Explore our diverse range of effective treatments tailored to your needs.


The main addictions hypnotherapy can help with are:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Sex and Pornography
  • Smoking
  • Food
  • Behavioural Problems


I am more powerful than the combined armies of the world; I have destroyed more men than all the wars of the nation; I have caused millions of accidents and wrecked more homes than all of the floods, tornadoes and hurricanes put together; I am the world’s slickest thief. I steal billions each year. I find my victims among the rich and poor alike, the young and old, the strong and the weak; I loom up to such proportions that I cast a shadow over every field of labour; I am relentless, insidious, unpredictable; I am everywhere – in the home, on the street, in the factory, in the office, on the sea and in the air; I bring sickness, poverty and death; I give nothing and take all; I am your worst enemy; I am addiction.


Hypnotherapy has a proven track record in understanding and stopping addictive behaviour.

There is currently a world-wide epidemic of addictions blighting the lives of millions with disastrous consequences. For example the United States government reported in 2008 that 13 million people over the age of 12 have used methamphetamines and 529,000 of those are regular users. The skill of the hypnotherapist is essential in finding the most successful ways of rapidly breaking the patterns of addiction.

Significantly more methadone addicts quit with hypnosis

94 Percent Remained Narcotic Free

“Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94 percent of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.”

A comparative stuffy of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts.

Manganiello AJ.

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 1984; 26(4): 273-9.


Facts and Statistics about Addiction

  • In 1966 the American Medical Association classified alcohol abuse as a disease. In 1974 the American Medical Association classified drug abuse as a disease.
  • The National Centre on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that over 80% of those incarcerated in adult & juvenile penal institutions were there directly or indirectly as a result of the disease of addiction.
  • Drug overdose is the number 1 killer of offenders released from prison. Cocaine is the most common drug involved in the overdose.
  • The United States accounts for only 5% of the world’s population. However, two-thirds of illegal drugs are consumed in America.
  • Twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners are incarcerated in America, and again Americans only account for 5% of the world’s population.
  • Between 1995 and 2005 treatment admissions for dependence on prescription painkillers grew more than 300%.
  • More than 29% of the teenagers in treatment are dependent on some form of prescription medication, some of which include tranquillizers, sedatives & opiates.
  • Approximately 14 million Americans, 7.4% of the population, meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
  • More than half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcoholism.
  • In the United States approximately 1 in 4 children younger than 18 years old is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family.
  • Parents’ drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes and child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the wellbeing and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.
  • Children with an addicted parent or parents are at a significantly greater risk for mental illness or emotional problems, such as depression and/or anxiety. There is also greater risk for children to have physical health problems and learning disabilities including difficulty with cognitive and verbal skills, conceptual reasoning and abstract thinking.
  • Children of addicts or alcoholics are almost 3 times likely to be verbally, physically, or sexually abused; and 4 times more likely than other children to be neglected.
  • Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly, remembering, and paying attention. They often develop poor social behaviours as a result of their drug abuse, and their work performance and personal relationships suffer.
  • In the United States alone more than 100,000 deaths each year are attributed to alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Among the Nation’s alcoholics and problem drinkers as many as 4.5 million are adolescents and adolescents are disproportionately involved in alcohol-related automobile accidents; the leading cause of death among young Americans 15 to 24 years old.
  • 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use.
  • More than 75% of domestic violence victims report that their assailant had been drinking or using illicit drugs at the time of the incident.
  • Adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically and drop out of school. They are at risk of unplanned pregnancies, violence and infectious diseases.


How do you know that you are an alcoholic?

  1.  Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
  6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
  7. Do you turn to self-destructive companions and unhealthy situations when drinking?
  8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time each day?
  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
  14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
  15. Do you drink to escape your job or business?
  16. Do you drink alone?
  17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
  20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?


According to John Hopkins University Hospital, if you answered YES to any two questions above you are probably an alcoholic. If you answered YES to three or more questions above you are definitely an alcoholic.

Hypnotherapy has a proven track record with addictions because the subconscious mind can be accessed in trance hypnosis to help conquer both the physical and psychological aspects of the disease.

To overcome alcoholism, an alcoholic must undergo a basic change of attitude and lifestyle. This means dropping defensiveness, because it prevents self-treatment. The person with a drinking problem who wants to change must open themselves up, look inward, admit their bondage to alcohol, and their deeper problems of pride, selfishness, insecurity and distrust. People who recover from alcoholism have faced these aspects of themselves and so must your patient.

Above all, alcohol is a disease of self-deception. That is the prime reason it takes an average of 13 years for an alcoholic to reach out for treatment to a hospital, doctor, therapist or Alcoholic Anonymous. This self-deception is further reinforced by society, which avoids facing the magnitude of the problem.


Drug abuse and addictions

How do I know if I have a drug abuse problem? If you answer YES to any of the following questions it is possible you may be addicted.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drug-taking?
  2. Does drug-taking interfere with other activities in your life?
  3. Do you spend more money or time getting or taking drugs than you think you should?
  4. Is drug-taking harming your health?
  5. Does your drug-taking harm your family or friends?
  6. Do you turn to self-destructive companions and unhealthy situations when taking drugs?
  7. Has your ambition decreased since taking drugs?
  8. Do you crave drugs at a definite time each day?
  9. Does drug-taking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
  10. Has your efficiency decreased since taking drugs?
  11. Is drug-taking jeopardizing your job or business?
  12. Do you take drugs to escape form worries or trouble?
  13. Do you take drugs to build up your self-confidence?
  14. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drug taking?


According to a survey in Ireland in 2008, 60,000 people have taken cocaine within the last year and 700,000 admitted to having taken one or more of the following at some point in their lives: cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines (speed), ecstacy, ketamine, magic mushrooms. Gambling addiction has reached epidemic proportions with more than 2,000 addicts attending therapy. 60,000 people self harmed in 2010 and 12,000 people were treated in Accident & Emergency Departments. According to a coroner “too many suicides and deaths are linked to depression tablets.” 600,000 children were exposed to parents hazardous drinking. Psychologists estimate that 3% to 5% of people are sexaholics and possibly more given recent ease of access on the internet. Almost anything a person takes into their body can be considered a drug including visual stimulants. For example cybersex and pornography has been called the crack cocaine of sex addiction. Recent research using brain scans has proven that the same addiction centres in the brain that are associated with heavy drug use are also associated with sex addiction.


Addiction is physical and/or emotional dependence upon a chemical substance. An addict believes he or she cannot physically and/or mentally function – that life would be unendurable – without that particular substance. Alcoholism and drug use are two of the most common addictions in our society.

Any addictive or habitual problem can be treated effectively and permanently with hypnosis – even a chemical dependence.

A habit becomes an addiction when you can’t stop without experiencing symptoms of withdrawal such as irritability, anxiety and jumpiness. You may feel physical discomfort similar to getting sick such as headaches and other aches and pains. You may obsess about the behaviour or substance and feel a constant and intense desire to return to the behaviour or substance.

While physical addiction is a contributing factor, it is only part of the problem. If it was the only cause of the addiction, a gradual reduction of the dosage would be enough to end the addiction. In addition to the physical addiction, the underlying emotional reason for an addiction must be addressed. The physical withdrawal is gone after a few miserable days. The habit is gone in about twenty-eight days. However, the emotional (and spiritual) aspects are the most important, longest lasting and often the most under-treated.

Conventional counselling based on twelve-step programmes can be successful, but according to most statistics their success rate is only about 22 percent. However, many studies show that using hypnotherapy in addition to twelve step programmes results in up to 87% success.


Gambling addiction

I tend to think of gambling addiction as a compulsive impulse to ease the build up of anxiety within the person. Similar to smoking as it is usually self-medication for anxiety, the gamblers excitement or adrenalin rush is eased once the bet has been placed.


Symptoms of gambling addiction

Symptoms of gambling addiction include feeling a compulsion to gamble and continuing to do so in spite of the adverse consequences, the inability to control use, and both physical and psychological cravings. If you recognise the above in your life, then you are probably addicted to gambling.


Consider the following behaviour

  • Do you seem to be having problems with money but dismiss these or get angry if questioned about it?
  • Are you preoccupied with gambling and tend to do it a lot at the expense of relationships and other commitments?
  • Do you stay out all day or night at casinos or betting shops, or spend a lot of time on your computer at the cyber-equivalent?
  • Do you take others money or valuables with no explanation and use the money for gambling activity?
  • Are you pre-occupied with obtaining money to gamble?
  • Do you have an irresistible urge to gamble or get a ‘buzz’ by gambling activity?
  • Is your gambling increasing in frequency, financial cost or risk in order to keep experiencing the feelings of excitement and escape?
  • Have you lost control over the time and money spent on gambling eventually risking more than you can afford?
  • Have you developed an emotional dependency on gambling as a strategy to cope with anxiety, worry, tension or stress?
  • Are you denying that you have a gambling problem?


Pornography addiction

Sex, like food, is a primary need for humans. With the advent of the internet, it is available on tap in the forms of pornography, cybersex or quick local hookups via certain ‘dating’ and prostitution sites.

Pornography on the internet has been labelled the ‘crack cocaine’ of sex addiction and this is due to its availability and addictive qualities. For example Cambridge University found with MRI scans revealed the same brain activity present in both alcoholism and heavy porn use.

A further study found that 17% of people who viewed pornography on the internet found it to be addictive. One survey found that 20% – 60% of a sample of college aged males who used pornography found it be addictive.

The problem with porn addiction is that the subconscious mind suspends reality in a porn-induced trance in the same way that we become engrossed in a movie. However pornography addiction is usually accompanied with sexual gratification and the release of ‘feelgood’ chemicals such as oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine etc. These feel good chemicals are released in normal sexual relationships and create a bonding effect with ones partner. However in porn, the bonding is done with the computer screen and the habit. In porn, sex is all in the mind and when divorced form real relationships it becomes addictive in nature and one needs more and more of it to feel aroused. This is obviously to the detriment of normal, healthy sexual relationships.


When pornography becomes problematic and addictive

  1. If the ‘feelgood’ brain chemistry is being continually activated by fantasy, unrealistic sex rather than real relationship sex, then over time porn sex becomes more pleasurable than the real thing. Whatever you focus on becomes bigger and this is a fact of life in the constitution of ones brain chemistry.
  2. It can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  3. It lowers testosterone.
  4. It can cause social anxiety and feeling uncomfortable around the opposite (or same if preferred) along with feelings of shame and guilt.
  5. It can erode self control and will power.
  6. It can make you feel dejected and angry if deprived of porn due to circumstances.
  7. It can be used as a means to relieve stress, loneliness and anger.
  8. It can become time consuming and one loses track of large chunks of time.
  9. It becomes obsessive viewing despite the negative consequences such as a broken relationship or job loss.
  10. It becomes addictive and one is unable to stop using pornography despite attempting to do so.
  11. It becomes mood altering in that one becomes angry, hostile or irritable if asked to stop using porn.
  12. It becomes a “secret life” and it is as though you live a double life.
  13. It can cause one to neglect family, social or work obligations and one continues to use despite the negative consequences.
  14. It causes one to need to increase the risk or view more extreme material in order to acquire the same satisfaction as the brain desensitizes, another trait common to all addictions.
  15. It may cause one to act out their sexual fantasies with dangerous financial, criminal or health implications


Sex Addiction

    1. If you are spending many hours each day compulsively chasing sexual fulfilment on the internet combined with sexual gratification then you may be an addict.
    2. If you are feeling guilty about becoming possessed with an all-consuming desire to engage in your addiction to the complete exclusion of everything else then you are probably addicted.
    3. If you are engaged in sexual activity and find no satisfaction or fulfilment in an emotional relationship and the sexual act becomes all consuming then you are probably an addict.
    4. If you are suffering from intense feelings of grief, shame and despair due to your sexual acting out which may include masturbation, prostitution, anonymous sex, voyeurism, exhibitionism, sexually explicit phonecalls etc
    5. If you are suffering relationship, legal or financial difficulties due to your sexual activities.
    6. If you are feeling isolated, alone, suicidal, preoccupied with sexual matters, using sexual activity as means of behaviour control mood and cope with emotional turmoil.


If you answer yes to any of the above then you are probably suffering from some form of sex addiction.


Why is sex so powerful

In my view there are two reasons why this compulsive sexual behaviour is addictive.

  1. The person involved goes into a trance, albeit a sex trance, and that’s why hypnosis is so powerful in creating change because it is able to target those negative trance states.
  2. The mind becomes addicted to the brain chemicals being produced such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.


In normal sexual relationships and experiences, the brain releases four important neurochemicals:

  • Dopamine which creates a feeling of ecstasy and arousal and a bonding experience with ones partner.
  • Norepinphrine which burns the sexual experience into ones mind.
  • Oxytocin which is a bonding chemical.
  • Serotonin which gives the calm feeling after climax. In a normal sexual experience these four chemicals bond human beings together which brings about happiness, joy and fulfilment. This is the science behind ‘making love’. However in sexual addiction this process is inverted and when these chemicals are released by the body one bonds with impossible fantasy creating confusion in the deeper mind and this can erode or destroy the bond with ones partner and family.


A large percentage of my clients present themselves for hypnotherapy with anxiety symptoms and often fear that they are going ‘crazy’ because they feel so emotionally out of control. Often this is accompanied by a fear of death.

Anxiety and fear are different. For example one can see the fear object and become anxious or have a panic attack related specifically to this particular external scenario. For example, the person with a fear of flying may think of flying and the aeroplane crashing and this may produce a panic attack. However with anxiety, the focus is internal, not external and the client cannot really tell you what the anxiety is about. It is subjective, free-floating, out of control. One can have a feeling of ‘impending doom’ or a sense of a vague, distant or unrecognised danger.

Anxiety effects your whole being. It is an emotional, physiological, mental and behavioural reaction all at once.

An incredible percentage of people died in the 1940 blitz from the sounds of the bombing compared to those who were direct fatalities. This is a neat analogy for how anxiety symptoms actually arise out of a persons thoughts about potential danger and not the actual danger in reality. This is what separates it insidiously from the healthy, fear instinct.

I normally look for the following symptoms in clients.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sweating
  • Choking
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness or unsteadiness
  • Feelings of detachment or being out of touch with ones self
  • Hot flushes or chills
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of going ‘crazy’ and out of control
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Endless worrying


If a client is experiencing four or more of the above symptoms all at once it may be classified as a spontaneous panic attack. Otherwise it is known as free-floating anxiety.

If a client becomes anxious in a specific situation, this is called situational anxiety or phobic anxiety. Once a client has experienced an anxiety attack they have a tendency to develop anticipatory anxiety or apprehension in fearful anticipation of the next one. It is negative conditioning.

Examples of anxiety disorders:

  • Panic disorders
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social phobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorders due to a general medical condition
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder



When there is anxiety in the symptomology, analysis is always recommended. Therefore a combination of cognitive suggestion therapy along with hypnoanalysis is necessary.


At the Emotional Health Centre Cork we specialise in evidence-based best practice in anger management. Also we explore with hypnoanalysis the root causes and triggers from childhood because anger is a learnt behaviour. • Triggers and early warning signs • Why am I angry? • Techniques to control anger • Self talk and helpful thinking • Assertiveness and practice • Releasing from anger • Anger and the “fear” connector Normal Anger Anger is a normal human emotion. Everyone feels annoyed, frustrated, irritated or even very angry from time to time. Anger can be expressed by shouting, yelling or swearing but in extreme cases it can escalate into physical aggression towards objects (eg. smashing things) or people (self or others). In some cases, anger might look much more subtle, more of a brooding, silent anger or withdrawal. In a controlled manner, some anger can be helpful, motivating us to make positive changes or take constructive action about something we feel is important. But when anger is very intense or very frequent, then it can be harmful in many ways. What Causes Anger? Anger is often connected to some type of frustration – either things didn’t turn out the way you planned, you didn’t get something you wanted, or other people don’t act the way you would like. Often poor communication and misunderstandings can trigger angry situations. Anger usually goes hand-in-hand with other feelings too, such as sadness, shame, hurt, guilt or fear. Many times people find it hard to express these feelings so just the anger comes out. Perhaps the anger is triggered by a particular situation, such as being caught in a traffic jam, or being treated rudely by someone else or banging your thumb with a hammer while trying to hang a picture-hook. Other times there is no obvious trigger – some people are more prone to anger than others. Sometimes men and women handle anger differently, but not always. Problems Associated with Anger Uncontrolled anger can cause problems in a wide range of areas of your life. It may cause conflicts with family, friends, or colleagues, and in extreme situations it can lead to problems with the law. But some of the other problem effects of anger may be harder to spot. Often people who have a problem with anger feel guilty or disappointed with their behaviour, or suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety or depression. There are also physical side-effects of extreme or frequent anger, such as high blood pressure, and heart disease. Some studies suggest that angry people tend to drink more alcohol, which is associated with a wide range of health problems. Do I have a Problem with Anger? Perhaps you have already identified that anger is a problem for you, or someone else has mentioned it to you. But if you are not sure whether anger is a problem for you, consider the following questions: • Do you feel angry, irritated or tense a lot of the time? • Do you seem to get angry more easily or more often than others around you? • Do you use alcohol or drugs to manage your anger? • Do you sometimes become so angry that you break things, damage property, or become violent? • Does it sometimes fell like your anger gets out of proportion to the situation that sets you off? • Is your anger leading to problems with relationships, such as with family, friends, or at work? • Have you noticed that others close to you sometimes feel intimidated or frightened of you? • Have others (family, friends, colleagues, health professionals) mentioned that anger might be a problem for you? • Do you find that it takes a long time to ‘cool off’ after you have become angry or irritated? • Have you ended up in trouble with the law as a result of your anger, for example getting into fights? • Do you find yourself worrying a lot about your anger, perhaps feeling anxious or depressed about it at times? • Do you tend to take your frustration out on loved ones or people less powerful than you, rather than dealing with the situation that triggered your anger? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it may be that anger is a problem for you. It may be that addressing your anger can allow you to live a much more positive and rewarding life. How Can I Manage Anger Better? You may have heard about ‘anger management’ and wondered what it involves. Anger management can be addressed in groups or through individual therapy, and there are also a lot of self-help resources available. Anger management is not just about counting to ten before you respond (although that is often a good idea). it is about helping you to better understand why you get angry, what sets it off and what are the early warning signs, and about learning a variety of strategies for managing those feelings more constructively. Anger Anger itself is not a problem. How we express or suppress it is what counts. For most people, it is very difficult to find appropriate, effective, self-affirming ways to express their angry feelings. Too often, people vent their anger in ways that serve no real purpose, or hold it inside, where it festers. When we dump our anger out on others, it generally has destructive effects on them and on ourselves. Angry explosions tend to be short-lived power trips that take us nowhere. And virtuous efforts to deny angry feelings can store up inner tension that pops up later in the form of headaches, depression, irrational grudges, etc. Our culture gives us mixed messages about anger. Sometimes a soft answer does turn away wrath; sometimes it invites it by making us look like an easy target for hostility. If we value meekness (in hopes of inheriting the earth) and turn the other cheek (in hopes of encouraging mildness and love), we may find ourselves feeling guilty about our hidden, pent-up anger. If we mimic the counterculture of the 60s and strive to ‘let it all hang out’ in a simplistic and aggressive openness, we may find ourselves struggling with constant conflict and irritation. But over control of natural, legitimate needs and emotions may result in unexpected outbursts of misplaced ‘justifiable’ anger. Dwelling moralistically on our ‘right to be angry’, we try to make up for all the hurts and injustices we absorbed in the past. To vent or not to vent; that is the question. Are angry feelings best released in an explosive outburst or quietly suppressed using grit-your-teeth tactics? The debate rages on, even within psychological circles. Some experts challenge popular beliefs that suppressed anger is dangerous to health. Blowing your top can be far more damaging than keeping your cool, they say. For example, men who are at high risk from heart disease – the so-called Type A personalities – usually over express their anger. To support this theory, they cite an enormous research project, the Western Collaborative Group study, which followed 3,154 California men aged 39 to 59 for several years to gather information on heart attack-prone behaviour. Two aspects of Type A, competitive drive and impatience, were associated with the eventual occurrence of heart disease. The men risking illness were also more likely than healthier men to direct their anger outward and to become angry more than once a week. Another study, this one conducted at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, measured the effects of anger expression, suppression, and ‘cool reflection’ on blood pressure. Results, again, pointed thumbs down on hot heads. According to the researchers, the men who kept their cool – who acknowledged their anger but were not openly hostile, verbally or physically – had lower blood pressure than men who either bottled up their anger or became openly hostile. They further described the ‘cool reflective’ approach as one in which the provoker and provoked calm down first, then discuss the conflict reasonably with their goal firmly set on resolution. In other words, if you can get at the problem, you can solve the conflict. Their basic conclusion was that the psychological rationale for ventilating anger does not stand up under experimental scrutiny. Expressing anger makes us angrier, solidifies an angry attitude, and establishes a hostile habit. If we keep quiet about momentary irritations and distract ourselves with pleasant activity until our fury simmers down, chances are that we’ll feel better, and feel better faster, than if we let ourselves go in a shouting match. On the side of the ‘ventilationalists’ is Philadelphia psychoanalyst Leo Madow, M.D. In his book Anger: How to Recognize and Cope with it, he writes: “Anger can affect us adversely both physically and mentally. If we think of it as a form of energy which if repressed must come out somewhere, we must recognise that it can harm almost any part of or body or influence our emotions and eventually our minds if a sufficient amount is accumulated.” Dr. Madow, however, does distinguish between ‘suppressed’ and ‘repressed’ anger. the difference has to do with the conscious mind. If you consciously hold back your anger because you don’t want to start a fight, for example, that’s ‘suppression’. If, on the other hand, you have unconsciously harboured angry feelings towards your father since you were six years old, that’s ‘repression’. Of the two, says Dr. Madow, repression – not recognising that you feel anger – has the potential to cause greater damage. Research suggests that repressed anger contributes to gastrointestinal, respiratory, circulatory, and skin disorders. Some scientists even believe that this emotion may be linked to cancer. Conscious suppression may have its pitfalls, too. One researcher, examining the histories of more than 5,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, discovered that many of them shared certain personality traits, among them the inability to express anger. Another scientist discovered that patients with ulcerative colitis produced strikingly comparable data to that of the rheumatoid arthritics. Marjorie Brooks, Ph.D., research director for the Centre for Autistic Children and an assistant professor at Jefferson Medical college in Philadelphia, relates another study: “In the 1950’s, two researchers looked at the life history patterns of about 400 cancer patients”, Dr Brooks explains. “They found the patients had some very interesting similarities. Many of them seemed unable to express anger or hostility in defence of themselves. The patients could get angry in the defence of others or in the defence of a cause. But when it came to self-defence, they didn’t follow through.” Suppressed hostility was another significant factor appearing in some of the other patients. They seemed to lack the discharge mechanism needed to allow anger to surface, so they kept all of their anger inside. So in all of this, is there a common meeting ground that both sides can agree on that will allow the successful resolution of anger? Apparently there is. Both sides seem to agree that it is not enough just to express anger – these has to be a genuine resolution of conflict or else the tension continues to operate. Some people may suppress angry feelings for a long time, then suddenly explode over something, whether it warrants it or not. Experts agree that people must retrain themselves to accept anger as a normal emotion and deal with it accordingly. Expressing anger is necessary for good health but it doesn’t mean a brick over the head. That action only brings retaliation and guilt. Anger is a normal emotion that is a result of our genetics, upbringing, and cultural patterns. The biggest problem we face is learning how to discharge it in a manner that is both acceptable in society and healthy for the self. For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with blushing

