Ana Isabel - Life Astrologer
Hypnotherapy- Lifehypnosis

Trees have long been a symbol of life. I have called myself  Lifeastrologer because my aim is to help others transform their lives by learning about Astrology. Now I have a new tool to use in my aim to help others. In my work as an Astrologer, I can quickly identify the root of problems troubling my clients. For most awareness is enough to start to make changes to improve their lives. For some, something else is then needed to help them transform their lives. This is where Hypnotherapy comes in.

As a Hypnotherapist, my aim is to teach others to develop the skills and resilience they need to help them deal with life's challenges. This is a life transforming experience. Whether you need help to sleep better, stop smoking, lose weight, become more resilient or become more confident, Hypnosis can help. In fact whatever is troubling you, hypnosis can help you regain control of your life.

On this page, I will be writing about Hypnosis, and my experiences as a Hypnotherapist to help others gain an understaning of this magical and powerful tool to change lives.

First, here is a short talk about Transformation Therapy first given at the College of Psychic Studies on the 13th of April 2012.

Transformation Therapy Talk



On September the 11th I was on BBC Radio London with Simon Lederman . Here is the interview.


Grace Belgravia Medical Clinic

I am very happy to have joined this wonderful clinic as a visiting practitioner. The clinic is designed to help women find a peaceful haven where they can have access to both complementary therapists and traditional Western medicine. The Medical Director is Dr. Tim Evans who is the Apothecary to HM the Queen.

Hypnosis- Testimonial


One of the most wonderful things about my job is seeing the positive ways in which my clients' lives change because of the internal changes that are the result of Hypnotherapy. Here is what some of my clients have written about their experiences.

“I was introduced to Ana by a friend of mine who has successfully worked with Ana previously, I never believed I could be hypnotised but on the first appointment Ana demonstrated that I was wrong! My subsequent appointments helped me control my anxiety and I gained valuable knowledge about techniques that have certainly made me feel more confident and grounded. Ana is a lovely lady, non-judgemental and so easy to talk to. I would recommend Ana wholeheartedly.”

Carol Beckham, London

"Ana, I want to thank you so much for the work we did in our hypnotherapy sessions. Each time we worked together, it was perfect timing for me, it coincided so well with changes I need to make in my life. Each session helped me understand my mind and ego and how they were playing a part in the events in my life and patterns that have come up throughout my life. I'm so grateful to have had your help in recognising them, understanding them, healing them and moving on from them. The work that we did together has been invaluable in my growth, and each session I gained more and more confidence in myself and my intuition, this has helped me transform my life, where I now experience so much more peace, calm, joy, love and tranquillity. I thank you so much. Also the last session we did about setting your own hypnosis was fantastic, it's a great tool, in my tool box, for when I need it most, thank you for sharing this gift with me."

Jane Railton, Worcestershire

"I went to Ana for some Hypnotherapy and she advised that I may need a few sessions for the issues that she could see in me, that required attention. Ana was able to coax me into hypnosis stasis and find the needle in the haystack of the mind and tease it out through understanding, reframing and forgiveness. As a consequence, and as the days rolled on, I soon realised in reflection that the issues that prompted an intense reaction in me before were no longer there or that my reaction to them was a lot more benign. I could move past the moment and carry on with my life, and mood. I feel as a result of the sessions I also benefit with more mental clarity and energy as I do not have a proverbial dead pigeon in the unconscious tank, so to speak, subtly draining me and my outlet on life. Ana is very worldly and experienced, and as a result wise and intuitive. Ana may also use Astrology as a tried and trusted map to your life and psyche, to help illuminate any complex issues. This is just one of her tools for understanding. With her intentions pure and determined to help you, she is given all the help needed to alchemise your situation, however intimate or fearful. Perhaps everyone should owe themselves the gift of such a treatment in her care, I dare say you will only ever grow from the experience furthermore as each day passes.

Thank you Ana Isabel."

Hayley Meynen, London

"Ana has an amazing ability to draw out of our inner selves that which we really need to hear, especially at a time of personal crisis, and with a very caring and compassionate concern.

So much of our lives are suppressed and hidden deep within our hearts,
so much emotion lies dormant and unresolved, affecting us much later in our lives when we least expect it.
 
Ana knows and understands this, helping us to become aware of our past
and guiding us carefully and gently to the present where we may finally confront and heal the wounds that have been ignored and unattended for so long. That is part of the truth and insight that Ana can bring to you and
out of you, her great sensitivity and kindness about your own personal
situation will bring you strength and peace of mind, able to finally leave the past behind and look forward with grace and spirit to the future, thank you Ana."
Emil Joachim   April 2014

 "I cannot recommend Ana highly enough, she is very supportive and knowledgable. I have grown in awareness and understanding. No one could ask for a better guide on the path of self-discovery."
Rachel Fradgely, Somerset

"Thank you for your wonderful help with my transition in my life. I was so anxious about it all and when I heard your talk at the Institute of Psychic Studies I absolutely knew you could help me overcome my fears and anxiety. Of course it was not easy but you were incredibly easy to open up to and of course, it was all in my best interests to do so. They hypnosis face to face was fascinating, particularly the way you were able to capture my concerns which were inbedded in my discourse with you. Then to have the luxury of being able to listen to the main parts of your hypnosis session with me over and over again at any time, any place on my mobile or on my laptop, has been immensely helpful.

I had been searching for a hypnotherapist to guide me through my dillemas and it was worth the search. I would certainly recommend you to others and will come back to you for further sessions if needed in the future."
Sheila Bravin, London

Hypnosis to help deal with Breast Cancer and its treatment.

Maria's story- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcB-EhceYhs

Hypnosis to help the prostate gland.

Ken's story-  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29WieNo3v0o

If you're considering having Hypnotherapy but wonder what it's like, here are some of my clients' experiences.

"Hypnotherapy with Ana is a great, safe way to explore the deeper reasons behind our actions. Ana’s kind, gentle manner allows for a truly relaxing exploration. What’s more and rather surprisingly, subtle yet significant effects are seen rather quickly which is truly amazing. Thanks Ana, for helping me become the person I want to be, whilst putting old habits to rest. xxx"

Birth Story- Here is Rosemary's experience of giving birth with the help of Hypnosis.

"At first I was doing loads of yoga moves to try to speed it up but then after about 5 hours I was so tired and I kept falling asleep in between contractions and just waking up and doing yoga moves during them. my midwife came about 4 hours later and kept reheating my rice sack that I was holding on my be
lly and feeding me water. I cant remember much of what happened and I was asleep for the whole labour except during the contractions. I know they moved me to different positions every hour or so and they blew up the birth pool and I was in there for a while. I think maybe I unconsciously hypnotised myself to sleep all the way through, they said I was even sleeping standing up at points. I remember at the beginning really resisting falling asleep because I thought it would slow it down but I couldnt help it. I was really calm all the way through though and it must have been because I never thought anything. I was also really relaxed and I was telling my muscles to relax all the time. I didnt manage to not feel any pain though, it really hurt but I stayed calm and relaxed.


When I felt the baby was coming the midwife kept telling me he wasnt and she wouldnt examine me because it had been too soon since the last examination. I was in the birth pool at this point and she kept telling me to get out and walk around the house to move things along but I wanted to push. in the end we made a deal that I would go and walk around if she would examine me after but when I stood up she said she could see the head! i must have been so calm that she didnt believe me.

