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The stress response Dealing with grief On being a champion boxer A weighty issue Reticular Activating System Jealousy

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For further information check: call: 020 3178 2199 or email: 2 | Metamorphosis

AUTUMN 2013 | VOL. 1 | NO 3


elcome to this edition of Metamorphosis, the magazine published by the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. It’s our pleasure in sharing some of the fine work we do across the UK in helping people change problems into solutions. This edition is a wonderful mix of different subjects and areas in which we work. Sports psychology, corporate therapy, over eating and stress - something for everyone.


ope you enjoy the magazine, any questions or quieries please send to me at

Penny Ling - Editor


Publisher: the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. 8-10 Whiteladies Road Bristol BS8 1PD Editor: Penny Ling Email: Design & Advertising: Redhed Design UK http://redheddesignuk. 07508 658934 Metamorphosis can be found on-line at

The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy established 2010 represents the practice of solution focused hypnotherapists as a distinct profession in its own right. Membership is open to those practitioners who have the appropriate qualifications and experience within the field. The contents of this magazine are protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted without prior permission. The publishers cannot accept liability for content of material in the magazine.

CONTENTS The Stress Response p4 ................................... Sad but true - dealing with grief p9 ................................... A few facts about sleep p15 ................................... What it takes to be a champion boxer p16 ................................... A weighty issue p19 ................................... Staying together p22 ................................... Jealousy p26 ...................................

Distribution is UK wide.

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The Stress Response Jess Driscoll stops to smell the flowers

As humans we all come with a hardwired survival mechanism, it is preloaded information, our survival instincts. This information is stored in the part of our brain often referred to as the reptilian or primitive part of the brain. The amygdalae, hippocampus and hypothalamus, among others, drive our instinctive responses. They tell us when we are in crisis or emergency and then inform us how to behave. The problem comes, however, when instead of primitive dangers such as wild animals and other tribesmen, we perceive an event in our lives as a crisis for example, problems with our jobs, relationships and self- esteem. The primitive brain responds in exactly the same way to the crisis, tripping the switch of the stress response

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and encouraging us to fight, flight or freeze. How does this manifest itself then? To fight or flight means we are flooded with chemicals and neurotransmitters to make us stronger and faster, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Once in our system these make us feel anxious and angry, our heart rate increases and we feel on the edge of panic or anger, or even both. Then there is the other end of the stress response, the freeze, we opt-out and put everything on hold including our chemicals in order to save valuable energies in case we need them later on. We are in a state of high alert, obsessive and vigilant in case we need to change quickly to fight or flight mode. Sometimes though, people can freeze and then spend so much time ‘opting out’ so as to avoid potentially harmful situations, this can lead to depression and sleep disorders.

If we think about our job, relationships pattern match to the DOC and we become and self- esteem in negative ways, as serotonin depleted preferring again and things to worry about, we will trigger our again to use our ‘fake’ comfort response stress responses as our mind receives instead of getting our neurotransmitters information that we are under threat, in generating the crucial feel good chemicals crisis and all is not well. We, in effect, put we need. Humans are the only animals on ourselves on red alert. The only behavioural the planet to have a neurological system outcome then is routed in panic, anxiety, hardwired with a need for rewards. We anger and depression. If we are lucky need to take positive action, have positive enough to sleep well and have good social interactions and positive thoughts in order to feel motivated and support structures this achieve goals. It is doesn’t evolve into a Our Drug of only through the problem and is soon Choice could be achievement of these dealt with effectively by our brain and put caffeine, nicotine, goals that we can fulfilled and into perspective, desalt, sugar, and of become motivated. It is little aroused and we are course alcohol. wonder then that able to move forward. addicts of various However, when this We are training DOC’s, through their is not the case panic/ our brains to depletion of feel good anxiety/depressive chemicals, lack the disorders can develop accept this motivation to want to and we may find that ‘quick fix’. make changes. help is needed to get back on track. The good news is that with understanding In addition to anxiety and stress disorders and insight getting back on track and there is also of course the modern day back in control can be achieved. Once coping method which is reaching for our we understand that this mechanism is Drug of Choice (DOC). Our DOC could actually activating our stress responses we be caffeine, nicotine, salt, sugar, and are immediately better equipped to return of course alcohol. We are training our to intellectual control, turn off our fight, brains to accept this ‘quick fix’. We take flight and freeze response, switching our on the chemicals contained in our DOC focus from negative to positive. Sounds and this becomes our ‘pick-me-up’ – it simple? It is simple but not necessarily doesn’t take long for the primitive brain to easy. Changing thought and behaviour

