Archive for category Phobias

Helping someone overcome a fear of flying on Chelmsford Radio

In October 2010 I was invited to Chelmsford Radio to help one of their Staff overcome a fear of flying

You can right click and save as this link Edits from Drive Time Program on Radio Chelmsford where Hypnotherapist Jon Hinchliffe helps someone overcome their fear of flying.

I think this peice is quite nice because it shows Nicki’s reactions. She is not magically “cured”. She is back in a position where she can enjoy the experience again.

It is natural to have anxieties when you first face something that was a phobia. It is the experience of going through something that you thought impossible which really brings home the changes you have made.

Nicki made it to Australia and had a really good time.

If you holiday choices are limited by a problems with flying or you have any other fears you want to overcome call Jon Hinchliffe on 01857 600708.

Fear and excitement are close feelings and you Jon can easily help you turn one into the other.

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Extreme OCD Camp

I have just watched a news segment on BBC Breakfast for Extreme OCD Camp. Some sufferers had gone to USA to learn to manage their OCD. The clip showed the sufferer having to face her fear in direct confrontation. I don’t know if this was typical of the whole treatment but I get very frustrated watching TV like this as I don’t think it is necessary to put someone through such fear. Also the sufferers they had in the studio didn’t seem to have moved forwards too much. One said he used to take 13 mins to wash his hands and now his record was 5mins 1 second. This is great but the very act of timing himself is saying “I have a problem”. It is very difficult to overcome a problem when you are so focused it.

As a hypnotherapist I get very frustrated with direct confrontation of fear. It is not pleasant for a sufferer and it is not necessary. So much can be done to reduce the fear before that stage is necessary.

Hypnosis is a wonderful way to overcome fears and anxieties because you are in a relaxed state and therefore training your mind to cope with a situation and feel relaxed.

A good analogy of this is my own story of wanting to be a runner again. I had used a mobility scooter for 15 years because of ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome). I tried using graduated exercises to build up my walking ability. I was told to walk 50 meters a day and then 60m, 70m etc. I was able to build up to 2 minutes walk a day but then my body would shut down again under the pressure and I would go into a crash state. I would reduce the walks and build up again hit the same barrier. It was like hitting a glass ceiling. I was the first failure of the physiotherapist that was helping me.  I had only had the illness about 3 years at this point but over the years I didn’t move forward. Then I learnt the principles behind hypnosis and started applying them to myself. One of the key changes for me was I wanted to be a runner. It used to really frustrate me seeing people run. I didn’t care about walking, I want to run. I therefore decided to sit down and go into a trance and go for a run.

Our brains are completely isolated inside our bodies. The only way we know the world is out there is because of the information sent to our brains from our senses. If we imagine the information from our senses there is little difference to the brain.  Therefore going for a run in a trance the brain thinks it is going for a run for real. It can barely tell the difference. What it can tell however is that the body is not getting tired. I would probably spend 3 mins a day going for a 3 mile run around my old cross country route at school. After 6 weeks of daily “runs” I had reason to test a cross trainer machine and I did about 0.3 of its miles. I thought nothing of it which I thought was curious. I decided to do it the next day and the next day. Then I did 0.4 miles and followed it by 0.2 miles but faster the day after. Soon I found myself building up and up to the point I eventually did start running and eventually got to complete a half marathon.

What happened after 15 years that didn’t after 3? Well clearly nothing can be known from my isolated cases but I think scientific studies when pieced together with my own insights lead to the following theory.

When I tried walking and building up I got instant physical reactions and by body could not cope. I was already tired and the walking was a pointless exercise with no benefit only fatigue.

With the trance run the brain thought it was running. Scientific studies have shown that muscle mass can increase by mentally weight lifting each day. So my body probably started adapting to running over the six week period. And the massive difference was there was no fatigue. My brain therefore thought it was healthier and that my body could run. So when I did some light exercise it thought “Why should this be a problem. You have run for 6 weeks now”.

Breaking the link between the physical and the reality was a crucial step here and it is my belief that it is the best way to move anyone forward on a fear issue. If you get comfortable with doing something mentally first then it will be easier in reality.

The sufferers in the program all knew logically they should not have the problem. To me the unconscious mind has got some settings slightly out of sync and these need adjusting. This can be done without the stress of direct confrontation.

If you have any questions for me or a different point of view please get in touch I am always looking to expand my knowledge of how the human mind works so that I can move more people forward.

One final point to think about. If you were told that your OCD would be gone in a year as long as you focused on what you would be able to do in a years time would you focus on that for one year? What if you saw no change in that time?

It took me 2-3 years to run that half marathon. I expected I would get there in a year. All the delays were important information for me and my body. I did it. You can make massive leaps forward with your life too.


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Volunteers needed for research project – Now closed

Thank you to all the people that volunteered for my research project.

Do you have a negative feeling you would like to change?

Would you like to change that feeling for Free?

Can you spare 30 minutes in Braintree, Essex?

I am looking for volunteers to take part in some ethically approved research for my Clinical Hypnosis Degree. If you have a negative feeling you want to change please get in touch on 01857 600708!