Erythrophobia is the name given to the fear of blushing. Of all the symptoms I have had to deal with over the years, blushing stands out as a major social anxiety problem affecting both males and females. I have ad a days work every week working with this symptom alone for over 30 years. Extreme and severe blushing is a horrific problem causing the sufferer to become agoraphobic, reclusive and addicted to external substances to gain control. In my experience, in order to stop blushing there is now known way apart from hypnopsychotherapy applied with the B-Chaps model (Brief Clinical Hypnotherapy Solution Focused). In every case which worked with this particular symptom the client improved to such an extent that they managed to stop this problem.. However generally it takes the full amount of sessions (10 – 12). It is extremely effective to use hypnotherapy for the types of social anxiety symptoms. I like to think of it as a minor anxiety attack affecting the triggering mechanism of the blood flow and the vessels to the face. It is common that 1 in 5 experience significant anxiety at some point in their lives. It is normally an automatic response due to emotional stress, embarrassment, anger or even in intimate situations. For those with celtic genes (fair or redheaded individuals with white skin who need to avoid the sun) who tend to redden up easily this can be an additional problem. The sympathetic nervous system response well to hypnotic suggestion to cool down the facial blood vessels which have been triggered by the sufferers own suggestion “Oh I hope I don’t blush” thus causing the symptom in the first place. Severe blushing may cause social anxiety, emotional stress, embarrassment, fear of rejection, avoidance of situations, fear of being humiliated, negatively evaluated, fear of being criticised, fear of going out (agoraphobia. This reddening may effect the lives of those involved adversely in social or professional situations.

Blushing is generally distinguished, despite a close physiological relation, from flushing, which is more intensive and extends over more of the body, and seldom has a mental source. If redness persists for abnormal amounts of time after blushing, then it may be considered an early sign of rosacea. Idiopathic craniofacial erythema is a medical condition where a person blushes strongly with little or no provocation. Just about any situation can bring on intense blushing and it may take one or two minutes for the blush to disappear. Severe blushing can make it difficult for the person to feel comfortable in either social or professional situations. People who have social phobia are particularly prone to idiopathic craniofacial erythema. Psychological treatments and medication can help control blushing.

Some people are very sympathetic to emotional stress. Given a stimulus such as embarrassment, the person’s sympathetic nervous system will cause blood vessels to open wide, flooding the skin with blood and resulting in reddening of the face. In some people, the ears, neck and upper chest may also blush. As well as causing redness, blushing can sometimes make the affected area feel hot.

Physiology of blushing
There is evidence that the blushing region is anatomically different in structure. The facial skin, for example, has more capillary loops per unit area and generally more vessels per unit volume than other skin areas. In addition, blood vessels of the cheek are wider in diameter, are nearer the surface, and visibility is less diminished by tissue fluid. These specific characteristics of the architecture of the facial vessels led Wilkin in an overview of possible causes of facial flushing to the following conclusion: “increased capacity and greater visibility can account for the limited distribution of flushing.”

Evidence for special vasolidation mechanisms was reported by Mellander and his colleagues (Mellander, Andersson, Afzelius, & Hellstrand. 1982). They studied buccal segments of the human facial veins in vitro. Unlike veins from other areas of the skin, facial veins responded with an active myogenic contraction to passive stretch and were therefore able to develop an intrinsic basal tone. Additionally Mellander et al. showed that the veins in this specific area were also supplied with beta-adrenoceptors in addition to the common alpha-adrenoceptors. These beta-adrenoceptors could exert a dilator mechanism on the above-described basal tone of the facial cutaneous venous plexus. Mellander and his colleagues propose that this mechanism is involved in emotional blushing. Drummond has partially confirmed this effect by pharmacological blocking experiments (Drummong. 1997). In a number of trials, he blocked both alpha-adrenergic receptors (with phentolamine) and beta-adrenergic receptors (with propranolol introduced transcutaneously by iontophoresis). Blushing was measured at the forehead using a dual channel laser Doppler flowmeter. Subjects were undergraduate students divided into frequent and infrequent blushers according to the self-report. Their mean age was 22.9 years which is especially favourable for assessing blushing, since young subjects are more likely to blush and blush more intensively. The subjects underwent several procedures, one of which was designed to produce blushing. Alpha-adrenergic blockade with phentolamine had no influence on the amount of blushing in frequent or in infrequent blushers, indicating that release of sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone does not substantially influence blushing. this result was expected since vasoconstrictor tone in the facial area is known to be generally low (van der Meer. 1985). Beta-adrenergic blockade with propranolol on the other hand decreased blushing in both frequent and infrequent blushers. However, despite complete blockade, blood flow still increased substantially during the embarrassment and the blushing inducing procedure. Additional vasodilator mechanisms must therefore be involved.

Psychology of blushing
Charles Darwin devoted Chapter 13 of his 1872 The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals to complex emotional states including self-attention, shame, shyness, modesty and blushing. He described blushing as “…the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.”

Several different psychological and psycho-physiological mechanisms for blushing have been hypothesized by Crozier (2010): “An explanation that emphasises the blush’s visibility proposes that when we feel shame we communicate our emotion to others and in doing so we send an important signal to them. It tells them something about us. It shows that we are ashamed or embarrassed, that we recognise that something is out of place. it shows that we are very sorry about this. It shows that we want to put things right. To blush at innuendo is to show awareness of its implications and to display modesty that conveys that you are not brazen or shameless. The blush makes a particularly effective signal because it is involuntary and uncontrollable. Of course, a blush can be unwanted but the costs to the blusher on specific occasions are outweighed by the long-term benefits of being seen as adhering to the group and by the general advantages the blush provides: indeed the costs may enhance the signal’s perceived value. ”

In some parts of the world, making a person blush without being crude earns a kiss from that person.

It has also been suggested that blushing and flushing are the visible manifestations of the physiological rebound of the basic instinctual fight/flight mechanism, when physical action is not possible.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with bullying and those who have been effected by this behaviour in others

In 1993/1994 Mona O’Moore, from the Trinity College anti-bullying unit, carried out a survey of bullying in primary and second level schools. The results to many people’s surprise showed that 32 per cent of primary and 16 per cent of second level pupils had been bullied at some time. This survey is well worth reading and studying.

Guidelines for countering bullying were published by the Department of Education and Science in 1993 and all schools are requested to develop a policy on countering bullying behaviour.

The ‘stay safe programme” (a child abuse prevention programme) was also introduced into schools in the early 1990s and the issue of bullying is handled very effectively. This programme adopts a three-way approach to preventing or tackling bullying and involves schools, parents and pupils.

What can bullying involve?
Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological or emotional and may be carried out by groups or an individual. Children who are bullied can be constantly subjected to:

• unprovoked beatings;
• being regularly kicked or punched;
• continuous teasing;
• physical harassment in the form of shoving and pushing;
• being called hurtful names;
• being insulted or having their family insulted;
• being verbally abused;
• being threatened and intimidated by known aggressors, being bullied in school and out of school in their local neighbourhood;
• having lies and false rumours spread about them;
• having nasty notes written about them;
• being isolated from groups and being left out of activities on purpose;
• having their property damaged wilfully;
• living in constant fear of something bad being done to them or their families;
• being forced to hand over money or goods through fear and intimidation;
• being made to feel bad about themselves because they are weak intellectually;
• being teased and jeered because of their socio-economic, intellectual, mental, emotional or racial status.

Why do children and young people?
The poor relationship which some children have with their parent(s), can be reflected in the negative attitude which the child has towards other children and adults. Where a parent appears to reject the child and is negative towards him/her the child may, as a result, bully other children as he/she has developed a faulty response mechanism towards others.

Some children are victims of bullies themselves at school or at play in their locality. They feel powerless and frustrated about the situation and, as a result of these bad feelings, they begin to bully others who are weaker than they are.

They bully to gain acceptance from their peers. In some gang situations, for both boys and girls, it is necessary to prove yourself to be part of the gang.

Bullies can be jealous of other children, who appear to be more successful than they are, have more possessions or are more popular. Jealousy has been found to be one of the main reasons given by children for bullying, particularly those who have a low sense of self-worth. They feel that life has given them a bad deal.

Bullies lose out socially because they cannot enjoy others successes. They often become angry and resentful of others.

The behaviour of younger children can deteriorate if there is a new arrival in the family. They feel angry as their mother or father spend less time with them and give them less attention. They take it out on others in the family or, as sometimes happens, on the new arrival.

Bullies may have some physical disability of which they are conscious but with which they have not come to terms. They feel different to other children and may even be jeered and taunted about their disability. They bully out of frustration and to feel power over others.

Because of a change in their family situation, the child may be under severe stress. The child feels alienated from the community and the bullying is a form of revenge. This change in behaviour is usually temporary and may be caused by:

• a parent’s loss of employment and status perceived by the child;
• loss of the family home;
• a change of home and the loss of much that is familiar to the child;
• a death in the family or the death of a friend;
• the loss or death of a pet;
• alcoholism in the family;
• marriage breakdown;
• violence in the home;
• a parent or sibling in prison;
• poverty

They are so insecure within themselves that they enjoy making others feel small and inflicting pain on them.

They are not used to taking turns, sharing, begin part of a group, losing at any type of game or taking directions as to behaviour. They simply bully their way into getting what they want.

(from Fitzgerald)

Childhood bullies – treating the bully with hypnosis
Use any of the techniques suggested for adults.

You may want to refer to the Working with Children masterclass manual for ideas on adapting scripts using play, metaphorical story telling, drawing etc.

The aim is to uncover the pain which caused the child to lash out with bullying in an attempt to control his or her environment so that no-one could hurt him or her again.

Follow this with assertive expression and confidence building techniques.

Childhood bullying – EMDR
1. Ask child to think of a time when they were bullied, or bullied others.
2. Ask about physical feelings in the body as they remember the experiences.
3. Process these to resolution.
4. Creative positive affirmations.
5. Let the child write these in different coloured pens.
6. Process new affirmations in imagined new good behaviours until new behaviours are established in unconscious mind.

Bullying by adults
Child bullies turn into adult bullies, in their grown up playgrounds of the office or the romantic relationship.

Behaviours include:
• physical violence
• shaming
• screaming
• intimidating controlling sarcasm
• silence
• refusing to talk about a problem
• sullen and sulking behaviours
• threats to end a relationship when attempts to control it don’t work
• financial punishment
• verbal or emotional attacks
• humiliating a partner
• accusing and assigning malicious intent
• pathologizing or dehumanizing another
• punching a wall to intimidate or silence
• posturing as if you are going hit someone, and verbal threats to hit if the other person doesn’t comply

Bullies have been ascribed the following traits:
• excessive aggression
• desire for power and dominance
• alienation from society
• belief that bullying is justifiable and deserved
• lack of empathy with their victims
• abdication of responsibility for their actions
• self-obsession

Meanwhile victims are viewed as having the following characteristics:
• high levels of anxiety or insecurity
• quiet demeanour, sensitivity, timidity
• poor self-esteem
• lack of self-confidence
• tendency to be loners

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with cancer


In a major study of breast cancer patients in England, researchers classified the women according to the way they responded to the diagnosis of breast cancer. They found four distinct approaches to the disease among the women they interviewed.

Some women rejected with complete denial that any of the signs of their disease were serious. The denial was so complete that some patients told the researchers after mastectomies that their breasts had been removed only “as a precaution”. Other women took the attitude that they could personally fight and defeat the disease. They tried to find out everything they could about breast cancer in order to conquer it. A third group acknowledged that they had cancer, accepted the diagnosis stoically, and made no effort to find out anything more about the disease. The last group reacted by simply giving up. They felt totally powerless to improve their condition and resigned themselves to an early death.

There were dramatic differences in survival rates of the four groups. 75% of the patients who responded to their diagnosis with either denial of the existence of the disease or a firm fighting spirit were alive and well 5 years later. Only 35% of the other women, those who either accepted their fate stoically or gave up completely, were still alive at the time. The patients in those two groups accounted for 88% of the women who had died 5 years later.

Findings about the importance of the mind’s role in disease have led Dr O. Carl Simonton and his wife, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton, to set up a program for terminal cancer patients. At the Simonton Cancer Counselling Centre patients practice imagery in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments. They visualize their white blood cells swarming over and gobbling up their cancer cells. Apparently it works. A study at Pennsylvania State University shoed that healthy hypnotized peole could raise their per-minute white-blood-cell count as much as 40%.

The Simonton’s also have their patients “imagine” good cells taking over and, in their mind’s eye, picture themselves as healthy and free of disease. They report that over a 4 year period they worked with 159 patients with diagnosis of incurable cancer. At the end of that period, 63 were still alive, having survived an average of 24. 4 months after this diagnosis. That was more than twice the national norm for similar cancer patients. Even the patients who had died lived one and a half times longer than ordinary patients. Of the patients who were alive, some 40% were either improving or had no evidence of the disease whatsoever. when you consider that 100% of those patients had been told they had incurable cancer, you get some idea of the importance of the mind in healing

Imagery is particularly important when working with cancer patients and while the therapist may, at times, formulate specific imageries for the patient having some trouble initiating their own, it is vitally important that the patient also be allowed and encouraged to supply their own personal imagery. And a patient’s imagery can be as varied as their fingerprints.

One patients with a supposedly incurable brain tumour visualized his brain as the solar system, his tumour as an evil invading planet and himself as the leader of the space squadron fighting a successful battle against the tumour. The imagery worked fine for him – within five months the tumour had disappeared, without benefit of any other therapy. One woman saw her cancer cells as garbage, and since she didn’t want to burden her white cells with anything nasty, she used pigs to eat up the garbage. Another woman turned her household chores into healing imageries by imagining that dishwashing suds were washing away her disease. One man imagined a great ocean wave, with foaming whitecaps, continually sloshing over his cancer. One woman imagined her immune system as the hero of an opera in which it and her cancer cells sang arias at each other until the hero prevailed. Another woman “felt” her immune system as a rushing stream washing over her. It is best to allow the subconscious mind to choose the appropriate imagery. The Hypnotherapist will incorporate suggestions for this purpose.

There is also some very strong evidence that hypnosis can help to significantly ameliorate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Both guided imagery and direct suggestion are effective in this regard. Evidence also exists that such therapy can be made more effective and side effects minimized by making the patient a partner in the decision to undergo the therapy. When the physician presents such therapy as an ultimatum and/or the patient agrees to the therapy because they are afraid of what might happen if they don’t, healing can be compromised and side effects intensified. The patient must be helped to approach the chemotherapy or radiation therapy out of positive motivation. It’s estimated that people who share and talk with their physicians – and who choose their therapies for positive reasons – have a fourth to a tenth of the side effects of people who just silently submit to treatment because their doctors or spouses told them they had to.

Functions of the Immune System
Hypnotherapy has a proven track record to effect the immune system through the nervous system by suggestion.

The purpose of the immune system is to destroy anything which threatens the body, e.g. bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites.

Immune system needs to recognise when foreign material is actually good for the body, e.g. food, and to not attack it.

In pregnancy the female’s body has to adapt to invasion by non-self entities, sperm and foetus.

In auto-immune diseases, the body’s defence system turns on the patient’s body itself.

Blood, sweat, tears and tissue fluids have various biochemically active anti-bug substance (properdin, beta lysins, proteins, peptides and polyamines).

The skin is a natural barrier to infection. Friendly bacteria on the skin’s surface prevent invasion by less friendly ones. A wound therefore opens us to the risk of infection.

Bodily orifices to enable us to take in food, water and air have special skin secretions to protect the. The mucus membranes of the nose and respiratory tract have cilia (microscopic hairs) to protect them. Influenza bugs interfere with the sweeping movements of the cilia.

Accidity and the normal peristalsis of the gut prevent much bacterial overgrowth, but can be damaged by food poisoning bugs.

Most bugs which could harm us are fussy about temperature, so raising the temperature of the body can cause some of them to die off. Macrophages and other immune cells work better at higher temperatures, which is why fever often accompanies infection.

The immune system is located throughout the body. Many cells are located in the thymus, the base of the neck; the spleen, below and behind the stomach; the lymph nodes, in the armpits, groin and behind the ears; the bone marrow; the tonsils; the appendix and other parts of the gut.

Immune cells are also found in the blood. These are the white blood cells (Ieucocytes). They are carried in the bloodstream to where they are needed when an area of tissue is injured or infected.

Lymphocytes can be divided into B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells. These latter cells can spontaneously kill certain virus-infected or cancerous cells.

Something which is foreign to the body and generates a specific immune response is called an antibody generator, known as an ‘antigen’.

Antigens are attacked by antibodies. These are a type of protein molecule called the immunoglobulins. Each antibody is unique to one particular antigen to which it responds, it starts to produce multiple copies of itself. These proliferating cells then secrete antibodies into the blood, which attacks the antigen. The whole mixture is then gobbled up by phagocytes.

Another type of immunity, cell-mediated immunity, attacks antigens inside the cells, e.g. viruses. It is also responsible for the bodys response to transplanted organs and to tumour. Its T-lymphocytes kill the target cells.

T-lymphocytes multiply and transform themselves into sub-groups with specific functions. Cytotoxic T-cells attack the antigen, then suppressor T-cells and helper T-cells become involved. Helper T-cells also stimulate B-lymphocytes to produce antibodies.

The immune system learns how to adapt to antigens and knows how to respond to antigens when it meets them again. Hence it is possible to present the immune system with a weak or partial bacterium or virus for illnesses such as polio, typhoid or tetanus.

Sleep deprivation, stress and aging can all interfere with the functioning of the immune system and make it partially ineffective.

In AIDS, the HIV destroys the bodys helper T-lymphocytes and thus allows other infections such as tuberculosis, kaposis sarcoma and pneumonia to take hold.

Autoimmune disorders e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes melatus, pernicious anaemia, ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease happens when B-lymphocytes manufacture antibodies against other cells in the same body. The ‘friendly fire’ phenomenon.

The Mind and Immunity
The central nervous system and the brain, the endocrine system and the immune system interact with each other to ensure the survival of the whole body.

The immune system detects the presence of antigens that are in the body and sends information to the central nervous system, and also lets it know how the immune system is responding to the threat posed by the antigen.

The brain can also send messages to the immune system which alters the function of the immune system.

The pathways along which messages are sent are either electrical, using nerve connection, or chemical, using hormones and neuro-peptides.

The bone marrow is connected to the central nervous system by nerves emanating from the spinal nerve in that part of the body. At least half of the network of nerve connections in the spleen transmit information to and from the brain.

Chemical messengers – immunotransmitters also act on the endocrine and central nervous system.

One of the chemical messengers, noradrenaline, can help the production of antibodies in the various immune tissues.

Cytokines are messenger molecules which act on the central nervous system and endocrine system and when released by the activated immune cells they can affect the body’s hormones and psychological state, e.g. after infection cytokine interleukin (IL – 1) acts on the brain to induce slow wave sleep and loss of appetite, (IL-6) induces fever by putting the body’s thermostat on a higher setting.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


Feelings of depression can be a normal reaction to some of life’s events or stressors such as a bereavement, job loss, retirement, injury, illness or the termination of a relationship. Therefore depression can be triggered by a normal reaction to the traumatic events one encounters in life such as: marital conflict, physical or sexual abuse, economic deprivation, social skills deficits, problem solving skills deficits, self-management skills deficits, dysfunctional ways of thinking and perceiving the world.

