it all yourself. They cannot make you do something you don't want to do, because it's your body that has to do it. You are the one doing the exercises and listening to your own body, whilst choosing to listen to your trainer and their positive input because you know it helps you go further easier than doing it alone. It is the same with a Hypnotherapist, a formally trained hypnotherapist, called a Clinical Hypnotherapist is there to help you get the very best out of the use of your mind, but the process is yours and as it's yours, you are in control and you are safe.
Hypnotherapy is not only safe but often it is considered of significant added benefit, even within the mainstream medical context. For example,the NHS uses Hypnosis and guided visualisation in the Oncology Wards at The University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff. The Dutch health insurance system also includes Hypnotherapy within the treatments that are considered evidence based and covered by many insurance companies. It's also used in dentistry as a substitute for anaesthetic for tooth extractions. If you want proof, watch this BBC documentary; at around 43minutes, you can see for yourself a lady having 2 front teach removed with no anaesthetic at all!
In addition to this, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy feels extra safe and comfortable because there is no dredging up and long examination of the past. Some other hypnotherapists use regression extensively, which when not done well can cause the client temporary feelings of discomfort or sadness. At Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy, where we practice Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, we use techniques that focus always on maintaining and heightening the client's well-being. Because of this, hypnosis within the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy context always feels safe, comfortable and pleasant.
With Solution Focused Hypnotherapy you could have big, meaningful changes take place but it is done in a gentle way, so you don't feel effected, it seems like nothing, until you notice all the differences in your thoughts/feelings/behaviour from before you started the therapy.
People also feel extra safe with Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy, because we do sessions via Skype. It's always really nice to be in the safety and comfort of your own space, you can be completely yourself and more relaxed because you don't need to commute, dress-to-impress or go into any unknown places. You can just focus on what's important, your well-being.
And the final badge of safety is that at Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy, Clinical Hypnotherapists are fully certified with the British Government recognised qualifications, the HPD—a gold standard in Hypnotherapy diplomas.
So for all the reasons mentioned above, I think we can safely say that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy session, especially as provided by Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy are very safe, comfortable and convenient for helping people to take steps towards making many of the changes they want to make.
Remember, we all deserve to be well.
This is so beautiful.
Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy Blog