Colourful Words Are Better For Us!

Take a moment to think about a pile of words.

Imagine a pile of words on the floor to your left. Then consider those words being as follows: winter, miserable, cold, sleet, hail, shivering, damp. Okay? Done it? Now if those words were to be a colour, what colour would they be do you imagine?

Now imagine another pile of words but to your right. In this pile imagine words such as smiling, summer, beach, happiness, energy, colourful. Now, what colour do you imagine these words would be?

Possibly the words on the left are a duller colour to the words on the right? Which pile do you prefer? We reckon the words on the right may have turned out to be lighter or brighter?

What we sometimes take for granted is the power of words. In certain situations, words can provide a catalyst for change. Not just at an intellectual level, but from the sensory perceptive level too. Many people will have painted the negative words with a negative colour. So, you can imagine what effect those words have on the brain, especially if we play them through our minds repeatedly. They could change the way we colour our lives.

Focus on the positive

If you choose to focus on something POSITIVE, whether it’s a word or an image, you start retraining your brain to automatically lean towards the POSITIVE!

It’s rather like thinking about the first record you ever bought – remember that? If you really start to think about it, you might tap into the sounds of that record or where you were when you bought it? The thought process will then probably lead you down a negative or positive track in your mind which will have an effect on the chemicals in your brain. Either increasing positive chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine or, if the thought process turns out to be negative, then it’ll increase negative chemicals, such as Cortisol.

The power of our thoughts

In teaching our students how the brain works, we give them an understanding of the power thoughts, either negative or positive. We also understand that it’s not easy to take control of your thoughts – if only we could simply snap our fingers and let all negative thoughts fall away! However, we teach our students how they can help their clients gradually change thought processes and thereby encourage an increase in positive chemicals. This allows us to feel happier and more in control.

So, despite COVID and lock down, if you need to feel happier or more in control, consider the words you thread through your mind and make them colourful! Sometimes we can’t change the situation around us, but we can improve our mood whilst keeping our feet on the ground.

Our next 10-month Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma course starts this September. See https://cphtedinburgh.co.uk/dates/ for the course weekend dates.

 

An epidemic – of stress!

The epidemic of modern life is stress

We came across an article by Deepak Chopra recently that made a lot of sense. It’s almost identical to what we’ve been saying for years:

“If an epidemic is defined as a disease that affects whole populations, without having a medical cure, then the epidemic of modern life is stress”.

We also read an article by a journalist craving to ‘escape life for a while’ and she’d found a weekend free in her busy diary in which to do so.  Turns out it was the only weekend she had free in over two months!

We can jump on our soapbox at this point, because what Deepak was talking about is a very serious situation and, in the main, created by ourselves.

Not giving ourselves proper time out leads to stress, which in turn leads to a breakdown of the body’s internal balance.  If the stress isn’t relieved, damage occurs. Serious damage within us!

There are many people in the local area, and we dread to think how many, who suffer from chronic stress that quietly builds up in a drip-drip way – and that was before COVID struck.

Many people we see as clients are suffering from things like insomnia. They might say that they’re not stressed, they just can’t sleep.  That’s because their brains have gradually become used to an increase in external pressure of whatever sort it might be.

The progression of stress

Ongoing stress reveals itself in various stages:

  1. Minor things like feeling mentally tired or perhaps under pressure from work.
  2. Then follows a behaviour change, such as a change of behaviour within work or relationships. Sometimes we see people turning to alcohol in order to escape pressure or stress. But as stress mounts the drinking can get heavier, the need for distraction more severe.
  3. Eventually chronic stress leads to physical damage.  Stomach aches, bad digestion and headaches are likely. So is reduced immune response, leading to more colds, worsened allergies and we don’t even want to mention COVID! After that, the problems will tend to be associated with inflammation, such as skin eruptions, irritable bowel syndrome, even a heart attack or stroke. By this stage, the damage caused by stress has led to serious system breakdown.

What’s interesting is when someone presents at the clinic with any of the above, they feel that this is happening to just them.  When we explain this is simply how the brain works, given certain circumstances, you can see the relief is huge.  They usually reply with something like: “What, it’s not just me then”?  It’s at this point we laugh and reply  “Oh no, it’s most definitely not just you”.

Learning how the brain works

When we teach our students how the brain works, we see pennies dropping like it’s going out of fashion.  Light bulb moments relating not only to themselves, but friends, family and work colleagues too.  As a course graduates, we always get great feedback and within that feedback can always be heard: “This course is life-changing”.

Interestingly, it’s not just life-changing for the student, but all their case study volunteers over the 10-months of training and then all the future clients they will see over the coming years.