Anxiety disorders effect 60% of those who have depression and these include social phobias, agoraphobia, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder etc.

Hypnopsychotherapy is ideally suited to those who are depressed because depressed people are highly aroused. Therefore, hypnotherapy is first necessary to calm them down using trance hypnosis combined with relaxation skills, breathing retraining, guided imagery, relaxation conditioning techniques and solution-focused therapy.


How do I know I need help for depression?

If you are suffering from three or more of the following symptoms for a period of more than two weeks you may be suffering from depression.

  • Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early waking, difficulty getting up
  • Loss of interest/pleasure in activities once enjoyed such as hobbies, socialising, work, intimacy etc
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Fatigue, weakness, lack of enthusiasm, decreased energy.
  • Chronic pain that fails to respond to typical treatments. For example headaches and stomach aches.
  • Eating disturbances. Over-eating or under-eating.
  • Restlessness, irritability, temper loss.
  • Persistent thoughts of suicide and death.
  • Low self esteem, guilt or shame.
  • Increased crying.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Persistent feelings of anxiety, stress, fear.


Why is hypnopsychotherapy an effective approach to treatment?

The United States Public health Service Agency, mandated in 1979 to provide guidelines for the treatment of depression, initiated a literature search from 1975-1990 which looked at some 100,000 pieces of research. Over 3,500 of the best studies were selected to form the guidelines and were peer reviewed by 73 professional societies including the British Psychiatric Society and the British Psychological Society.

The guidelines for effective treatment are:

  • Therapy should be active, time limited, focused on current problems and aimed at symptom resolution and not personality change.
  • Psychotherapy should be considered the first line treatment approach if the depression is mild to moderate, if it is non-psychotic, not chronic, not highly recurrent and if the client wants it.
  • Medication should be the first line treatment if the depression is very severe, if there have been two prior episodes, if there is a family history of depression and if the patient wants it.

This massive research programme quite clearly shows that the types of psychological treatment that are effective in lifting depression are brief, short term therapies such as short term solution focused hypnotherapy, cognitive and behavioural therapy.


Targeting seven basic pillars associated with depression

“The hypnotherapist should identify the client’s current problem and design a solution-focused recording to change his/her negative thinking process”

  1.  To quiet the rumination process and let sleep take over naturally. To teach the client the ability to compartmentalize and to address boundary issues relating to the waking state and the ability to sleep. (rumination is a key factor in depression) Rumination is usually about either irresolvable issues or else issues that are very unlikely to occur. It is necessary to establish a boundary that separates ones waking activities from being able to both fall asleep and stay asleep. Need to create a separate time to analyse one’s life and to try and solve all of ones problems, for example, lying in bed while waiting to sleep is definitely the wrong place. Need to make the bedroom a stress-free place.
  2. To break the pattern of hopelessness and negative expectation. The hypnotherapist needs to build positive expectation – to look at the future optimistically – that positive change is inevitable.
  3. To break the patterns of feeling stuck, helpless and hopeless. The hypnotherapist needs to address issues of rigidity and to encourage flexibility. Control issues:- depressed people evaluate distortions o what is and isn’t controllable in their life. They may feel like victims of life and circumstances leading to subjective feelings of helplessness (victim mentality). Alternatively, they may suffer from the illusion of control in which the client believes he/she can control things and make things happen that are in fact beyond the individuals actual range of powers.
  4. To teach a clear sense of personal boundaries and how to maintain them. Depressed people complain about feeling overwhelmed. They may be globally aware of all the problems that are facing them in life, seemingly all at once, which would be overwhelming for any one. Thus it becomes a specific goal in treatment to teach the client not only to identify all the problems, but to achieve some sense of priority and establish a sensible sequence in which the problems are going to be addressed. You need to teach your client the skill of compartmentalisation which involves the ability to separate one aspect of experience from another – to discover ‘where to draw the line.’
  5. To turn guilt into liberation. Excessive or inappropriate guilt is a typical and emotionally powerful component of the overall experience of depression. Guilt usually surfaces when the client does not live up to someone’s expectations or even their own expectations. Clients may feel personally responsible for how other people think, the choices that other people make, the things that others do and the things that other people do not do. You need to teach the client to know what they are and are not responsible for and to make it clear that they have to let other people make their own choices responsibly.
  6. Preventing life’s stressors controlling the clients’ coping ability. Everyone has problems, stressors, disappointments, rejections, humiliations, losses and other hardships and circumstances that are occasionally painful. The client must be taught that when bad things happen that they are usually transient, there are things you can bounce back from and move on from in your life and they represent only one portion of life, not all of life. The goal is to make the clients’ life a satisfying one, an enjoyable one, where they are able to experience the kind of things that they want to be able to experience. There are lots of things that fall in the realm of the clients control and they can do a lot of things to prevent unnecessary stresses, and avoid potentially depressing circumstances.
  7. To turn indecisiveness into empowerment. Empowerment means the ability to choose, to recognise that at any given moment of time the client has the ability to choose whether they’ll respond and how they’ll respond to different people and different circumstances. It means have an orientation towards the future that allows them to be goal orientated and clear and deliberate in their understandings of how the things that they do right now will impact on the events yet to come.



Depression is treated with solution-focused hypnopsychotherapy which involves a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnoanalytical psychotherapy which takes an average of 8 to 12 sessions.

Examination Preparation & Study Habits

The heart beats faster; the palms get sweaty; perhaps the knees feel a bit weak; the mouth and throat feel parched; memory of even the most familiar of facts and details deserts a frantic mind. I could be describing a teenager’s first date, but of course, I’m not. To so many people the symptoms I’ve just described all too well typify there own experiences when faced with tests and examination. but it doesn’t have to be that way. Exams can be prepared for and taken with a minimum of anxiety and tension.

Examinations are not a measure of a person’s intelligence. Indeed, how many of us have paused in wonder when our less than bright classmate outscored us in that all important, do or die exam. I can clearly remember a former professor of mine, the late eminent anthropologist and social scientist, Dr. Margaret Mead telling our class that “all exams really do is measure our ability to take exams.” As such, efficient, effective and successful exam preparation and tension free exam taking is a skill that can be learned by everyone regardless of native intelligence.

We must assume that, for our purposes, the person preparing for the particular exam is familiar with, has studied and has completed as applicable the necessary course work and reading of the appropriate subject matter for the exam. All that is now necessary is to adequately and thoroughly review the learned material for the test itself. Those wishing for or needing assistance with memory, concentration and proper habits of study will be catered to during the sessions.

The first step in preparing for an exam is to find out as much as one can about the exact nature and scope of that particular exam. If possible, the students should obtain pervious examinations. If the patient is a college student, the acquisition of test papers given by the same instructor would be a definite plus. If the exam faced is the proficiency or professional type such as the civil service, real estate, insurance, contractors, etc., sample tests are usually available to the applicant. Whatever the situation, exam copies should be studied carefully.

You will be advised to try to answer all the questions on the exam as if they were actually undergoing the exam itself. They should allow themselves the allotted time they will be allowed at the actual test itself and only that much time. Knowing the total time allowed for the examination is an obvious and vital help to the student in preparing for the test because it will enable them to practice answering questions under actual exam conditions.

Time pressure is one of the great stumbling blocks in the path of many exam takers. Only by timing their answers when studying will they be able to practice answering questions in the allotted time. It’s one thing to answer exam questions correctly, but it’s quite another thing to answer them correctly in the allotted time.

And since most tests today are given under timed conditions, the time element is one of the major factors in getting a high score. Only practice under timed conditions will best enable the student to answer questions in the real examination. This is another good reason for obtaining and studying previous examinations.

Of course, the actual exam will most probably not contain the same questions as are on the sample test but it most probably will contain the same types, level of difficulty and perhaps even the same amount of questions the student will have to deal with on the actual exam. this will greatly help to prepare the student and let them know what to generally expect. it’s been shown that, if two people of equal intelligence, education, experience and training take the same exam the one most familiar with previous exams that most closely resemble the actual test in form, scope and allotted time will score the higher.

Review and study for the exam is, of course, very important. There can be no set rule for how long before the exam date reviewing should begin. This will vary depending upon several factors. College students may or may not find that new material that will be included on the exam is being presented by the instructor up to the last day of class.

When to begin the review will depend to a very large extent on the total course load being carried, the dates of the exams and, of course, the study time the student has available to him or her. Those taking professionals exams e.g. real estate, civil service and other such broad proficiency and professional examinations are normally not limited to the degree a college student is and thus may begin reviewing at their own discretion. However, for such exams it is strongly recommended that reviewing begin at least a month and no later than two weeks prior to the exam date.

Reviewing assumes, of course, that all the required work and new learning has been completed and, as such, all that is now needed is a general overview of the subject area to reacquaint the conscious memory with the previously learned information. Of course, particular emphasis may have toe be paid to certain rough spots if necessary.

For optimum benefit, study sessions should be somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes in length. As we’ve seen, clinical studies have proven that learning is more efficient where its broken down into small chunks with short rest breaks in between each session. Somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes seem to be the best for study or learning periods. If too small, there will be insufficient meaning and continuity for proper understanding of the material. If too long boredom, restlessness and fatigue become inhibiting factors to learning and retention.

Rest breaks should be about 5 to 10 minutes long. There will admittedly be times when, with studying going well, temptation will arise to study on past the point when a rest break should be taken. Such temptation should be avoided. Studies have shown that later recall of the material is actually enhanced by interrupting the studying and temporarily turning the mind to other, unrelated activities.

After the rest break, a few minutes should be spent reviewing the material from the previous study session even if the student stopped studying just 5 minutes before. This quick, mini review “warms” the students up and re-establishes the proper mental set. A few minutes should be spent reviewing the material from the previous day’s study. Ten minutes after the day’s or evening’s study the entire material should be reviewed for about five minutes.
A good nights’s sleep before the exam is important to ensure that the student will be well rested for the test. Last minute cramming should be avoided. A hasty, last minute cram may help the test-taker answer one or two additional questions that they otherwise might not have been able to answer but the general weariness late night cramming generally produces is much more likely to have an adverse affect on the test as a whole.

Students should arrive at the test location 10 or 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the test. Whenever possible, the entire test paper should be read, along with the instructions, before attempting to answer any of the questions. Of course, those taking the lengthy proficiency and licensing type exams will usually find this impossible and even inadvisable from the standpoint of time. However, it would be a good idea for them to take a few minutes to gain a general overview of the exam. If nothing more, the time spent reviewing the test papers will help to settle any last minute jitters.

Studying the exam also enables the test taker to plan the time her or she must allot for each question to be answered. They should mentally not how many questions each part contains along with the degree of difficulty of each question. If there is a choice of questions the student should select those which they’re sure they know the answer to and then answer those questions first.

Test takers often complain that certain questions are ambiguous in their wording and open to interpretation. Sometimes this is true but more often than not it’s actually the test taker, suspicious of the examiner’s intentions, who reads into the question something that isn’t there. Every question on an exam has a definite point and that point must be discovered by a student before an answer can be adequately attempted. If a question actually is ambiguous then the best course of action is to choose one of the possible meanings and answer the question as if that were the only meaning.

If the question is of the essay type then the student should state the difficulty they had in interpreting the examiners intent at the outset of answering the question so that the examiner will be made aware of the ambiguity. Depending on the type of exam, the examiner may possibly take this into consideration when grading the test. But again, the student should choose a meaning and answer the question “as if” that were the true meaning and answer the question confidently and fully. In for a penny, in for a pound! A half answered question, regardless of ambiguity, invites half the score at most.

If there’s time at the end of the exam, the student should read over the questions and his or her answers to them. They’ll often be amazed and surprised at the mistakes they find. However, it is important that they learn to trust their intuition. If they arrive at two possible and plausible answers to the exam questions, they should trust their hunch in making a choice. More often than not, their hunch will prove correct.

Study Habits
Poor study habits involve both internal and external conditions. Internally, a person’s sense of how to manage their time or how to bear down and concentrate may be poorly defined and difficult to put into action. This results in an unnecessary drain on their energy and emotions. For example, if they have an exam, a progress report, research to do for a lecture, a sales pitch – any act of learning that requires preparation and some semblance of organization – they can transform it into a traumatic, self punishing experience by delaying it. If, instead, they did the task in small increments before their deadline, their task would be considerably easier.

Time management is not a complex, tedious process. It simply involves breaking one’s whole project into workable segments. People can do this with any block of material – the information to be learned for the bar exam, the research necessary for their annual report, the work of the three novelists that they need to study for their oral exam in twentieth century literature. Their learning module can be compared to an ice cream that they cannot easily ingest if swallowed whole; broken into pieces, it goes down easily.

The external factors of poor study habits have to do with the physical location of a person’s study area and their association with it. A psychologist working with students who had poor study habits found that when the students followed the three rules below, their learning experience was markedly improved.

1. Designate one particular location for study and use that location consistently.
2. Eliminate any external distractors.
3. Leave the location as soon as you are no longer able to concentrate.

Hypnosis can help directly with the last two factors. Some external distractors will never be easy or even possible to eliminate. A housemate’s squaking parakeet or the blasting stereo down the hall are examples (but you can program your patient, with hypnosis, to block out sounds).

Of course, if a person’s external distractor is their baby, their spouse, or someone else close to them, then they need to settle on a study schedule that coincides with the times they’re not involved in that person’s routine. But they can’t expect the people they live with to come and go as the patient might please. They need to construct a cooperative plan of action that deprives neither party of his or her “rights”.

The last rule, which deals with leaving the study area when their concentration has dissipated, can be regulated by their specifying a time frame for their activity. This involves designating a starting and stopping time that corresponds to their normal attention span and then working within those limits.

According to some experts, (with studies to back them up) relaxation skills are the most crucial element to improve learning ability. Anxiety interfere with learning. Any kind of anxiety, not just that type associated with the learning process itself. If you can help your patient rid themselves of anxiety, they are more likely to learn. With this in min, appropriate therapy for stress and anxiety should be a part of your patient’s program when indicated along with training in relaxation techniques.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Economic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Hypnotherapy is 100% natural and is the key to mastering the deeper mind and body.
  • For training please visit , ring 0214273575 or email
  • For private consultations please visit , ring 0214273575 or email


New Foundation course commencing in September

Economic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Hypno-psychotherapy Interventions

1 in 4 have PTSD symptoms from financial stress

On Friday 1st of July 2016 Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England stated on the Financial Times that due to the Brexit vote to leave the EU that Britains economy was in a “post traumatic stress disorder situation”.

According to a new study from Payoff one in four have PTSD-like symptoms from financial stress such as stress resulting from homelessness, late payments, stress about paying off outstanding debt, stress resulting from negative financial behaviour and from acute financial stress (AFS).

Considering the state of the economy and the fact that the global economy is imploding with zombie banks, zero interest rates, fiat money not to mention every country is bankrupted and central banks creating money out of nothing, backed by nothing and creating nothing.

Many are overwhelmed by stagnant incomes, non-existent savings, rising debt levels, high taxes and financial ordeals such as bankruptcy, defaults and eviction.

Capitalism Without Capital

When government controls all wealth and the central banks are involved in quantitative easing, buying not only government bonds but corporate bonds also. This of course is ‘capitalism without capital’, a new concept engineered by the central bankers to bring about a new world order in finance. Its only a matter of time when the central bankers (private banking system) will own all of our assets. The majority of people are completely oblivious to this coup d’etat of our monetary system and the resulting consequences which of course is financial stress all around.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of the Economic Kind

PTSD is often accompanied by depression and in the most serious cases, a genuine risk of suicide. Like people with any other mental illness, people with PTSD will probably also tend to abuse alcohol or other drugs. Hypno-psychotherapists see this abuse as an attempt at self-medication that does not remedy anything in the long term.

Behavioural/Cognitive Therapies and Hypno-psychotherapy can alleviate the symptoms experienced by people who have PTSD. These forms of therapy often involve a process of desensitization, in which the patient is exposed to memories of the traumatic event in the secure setting of the therapists office. This process can help the patient to feel less afraid and eventually to manage his or her fears more effectively.

PTSD sometimes resolves itself over time even without treatment. Thus, in a sense, the purpose of the psychotherapy is to accelerate this natural process of forgetting.

Intrusion Symptoms

When PTSD sufferers manifest intrusion symptoms, they do not simply experience memories of the traumatic event – they cannot stop their memories from coming back to haunt them. Some of these people experience veritable flashbacks so invasive that it feels as if they are literally reliving the event. Nightmares are another form of intrusion symptom.

Avoidance Symptoms

When PTSD sufferers show avoidance symptoms, they try to avoid conditions and situations that might trigger memories of the traumatic event. They also tend to avoid talking about this event, so that they do not have to confront it directly. Another avoidance symptom is a dulling of the emotions, sometimes so extreme that these individuals become emotionally deadened. They lose interest in activities that they used to love, stay away from friends and family and turn inwards on themselves.
Overstimulation Symptoms

People with PTSD may experience many symptoms of hypervigilance that make it hard for them to concentrate and to finish the activities that they start. More specifically, these people may: experience insomnia and nervousness, tend to become frightened easily, have a constant sense of danger or imminent disaster, be highly irritable, and even engage in violent behaviour.

It was long thought that people could develop PTSD only if they were involved in disasters such as being in a plane crash, witnessing a homicide, or being trapped in a building that had collapsed in an earthquake or a bombing attack. War is in fact the main cause of PTSD, and in North America, the largest group of PTSD sufferers consists of Vietnam war veterans. Indeed, most of what we know about PTSD comes from studies of combat veterans.

More recently however, the list of events that may cause someone to develop PTSD has been expanded to include such experiences as being raped, being in an automobile accident and economic disasters for both individuals and families.

Treatment with Hypno-psychotherapy

According to the IREBH (International Register of Evidence Based Hypnotherapy), the best practice for treatment is outlined in the book “Function-focused Hypno-psychotherapy” by Peter & Deborah George as follows:

Strategies for Treatment

In 1990 Mervin Smucker, Ph.D, from the Medical College of Wisconsin, created Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT) for the processing of traumatic experiences. The lists below compare the therapeutic goals established by Dr Smucker and those used in Hypnopsychotherapy

IRRT – Goals

• Decrease physiological arousal
• Eliminate intrusive PTSD symptoms
• Transform traumatic imagery into mastery, self-empowering imagery
• Modify trauma-related beliefs/schemas
• Enhance ability to self-calm, self-nurture and affectively self-regulate
• Enhance linguistic processing by developing a narrative about the traumatic event

Hypno-psychotherapy – Goals

• Calm/relax (self-regulate)
• Suppress rumination STOP/re-direct
• Generate safe haven
• Regress to Trauma and generate Mastery imagery
• Cognitively re-construct
• Enhance Ego Strength & ability to affectively self-regulate anxiety
• Develop a new narrative about the traumatic event(s) and future pace to test for improved anxiety threshold

They are clearly very similar in overall approach but there is advantage in the Hypnotic state in being able to create and use fictional resources to empower self with substantial reality through felt experience.

In the pin-point regression to the trauma the patient is encouraged to recount the event internally at a safe distance with the therapists presence clearly felt via the therapist slowly counting from 1-100 (a most useful technique developed by the Father of PTSD definition – Prof. Frank Ochberg).

Enhanced Creativity

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with enhancing creativity

Enhancing creativity
Each side of your brain – each brain hemisphere – controls certain activities or processes. Your left hemisphere is concerned with verbal description and suggestion; it is your “practical” side. Your right hemisphere is the side of creative visualization and mental imagery; it is the seat of your intuition, musical and artistic ability, and even your sense of humour.

The hypnosis cycles in this therapy use a full-brain approach; that is, a combination of both verbal suggestion and creative imagination. This session, however, is specifically designed for right-brain development: The suggestions are not as “clear cut” or as specific as in the others. this cycle will help more of your creative potential to unfold. You can use it to remember you dreams, to listen to your hunches, to daydream creatively, to discover hidden talents and abilities, and to have more insight into all that is around you and in you.

Your creative right hemisphere is the full-blown sail of your mind. the practical left hemisphere is the rudder that helps direct your course. Allow your adventurous creativity to propel you and use your guiding rudder to keep you on course. A marriage of your right brain to left brain is the ideal in any creative endeavour. Balance your full potential by verbally discussing your creative insights with yourself or with others.

One good method to develop your creativity is to play a favourite piece of music, then – while in a self-hypnotic or reverie state – verbally describe out loud, using all your five sense, a memorable vacation or a pleasant event in your life. At another time, play different music and imagine a story – make up a story – aloud, that fits the mood of the music. This “stream of consciousness” exercise bridges the right and left hemispheres.

You can also use creative daydreaming by taking a short break during the day to quiet your body and envision in your mind your ideals and your goals. Thomas Edison regularly took “cat naps” and often awakened with new insights and ideas. he wrote these ideas in countless journals and on scraps of paper; then he discussed these ideas with people close to his work.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Emotional Health Centre

At the Emotional Health Centre, 6 Tuckey Street in Cork city, Ireland we treat a whole host of emotional problems. One in five people suffer from an emotional problem and the types of problems are as numerous as the clients suffering them.

The term ‘mental health’ conjures up all types of stereotypes of mental illness including psychosis (madness), schizophrenia, delusions etc. While there is nothing wrong (or necessarily even permanent) about suffering from a serious mental health problem, this ‘tarring with the same brush’ can be quite stigmatising for people with less severe mental health challenges. This in turn may discourage them from seeking help from qualified Hypnopsychotherapists such as at the ICHP.

