Addicted ...... are you?
We all know what it is like sometimes when that box of chocolates seems to be calling us. 'Just have one chocolate, go on treat yourself, you deserve it after the day you have had'. Except quite often we decide we deserve just another one.... and another one.... You probably recognize the scenario.
Sometimes that little voice in our head may be telling us that if we have just one cigarette we know we will feel so much more relaxed.
It might be that bottle of wine in the fridge that makes us remember how well we get on with people and enjoy ourselves when we have had a drink or two.
For some people that internal voice is even stronger. People who are addicted to cocaine or cannabis easily recognize the allure of the 'high' or that 'mellow' feeling they associate with their drug of choice.
The fact is, we can all find ourselves in thrall to one substance or another. Our own neurological / chemical makeup is actually designed to make us want to try new things and experiences and then repeat those actions again and again. It is all part of the chemical dopamine system intended to motivate us to do things which will meet our needs.
Meeting out needs is the crux of the matter. We are all driven by our fundamental programming to meet our physical and emotional needs. This means we are wired to want to eat, drink, feel safe, interact with others, have sex and so on. The problem arises when there develops an in-balance between differing needs. When our need for alcohol, for example, becomes too strong it starts to dominate over other needs. Our quality of life is affected. It is often at this stage that people realize that their relationships are suffering or their work performance is compromised. Self esteem often takes a hit and the fall out of addiction can be devastating.
There is light at the end of the tunnel however. Hypnotherapy can have a powerful influence in enabling a client to overcome his / her dependency.
Through talking therapy, clients are helped to understand how to meet their fundamental human needs and to understand what is going on in their mind. Hypnosis builds on this process by encouraging the subconscious to consider new ways of giving ourselves happiness and fulfillment.
It is when a client sees how good life can be when his / her needs are met in a variety of different ways that the limitations of dependency become crystal clear. The process of overcoming an addiction does not usually happen over night but it is absolutely possible and the rewards are so worth it.
We work successfully with clients who have a variety of dependent habits. Give us a call and take that first step towards a different, rewarding life.
Neuroscientists have been talking about the huge importance of sleep. For good mental health it is worth spending a few minutes thinking about how much sleep we are actually getting.
There is clinical evidence that sleep plays a vital role in several areas of our life. Sleep is not just an inconvenience that we grudgingly allow to take up some of our busy life. On average people are getting far less sleep than the recommended 8 hours per night, often as little as 5 hours. Yet we ignore the needs of our body and brain at the risk of poor mental health.
Sleep appears to have not only a restorative effect but a profound influence over our mental state. When we sleep enough, our concentration, focus and creativity increase. Sleep allows us to consolidate our learning and memories. It is a disturbing thought that many of our teenagers are getting far less than the 9 hours they need. Performance at school or college can suffer as a result.
People who do not sleep enough are 50%more likely to suffer from weight gain owing to the release of a stress hormone called ghrelin. This makes us want to eat sugary and fatty foods.
Tiredness causes accidents on the road from drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Stress is greatly increased by lack of sleep and can lead to repressed immunity, higher rates of cancer, diabetes and raised blood pressure.
Often people suffer from lack of sleep because of anxiety in their life which seriously affects their sleep pattern. Of course one of the best solutions to the problems caused by lack of sleep is hypnotherapy. A solution focused approach helps you to work out the underlying causes of poor sleep with the emphasis being on what you can do to improve the situation. Finding solutions to problems and seeing a positive way ahead give us peace of mind, reduces stress and allows us to sleep well. Good Night!
Research collated by the charity the 'Mental Health Organisation shows that the problem of self harming is still very much a hidden one. It is likely that in a class of secondary school children two in each class of thirty are self harming. This fact is shocking because too often these young people are suffering in silence and receiving little or no help.
One of the misunderstandings about young people who are self harming is that they are attention seeking. They themselves are often reluctant to ask for help and feel that others either do not understand or cannot help them.
One of the most misguided ideas sufferers have is that harming themselves is the only way to gain some control over their situation, some release from their emotional pain. As a hypnotherapist specialising in Solution Focused work at our Taunton hypnotherapy clinic, I know how much can be done to turn around negative thinking. I can help provide young people with a different way of dealing with their problems. For those struggling to cope and self harming, control is a key issue. The great news is that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy CAN help give that control!
Wouldn't it be great to be able to anticipate with joy and calmness the life changing experience of giving birth? If you are considering hypnotherapy for childbirth you will be joining a very select group of mums including our very own Kate, wife of William. Kate is reported to have researched hypnotherapy as a possible means of having a relaxed, natural birth. She apparently listened to CD's as a means of getting her mind into a calm, relaxed state before the birth. At our Taunton clinic we offer mums and partners a course of hypnobirthing which will give them the skills to enable them to stay focused, calm and in control. Let your child birthing story be one of wonderful positive memories!