We now have a pandemic!

Now, in 2020 with a pandemic around, there is even more work for our graduates to do.  There is a huge need to help with things such as anxiety, depression, OCD, etc. And that’s naming just a few issues, the list is very long!

If you want to be occupied in a different way, then have a look through our website at the course content, the course dates and the fees.

Anne Wyatt - CPHT Senior Lecturer
Anne Wyatt, CPHT Senior Lecturer

If you’re interested, give Anne a ring on 07584 414715.  Anne is one of our course lecturers, so will be able to answer any questions you may have.  Alternatively, email us at info@cphtedinburgh.co.uk.

 

Changing the picture of lock down

It’s all about the picture!

There is a metaphor that we Solution Focused Hypnotherapists use, both with our students and our own clients. It’s about a picture and the following is an extract:

‘Some villagers way out in a jungle many years ago were given a painting. They were told that as long as they had this beautiful picture all would be well in their world.  Then, one day, the picture was stolen and the villagers became very worried. It seemed as though their world was coming to an end and nothing would ever appear to be the same again’.

Some of us have been reciting this metaphor for well over 15 years now, but there’s a certain irony as we repeat this story in today’s current climate!

The reason we relay this metaphor to clients is that sometimes people feel as though their world will never be as they want it to be.  This can be due to a number of things, such as losing a partner or a job; not having enough money; being restricted in what they can do; or simply a lack of positive chemicals in the brain.

The COVID-19 Crisis

Whatever the reason, we tend to look at the bleaker side of life when something untoward happens. That’s unless we have an abundance of positive chemicals already zipping round our brains or we’re a ‘glass half full’ type of person.  When this happens, we have more capacity to get us through a crisis in a better way.

We absolutely know that the more we make the most of things, the more we change the chemical reaction in our brain. This enables us to cope better.  Therefore, to enable us to cope with the uncertainty of the future right now, it’s far better to look out for the things we CAN do, rather than dwell on the things that we cannot do.  The latter simply makes us feel down or depressed.  Whereas, if we look at what we can do (and this may take a bit of effort sometimes), then we can feel happier.

Taking the current situation of lock down and COVID-19, we may not actually be able to change aspects of the situation, but we can change the way we deal with it.  We can all look at a picture and see things from a different angle.  As an example, do you remember the plane crashing into the Hudson River? For some people they would marvel as they watched the drama unfolding and be amazed at how everyone survived.  Whilst others would exclaim, “Well, that’s just another darned good reason not to get on a plane”!

Back to that Metaphor

The metaphor above goes on to say: ‘Then, one of the villagers started to paint their own picture and, soon enough, some of the other villagers joined in.  They suddenly noticed that their world was changing for the better’.

We can change our way of looking at a picture, if we want to.  A lot of our clients are saying that the lock down is an opportunity to review where they’re going in life; a chance to see how they can manage on a limited budget; a moment in time to slow down and take time with family.  Others are claustrophobic; feeling extremely anxious; wanting things to get back to normal. Then there are those who don’t want to get back to normal, they can be feeling anxious about what comes next.

Although the lock down situation is similar for a lot of us, there can be a difference in our mood which may be due to our personal circumstance. Luck can play a big part, whether or not we have an income can have a massive effect, but the uncertainty will be there for a lot of us and that’s the area that we can start to work with.

The ‘What if’ question can be asked with head bowed low and doom in our voice but it can also be asked with a bit of enthusiasm with a thought towards opportunity – because in the vast majority of cases, there is opportunity if you look hard enough or if you create your own picture of how you would like your future to be.

Changing Lives!

As Lecturers at CPHT Edinburgh and Clinical Hypnotherapists, it’s also our job to teach our students and clients how to create change in our own minds.  This enables us to make decisions in a better way, to spot opportunities and to enjoy life more.

From the first weekend of the 10-month course, our students will be helping friends and family.  Three months later, following the third course weekend, our students will be helping members of the public deal with anxiety and depression (on a case study basis).  This can have a huge impact on the way people look and deal with situations.  Their picture of life changes – more towards the positive.

If you want to change not only your own life, but other people’s lives too, then have a look around our website.  Alternatively, have a chat with us about what small steps can lead you to becoming a Clinical Hypnotherapist.  Either Call Alex on 07917 415926 or Anne on 07584 414715.

 

Our support mechanism during training really is second to none.

One of the many areas of positive feedback that we receive from our students features the high level support that they receive both during and between course weekends. This is crucial for our students to graduate with an exceptionally high level of skill and is something that we take very seriously here at CPHT Scotland. So how do we do it?

