Archive | May, 2011

Changing career? A positive step

27 May

Sometimes work can really be getting us down, it can have such a negative impact on not just our working lives, but our lives in general. Even though many of us would like to change jobs, it’s the prospect of looking and trying to find something different that scares many of us off, not to mention the potential need for drastic re-training and starting again. For the majority of us, we believe it’s far easier to just put up with the current situation.

For some of us, bad news can often bring about a positive mindset and therefore change in careers. With bad news, such as being made redundant, we often find ourselves sitting back, taking stock of our lives, the skills we have and our general interests. This can lead ultimately to a positive mindset, drive and ultimately career change…

A great example is one of our very own hypnotherapists, Beverley Harper. After 20 years working in sales, Beverley held a senior position with a good salary, so when she lost that job it was a huge blow to her. In a recent interview in Woman magazine, Beverly explained:

“I was the main wage earner and had a big mortgage to pay each month. I kept thinking, what am i doing to do now. As I left the office for the last time, I wondered if I’d ever work again. Would I lose everything? I was forced into shaking up my entire life.

Thinking about my skills and interests, I decided I wanted to go down a completely new path. I’d already started a course on hypnotherapy, which I’d experienced when I tried to give up smoking, so I decided to study for diplomas in clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioural hypnosis at the College of Cognitive behavioural Hypnotherapy in London. I followed this up by studying for a master’s degree.”

Beverley undertook a massive change in her life, and it wasn’t easy, choosing to remortgage her house, paying course fees on her credit card and juggling freelance jobs. Losing her job was the catalyst that has driven her to her change of career, a career that she now feels gives her far greater job satisfaction. Her retraining has taken 5 years, but the big payoff is that job satisfaction. Beverley finished off her interview by saying:

“On the one hand I wish this dramatic change had happened years earlier, but then my life experience helps me empathise with my clients. Work used to be a pressure cooker – now it’s a privilege”

So if you are thinking of a career change, and you want to make a positive step, remember to be positive. You are the one in control of your life and you can make any changes you want to it. You don’t need to wait for something bad to happen to kick start that positive change…

If you are interested in a course at the College of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you can ask us any questions here, or request a prospectus.


19 May

Its good to hear that hypnosis is being considered for trials within the NHS.  Hypnosis has long been recognized in many different countries around the world as an effect way of managing and effecting the experience of pain.  Since the mid 1930’s, in what was then the Soviet Union, hypnosis for pain control was widely employed and from the 1950’s it was officially sanctioned by the Soviet government to be used in Labour and Childbirth.

Ernest Hilgard, a professor at Stanford University and a leading authority on Hypnosis and pain control in labour and childbirth back in the 1960’s  his research illustrated the effectiveness of relaxation, breathing methods and education in this area.

Hypnosis is a greatly researched area in psychology, the Royal Society of Medicine has its own section devoted to Hypnosis and Psychosomatic medicine. Yet there still remains so many myths and misconceptions around hypnosis much due to the fact that the entertainment business has popularized a particular form of its use with famous hypnotists. Similarly stories about childbirth run through generations of families with horror story after horror story.

Hypnobirthing uses deep relaxation, which we can all learn how to achieve with a little practice and a few lessons. There is scientific evidence to show that anxiety and stress affect how we experience pain or discomfort and relaxation inhibits both anxiety and pain perception.  The Hypnobirthing techniques  are usually taught to the expectant mother and their birth partner enabling both parties to feel enabled through having knowledge of the facts and understanding that childbirth is nothing to fear, rather to be embraced with the birthing process being viewed as your child beginning his or her  journey into the world.

You maybe interested in learning more about hypobirthing and how to be a hypnotherapist, if so, you may find it interesting that our foundation course teaches relaxation and hypnosis skills. The diploma course teaches healthy thinking  elements, that apply to any situation, which is a component part of the hypnobirthing protocol. You can find out more on our courses at

by Maggie Chapman

Narcissism in modern life

18 May

Narcissus:  A beautiful young boy who fell in love with his own reflection and came to a sad end. (Greek Mythology). 

Narcissistic personality traits are on the increase and you may not have even noticed. Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.  In a study using data from 31 college campuses across the US, college students who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory – a measure designed to record narcissistic beliefs – the mean scores between 1982 and 2006 show a significant increase of nearly 16% in just 24 years.

There has been an emergence of celebrity culture over the last few decades, and with an increasing number of celebrity gossip magazines like Hello and OK,  the individual is celebrated, and we are all encouraged to think of ourselves as ‘special’, ‘unique’ and ‘important’.   This is all well and good but when it is out of balance then it can lead to problems of grandiosity, a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy towards others.  This is the territory of narcissism

  It involves an inflated and exaggerated view of the self.  It affects how we feel and how we behave towards each other in our day to day lives. When a person internally demands that others recognise how marvellous/gorgeous/amazing he or she is, that person becomes disturbed when the demand is not met.  In fact that person is already in a disturbed state because of their inflated sense of self.   Some theorists view narcissism as an over-compensatory behaviour.  This means the individual is in fact highly insecure harbouring a sense of emptiness, loneliness or inferiority which leads him or her to   place an excessive emphasis on outward status, beauty, success and superiority. This type of unhealthy view point can trigger feelings of depression, anxiety, envy and rage.