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patterns does take effort, like learning and acquiring any new skill. So, how do we turn-off our stress response and get back a sense of control? Well, we need to address our sleep. Sleep is absolutely pivotal to positive mental health -all the usual advice is an excellent place to start, good bedtime routines, exercise, getting time outdoors and anything that promotes relaxation such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy, listening to music and much more besides. Taking control of the negative radio in our heads is also pivotal - all those negative thoughts accumulate. Positive thoughts, distraction and forming manageable achievable goals will help restore intellectual control and turn down the stress response. Imagine this - if you were out for a stroll in the jungle and you thought you heard a lion approaching; you would begin to turn on your panic response. Gradually you would feel more and more panicked, more and more stress hormones would race through your body, losing more and more intellectual control until the fight, flight freeze switches on. But, what if you happen upon a stunning orchid grove. You stop to smell the flowers and begin to drink in your environment. What then? Well, your brain would stop panicking for a start! It would know that if you had time to stop and wonder at the vibrancy of the

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flowers and the beautiful sights and smells that surrounded you then the panic must be over and the threat must be gone. Apply this to modern day stresses and the effect is the same. Stop to notice the moment, be mindful and be in the present noticing little wonders all around you, smells, sights, colours, trees, birds, smiles, songs – basically anything at all that focuses you on the here and now; stops your mind and your negative radio racing away with you. Being mindful is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them. Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain. Turning off our flight, fight, freeze response is also crucial, and of course, being relaxed is the opposite of being stressed. In her paper ‘Talking to the Amygdala: Expanding the Science of Hypnosis’ Muriel Prince Warren, explains that by talking to the amygdala, an experienced

hypnotherapist can relax the autonomic are positive we become more attuned to nervous system, shutting down, or noticing opportunities and we cope better curtailing, the trigger that sets off secretion with setbacks and remove obstacles . of the adrenal and pituitary glands. With improved sleep, more positive When a patient is in a hypnotic trance the amygdala automatically shuts down thinking and the formation of achievable the rapid alert system and turns off the goals we can go a long way to combat the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenaline), effects of stress and living in today’s hectic cortocotropin, and glucocorticoids and we and demanding world. Couple these with can then inhibit the flight, fight or freeze some enjoyable regular exercise and we mechanism. In the cases she mentions in really can tip the balance in our brains, her research the technique of relaxation being much more relaxed and calm, and when we through are relaxed hypnosis has When a patient is in a and calm we proven to remain in be a highly hypnotic trance the control and effective tool amygdala automatically able to make in giving shuts down the rapid alert a proper the body a assessment chance to system and turns off the of the heal itself stress hormones. situation. through its T a k i n g own inherent frequent w i s d o m effective exercise is one of the best physical system. stress-reduction techniques available. When we focus on what we want Exercise not only improves your health and then the Reticular Activating System reduces stress; it also relaxes tense muscles (RAS) will notice anything through our and helps you to sleep. Once free from the senses. Primarily what we see or focus negative and primitive brain responses on increases and the RAS can find those that are instinctively tied to feelings of previously elusive solutions because we anger, anxiety and depression; all of which have changed from a problem focus to a fuel addiction and of course the NEED for solutions focus; when we change our filters that DOC we are once again able to see the our viewfinder has been modified so we wood for the trees and that feels good. Once we have something to feel good can see things differently. Also when we

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about we are winning - instead of stress chemicals coursing through our veins we can instead generate serotonin, dopamine, noradrenalin’s etc., chemicals that make us feel happy, motivated and successful. We can’t argue with our chemistry! How we think really does affect how we feel, our brain releases the chemicals we tell it we need, based on our assessment of the reality we inhabit. So, stop to smell the roses, get your heart pumping, attend to your sleep routines and use all the tools you have to get your intellectual thinking self back on board, taking your foot off the flight, fight and freeze response, and therefore feeling much calmer. And if

you only do one thing differently, do something for yourself, only for yourself that you enjoy ... when we do this we feel good and ultimately have more resources available for others. Relaxing and focusing on the positives really does help restore intellectual control, putting you back on a ‘full set of cylinders’ and able to make proper assessments of life’s situations 

References: http://w w

Jessica Driscoll Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Solution Focused Brief Therapy Practitioner 029 2021 1301

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Sad but true – dealing with grief

Trevor Eddolls is an IT expert and solution focused hypnotherapist in Chippenham Wiltshire

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The first time I had a client with grief issues, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I knew they needed to get into their control brain and out of their emotional brain, but I wasn’t sure what stages of grief they had to go through or whether my experiences of loss were of any value in this situation. Grief usually follows a loss. A person can grieve for a dead family member, and they can also grieve for lost friends, a lost home, a job, even a country. Whatever form the loss takes, a person can experience grief. Watching TV programmes and films, you’d think everyone went through the five stages of grief that were first specified by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. The stages are:  Denial – “I feel fine”; “This can’t be happening to me”.  Anger – “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”. People can be angry with themselves, or with others.  Bargaining – “I’ll do anything for a few more years”; “I will give my life savings if...”  Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die