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Fed up with feeling menopausal?
Reflecting on the article "Cool women" in the NCH Journal Summer 2013, Victoria Droy reminds us that Hypnotherapy can help! 60% of all women suffer some symptoms during the menopause. The symptoms vary from woman to woman and also vary in their intensity. We have probably all heard those tales of woe from women describing their hot flashes or night sweats, the poor sleep, the loss of confidence. The good news is that we can help ourselves pass through this period with much less difficulty than we might imagine.
Here are some suggestions :-
Hypnotherapy can also provide effective help in dealing with the unwanted symptoms of menopause. It can help you to find the right attitudes to enable you to lose weight, to change the type of foods you eat. Hypnotherapy can restore your confidence and boost your self esteem. Most importantly it can teach you how to relax, reduce stress and learn visualisation techniques. These techniques can significantly lessen the effects of hot flashes and the tiredness caused by interrupted sleep.
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Hypnotherapy provides support for Asthma suffers by helping to reduce anxiety
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is marking Asthma Awareness Week (30 April to 6 May) by highlighting how the therapy can help clients cope with the condition by reducing their levels of anxiety.
According to Asthma UK, a charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people whose lives are affected by asthma, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).
There is an inter-relationship between anxiety and asthma for some people, anxiety can be a trigger for asthma, for others it is the asthma itself which causes anxiety. After all, there are few things more frightening than struggling to breathe. The link between anxiety and asthma can lead to an unhelpful cycle of cause and effect which can be difficult to break.
In fact some of the symptoms of a panic attack (hyperventilation) and asthma overlap making it difficult to distinguish between the two. In some cases, a panic attack can actually lead to an asthma attack in someone who already suffers with asthma.
Its not just asthma patients who are affected by anxiety, parents, partners and other carers can become anxious if the condition appears to be poorly managed.
Hypnotherapy combines psychotherapy (a talking therapy) with hypnosis and can provide clients with effective coping mechanisms aimed at reducing their anxiety generally. Used in conjunction with a patients prescribed medication and treatment regimes, hypnotherapy can help clients deal better with lifes stresses, thus minimising the anxiety which could precipitate an asthma attack.
There is a large body of research on the effective use of self-hypnosis, guided imagery, hypnosis and relaxation in asthma in adults1 and children2. A review of research into hypnosis and asthma carried out in 20003 highlighted that studies conducted up to that date consistently demonstrated an effect of hypnosis with asthma. Although more research is needed, the studies showed that its efficacy is enhanced in subjects who are more susceptible where the practitioner is experienced, when it is administered over several sessions, and when it is reinforced by patient self-hypnosis. Children in particular appear to respond well to hypnosis as a tool for improving asthma symptoms.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) helps to reduce anxiety by assisting clients to visualise their preferred future, i.e. a future in which they are coping better with the problem that is causing them stress. This helps clients to regain a sense of perspective and breaks the cycle of anxiety-asthma-anxiety. The therapy encourages positive thinking by helping clients to focus on solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves.
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH) was established to promote the benefits of the Solution Focused approach to improving mental well-being so that the public are more aware of this valuable resource
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Hypnotherapy can help overcome sleepless nights
Hypnotherapy can help insomnia sufferers by dealing with underlying factors that contribute to the condition.
Around a third of people suffer from some form of insomnia at some point in their lives, including difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night or waking up too early in the morning. The effects of prolonged sleeplessness can range from fatigue, lack of motivation, irritability, reduced problem solving skills, inability to cope with stress, reduced immunity and weight gain.
Local Hypnotherapist Malcolm Droy explains that Anxiety is a common cause of insomnia, and of course worrying that you are not sleeping only makes the problem worse. Its not long before a vicious cycle sets in and the harder you try, the more elusive sleep becomes. It can be really debilitating and can seriously impair a persons ability to function normally or enjoy life.
Hypnotherapy can help insomnia sufferers by addressing the underlying anxiety, which may be caused by work, relationships, health or financial worries, for instance ruminating on problems serves to amplify their significance and even small issues can get out of proportion in the middle of a sleepless night.
Hypnotherapists work with clients to alter their habitual responses to problems and develop more helpful coping strategies. By changing unwanted patterns of behaviour, clients anxiety levels reduce and sleep often improves naturally.
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Hypnotherapy can help you make New Year’s Resolutions that last
How long do your New Year’s resolutions last? Hypnotherapists often report an increase in enquiries during March and April when people’s commitment to New Year’s resolutions has worn off. Many turn to Hypnotherapy to help them lose weight, give up smoking or achieve other important goals.