  1. We have two Senior Lecturers teaching each course. Alex Brounger and Anne Wyatt are both working therapists and clinical supervisors as well as being senior lecturers, so they live and breathe the practical side of being a therapist day in and day out. This means we can combine a high level of theoretical knowledge with the real life, practical applications into practice. We know the useful tips and the pitfalls when it comes to working with clients, being self-employed and running a therapy business. In short, we get it!
  1. We limit our student numbers on each course. This combined with having two senior lecturers means that we can tailor teaching to the needs of each individual student. There is always time for questions on course weekends and every month we dedicate ring fenced time to hearing how the students have been getting on with clients over the past month, discussing what has gone well and what can be done differently moving forward.
  1. We choose our students carefully so that the comradery and support system between students is strong. Strong doesn’t actually seem a ‘strong’ enough word here – our students really do make friends for life and the support that they show to each other throughout the course and beyond is really something to behold as any of the graduates from our last course in particular will tell you!
  1. Both of our Senior Lecturers are available between course weekends so students can call, text or email us if they have any queries or require any support in between teaching weekends. They are never far from help if and when it is needed.
  1. If any student is finding a part of the training challenging, our first step is always to provide additional support. It is what we as senior lecturers are here for and rumour has it, we do it rather well!

Why not get in touch to find out more about enrolling for our next course.  We look forward to hearing from you!

www.cphtscotland.co.uk

 

Does Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Work?

How do I know that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy as taught by the Clifton Practice works?

How can I demonstrate to future clients that it works?

How can I measure outcomes?

The answers to these questions are important to consider before you invest financially and dedicate your time to any hypnotherapy course, particularly as the drive to measure outcomes gathers pace.

More and more reliable evidence is coming out of research studies that clearly supports the effectiveness of Solution Focused Therapy and Hypnosis.  It stands to reason therefore that the Clifton Practice’s combination of both approaches will pack a pretty serious punch.  You will learn a lot about this evidence on course and it will add crucially to your theoretically understanding of why you are doing what you are doing as well as supporting your work with clients.  Not all of it can be neatly packaged up into a quick answer to the ‘does it work’ question however.  So how else will your CPHT training here in Scotland help you with this?

CORP (Clifton Practice Outcome Rating Programme)

Let us introduce you to CORP (Clifton Practice Outcome Rating Programme), a client progression tool that also feeds into plans for future research.  CORP helps clients to see their progress and motivates them to continue to find solutions to achieve their goals.  It also helps to build your confidence as a student and future therapist as you see in graph form the amazing difference you will be making to clients’ lives.  CORP also provides information on the general effectiveness of the Solution Focused Hypnotherapy approach. All of our students are required to use CORP as part of their work with clients during the course and they very quickly grow to love it!

What does CORP measure?

Around Module 6 of the course, we teach our students how to use the CORP software and how to incorporate this naturally into their sessions with clients.  The software requires clients to rate themselves each session across the following seven scales.

1/ How positive have your thoughts been?

2/ How interactive have you been with others?

3/ How would you rate your level of activity?

4/ How would you rate your confidence?

5/ How well are you utilising your strengths and resources?

6/ How much have you achieved?

7/ How would you rate your level of happiness?

The CORP software calculates the score of each scale and the results are then plotted on a graph.

The results and benefits:

The scores from these seven scales are available immediately on a personalised chart specific to the client. The chart is updated with each session which means that both the client and therapist can see real evidence of how things are progressing every session, as can be seen in this example (client identifying details removed):

Students quickly realise the huge benefits of using this software.  As a marketing tool it is invaluable as it allows students and therapists to demonstrate their overall performance in graph which amalgamates the results from all of their clients.  It’s a great way to build confidence and to know that what you are doing works!

So, when Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training school students and graduates are asked the ‘does it work’ question, they can hand on heart say ‘yes – and I can prove it!’

CPHT has been providing Hypnotherapy Training in the UK for over 15 years, with 22 satellite schools across the UK and a growing international presence.  Find out more about the course and how you can apply at www.cphtedinburgh.co.uk or call Alex on 07917 415926 for a preliminary chat. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

What Makes us Different

We do things a bit differently at Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training (CPHT)… Actually sometimes we do things a lot differently!

Playfulness

We have fun. Not only in the classroom but also in our clinics. Playfulness is an important part of what we do. And getting good at that takes practice. No wonder there is so much laughter in our hypnotherapy classrooms in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland.