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soon so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”  Acceptance – “It’ll be OK”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it”. But these stages were only what KüblerRoss had observed and were not meant to be prescriptive, only descriptive. Other researchers have not observed people moving through these stages. So, if people aren’t working their way through the five stages of grief, what are they doing? George Bonanno suggested that a natural resilience is the main component of grief and trauma reactions. He came up with, what he called, four trajectories of grief. He even showed that the absence of grief or trauma symptoms is a healthy outcome. He found that grief responses can include laughter, celebration, and bawdiness, as well as sadness (which is what you’d expect). He called these counterintuitive strategies “coping ugly”. He also found that resilience is normal for people. His four trajectories are:  Resilience – the ability to maintain relatively stable, healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning.  Recovery – following Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) episodes.

 Chronic dysfunction – prolonged suffering and inability to function.  Delayed grief or trauma – when adjustment seems normal but distress increases months later.

into another.  Defence mechanisms – Freud’s original set.  Self-harm mechanisms – that hurt ourselves.

Charles A Corr suggested that individuals may try out different coping strategies only to reject them. He also thought that a person may pursue several strategies at the same time, even if they are not compatible.

Hypnotherapy can help clients to manage their internal experiences, so that they can move from feelings of pain and sadness to those of acceptance and calm. Hypnotherapy can help make the process of bereavement and mourning less painful and more manageable by:

According to the Changing Minds Web site, “we are not always able to cope with the difficulties that we face. As a result, we are subject to feelings of tension and stress, for example the cognitive dissonance and potential shame of doing something outside our values. To handle this discomfort we use various coping methods.” They go on to suggest a number of types of coping mechanisms:  Adaptive mechanisms – that offer positive help.  Attack mechanisms – that push discomfort onto others.  Avoidance mechanisms – that avoid the issue.  Behavioural mechanisms – that change what we do.  Cognitive mechanisms – that change what we think.  Conversion mechanisms – that change one thing

 Helping people come to terms with their loss  Visualizing a positive future and setting goals  Lowering emotional responses of fear and loneliness  Increasing levels of self-esteem  Overcoming temporary responses such as poor eating, lack of exercise, etc  Dealing with unresolved issues with the deceased  Celebrating the life of the deceased. People may need help before the funeral. They may also need help to get through the funeral. And they will probably need help for a period of time after the funeral. The funeral doesn’t mark the end of their feelings of grief. People who come to see me about

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grief and bereavement issues may be experiencing shock and disbelief at their loss. They will probably be feeling very sad and may cry a lot. Some people may be feeling guilty about the things they said or didn’t say. Or they may feel guilty at their feelings of relief (for example after a long illness). They may be feeling angry at the world for taking away their loved one, or they may feel angry with themselves. They may be feeling fear because they have been left alone to cope or because they

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realize their own mortality. And they may be experiencing physical symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, insomnia, aches and pains. It’s important to tell people they have permission to express their feelings (not just during a session) and they can do this by talking to an empty chair (a Gestalt technique), or writing a letter to the deceased. They need to understand that they don’t need to ‘move on’ or ‘get

over it’ until they are ready. Grief is a natural process, it won’t last forever, and the client will be able to move on when they’re ready. You can plan ahead with the client for occasions that will trigger their sad feelings, for example anniversaries, or visiting places they associate with the deceased, etc. Let them know that they are allowed to cry when they’re with you – and they’re also allowed to laugh – whatever feels right for them. And be prepared to hear the same story over again. The client is processing and accepting the death, and repeating the story helps to lessen the pain of the loss for them. Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD), also called complicated grief, presents as longterm and severe grief symptoms. Most people are resilient and start to move on with their life. However the Helpguide. org site suggests that after two months there are warning signs to look out for indicating that people need help. These are:          

You may well see people experiencing some of these difficulties following bereavement. Going back to resilience, which is sometimes called hardiness, mental toughness, or resourcefulness, but whatever term is used, it is refers to an individual’s ability to cope with stress and adversity. For people who have suffered a loss, it’s their ability to cope with their grief. Fredrickson in 2003 identified moreresilient people as those who noticed positive meanings in the problem they faced, experienced fewer depressive symptoms, and experienced more positive emotions than less resilient people. Ong found low-resilient people had difficulties regulating negative emotions and over-reacted to normal daily events. As hypnotherapists, we help clients be more positive about aspects of their life and recognize good things in their lives. 

Difficulty functioning in daily life Extreme focus on the death Excessive bitterness, anger, or guilt Neglecting personal hygiene Alcohol or drug abuse Inability to enjoy life Hallucinations Withdrawing from others Constant feelings of hopelessness Talking about dying or suicide.