Giving birth didnt hurt any more than the other contractions and I had him at 8.48pm on the 28th, only 20 hours after I went into labour. They passed him between my legs to me and I held him for about 40 minutes in the pool. he was really calm as well, he didnt cry at all, he just looked at me and looked around. he was holding Carlos finger and kicking his legs around. I cut the cord myself when it had stopped pulsing.


 I dont think they told me at the time but he was born with his hand on his cheek and his head tilted to the side. he was also 4.7 kilos or 10 pounds 4. the midwife examined me after but she didnt see I had a tare. The next day I looked in the mirror because it didnt feel right and I got my mum to examen me (she is a midwife aswell) and she said it was a really bad tear and took me to hospital. the examinations were really painfull especially the day after he was born becasue it was really sore by then. when we got to hospital I was really anoyed the only surgeon was a man and he had to examen me as well. I really used the hypnotherapy during the examinations to relax the muscles and to stay calm. I used it to stay calm in the hospital when there were loads of doctors and midwives and surgeons and anethatists telling me scary things. and then when I had to leave my baby and go into theater. when the anethatist was giving me local anesthetic in my back so he could put the spinal block in I hypnotised myself fully so I wasnt aware of what was happening. My mum and one of the midwives were by my head and they were talking to me and I was just trying to not notice what was going on. After that I had to stay the night in hospital and all the next day and I was in so much pain after the spinal block wore off. I was also allergic to the sheets and blankets and I was so ichy untill my mum went home and brought me our own sheets. I couldnt stop myself from being in pain but I kept myself calm and maybe I was in slightly less pain because I was calm.


Its so lucky you taught me how to hypnotise myself, I think I could have managed the birth without it but I dont know what I would have done in hospital I was so scared. Anyway I can go up and down the stairs now and carry Leo around the house and Im almost fully recovered. Ive been keeping myself calm when he cries as well. thank you so much for all your help. I dont know what else I can say, I cant tell you how much this has helped me."

- Hypnosis for Confidence

http://youtu.be/9ni8lOzK-sg- Hypnosis and Insomnia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px8WKKYq8fc&feature=plcp- Hypnosis for Self Confidence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5F6JXN-pHU&feature=plcpv- The Effects of Hypnosis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL3ozxekZ1c&feature=plcp - Hypnosis for Procrastination

Hypnosis- Bridge to the Subconscious Mind
The word hypnosis comes from the name of the Greek God of Sleep. This often leads to confusion about what to expect from hypnosis. People think that it means that they are asleep, that they should be unaware of what is happenning around them. For many, this means that they feel unsafe- as though they are relinquishing control to the hypnotist. This couldn't be further from the truth. The state of hypnosis is one of heightened awareness. You remain fully aware of your surroundings. The difference is that it's your conscious mind is invited to sit back, take a break and allow a direct line of communication with the subconscious mind to be created. This is what makes it so effective. A bridge has been created between the conscious and subconscious mind.
Working With The Imagination

Some people believe that they can't be put into a trance. This is because they are under the impression that a trance means that they are unaware of what is happening. Actually what is needed is imagination. This is the tool that enables us to communicated with our subconscious mind. Think of your dreams. When you are asleep, your conscious mind is taking a break. This means that your subconscious mind is free to communicate, using the imagination, letting you know what it really feels about experiences that you are having. If you ignore your feelings when you're awake, your subconscious mind will shout at you when you are sleeping. These are your recurring dreams, your nightmares, or simply surreal dreams.

Dream language is symbolic language and it draws on imagination and memory to convey meaning. In Hypnosis, you are not asleep and you will not be dreaming. However, this extreme state of relaxation invites your conscious mind to step aside so that you can freely communicate with your subconscious mind. You can now use the language it understands drawing on your imagination.

Everyone has imagination. Without it you couldn't plan your route home, or plan your day. Imagination does not mean that you are making things up. In fact, it relies on your memory and memory of experiences to imagine possible events and outcomes. We all do this, all the time.

Very often when people say they don't have an imagination. They mean that they find it difficult or impossible to visualise. This is not uncommon and it is no impediment to hypnosis. One of the first things that I do when working with a client, is determine how visual they are and what they are most likely to respond to. If you can't visualise, you can remember and drawing on positive memories to evoke good feelings is a good alternative. This means that everyone can be hypnotised and everyone can benefit from hypnosis.

Improving The Imagination

Some people are better at imagining positive outcomes than others. Some see the glass half full while for others, it's half empty. If you believe that you are good with people and are invited to a party, you will be confident and you are more likely to meet new people. You will have a great time and your belief that you are good with people will be reinforced.

If on the other hand, you hold the belief that you are likely to be rejected or disliked, your body language will let others know that you are reluctant to speak to them. You will meet less people and your belief that you are not good with people will be reinforced.

It sounds simple, so why is it that negative beliefs are so persistent. These are usually developed early on in our childhoods. This is a time when we are very impressionable, and believe whatever we are told. Negative messages from adults around us, are hardwired into our subconscious minds. Experiences are often misinterpreted by children, adding to the negative and confused messages embedded in the subconscious. We then act according to a set of beliefs which may or may not be correct and are likely to be inappropriate as adults.

A fresh perspective is needed, but as we're dealing with the subconscious mind, we need to communicate directly with it. For profound change in patterns of thinking, hypnosis is the key as it connects the conscious to the subconscious.

Visualisation

Today I saw two clients both who were very used to meditating and were very visual. This makes it easier for me to work with them, but the ability to visualise is not a prerequisite for success. The depth of a trance does not rely on an individual's ability to visualise. Indeed, a deep trance is also not necessary to attain positive results.

Nevertheless, if you would like to develop your ability to visualise, there are little exercises that you can do to help yourself. Drawing on your memory is one very simple tool that you can use. If you'd like to visualise the seaside, perhaps you can start by remembering the last time that you were by the sea. If you still find this difficult, you can look at some pictures and then practice recalling what was in them with your mind's eye. What you are doing is, drawing on memory and experience in order to draw a picture. This is what we all do, it's just that some of us find it easier than others. Using this little exercise can help you. At first you might just be able to see a little. The picture might be fuzzy, but in time, you will find it easier and pictures will become more clear. Just keep practicing- because you know what they say- practice makes perfect.

Lack of Motivation

Many of us go through phases where we feel distinctly unmotivated. We go through the motions of daily life because we have to, but feel lacking in direction. We procrastinate endlessly, hoping that we can avoid making a decision. Sometimes this is a sign of mild depression, others it's one of many signs of a deeper depression.

It can be caused by a lack of self confidence that makes decisions difficult, if not impossible. Other times, it is due to unresolved grief which is suppressing a desire to live. It works a bit like a cold, our sense of smell is impaired so we lose our appetite. Grief suppresses our appetite for living, we become unmotivated.

Just like our appetite returns when a cold disappears, so too can our appetite for life be restimulated. Hypnosis can help us reconnect with our true selves and our life's purpose. It can act like a map helping us to find our way once again.

Performance Anxiety

Many people have a fear of speaking in public. In extreme cases, people can't do it at all or become ill at the prospect. Some experience panic attacks.

This kind of anxiety may not be limited to giving lectures or speeches. It can simply be that an individual finds it impossible to give their views in a meeting. They feel as though all eyes are on them and the attention is unwelcome.

Fear of failure may be one of the problems. It may also be due to a fear of being exposed or a fear of  having vulnerabilities exposed. A person may also feel that they are less competent than others think an that in that moment of public exposure everyone will find out the truth.

