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Comprehensive Approaches to Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various forms, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Phobias, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of anxiety can significantly impact daily life, making it crucial to seek effective treatment.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety disorders come in different shapes and sizes, each with its unique set of symptoms and challenges. GAD, for example, involves persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life, while Social Anxiety Disorder is characterised by intense fear of social situations. Panic Disorder leads to sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear, and Phobias involve an irrational fear of specific objects or situations. PTSD, on the other hand, occurs after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

Recognising the symptoms of anxiety is the first step toward seeking help. Common symptoms include persistent worry, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. When these symptoms start interfering with your daily activities, it’s essential to consider professional treatment options.


Hypnotherapy Leeds | Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic


Traditional Anxiety Treatments

Psychological Therapies

Psychological therapies are often the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders. These therapies focus on helping individuals understand and manage their anxiety through various techniques and strategies. Among these, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) stands out as one of the most effective.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT works by helping individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their anxiety. Through structured sessions, either one-on-one or in groups, patients learn to challenge irrational fears and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

How CBT Works

CBT sessions involve working with a therapist to break down overwhelming problems into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect each other. These parts are usually situations, thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions.

By addressing these elements, CBT helps individuals develop coping strategies that change negative thought patterns and behaviours, leading to improved emotional regulation and reduced anxiety.

Effectiveness of CBT for Anxiety

CBT is highly effective in treating various anxiety disorders, including GAD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Research has consistently shown that CBT can lead to significant reductions in anxiety symptoms, with many individuals experiencing improvements that last long after therapy has ended.

Variations of CBT

CBT can be adapted in several ways to meet the needs of different individuals. Some of the common variations include guided self-help, where individuals use CBT-based resources with support from a therapist; group CBT, where a group of individuals with similar issues meet regularly with a therapist; and computerised CBT (cCBT), an online version of CBT accessible via computer or mobile device.

Applied Relaxation

Another effective psychological therapy is applied relaxation. This technique involves learning how to relax your muscles in situations that typically cause anxiety. With the help of a trained therapist, individuals practice these relaxation techniques regularly, which can lead to significant reductions in anxiety levels over time.

Techniques Used in Applied Relaxation

Applied relaxation focuses on helping individuals become more aware of their muscle tension and teaching them how to relax those muscles on command. Techniques include progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), which involves tensing and then slowly relaxing different muscle groups in the body, and cue-controlled relaxation, where individuals learn to associate a specific word or phrase with the state of relaxation.

Benefits and Effectiveness

Applied relaxation has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, particularly for individuals with GAD and panic disorder. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies, such as CBT, to enhance overall treatment effectiveness.


For some individuals, medication is a necessary part of managing anxiety. Medications can help reduce the intensity of symptoms, making it easier to engage in therapy and other treatment methods.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are commonly prescribed antidepressants that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Medications like sertraline, escitalopram, and paroxetine are often used to treat anxiety. While effective, they can come with side effects such as nausea, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs, such as venlafaxine and duloxetine, work similarly to SSRIs but also increase noradrenaline levels. They can be particularly helpful for individuals who do not respond well to SSRIs. Side effects may include increased blood pressure, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction.


Originally used to treat epilepsy, pregabalin has also been found effective in managing anxiety. It can help reduce symptoms such as restlessness and tension. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and weight gain.


Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam, provide short-term relief for severe anxiety symptoms. They work quickly to ease symptoms but are generally not recommended for long-term use due to the risk of dependence and other side effects like drowsiness and difficulty concentrating.

Self-Help and Lifestyle Changes

In addition to professional treatments, self-help strategies and lifestyle changes can play a crucial role in managing anxiety. Self-care practices, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep, are fundamental to overall well-being.

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can also be beneficial. Mindfulness involves staying present in the moment and can help reduce the tendency to worry about the future or dwell on the past. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can help calm the mind and body, making it easier to cope with anxiety.

Emerging and Alternative Treatments

While traditional treatments are highly effective for many people, others may find additional relief through emerging and alternative therapies. One such promising treatment is hypnotherapy.


Traditional hypnotherapy usually involves using guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness. In this state, individuals can explore thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds. It also allows an individual to consciously work with their subconscious. Hypnotherapy can help change negative thought patterns and behaviours, making it an effective treatment for anxiety.