Most if not all clients consulting with anxiety or panic attacks will say “I think I am going mad or crazy” and they present with these persistent symptoms in the hope of getting relief from them. Alternatively some find relief from panic attacks and anxiety in the from of self medication such as alcohol, drugs, medications etc which have severe side effects and offer only temporary resolution.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

In accordance with WHO guidelines regarding mental well being the term ’emotional health’ is more appropriate to describe the less severe (but no less pressing for the world economy in terms of lost productivity) forms of mental health symptomology. Emotional health is about having control over ones emotions good, bad or indifferent. It enables one to navigate through both the stormy and calm seas of life with awareness and equanimity.

The cycle of emotions
1. Joy/Appreciation/Empowerment/Freedom
2. Passion
3. Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4. Positive Expectation/Belief
5. Optimism
6. Hopefulness
7. Contentment
8. Boredom
9. Pessimism
10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelm
12. Disappointment
13. Doubt
14. Worry
15. Blame
16. Discouragement
17. Anger
18. Revenge
19. Hatred/Rage
20. Jealousy
21. Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

Symptoms of emotional problems include:

• Panic attacks
• Anxiety
• Stress
• Irritability
• Mood swings
• Sleep disorder
• Sadness
• Nightmares
• Excessive crying
• Dissociation
• Shame
• Hostility
• Loneliness
• Binge eating
• Restlessness
• Depression
• Burnout
• Procrastination

Breaking the cycle of negative emotions
Negative emotions can be like a ball we keep pushing under the water. It takes a lot of energy and time to keep the ball in place here and eventually we will lose grip and it will spring up to the surface with dire consequences. The last creatures to realise that they are in water are fish and we are the last ones to realise we are in oxygen yet if we lack it for even a few minutes we expire. The same logical principles apply to emotional avoidance and expression. What we resist persists. Our natural instincts are to avoid pain and push it under the surface which creates more problems and a cycle of negative emotions. Hypnopsychotherapy has a proven strategy to eliminate these negative cycles.

A. One needs to quieten the mind and body and look at the situation objectively.
B. Recognise the negative cycles of emotions.
C. Stop and replace the negative cycles by expressing your emotions in a positive way.
D. Rehearse appropriate responses in your imagination.
E. Rehearse cues and anchors for positive outcomes.
F. Find the triggers in the present time.
G. Find the root causes in the past.
H. Awareness of bodily feelings and emotions is paramount. Recording for playing at home to reinforce the clinical work. Remember that every time you become aware of your emotion give yourself a ‘star’ (or a mental facebook ‘like’!!) – this is the first step to improved emotional health.

Snapshot of Irish Emotional Health Symptomology

• Anxiety and depression comprises over 80% of all mental or addictive disorders
• One in every four adults suffer from anxiety or depression
• Less than 30% of those with anxiety disorders receive professional help
• Only 50% of those experiencing major depressive disorders receive help
• Only 40% of those with depression receive help
• 12.3% of men and 19.5% of women have neurotic disorders
• Depression – 10%
• IBS – 20%
• Stress – 35%
• Anxiety disorders – 15%
• Cancer – 25% (lifetime)
• Obesity – 39%
• Asthma – 25%
• Sexual abuse – 40% women, 25% men
• 62% of Irish prisoners have an addiction
• 52% of Irish prisoners have used or will use heroine
• Pain – 80% of people will suffer back pain
• 5% of people suffer migraines
• 5% insomnia/sleep difficulties
• 25% of women experience violence
• 50% of workers bullied
• 20% high blood pressure
• 50% of the population binge drinking
• 30% smoking
• 50% of students have/do take drugs, 19% will take drugs
• Medical junkies – 2 million prescriptions issued each year
• 700,000 effected by mental disorders in Ireland
• 62% – Burnout
• 60% of patients who suffer depressive disorders also suffer from anxiety, i.e., social phobia, simple phobia, PTSD, agoraphobia, panic
• 13 unwed dads committed suicide over a three month period
• Problem children fail to get psychological support in schools
• Workplace stress doubles the likelihood of fatal heart attack
• 75% of students dropped out of a course because it was too difficult
• 90% of 15 and 16 year olds have taken alcohol (69% have been drunk)
• 32% of children have used cannabis
• Smokers start in their teens – pressure to fit in, be independent etc
• Suicides and Para suicides numbers are growing each year
• One in every 140 had deliberately self-harmed. In Cork it is more, 1 in 8.
• One fifth of adults suffer from mental disorders (half of which are undiagnosed)
• 10,000 people attempted suicide in 2002
• Medical errors kill 2,000 people each year in Ireland

What are the main types of mental health problems?

• Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with almost 9 percent of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.
– The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001)
• Between 8 – 12% of the population experience depression in any year.
– The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001)
• About half of people with common mental health problems are no longer affected after 18 months, but poorer people, the long-term sick and unemployed people are more likely to be still affected than the general population.
– Better or Worse: A Longitudinal Study of the Mental Health of Adults in Great Britain, National Statistics (2003)

Statistics on mental health
• 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.
• Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain.
• Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men.
• About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time.
• Depression affects 1 in 5 older people living in the community and 2 in 5 living in care homes.
• British men are three times as likely as British women to die by suicide.
• The UK has one of the highest rates of self harm in Europe, at 400 per 100,000 population.
• Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder.

Treatment at the Emotional Health Centre

Bereavement, Loss, Grief, Anger & Jealousy
Emotions are part of the very fabric of life. They’re what separates us from machines, plants and pet rocks and add an important dimension f meaning to human existence. Because they are a contributing factor to a variety of physical and psychological ills, it is vitally important that the therapist be able to help their client successfully address and resolve the conflicts engendered by so-called ‘negative’ emotions.

We work with the six emotions that contribute most to human misery – anger, grief, jealousy, bereavement, loss and guilt. You’ll gain a remarkable insight and some startling new perspectives as you learn why you feel the way they do and how we, as therapists, can help you to change. Some of the techniques you’ll learn are tried and true while others are positively ground-breaking. Once mastered, these techniques can be applied to a whole host of other emotions.

Stress, Anxiety & Worry
Stress and it’s related anxiety and chronic worry has been described as the plague of the 21st century and it is estimated that over 80% of physical & emotional symptoms presented to therapists are psychosomatic and directly caused by distress. The havoc that these three emotions (stress, worry, anxiety) exhort in terms of human misery, suffering and health is virtually incalculable. They have been strongly linked to such physical ailments as hypertension, ulcers, heart disease, colitis, IBS, cancer, virus reactions and even the common cold. Stress is fast becoming recognised as a problem in the workplace and businesses lose billions of euros each year because of stress related problems.

Emotional Health Centre Cork
Changing Minds – Transforming Lives

List of symptoms treated by Hypnopsychotherapy Evidence-Based

It has become increasingly evident that bidirectional (“top-down and bottom-up”) interactions between the brain and peripheral tissues, including the cardiovascular and immune systems, contribute to both mental and physical health. Therapies directed toward addressing functional links between mind/brain and body may be particularly effective in treating the range of symptoms associated with many chronic diseases. In this paper, we describe the basic components of an integrative psychophysiological framework for research aimed at elucidating the underlying substrates of mind-body therapies. This framework recognizes the multiple levels of the neuraxis at which mind-body interactions occur. We emphasize the role of specific fronto-temporal cortical regions in the representation and control of adverse symptoms, which interact reciprocally with subcortical structures involved in bodily homeostasis and responses to stress. Bidirectional autonomic and neuroendocrine pathways transmit information between the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery and facilitate the expression of affective, autonomic, hormonal, and immune responses. We propose that heart rate variability (HRV) and markers of inflammation are important currently available indices of central-peripheral integration and homeostasis within this homeostatic network. Finally, we review current neuroimaging and psychophysiological research from diverse areas of mind-body medicine that supports the framework as a basis for future research on the specific biobehavioral mechanisms of mind-body therapies.

Abandonment Aches and pains Acne
Addictions Age regression Ageusis
Aggression Agitation Agoraphobia
Air hunger Alcoholism Allergies
Amenorrhea Anaesthesia Anger
Anxiety Racing thoughts Apathy
Aphonia Asthma Assertiveness
Assist healing Arithmomania Attitude adjustment

Bed wetting Being overcritical Better exam results
Blood pressure Blurred vision Blushing
Breathing Bulimia Bullying

Career success Car sickness Change habits
Chest pain Childbirth Hypnosis for children
Chronic pain Cigarettes Co-dependency
Colitis Communication Compulsions
Compulsive stealing Compulsive washing Concentration
Confidence Constant worrying Constipation
Control Cramps Cravings

Death or loss Decision making Dental procedures
Depression Developing skills Diarrhoea or constipation
Dissociation Discouragement Dizziness
Double vision Doubt Dreams
Driving fear Drug addiction Dyslexia
Dysmenorrhea Dyspepsia
Eating disorders Eating more or less Eczema
Emotional pain Enuresis Envy
Eyelid droop Eye-strain Exam nerves
Excessive blinking Exercise motivation

Fainting Fears Fear of flying
Feeling vulnerable Fibrositis Forgiveness
Fibromyalgia Frigidity Frustration

Gagging Gambling Goal setting

Fears & Phobias
Animals Being alone Being touched
Change Clowns Commitment
Crowd Darkness Death
Dentists Doctors Dogs
Dirt Driving Engulfment
Falling Failure Flying
Germs God Heights
Injections Intimacy Long words
Loss of control Loud noise Open spaces
Public speaking Rejection School
Snakes Social situations Spiders
Success Surgery Thunder and lightning
Water Wasps

Habits Hair twisting Hair pulling
Hallucinations Hay fever Headaches
Helplessness Hoarding Hopelessness
Hypochondria Hostility Hypertension
Hypnosis for teenagers

Immune system Impotency Improve health
Improve sales Inability to concentrate Inability to relax
Indecision Independence Indigestion
Inferiority complex Infertility Inhibition
Inner child Insecure feelings Insomnia
Irrational Irrational thoughts Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritability Isolation Itching



Lack of ambition Lack of confidence Lack of direction
Lack of enthusiasm Lack of initiative Lip biting
Loneliness Lower blood pressure Lying

Meanness Medical procedures Medication side effects
Melancholia Memory Memory problems
Migraines Mind/body healing Misogamy
Misogyny Misanthropy Mistrust
Moodiness Morbid thoughts Motivation

Nail biting Nausea Negativism
Nervousness Nervous habits Neuralgia
Neurosis Nightmares Night terrors

Obesity Obsessions Obsessive tidying
OCD Orgasmic dysfunction Over dependency
Over eating Over critical Overwhelming feeling

Pain management Palpitations Panic attacks
Paranoia Passive aggressive Perfectionism
Performance anxiety Pessimism Phobias
Picking nails or fingers Poor communication skills Poor judgement
Post surgical Premature ejaculation Presurgical
Problem solving Procrastination Public speaking

Reach goals Regression Rejection
Relationship Enhancement Relaxation
Resentment Resistance Resistance to change
Responsibility Restlessness Revulsion

Sadness Sciatica Sea-sickness
Seeing only the negative Self awareness Self blame
Self confidence Self consciousness Self control
Self criticism Self defeating behaviours Self esteem
Self expression Self forgiveness Self hypnosis
Self image Self improvement Self mastery
Self pity Sexual problems Shame
Shaking Shingles Shivering
Shoplifting Short temper Shyness
Skin problems Skin disorders Sleep disorders
Sleeping too much Sleeping too little Sleep talking
Smoking cessation Snoring Social phobia
Speech disorders Spiritual development Sports hypnosis
Stage fright Stammering Stop smoking
Study habits Substance abuse Surgical recovery
Suicidal thoughts

Stress Anxiety Sterility
Stress causes Stress effects Stress headache
Stress management Reduce stress Stress relief
Stress treatment

Teeth-grinding Tension headaches Thumb sucking
Torticollis Tiredness Trauma
Tics Tinnitus Trembling
Trust issues Twitching


Vaginismus Victimization Visualization

Warts Wasps Water
Weight management Work stress Worry
Writers block

Weight loss
Gastric band hypnosis Fast weight loss How to lose weight
Lose weight fast Rapid weight loss Weight loss diet
Weight loss plans

Suicide, unemployment and the effect of economic recession
WHO recently estimated that 804,000 people worldwide died by suicide during 2012. Suicide prevention experts have historically focused their attention on elevated risk during times of economic downturn. For instance, Stack and Haas estimated that more than 900 suicides in the USA were attributable to the sharp rise in redundancies that occurred in 1981-82 during the early years of the Reagan administration, and which pushed the national unemployment rate up to its highest level since the interwar Great Depression era

Fear of Flying

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with fear of flying

Fear of flying
In some situations a certain amount of fear is a natural and adaptive reaction. Fear is healthy when it alerts us to danger, heightens our awareness, and motivates us to be careful. But given the safety of modern commercial air travel, fear of flying is not an adaptive reaction. Planes do crash, but so do cars, buses, trains, and bicycles. Statistics show that one is safer on a plane. Nevertheless, large numbers of people are afraid of flying. Some fly anyway, but suffer. Others don’t fly, and miss out on pleasure trips, visits with friends and relatives, and business opportunities.

Why all this fear of flying? Leaving solid ground scares us. To fly we must accept our lack of control and the necessity to truth the pilot, control-tower personnel, and a strange machine. If a person doesn’t feel emotionally supported or on solid ground in their daily life, they may overreact to the predicament of being suspended in midair in a metal box, helplessly dependent on the sanity and goodwill of others.

The very situations that frighten us, however, can be sources of fun and exhilaration once we master them. Many people have conquered their fear of flying and discovered how easy and delightful flying can be. They have also learned more about themselves in the process.

Gaining the necessary trust and confidence takes repeated positive experiences and concerted effort. Flying fears often have straightforward causes. One is direct experience – that is, having a “bad flight”. People also learn inappropriate fear from other sources, such as a relative who won’t fly, a friend who had a scary experience, or an exaggerated movie.

Extreme fears of phobias consist of three elements: emotions (the way we feel), cognitions (the way we think), and behaviours (the way we act). All three aspects although interrelated, must be understood and dealt with separately.

Overcoming emotional obstacles
“When I get on a plane, I panic; it’s like I’m going to die.” “I’m afraid I’ll just break down and make a fool of myself.” Such reactions can include feelings of rapid heartbeat, stomach cramps, dizziness, headache, and nausea. They have a common cause; increasingly rapid breathing (hyperventilation). In extreme cases, such overbreathing leads to feelings of choking or dying. It is crucial for the phobic to realize that such breathing is under their control. They can accelerate it – leading to feelings of increased fright and eventual panic – or decelerate it – leading to feelings of greater control and calm.

• One of the most effective ways to help the patient overcome emotional obstacles is by systematic desensitization through successive approximation employed within the framework of a hypnotherapy session. Have your patient think of 12 flight related situations, ranging from those with low arousal to those of high arousal. They, or you, should write these down, beginning with the least threatening and going on through to the most threatening. You’ll use these within the session.

Here’s a sample list I’ve found that applies to most fear of flying clients:

1. Planning the trip
2. Packing for the trip
3. Leaving for the airport
4. Arriving at the airport
5. Checking in the luggage
6. Checking in at the gate
7. Boarding the plane
8. Taking their seat
9. Taxiing down the runway
10. Taking off
11. The plane bouncing as it encounters turbulence
12. Landing

In hypnosis, the therapist will program you with an ideomotor response. It might go something like this: “In a moment, I’m going to lead you through the process of a flying experience, beginning with your planning the trip. if at any time you begin to feel anxious or nervous, I’d like you to raise the forefinger of your right (or left) hand.”

Now being to go through the list, starting with the least threatening. Be sure to embellish the imagery of each step. This means, don’t just say “you’re planning the trip”, for instance. Rather, you might say “you’re planning your trip and looking through the travel brochures or thinking about what you’re going to do or who you’re going to see when you reach your destination.”

When you reach an anxiety provoking step and their forefinger lifts, immediately say: “Now, I want you to go through that particular step again but this time imagine yourself taking a few moments to change that negative reaction to a more positive and pleasant one. You’re in that situation or place and you now close your eyes, take a deep, lung-filling breath – go ahead, take a deep breath right now – and exhale. Take a second deep, lung-filling breath…and exhale. Now, you picture and imagine yourself in your favourite place – one you especially enjoy being.” Continue to lead yourself through a relaxation imagery. You then proceed as follows with the following direct suggestion. “You are calm, relaxed, at ease and totally in control of the situation. As a matter of fact, you’re beginning to rather enjoy the experience as you will continue to do to an even greater degree, now and in the future.”

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273575 or email us on


Guilt is an unpleasant feeling of remorse or sadness for past actions. It can happen when a person does something that goes against his/her moral code or feels as if he or she has wronged somebody.

It’s one thing to feel guilt after actually doing something wrong or hurtful to another person. It’s quite another to carry around a burden of excessive and unjustified guilt. The first sort of guilt is a signal from our conscience that we’ve violated our own sense of morality. This signal helps us regulate our social behaviour and learn how to get along with others.

The second sort of guilt is a blight. It can paralyse us with fear, worry, anxiety, humiliation and eventually a deep, possibly suicidal self-loathing. The emotional fallout of needless guilt can range from chronic fatigue to such self-punishing behaviours as alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual dysfunction, accident-proneness, and psychosomatic illness.

A critical, unforgiving conscience turns against the self-nagging away at all sorts of thoughts, feelings and acts. Frequently this crippling guilt is grounded in the past. We sometimes carry along harsh judgements from the past to the present, even though we have changed. The weight of this self-blame can be enormous: The guilt-ridden victim feels bad, worthless, unlovable, unfit for human companionship. Guilt can thus drive a wedge between an individual and the rest of the world. Perhaps even more painful and damaging, guilt can also separate us from ourselves: We can end up truly alone, without even ourselves for support and interior friendship.

This remorse and loss of self-esteem is like paying endless instalments on a stiff fine for a past crime. Yet the guilt-ridden individual may never have done anything really wrong. Children are easily shamed into feeling unworthy and bad; some never grow out of this. Even if they can look back to some genuine past wrongdoing, beating oneself up with guilt feelings will only get in the way of their making changes and improvements that could enrich their life and that of others.

It’s often very difficult to let go of guilt, whether or not its justifiable. Some people look for forgiveness by suffering. They think that if they endure enough guilty misery they will earn release. Some people find it easier to dwell on the past than to deal with the present. They concentrate on their old sins and avoid taking creative risks and assuming responsibility now. Compulsively paying off a debt of guilt to parents, spouse, or children can be a way of acting moralistically but actually neglecting to use ones freedom and power to do real good in the world.

Feeling excessively or inappropriately guilty is a psychological habit that can be broken. If a person recognizes guilt as a destructive force in their life, they must take the opportunity to look carefully at it so that they can understand it and get rid of it. By putting their guilt feelings into perspective, they can begin working on becoming a more creative, self-assured, loving person.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


Uncomplicated Grief
Grief and loss are a part of life and are experience by most of us at some point in our lives. People deal with grief in many different ways, and not necessarily going through a predictable group of ‘stages’, although some do.

How people grieve can depend on the circumstances of the loss (e.g., sudden death, long illness, death of a young person) as well as past experiences of loss. There is no time limit on grief – some people get back to their usual routine fairly quickly, others take longer. Some people prefer time alone to grieve, others crave the support and company of others.

Below are just some of the range of experiences which can be part of uncomplicated grief.
• Symptoms of depression or anxiety, such as poor sleep, lowered appetite, low mood, feeling of anxiety – for some people the anxiety will be more obvious, for others the depression.
• A sense of the loss not quite being ‘real’ at first, or refusal to believe that it has occurred.
• Feeling disconnected from others, sense of numbness.
• Guilt about not initially feeling pain about the loss.
• Worries about not grieving ‘normally’ or ‘correctly’.
• Mood swings and tearfulness.
• Guilt about interactions with the person who has died (e.g. I should have spend more time with her or I wish we didn’t have that argument).
• Waves of sadness or anger which can be overwhelming and sometimes get triggered suddenly by reminders.
• Seeking reminds of the person who has died, e.g. being in their home or with their belongings, or perhaps at times even feeling you see or hear the deceased person.
• Guilt about gradually getting back to ‘normal’ life and at times not ‘remembering’ to feel sad.

Coping with uncomplicated grief
Most people going through the pain described above will eventually adjust to the loss and return to normal life, although of course carrying some sadness about the loss. Most people do not require medication or counselling to manage uncomplicated grief, and should simply be supported to go through their individual grief process. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and some physical activity during this time. Some people may find it helpful to engage in counselling or to attend groups with others who have suffered a recent loss.

Complicated grief
Complicated grief is a general term for describing when people adjust poorly to a loss. This is very difficult to define, as there is no standard which limits what is normal and healthy grief.

Below are some warning signs which may suggest that a person is not coping well with grief and may be at a greater risk of the grieving process taking longer to resolve or being more difficult.

• Pushing away painful feelings or avoiding the grieving process entirely
• Excessive avoidance of talking about or reminders of the person who has died
• Refusal to attend the funeral
• Using distracting tasks to avoid experiencing grief, including tasks associated with planning the funeral
• Abuse of alcohol or other drugs (including prescription)
• Increased physical complaints or illness
• Intense mood swings or isolation which do not resolve within 1-2 months of the loss
• Ongoing neglect of self-care and responsibilities

Again, it is important to emphasis that there are no ‘rules for grieving’ and that many of the items above may occur as part of uncomplicated grief. However, people who are coping very poorly one month after a loss may continue to cope very poorly 1-2 years later, so if these warning signs are present then it is often worthwhile seeking some help early on, to increase the chances of adjusting in the long term.