In this context fear is an exaggeration of something imagined, but as a feeling it is an absolute fact for those who hold it. It is likely to have its roots deep in the past when a child was made to feel inferior or criticised for an imperfection. The good news is that with Hypnosis, a chat with the subconscious mind could change everything. This is a common reason for seeking hypnotherapy and the results as always could be life transforming.

Eliminating this fear from your life leads to greater confidence. Increased confidence means that you're more likely to go for jobs that you would previously avoided. The world opens up and the sky's the limit.

Insomnia

It appears that a large chunk of the population has trouble sleeping. For some getting to sleep is the problem. A bed time routine in which there is a winding down of the day helps. Having a bath before bed time, a warm milky drink, soft lights, gentle music are all ways of stimulating the hormones that induce sleep. Yet, this may not be enough.

Then there are those who have no trouble falling asleep but wake up repeatedly in the night or wake up and can't go back to sleep. Some sleep so lightly that they get very little rest and find that the slightest external sound disturbs them.

Sleep deprivation can cause irritability and accidents. It stops us from being at our best and causes our minds to be sluggish and forgetful. Sleep is a vital part of our daily cycle as it allows the body to heal and restores vitality.

There are many reasons for insomnia. The most common, appears to be stress. Worry prevents us from relaxing enough to be able to a state of deep sleeping.

So many people struggle with this problem, taking sleeping tablets which can be highly addictive. Yet Hypnotherapy can be a very effective tool. It teaches the mind to relax, which allows for sleep to occurr.  A natural solution to a very debilitating problem.

Dreams

We dream every night as part of our sleep cycle. Most of the time we can't remember our dreams. Some of us are more likely to remember them than others.

Dreams are messages from the subconscious mind. They tell us the reality of what we're feeling in symbolic and vivid language. At times these can be very disturbing. Many people wake exhausted and depressed because of their dreams. Sometimes they even go through periods when dreams continually disturb their sleep.

I've been working with a number of people to change their dream patterns in hypnosis. Changing the purpose of dreaming to help people connect with positive feelings and creativity is helping many people sleep better and wake refreshed in the morning. Very Exciting!

Anxiety

Many people suffer from anxiety. Sometimes it's due to a specific event that is coming up. It could be a job interview an annual appraisal, a court appearance, anything really.

Through hypnosis, relaxation techniques can be learned and the cause of the anxiety could be addressed.

Fear of Making Mistakes

Many of us grew up with parents who had high expecations or who were harsh when mistakes were made. Sometimes it was teachers who made us feel unsafe. Whatever the reasons, fear of making mistakes is very common.

It manifests in different ways. For some it can become quite debilitating as decision making becomes virtually impossible. As a teacher, I'm always reminding my students that mistakes are part of the learning process. They offer opportunities for learning and growth. In life, they serve the same purpose. Lessons can be hard and painful, but mistakes are part of life. Gentle forvigeness of our mistakes and acceptance are vital if we are to move forward. Through Hypnosis, re-writing of the internal script that is critical and harsh, can help achieve the calm needed to make confident decisions.

Apathy

Traumatic childhoods can leave deep scars. A child who is not valued and abused learns that they are worthless and not good at very much. The world is a hostile place. Anger and resentment can build and a feeling of apathy towards life develops.

This is a tragedy. People who experience this, continue to live as adults looking at the world as hostile and often seething with anger. Unhealed past traumas cast shadows over the present and the future. The individual feels that life is something to be tolerated rather than embraced and enjoyed. They go through the motions of life. Some turn to drinking or drugs, others find others ways of dulling the pain.

Choosing to live can be an act of great courage and take a great deal of determination. Hypnosis is a wonderful tool. Using the imagination and communicating with the subconscious mind, provides the opportunity to help establish new ways of thinking and provide hope where apathy once reigned.

Transformation Therapy

There is a great appetite for and curiosity about regression. Asked by one of my students recently about doing past life regressions, I answered that it should be done with a purpose in mind. I added regressions shouldn't be treated like tour buses. Some memories, whether of previous lives or of this one, are filled with pain. We should respect that as stirring up the past can bring up many challenges.

Stirring up the past should, therefore, be done for powerful reasons such as the need to heal. Where pain is casting powerful shadows over the present and blocking a healthy and fulfilling future from emerging, regression is a powerful tool in the Hypnotherapists arsenal. With a skilled therapist, true healing can occurr. The skill is not so much as in regressing the individual. It is in helping them come to terms with what happened, deal with the overwhelming emotions involved and then helping them to gain a new perspective.

I love the name- Transformation Therapy. It totally expresses what's involved. As an Astrologer, I see the hand of Pluto. We go into the deep world of the subconscious do battle with our demons and re-emerge renewed, having shed some old skin. Powerful and miraculous.

The Christmas Carol and Transformation Therapy

On Christmas Eve, I sat down to watch a wonderful rendition of Charles Dickens', Christmas Carol.  Ebenzer Scrooge is reminded that he is living a rather miserable life. Not only is he making others unhappy but he is also depriving himself of human warmth and love. He has a fixed belief that in life others can not and should not be trusted, love is a fanciful waste of time and money is the only thing that matters as it offers power and security. He is prepared to sacrifice every human need for warmth in order to feel safe. His belief is challenged when he meets the Ghost of Christmas Past- this is the equivalent of hypnotic regression in which he is reminded of how his belief has developed, how it has shaped him and what he has lost because of it. The Ghost of Christmas Present, opens his eyes to the consequences of his actions in his present life. And finally the Ghost of Christmas Future leaves him in no doubt as to where he is heading if he fails to embrace change. This is the equivalent of confronting fears and the reality of the consequences of present patterns of behaviour. Tough love is what was delivered by the three ghosts and it worked. Ebenezer was a changed man. He had a transformative experience which helped him to regenerate. Charles Dickens has helped me to explain the process of Transformation Therapy rather beautifully.

As the New Year approaches, there is only one resolution that matters. The decision to be honest with yourself about what is stopping you from being the best you can be, and then doing something about it. Let 2012 be the year in which you set yourself free from past pain. Then it can truly be a Happy New Year!

Freedom From ...

It is possible to live in a free part of the world full of choice and opportunity and be a prisoner. Looking at the world through a window and watching others live life to the full, while feeling excluded. Believing that success, love and happiness are for others. Many people live this way. To a certain extent we all hold negative beliefs which can limit us and imprison us. These were developed before we were old enough to reason and they serve as survival strategies. The question is, do you want to carry on with a damage limitation excercise that keeps you from living fully or would you rather embrace new positive beliefs which free you from self imposed limitations? Make a choice and if need be seek help in the form of Transformation Therapy. New Year,  New Start!

Detachment- The Mirror of Erised- Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone

Children's stories often hold great truths. We teach these to our children and them forget to apply them to ourselves, dismissing them as myth or fantasy. Yet, we are not in the habit of lying to our children. One such example is in Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone. In the story, Harry, an orphan, finds a mirror in which he can see himself with his parents. He spends a great deal of time over his Christmas holidays looking into this magical mirror. Professor Dumbledore finds out what he is doing and tells him the mirror will be removed from its present location and hidden. He asks Harry not to go looking for it.

This mirror enables people to see their greatest desire. Professor Dumbledore explains that many a wizard has gone mad looking into that mirror. It shows us what we want but what we cannot have. J.K. Rowling is touching on a great truth. Attachment to what is impossible and what we cannot have is painful and can lead to destructive behaviour. In fact it can lead to a form of madness. Harry longs for the family that he never had. What would you see in the Mirror of Erised? Whatever it is, you need to let it go. Detachment from impossible desires, liberates us, freeing up energy to focus on what is possible in our lives. It also allows us to appreciate what we do have. This brings inner peace and joy.
 
