It's always good to get out and meet people, old friends and new ones. Apart from being asked about being in Kids TV show Brum (which I finished longer ago than I care to remember!), as a clinical hypnotherapist I often get asked about what I do.
I had a great time at the Stratford Tweet up recently and met so many people that a lot of the old questions came up again!
As any hypnotherapist will know most of the time these questions are about perceptions of hypnosis based on people seeing Derren Brown or old Paul McKenna TV shows.
"Can you take over my mind and make me do things I don't want to do?"
"Are you hypnotising me now?"
I smile and explain that no one can make anyone do anything that they don't want to do. I can help people who want to make changes but they are always in control.
I recently went to see the Tom Hanks film Captain Phillips and it has proven very useful as an example of how our bodies struggle to tell the difference between real and imagined. I have not had a more gripping couple of hours in a cinema for a long time. My heart was beating out of my chest with excitement and tension, even though I knew I was just watching some pictures on a screen and listening to some sounds. I went with another hypnotherapist friend and afterwards we joked about needing a relaxing session to calm our bodies back down.
Another great story that I have been able to tell people that illustrates how hypnotherapy can be used is based on something that happened to me during the summer..
I attended a wedding as a guest of one of the bride's friends. I had never met either the bride or the groom before. During the evening the bride retired to her room with terrible toothache. At this point I was asked if it was something that I could help with. I was more than happy to go and speak to her. I found myself alone in the bridal suite with the bride lying on her four poster bed still in her wedding dress. We talked about the pain and I went through some techniques with her to turn down that pain. Of course, I also gave her the number of my dentist and made sure she called him to make an emergency appointment !
After a little time working with her she was able to turn the pain down to a managable level and went out to enjoy the rest of her evening. She was very grateful for the help, and the groom was over the moon about having his wedding night saved
You never know when you will be able to help someone and as well as the wonderful warm feeling that comes from being able to help...
I ended up with a great story to tell.