Coping with Complicated Grief
Hypnopsychotherapy Evidence-based can support people to safely explore feelings of grief and connect with painful feelings and memories, paving the way for resolution. Therapy may also support people to use strategies such as relaxation, engaging in positive activities, and challenging negative thoughts, in order to combat the associated symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Mild medication may also be used to alleviate depression associated with grief, and this can be useful in conjunction with hypnotic strategies. Strong tranquillizing medications can interfere with the natural grieving process.

Although early help is recommended, health professionals are able to support people to work through complicated grief even years after the loss.


Grief is the natural, universal response to loss and it’s the most profound emotional pain we’ll ever experience. It can strike suddenly and with devastating intensity. it grips like a vice for months, even years. And, to make matters worse, medical studies have shown that it can wreak havoc with our immune system, leaving us vulnerable to a variety of physical ailments including cancer and arthritis. In intense grief, a person may become short of breath, their throat may tighten and waves of uncontrollable crying may sweep over them. They may become listless and depressed, or nervous, irritable and restless. They may become exhausted from sadness and crying. Grieving people often sleep poorly or not at all. When they do sleep, they may have nightmares. Some can’t eat or make love, while others overeat or feel desperately sexual.

The initial reaction to losing a loved one may be shock and disbelief, followed by a feeling of confusion, outraged anger, or guilt. It is hard to believe that grief is a healing process, but a person must experience it in order to become whole again.

The most profound grief is usually felt at the loss of a spouse, child or lover, and it is especially intense if the death was sudden and unexpected. We’ve had no time to say good-bye. We’re caught in the midst of our life together in mid-flight. There were so many things we wanted to do for that person, so much love to give, things we had always meant to say, restitution we wanted to make for past hurts. Even if a death has been gradual and expected, a person may be filled with remorse for the things they’ve done or left undone. They may feel angry at their loved one for leaving them, and perhaps be ashamed of their feelings.

Some people torture themselves with the idea that they or someone else could have prevented the death. “If only I hadn’t asked her to…then she wouldn’t have been there when…”, “Perhaps the doctor could have prevented the death, if he were skilful enough, or if he had cared enough. Maybe it was the hospital’s fault.”

Such intense feelings are exhausting. A person may begin to feel utterly hopeless and helpless. They feel they will never be the same again, that nothing will ever be the same. Yet, for all the ‘grief’ it gives us, experts continue to assure us that this is a natural emotion, even a healthy on.

Then why is this healing emotion often thought of as harmful? Apparently, much hinges on our perspective and our preparedness to deal with loss. Fear, not grief, is the culprit here. Fear of death (our own, as well as the loss of those we love) can immobilize us to the point that we deny our grief. It is this denial or suppression, then, that can give rise to serious consequences.

Unfortunately, too, supportive efforts often discourage full expression of our emotions. Well-meaning relatives may tell us to, “be strong,” “think positive,” “don’t cry.” The clergy may paint a reassuring picture of life after death, explaining that “there’s no reason to mourn” since the deceased is in a better place. Doctors may prescribe tranquillisers and antidepressant drugs long after the initial shock period – whether or not they are necessary. These are all common solacing techniques that, in effect, block the natural grieving process. And, in so doing, do more harm than good.

To fully recover and move forward pas the immediate loss, we must affirm and acknowledge our feelings. Sorrow, guilt, anger, depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety and shame are all normal emotions associated with bereavement that need to be voiced openly and honestly. Only through telling our story over and over again do we clarify in our own minds what has happened and how we really feel about it. Through that, we come to accept the reality of the loss so we can go on living. Crying can also provide a healthy outlet. Tears carry away toxins that are produced during emotional shock. That may be why we feel genuinely better afterward.

It is important too, to allow enough time for the grieving – and healing – process. How much time is, of course, different for each person and set of circumstances. Research on 1,200 mourners showed an average recovery time of from 18 to 24 months.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Hypnosis in sports

Mentally rehearsing the plays before a game is not a new idea, but subconsciously playing the game and already seeing it won – while in hypnosis – is a novel and profound one.

Many top athletes “psych” themselves up by using self-hypnosis. A casual reading of current sports magazines will give an idea of how hypnosis techniques are being applied by players of your favourite sport. For example, some professional teams who have hypno-therapeutic tapes in their mood rooms not only use hypnosis for motivation but also for revitalizing their physical bodies. Tapes help ease their physical aches as well as in stil psychological well-being and enthusiasm.


The greatest enemy for any athlete is fear: fear of losing, fear of winning, fear of pain and injury, or fear of humiliation in public. Some athletes who play beautifully at practice will freeze up during a game while under scrutiny of others. This pressure can often inhibit a good performance.

To perform well, an athlete must be relaxed enough to allow the natural timing and coordination to flow with the movement of the game. When he or she is in the flow, every movement feels right. The critical and doubting mind can be bypassed to allow the athlete to experience the fullest potential. Above all, a playful sporting attitude helps the participants to realize that it is a sport to be enjoyed.

This cycle is designed for both competitive and non-competitive sports; the separate suggestions are clearly marked. It uses a combination of first and second person suggestions, and will help you to fine tune your concentration and allow you to use better your body’s natural adrenalin. This is a high performance cycle.


The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ which means sleep. An inability to sleep naturally and peacefully is main problem for the majority of adults who complain of insomnia.


There are generally three types of insomnia:

(1)   Primary Insomnia where the person has great difficulty in falling asleep.

(2)   Mid Insomnia where the person wakes up halfway through the sleep cycle

(3)   Terminal Insomnia where the person wakes up too early and is unable to get back to sleep.


Usually, the main cause of sleep disturbance is “rumination”, that is the persons thoughts keep going round and round in their heads and they are unable to stop the process.


The law of reversed effect

The law of reversed effect in this case means that the more the person tries to go to sleep the more wide awake they become. Hypnosis is an excellent way to stop this process and allow sleep to take over naturally.


Anxiety – stress – depression – worry

Insomnia and loss of energy are the most common symptoms of people who suffer from depression and may effect 80% – 90% of such individuals.


Other factors related to insomnia

Sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, medical conditions, pregnancy, menopause, medication, substance abuse, environmental factors, habits and lifestyle.


Insomnia – symptoms

Symptoms and causes of insomnia are different for every patient. Insomnia symptoms may include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Frustration or worry about your sleep
  • Problems with attention, concentration or memory (cognitive impairment)
  • Extreme mood changes or irritability
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Poor performance at school or work
  • Tension headaches or stomach aches


There are two types of insomnia based on duration. Acute insomnia is more common than chronic insomnia.


  • Acute insomnia: This type of insomnia lasts for a short time – from several nights up to three weeks and goes away on its own without treatment.
  • Chronic insomnia: Insomnia that lasts longer than three weeks is classified as chronic insomnia. Nearly 1 in 10 people have chronic insomnia which often requires some form of treatment to counter it.


The hypnotherapist will identify the client’s current problem and design a solution-focused cd to change his/her negative thinking process. This is intended to be played at night to quiet the rumination process and let sleep take over naturally.

To teach the client the ability to compartmentalise and to address boundary issues relating to the waking sate and the ability to sleep. (rumination is a key factor in depression). Rumination is usually about either irresolvable issues or else issues that cannot be readily resolved. It is necessary to establish a boundary that separates ones waking activities from being able to both fall asleep and stay asleep. Need to create a separate time to analyse one’s life and to try and solve all of ones problems, for example, lying in bed while waiting to sleep is definitely the wrong place. One needs to make the bedroom a stress-free place.


General insomnia statistics

  • People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
  • More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
  • One in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime.
  • More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
  • Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
  • Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
  • Approximately 35% of insomniacs have a family history of insomnia.
  • 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
  • Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
  • People who suffer from sleep deprivation are 27% more likely to become overweight or obsess. There is also a link between weight gain and sleep apnoea.
  • A national sleep foundation poll shows that 60% of people have driven while feeling sleepy (and 37% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel) in the past year.
  • A recent Consumer Reports survey showed the top reason couples gave for avoiding sex was “too tired or need sleep.”


Financial implications of insomnia

Insomnia statistics aren’t confined to the relationship between insomnia and health. This sleep disorder costs government and industry billions of euros a year.

  • The Institute of Medicine estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually on medical costs that are directly related to sleep disorders.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics who that 100,000 vehicle accidents occur annually through drowsy driving. An estimated 1,500 die each year from these collisions.
  • Employers spend approximately $3,200 more in health care costs on employees with sleep problems than for those who sleep well.
  • According to the US Surgeon General, insomnia costs the U.S. Government more than $15 billion per year in health care costs.
  • Statistics also show that US industry loses about $150 billion each year because of sleep deprived workers. This takes into account abstenteeism and lost productivity.



We use a combination of hypno-cognitive therapy and hypnoanalysis to find the cause and thereby eliminate the emotional effects.

Irritable bowel syndrome

IBS is a common condition affecting one in four of the population, half of which have it so severe that it prevents them from working.

Within the field of evidence-based medicine, hypnotherapy has been proven to be 70% effective in treating this condition.

Hypnotherapy is non intrusive, safe, comfortable and a cost effective modality to complement mainstream medicine. Some in the profession would in this case argue it is ‘alternative’ treatment since the medical profession are generally at a loss with this condition. The job of the hypnotherapist is to help the client to control their gut rather than their gut control them.

As a specialist in this area, it is my understanding that sufferers have the need for understanding and an empathetic approach. Sufferers who consider hypnotherapy currently tend to do so as a ‘last resort’ rather than a first approach after diagnosis. The medical profession are becoming more aware of the benefits of hypnotherapy from a specialist in the field. As a clinical based practitioner, my hypnotherapy practice receives referrals from general practitioners, gastroenterologists and specialist gastro nurses.

Just dealing with the symptoms of IBS is not enough, the individual has to learn to rebuild internal energy, many sufferers feel drained emotionally, life issues and responsibilities continue to deplete inner emotional strength, leading in some cases to anxiety or even some forms of depression. Before the sufferer even thinks of working through the IBS, they invariably need an emotional ‘top up’, they need their batteries charged, after perhaps years of pain and discomfort, of being told by various medical professionals that there is nothing that can be done, even though intrusive and sometimes painful examinations have been undergone, many sufferers feel emotionally drained. Work and family relationships can be eroded and strained, social life and love life can be virtually non-existent, concentration and recall, may be almost impossible compared to how it used to be, confidence and self-esteem of the individual is often very low and the ability to see things in perspective is greatly reduced. Therefore to tell a sufferer that they must do this or that, without preparing for the journey is almost certain failure.

Hypnotherapy, when conducted correctly can increase self-esteem, confidence, and allow the sufferer to begin a journey of self improvement and management, by changing their thoughts, changing negative thoughts and feelings for positive ones and thereby equip themselves emotionally to move away from the symptoms and thoughts of IBS and begin moving forward, a journey that many sufferers have or are taking at this moment, with positive changes.


IBS Symptom Checklist

  • Do you often experience painful abdominal spasm?
  • Do you often try to empty your bowels but are unable to do so are find it difficult?
  • Do you often notice a sensation of not being able to fully empty your bowels?
  • After defecation, do you often feel that have not fully emptied your bowels?
  • Do you often experience diarrhea or loose stools?
  • Do you often experience bloating?
  • Do you often experience flatulence or excess wind?
  • Do you find abdominal pain or discomfort is relieved after emptying your bowels?
  • Have you noticed mucus or slime in your stools?
  • Do you often experience anxiety and/or depression?
  • Have you recently experienced significant stress?
  • Have you noticed any of the following symptoms? Reoccuring fever, blood in your stools, unexpected weight loss, any recent changes in bowel habits.


Irritable bowel syndrome is an erratic and unpredictable disturbance of the digestive system. The national institute for healthy and clinical excellence (NICE) states that IBS is a possible diagnosis only when a person reports to having either abdominal pain or discomfort or bloating plus a change in bowel habits for at least six months.

There’s a book called The Second Brain written by Dr. Michael Gershon, M.D. and neurobiologist (Harper/Collins, 1999). Gershon was researching the entire gut, and he discovered, in a nutshell, two major things. The first is that there is a whole set of nurons in the gut, from the esophagus all the way to the anus. A lot of the neurons are concentrated more in the somach or the solar plexus area, and actually accumulate emotional memories. The second point that he madeis that 95% of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter, is made and stored in the gut area. Before this, most people, especially scientists who studied the head brain, thought that neurotransmitters, including serotonin, were made and stored in the head brain.


Deficiency of serotonin will cause depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia and other disorders.

 The enteric nervous system: the brain in the gut

The gut has a mind of its own, the “enteric nervous system”. Just like the larger brain in the head, researchers say, this system sends and receives impulses, records experiences and responds to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed and influenced by same neurotransmitters. The gut can upset the brain just as the brain can upset the gut.

The gut’s brain or the “enteric nervous system” is located in the sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Considered a single entity, it is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the brain proper and a complex circuitry that enables it to act independently, learn, remember and, as the saying goes, produce gut feelings.

The gut’s brain is reported to play a major role in human happiness and misery. Many gastrointestinal disorders like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome originate from problems within the gut’s brain. Also, it is now known that most ulcers are caused by a bacterium not by hidden anger at one’s mother.

Details of how the enteric nervous system mirrors the central nervous system have been emerging in recent years, according to Dr. Michael Gershon, professor of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia-Presbyterian medical Centre in New York. He is one of the founders of a new field of medicine called “neurogastroenterology.”

The gut contains 100 million neurons – more than the spinal chord. Major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norephinephrine and nitric oxide are in the gut. Also two dozen small brain proteins, called neuropeptides are there along with the major cells of the immune system. Enkephalins (a member of the endorphins family) are also in the gut. The gut also is a rich source of benzodiazepines – the family of psychoactive chemicals that includes such every popular drugs as valium and xanax.

In evolutionary terms, it makes sense that the body has two brains, said Dr. David Wingate, a professor of gastrointestinal science at the university of London and a consultant at Royal London Hospital. “The first nervous systems were in tubular animals that stuck to rocks and waited for food to pass by,” according to Dr Wingate. The limbic system is often referred to as the “reptile brain.” “As life evolved, animals needed a more complex brain for finding food and sex and so developed a central nervous system. But the gut’s nervous system was too important to put inside the newborn head with long connections going down to the body,” says Wingate. Offspring need to eat and digest food at birth. Therefore, nature seems to have preserved the enteric nervous system as an independent circuit inside higher animals. It is only loosely connected to the central nervous system and can mostly function alone, without instructions from topside.

This is indeed the picture seen by developmental biologists. A clump of tissue called the neural crest forms early in embryo genesis. One section turns into the central nervous system. Another piece migrates to become the enteric nervous system. According to Dr. Gershon, it is only later that the two systems are connected via a cable called the vagus nerve.

The brain sends signals to the gut by talking to a small number of “command neurons,” which in turn send signals to gut interneurons that carry messages up and down the pike. Both command neurons and interneurons are spread throughout two layers of gut tissue called the “myenteric plexus and the submuscosal plexus.” Command neurons control the pattern of activity in the gut. The vagus nerve only alters the volume by changing its rates of firing.

The plexuses also contain glial cells that nourish neurons, mast cells involved in immune responses, and a “blood brain barrier” that keeps harmful substances away from important neurons. They have sensors for sugar, protein, acidity and other chemical factors that might monitor the progress of digestions, determining how the gut mixes and propels its content.

As light is shed on the circuitry between the two brains, researchers are beginning to understand why people act and feel the way they do. When the central brain encounters a frightening situation, it releases stress hormones that prepare the body to fight or flee. The stomach contains many sensory nerves that are stimulated by this chemical surge – hence the “butterflies.” On the battlefield, the higher brain tells the gut brain to shut down. A frightened running animal does not stop to defecate, according to Dr. Gershon.

Fear also causes the vagus nerve to “turn up the volume” on serotonin circuits in the gut. Thus over stimulated, the gut goes into higher gear and diarrhea results. Similarly, people sometimes “choke” with emotion. When nerves in the esophagus are highly stimulated, people have trouble swallowing.

Even the so-called “Maalox moment” of advertising can be explained by the interaction of the two brains, according to Dr. Jackie D. Wood, chairman of the department of physiology at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Stress signals from the head’s brain can alter nerve function between the stomach and esophagus, resulting in heartburn.

In cases of extreme stress, Dr. Wood says that the higher brain seems to protect the gut by sending signals to immunological mast cells in the plexus. The mast cells secrete histamine, prostaglandin and other agents that help produce inflammation. This is protective. By inflaming the gut, the brain is priming the gut for surveillance. If the barrier breaks then the gut is ready to do repairs. Unfortunately, the chemicals that get released also cause diarrhea and cramping.

There also is an interaction between the gut brain and drugs. According to Dr. Gershon, “when you make a drug to have psychic effects on the brain, it’s very likely to have an effect on the gut that you didn’t think about.” He also believes that some drugs developed for the brain could have uses in the gut. For example, the gut is loaded with the neurotransmitter serotonin. According to Gershon, when pressure receptors in the gut’s linking are stimulated serotonin is released and starts the reflexive motion of peristalsis. A quarter of the people taking prozac or similar antidepressant medications have gastrointestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea or constipation. These drugs act on serotonin, preventing its uptake by target cells so that it remains more abundant in the central nervous system.

Gershon also is conducting a study of the side effects of prozac on the gut. Prozac in small doses can treat chronic constipation. Prozac in larger doses can cause constipation – where the colon actually freezes up. Moreover, because prozac stimulates sensory nerves, it also can cause nausea.

Some antibiotics like erythromycin act on gut receptors to produce ascillations. People experience cramps and nausea. Drugs like morphine and heroin attach to the gut’s opiate receptors, producing constipation. Both brains can be addicted to opiates.

Victims of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases suffer from constipation. The nerves in their gut are as sick as the nerve cells in their brains. Just as the central brain affects the gut, the gut’s brain can talk back to the head. Most of the gut sensations that enter conscious awareness are negative things like pain and bloatedness.

The question has been raised: Why does the human gut contain receptors for benzodiazepine, a drug that relieves anxiety? This suggests that the body produces its own internal source of the drug. According to Dr. Anthony Basile, a neurochemist in the Neuroscience Laboratory at the national Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, an Italian scientist made a startling discovery. Patients with liver failure fall into a deep coma. The coma can be reversed, in minutes, by giving the patient a rug that blocks benzodiazepine. When the liver fails, substances usually broken down by the liver get to the brain. Some are bad, like ammonia and mercaptan, which are “smelly compounds that skunks spray on you,” says Dr. Basile. But a series of compounds are also identical to benzodiazepine. “We don’t know if they come from the gut itself, from bacteria in the gut or from food, but when the liver fails, the gut’s benzodiazepine goes straight to the brain, knocking the patient unconscious”, says Dr Basile.

The payoff for exploring gut and head brain interactions is enormous, according to Dr. Wood. Many people are allergic to certain foods like shellfish. This is because mast cells in the gut mysteriously become sensitized to antigens in the food. The next time the antigen shows up in the gut, the mast cells call up a program, releasing chemical modulators that try to eliminate the threat. The allergic person gets diarrhea and cramps.

Many autoimmunie diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis may involve the gut’s brain, according to Dr. Wood. The consequences can be horrible, as in “Chagas disease,” which is caused by a parasite found in South America. Those infected develop an autoimmune response to neurons in their gut. Their immune systems slowly destroy their own gut neurons. When enough neurons dies, the intestines literally explode.

A big question remains. Can the gut’s brain learn? Does it “think” for itself? Dr. Gershon tells a story about an old army sergeant, a male nurse in charge of a group of paraplegics. With their lower spinal chords destroyed, the patients would get impacted. “At 10am every morning, the patients got enemas. Then the sergeant was rotated off the word. His replacement decided to give enemas only after compactions occurred. But at 10 the next morning everyone on the ward had a bowel movement at the same time, without enemas.” Had the sergeant trained those colons?

The human gut has long been seen as a repository of good and bad feelings. Perhaps emotional states from the head’s brain are mirrored in the gut’s brain, where they are felt by those who pay attention to them.



We use a combination of hypno-cognitive therapy and hypnoanalysis to find the cause and thereby eliminate the emotional effects.

Jealousy & Envy

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with jealousy and envy

Jealousy & Envy
Jealousy and envy are twin problems and they often (but not…always) are intertwined in a person. Jealousy focuses on personal relationships, especially loving and sexual ones. Envy focuses on possessions and achievements. Both are destructive and self-negating and are often emotional combinations of anger, dependency, hurt, greed and self-devaluation.

People get jealous when they fear that a rival is taking away from them someone they count on for love, affection, sexual affirmation, or even just friendship. Jealousy is an acute sense of loss, defeat, or rejection in which a person focuses on the real or imagined superior enemy who is the cause of their pain. Jealousy has its roots in childhood experiences, in that time when a person learned to define themselves and measure their worth based on the amount of love they received from their parents and other significant people. They got the idea that the only proof of being lovable is in getting direct loving attention. As a result, they think their own worth and lovability are something that they can get only from others, and are in constant danger of losing. When a person feels jealousy they focus on what they’re not and compare themselves fearfully to what their rival is. They’re convinced that they can’t be happy if someone they depend on for love also loves someone else.