Regret- Wasted Energy

Regret is an insidious and destructive emotional exercise. Looking back, reviewing what we should or shouldn't have done, driving ourselves to great, levels of stress. When looking back and wishing things had been different, very often what we're doing is saying we're unhappy with what we have now. We tell ourselves that 'only if things had been different...' all would now be well. This is an excuse for avoiding confronting the reality of present issues. Confronting the present is the only way to move forward as it is a recognition that change is possible. Rather than wasting energy on the past, we are then refocusing on making a better future. The only regret we should have, is robbing ourselves of the chance for growth and a better future.

Familiar Patterns

At first glance, this term suggests something comfortable, like an old pair of slippers but even old slippers need to be changed at some point. They may acquire holes, and cease to be warm. They are no longer fit for purpose. The same goes for negative behaviour patterns. These often develop when we are too young to be rational and in response to painful events. We then adopt them as survival strategies. The problem is that they become hardwired in our subconscious and we find ourselves acting in ways that are actually irrational and counter to our best interests. The old patterns are familiar but have become inappropriate.

The wonderful thing about Hypnotherapy and in particular with Transformation Therapy, is that we can re-educate the subconscious mind. This process of understaning, integration of disperate and conflicted parts of ourselves leads to new perspectives allowing for profound change. Familiar, but inappropriate patterns are exchanged for new, positive and life affirming behaviour.

How Do I Know I Am Hypnotised?

This is a common question. Primarily it's asked because people think that hypnosis is about being asleep and they expect to be unaware of what's happenning to them. This is a myth as the state of Hypnosis is one of heightened awareness akin to that of meditation. You may experience a trance when you're watching a film or when you're driving or walking to work. At this point you are in a trance, a state of hypnosis.

You know that you are hypnotised because your subconscious has taken over the automatic function or movement of your body. In other words, you can't remember how you arrived at work because you tranced out whilst you subconscious took over your body. Working with clients, in regression, they often report that they regressed back to a time that they had forgotten or that they had no intention of revisiting. This is an involuntary process, in the sense that the subconscious knew exactly which memories to revisit in order to resolve a present dilemma. It's involuntary because it is different from what the conscious mind expected. This can only happen in Hypnosis and is a magical process to witness and experience.

Guilt- Parents

Many people who come to see me talk about guilt. Some feel guilty for not having achieved their goals. Others feel guilty about letting others down. The most powerful feelings of guilt seem to be associated with feeling responsible for either parents or children. Parents who see their children as underachieving or struggling through life, or who seem to be living disfunctional lives often feel responsible. After all, we know that much of our programming and many of our attitudes stem from what we witness with our parents, what they teach us and how they relate to us. So to a large extent parents are responsible for many of our "issues".

This does not mean that responsibility lies solely with the parents. Relationships are complex. Children evoke feelings in parents and although ultimately the adult is always responsible because they are the ones in control, children do grow up. As adults, they need to take responsibility for their issues. Only then can they become healthy adults and make positive contributions to society.

As for parents... everyone is fallible. If you fear that your child is lost, you may be angry with them and with yourself. You may have bent over backwards to support them and find that instead of helping them, you have increased dependency and that they are still behaving like raging toddlers. Beware, guilt makes it very easy for you to be manipulated and stops you from pushing them to stand on their own two feet to become independent adults. What is needed is forgiveness. You need to see that whatever mistakes you made, if you did your best and are still doing your best, that is all you can do. It's time to make peace with yourself, make some difficult decisions and help your adult child be independent.

If this is difficult, it's not surprising. Biologically we are hard-wired to support our children and protect them at all costs. Added to this is the history of fraught relationships, and all the buttons that they have been pushing since they were born. Self-awareness, a deep understanding of your feelings and dealing with these at a deep subconscious level, will help you to achieve freedom from guilt and inner peace. You'll then be in a stronger position to deal with that difficult child in a more objective and positive way. The love you feel but which is hampered by anger, will be easier to express.

Guilt- Children

It is a myth that all parents love their children. We only need to consider the number of children who are abused to know that not all children are loved by their parents. Yet, to say this is almost taboo in society. We want to believe that parents always have their childrens' best interests at heart.  Originally fairy tales like Cinderella often had the mother as the one disliking the child, but the brothers Grimm thought the original tales were too harsh and changed them to have wicked step-mothers.

The truth is that most parents love their children and do their best to muddle through what is a very complex relationship. However, there are some who abuse their children physically. For these, we have laws which are designed to protect children and put them in care. What is more complicated is psycholigical abuse. Those who work with children, are often struck by the degree of loyalty displayed by children towards their abusive parents. I think that this is because we are biologically programmed to remain attached to our parents as our survival depends on them.

This then poses a major difficulty. How do we separate from our parents? Separation is a normal part of growing up. It is part of a process of individuation, in other words being our own person and independent. This is a natural process and in good relationships, a deep bond continues as parents provide confort and guidance especially in times of crisis. Equally adult children often act as conduits for change in parents lives, introducing them to new ideas and helping them to stay young.

Sadly this process can be stunted in abusive relationships. Adults who suffered psychological abuse and manipulation from their parents find it almost impossible to undergo the process of individuation. They continue to be dominated by their parents and feel guilty when they try to assert themselves. Even when they leave home, they have never really left home. They find it difficult to conduct relationships as the parental influence continually interferes and causes problems for their relationships. Some remain single. Guilt for separating and asserting themselves can be all consuming. A belief in their unworthiness is hardwired by progamming from a lifetime of manipulation, rejection and abuse.

As a society, we need to stop pretending that families are panaceas and that all parents are sacred. This would go some way to helping those who are struggling to be free from a lifetime of abuse where love is absent. Instead, we need to help those in need of help, to find it, so that they can be free to love themselves and others.

Positive Learning

As children our experiences of school leave us feeling either positive or negative. If learning came easily, we grow in confidence and believe that we are intelligent and capable. If our experiences are negative, we develop the believe that we need to prove ourselves and that we are in some way inferior to others.

This negative, false belief then stops us from developing to our full potential. We avoid learning situations like further training for work or doing courses to expand our minds. In some cases, reading is avoided altogether.

False beliefs hold us back, but they can be corrected. As a client said to me today, it's hard to see how memories from so many years ago can still influence our thoughts and feelings.

Often when regressing clients, they go back to memories of events they'd forgotten or that they didn't see as relevant. Yet it was all stored in the subconscious mind. Bringing it to the surface, offered the opportunity to deal with unresolved feelings and re-educate the subconscious to see things differently. A new perspective, frees the mind and opens doors to a more positive future.

Fear of Rejection

Human beings are by nature social. To a certain extent we need to be able to cooperate and be part of a group in order to survive. As babies and young children, we rely entirely on our parents for survival. Rejection holds the risk of death. Instinctively this is what we feel and consequently fear. We'd better behave because if we don't we'll be excluded which will then threaten our survival.

This is a powerful motivation which can mean that children behave for fear of rejection. Later in life, if this fear was manipulated and abused by parents, we continue to try to please. This may manifest in difficulties in being assertive, or in simply saying no when feeling that others are asking too much of us. In time anger and resentment builds against others but also against ourselves for allowing ourselves to become victims. This state of powerlessness can lead to depression and make us ill.

It is very important that we learn to forgive ourselves for acting out of such a powerful instinctive fear. But it is also important to then, to move on and learn to say no. This takes courage because it means going counter to programming that we received in our early lives. We all like to feel loved, but real love is unconditional.

