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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.

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!

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!