Envy is an attitude and emotion easily stirred up in a competitive, materialistic society like ours. On TV and all around us we see a vast array of things that represent “the good life.” And we see people who have acquired the wealth and power to own and….enjoy these possessions. The possessions take on importance above and beyond their actual usefulness and beauty. They become symbols of achieved happiness, not just the means to attain happiness. A Mercedes, when it is not in the repair shop, can be a truly delightful and secure car to drive. It provides great safety, comfort and driving pleasure. Is that why people buy a Mercedes so that others will envy them? Only partially. The Mercedes has become a symbol of success and alleged happiness. Thus, many of the 11 people who pay extravagant amounts of money to buy these cars and keep them running do so because of their value as status symbols, rather than for the tangible advantages they provide. Per dollar of cost and per hour of hassle about servicing, a Mercedes will probably not get a person from one place to another any faster, safer or more happily than many other cars. But if they believe in it as a symbol of having “made it”, owning one will give them a satisfied feeling of being part of an elite group. And if they believe all this and don’t own one, they will envy people who do.

Envy negates who a person is and what they have accomplished. It focuses instead on what they lack and how they have failed. Their energy is wasted making comparisons between themselves and others, comparisons that result in their feeling inferior. Envy leads to begrudging others their achievement, and builds barriers between people. coveting what others possess blocks a person from caring about other people as persons, and also blocks them from caring about themselves. Some religions see wanting and desiring as the source of all pain and unhappiness. Such teachings seem to go against our materialistic spirit of ambition, hard work, and the pursuit of happiness. that is not necessarily true. The challenge here is to rid oneselfof envy while keeping the drive to improve oneself and ones standard of living.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Memory and Concentration

Do things seem to slip your mind somehow? Do your thoughts wander and are you easily distracted? Is it difficult for you to concentrate fully on what you are doing? Some people find that the harder they try to concentrate, the more difficult it is and the more frustrated they become. this cycle can help you change that pattern by focusing your attention where you want it.

Hypnosis for improving memory and concentration is especially helpful to students. they can learn more material in a lesser amount of time (this seeming expanding or shrinking of time is technically called time distortion). They improve their grades by increasing the speed with which they learn and, at the same time, have better retention of the material. Even foreign languages are easily learned with help from this method. Not only students, but world travellers and business people use self-hypnosis as a study aid in learning other languages. You can do this also.

A solution-focused hypnotic recording to play at home before your study period will help to reinforce your focus on your study material. Your added edge will be to play recording a few times while you are in a self-hypnotic state. Give your inner mind the suggestion to record and retain the information until you need to retrieve it. And, even though it could be many years later when you are in a foreign country, the words you learned will be there when you need them.

This session can help you improve both your memory and your concentration. You’ll enjoy using your mind to increase your awareness, and you’ll think more clearly and creatively with less effort.

Memory: Some definitions, further principles and additional information

The three components of memory
1. Sensory memory (SM): The mind’s brief recognition of what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
2. Working memory (WM): The small amount of material that we can briefly hold in the mind at any given moment.
3. Long term memory (LTM): Information that is no longer in conscious thought but is stored for potential recollection.

How we get information into LTD includes: paying attention, association with other information, analysing for meaning and elaboration of details. This is generally carried out automatically by the unconscious mind and strengthens the chances of our remembering it.


This is the process of bringing information from LTM into the conscious state of the WM. This is achieved by either recognition or recall. The former is information that is presented to you as something that you already know. The latter is produced by a self initiated search of LTM which may be triggered by a cue. This is a thought, picture, word, sound etc. For example you may be able to remember a person’s last name by hearing their first name or vice versa.

Factors which effect memory

Application: not paying attention, negative expectations, mental lethargy, being disorganised.
Mood: Anxiety, stress, depression, obsessive thoughts.
Health: Organic illness, certain medications, problems with sight or hearing, alcohol, fatigue, poor nutrition. When you realise that it is really important for you to stop and pay full attention to a task or to listening to information, make a real effort to focus your awareness fully. Distractions can easily displace the current content of the WM, hence having forgotten what you went into the kitchen for, because you wondered why the postman was late as you passed through the hall. Needless to say distractions can be dangerous when driving, taking medicine, using machinery etc.

General pointers

1. In order for information to have meaning, you must understand what you are learning.
2. In order to remember something thoroughly it must be of interest to you and have some value and/or relevance in your life.
3. Attention is not learning, but little learning takes place without attention.
4. Your understanding of new information is reliant on what you already know that you can meaningfully connect to it.
5. You can aid your memory of information by organising it into categories or groups that have meaning for you.
6. Relax. Stress and tension interfere with the memory process. Take several deep breaths…relax…and wait for the memory to pop into the conscious mind.


1. Atkinson Rita., Atkinson Richard C., Smith Edward E., Bem Daryl J. and Nolen-Hoeksema Susan.Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology (2000). 13th Edition. Harcourt College Publishers. USA.
2. Higbee Kenneth L. Your Memory How it Works & How to Improve it. 2001. 2nd edition. Marlowe & Company. New York.
3. Fogler Janet and Stern Lynn. Improving your Memory How to Remember what your Starting to Forget. 2005. The John Hopkins University Press. USA.
4. Mason Douglas J. & Smith Spencer Xavier. The Memory Doctor. 2005. New Harbinger Publications. USA.
5. Davies Roger & Houghton Peter. Mastering Psychology 1995.2nd Edition. Macmillan. London.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder is often an unspoken affliction because those who suffer from it may feel ashamed and guilty because they think they are unique and cannot be cured. The difference between an obsession and a compulsion is that a compulsion is felt (thought about) while the compulsion is acted out behaviourally.

The obsessive person is driven by persistent negative thoughts that are involuntary, uncontrollable and consuming. Self-doubt, ambivalence, indecision and impulses fill him.

With the OCD sufferer, obsessions are repetitive, unproductive thoughts. Most people have experienced thoughts of that type from time to time but, not to the insanity producing extreme that distinguishes OCD.

Imagine driving down a road, maybe ten minutes from home, heading for a week’s vacation and suddenly the thought enters your mind, “Did I unplug the iron after I finished with that shirt?”

 Then you think, “I must have…but I don’t know, I was rushing around so much at the last minute. Did I reach down and pull the chord out of the socket? I can’t remember. Was the iron light still on as I walked out the door? No, it was off. Was it? I can’t leave it on all week or the house will burn down!”

 Meanwhile, your blood pressure is going up, you may be sweating, you’re certainly not focused on the road and your anxiety levels are rapidly escalating.

So, as an OCD person, you have to turn around and head home to check because that’s the only way to feel relieved.

And, for some OCD persons, they will be doing their “checks” on the way home that will let them know whether or not the house is in flames. Checks such as “how many red cars have I seen in the last X minutes?” there are good numbers and bad (harmful) numbers for OCD sufferers.

The point to the above is that a lot of healthy people can identify with some of the symptoms of OCD, such as checking the stove or iron before leaving the house. But for people with OCD, such activities consume at lease an hour a day, are very distressing and interfere with daily life.

In the mind of the person with obsessive-compulsive disorder, worries become exaggerated, highly distressing and persistent. Furthermore, the OCD sufferer, this type of thinking is impossible to resist.

That’s why Devin Hastings calls OCD the Borg disease. The Borg are an alien species (on Star Trek) who assimilate or destroy all species they come into contact with. Their motto is: “Resistance is futile”. That’s how it feels with OCD.

Let’s move on to the second aspect of OCD. The second part of OCD consists of compulsions. These are repetitive, unproductive behaviours (versus thoughts) that OCD people engage in ritualistically.

As with obsessive thoughts, there are a few compulsive behaviours in which the average person might engage. For example, as children, we all had our superstitions such as never stepping on a sidewalk crack or the number 13 somehow being dangerous. Some of these “protective” responses gently persist as we grow older.

In fact, you probably know someone who will never walk under a ladder or get off an elevator on the 13th floor of a building.

But, with the OCD person, intense anxiety and even panic can come whenever the person attempts to stop whatever ritual they engage in. The tension and anxiety build to such an intense degree that s/he surrenders once again to the thoughts or behaviours. Unlike an alcoholic, who feels compelled to drink but also (sometimes) enjoys the drinking experience, the obsessive-compulsive person can achieve a type of relief through their ritual but usually no pleasure.

Let’s have a look at the most common OCD disorders.

(Note: All diagnostic information adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition; American Psychiatric Press, 1994)

  •  Hoarding, saving and collecting
  • Symmetry
  • Repeating
  • Compulsive slowness
  • “Pure obsessing”
  • Counting
  • Contamination obsessions
  • Ordering obsessions
  • Scrupulosity-a.k.a. religious obsessions
  • Aggressive obsessions
  • Sexual obsessions
  • Cleaning and washing
  • Checking
  • Touching


Related OCD disorders

  • Trichotillomania
  • Compulsive bullying
  • Compulsive stealing
  • Addictions (this is disputed)



Obsessive compulsive disorder is treated with solution-focused hypnopsychotherapy which involves a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnoanalytical psychotherapy which takes an average of 8 to 12 sessions.


The most common fear I treat after the fear of death is public speaking. Other types of fear I regularly help people with are:

  • Blushing
  • Examinations
  • Flying
  • Driving/Driving tests
  • Spiders
  • Birds
  • Heights
  • Dentists
  • Open spaces
  • Social phobia
  • Dogs
  • Failure
  • Medical procedures (needles, anaesthesia etc)
  • Water
  • Rats
  • Ghosts
  • Relationships & commitment
  • Bed wetting
  • Sexual performance anxiety
  • Losing control


Panic disorders including fears and phobias respond excellently to hypnopsychotherapy because all are learned behaviours and come under the heading of cause and effect and once the cause is unearthed during hypno-regression, the emotional effects dissipate.

Phobias and the resulting panic are some of the most debilitating conditions that can affect the human population. They represent the ultimate panic attack. Once triggered, the heart races, the head spins, palms sweat, knees buckle and breathing becomes laboured. The vision may blur and, in some cases, a fainting spell occurs. Some who are particularly hard hit say it feels as if they are going to have a heart attack.

Over 10% of the population will experience a phobia at some point in their lives. It can be helpful to understand that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Most people who experience panic attacks would describe themselves as feeling instantly out of control as soon as the attack hits. A primary concern for many is losing control of their body. Think about it: all of a sudden, huge, frightening physical symptoms come screaming into their awareness overwhelming them with mental and physical uncertainty and instability.

This initial physical and emotional hijacking is coupled with thoughts of impending doom such as one making a scene, having a heart attack and/or not able to breathe.

With the above in mind, it is easy to see why people who suffer from panic attacks will voluntarily commit themselves to a form of house arrest and that’s how agoraphobia develops.

“How do I know if I’ve had a panic attack?”

Well, other than shaking in your boots and possibly having experienced a genitourinary system malfunction, the DSM-IV lists thirteen symptoms to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of panic attack.

The affected person must have four or more of these symptoms within ten minutes of the beginning of an attack in order to meet the panic attack criteria:

  • Pounding heartbeat or disturbingly fast heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of choking
  • Pains in the chest; many people feel as though they are having a heart attack
  • Nausea or stomach ache
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded as if he or she is going to pass out
  • Feeling of being outside of one’s body or being detached from reality
  • Fear that he or she is out of control or crazy
  • Fear that he or she is going to die
  • Feeling of tingling or numbness
  • Chills or hot flashes


Lets look at agoraphobia as an example of a phobia

I’ve picked this example because it is so common and also so devastating for the sufferer. The agoraphobic may become a prisoner in their own homes because they can no longer stand the anticipation of another panic attack. The following may become off limits:

  • Public places or enclosed spaces
  • Confinement or restriction of movement
  • Streets
  • Barbers, hairdressers or dentists chair
  • Shops
  • Shop queues
  • Restaurants
  • Waiting for appointments
  • Theatres
  • Prolonged conversations in person or on the phone
  • Churches
  • Crowds
  • Travel on trains, buses, planes, subways or cars
  • Over bridges or through tunnels
  • Being far away from home
  • Open spaces
  • Traffic
  • Parks
  • Fields
  • Wide streets
  • Potential conflict-laden situations
  • Arguments, interpersonal conflicts, expression of anger


The agoraphobic may avoid one or many of these situations as a way to feel safe. Sometimes, the need to avoid is so strong that some agoraphobics will quit their jobs, stop driving or taking public transportation, stop shopping or eating in restaurants, or in the worst cases, never venture outside their home for years.

Listed below are the types of fearful images associated with dreaded situations. These anxiety-producing thought-images can last anywhere from a few seconds to more than an hour.


Agoraphobic hypnotic images:

  • Fainting or collapsing in public
  • Developing severe physical symptoms
  • Losing control
  • Becoming confused
  • Being unable to cope
  • Dying
  • Causing a scene
  • Having a heart attack or other physical illness
  • Being unable to get home or to another “safe” place
  • Being trapped or confined
  • Becoming mentally ill
  • Being unable to breathe


What these thoughts ultimately do is that they perpetuate the agoraphobic’s belief that if they just avoid the above situations, then they are safe.

The heart-breaking side to this coping action is that agoraphobics are essentially retreating into themselves and sacrificing their friendships, family responsibilities and/or career.

And this loss of income, relationships, affections and accomplishments compounds the problem because one can begin to experience a deepening of already low self-esteem, isolation, loneliness and depression.

This ultimately means that there is a good chance that the agoraphobic can become dependent on alcohol or drugs in an unsuccessful attempt to cope with their initial problem and its emotional aftermath.




This can very from two to three sessions for a simple phobia to 8 – 12 sessions where the panic is generalized and severe. We use a combination of hypno-cognitive therapy and hypnoanalysis to find the cause and thereby eliminate the emotional effects. There is no reason to live with something panicking you on the inside but outside your own control.

Presentations/Stage Fright

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with presentations and stage fright

Stage fright

Almost everyone who has had to appear before an audience at sometime has suffered from stage fright. Experienced actors, successful business people, and college presidents have had to deal with dizziness, sweaty palms, upset stomachs, and other familiar symptoms of stage fright. Some professionals never entirely lose the fear, but they have learned to control it and even to use it to their advantage.

The more common symptoms of stage fright are a rapid pulse, and upset stomach (butterflies), and sweaty palms. Sometimes the symptoms are more severe: The voice seems uncontrollable – it either becomes inaudible or it sounds loud and shrill – and, worst of all, the mind goes blank – one is unable to remember anything. Actually, when a person has stage fright they are experiencing an acute anxiety attack, which can be controlled with practice and determination.

Usually when a person has to appear in front of a group of people they want to make a good impression, but they also are scared of revealing more of themselves than they really intend to. They may be plagued by fears that they are not sufficiently attractive, clever, informed, or convincing. As a child they may have been taught that it was wrong to “show off”. Consequently, when as an adult they have to make a presentation in front of an audience, they may be caught in a paralyzing conflict between the wish to “let it all hang out” and their parents’ prohibition against such behaviour. Early shame experiences may also leave them with a fear that they’ll inadvertently do something to expose the awkward, embarrassed child beneath their fragile facade of maturity. They may even be tired of keeping up a front and unconsciously long to test out the response of their “true” self.

Regardless of the cause, stage fright can be controlled. Those people who master their fear gain not only the ability to appear before an audience but also a feeling of self-confidence which carries over into other areas of their lives. Stage fright is a very common affliction, so we can learn much from people who have analyzed it and conquered it. There are many things your client can do to help themselves.

You shouldn’t put themselves down for being afraid. Your fear is realistic and justified. You should think about your audience in a positive way. The people who have tome to hear them or see them are probably not your enemies. Hopefully they have come prepared to like them.

I usually advise clients of the following points:

• They should prepare thoroughly. They may be afraid that they will fail, so they must keep in mind that the best insurance against failure is preparation. They should go over their material, be sure of their facts, and not be afraid to express their feelings about their subject. When they are personally involved in their topic or task, they think less about themselves and as a result are less self-conscious. By caring deeply about what they have to say or do on stage they won’t have time to be self-critical. So in preparing their presentation, they should get clear with themselves the importance it has for them and the reasons they want to communicate effectively to their audience.
• Tell them to plan ahead. Know what they’re going to wear, and be sure it is something that is comfortable and conveys the image of them that they want people to have. If possible, they should check out the auditorium, theatre, lecture hall, or wherever it is they will appear. It’s a good idea to become familiar with it so at least they’ll feel physically at home there. They can look at the empty seats and imagine people in them. Imagine those people being friendly and attentive. If they plan to use notes, they should print them large and clear. Have them time their presentation to be sure it’s not too long or short for the occasion.
• Have them think about how they’ll present their material, and to whom they are addressing themselves. They can practice their speech or their act either by themselves in front of a mirror or, preferably, before friends. The better prepared they are, the more quickly they will be able to overcome their fear and the symptoms which accompany it.
• Advise them to look on the experience as an adventure and an opportunity for learning and growth. They should think about the pleasures of communicating with other people and reaching them with their ideas and their performance.
• Tell them to smile and look confident, even if they don’t feel it. People will respond to their smile, and soon they’ll really feel the confidence they are trying to project. Although they can admit that they are suffering from stage fright (many famous people do admit it to their audience), they mustn’t put themselves down. People may sympathize with their nervousness, but they must remember that they came to hear them talk or seem them perform, not to worry about them.
• If they have trouble controlling the feeling of panic just before they give a performance or make a speech, have them use self-hypnosis. They can also calm themselves by taking long deep breaths. Regular breathing has a soothing effect, and the extra oxygen will help their muscles to relax. One famous actress even used to take a nap just before show time.
• Teach them to use the anxiety they feel to add intensity to their talk or their performance. If they’re so nervous that they must use their hands, they can try to make gesture which punctuate or accentuate the content of their talk.
• Tell them to look at the people in their audience and find someone who is listening and seems to be agreeing with or even enjoying what they are saying. Eye contact with another person will help to ease their tension. When they address themselves to a specific person rather than to a vague mass of people, they will be more direct and more persuasive and thus get a better response from their audience.
• It’s important that they speak about things they know well. They mustn’t bluff; the audience will realize that they don’t know what they are talking about. When they’re sure of their facts and convictions, even if they are momentarily confused, they can regain their composure. When they make a mistake, they should admit it but they mustn’t dwell on it – after all, everyone makes mistakes. If they can graciously admit theirs, they will probably have the sympathy of the people in the audience, because they can identify with their embarrassment. A supportive audience does a great deal to lessen the performer’s panic. Even experienced actors often say how dependent they are on a good audience.
• Advise them to be themselves and be natural. They mustn’t try to be like some person they admire greatly. Remember, the audience came to hear them. They will be most effective if they are comfortable with themselves. Successful TV personality Barbara Walters reminds herself, “I am the way I am; I look the way I look; I am my age.” Genuineness and sincerity are still greatly admired qualities.
• As a hypnotherapist, I can help you overcome stage fright by teaching you self-hypnosis and/or programming you with a conditioned response of relaxation and poise in all performing situations.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Pre & Post Operative Hypnosis

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with pre & post operation concerns

Anyone fearful of a surgical procedure should consider hypnosis as a means of aiding the healing process. We are not advocating hypnosis as a sole agent of anaesthesia but rather as a system of aiding the process.

Hypnosurgery is a term given to an operation where the patient is sedated using hypnotherapy rather than traditional anaesthetics. Hypnosis for anaesthesia has been used since the 1840s where it was pioneered by the surgeon James Braid. During hypnosurgery, the hypnotherapist helps patients control their subconscious reflexes so that they do not feel pain in the traditional sense. Patients are aware of sensation as the operation progresses, and often describe a tingling or tickling sensation when pain would normally be expected. Hypnosis is used in surgery for pain management, to control spasms in the alimentary canal, during rehabilitation and as anaesthesia during an operation.

Hypnosedation, a combination regiment of hypnosis, local injection of analgesics and mild sedation, is more frequently used. The patients – mostly aged or other persons that run an increased risk under general anaesthesia – are mildly sedated and brought into a state of increased alertness by having them listen to a story in the operation theatre. Anaesthesiologists at the University of Liege in Belgium have performed over 4,800 surgical interventions, mainly in ENT and thyroid treatments, over the past 10 years.

Hypnosis and mesmerism
Mesmerism, also called animal magnetism, is the term given to Frank Mesmer for what he believed to be an invisible force in animals. He also believed that it could have physical effects such as healing.

James Braid who is credited for pioneering hypnosurgery, first observed mesmerism while he was attending a public performance on magnetism by Charles Lafontaine. After attending two more shows he came to the conclusion that although there were observable physical effects, it was not caused by any magnetic interference. Braid then used self-experiment to prove his idea that mesmerism was achieved by vision and concentration on the subject. Braid therefore proved that the phenomena demonstrated by Lafontaine had nothing to do with magnetism. James Braid then adopted the term “hypnotism” to prevent his work from being confounded with mesmerism.

Documented cases
The first documented case of hypnosis as an anaesthetic in surgery was when Dr Jules Cloquet (1790 – 1883), a French surgeon, operated on a woman’s breast while she was under the influence of hypnosis. The operation was for the removal of a tumour. Over the course of his career, he performed several successful surgeries using hypnosis as the only form of anaesthesia.

While stationed at the River Valley Road prisoner of war hospital in Singapore in 1945, with the supplies of chemical anaesthetics severely restricted by the Japanese, Michael Woodruff and a medical/dental colleague from the Royal Netherlands Forces successfully used hypnotism as the sole means of anaesthesia for a wide range of dental and surgical procedures.

