From next month (July 17) I will be moving from my Warwick location, to the centre of Leamington Spa.

I’m delighted to be working from 39a, a therapy centre just minutes from Leamington station. I’ll be offering 1:1 hypnotherapy and mindfulness sessions from this Warwickshire location.

The therapy rooms are quiet, comfortable and peaceful, in a lovely part of Leamington.  My days and hours there are flexible, so do get in touch and we can arrange an appointment to suit you.

The full address that you can now find me at is 39A Regent Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 5EE

Hypnotherapy is ‘Treatment of the Month’ at my Harborne location, Renaissance Natural Therapy Centre, and I’m offering more than 20% savings on sessions booked during June.

harborne therapy centre

All this month, you can book a 60-minute hypnotherapy session at Renaissance in Birmingham for £50 instead of the usual £65.  (Sorry, this doesn’t include stop-smoking sessions, and can’t be used on top of any other discounts.)

I’ve often found that, at this time of year, people can be more motivated and energised to make changes in their lives.  So whether you want to harness the positive energies of summer to boost your confidence, let go of anxiety or depression, get in shape for the holiday season – or if you’ve simply being considering hypnotherapy for a while, now is a great time to book!

Renaissance is less than 2-minutes walk from Harborne High Street, in South-West Birmingham.  It’s easy to get to from Selly Oak, Bearwood, Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre.

Appointments are available during weekdays, evenings and some weekends during June, so do call me to arrange a convenient time for you.

Now available in Warwick

Posted by on May 1st, 2014

warwick hypnotherapy centre My hypnotherapy practice area is expanding! I’ve found the perfect home-from-home at Warwick Therapy Centre; right in the heart of Warwick, the centre is quiet and comfortable, and opposite a chip shop I’m told is fantastic.

Do get in touch if you’d like to book an appointment with me in Warwick. I have some availability showing on my calendar, but can arrange to fit you into other hours/days if the ones shown aren’t convenient.

The address for Warwick Therapy Centre is 72A Market Place (entrance on Brook Street), CV34 4SD.

Happy Stoptober!

Posted by on September 30th, 2013

Are you ready to go smoke-free?

To help cstoptober_boatelebrate Stoptober 2013, I’m offering all smoking cessation sessions booked during October for the discounted price of £135 (a 15% saving).  These sessions are 90 minutes long, and just one may well be enough to help you quit.

‘Stoptober’ is an NHS initiative, aimed at motivating huge numbers of people every year to stop smoking.  Backed by Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, the organisers of Stoptober say that if you can remain smoke-free for twenty-eight days, you are then five times less likely to ever take up smoking again.

And, according to a study conducted by the New Scientist magazine, a single session of hypnotherapy increases your chances of remaining a non smoker by TEN times.  (Hypnotherapy was compared to other methods, including acupuncture, nicotine replacement patches and willpower alone.  Just 7% of people surveyed were able to quit using pure willpower, whereas 70% were successful after one session of hypnosis.)

One of my clients, who quit smoking last October, has said “(Having hypnotherapy) has opened my eyes to the possibilities of the mind, and I now recommend this as the only solution to giving up smoking.”

If you’re ready to join the many others leaving behind old habits this month, drop me an email on hannahleach@hotmail.co.uk or phone on 07814 700759 to  book your session!

Raise your IQ using Self-Hypnosis

Posted by on August 11th, 2013

einstein IQIt seems that self-hypnosis or hypnotherapy can measurably raise your IQ – by as much as 10 points, researchers say.

In a televised IQ test shown by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 2010, 22 participants took the test shortly after being given a single session of hypnosis. Around half of the group saw their IQ rise, up to 10 points higher than their previously-recorded scores.

The concept of IQ testing certainly has its critics, and the results of any such test should be taken with a little pinch of salt – your results may vary slightly from one test to another, and also depend on factors such as how tired or motivated you may be feeling at the time. However, statisticians say that the margin of error is not normally more than a few points (plus or minus), so an increase of 5 or more points would be considered significant.

