As I develop the site, it is my intention to illustrate the use of hypnotherapy through the publication of case studies. I should point out that as client confidentiality, and client autonomy are values essential to my practice, permission is gained during treatment and as this is a fairly new idea, and as not everyone wishes to be written about and made public in this way, these case studies may look a little sparse during the immediate future. I say that to recognise that the case studies below are designed to be an indication of the effectiveness of hypnotherapy and are not necessarily representative of the clients I have treated.
Female Client – Early 20s
Jane (name changed) expressed her desire to lose weight, having tried and been frustrated by a number of various other methods. During a free telephone assessment, I learned that Jane had been struggling with her weight for the last four to five years. 'It was being a housewife' she explained, 'I was cooking and baking to fill my time whilst waiting for my partner', who worked long and unsociable hours. Jane had tried a number of 'crazy fad diets' which were effective for her, until she started eating again. She also noted that she would often 'cheat' on her diet, when she had particular cravings. We measured her Body Mass Index and Jane registered a BMI of 28.3. She started becoming more serious about her weight and her health in June 2014, starting to exercise regularly but in her assessment told me that she was fairly unsuccessful losing weight despite the exercise, as she found that she was exercising ’to be able to eat more'.
We considered hypnotherapy to facilitate the changes she wanted to make, we also arranged a couple of sessions of acupuncture (this isn't something I carry out any longer) to 'kick start' the weight loss. Jane, attended the hypnotherapy session and was a good subject, quickly gaining a deep state of relaxation. During the follow up sessions, she noted that since the hypnotherapy, her perception of food had changed massively, and she no longer felt the desire to snack between meals, despite the office culture of snack foods during the mid-morning and afternoon. She was able to cut out the crisps, biscuits and cakes and felt that she had loads more energy. Despite reporting in the assessment that her sleep pattern was often disrupted and she suffered from 'a little insomnia', Jane also told me she was also sleeping much better.
Male Client – Late 50s
John (name changed) contacted me in order to stop smoking. He had started at the age of 16, through peer pressure and over a period of years, has tried many times to give up. 'I wish I had never started', John informed me during the telephone assessment, at that time he was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, usually on waking, after meals, with a tea or coffee and with his evening pint at the local pub. John was dismayed that he was dependent on cigarettes and was looking forward to a time when he no longer felt compelled to smoke. However, he was also particularly aware of the pitfalls; most of his friends from the pub were smokers and there was a social subculture around the use of tobacco products.
John was also very honest in talking about his commitment to stopping. He observed that on the occasions he has stopped previously, it was generally his commitment to remaining free from cigarettes that was lacking. When asked during the assessment, he realistically scored his commitment at 6/10. We arranged a day for him to come in for a session a week or so later, as I felt that this would give him the opportunity to cancel the session if he truly didn’t feel ready. However, when John attended the clinic, he informed me that he had had his last cigarette and was ready to stop, and subsequently underwent a fairly deep and seemingly moving hypnotherapy experience.
A follow up session was arranged for an afternoon four weeks after the first session. The NHS use the figure of four weeks as a benchmark to define having 'given up' smoking, and this period felt appropriate to book this session which was far more congratulatory than the first, but also used to reinforce the suggestion made in the initial session. Although John had not had a cigarette between the first session and this one, he had thought of smoking on a number of occasions and we recognised how ingrained the habit had become over the forty years he had been smoking. We also looked at the positives since he had stopped; he had saved over two hundred pounds in his four weeks of abstinence. Despite the occasional thought of having a cigarette, John no longer feels he wants to smoke, or feels the need for a cigarette.