Facebook can be a prime example of this. There can be a competition over the number of ‘Facebook friends’ that we have, and an expectancy that everyone will read our daily status updates. There are plenty of other examples. Some well intentioned parents can sometimes treat young girls likes Princesses and tell them they ‘deserve’ all that their heart desires and young boys are told ‘you can achieve anything, because you’re unique and special’.   Encouraging young boys and girls is extremely important but it needs to be balanced with boundaries, guidance, responsibility to self and to others and setting and meeting realistic goals.  If, however, the home environment is very permissive, overindulgent, lacks direction or has a sense of superiority then sadly it can be a good foundation to developing narcissistic and entitlement belief.
© Ian Martin, April 2011

International Nurses Day

17 May

All “special occasion” days are special; however some hold more weight than others. One that is often overlooked by the general public is also one of the most important, and that is International Nurses Day.  For us here at the College of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this day is really important. All our courses are accredited by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC), but also by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), hence the importance of this day for us, and anyone else in jobs / roles of caring for and helping people with their physical and mental health.

If you stop and think about it for a moment, who assists doctors in their role of helping us get better? Who assists therapists in their task of helping us to get better? Who do you find at your bedside, changing a drip, monitoring your progress? Who helps us recover from mental and physical illnesses…Yeap, nurses…

On May 12th we celebrated and remembered nurses right across the globe.  Here in the UK, we hold a special service at Westminster Abbey (London). During the service, a symbolic lamp is taken from the Nurses’ chapel, and handed from one nurse to another, then to the Dean who places it on the High Alter. This passing of the lamp is to signify the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another. This is a powerful symbol of the passing of knowledge, and in many ways, it it’s exactly what the College of Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is all about, the passing of knowledge.

By offering such a wide range of courses, from foundation courses to advanced diplomas in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, we help create the next generation of therapists; we are passing our knowledge down to that next generation, so that the next generation can apply that knowledge and help individuals. Who knows, they in turn may well come back to the college and help pass that knowledge on to the next generation, and the next.

For information on our courses follow this link back to our website

So each year, on May 12th, spare a thought for all the nurses out there and the wonderful jobs they do.

Family Values

13 May

It is International Day of families on May 15th,  so I wanted to share some thoughts of what we really mean by family values…

With the ever fast pace rate of change, our children are being required to adapt and assimilate more information than ever before.  It is more key now perhaps than ever before to create strong , safe, loving family environments for our children. As parents we are role models for our children –  parent’s attitudes, beliefs , behaviours and language is a key factor in how children see  the world and themselves in it.  Creating a “healthy”  family environment is an important aspect of parenting.  The supportive family is one where each individual within the family is listened to and respected regardless of their abilities, age or birth order ; it’s interesting to note that most of us grow out of childhood habits such as nail biting and thumb sucking , but sibling rivalry is the one habit we can experience long into adulthood!  Creating a supportive family dynamic is more preferable than a situation where each family member is in a competition for attention.

Virginia Satir, a renowned family therapist, suggested regular family meals.  Here each family member , including mum and dad, would be given a chance to talk about their week without interruption;  thus each could feel ‘listened’ to. Then a question was asked as to how the family, or any individual member, could support the coming week’s activities for that person. Satir’s recommendation was to have this kind of meal at least once a week, so ever member felt supported and respected.  In our busy lives the meal table can often be the only place we can sit down and be still enough for a conversation with our family ,and more and more this activity is invaded by television or mobile technology.

Much of our learning as children is done unconsciously or subliminally and children will come to identify with their parental gender role model.  Awareness of this fact can enable parents to reflect on their own behaviour and communication and consider what they are ‘silently’ teaching their children.

Some things you can do to help children

Encouraging open honest dialogue between everyone in the family

Create the time to talk on a regular basis about their feeling,s helping them to express their feelings at this time.

Offer support, either from yourselves or a close family figure.

Do your best to keep yourself healthy, physically and emotionally, building a supportive network of friends and family.

If at all possible attempt to keep the routine and life experiences the same as much as possible for the children.

Do your best to ensure a safe, loving, nurturing environment.

When listening apply the following:

  • Make eye contact
  • Face the person you are speaking too
  • Listen to what is being said
  • Imagine you are the person speaking
  • Reply when you have thought about what has been said
  • It’s ok to answer  ‘I need to think about it’
  • Carefully chosen words can be as potent as highly prescribed medicines.
  • Use direct verbs
  • Tell your child what you want them to do, using the negative creates confusion.

By Maggie Chapman