Physiological benefits

The physical changes that happen during hypnosis could explain a marked improvement in brain-power. During mental and physical relaxation, there is an increase in flow of oxygen to the brain, which instantly boosts cognitive function. (There are other activities that also benefit the brain in this way, including meditation, yoga and tai-chi.)
Just one session of hypnosis (or meditation) would be enough to produce a short-term ‘lift’ of cognitive ability; this may wear off, but more regular self-hypnosis can improve the brain’s functioning in the long-term.

So, the physiological benefits of hypnosis may help you perform well in tests and exams, and more generally improve memory, concentration and alertness, all of which contribute to how ‘intelligent’ a person feels, or is perceived to be.

Mental training

Of course, how well you perform in any task also depends on how much you’ve practiced. A brain can be trained to store, access and reuse information more efficiently. Mental rehearsal is a technique often used by hypnotherapists and NLP practitioners, and is exactly what it sounds like – you imagine or visualise yourself in a situation (such as an exam, test, interview, public performance) and run through what you would like to happen.

Hypnosis can’t implant people with knowledge or skills that they really don’t have – so for example, a teenager who hasn’t attended classes or read any of the course materials can’t be hypnotised to do well in their GCSEs! But, hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis can improve your ability to retain the information you learn, and to make good use of that knowledge, even in high-pressure situations.

The confidence boost

And finally, we can probably all vouch that one way to not do your best in a test or exam is by getting anxious and flustered by it! It could be that individuals perform better in IQ tests simply because they believe they’re going to. Again, having confidence in your abilities may not give you knowledge, understanding or skills that you fundamentally don’t have, but it can at least ensure that you perform to the best of your personal ability.

Doing it yourself

So, if you’d like to raise your IQ score, or do better at tests in general, here are the main points to remember:

• Before sitting down for the test, take a few moments to notice your breathing, and let it start to take on a nice steady rhythm. This simple technique immediately helps oxygen flow to your brain, helping you to feel more alert and focused.

• Hypnosis can improve memory, if only through practice – so it’s useful to have spent some time visualising yourself in the test/performance situation beforehand. Imagine yourself as you’d like to be, with everything going smoothly.

• Help yourself to feel confident. Notice the things you’re saying to yourself in the run up to the test, or whilst you’re revising. Recognise thoughts like, ‘I’ll never be any good at this” or “it’s no use; I can’t do it”? Replace them if you can, with more encouraging words like, “I’m doing just fine, working through things in my own time,” and “each time I do this, it gets easier.”

Explaining EMDR

Posted by on August 5th, 2013

Occasionally I suggest to clients that, as well as or instead of the more traditional hypnotherapy work we do, it might be useful to use EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

EMDR in BirminghamEMDR was developed by psychologist Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s. She discovered that EMDR could have very rapid effects; just a few sessions have been known to resolve even long-standing and severe psychological distress.

EMDR is famously used in treating war veterans, and survivors of sexual abuse. It can help with seemingly ‘smaller’ issues too, including phobias, bereavement, distress caused by accidents, or conflict with other people.

How does EMDR help?

Sometimes, when a person experiences a trauma of some kind (ranging from ‘big’ traumas to supposedly ‘small’ ones) their brain becomes overloaded, and can’t process the information in a helpful way. The result is that the person becomes ‘stuck’ in the memory, and finds it hard to move on from the distressing experience.

What does it involve?

We’ll spend some time identifying the traumatic memories that you’d like to deal with. I’ll ensure that you feel comfortable and safe in the room before starting EMDR, and teach you relaxation techniques that you can use.

Then I’ll ask you to think of the original distressing event, and we’ll begin the eye movements while you hold the memories in mind. You might have images, sounds, physical sensations or smells associated with this, and you’ll likely have strong negative emotions when we first start EMDR – this is normal.

Between each ‘set’ of eye movements, you can say whatever comes to mind. We’ll continue until you’re able to think about the original memories with considerably less upset.