“Part of the problem,” says Malcolm Droy, a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, “is that people tend to focus on external outcomes without addressing what’s going on inside”.
“Weight management is a classic case in point. Some people think that once they lose weight they will be happy. They struggle with various diets and lose heart when the weight piles on again. The chances are, they are struggling with internal issues that need to be dealt with before they can take control of other aspects of their lives, such as their relationship with food, stress, work, money or family.”
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy helps people to regain control by helping them to focus on how they want things to be – their preferred future, rather than focusing on the problems. The therapy uses Solution Focused questioning techniques designed to help clients develop a clear vision of how they want to be.
Malcolm Droy explains, “Typically if I ask a client to tell me how they want to be, they will give me a list of what they don’t want – I don’t want to be overweight, out of breath when I walk, staying indoors because I’m not confident going out.
“It’s my job to help them describe what they do want instead – full of energy, feeling healthy, slim and confident. The difference is profound. Hypnosis helps to reinforce the positive image the client has developed.
“It’s wonderful to see the transformation people can make to the quality of their lives, once they stop focusing on problems and direct all their energy towards thinking positively instead. And the great thing is that, because the client has addressed their internal thought processes, the changes are usually long-lasting. Unlike typical New Year’s resolutions.”
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Anxiety is the Main Reason People Seek Hypnotherapy
A Hypnotherapy Association has conducted research into the reasons people seek the services of its members. Anxiety was by far the most common condition seen by the Association’s Hypnotherapists, with over 34% of cases related to anxiety or stress.
The research was carried out by the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) in the form of a survey sent to the Association’s 168 registered members. The Hypnotherapists were asked to provide statistics relating to clients they saw during a period of one week.
The survey was intended to provide a snapshot of what prompts people to seek Hypnotherapy.
Association Trustee, Nicola Griffiths, explains: “Whilst many people are familiar with the use of Hypnotherapy in helping clients to quit smoking or to help overcome their fear of spiders or flying, the fact that the therapy can help with a wider range of issues is less well known. We wanted to conduct the survey to demonstrate the scope of our work.”
“We had an excellent response and were able to analyse statistics relating to some 227 anonymous clients. As Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapists we specialise in helping clients to cope better with a range of conditions, many of which are either caused or exacerbated by anxiety, so it was interesting to see such a high percentage of clients presenting with anxiety or stress. It’s encouraging to feel our message is getting out there.”
The most common reasons for people seeking the therapists’ services were:
Anxiety or Stress (including Panic Attacks): 34%
Eating disorders or Weight Loss: 11%
Sleep Disorders: 3%
Smoking Cessation was less than 3%. Nicola explains: “This, again, is to be expected. Whilst our therapists do provide Smoking Cessation treatments, these are not the mainstay of our work. We specialise in working with clients, using a collaborative approach, to help them make changes over time in their responses to life’s ups and downs. The effort a client puts in between sessions to making changes is at least as important as the therapy sessions themselves.”
“Our Solution Focused approach is relatively modern and is based on Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), a well researched form of psychotherapy developed in the 1980s. We encourage clients to focus on their preferred future rather than dwelling on past or current problems.”
Other reasons for seeking help included: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Sports Performance, Relationship Issues and Pain Management).
73% of clients seen during the survey week were female. Interestingly there was only a slight difference between the proportion of male or female clients seeing male or female therapists, but not enough to be significant. Clients seem to be equally comfortable seeing male or female Hypnotherapists, with only a small bias towards same gender pairings.
In terms of the age of clients:
18% were 19 to 30 years old
37% were aged 31 to 45
27% were 46 to 60 years old
11% were 61 to 70
with a handful of clients under 19 or over 70. The Association speculates: “The peak of 31 to 45 year olds could be a reflection of their life stage with children, careers and financial pressures all taking their toll.”
Nicola concludes: “The Association’s first member survey has highlighted that clients of all ages are seeking Clinical Hypnotherapy to help with a wide range of conditions.”
She adds: “AfSFH registered Hypnotherapists are highly qualified, many having gained the ‘gold standard’ Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), which has been recognised by the Open University to be the equivalent of 45 points at Undergraduate Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).”
The Association’s website, www.afsfh.com, contains a register of Solution Focused therapists practising throughout the country.
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Taunton Memory Walk 2011
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy South West had a stand at the Taunton Memory Walk for the Alzheimers Society. It was a lovely day and a strong group of walkers set off. All successfully finishing the walk. Everyone had a nice time and the kids enjoyed the bouncy castle. I wasn’t allowed on!