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References: Kübler-Ross, E. (1969) On Death and Dying, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-04015-9 Death and Dying, Life and Living by Charles A Corr, Donna M Corr, Clyde M Nabe: Wadsworth; International Ed edition (8 May 2008). ISBN-10: 0495506486 The Other Side of Sadness by George Bonanno. Basic Books; Reprint edition (20 Jan 2011). ISBN-10: 0465021905 Fredrickson, B. L.; Tugade, M. M.; Waugh, C. E.; Larkin, GR (2003). “A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2002”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 (2): 365–376. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.365. PMC 2755263. PMID 12585810. Fredrickson, B. L.; Tugade, M. M.; Waugh, C. E.; Larkin, GR (2003). “A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2002”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 (2): 365–376. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.365. PMC 2755263. PMID 12585810.

Research news According to the results published in the December 2012 issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, a study where people who had undergone surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (ACL) were randomly assigned to one of two groups to see if intervention after surgery would influence the outcomes. All participants received standard rehabilitation during the six months after surgery, but one group also practised guided imagery while recovering. The imagery, which was conducted in sessions with a therapist and recorded for later

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listening, included mentally rehearsing physical therapy exercises and visualizing the physiological healing process specific to ACL surgery, such as scar tissue becoming flexible with gentle stretching. The group that practised imagery showed greater improvements in knee stability and reduced levels of stress hormones. The study authors speculate that imagery may speed recovery by reducing stress, which has been shown to interfere with healing. 10.1111/sms.2012.22.issue-6/issuetoc

A few facts about sleep By Penny Ling 1) The longest verified numbers of hours a person has gone without sleep is 264 - but I wouldn’t advise it.

develop dementia than those who did not use the drugs. More research is needed says the NHS.

2) Fathers co-sleeping with their young children help lower testosterone levels, and divert them away from risky behaviour.

7) Elderly women who suffer from sleep apnoea are about twice as likely to develop dementia as those without the condition, according to a multi-centre study led by researchers from the University of California, this could be a very important incentive for highly obese women to loss weight.

3) Snuggling up in bed with a stuffed toy as an adult shows no signs of a personality disorder as previously thought. 4) Using a laptop, a tablet or watching a flat screen TV disturbs the sleep pattern - researchers suggest instead of reading from a tablet try investing in - horror of horrors - a real book!

8) If you stop breathing when sleeping or wake to find your bed clothes are always a disarray, you probably have sleep apnoea - go to your GP and ask for a PAP machine.

5) The NHS admit hypnosis can help sleep problems insomnia/Pages/hypnosis. aspx 6) A French study - of 15 years - that followed just over a thousand elderly adults of an average age of 78, found that although initially free from dementia those who started taking the sleeping drug benzodiazepine were after the first three years of the study 60% more likely to

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What it takes to be a w Recently Chrystal Palace have been in the news for hiring ex champion boxer Glenn Catley, who is helping the team improve their performance using hypnosis. Back in the days when he earned his keep as a professional boxer, hypnotherapist Glenn Catley famously utilised hypnosis to help him achieve success inside the ring. Much has been reported of Glenn’s association with David Newton as an important factor in winning British and World boxing titles at separate weights. But what happened behind the scenes? Hypnotherapy Today - the journal for the association for solution focused hypnotherapy - recently caught up with Glenn for a candid look at his preparation ahead of his bout with British champion Neville Brown. Background: Coming off a stoppage defeat in a WBC international title fight the previous year (later avenged), confidence at an all-time low. The challenge: To win the British Middleweight title off Neville Brown, an established champion with advantages in experience, boxing ability, height, reach and a rapier jab. When: 07/01/1998

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Where: Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol. Preparation time: Three months Daily training regimen: 8am: Three mile run 10am -12.30 pm: Head to the gym for hard training including, sparring, pad work, tactical preparation 1.00pm: Home for a sleep/food 3.00pm: Strength and conditioning with Amir Esmeali (approx. one hour, three times per week) 5 pm: Home for food and a rest 8 pm: Five mile run Mental preparation Watching tapes of



world champion boxer

By Paul Concannon HPD, DHP, LNCP, MNCP) Twitter: @avongorgehypno

confidence, visualisation on a specific punch (such as the uppercut counter to Neville Brown’s jab – nicknamed “The Mongoose” by David), more focus etc. Trance segment of the sessions: Following induction and deepener Tropical island, hill, long grass, a peaceful place, walk through forest, brushing against shrubbery, sights, sounds, smells, sunshine and breeze on face, walking onto the beach, waves, the taste of salt, being made comfortable with the beach, absorbing the energy of the place, visualising a boxing ring.

fights, tactical game planning, (which combinations to throw etc.) with coach Chris Sanigar. Three to four solution focused hypnotherapy weekly sessions with David Newton. Session breakdowns Pre trance - solution focused questions from David:  “What’s been good?”  “In what ways are you feeling better?”  “What’s working?”  “What’s the current focus?”  “What needs to happen?” Current requirements fed back, i.e.