Acceptance

We all have expectations of others. When these expectations aren't met, we feel disappointed. This is very serious when the person involved is a parent, child, partner or sibling. In other words, the more important the person, the bigger the disappointment. We then need to consider how realistic or fair our expectations were. The next step is to accept that for whatever reason, the other person is incapable of meeting our expectations regardless of how realistic or fair they might be. Very often disappointment leads to resentment and anger. Accepting the other person is incapable of meeting our needs, means that we can then begin to release them with a good heart. This means that we can then be free from anger and resentment. Healing the hurt is now truly under way.

Head or Heart

I was listening to Broadcasting House on Radio 4 this morning. A young man of Syrian background who had grown up and been educated here was talking about his plans to go to Syria. He spoke of an overwhelming desire to go and help his people. He said he didn't want to go and fight but to help in a medical way, although in the same minute he also said that if the man next to him, fell and dropped a gun, he'd pick it up and carry on fighting for him. Conflict number one- I say I don't want to fight, but maybe I do.

He then continued to talk about how he thought that perhaps he would be of greater help if he were to stay in the UK and raise money for food and medicine as well as  working to influence politicians here so that they might push for UN intervention. However, although he said that this would be more effective, he still preferred to go to Syria and see what he could do there. The reporter interviewing him, summed it up beautifully- it's a head or heart decision.

This young man was expressing something of a universal dilemma- do I follow my head or my heart? This in a way is at the core of life and our psychological make up. Even when we choose to follow the head, the heart or the subconscious, conspires to give us what we fear or want. This conflict between logic and feelings needs to be resolved. The most effective way I've found is through Hypnotherapy. This way the subconscious mind, is accessed so that feelings can be resolved. Otherwise feelings always win and we find ourselves in situations that logically we would have avoided.

Anger

Anger gets a bad press in our society. It's understandable as when out of control, it can be very destructive. It can be linked with violence and hatred. But anger is also an important part of our defence mechanism.

This is where things get tricky. We are taught, to "turn the other cheek". We are told that we need to rise above our feelings and refrain from expressing anger as this would lower us to the level of our enemies. Some of us even believe that to reveal anger empowers the person who has made us angry.

To a certain extent this is true; but only to a certain extent. It is inadvisable to behave in the same negative way towards others as they have behaved towards us. This can escalate conflict and is about retaliation. Revealing that we are angry can also signal a certain amount of vulnerability and allow the 'ememy' to know that they have struck us.

However, there is another view. We become angry when we are hurt or when we feel threatened. If we repress that anger, denying that we feel it or pretending that it doesn't matter, we are ignoring fear and hurt. If we do this continuously, we are telling the world that we don't matter.

Working as an Astrologer, I often find people who deny that they are ever angry. Now as a Hypnotherapist, I find that even in a trance some people don't know that they have a right to be angry. Acknowledging this anger is the first step to understanding the deep hurt that has been felt and supressed. It is the start of deep healing and the beginning of acknowledging a need to be treated with respect. This then boils down to learning about self worth. A confident person uses anger to be assertive and not destructive. A confident person uses anger to make positive changes. Let this be you!

Emotions

Feelings are like liquid. They flow and are difficult to contain. Sometimes we build tanks around them and then put that tank within another. We can carry on doing this but eventually there will be a leak. This leak will dampen whatever we are trying to do and will eventually become a flood.

Consent

There is a common misconception that a hypnotist puts people under hypnosis. Meaning that this is somehow like a spell being cast and putting the individual into a trance. Actually the reality is that you need to consent to allowing your concious mind to relax enough to allow access to your subconscious mind.

This is important as you can think about your subconscious mind as being the holder of memory and feelings. In fact it's the right side of the brain, where we also find imagination. What you are doing when you allow yourself to go into a trance with the help of a hypnotist, is you are aiding him or her to access the right side of your brain. You are suspending your concious, logical mind (left brain) temporarily so that the right side of the brain can become more dominant and active. This provides the opportunity to re-educate the subconscious and clear up any misunderstandings that it acquired in childhood.

Before we are able to reason, we can read situations or interpret what we're told and reach the wrong conclusions. These are strategies designed to cope with life but as we grow up, they may be inappropriate. Accessing the right side of the brain, provides the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective. Although there are no spells, it is magical.

Repressing feelings is a coping mechanism but it's not the answer. It is better to deal with the cause of the feelings, process them, and honour them. A change of perspective and greater understanding helps to diffuse rather than repress feelings. Real healing begins and then the risk of floods genuinely disappears.

Know Your Worth

At different times in our lives we experience unexpected events or a change in circumstances. At such times we are asked to adapt and cope. How well we do so, depends on how confident we are. Knowing our worth helps us be resilient in less certain times. Yet many of us under-rate our abilities. We look at others and assume that they are more competent than we are. Remember that many people have learned to cover up their insecures with a polished veneer. Instead of comparing ourselves unfavourably, it would be better to value our own skills and to draw on our life's experience. We are all unique and we all have something positive to offer. Knowing this is vital if we are to function and compete well in the wider world.

Assertiveness/ Powerlessness

For many people expressing anger is difficult. They fear conflict because when they were children they were punished for expressing anger. Consequently, conflict then carries a risk.  They associate being assertive with expressing anger. Although the two are connected, they are also totally different. An emotional outburst may indeed fail to resolve a conflict, but as adults stating our truth calmly and then negotiating with the person whose upset us, is true assertiveness. Sometimes the other party may not like the fact that the person they thought they could push around is showing them otherwise. That's ok too. Not every conflict can be resolved, but making boundaries clear prevents a sense of powerlessness to prevail and allows feelings of strength and self-respect to prevail.

Love and Nurturing

Not every parent is a good parent. Some don't know how to be nurturing as they never received it themselves. Others are hard pressed and do their best but never manage to meet the child's needs. This leaves many of us developing the belief that we are never heard, or understood. We believe that it's pointless to speak as no one will listen. We feel alone and unloved. These feelings can persist unless they are addressed in deep therapy such as Analytical Hypnotherapy. It is then that we can begin to provide ourselves with the nurturing that we never had. It is never too late. One of my clients today was in his sixties, the other in his seventies. Peace of mind is priceless whenever it arrives.

Mind and Body Connection

Working with clients, I often start by locating an uncomfortable feeling and then asking them to find the part of the body where this feeling is stored. At first this may seem a strange thing to do, but we store tension in our bodies. Most clients immediately point to their chest, others to their stomachs, a few to their throats and occasionally to their heads. Some find it virtually impossible to locate the connection. This is because they seem unaware of the impact that their feelings have on their bodies. Our bodies are intimately linked to our subconscious minds. If you think about it, our brains regulate automatic functions, movements and reflexes.

When we feel fear, our hearts beat faster as the adrenelin rushes through our bodies. If we're nervous, we talk about butterflies in our stomachs. If we panic we may feel unable to speak. In other words the connection between mind and body is intimate. We can listen to our bodies to help us decipher our feelings when they are more deeply buried. From now on, notice where you carry tension and then think about what that tension is telling you. You may be surprised by what surfaces.

Memories from the Womb

We are learning more and more about what a foetus is aware of while in the womb. It is sensitive to the mother's hormones and if a mother is depressed during pregnancy, it's likely that the individual may suffer from depression later in life. We know that a foetus can recognise both mother's and father's voice in the womb and respond. A foetus also can hear music and respond with pleasure or discomfort. Babies cry with different intonations depending on the language they hear while in the womb. These are the results of some studies undertaken in the last few years.