The research is testing a technique that has already been known to help people with

  • guilt
  • work related issues
  • relationship issues
  • inability to sleep
  • phobias
  • even an allergic reaction
If you can think about a situation and notice the feeling you want to change you are suitable for the research.

Make the most of this opportunity before the research ends in April.

Participant information sheet
Participant consent form

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The Past – Is it useful?

Hypnosis is a powerful tool for helping receptive people move forward with issues. Often therapist’s work with the past trying to clear blockages, while this isn’t something I would rule out, this isn’t the way I tend to work. If you believe a problem is based in the past what can you do about it? You can’t go into the past and make it not happen. The key to change is the future and how you perceive events from the past. When you think about an event from the past what happens if you get a feeling you don’t want? Well the first thing to realise is that it is just a thought. That thought is made up of many components from the past. For instance

• You might not recall the whole situation.
• You might be remembering things incorrectly.
• You might only be recalling the bad parts of a situation and not the positives.

These things all skew your perceptions and your unconscious mind tries to protect you by warning you with signals i.e. Feelings or emotions.

I have strong techniques that neutralise these feelings while retaining any wisdom from a situation. But why stop there? If you have a bad feeling from the past why not choose what you want for the future? If you got scared by a Spider you might want to retain that feeling or you might find you are freer and happier to change that thought/the perceptions associated with it/the fear you have lived with it since then, into positive experiences such as being able to help someone you know and love be free of a fear of spiders. This would turn you from someone with a problem to someone with better self-esteem. Why you were frightened of spiders is totally irrelevant.

What happens if you have a problem that you believe has always been with you and you can’t identify any issues from the past? If you take the view there is something you have to dig for you are stuck until you find it. If you focus on current situations and what you want to start feeling in the future you are already in a stronger position to move to the future.
If you have an issue you want to move forward with get in touch with me on 01857 600708 and let us see how quickly you can move forward.

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Client helped for free in 30minutes on Skype

The first client I had on my free day had anxiety about going out due to childhood bullying. 30 minutes later they were telling me they were now looking forward to go to town that night and having a drink with friends.

I was working completely blind as the client didn’t have a working video camera and yet this still happened. The client is happy and looking forward to what this change will mean for him.

Not all clients can be helped so easily and so quickly but if you have been suffering and could be helped is it not worth discovering what progress you could make? Phobias are an issue that just one session will normally significantly help

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Britain’s Weirdest Phobias: Don’t believe you have to feel fear to overcome your phobia

I have just been watching Britain’s Weirdest Phobias which apparently I recorded on Tuesday, 30 December 2008. It was very interesting to see how therapist David Allison helped people. He uses the exposure method to help people overcome their fears. In this method the phobic is gradually introduced to their fear. So for instance a spider phobic might be introduced to a drawing of a spider, then a picture of a spider, then a life like toy spider, then a real spider. On each advance the fear spikes but gradually falls and David is able to move them on. The brain is learning that the trigger is actually safe and therefore doesn’t need the fear. This method works but for me it is quite painful to watch. The phobic is experiencing a lot of fear as they are over coming their problem. This is stressful for the phobic and I guess the therapist.

There is no need to experience this fear if you use hypnosis.

In hypnosis you are in a restful state. You are in a lethargic state where you could move but can’t really be bothered.  In this state you can be slowly introduced to the fear. Because you are so relaxed a gentle introduction of say a photo of spider from 1 miles distance barely registers. By the time it is up close you have no anxiety left. You are always in control.

A way of thinking of the two methods of overcoming the fear is to think of a person in the sea up to their neck in water. If a wave 10 cm high passes them it could cause them to lose their foothold and panic. With hypnotherapy instead of being up to your neck in the water you are up to your ankles. When a 10cm wave comes past you hardly care.

After the session it is still important to experience the trigger in the real world and I highly recommend you listen to “Helping someone overcome a fear of flying on Chelmsford Radio” for a realistic experience of how hypnosis is put into action. The more you experience not having the fear the more you are confident that you are over that fear.

If you have a fear or phobia and want to free yourself from call me on 01857 600708.


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Water Phobia

I was at a “Refer On” business breakfast in Sudbury Suffolk, this morning and I was asked “Can you help someone with a fear of water?”
The answer is “Yes”. Pure and simple. There are only two fears we are born with the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.
This means every other fear is something we have learned through experience. The experiences where we learn a fear are often justified in the context and time in which they were created but like an over sensitive car alarm the problems occur when the fear is applied to situations outside that context. We can learn a fear as a child and that fear is no longer appropriate in an adult context. Consciously the person knows it is an inappropriate response but they don’t know how to over come the problem.
As a Hypnotherapist I help people change the reactions at an unconscious level. This is a relaxing, calm experience. The people I help are always in control of events they are experiencing. This is really important as this is how the reaction changes. While stressing someone out by making them “face their fear” can work some people can never get to that point. And why should people when fears can be changed comfortably and easily?

If you wish to discuss anything in this article please phone, e-mail or leave a comment. Your feedback is always appreciated.

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