The Brain

We also focus a lot on the brain. “In effect”, says Daniel Siegal (author of the Developing Mind and clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine) “we are taking the brain out of its black box and opening it up for discussion in the consulting room.” We give our clients a good understanding of how the brain works and how it can cause us some considerable discomfort. This empowers them to make changes to help themselves. Our  hypnotherapy students find the same thing. They learn how the brain works to help others. In the process they use that knowledge themselves. No wonder so many say that the Hypnotherapy in Practice course we run in Edinburgh is life changing.

The Past is Gone

We do not focus on the past. We can no longer influence it. The neuroscience tells us that focusing on the future helps the brain process the past. We may reflect back on the recent past to identify those things that are going well or that we are pleased about. We might consider the strengths that enabled us to make things in the recent past go well. On the whole we treat the past as a learning experience. It is not surprising therefore that our students find themselves developing forgotten or previously unknown strengths. They surprise themselves with how much they can achieve during the hypnotherapy course.

Focus on Solutions

We also use powerful questions that focus on solutions, not on problems. Again, the neuroscience tells us that what we focus on takes up more neural networks in the brain. If we focus on problems those problems get bigger in the mind. Generally bigger problems are more difficult to deal with than smaller ones. So we are constantly encouraging our clients to focus on solutions. This shift in focus is empowering for our hypnotherapy students too. Our hypnotherapy training is undoubtedly hard work, but with a newly inspired focus on solutions our students generally find themselves being able to achieve far more than they thought possible

Hypnosis

And then of course we have hypnosis. That trance state which helps the brain work optimally. It helps us to process difficulties, solve problems, find answers and all the while promoting a feeling of confidence, calmness and clarity. Our students too, find their mind sharpens and their ability to cope under pressure improves. As a result they get very best of themselves during the course.

Do you want to get the very best out of yourself? Do you want to achieve more than you thought possible? Perhaps you want to learn about the brain or simply want a new challenge whilst having fun and meeting great new friends? Apply for our next course here: Application Form and we will be in touch to answer your questions and arrange an interview if you wish.

 

Ongoing Learning

The Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD)

One of the many reasons why people choose to study Hypnotherapy with CPHT is the available options for ongoing study after the primary Hypnotherapy in Practice Diploma (HPD) course. The ten-month HPD course equips our students to work with a very broad range of people with a wide variety of symptoms. In fact, upon completion of the HPD course there aren’t many things that our graduates cannot help their clients cope better with.

So, whilst we are proud to offer a complete training course, that does not mean that learning should stop.  Most successful Hypnotherapists will want to do more Continual Professional Development (CPD) than the minimum required by their Professional Association(s).  CPHT offer a wide range of Continuing Professional Development courses. These are run both across the country and online via video conferencing/webinars. They range from a focus on different conditions to understanding more about how other modalities work. Some may be more business oriented to help graduates run their businesses more effectively or more profitably.

The Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (AHD)

But it is also the provision of additional externally verified qualifications that sets CPHT apart. CPHT trained Hypnotherapists may want to go on to study the Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma (AHD). This qualification has been accredited by the NCFE as having measurable learning outcomes that have been benchmarked at Level 5 (HPD is level 4) using Ofqual’s Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) level descriptions. The AHD involves the completion of a number of specified CPDs.   After which they complete the provide evidence that they understand each learning outcome in the module. These build in to a portfolio of evidence (similar to the one required for the HPD).  The CPDs include CBT, Mindfulness, and Psychoneuroimmunolgy.  Alex Brounger leads the AHD. He is also the Senior Lecturer for CPHT Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow) and CPHT Belfast.

The Supervisor’s Course:

In addition, after some years in practice Graduates from CPHT (whether it be Edinburgh, Glasgow or indeed any of the CPHT schools) may want to become a Supervisor. This enables them to use their experience and knowledge to help other Hypnotherapists work with their clients and build their businesses. Like the Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma, the Supervisor’s Course is a Level 5 course run by CPHT’s Alex Brounger.

CPHT trained practitioners keep up-to-date and work using proven, modern techniques.

At the Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training School in Edinburgh, like the other 19 satellite schools around the UK, we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the latest research from neuroscience and believe that we lead the way in this regard.  Two of the fastest growing areas in psychotherapy and medicine are SF work and Brain Based Therapy.

Research now provides more and more evidence to support the theory that our subconscious minds can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality.  We know this to be true from our own personal experience – the more we dwell negatively on our problems, the bigger those problems feel and the more negative, anxious or angry we become.  While we consciously know the difference between imagination and reality, our brain responds as if the events we are thinking about are happening right now and we get a related and often negative physical and emotional response. Think what happens if you imagine sucking on a lemon right now for example, making the thought as clear in your mind as you can.  I’m salivating just by typing those words!