Research has shown that hypnotherapy can lead to significant reductions in anxiety. For instance, a 2016 study found that hypnosis could alter brainwave patterns, enhance emotional control, and reduce self-consciousness. Another review in 2017 highlighted the effectiveness of hypnosis in managing anxiety related to medical procedures, particularly in cancer patients.

Hypnotherapy can be particularly beneficial when combined with other psychological treatments, such as CBT. By promoting deep relaxation and focusing the mind, hypnotherapy can enhance the effectiveness of these treatments, providing a comprehensive approach to managing anxiety.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are also gaining recognition as effective treatments for anxiety. These practices involve training the mind to focus on the present moment, reducing the tendency to worry about the future or dwell on past events. Techniques such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and communication patterns. It helps individuals understand and address the emotional issues that can contribute to anxiety. IPT is particularly effective for people who experience anxiety as a result of relationship problems or significant life changes.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a psychological treatment that helps individuals confront their fears in a controlled and safe environment. By gradually exposing themselves to the source of their anxiety, individuals can learn to manage their fear and reduce avoidance behaviours. This therapy is particularly effective for phobias, PTSD, and panic disorders.

Hypnotherapy in Focus

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that utilises guided relaxation and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness, often referred to as a trance. In this state, individuals can tap into their subconscious mind, allowing them to address and alter negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to anxiety.

How Hypnotherapy Works

Hypnotherapy involves several techniques to help individuals enter a focused state. These can include guided relaxation, where the therapist uses calming words and imagery to help the individual achieve a state of deep relaxation; visualisation, in which the individual imagines themselves in a peaceful and safe place to help reduce anxiety; and therapeutic self-talk, which involves positive affirmations and suggestions to change negative thought patterns and beliefs.

A skilled hypnotherapist will help a client understand the mental tricks that cause their anxiety.

Consider the example of a magic show. If an audience member believed the magician was truly supernatural, they might panic. Most of the audience would think, “My eyes and senses are deceiving me, but he’s not a wizard.” Once someone learns how the magician’s trick is done, they can’t be fooled by it again. Similarly, once a hypnotherapist reveals how a client’s mind has been tricked into anxiety, they can’t be affected by it in the same way.

Once in a trance-like state, individuals can explore their subconscious mind, addressing the root causes of their anxiety. This process can lead to significant improvements in emotional regulation and overall well-being.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Anxiety

Hypnotherapy offers several benefits for individuals struggling with anxiety. It enhances emotional control by accessing the subconscious mind, helping individuals gain greater control over their emotions, reducing feelings of anxiety and panic. It reduces self-consciousness, helps individuals feel more at ease in social situations and alleviates social anxiety. Studies have shown that hypnotherapy can improve heart rate variability (HRV), which is associated with better emotional regulation and reduced stress. Unlike some treatments that only provide short-term relief, hypnotherapy can lead to lasting changes in thought patterns and behaviours.

Hypnotherapy has been shown to be particularly effective when combined with other psychological interventions, such as CBT. This combined approach can provide a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan that addresses both the conscious and subconscious aspects of anxiety.

Integrating Hypnotherapy with Other Treatments

For many individuals, the most effective approach to managing anxiety involves combining multiple treatment methods. Hypnotherapy can be integrated with other treatments to enhance their effectiveness and provide a holistic approach to anxiety management.

Combining Hypnotherapy with CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used treatments for anxiety. By combining CBT with hypnotherapy, individuals can address both the conscious and subconscious aspects of their anxiety. While CBT helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns, hypnotherapy can reinforce these changes by addressing deep-seated beliefs and behaviours.

Hypnotherapy as a Complementary Treatment to Medication

For individuals who are taking medication to manage their anxiety, hypnotherapy can serve as a complementary treatment. It can help reduce the reliance on medication by providing additional tools to manage anxiety. Hypnotherapy can also help individuals cope with the side effects of medication, such as insomnia or nausea, by promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

Personalising Treatment Plans to Include Hypnotherapy

Every individual is unique, and their treatment plan should reflect their specific needs and preferences. By personalising treatment plans to include hypnotherapy, therapists can provide a more tailored approach to managing anxiety. This might involve incorporating hypnotherapy sessions alongside other therapies or using hypnotherapy as a standalone treatment for individuals who prefer a more holistic approach.