Seeing the fight, following the pattern of the fight, round by round (all 12 rounds), the skill, the tactics, mind-set, instilling unshakable confidence, ring entrance, the feelings, triggers for ferocity (two deep breaths), practicing ‘the mongoose’, the people who will be there, the place, the senses, reinforcement on being relaxed and ‘being the best you can be’, being in ‘the zone’, post-fight celebration in front of home town fans, proposing to girlfriend Kelli. Back at home, evening time: Additional self-hypnosis trance state visualisation to accentuate 1-2-1 sessions with David. Crunch time, the night of the fight: A final trance session approx. 25 minutes

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before the start of the fight, taking place on the floor of the ladies toilets of the Whitchurch Leisure Centre with a blanket and pillow, final visit to the beach, and ring. Trance, words of fortification from David:  “Come on Glenn, let’s engage everything.”  “This is what it’s all been about.”  “This is everything.”  “You have done it a thousand times already.”  “This is nothing new, you can do this.” The fight through Glenn’s eyes:  I feel like I could beat three Mike Tysons  I feel in the zone, like a robot  Complete focus during walk to the ring, this is nothing new, I have already done it before many, many times.  First in the ring, everything feels familiar, and I have done this before, many, many times  There is no doubt, no negativity, everything is as expected  Bell rings, we touch gloves and I attack with well-ordered ferocity, feeling totally in control  “The Mongoose” works instinctively, time after time,

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  

jarring the champion’s head back Aggressive laser focus, landing combinations at will Automatically avoiding the jab and countering Walking through the shots that do get through – no negativity

The result: After eight rounds (of a scheduled 12) Neville Brown retires on his stool. The brave champion gives his all but in the end is thoroughly beaten by the dynamic, aggressive challenger. Glenn Catley is declared the new British Middleweight champion in front of his adoring hometown fans and moments later proposes to his girlfriend Kelli who accepts. Everything goes exactly according to plan. Final words from Glenn Catley: “The biggest thing for me with the hypnotherapy was the confidence [it tapped into], money cannot buy it. My confidence had been on the floor (following on from his defeat) before I met David. The more sessions I had, the more incrementally vivid the tropical island was. “Being in the zone like I was that night, working instinctively, automatically, is a question of our conscious mind and subconscious mind working together and while its seems like a contradiction, in order for our subconscious to do its thing in that positive way, first of all we need to be in intellectual control.” 

A Weighty Issue Judith Goldsmith developed her own solution focused approach Over the past two years I have been developing an approach to weight issues, which has proven highly effective. Clients use the techniques I teach, the method of eating, and carry on reducing their weight long after they have stopped seeing me. I offer a structured programme which ensures we cover every aspect of weight reduction, (exercise, emotional eating, self image), but which also enables us to be flexible and solution focused. There are many erroneous beliefs about weight and dieting and I find the main focus of the sessions I have with clients is to challenge these beliefs as we come across them, within the context of a solution focused approach, of course. There are certain essentials, which are important to understand at the start, beginning with an understanding of why dieting is unlikely to result in long term weight loss. In fact only a very small percentage of people who go on diets manage to lose weight permanently.  To start with, going on a diet creates a deprivation mentality. This means that we begin to want something even more than we would normally. Remembering that we are all small children at heart and want what we see others getting, especially

when we’ve been told we can’t have it.  Secondly, going on a diet places strict rules around eating. While we are on the diet and determined to follow it, we are very conscious of everything we eat. This brings the reticular activating system into play in order to monitor our goals and our progress. Unfortunately a lot of those goals are negative e.g. I won’t eat chocolate. What then happens is that we check out whether or not we are avoiding chocolate every five minutes, meaning that we actually think about the chocolate more often than usual.  Finally, during the diet we become very stressed about food and eating. Of course any form of stress alerts the primitive mind to potential danger. It realises that the danger is in some way related to food, but we are clearly not choking or eating poison. Therefore, the primitive mind assumes we are starving. As soon as we relinquish control of the anterior cingulate, (hopefully when we finish the diet), the primitive mind steps in to rectify the period of starvation - by creating an overwhelming urge to eat. This is the reason that people gain more weight after a diet. The next important thing for people to understand is that, unless someone has a medical condition, weight gain is always caused by overeating. For some this is

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going on a diet creates a deprivation mentality. This means that we begin to want something even more than we would normally. obvious, but many people are completely unaware of how little food they actually need to stay physiologically healthy. We live, perhaps for the first time in history, during a period of food over abundance. Despite this, many of us still have beliefs around food and eating which are appropriate for a time of scarcity e.g. you must finish what is on your plate. I offer clients a set of strategies for eating, a process, if you like, which helps them to gradually understand their body better and to respond to the natural signals which they have been ignoring, often since childhood. The basic premise is that we all know what is right for us. When we are dealing with clients who are, for instance, depressed, we assume they know the way to get out of their depression but we give them a hand in accessing that knowledge.