As Solution Focused Hypnotherapists, we help our customers to turn this around, supporting them to focus on how they want things to be and creating a positive image of this in their mind.  Our students learn about the fascinating brain-based research behind this and the highly effective therapy techniques that have emerged from the growing understanding of how our brains work.  They also learn how to explain this to clients in a succinct and inspiring way, so that their customers regain a real sense of control over their own emotions and behaviours.

After graduation, the Clifton Practice encourages therapists to keep their skills up to date through sessions with their highly training Supervisors and by attending their Continual Professional Development programme.  New courses are frequently added to keep the content relevant and up to date.

The Clifton Practice also now offer an Advanced Hypnotherapy Diploma, accredited by the NCFE at a level 5.  After 3 years in successful practice, Clifton Practice Graduates are eligible to join this Advanced Diploma programme, something that will really set them apart from others in the field. 

CPHT has been providing Hypnotherapy Training in the UK for over 15 years, with 20 satellite schools across the UK and a growing international presence.

Find out more about the course and how you can apply at www.cphtedinburgh.co.uk or call Alex on 07917 415926 for a preliminary chat. We look forward to hearing from you!

A support mechanism both pre and post graduation that is second to none at CPHT Edinburgh Hypnotherapy Training.

I was recently asked why I enjoy teaching others so much.  I have been involved in adult teaching, supervision and lecturing for so many years and am so passionate about it yet have never really stopped to work out why.  And then it came to me.  I thrive on the thrill of watch people learn, develop skills and succeed in meeting their own goals and dreams as well as on finding just the right way to support each individual to do so.  What is wonderful is that I am yet to find a Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training Senior Lecturer who feels any different.  Furthermore, the Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma (HPD) is written and delivered with this ethos at its core, both in terms of our students and their future customers.   

Support on course

The supportive ethos is first evident right from weekend one of the HPD course.  Our students come from many different walks of life, some with no experience of the therapy world at all, some who are moving across from a different approach.  Regardless of background, age and experience, we know that working with real live customers with real live emotional and mental health needs can be more than a little daunting at first and often the thought of setting up in private practice as a self-employed therapist is even more so.  We layer our teaching as a result – teaching the basics first in class, both at a theoretical and practical level.  We then ask you to practice just this first step with friends and family at home, with access to us as your senior lecturers when you need us.  Each weekend we lead group discussion where our students feel very comfortable in sharing their experiences with customers since the last teaching weekend, allowing us as lecturers to provide additional support, ideas and different ways of thinking.  It also allows the students to learn from and support each other – invariably someone asks the question another student perhaps did feel ready to ask.  Teaching then adds another layer of technique and research, time on course to practice, and then off our students go again to refine their skills at home with real customers as time moves on and of course with us on hand if needed.  And so it continues. 

As lecturers, we take the opportunity to quietly and unobtrusively observe students in their practical work on course and our first intervention if we feel a student is having difficulty is always to provide support, explanation and demonstration.  At CPHT Edinburgh Hypnotherapy Training, both Alex Brounger and Anne Wyatt have specific training as supervisors to do this with a high level of skill. 

Support post qualification

Lasting friendships and professional relationships are made on CPHT Hypnotherapy Training courses and Edinburgh is no different.  The ethos of support is so engrained in the training that our graduates take it with them into their practice and their ongoing interactions with colleagues.  Even years after qualifying a CPHT graduate is never isolated from the support of colleagues whether in person, by phone or online. 

CPHT Graduates have optional membership access to a wide variety of professional bodies, all of which require levels of regular ongoing supervision.  The Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training model takes this so seriously that it has its own Supervisors’ training course, externally accredited by the NCFE as a level 5 diploma.  This ensures that CPHT graduates have an army of supervisors to choose from, all of them ready to support them throughout their career.    

There is great wisdom in the notion that an experienced therapist who does not participate in ongoing training, supervision and reflective practice is likely to be as effective as a new graduate.  I’d argue less so.   Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training has an ongoing programme of CPD (Continual Professional Development) courses and regularly updates them and new ones in accordance with recent research findings. 

From the first morning that students first walk into CPHT Edinburgh’s Hypnotherapy Training room to the day they graduate and every day of their career thereafter, CPHT support is always available in one form or another.  That really does take some beating!

CPHT has been providing Hypnotherapy Training in the UK for over 15 years, with 20 satellite schools across the UK and a growing international presence.

Find out more about the course and how you can apply at www.cphtedinburgh.co.uk or call Alex on 07917 415926 for a preliminary chat. We look forward to hearing from you!