First Official Hypno-Anaesthetist
The first hypno-anaesthetist was Dr James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon. He performed over 300 operations between 1845 and 1851 in India. He was also responsible for the creation of the Hooghly hospital near Calcutta, India. Although Dr. Esdaile was providing life-saving care, he also took advantage of his social position to prove that European medical techniques were superior to Eastern medicine and held the view that his patients were inferior.

Preparing the patient for hypnosurgery
At the present time, preparing a patient for hypnosurgery would include having several 50-60 minutes’ sessions of hypnotherapy done by a hypnotherapist. Each individual session focuses on controlling the pain and relaxing the mind. The number of hypnotherapy sessions varies according to the patient and their susceptibility to hypnosis. Generally, the patient would be ready for hypnosurgery after 6 weeks of training.

Post-operative hypnosis
Hypnosis may also be helpful post-surgery in helping to facilitate faster healing in patients, with one study reporting faster tissue healing in patients who use hypnosis during surgical recovery. Several other studies have shown a psychological link with healing and recovery. In a study of patients up to seven weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure, researchers found greater healing and improvement in patients who had used hypnosis over those who only received supportive attention or standard “standard postoperative care”

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with procrastination

If you ask the average person “are you a procrastinator?”, they will often grin sheepishly and reluctantly tell you about all the things they ‘put off’ doing in their lives. Most people identify with procrastinating on certain tasks at certain times in their life. Studies across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have found that around 20% of adults in the general population are chronic procrastinators and it is often much higher in school or university settings (75% – 95%!!). So this means procrastination is a fairly typical behaviour for a lot of people, so remember you are not alone! However, there is a difference between general procrastination, which we all do at certain times and more problematic procrastination. These will help you understand your procrastination, and later learn ways to overcome procrastination to lead a more fulfilling life.

What is procrastination?
Often people mistake procrastination for “laziness”. They talk about it as if it were some nasty character flaw. So, if it isn’t laziness, what do we really mean by the term ‘procrastination’? People will often use definitions like, “putting off”, “postponing”, “delaying”, “deferring”, “leaving it to the last minute” – all of which are valid. What we mean by procrastination is…”making a decision for no valid reason to delay or not complete a task or goal you’ve committed to, and instead doing something of lesser importance, despite there being negative consequences to not following through on the original task or goal”

You can see from this definition that procrastination is in some way an intentional decision. Having said that, it may happen very fast, almost automatically and be like a habit, so that you may not even realise that you’ve made the decision. Another element is that you needlessly put off or don’t complete something you made a commitment to doing. You generally substitute the task for something that is a lesser priority. And most importantly you do this despite there being a lot of disadvantages to procrastinating. What tends to distinguish more general ‘putting-off” or ‘delaying’ from a more serious procrastination problem is how bad the negative consequences are that follow the procrastination.

What do you procrastinate about?
Being a procrastinator doesn’t mean that you are necessarily a person who puts off doing everything in life, although this may be the case for some. There are so many different areas of our lives in which we can procrastinate. Some of these areas may be more obvious (i.e., study or work projects) and others may be more subtle (i.e., health check-ups, changing our diet or exercise routine). Really any task we need to complete, any problem we need to solve or any goal we might want to achieve, can be a source of procrastination. For many people, there will be certain areas of their life they are able to keep on top of, and certain areas where procrastination reigns.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with relaxation

Benefits of Hypnotic Relaxation

• Improved health
• Greater vitality
• More energy in reserve and a more economical and productive use of energy
• Protection against stress, now a major killer and from numerous psychosomatic disorders and diseases
• Frequent elicitation of the relaxation response – which means a marked slowing down of physiological processes in the deep relaxation state
• Increased alpha waves
• Freedom from unnecessary tension
• Protection for the heart and against high blood pressure
• Improved digestion
• Natural aid for all healing processes
• Quicker onset of sleep and sleep of a more refreshing quality
• Poised posture in sitting, standing, walking and all of lifes activities
• Poised inner posture
• Increased efficiency and economy of effort in work and play
• Improved performance in arts and crafts, sports and games
• Greater spontaneity in living
• Feeling good in the sense of good muscular and mental tone
• Greater nervous stability and calmness
• Reduced nervousness on important occasions
• No dependence on tranquillizers or sleeping pills
• Freedom from unrealistic fear and anxiety
• Increased courage and confidence
• Relaxed sense of humour
• Enhance sense of beauty
• Purer perception and awareness
• Feeling more fully alive
• More harmonious relationships with parents, spouse, children, friends, neighbours and workmates
• Effortless concentration
• Greater clarity of mind
• More peace of mind
• Increased creativity
• Increased possibility of meaningful insights
• Raised overall level of meaningfulness in living
• Heightened awareness
• Promotion of what humanistic psychologists call ‘self-actualisation’
• Integration of the personality
• A diminution of dark, negative emotions and an increase of bright, positive emotions such as generosity, optimism, joy, delight, love, compassion and so on
• Feeling of harmony with nature and of following the natural order
• Reacquaintance with the capacity – probably inoperative or rare since childhood or adolescence – of experiencing the pleasure and joy that there is in existence itself.
• More frequent peak experiences
• Enhanced spiritual awareness and development

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


It is estimated that over 40 million Europeans are suffering from stress in the workplace. A recent Examiner article stated that 91% of employees are sick with worry citing the psychosomatic connection between stress and physical illness. It is a well known fact in the hypnotherapy field that 80% of symptoms are psychosomatically caused by the subconscious mind and it is a watershed to find that current research is confirming this fact.

It is worth noting that:

Anxiety or depression comprises over 80% of all mental or addictive disorders
One in every four adults suffers from anxiety or depression
Less than 30% of those with anxiety disorders received professional help
Only 50% of those experiencing major depression received professional help
Only 40% of those who have chronic or mild depression for more than two years received professional help

The physiology of stress

“There are pervasive anatomic and biochemical links between the immune and nervous systems to explain the influence of mood on susceptibility to disease”

L. Marx quoted in Prevention of Work-Related Psychological Disorders

The body is often the first indicator that stress has reached the level of distress. It responds quickly to real or perceived threats. In the classic situation, if our senses tell us that our lives are in Jeopardy, the body gears up for immediate battle or speed. All internal systems respond: the heart speeds up, the breath becomes more rapid, muscles tense, eyes dilate, the gastrointestinal system disrupts digestive processes, nerves and hormones respond. By this “fight or flight” stress response, we instinctively gird for action.

Extensive research in several fields of medicine and psychology, including brain chemistry, neurobiology, immunology, and psychoendocrinology, attest to the body/mind connection.


Consequences of stress-overload

The hypothalamus cannot distinguish between a real or an imagined threat. Even though the bear was imaginary, your adrenaline and muscle tension are real. Your body responds to the perceived threat the same as it would have had a bear actually lumbered into the campsite.

Your body cannot distinguish between worry thoughts and the original catastrophe. Worry thoughts act as a repeat of the threat – a false alarm. This causes the body’s magnificent rapid response system to become its own undoing., because your worried mind keeps your body perpetually in high gear, muscles tense, ever ready to meet a challenge. Your body responds to repeated worrisome thoughts and emotions in essentially the same way as it responds to the original stressor. The internal emergency response system, to which we as a species undoubtedly owe our survival, breaks down.

People who experience repeated and unrelenting stress in their lives gradually lose the ability to downshift. The wear and tear on our system shows up in the form of cardiovascular illnesses, ulcers, tension headaches and panic attacks. Chronic irritability, impatience, depression and frustration lead to actual tissue changes and organ malfunctions. Over-secretion of gastric acid can lead to ulcers; sustained vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) can lead to hypertension; and colon hyperactivity can lead to spastic colon or colitis. Other common stress –related disorders include insomnia, migraine headaches, back pain and diabetes.


How stress directly impacts the immune system and health

The mind influences the immune system via the nervous system. During the mid-70s, researchers at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry discovered this connection, and since then many experiments have shown the powerful impact of the mind on the immune system. This means that psychological distress can suppress the immune system enough to increase the risk of physical illness. According to a landmark study at Carnegie Mellon University, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, your risk of getting a cold or respiratory infection is directly proportional to the amount of stress you experience (Consumer Reports, 1993).

Suppressing the immune system can be far more dangerous that catching a cold. As I point out in The Fitness Option, the immune system – the first line of defence against infection, germs, bacteria and toxins in our bodies – is weakened by stress. Life paramedics rushing to the scene of an accident, the immune system’s neurotransmitters, lymph nodes and endorphins are first arrivals in the healing of an injury. But these powerful mechanisms are crippled by stress messages from the brain. Fear, depression, anger and other negative emotions depress the immune system. Bereavement, depression, loneliness and stress immobilize the natural killer cells within the immune system (O’ Hara, 1990).

On the other hand, mental messages of calm or joy have been shown to be biologically beneficial. Research at UCLA Medical Centre indicates that a peaceful or calm frame of mind frequently simulates production of interleukins, which are vital substances for the immune system that help activate cancer killing immune cells. Fortunately, an inhibited immune system can recover if the mind’s messages change distress to calmness.


The hypnotic response

Research on the physiology of stress shows the potency of managing stress through training yourself to elicit the mirror opposite of the flight or fight stress response: the relaxation response. The relaxation response reduces heart and respiration rates, blood pressure and metabolism via the hypothalamus and generates brain rhythms associated with peace.

You can learn to elicit the relaxation response through breathing techniques, progressive relaxation, guided visualization, meditation and biofeedback. The relaxation response is a proven counterbalance to the stress response.


Work stress triggers most migraines (Irish Examiner Article)

Stress caused by work is the most common migraine trigger, a study has found. It shows people are more prone to a direct attack in the ‘let-down’ period after a stressful situation, such as at weekends or while on holiday.

The study, conducted by the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) in conjunction with the Migraine Clinic at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, involved more than 500 people, and found chocolate was the most common dietary trigger, followed by cheese and citrus fruits. Foodstuffs were a more important trigger for men than for women.

Director of the Migraine Clinic in Cork University Hospital, Dr Edward O’Sullivan, said one theory relating to trigger factors suggested migraine occurs because of an overactive nervous system.

“People with migraine are more vulnerable to certain irritating stimuli. When one, two or several of these occur, the person’s nervous system responds by activating a migraine attack.”

The study also identifies lack of sleep, irregular sleep, caffeine and, in women, the menstrual cycle as other key migraine trigger factors. The MAI recommends sufferers use a migraine diary for six months.

The study, ahead of Migraine Action Week beginning September 12, found 59% of people said their migraine patterns were directly linked to what they ate and 49% saw irregular sleeping patterns as a trigger.

More than 70% of women identified hormonal factors, predominately menstrual, as a key factor.

More information about Migraine Week, including information seminars in Dublin and Galway, is available by contacting the MAI helpline at 1850 200 378 or by at


Employees are sick with worry

A survey, conducted by Amárach Research and commissioned by the mymoney website reveals that 68% of employees have debt that threatens to overwhelm them with almost the same percentage having everyday expenses that exceed their income.

More than 40% of those surveyed admitted that they are not in control of their finances, with 67% unable to plan ahead or save for emergencies.


Signs and symptoms of stress overload

The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.


Cognitive symptoms:

Memory problems
Inability to concentrate
Poor judgement
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts

Physical symptoms

Aches and pains
Diarrhea or constipation
Nausea, dizziness
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
Loss of sex drive
Frequent colds

Emotional symptoms

Irritability or short temper
Agitation, inability to relax
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness

Behavioural Symptoms

Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

We use a combination of hypno-cognitive therapy and hypnoanalysis to find the cause and thereby eliminate the emotional effects.


Who is affected?

  1. It is most common in children but many adults are also impacted by it. One study shows that one in every 10 children and one in every 50 adults were sleepwalkers.
  2. Genetic – It can run in families and occurs in boys more often than girls. It is 10 times more likely to happen in families where another person also sleepwalks.

Childrens brains are still developing and can be overactive as they haven’t yet developed the ability subconsciously to fully differentiate fact from illusion (e.g. Santa Claus – flying reindeers – tooth fairies – monsters etc).

  • Sleepwalkers tend to move in a shuffling rigid manner with a blank stare and are unaware of their surroundings. They rarely respond if spoken to and if they do it is usually a vague mumble. They tend to have amnesia about the experience. In order to be woken up they usually need to be spoken to in a loud voice or shaken while their name is being repeated.
  • Depressed individuals are three times more likely to sleep walk.
  • In hypnosis, clients can be in trance with their eyes open therefore deep somnambulism and sleepwalking share commonalities such as talking.
  • Sleepwalking can occur in the early stages of Parkinsons, Alzheimers or during seizures.
  • Sleepwalkers can speak and have even been known to drive (not good obviously!) and produce art work.
  • The famous Medical Hypnotherapist Milton Erickson used to hypnotise himself when he was in college so that he would write articles at night and then retrieve the finished works in the morning with no conscious recollection of having written them!

Why does sleepwalking happen?

The conscious mind is inactive but the body is active. Like hypnosis there are many theories but no definite empirical conclusions.

A neurotransmitter is a chemical that transmits signals from one part of the body to the other. During normal sleep amino-butric acid (gaba) stops the activity of the brain motor system. In children and young people the chemicals that produce gaba are still developing. Therefore, they are unable to keep the motor system of the brain under control. In some cases this system remains under-developed and persists into adulthood.

Other factors that may cause sleepwalking include: stress, intoxication, sleep deprivation, sleep disturbance, sedatives, stimulants and anti-histamines.

What is sleepwalking or what is technically called somnambulism?

The deepest state of hypnosis is called somnambulism. There are generally four stages of hypnosis:

  1. Light
  2. Medium
  3. Deep
  4. Somnambulistic

and these four stages roughly correlate to the four stages of sleep:

  • beta – waking state
  • alpha – hypnoidal state
  • theta – dream state
  • delta – deep sleep

The EEG (machine that monitors brainwaves) results of sleepwalkers initially shows a sleeping brainwave pattern, however if the sleepwalking persists after a number of minutes it usually changes to light sleep on beta, alpha states.

In somnambulism or sleepwalking people can do other activities besides sleeping such as walking around the house, going to the toilet, having a shower, eating a meal, taking the dog for a walk or even smoking outside the house.

According to the Stanford School of Medicine it has been found that one in 25 people are prone to sleepwalking and 30% claim they have done it since childhood.

It generally happens in the NREM – non rapid eye movement stage (alpha – theta stage). Hormones are being release to refurbish and regenerate the body. Practical arousal between deep sleep causes dissociation between deep sleep and wakefulness. Therefore, sleep and wakefulness can co-exist.

Hypnosis is very effective for sleepwalking.

As hypnosis accesses the same mental domain as sleep in the subconscious mind it is very effective for any or all conditions related to sleep including sleep apnoea, nightmares, night terrors, lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis etc

One ex-British soldier was found to walk in his sleep and at the same time began to strangle his wife. In hypnosis he released Post Traumatic Stress dealing with strangling several German soldiers during the second world war.

I’ve worked with a number of cases of clients who have sleepwalked and urinated in inappropriate places thinking that it was the toilet. Hypnotherapy has been very successful for many children and teenagers who are found hysterically crying while trying to through a window or door. On finding the causes of these problems the sleepwalking generally improved.

Sleep walking typically occurs during partial arousals from deep sleep such that there is a state dissociation in which elements of sleep and wakefulness co-exist and allow for the unconscious production of potentially complex motor activity.

In small-scale studies conducted by researchers such as Peter Hauri, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic, results have shown that properly screened sleep walking patients can experience significant improvement with the use of clinical hypnosis. These techniques have been  used in small-scale studies with remarkably positive effect. In fact, hypnosis has shown encouraging results for a range of parasomnias such as nightmares and sleep walking. In a recent five year follow up study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Hauri, Silber and Boeve reported that sleep walkers treated with hypnotherapy and a 50% improvement after 18 months and 67% after 5 years.

Stop smoking

In over 30 years of Clinical Practice, I have found that smokers use cigarettes as self-medication for anxiety and to be fair it works excellently for that purpose when one considers the side effects of medication, other substances or addictive behaviours to control anxiety. Nonetheless, the side effects of over 300 harmful chemicals can take their toll on the body over the long term not to mention the wallet! It is estimated that 50% of people are killed by smoking and that cigarettes reduce life expectancy by 15-20 years. Furthermore, there is reduced quality of life due to chronic lung and heart problems.

The problem with most smokers is that they cannot see themselves being smoke free. Hypnotherapy can create smoke-free pictures that the subconscious accepts and acts upon.


Why do people continue to smoke?

People know that smoking is bad for them and if hypnosis works so well, then why do people continue to gamble with their health, knowing that they could add years to their lives if they quit now before its too late?

The simple answer is a big “fear”. Let me give you some examples:

  • The fear of not being able to relax and losing control without a cigarette.
  • The fear of being irritable, angry, moody and generally too stressed.
  • The fear of being haunted by unwanted cravings.
  • The fear of putting on weight.
  • The fear of losing pleasure, companionship, security and rituals.
  • The fear that you need cigarettes to cope with life’s daily pressures and challenges.
  • The fear that you may have to go through pain and discomfort.


You have nothing to fear except fear itself. Be honest with yourself. Look at your fears of becoming smoke free and you will probably realise that the only fear between you and being smoke-free is your fear of going through the pain of not smoking.


Hypnosis makes it easier to quit the smoking habit

  • Hypnosis helps take away the cravings we fear.
  • Hypnosis removes the feelings of wanting a cigarette.
  • Hypnosis helps ease that feeling of needing a cigarette.
  • Yes, what the subconscious mind can conceive and visualize in hypnosis, you can achieve.
  • Yes, because with hypnosis, that feeling of being deprived of a cigarette fades very quickly.
  • Usually after one session of hypnosis, most people will feel more confident and determined that they can and will achieve their goal.
  • Yes, that they have simply stopped smoking and with hypnosis it was all very easy.


Hypnosis works for good

ICHP Smoking Cessation works because it removes the desire and need to smoke. Therefore, you won’t need nicotine gum, nicotine patches or stop smoking pills. There is no need for needles, inhalers or plastic cigarettes. All you have to do for hypnosis to work for you is to relax comfortably with your eyes closed – could anything be easier?


With our professional system, the majority of clients remain smoke free.

 Free Back-up Support and Reinforcement

During your hypnotic session we will administer powerful hypnotic suggestions to activate your sub-conscious mind to respond and cooperate with reinforcement of the clinical session. This pre-recorded stop-smoking session will reinforce the programme. Once you have achieved success in our stop-smoking programme it is essential to reinforce the programme that led to the cessation of the habit.


Reinforcing hypnotic subliminals

Also, the subliminal messages (stop smoking suggestions audible only to your sub-conscious mind) are reinforced during your free reinforcement sessions at home.


Reinforcing your Stop Smoking

Remaining smoke free is a skill that you will learn in the clinic and, like any skill, needs to be practiced to gain mastery.


Most people become smoke free in just one session

The reason we have such a high success rate is because hypnosis works for good and our back-up support is our professional testimony that most people leaving our clinic are smoke free in just one session.


Who are the I.C.H.P.

Since the approval of Clinical Hypnosis in the 1950’s by the American Medical Association, hundreds of ethical associations have been training their members in hypnosis. Millions of people have found hypnosis to be an effective way to stop smoking, lose weight and to change their lives.

The Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy was established in 1979. Over the past twenty five years it has dedicated itself to the research and development of Hypnotherapy. All our members are examination qualified and have obtained Diploma’s and Advanced Diploma’s in Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. So, you can be assured you are getting the best that hypnosis has to offer.


Our Approach

We in the ICHP have combined the very best of traditional hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) which gives our stop-smoking programme an extremely high level of effectiveness.


Yes, you can stop smoking with the help of hypnosis

Hypnosis is the original mind body medicine dating back to before 5,000BC. It was Aristotle who said “before you heal the body and its symptoms, you must first heal the mind”.

Modern scientific clinical hypnosis is extremely effective in changing habit patterns and this is underpinned by the documented research and acceptance by the major medical associations and religions of the world. Clinical hypnosis is widely used in education, psychology, medicine, dentistry, counselling, sports etc.


How does Clinical Hypnosis work?

Hypnosis is a state of relaxation and concentration at one with a state of heightened awareness induced by suggestion. It’s a non-addictive power for good and it’s a natural manifestation of the mind at work.


Hypnosis works, but will hypnosis enable me to stop smoking?

Yes! Hypnosis works and it will work for you to help you stop smoking. In essence, hypnosis is a means of communication between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Smoking habits and symptoms are controlled by the sub-conscious mind. Through the se of hypnosis we can access the sub-conscious mind and remove the unwanted habits.


During a clinical session, how will I know I am hypnotised?

There is no such thing as a hypnotised feeling and most clients on completion would say “they felt deeply relaxed and aware”. Others may feel a lightness or tingling feeling, others feel a heaviness while others report they didn’t feel anything. However one positive side effect that people notice is the positive change in their behaviour.

Is hypnosis safe and is there any cause for concern?

Clinical hypnosis is completely safe. Conscious hypnosis is not sleep, therefore you are aware and can respond to the positive suggestions administered during the session.

A person who does not want to be hypnotised cannot be hypnotised or be induced to do or say anything which violates personal standards of behaviour or integrity. Yes, hypnosis is safe and hypnosis is a proven ethical therapeutic clinical procedure.