Hypnotherapy can also be used to address specific anxiety triggers or situations. For example, individuals who experience anxiety related to public speaking can use hypnotherapy to build confidence and reduce fear in these situations.

In summary, hypnotherapy offers a unique and effective approach to managing anxiety. By integrating hypnotherapy with other treatments, individuals can achieve a more comprehensive and personalised treatment plan that addresses both the conscious and subconscious aspects of their anxiety.

Recap of the importance of seeking treatment for anxiety, summarising the benefits of various treatments, highlighting hypnotherapy, and encouraging individuals to explore and consider hypnotherapy as a viable option.

Hypnotherapy is a promising treatment for anxiety that can be highly effective, especially when combined with other psychological interventions such as CBT. It offers a unique approach to managing anxiety by promoting deep relaxation and emotional control. By exploring and combining different treatments, individuals can find the most effective strategies to manage their anxiety and improve their quality of life.

Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic Testimonial from an NHS Paramedic

Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic Salutes our Countries NHS staff

I’m always grateful for the kind reviews posted on the Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic website by clients and there was one today that I thought I’d like to comment on in a blog, bearing in mind the current health crisis posed by the coronavirus outbreak. The review comes from Chris who worked as a Yorkshire paramedic.

It’s easy to forget sometimes the dedication required of health workers and the stress and strain that their jobs can put on them.

As Chris says in his message, his work meant dealing with things that most of us only ever see on TV or read about. Inevitably the anxieties of such work can take their toll. In Chris’s case, he was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. Symptoms of stress

The symptoms hit him without warning.

Inevitably, the more exposed an individual is to stressful situations the more vulnerable they will be. And really there are few more challenging posts than working on the frontline in the health sector.

Yet, suddenly, the work of all these people has become all the more challenging in the current circumstances. We are now relying more than ever on health workers – whether they be doctors, nurses, paramedics or support staff. While it’s their job, the least the rest of us can do is express our thanks for the dedication shown by all these workers and to let them know just how appreciated their dedication is. I’m sure it’s a sentiment that we all share.


Testimonial from Chris Greenwood


” Trying to decide whether to go to Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic?

Please read my story and you may be able to make that decision a lot easier.


I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and a Paramedic for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (formerly WYMAS) for 17 years.  I was always able to pride myself on being able to deliver the best care to all, at what can be described as their lowest if not critical moments.  The ability to provide treatment, reassurance and support in a correct professional and timely manner is paramount to front line emergency medical staff.

I have seen and dealt with things that most people only see in television dramas/documentaries, films, newspapers, read in books or of course if you were the one needing help. This also includes colleagues taking their own lives! I was able to do this without any of it having an adverse consequence on my mental wellbeing, although it’s always difficult with the latter.


That was all until 18th March 2016!


I had completed 4 hours of a 12hr night shift.  I had been feeling a bit odd and went outside to get some air, and as I stood there thinking, I realised, that for approximately 12-18 months that I’d not been sleeping well, waking up feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and on going to work I’d been coughing and coughing, but only on the way to work, while I was working, I was ok!  It suddenly dawned on me that I was having symptoms of anxiety!

I called my wife, who also worked for the service, and explained.  Within 5 minutes I felt that I had to get as far away from work as possible.  I went in and explained all this to my manager, who was very understanding, and I left work sick.


As of the 18th March 2016, my life turned upside-down!!


I visited my GP who diagnosed Severe Anxiety and Depression.  He started me on medication immediately.  He was shocked as to how bad I was.


I suddenly became someone that could deal with everything, to the one that couldn’t deal with anything at all!

I couldn’t talk to people, answer the phone, go out.  I stood up all the time, never could sit down and relax.  I couldn’t watch television or cope with noise.  I couldn’t read or write things; making food was extremely stressful. I was losing control!!

When Occupational Health called me for my initial assessment, I was in a severe mess.  I was deemed at that stage to be suffering from severe trauma.  How could that be?  There is no reason for it!

I was referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT).  This took weeks to be arranged and I got worse and worse.  Finally, the day came for my first session.  1 hour before, I became a total mess, retching, but not vomiting, extreme sweating and shaking so much I couldn’t even drink water.  The phone rang – Cancelled!!  It took me hours to calm down.  When I did start my treatment, I was fraught with physical symptoms.  After my third session, I was told they couldn’t help me, as there was no specific reason for my problem to have started, and I needed Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing(EMDR).  This was only possible following my 6th session of CBT!  Again, I waited weeks for the referral, continuing to spiral out of control.  I started to drink alcohol heavily on a night to try and calm down and be able to eventually go to sleep!