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In the same way, the strategies I suggest to clients, enable them to become more aware of what their body really wants. The strategies are as follows:  Notice when you are hungry. Many overeaters ignore hunger. Doing so means that when they do eat they are so hungry that they lose control.  Check to see if that hunger is really thirst, fatigue or upset. At this point I usually advise clients to have a drink and wait for it to go down.  If you really are physically hungry, decide how hungry.  Choose foods you really enjoy. If we are eating foods we enjoy our mind stays engaged with the process.

Many people worry that if they are allowed to eat what they want they will pig out on cream cakes and chips. In fact, when we really pay attention to our body, we have greater control over our choices.  Pay attention whilst eating, make the meal an occasion, even if it is only a packet of crisps. No distractions. This strategy is a temporary one, as we train our mind to become more aware.  Finally, stop as soon as you are no longer hungry. It is really pointless to tell an overeater to stop when they are full, because full to them means bloated. Stopping when no

longer hungry is an important skill to learn and at the heart of altering eating habits permanently. Following this eating pattern is enormously enlightening for many people, who are often amazed at how little they need to eat. It gives back a feeling of control around eating and clients can begin to relax about food  Judith Goldsmith is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist working in the Chew Valley between Bristol and Bath.

Weigh loss Research It was thought amongst the scientific communities that it was low blood sugar levels that drove the desire to eat whatever was to hand, without being mindful of what you’re putting into your body. However research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Jan 18 2012 show a direct link between sleep deprivation and obesity. 12 men were examined:- Hunger ratings and glucose levels were taken before the scan, and hunger ratings in response to the food images, after the an fMRI scan.

The scans showed an increased activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex in response to food images, independent of calorie content and prescan hunger ratings in those who had been deprived of sleep. There was no change in glucose levels after the scan. The results show evidence that acute sleep loss increases the chances of making unhelpful decisions about which food to consume independent of glucose levels. This shows that sleep deprivation can disrupt the brain’s ability to take the appropriate course of action

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Staying Together Michael Hughes explores the Reticular Activating System Keep your eyes peeled, well, not literally peel your eyes, I mean metaphorically of course. The human eye, it’s a fascinating thing and as a pair they help us to perceive the world in which we live. It’s only when something happens that affects your vision that you pay closer attention to it and it permeates through into your awareness. A great deal of what we see and understand relates to the way we move our eyes to navigate, which helps us to understand appreciate what we are seeing. In his recent and excellent DVD, An Introduction to NLP with Richard Bandler 2010, he mentions a client of his that had a fear of the dark, so Bandler asked him to close his eyes and said “So, is it dark in there?” The client laughed and began the process of change and quickly overcoming his fear. Research shows us that even the direction of which we look can impact on our thoughts too. When there is dark and miserable weather in winter, people tend to look down and reflect on feelings which are usually about the past and that glum feeling that matches the weather becomes repeated. However research has shown that when we look up we change our physiological state and this can positively affect our mental state. Things in life can look up too so it’s not just when the sun shines.

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Research also shows us that the orientation of our eyes played a central role in our survival. In primitive times we would have been hyper vigilant and switched on to a constant alert state so as to be watchful for any signs of danger or the noticeable salivatory hunger pangs of a sabre tooth tiger in close proximity. In those days we had to use our eyes, as well as the rest of our senses, to attend to a hostile world with food scarce, wild animals, volcanoes, tsunamis, lightening, thunder, and storms. In primitive times the demands and stress from our environment coupled with survival instincts and immediate action became integrated or hard wired. In New Scientist Issue No 2817, Rob Dunn, author of a new book entitled The Wildlife of Our Bodies, highlights research that shows our brains are still wired to avoid predators we no longer encounter: our adrenal system responds to modern daily stresses as if they were mortal threats, and he theorises that our acute vision may have evolved specifically to avoid venomous snakes. In a recent new study researchers have known that the brain is constantly changing as it perceives the outside world, processing and learning about everything it encounters. Researchers now understand how the brain changes when confronted with various situations. Every moment our eyes are open our brains are changing in some very sophisticated ways.

Michael Hughes is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and supervisor based in bristol.