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Weight Control. A different approach!
Let’s face it, most of us enjoy eating. You only have to walk into any supermarket to be met with an array of mouth-watering temptations. The truth is it is perfectly natural to enjoy eating and in fact its part of our natural programming to want to eat.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help. A powerful combination of Hypnosis and Solution Focused Therapy can help to put you into a more positive frame of mind that allows you to take better control of your eating habits. Together, we use a range of techniques to help focus the mind on the positive out comes of weight control. We take small achievable steps towards establishing those more sensible eating patterns that can become a natural part of a positive more self confident lifestyle.
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A new clinic is opening at ‘The Vestry’, Temple Methodist Church, Taunton (2011)
Malcolm Droy is opening the new Vestry Clinic at the Temple Methodist Church, Upper High Street, Taunton. Malcolm provides Solution Focused Hypnotherapy which uses practical modern strategies to help you find solutions. You and he work together to help you become the happy, relaxed and confident person you want to be.
You can arrange a free initial consultation with Malcolm at the Vestry Clinic by calling 07817 395510.
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Hypnotherapy provides support for IBS sufferers
A Hypnotherapy Association is marking Gut Week 2011 (22-28 August) by highlighting how the therapy can help clients cope with the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). According to the organisers of Gut Week, about a third of the population experience IBS at some time in their lives. The condition affects the large bowel and symptoms might include abdominal pain and spasms, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and excess wind. It can also involve an urgent need to visit the toilet and even incontinence if you don’t get there in time. In 2008, NICE published guidelines for GPs for the diagnosis and management of IBS. Once diagnosed, the guidelines recommend 12 months of traditional treatments ranging from dietary advice through to anti-diarrhoea or anti-constipation medications as appropriate, or even low dose antidepressants to reduce pain and spasms. If the IBS has not responded to this treatment, it is classed as 'intractable'.† In such cases, NICE recommends Hypnotherapy as an option to help the condition. In fact there are a small number of Hypnotherapists specialising in IBS working within NHS hospitals. According to the NHS on-line portal, NHS Choices, which offers information about how to make choices about your health:
“Hypnotherapy has been shown to help some people with IBS to reduce their symptoms of pain and discomfort... You can have Hypnotherapy as an outpatient in some NHS hospital pain clinics, or you can learn self-hypnosis techniques to do at home.”
Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said of the first 100 of his patients treated, symptoms improved significantly for nine in 10. He said that although previous research has shown Hypnotherapy is effective for IBS sufferers, it is not widely used. This may be because doctors simply do not believe it works. IBS is more common in women than men and may be aggravated by stress and life changes. Hypnotherapy can help to alleviate symptoms often by addressing the underlying anxiety. The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) holds a directory of qualified Hypnotherapists who specialise in helping clients to cope better with the stresses of life. One of the Association’s Trustees, Nicola Griffiths, explains: “We would always recommend that a client seeks advice from their GP for any bowel disorders. In the event that traditional treatments for IBS prove ineffectual, Hypnotherapy has been shown to be beneficial. In fact, I receive referrals from local Gastroenterologists as they understand that Hypnosis can help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, especially where anxiety is involved.”
Gut Week is organised by: Core - the Digestive Disorders Foundation; the IBS Network and Yakult.
† Adapted from an article “Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is Evidence-Based and Highly Effective”, January 12th, 2011 by Helen Bremner
For more information about Gut Week, visit www.loveyourgut.com
For more information about the AfSFH, visit www.AfSFH.com
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Hypnotherapy provides support for Asthma sufferers by helping to reduce anxiety (2011)
A Hypnotherapy Association is marking Asthma Awareness Week (9-15th May 2011) by highlighting how the therapy can help clients cope with the condition by reducing their levels of anxiety. According to Asthma UK, a charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people whose lives are affected by asthma, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12). There is an inter-relationship between anxiety and asthma – for some people, anxiety can be a trigger for asthma, for others it is the asthma itself which causes anxiety. After all, there are few things more frightening than struggling to breathe. The link between anxiety and asthma can lead to an unhelpful cycle of cause and effect which can be difficult to break. In fact some of the symptoms of a panic attack (hyperventilation) and asthma overlap making it difficult to distinguish between the two. In some cases, a panic attack can actually lead to an asthma attack in someone who already suffers with asthma. It’s not just asthma patients who are affected by anxiety – parents, partners and other carers can become anxious if the condition appears to be poorly managed. Hypnotherapy combines psychotherapy (a talking therapy) with hypnosis and can provide clients with effective coping mechanisms aimed at reducing their anxiety generally. Used in conjunction with a patient’s prescribed medication and treatment regimes, hypnotherapy can help clients deal better with life’s stresses, thus minimising the anxiety which could precipitate an asthma attack. There is a large body of research on the effective use of self-hypnosis, guided imagery, hypnosis and relaxation in asthma in adults1 and children2. A review of research into hypnosis and asthma carried out in 20003 highlighted that studies conducted up to that date consistently demonstrated an effect of hypnosis with asthma. Although more research is needed, the studies showed that its efficacy is enhanced in subjects who are more “susceptible”, where the practitioner is experienced, when it is administered over several sessions, and when it is reinforced by patient self-hypnosis. Children in particular appear to respond well to hypnosis as a tool for improving asthma symptoms.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) helps to reduce anxiety by assisting clients to visualise their preferred future, i.e. a future in which they are coping better with the problem that is causing them stress. This helps clients to regain a sense of perspective and breaks the cycle of anxiety-asthma-anxiety. The therapy encourages positive thinking by helping clients to focus on solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves. The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH) has been established to promote the benefits of the Solution Focused approach to improving mental well-being so that the public are more aware of this valuable resource. “Clients are often relieved to learn that we will not be dwelling on their problems or on how bad things are. They soon get the hang of thinking in a more positive way – describing how they want things to be, rather than how they don’t them to be. It sounds simple, but in fact it is an amazingly powerful technique”.