How does hypnosis help me stop smoking?

Smoking habits are acquired over a long period of time and are activated by the subconscious mind, thereof they can only be deactivated by the subconscious mind and hypnosis works by giving access and the ability to communicate directly with the source of your addiction. It is the only logical method of dealing with smoking and it usually only takes one session for you to stop smoking.


Hypnotherapy & Smoking Research

Williams, J. M.; Hall, D.W. (1988). Use of single session hypnosis for smoking cessation. Addictive Behaviours, 18, 205-208


ABSTRACT: Twenty volunteers for smoking cessation were assigned to single session hypnosis, 20 to a placebo control condition and 20 to a no-treatment control condition. The single-session hypnosis group smoked significantly less cigarettes and were significantly more abstinent than a placebo control group and a no-treatment control group at post-test, and 4-week, 12-week, 24-week and 48-week follow-ups.



Neufeld, V.; Lynn, Steven Jay (1988). A single session group self-hypnosis smoking cessation treatment: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 36 (2), 75-79.


ABSTRACT: This study was designed to assess the efficacy of a manual-based, single session group of self-hypnosis interventions. At 3 months follow-up, 25.92% of the total number of participants (14 male, 13 females) reported continuous abstinence, and at 6 months, 18.52% of the participants reported continuous abstinence. Reported social support and motivation to quit were both associated with successful outcome. Comparison of the current data with other findings reported by the American Lung Association (Davis, Faust & Ordentlich, 1984) suggests that treatment effects may not be solely attributable to the use of a maintenance manual, education and attention. Limitations of the research associated with issues of experimental control, generalizability of the findings, and outcome measures are discussed.



Barabasz, Arreed F.; Baer, Lee; Sheehan, David V, Barabasz, Marianne (1986). A three-year follow-up of hypnosis and restricted environmental stimulation therapy for smoking. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 34, 169-181


ABSTRACT: Clinical follow-up data were obtained from 307 clients. Clinicians’ experience level, contact time, and procedural thoroughness varied in 6interventions for smoking cessation. An additional intervention combined hypnosis with Restricted Environment Stimulation Therapy (REST). The major results suggest positive treatment outcomes to be related to greater hypnotisability, absorption, hypnotist experience level, procedural thoroughness, and client-therapist contact time. The least effective intervention (4% abstinence at 4-month follow-up) involved intern trainees using a short, single session approach. The most effective procedure (47% abstinence at 19 month follow-up) involved the combination of hypnosis and REST. Data interpretation limitations are discussed.



Jeffrey, Timothy B,; Jeffrey, Louise K.; Greuling, Jacquelin W.; Gentry, William R. (1985) Evaluation of a brief group treatment package including hypnotic induction for maintenance of smoking cessation: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 33 (2), 95-98.


ABSTRACT: Hypnotic, cognitive, and behavioural interventions were used in a 5-session treatment programme to assist 35 Ss with maintenance of smoking cessation. 63% of the treated Ss discontinued smoking, and 31% maintained abstinence for 3 months (p <005). These results include 13 dropouts, all of who were smoking at 3 months follow-up. No S in the waiting-list-control group quit smoking. The results demonstrate that a brief, group treatment programme, including hypnotic techniques, can be effective for smoking cessation.



Holroyd, Jean (1980). Hypnosis treatment for smoking: An evaluative review. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 28 (4), 341-357.


ABSTRACT: 17 studies of hypnosis for treatment of smoking published since 1970 were reviewed. Abstinence after 6 months post treatment ranged from 4% to 88%. Effectiveness of treatment outcome was examined in terms of: S population, individual versus group treatment, standardized versus individualized suggestions, use of self-hypnosis, number of treatment sessions and time span covered by the treatment, and use of adjunctive treatment. At 6 months follow-up, more than 50% of smokers remained abstinent in programmes in which there were several hours of treatment, intense interpersonal interaction (e.g., individual sessions, marathon hypnosis, mutual group hypnosis), suggestions capitalizing on specific motivations of individual patients, and adjunctive or follow-up contact. The 17 studies are presented in sufficient detail to permit clinicians to follow the published procedures, and recommendations are made for future research.



Pederson, Linda L.; Scrimgeour, William G.; lefcoe, Neville M. (1979). Variable of hypnosis, which are related to success in a smoking withdrawal programme. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 27 (1), 14-20.


ABSTRACT: 65 habitual smokers were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups: live-hypnosis plus counselling, videotape-hypnosis plus counselling, relaxation-hypnosis plus counselling and counselling alone. The content and mode of presentation of the hypnosis session varied among the first 3 groups. At 6 months post treatment, the live-hypnosis plus counselling group contained significantly more abstainers than the other 3 groups. The importance of the specific content of the hypnosis session and the presence of the hypnotherapist for the effectiveness of the procedure are discussed.



Stanton, Harry E. (1978). A one-session hypnotic approach to modifying smoking behaviour. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 26, 22-29.


ABSTRACT: Recent literature reviewing attempts to modify smoking behaviour through the use of hypnosis is outlined, and an approach utilizing only 1 treatment is described. This single session includes: (a) the establishment of a favourable “mental set” on the part of the patient, (b) a hypnotic induction, (c) ego-enhancing suggestions, (d) specific suggestions directed toward the cessation of smoking, (e) an adaptation of the “red balloon” visualization, and (f) success visualization. Of 75 patients treated by this technique, 45 ceased smoking. 6 months after the treatment session, 34, or 45% were still non-smokers, attesting to the efficacy of the method.



Hershman, Seymour (1956). Hypnosis and excessive smoking.




“Conclusion: Several methods are described wherein psycho-biologic techniques can be used with hypnotic procedures to treat excessive cigarette smoking with relatively permanent results. These techniques include symptom substitution, re-education, reconditioning, reassurance and persuasion. The use of fantasy evocation, visual imagery, etc by means of the hypnotic state produces an increase in the patient’s responsiveness to therapy.


“Several case histories have been presented to illustrate some of the various techniques and their reactions. These procedures can readily be made available to a vast number of people with gratifying results. It is felt that all professional people in the therapeutic fields should be aware of the excellent use, which can be made of hypnosis, and should acquaint themselves with hypnotic techniques in order to utilize them to the best interests of their patients. It is important to note that psychodynamic orientation is essential to the proper utilization of hypnosis and that the training received by the stage entertainer lacks this important element”



The smoking therapy is one session and clients are presented with a cd recording of that session for re-enforcement over the following two to four weeks.

Self Confidence

At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with self-confidence

Building self-confidence

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be successful and happy, while others seem to be unhappy and to fail in whatever they do? Have you noticed that some seem to have the Midas touch, while others, even with plenty of money and a good education, seem to struggle all the time? What is this difference between people who merely get by and those who excel? What is this “winning edge,” this inner strength and confidence?

Take time to observe both groups of people carefully. Listen to their words. Basically speaking, those who expect to succeed generally do; those who lack courage and constantly complain often fail. This observation may be too simplistic but, if you take the time to study people, you will generally find this to be true.

did you ever know a successful, self-assured person who expected to be a failure? Probably not. Did you ever meet a person who thinks and speaks only of failure who ever became a great success? Again, probably not. When you think about success, you become successful. When you think confidently, you become more confident.

The subtle seeds of self-confidence are already within you. This hypnotic session nurtures those seeds so that they may blossom and be fruitful. Not only will you overcome shyness and doubt, but you will also learn your body’s signals in reaction to stress, anxiety and nervousness. Most important, you will be shown how to redirect your body’s natural adrenalin into controlled energy.

“You win when you expect to win, you succeed when you expect to succeed” is probably one of the great un-written laws of life. With a little effort, you can expect to do great things by using this cycle.

Working with self-confidence

Hypnotherapy for self-confidence should concentrate on the following areas:
1. Ego Strengthening. It’s important to help the patient realize their intrinsic worth as a human being and recognize and appreciate their unique talents and abilities. In hypnosis, we can “feed-back” to them information on the above that we gather during the history taking portion of the clinical interview.
2. Decision making. As we pointed out, many people who lack self-confidence also lack a confidence in their ability to make decisions or, once having made them, are plagued by self-doubt. We can effectively counteract this through direct suggestion.
3. gym Social situations. Many of those who suffer from poor self-confidence also feel profoundly ill at ease in social situations. We can help them to feel more poised and confident in these situations through both direct suggestion and guided imagery. Self-hypnosis conditioning can also be useful in these situations. The client who is trained in self-hypnosis can utilize it directly before or even during a social situation to gain and/or reinforce feelings of calm, poise and confidence.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on


At the Emotional Health Centre, Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city we help with self-belief and self-esteem

We can help you transform your core beliefs and help you to transform your life. As one progresses through life from childhood to adulthood they are faced with many challenges to be overcome one step at a time. In my work as a Hypnopsychotherapist i use the suggestion “There is not such thing as problems, only challenges to be overcome”. Everyone at some point in their lives are uncertain about themselves, lack self confidence, doubt their abilities or think negatively about themselves. by the time one reaches 25 years old it is possible to have tried dozens of different personalities to see which one ‘fits’ the best.

Concepts such as self-image, self-perception and self-confidence are concepts in which we have a framework to reflect upon ourselves as human beings. In this framework of human experience we build our value to ourselves and others and the measure of worth we attribute to ourselves as a whole is based on these aspects of ourselves. How to measure this value or worth subjectively is where the self-belief, self esteem or luck thereof come in.

How do I know that I have low self-esteem or a lack of self-belief?
Low self esteem is generally saying and thinking negative things about oneself. Having a negative opinion about ones ability and finding/evaluating oneself in a negative way or further examples of low self-esteem.

Do you find yourself thinking to yourself:
• I get nervous talking to people I don’t know
• I am socially inept and I hate it
• I couldn’t understand a lot of what the person said
• I must really be stupid
• I am not good enough
• I am overweight
• I am fat and ugly
• I don’t have the correct body in the gym
• I am unimportant
• I am a loser
• I am unlovable
• I am not good enough

If you think about yourself in these terms you may have low self-esteem.

Have you ever been dissatisfied or unhappy about yourself as a whole. Do you feel (what you think rationally is irrelevant) that you are:
• Weak
• Stupid
• Not good enough
• Fundamentally flawed or broken in some way
• Inferior to other people
• Useless
• Worthless
• Unattractive
• Ugly
• Unlovable
• Loser
• Failure

Impact of low self-esteem

People with persistently low self-esteem are engaged in life as if the glass is half empty instead of it being half full. They are constantly negative towards themselves. People with low self-esteem might expect things to go wrong all the time. They might feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated, angry etc. They might have difficulty speaking up for themselves and their needs, avoid challenges and opportunities or be overly aggressive in their interactions with others.

People with low self-esteem might avoid sports and other social activities that have been perceived or evaluated negatively. People who do not value themselves might drink excessively or use drugs. Alternatively they might try and hide this problem by trying to become perfect in every way.

Low self-esteem can be part of a current problem. If you are experiencing clinical depression, low self-esteem can be a by-product of a depressed mood. Having a negative view of oneself is a symptom of depression as are the following classic symptoms:
1. Feeling constantly sad, down, depressed or empty
2. Reduced pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
3. Increased or reduced appetite
4. Sleep difficulties
5. Feeling tired and without energy
6. Restless or irritable
7. Difficulties concentrating or making decisions
8. Having thoughts about hurting yourself or ending your life.

If you have experienced five of the above symptoms above which include low self-esteem, mood swings, less pleasure or interests than before and have been experiencing these over the last two weeks it is possible that you have clinically depressed. I would encourage you to seek help from a professional immediately.

Hypnopsychotherapy for self-belief and self-esteem

The bottom line is that the subconscious programming of earlier years has created these negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. Therefore the only way to correct these issues is through hypnosis and direct access to the deeper mind to change behaviours. Hypnotherapy has a proven track record in alleviating these issues and re-creating new behaviours that support healthy self-esteem.

For an appointment please ring Therapy House, 6 Tuckey Street, Cork city on 021-4273757 or email us on

Weight Loss

In over 30 years of private practice in helping clients to control and lose weight, I have found that most clients are experts in losing weight. They know what to do and how to do it but they do not get around to doing it. Generally diets do not work in the sense that people may lose the weight initially but put it back on over the long term because the subconscious associates the dieting with deprivation. Hypnosis can create ideal body-weight image pictures that the subconscious mind accepts and acts upon.


Your hypnotic slender image

Is maintaining a comfortable weight a struggle for you? Is your life a constant see-saw of weight gain, weight loss and weight gain? Have you tried most of the fad diets? Self-hypnosis may be your answer because it works at a mind level – not at a mouth or stomach level – and your weight is determined by your mind.

The only safe and sure way to control weight is by exercising and by changing your eating habits. You may have struggled with elimination diets which are sometimes self-defeating. These diets stress what you cannot eat, setting up an inner conflict that can enforce a craving. A better approach is to eat three balanced meals; eating thing you like – but in sensible amounts. With self-hypnosis, your inner mind can regulate what is a sensible amount for you.

There are no magic pills, no special sweatsuits that have any lasting effect, until you change your way of thinking first. A slim body begins with slim thoughts, just as a healthy body begins with healthy thoughts.

This hypnotherapy weight loss therapy will help you take off weight quickly, easily, naturally, and permanently. You can create a new attitude of yourself as slim, healthy and energetic.



The slimming therapy is one session and clients are presented with a cd recording of that session for re-enforcement over the following two to four weeks.

A Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research

Outcome and Therapist Training & Technique


The rationale behind the ‘BChaps’ (see below) model developed by Dr Joseph Keaney is fully supported by empirical research as outlined in the book What works for whom? A critical review of psychotherapy research (see reference at the footer of the page).


The Research


This research synthesizes a wealth of information on the efficacy of the major models of psychotherapy for commonly encountered mental health problems. Maintaining a judicious balance between empirical considerations and the role of clinical judgement, the review examines how research evidence can be used to improve the structure and planning of services to specific client groups. Its comprehensive disorder by disorder approach and careful attention to the methodological strengths and limitations of available research make this a valuable resource for students, clinicians, researchers and health care administrators.


Implications from the Critical Review of Psychotherapy Research


• As therapeutic expertise, rather than experience, is an important predictor of the establishment of a productive treatment alliance (which is probably the single best predictor of outcome outside of client and orientation factors), the monitoring of individual therapist performance should be an important aspect of the evaluation of psychotherapy services.
• Though specialist professional training and clinical experience may be less relevant for first time referrals in nonspecialist settings such as primary care, expertise is important for more “difficult” cases (chronic, negative, severe or hostile patients). It follows that specialist psychotherapy centres should have adequate numbers of trained and experienced professionals who offer treatment to this group.
• Appropriate supervision, even of experienced therapists is important in view of the likelihood of ruptures of the therapeutic relationship and the adverse effect this may have on therapeutic outcome.
• There is evidence that manuals of psychotherapy have much to contribute to the training of psychotherapists. Models of good training practice could include acquainting candidates with training manuals and formally assessing their capacity to adhere to these.
• The literature clearly indicates that whereas good knowledge of the key components of a technique lays an important foundation for effective practice, flexibly, and deviate and go beyond them at times when the clinical situation seems to require this.
• There is some limited evidence in the literature suggesting that in-depth training in multiple modalities may improve the therapeutic efficacy of individual practitioners. Further research needs to be undertaken to establish the value of training in multiple orientations for therapists.




Roth, Anthony & Fonagy, Peter, 1996, What works for whom? A critical review of psychotherapy research, Guildford Press, New York.


Effectiveness of Hypnopsychotherapy


Recovery Rates
Hypnotherapy 93% recovery after six sessions
Psychoanalysis 38% recovery after 600 sessions


Behaviour therapy 72% after 22 sessions


ICHP Hypnopsychotherapy Recovery After 12 Sessions

A survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A Barrios Ph.D (source: American Health Magazine)


ICHP Hypnopsychotherapists who utilise the “B-Chaps” model (Brief Clinical Hypnoanalytical Psychotherapy Solution Focused) can be relied upon to consistently deliver good results in a professional environment.

The above recovery rates may not be applied to all therapists but only those who are accredited members of the Irish Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy Register and the Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy.

Did you know that:
• One in four people will experience a mental health problem caused by anxiety and/or depression in a given year
• One in six people experience anxiety and/or depression at any given time
• 450 million people worldwide currently have a mental health disorder


ICHP B-Chaps Model of Hypno-psychotherapy


(Brief Clinical Hypnoanalytical Psychotherapy Solution Focused)


Many great pioneers in the fields of Hypnotherapy and alternative health blaze trails into the frontiers of knowledge and leave lasting legacies in the body of work that humanity inherits after their blazing is done! Roy Hunter left Parts Therapy, Richard Bandler left us NLP, Joe Keaney and the ICHP will leave us…B-CHAPS (Brief-Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy Solution-Focused!)

B-CHAPS embodies the ICHPs pioneering fusion of all the quickest and most efficient of healing techniques available into one highly effective system. Our therapy is brief and solution-focused so that the client has a definite contract and time limit and isn’t required to spend indefinite amounts of time (and money!) in a more traditional form of psychoanalysis. And yet the core tenets of Freud and Jung are not ignored by B-CHAPS but utilised in the highly effective hypnotic state where cause and effect can be addressed and rectified by accessing the subconscious mind directly and removing the conscious ‘middle-man’. This fusion of psychoanalysis and hypnosis speeds up the therapy process beyond dramatically. Furthermore, presenting symptoms of the client are also initially dealt with using cutting edge Cognitive Therapy and NLP. This gives the client relief from their presenting symptoms, helps them to cope in the short-term and ultimately provides a platform and foundation whereby they can launch into the more important work of finding the root cause of the problem in the persons past and removing it.


Phase 1: Solution Focused Therapy in Hypnosis


Session One: Meeting the client, intake form, consultation questionnaire, hypnotic tests, induction of hypnosis, well-formed outcomes, introductory talk, plan of therapy, contract, setting client up for next session, identifying cognitive distortions, skill deficit, solution-focused model, practicing anti-anxiety hypnotic techniques.

Session Two: Solution Focused – Hypnotic suggestion session. Audio recording made of the session while administering therapy to the client. Client learning self-hypnosis and mastery of his/her symptoms, cognitive approaches and symptom prescription.

Session Three: Clearing Session – Fear/symptom cure, Fast phobia/trauma, Pin-point analysis sequence to cause of presenting symptom, desensitisation, ICHP blow away emotion techniques, use additional ICHP techniques as required and if time permits.

Session Four: Additional clearing session if required, depressed clients may need additional recordings, e.g. insomnia, IBS, emotional clearing techniques, parts therapy, EMDR, dreams dreams, NLP, Gestalt, ‘Drop-through Technique’, etc. Please note, to use additional ICHP techniques if required and in context if time permits.


Phase 2: Hypno-Analysis – Free Association to Initial Sensitizing Event


(PLEASE NOTE: See ICHP Techniques Checklist Manual for appropriate interventions to use in context with client issues that surface during the 1-8 sessions of Hypnoanalysis)


Session One: Free Association Tree Shaker

Session Two: Free Association “Sex Talk” “Wise Old Man”

Session Three: Free Association

Session Four: Free Association Automatic Writing
Technique (AWT)

Session Five: Free Association Oedipus/Electra Complex

Session Six: Free Association

Session Seven: Free Association

Session Eight: Free Association


When it comes to change, Hypnotherapy is the fastest and most effective way to do it – with no exceptions!

Hear are the statistics:

• Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions
• Behaviour Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
• Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions

American Health Magazine reported study.

Other research
Hypnotherapy is the most effective treatment of IBS  Lancet 1984

Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the habit. Willpower, it turns out, counts for very little.
New Scientist Magazine.

When it comes to helping people lose weight, remove fears and phobias, stop panic attacks and countless other symptoms like depression, OCD etc… nothing comes close to the speed and effectiveness of hypnotherapy.

Hypnosis Approval

1956, British Medical Association (BMA) approved the use of hypnosis in the areas of psychoneuroses and hypnoanesthesia in pain management in childbirth and surgery.

1958, the American Medical Association approved a report on the medical uses of hypnosis.



  • smoking
  • slimming
  • drinking
  • nail-biting
  • skin disorders
  • allergies
  • nervous tension
  • anxiety
  • phobias
  • fears
  • compulsions
  • nightmjares
  • insomnia
  • sexual problems
  • fetishes
  • enuresis
  • shyness
  • blushing
  • nervousness
  • public speaking
  • confidence
  • migraines
  • addictions
  • asthma
  • blood pressure
  • claustrophobia
  • eating disorders
  • bulimia
  • emotional problems
  • frustrations
  • guilt feelings
  • headaches
  • inhibitions
  • irritable bowel
  • menstrual tension
  • pain control
  • panic attacks
  • shame
  • stress
  • stuttering
  • tinnitus
  • travel fright
  • twitching
  • ulcers
  • assertiveness
  • concentration
  • communication
  • creativity
  • exam nerves
  • goal setting
  • independence
  • memory
  • motivation
  • relaxation
  • self-esteem
  • study
  • sports
  • motivation
  • fear of childbirth
  • depression
  • sexual abuse
  • child abuse
  • trauma


How Do I Get Started?


Free 10 Min Chat

Take the first step towards a brighter future with a free 10-minute chat.

Book Appointment

Book an appointment today and start your journey towards positive change.

1st Session!

Begin your transformational journey with our first session.

Contact Me

Ask a question or book an appointment below.

021 427 3575

6 Tuckey Street, Cork City, Ireland