It’s funny how aspects of those things still appear in the headlines today. In some ways it’s a bit like handing an iphone to someone in fifty years time with a look of disdain and saying, “Hey, it still works and does the job doesn’t it?” Research from an evolutionary psychology perspective tells us that our brains have not fundamentally changed over the last 100,000 years, aside from a report in December 2010 which concluded that as increasingly complex societies emerged, the brain grew smaller because people didn’t have to be as smart to stay alive. Emotion came before reason; we had to feel before we thought in order to survive. But we know that the brain changes all the time. Of course we know that in those days we had to stand and fight, run or hide in order to survive the dangers throughout life and that we survived better within a group or network rather than in isolation. Seeing friends and having that feeling of belonging is still as important even in a world where an increasing number of our interactions take place on-line. I think face to face is still so important in today’s virtual prevalence. A good friend of mine sent me a brilliant snippet of information recently reiterating that meeting people tethers the mind to the present moment and stops it wandering off into the past and drifting into the future, so we met up for coffee and of course, we laughed, we learned, we connected.

In today’s terms this primitive system reactive to ‘threatening situations’ in a modern world can still negatively impact on us if we remain in a prolonged stressed state and especially if we remain or feel isolated. Many people today are held back from achieving their potential by propagating fears and limitations and focusing on the negative and then looking for more of the same. In a recent book ‘What’s Stopping You? Why Smart People Don’t Always Reach Their Potential and How You Can,’ by Robert Kelsey, he cites that too much anxiety causes a neural hijacking that Daniel Goleman, writer of Emotional Intelligence (1994) ‘overrides the thinking brain’and sometimes our mind can become an incubator of anxiety, anger, depression and fear. We do however possess something rather remarkable called the Reticular Activating System, whereby we can bring about change when we know what we want and we are focused on the desired result. You’ve no doubt heard many times, ‘the brain has to know what it wants’ and our RAS does more than we think. It also is a part of the brain that governs wakefulness and sleep. It is the area that notices things that we focus our attention on. For instance, if you decide that you need a new car and you like a particular make and model in a certain shade of red, after you decided

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what you wanted your RAS would draw your attention to all those red cars that ‘matched’ whereas previously your attention would have been elsewhere and essentially filtered out. For those people who have high anxiety or negativity their RAS becomes temporarily distorted and tends to focus on the same and pattern matches to look for other high anxieties or negativity by association and conditioning. Paradoxically the same activates and propagates via relaxation and positivity and we feel more in control. Our ability to cope and happiness increases when we notice and focus on the good things. In her paper ‘Talking to the Amygdala: Expanding the Science of Hypnosis’ by Muriel Price Warren, she cites that by talking to the amygdala, an experienced hypnotherapist can relax the autonomic nervous system, shutting down, or curtailing, the trigger that sets off secretion of the adrenal and pituitary glands. When a patient is in an hypnotic trance the amygdala automatically shuts down the rapid alert system and turns off the stress hormones epinephrine, cortocotropin, and glucocorticoids and we can then inhibit the flight, fight or freeze mechanism. When we focus on what we want then the RAS will notice anything through our senses. Primarily what we see or focus on increases and the RAS can find those previously elusive solutions because we have changed from a problem focus to a solutions focus; when we change our filters our viewfinder has been modified so we can see things differently. Also when we are positive we become more attuned to

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noticing opportunities and we cope better with setbacks and remove obstacles. In an interesting business article Katharine McLennan asks ‘Can We Overcome the Brains Hardwiring?’One of the ways she cites to combat the old brain’s survival instincts is to develop methods to find quiet, or calm time, during the day so that you can be inspired by intuition and insight. It reads, “It is the brain that puts out the call, but it is the mind that decides what to listen to.” Your reticular activating system cannot distinguish between ‘real events’ and ‘synthetic’ reality. In other words it tends to believe whatever message it is given. In a blog by Steve Mycoe, Sports Hypnosis, he mentions that if we program the RAS correctly it guides us towards the people and circumstances that will allow us to achieve our ambitions. He continues ‘The RAS is akin to a junction box that filters external environmental factors that influence our internal thoughts, feelings and actions. It is responsible for the lifestyles that we have and our desires for the future.’ For those of you who are interested in this area, he mentions some interesting aspects regarding sports and the role of the motor cortex. I liken it to a coffee filter; if you put in bad coffee or negative thoughts from the top down mentality then that’s what will filter down and you’ll get a bad taste, but if you put in the good stuff then you’ll get exquisite tasting coffee. We decide what we put in with conscious control. But sometimes people need a little help and from a bottom-up mentality, when we give beneficial suggestions to

the subconscious mind in trance, those powerful suggestions percolate and filter up and this affects our everyday reality. Over a period of weeks the subconscious ‘reservoir’ can be filled with positive and beneficial suggestions and reframing so that when we open our eyes we get a win-win scenario with positivity brimming underneath to help us reflect this out in our conscious waking state and day to day living. You could say that the RAS is the science that underpins the law of attraction, coincidentally linked to the popularity of Rhonda Byrne’s astoundingly successful book and DVD, ‘The Secret’.