It stands to reason then, that while inside our mothers, we are very aware of what she is feeling and going through. This means that these experiences if frightening can remain locked in our subconscious minds and influence in our daily lives. Unlocking them can help to heal trauma. I've had two clients recently spontaneously go back to the time in the womb. The outcome was profound.

Facing The Past

Often our childhoods hold memories that we'd rather keep locked away. These memories are wounds that if kept locked away continue to bleed and fester, eventually becoming infected and causing us even greater pain. The difficulty is that because they've been locked away we find it difficult to connect present pain with the past.

Transformation Therapy in Hypnosis is so powerful because it unlocks the memories and enables us to see the clear connection between past and present. This means that the wound can be properly healed and the result is a brighter future. It takes great courage and some of my clients need a great deal of encouragement and prompting to do this wonderful work but they know change is necessary. Together we visit the past and enable change to happen.

Body Image

When I ask clients to identify areas in their lives that are problematic, many tick the box about body image. Most are not over weight, but still think that they are. Recently, working with a client on this precise issue, we discovered that her apperance was purely the focus of her subconscious dislike and distrust of herself. This suggests that for many of the large numbers of people who dislike their apperance, the issue is much deeper. Instead of spending money on cosmetics and cosmetic surgery, it would be better to invest the money in getting help to deal with the issue of self loathing. Healing and working towards self acceptance is the only way to find beauty in ourselves.

The Right To Live

A baby is brought into this world by two adults. The choice to create the baby rests with the adults. Yet it seems that many people invite a baby into their lives through their own actions and then resent its arrival. They fail to look after it with the love and care that it deserves. Sometimes circumstances are very stressful and they find it difficult to cope. Other times it's thoughtlessness and cruelty. The reasons are irrelevant to the baby. All it feels is helplessness and confusion. It can also absorb the parents' feelings and grow  up with the deep belief that it is unworthy of life and unworthy of love and care. It believes that it's responsible for the parents' unhappiness and therefore deserving of ill treatment.

This is a deep tragedy as this baby grows into an adult unable to value him/herself. Frustration and anger are bottled up because although he/she feels the feelings, theybelieve that they are wrong to have the feelings. There are many consequences for this belief- choosing unloving and abusive relationships, continually being in positions where they are bullied in school and the workplace, etc. If you don't believe that you have the right to live and be loved and respected, there are plenty of people out there who will reinforce your belief. These abusers will use you to make themselves feel stronger and more powerful. It's time that a reassessment takes place. Re-education of the subconscious to understanding where the true responsisbility for the parents' unhappiness lies is the start of deep transformation.
 
Trance or no Trance?

Analytical Hypnotherapy incorporates many techniques used in 'talking therapies'. These are so called because they deal with issues by talking about them in a conscious way. Having done this for many years, I can see a big difference between working with a client in a conscious state and dealing with them in a state of hypnosis. However deep the conversation in a conscious state, logic is still being used. Feelings are being discussed as though they are happening to someone else and even if a few tears are brought to the surface, the aim is to understand them in the hope that logic can prevail. This can work but it's effects are limited. This is because the subconscious mind, the part of the mind linked with emotion is not being engaged. When clients in a state of hypnosis work with the same memories and feelings, the difference is palpable. It can be described as a shift in energy that is visible in their bodies and their faces. One client described the world as looking brighter when she came out of the state of hypnosis. Others find that aches and pains that they carried due to stress and anxiety are gone. My experience is showing me time and again, that working in a trance- a state of hypnosis is essential to effect fast, positive and permanent change.

Boundaries

There are times in our lives when we desperately wish for a magic wand. I find that this happens most often when I'm forced to witness someone I love going through difficult times. I offer support and love but feel helpless as I am unable to 'fix' them or their situation.

I am not alone in finding this to be unbearably difficult. Most of us go through these periods. When this happens when we are children, it is often the case that we internalise our powerlessness and feel responsible... as though we are in some way to blame. This can lead to real frustration as later in life we constantly try to rescue or 'fix'others. When are efforts don't succeed, or worst, are misunderstood or rejected by others, we feel that same pain we felt as children.

A misplaced sense of responsibility can lead us into all kinds of difficulties. Healthy boundaries need to exist between us and others to protect us from disappointment. We are not gods, and a failure to accept that there are limits to what we can do can cause us great unhappiness. It can even cause us to hate ourselves. This is a destructive perspective which needs to be corrected so that self-healing can occurr.

Weight Loss

For many people weight loss is a battle. Some create excuses for their condition. Most try desperately imposing diet after diet on themselves and finding that they regain the weight very quickly when they stop dieting and even add extra. If this were an easy matter of self control, then the dieting industry would not be so lucrative.

Hypnotherapy can be very effective in matters of weight loss. This is because in hypnosis, we are teaching the brain how to have a different relationship with food. We all have a relationship with food. For some it becomes a matter of compensation for negative emotions, others use it to comfort themselves in times of stress. Reeducating the brain in this way is most effective.

However, sometimes there are deeper emotional issues that need to be addressed. Weight is being used to create a barrier to the outside world, or perhaps there is a fear of intimacy. If so using weight gain as a means of feeling unattractive and avoiding relationships is a subconscious strategy that needs to be addressed.

The issues are many and complex. I've even had clients lose weight after therapy that was meant to be dealing with completely separate issues. The loss of weight was not a target, but was a consequence of dealing with deep emotional issues. If you are overweight, ask yourself whether there are any emotional links to your eating patterns. No one needs to live in pain or in a way that compromises their health. Make a choice, make a change and if you need help- seek it.

Forgotten Languages

Many of us have the experience of  learning a language, being fluent in it and then finding that because life steps in and we hardly ever get the chance to use it, we begin to forget. So it has been with me and French. After speaking it daily for many years in school and at University when my degree included a Major in French and English Literature, I ceased to have the chance to speak it. Occasional opportunities do arise and I try to read French books and magazines when I get the chance. Sadly this is increasingly infrequent as my reading has become almost exclusively focused on research for Lightways, my Astrological work and now Hypnotherapy.

So it is that when I was asked to do a reading for a client in French, I had to think- could I do this? Doing an Astrology reading can be a challenge in English! I often find myself having to explain a concept in different ways so that I can help a client understand it. Telling people things about themselves which they would rather not face up to takes tact, patience and gentleness. Could I do this in French?

I decided that I could because I believed that through Hypnosis I could retrieve what had been forgotten.For two weeks I used self Hypnosis to help myself connect with my missing French. I can now say that the outcome was remarkable. In fact the first time I did it, as I went to sleep I could hear myself begin to think in French. Something I hadn't done for years. During the reading, I still felt clumsy at times as I stumbled with some grammar and some vocabulary had to be looked up as I had never learned Astrological and psychological language.Yet, whereas in recent years I often struggled to remember simple vocabulary, this time it was all there. Also although there were some grammatical errors, I noticed that it was much less than before and that the fluency was returning. The verdict is that with self-hypnosis, I could continue to build on this were I to have more opportunity to practice. The combination of the two would very quickly eliminate the slight clumsiness that I felt.There you are, another wonderful use for Hypnotherapy. If you're in the same position, I now know I can help you.

Regression

There has been a fashion among some therapies to ignore the past and act as though it doesn't matter. Looking back is unnecessary for change. I couldn't disagree more strongly! Working with clients both as an Astrologer and a Hypnotherapist I see time and again how events from the past get stored in the subconscious mind. This is important because the memories which are most likely to stick are those which are emotional. Working with regression means that we can unlock those memories and begin to process them in a healthier way.