1 Ewer and Stewart, 1996; Hackman, Stern, and Gershwin, 2000; Maher-Loughna, Macdonald, et al, 1962
2 Anbar, 2001; Anbar, 2002; Castes, Hagel, et al, 1999; Kohen, Olness, et al, 1984
3 Hypnosis and asthma: a critical review, Hackman RM, Stern JS, Gershwin ME, 2000
For more information about Asthma Awareness Week, visit www.asthma.org.uk
For more information about the AfSFH, visit www.AfSFH.com
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“Tai Chi is better than drugs for treating depression in the elderly”
......The exercise is better at reducing depression and anxiety than a powerful antidepressant, say researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles”. (Source: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2011).
Malcolm says “In my view this is a clear connection between the work we do in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and the processes involved in Tai Chi. Both involve quietening down the mind’s ‘fight and flight’ response centre and allowing the intellectual mind to regain control”. More about Tai Chi here and hypnotherapy for depression here.
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The Therapy Network (2011)
Malcolm Droy has recently joined The Therapy Network in Somerton. They are a group of complementary therapists working in Somerset, offering a wide range of therapies to complement and support any ongoing conventional treatments you may be having, or for relaxation and general stress management. The Therapy Network offers a range of options from experienced, qualified practitioners. They aim to be friendly and approachable, working with you to provide you with both complementary therapy treatment options and self help information. Malcolm offers Solution Focused Hypnotherapy at the centre which offers excellent facilities to its clients.
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A new Hypnotherapy Association is marking Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), 21 – 28 February, by highlighting how the therapy can help clients deal with the emotional issues that often underlie these debilitating conditions.
It is estimated that 1.6 million people are affected by eating disorders in the UK.
Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating, are often an outlet for a range of emotions including anger, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Such responses can be caused by a variety of factors: a general inability to cope, psychological trauma, bereavement or difficult relationships. Eating disorders can develop as a coping mechanism in response to these stresses.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) tackles these conditions by reducing anxiety and helping clients to regain a sense of perspective; once anxiety is under control many troublesome symptoms can be alleviated, including unhelpful behaviours associated with food.
This highly effective form of therapy can help clients overcome conditions, such as eating disorders, that are caused by, or made worse by, inappropriate responses to stress. The therapy encourages positive thinking by helping clients to focus on solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves.
SFH differs from earlier forms of therapy by encouraging clients to formulate a positive image of their problem-free future rather than analysing the cause or symptoms of problems from the past. Clients usually find their ability to cope improves and motivation, confidence and self-esteem are all restored. Once they have a better perspective on life they can regain control and a healthy relationship with food.
The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH) has been established to promote the benefits of the Solution Focused approach to improving mental well-being so that the public are more aware of this valuable resource.
Local Hypnotherapist Malcolm Droy has seen at first hand how the Solution Focused approach has helped clients regain control of their thinking: “It’s amazing how so many conditions improve simply by reducing anxiety. Many clients are simply not aware that their negative thought processes cause or exacerbate their problems. It’s so rewarding being able to help them visualise their problem-free future. Once they can visualise it, their mind can find subconscious ways of making their preferred future a reality.” To find out more about the new association, visit www.afsfh.com. Malcolm offers therapy within the South Somerset area. Clinics are normally held in Taunton or Somerton or alternatively a the client’s home.
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