So with our inherent survival instincts and armed with thinking positively we know that we survive better in groups and when we interact better with people and when we communicate with

others we can learn, develop and evolve. In our profession as hypnotherapists our work can sometimes be isolating so it’s important that we take the time to connect with each other. When times are tough, especially in recessions, we can do more together and gleam inspiration than we can often do in isolation. When things are challenging and you’re out there on your own, I often say that this can create tension and where there’s tension, there’s attention, or in other words action is required. So the importance of getting together with others, whether it be via continuing professional development, workshops, peer groups or supervision, it’s vital for our own wellbeing and is shown to make us more effective and resilient 

      An Evening with Richard Bandler: Introduction to NLP [DVD] – available to purchase on It’s all in your mind; Scientific Rules of the Mind     - A Modern Hypnosis Dictionary:The Letter R  – The Eight Laws of Mind and Thought that affect Change.  New Scientist: Issue No 2817 18 June 2011 – The Wildlife Of Our Bodies by Rob Dunn. 

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Jealousy Penny Ling - it’s one of the most destructive emotions going

There is often confusion between the definitions of jealousy and envy – they are both negative emotions and they often cross over in situations. Wiki separates the two as follows The common experience of jealousy for many people may involve:  Fear of loss  Suspicion of or anger about a perceived betrayal  L o w s e l f - e s t e e m and sadness over perceived loss  Uncertainty and loneliness  Fear of losing an important person to another  Distrust The experience of envy involves:  Feelings of inferiority

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     

Longing Resentment of circumstances Ill will towards envied person often accompanied by guilt about these feelings Motivation to improve Desire to possess the attractive rival’s qualities Disapproval of feelings

From a therapist’s point of view, client’s are often puzzled as to why they have these feelings and realise they are childish and stupid, but feel totally compelled to keep up their unhelpful behaviours. You often find unhealthy jealousy when a threat is posed by a third person in a relationship with someone important to you. It’s a very primal instinct and when you consider it in terms of our survival, it often highlights what we perceive as threats. The

threat of a rival in love can highlight that your love object is either not trustworthy or you have low levels of self confidence. The threat of a new step mother or father can mean a reduction in contact with your blood relative. A new sibling means that mother or father are spending time with the new born and the first born is suddenly thrown into a situation it would rather do without – think of the song “Oh what a lonely boy”. You can be envious of someone else without a third party being involved, a promotion at work, earning more money when doing the same job or getting a new car for example. At the heart of jealousy is a mix of selfesteem, lack of trust, anxiety, anger, self doubt and fixed ideas which can lead to setting traps, placing restrictions on your partner, constantly checking where they are, snooping, spying and mental bullying. At its extreme it can lead to not only domestic violence but also murder. I have known 2 women who were victims of extreme jealousy, one would be locked in a cupboard for hours and the other was murdered after she had split with her partner because of his jealousy and he asked her to meet up to talk. They met in a barn close to where she lived, and he took out a gun, shot her and then himself. At no point was anyone aware that his controlling behaviour would lead to such tragic circumstances. Luckily for my friend who had been locked in the cupboard, she managed to placate her partner, and then

when he was out packed a bag, escaped through a window and hitchhiked all the way from Cornwall up to Bristol. She then had a court order placed on him. Sometimes though, the real reason for jealous behaviour may not be totally apparent. A client, Kimberely, is in her late 20’s, married to Matt, who is in the armed forces, and she felt jealous about her husbands out of work activities. She recognised it was a problem for her, and didn’t want it to ruin an otherwise good marriage. Going through from week to week, she started to un peel layers like an onion, her jealousy revealed she had been desperate for a baby, her anxiety likely to contribute to the infertility. Then as she started to feel better about that she started to see that her self obsession with baby and jealousy was causing problems with relationships with others. She wanted to do more for others, and as she engaged in activities which helped others she gained confidence in herself. By the end of therapy she was no longer jealous of her husband or his friends, she felt confident that she would become pregnant and she still had time, and she could have IVF treatment, and she started to train as a therapist herself  Penny Ling is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and can be found at: or telephone 07508 658934

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Are you looking for a fully qualified Hypnotherapist? Then look no further than the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy All hypnotherapists:  Are qualified to HPD level or equivalent which is a level IV qualification.  Have trained in Solution Focused techniques from an accredited school  Are registered with a recognised professional body, eg NCH, GHR, APHP, The Hypnotherapy Society, CNHC etc  Are fully insured, have regular supervision and undertake regular continued professional development.

To find a fully qualified hypnotherapist close to you go to:


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Metamorphosis issue3 autumn 2013  
Metamorphosis issue3 autumn 2013  

The magazine from the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy. All about the negative emotions, how to lose weight and why when we buy...