What happens after the session?

Some people find that more memories come to mind for a day or two after their sessions, or they have more dreams than usual (connected to the issue we’ve worked on). This is normal, and it’s just a sign that the brain is still processing what we’ve done. If you need to, you can use relaxation techniques to help you manage in between sessions.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about EMDR, hypnotherapy or a possible combination of the two!

Are you expecting?

Posted by on July 22nd, 2013

As HRH Kate prepares to give birth, plenty of people have been talking about hypnobirthing, which the Princess has been using. So, what is hypnobirthing, or hypnotherapy for childbirth?

hypnotherapy for childbirth

Very simply, hypnotherapy gives mums-to-be a toolkit of relaxation and natural pain-relief strategies. It helps make the later stages of pregnancy and the birth process much more comfortable for the mother, which in turn can ensure that a calm, happy baby arrives.

A hypnotherapist can also work with expectant mums to reduce any anxiety they may be feeling, either about giving birth, or adjusting to parenthood.

The process of hypnotherapy for childbirth begins well before baby is due, so if you’re considering using hypnosis for your own big day, it’s best to plan a good few months ahead. During therapy sessions, you’ll experience how physically comfortable and calm it’s possible to feel in hypnosis, and learn relaxation techniques that you can replicate yourself.

You’ll also have a self-hypnosis CD which you can play at home and in the delivery room.

Studies have suggested that using hypnotherapy for childbirth not only reduces pain, but shortens the average duration of labour. It’s thought that very much of the pain and difficulty that women can experience in childbirth is caused by fear and tension in the body. Our personal and cultural expectations of what childbirth will be like, may create self-fulfilling prophesies – it’s said that women in Native American tribes do not experience pain in childbirth, simply because they don’t expect to!

So, by using the mind-body link to relax physically, as well as to relieve emotional worries, we can promote a much easier, more fulfilling birthing experience.

Do get in touch if you’re interested in booking a course of hypnotherapy or in finding out more about how hypnosis for childbirth could help you.

no artistic ability needed….

Posted by on July 16th, 2013

art therapyMy hypnotherapy association(APHP) likes me to do at least two days’ therapy-related training each year, so when I saw flyers for a Birmingham-based weekend course in Person-Centred Expressive Arts, I snapped up the chance to attend.

Using art and creativity hand-in-hand with therapy feels natural and important to me, because when I’m not hypnotherapising, I spend a lot of my time writing, painting and dancing. I have another website for my ‘extracurricular’ activities, but I often feel like there’s only a tenuous distinction between my hypnotherapy-self and my arty-self.

Sometimes in therapy, clients might be asked to do some drawing, writing or collage-making as ‘homework.’ But we can be creative in other, less obvious ways too.  Einstein has been quoted as saying, “creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no-one else has thought.” And if it means sometimes doing things differently to other people, I think it can also mean doing things differently to yourself – it takes plenty of creativity to change a thought pattern or behaviour that you’ve had for many years, to think differently about what your goals are and how you might be able to achieve them.

Both Milton Erickson and Carl Rogers (leading figures of modern hypnotherapy and person-centred counselling), believed firmly that the client naturally has all the ability they need to make positive changes in life. I love all kinds of therapy/philosophy which encourage a person to listen to their own inner voice, instead of trying to mould themselves into an externally-defined way of doing things.

This Expressive Arts workshop was run by Lisa Anthony, a counsellor and lecturer at Warwick University, and Phyllis Clay, a psychosynthesis tutor and therapist.  We spent the weekend painting to music, creating new poems from lines we’d cut out of existing published ones, playing with clay, paper, buttons and trinkets. Phyllis and Lisa told the group that what we produced needn’t have even the slightest bit of technical merit; the art materials given were only meant as a sort of mirror, letting us see what was going on in ourselves.