There is now physical evidence which supports this therapeutic principle. Imagine that you store your memories as a hard object like a memory stick in your memory.This means that memories are stored away and remain in that fixed state. When we recall them, evidence shows that they become less fixed and more pliable. Imagine that your memory stick is now totally soft and can be shaped how you like. This means that impressions that were formed when you were a child, about specific events can now be changed. You are now looking at the same events but through the eyes of an adult. This is what gives you a new perspective and ensures permanent change.

Love

Many people find that they are repeatedly attracted to people who at first appear very affectionate and then as the relationship evolves hold back. Love is not explicitely expressed, there is a reluctance to commit and little time is spent together. If this is you, you need to ask yourself why it is that you are willing to accept so little. What is it that drives you to hang on for the small crumbs of love that are thrown your way? Surely you want more and even deserve more? Why don't you know that?

Many of these patterns find their roots in a relationship with a parent. Learning to give yourself the love you never have, means that you learn that you deserve more than what you've been expecting. The door to a relationship of equals then opens.

Magic Wands

If I gave you a magic wand in what way would you make your life different? Some people find it difficult to answer this question, their desires are unclear to them. Others have a vague idea of what they'd like but no concrete goals. Still others know what they want and have an idea of how to get there but somehow hold back for fear of failure.

Your will is important. If you don't know that you have the right to want for yourself, you will find it difficult to make a wish. If you can't do that, you'll find it difficult to create a vision for a life that is meaningful to you.

Clear goals are a sign of a person with a healthy sense of direction. However, this is only the beginning. What needs to come next is the will to move forward. If your subconcious has any fears or insecurities around the achievement of your goals, moving forward will be painfully difficult. You'll often be tired and discouraged by set backs.

This is once again where hypnotherapy can help. Creating a bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind ensures that all parts of you are working together to achieve your dreams.

Peace After Violence

Physical assault is a violation of a person's right to be safe. We accept this as a given when it's an attack from a stranger. Sadly, many people experience this not from strangers but family members.

There has been a great debate for a long time about the rights or wrongs of smacking a child. In no way do I want to equate a slap on the legs with the kind of abuse that child protection agencies have to deal with on a regular basis.

But when does hitting a child become assault? Is it when it leaves physical marks? Is it when it is done out of uncontrolled rage? This is so far, from the smack on the bottom. Whether or not an implement is used, sustained hitting of a child by an adult can only be a violation.

This sense of violation deprives the child of a sense of self, dignity, respect and yes, a sense of their own power. These are all necessary to develop a healthy sense of self.

Of course, it's not just children who live in fear. Domestic violence affects at least one of the adults too. Women can be as guilty of this as men. We now know that men are just much less likely to report it. The sense of powerlessness and violation is palpable and can leave deep scars.

Working with my clients who have been the victims of these violations, I've helped them recover their sense of righteous anger over what was done to them. This is an important step towards affirming their right to be safe. Then comes letting go of the anger. Surprisingly, it's sometimes easier to forgive the perpetrator than to forgive themselves. This is changed too, so that true inner peace and freedom can be achieved.

Faith and Desire

As the song goes "you can't always get what you want". This is a painful reality which can leave us feeling disillusioned. As an Astrologer, I'm often in the difficult position of having to tell people that their situation is unlikely to change in the near future. However, I also work to help them realise that when a situation is unlikely to change, there is still hope. This lies in their ability to change the way they are dealing with their feelings. Before working as a hypnotherapist, I knew this to be a great truth but was unable to help them do the work necessary to achieve this aim. Now I'm so grateful to be able to help people come to terms with difficult situations and still feel hope. Faith in the process of life is a precious thing.

Loss

We think of loss as being about losing someone when they die. There's also the loss of a relationship that ends. This is a very complex issue as often we go though a period of grieving. Often what we're grieving for is the loss of the dream which the relationship represented. Working with clients who are dealing with less than ideal parents, I'm finding that very often the realisation that the parent in question is never going to fulfill their need for love, affection or approval is often accompanied by a sense of loss. This then leads to the next stage of the therapy which involves helping them to give themselves what this parent can not. This involves so many things.

Firstly there's the acceptance of the situation which means letting go of expectation. Then it means letting go of anger and resentment towards that parent. Finally and crucially, they begin to learn how to give themselves the love, nurturing and approval that they need. This means that they are now really taking on the role of the adult and assuming responsibility for their own wellbeing. It's a long arduous journey to get to this point but well worth it!!!

Past Lives

Occasionally clients regress to past lives when searching for the root of present issues. These can be very intense and powerful experiences. They are often linked with a trauma but sometimes it's linked with unresolved sadness. Working with these memories is as important as working with memories belonging to a present life. I'm sometimes asked whether I believe they are really past lives. Although I believe in reincarnation, I have no evidence that these experiences are past lives.

What I can say is that these memories are always very relevant to the present difficulties being experienced. Working through them is always healing. Whether 'real' or not, the subconscious mind has chosen to reveal these memories for a reason. The positive results speak for themselves.

Self-Love

We are all aware of inner conflict when a part of us wants to do one thing and another wants something else. Dealing with the subconscious mind, means also finding parts which we are not aware of. These parts are developed in our childhood and have the function of protecting us from pain or ensuring our survival. Sometimes working with clients, it means engaging with these parts.

The most challenging parts are those which are determined to punish or self sabotage. At first, it's hard to conceive or understand why we would wish to punish ourselves. But such parts are still acting to ensure survival. They develop in response to parental demands or expectations. They are the internalised voice of  the parent. Our own inner policeman that makes sure that we do what's expected of us so as to avoid angering our parents. For some of us, this develops into a very negative and self hating voice, convinced that the only way to survive is to keep the ego very down. The fear is that if the individual is given free reign, they might do something terrible that will displease the parent and lead to rejection or abandonment.

Teaching this part to relinquish its tight hold on the individual involves teaching self-love. It seems that no matter what the issue is, it always comes down to learning to love ourselves better.

I can hear The Beatles lyric- "all you need is love" once again.

Saying Goodbye

In working with clients, it's sometimes necessary to help them to say goodbye to family members who have died. This helps them to say anything that they would have like to have said but couldn't. Whenever this happens, it's always intensely moving. Part of the therapy is to ask the individual to also reply as the dying relative. This elegant and moving dialogue enables the individual to make peace with their relative (usually a parent) and more crucially with themselves. They can then be free and in most cases feel connected to love in a way previously impossible.

It has become my favourite parts of the therapeutic journey

Transformation Therapy

People often ask me what I do. It's so difficult to explain the process of therapy simply. It's elegant and complex at once.

First we work with the feeling that's troubling the individual. Notice that I say we. I am a facilitator or guide if you like, but nothing happens without the client's full participation. We do this by linking the feeling with the part of the body where it is felt most keenly- a reminder that emotions create tension in the body.

In Hypnosis, we trace the origins of this feeling. This involves regression. Now the healing truly begins. A dialogue with people involved in the key incident/s ensues in which all feelings are expressed and all parties have their say. This may sound odd but by imagining what the other person has to say, we are looking at the issue from all sides. This helps gain a new perspective.

A process of assimilation of the information obtained now begins with an understaning of how the incidents recalled in the regression have created the problems experienced in the present.

Then it's time to let go. All of this happens in hypnosis so that the subconscious is the part of the brain doing the work and so that the healing reaches the parts that the conscious mind can't.

Then it's time to relax. As the client relaxes, suggestions to reinforce the positive new perspectives obtained are given.

This is a rough outline explaining a beautiful, complex and elegant process. I never know what's going to happen. Each client poses different challenges. It's not all cleared up in one session. Typically I start to see more dramatic changes in the 3rd or 4th. It's like pealing an onion. Each session reveals a new layer. Finally the client is transformed and a butterfly is released from its cocoon.

The Value of Relaxation

Your subconscious is very busy indeed. Not only is it linked with emotion, memory and your imagination, it's also in charge of your Central Nervous system. In a stressful and busy world, your subconscious instructs your brain to produce adrenalin in order to ensure that you are able to fight or flee. In other words, if you're in a perpetual state of stress your Autonomic System activates the Sympathetic Nervous system. This can be overstimulated. As you speed around without giving yourself enough rest, you're running on a part of the Nervous system that's design for short bursts only. This is true for most of us.

What can you do? You can ensure that each day includes time to relax. Take a walk in a park, smell the roses that are coming into bloom, meditate or treat your self to a session of self-hypnosis every day. This is as important as sleep. It helps to give the Sympathetic Nervous System a break and allows the Para sympathetic nervous system to take over. Less adremalin, more peace, better performance in the long run and better health!

Believing In Good Health

Little aches and pains, colds and general wear and tear are often due to fatigue and stress. There is a difference between feeling unwell and being ill. In fact even if you are ill, if you believe yourself to be temporarily feeling unwell, you are doing yourself a great favour.

Thank your body for the wonderful work it does. Believe that most little aches and pains can be dealt with through relaxation and a healthier adjustment to your routine and you'll find that you'll thrive. Expecting good health is one of the best ways to attain it.

Happiness

Happiness can be very relative. Working towards happiness with my clients, I'm looking for one thing only- self acceptance. This is about loving ourselves unconditionally. Much unhappiness is caused by placing conditions on self-acceptance. Learning to take life a moment at a time and enjoying the simple things in life brings contentment and inner peace.

Death Wish

Ambivalence about existance is something that I've come across rather regularly as an Astrologer. This doesn't mean that people are necessarily suicidal. It does mean that they're not that attached to life and would not object to leaving this world. My work as a Hypnotherapist is once again bringing this ambivalence about existance to my attention. It is most striking amongst people who seemingly have a good life. Yet, it is not enough. It may seem ungrateful and many feel guilty, but although life in the present may be good, they feel weakened by the pain of the past. This is yet another example of how dealing with buried pain can truly be liberating, allowing individuals to breathe deeply and embrace life with enthusiasm, perhaps for the first time.

Individuality/ Individuation

The process by which we grow from children into adults and become independent from our parents is known by some psychologists as individuation. This also emcompasses the notion that as we grow up the process of separation enables us to become individuals in our own right. This is a vital process if we are to become psychologically and emotionally healthy adults.

Unfortunately this process can be disrupted and an individual's growth can be stunted. One of the repercussions of this disruption is the failure to form healthy relationships.This is often the case when the parent of the opposite sex finds it difficult to let go of the child. Although an adult, the child senses that to form a relationship would create a sort of triangle with the parent feeling abandoned or rejected. This is also the source of so many problems in families where the child feels torn by divided loyalties.

It is normal and healthy for each and everyone of us to grow up and to separate from our parents. This is far from wrong or disloyal. Parents who find this process difficult are often insecure in themselves. Healing is required in order for the emotional umbilical cord to be cut. Then there is the chance for the parent/ child relationship to be renewed in a stronger form. The child who would otherwise develop resentment can instead be compassionate.

Welcome to Life

This is what every baby should feel when entering the world. Yet working with clients, I know that many babies are reluctant to be born because they are aware of being unwelcome or because they feel the anxiety and difficult situations that their mothers find themselves in.

If you're pregnant and having a difficult time, talk to your baby. Let it know that even though you're finding things difficult, it is wanted. Let it know it is loved and that you're looking forward to the day you hold it in your arms. This will help reassure it when it's feeling your fear or sadness.

One of the most exciting aspects of my work is opening up before me. I'm looking forward to helping mothers to be strengthen the bond with their unborn babies and making them know they are loved. I'm also working to help make the birth as positive and loving an experience as possible. What an honour!

Karma, Past Lives and Soul Purpose

Most of my clients can resolve the issues they are wrestling with by regressing to incidents in their present lives. A few find themselves regressing to past lives. Examining the lessons they learned in the past and seeing the connection to the experiences they have in this life can have a profound effect. One of them described her experience as healing at a cellular level. It feels magical!

Inner Conflict and Buried Feelings

Sometimes we're so busy coping with feelings that we bury them deeply, out of sight. We think we are in control but all the while are being driven by buried feelings. My job is often to help others by teasing these out. Once in the open, a strong inner conflict is revealed. Often there is a deep yearning and desire suppressed by practical considerations and a need for success. Revealing the conflict is the beginning of a journey towards inner reconciliation.

 Echoes From The Past

Sometimes in life our reactions appear to be out of proportion to situations. At these times it's easy to see that there is something deeper going on. Other times, it's not so obvious. Past wounds and issues leave a mark. Like an old scar, we forget they are there but then something happens that makes it hurt all over again. We may be attracted to certain types of people because they subconsciously remind us of a parent. Then we accidentally transfer all of our feelings good and bad on to this person. All our past dramas are now played out in a new setting with different players, but the story remains the same. Healing the past breaks the pattern and provides true peace and freedom.

Freedom

What does freedom mean to you? Yesterday I was delighted to hear a client tell me that she felt free. For her this meant being free to express herself without fear of rejection. Where in the past she had expected others to reject her and held back, now she could show love and affection freely. This means that others are responding more warmly to her. What a wonderful achievement after only a few sessions working together!

It made me think too, about this wonderful feeling of lightness in life. Freedom then, is knowing that you are able to be yourself because you have achieved an inner peace and acceptance of yourself. I like that and hope to help more people attain this!

Unlocking The Future

One of the saddest emotions that I witness my clients experiencing is regret. There is often anger and grief over time that they will never have again. Grieving for the loss of time and what will never be, is utterly devastating. Witnessing this pain is often heart-breaking. Yet this is also one of the most self-destructive and greatest wastes of energy. The past is gone, but there is a future! Looking back is a further waste of time and energy. While looking back the future is neglected creating another possible waste.

Look forward with hope and courage. The future is closer than you think. Right now you hold the keys to your future in your hands. Unlock it!

Miscarriage

The loss of a child is always unbearably painful. Some people underestimate the grief felt over the loss of an unborn baby. This is about the loss of hope and the loss of a dream for the future. When you consider the excitement the birth of a baby brings, you can then begin to understand the grief that ensues when that future is gone. Failure to process these feelings as well as suppressing them can result in feelings of emptiness. Some women question their own worth as women. Others feel as though they are in some way responsible. Understanding and working through these emotions can bring deep healing, restoring hope and creating a new vision for the future.

Taking The Plunge

Life is full of surprises. Some of them are wonderful while others leave us reeling and occasionally traumatised. The unpredictable quality of life is the very thing that makes it so rich and exciting. It's also what can make it terrifying. For some people this freezes them, stopping from making decisions as they see everything as too great a risk. Recently one of my clients spoke of her growing awareness that life is a great adventure. She spoke of developing the courage to look take some difficult decisions that brought the change she longed for and feared in equal measure.

Taking the risk to live is the very thing that will make you feel alive!
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