If you’re a perfectionist, used to expecting high standards from yourself, producing anything without trying to make it ‘good’ can be anxiety-making. So when you’re doing expressive arts, some ways around that anxiety are to draw with your non-dominant hand, use materials or tools that are not ‘meant’ to be used for art (wooden spoons for music, hairbrush instead of a paintbrush…) and limit the time you spend on each exercise (10 minutes then you move onto something else, whether or not you’ve finished).

paradisebirdHere’s one I did finish: it’s a bird of paradise, although he might not look like his cousins from David Attenborough’s shows. I haven’t used clay since school, but I know that when I did, we weren’t encouraged to mix our media like I have here: buttons and netting would not have been considered fit partners for the medium of clay. (And I can see why not for practical reasons; they would melt and emit a pretty brutal plastic smell if I tried to fire the finished piece in a kiln. As it is, I’ve just let the clay bird harden naturally in the air.)

If you’d like to try a little art-therapy yourself, here are some ideas to get you started. They can all be done without supervision from a responsible adult, and you don’t have to use expensive arts materials.

  • Using coloured crayons or pastels, draw your emotions (and be as abstract or literal as you like). OR, put some music on and use colours or shapes to represent the sounds that you hear.
  • Draw with your non-dominant hand – or in the dark!
  • Make a picture – using collage, paint, drawing or whatever you can think of – that represents your idea of happiness and freedom. You might end up drawing identifiable objects or people, or your picture may be totally abstract. Either is fine, of course.
  • Make a drawing, collage or painting of the problems in your life. Again, this might or might not represent tangible things.
  • Instead of using visual art forms, many of these exercises could be done just as easily with sound – use your voice, a musical instrument or household objects to make sounds, and record yourself if you want to.
  • Or use movement – no dancing ability required. Spend a few moments deliberately walking/moving in a way that exaggerates how you feel. Or imagine you are a statue, and arrange your body into a position that shows your state of mind. You might surprise yourself when you do this!

The third Renaissance

Posted by on July 1st, 2012

amethyst1
As of August, I’m now the Official Hypnotherapist of Renaissance Natural Therapies in Harborne.

Renaissance has been part of the Birmingham landscape since 1996, but after two previous location changes it has now settled in Clarence Mews, a few paces from Harborne High Street.

I’ll be providing past life regression, and hypnotherapy for most issues, but there are other hypnotherapists on the Renaissance team too – they specialise in areas such as men’s health, hypnobirthing and gastric band hypnosis.

If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about the goings-on at Renaissance, including promotional offers, taster sessions and free talks, you can keep an eye on the special offers page, or join our mailing list by filling in the form here.

renaissance

Renaissance is easy to get to from Selly Oak, Edgbaston, Bearwood, and from Birmingham centre. I’m also still offering hypnotherapy at the Meridian Centre, in South Birmingham (near Kings Heath and Moseley).

I look forward to seeing you at either venue soon!

 

Introducing…

Posted by on March 7th, 2011

…the new Meridian Centre (Formally Centre Aum), in Billesley, South Birmingham.

Our friendly team of therapists is the same, but the name’s changed, we’ve had a makeover, and the new-look centre is having a Launch Day on Saturday, 26th March.

You’ll find us at 834 Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham, B13 0JE.

Drop in between 10am – 6pm to meet the team, try out a taster session for £15, or join in a free workshop. You can take part in a meditation session, learn about past life regression or reiki healing, or have a go at a latin-inspired Zumba fitness class. Of course no Launch party would be complete without cake, so the Manic Organic Café will be looking after our snack-food needs!

The Meridian Centre is already home to experienced therapists working in massage, reiki, counselling, homeopathy and acupuncture, besides hypnotherapy of course. We hope that in the coming months, we’ll be offering more courses and workshops like the ones you see here, as well as using our downstairs studio space for art exhibitions, acoustic gigs and classes in dance and movement.

It’s a very busy time for us, and you can find out more about what’s on offer at the centre, on the Meridian website, by following us on Twitter, or adding us on Facebook. You’ll find the full programme of events for the Launch Day, and we’ll let you know our news as it comes in!