EMDR started, and after 9 sessions, I was yet again, told as there was nothing specific causing it, they couldn’t help.  Each appointment turning me into a gibbering wreck!!  All during this time, I was having meetings with management, but, only at my home, as I couldn’t go near work.  It was like torture!!


My GP support was second to none!


I was referred to see a counsellor and referred to Psychiatry – it was now 2017.

I knew the counsellor which helped, but still had retching, sweating and shaking going to see her.  She was lovely and helped me by letting me have a little ease, after calming down, for about 20 minutes each week.


By now, I had been on a number of medications, and the Psychiatrists were more focused on that, than the diagnosis!


Nothing was changing, I wasn’t getting anywhere at all!  I was finished from work on capability grounds in August 2017.  I really didn’t want this to happen as I had done nothing wrong!  When it did, it meant I didn’t have to think about any more meetings or stress caused by work intervention.

You would have thought that this would have made me feel easier.  It just made me cry!

I now had no job and no income!  The worst thing that I’ve ever had to do, was call the DWP to try and get benefits!  Later (2018), I was granted retirement on ill health!  This helped financially, but I had not got any better.  I was still drinking on an evening, to get me to just forget and go to sleep!

By now I’d put on about 6 stone in weight!  I wasn’t doing anything at home and had no drive whatsoever!  I started in a group at CHART which helps with addiction, but was struggling with my larger problem, therefore, it wasn’t helping!


My family were supporting me as much as possible, but it was taking its toll on them.

At this point, my father, who was a friend and acquaintance, of someone who did work with PTSD and other things, named Daniel McDermid.  He had a chat with Daniel, and he suggested that I call him.

I did not get in touch, as by now, everything else had failed and, I couldn’t go through it all again!!

Subsequently, nothing changed, and I went up to 20 stone in weight, and got no better.


2019 – My wife was now struggling with me and work!  I was now causing her anxiety as well!!  She ended going off sick with similar symptoms!!  She talked to my father and asked him to get in touch with Daniel for herself.  I suddenly decided I had no choice, I had to go see Daniel.  It caused me great floods of tears, as I think I had no other options.  I couldn’t let this ruin us all!!


I went with my wife to Daniel McDermid’s, Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, for her appointment, early one evening (I had not booked an appointment yet).  I wanted to walk her in to give moral support.  He was very kind and inviting, as we entered.  He went through the things my wife was going through and, he decided at that point he was going to deal with me also!  He went through everything with both of us, in an informative and cognitively suggestive manner. This was fantastic!!  Suddenly, things were starting to make a lot more sense for us both! He ended the appointment with approximately 30 minutes of Deep Trance therapy.


Daniel is the only therapist where I’ve not been retching, sweating and shaking!!


Let me tell you now, we both left feeling massively different!!  My wife was able to return to work at the end of her sick note, and I have had no anxiety or depression since.


Daniel did more in 3 hours, than any other treatment in 3 ½ years!!  We’re forever indebted to him and his wisdom.


I continued to see him regarding the alcohol consumption, and in only a few sessions, he got me to not drinking at all. I now only have a couple on a weekend and, I’ve lost nearly a stone and a half in weight!


Daniel McDermid, The Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, has changed our lives, where no one else could!!


I recommend that you don’t put off making the decision to seek help at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic!

You all deserve the best.


Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts Daniel.”



Stop Smoking with Hypnotherapy and Repair Damaged Cells

“Magic’ Cells Repair Damage Caused By Smoking Once You Quit

Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy in LeedsLeeds Hypnotherapy Clinic offers clients life-changing benefits.

And for some people, smokers included, the treatment will be life-saving.

It’s widely acknowledged that quitting cigarettes is the single most important thing a smoker can do to improve health.

Yet there are those who still believe they have been smoking too long for there to be any real health gains.

But they’re wrong.

And new research at University College London confirms this assertion.

The findings by scientists show that the lungs have a near “magical” capacity to repair cancerous mutations caused by smoking – but only once the smoker quits.

BBC Health and Science correspondent James Gallagher reports on the findings published in Nature. He writes that the few cells that escape damage from smoking are able to repair damaged lungs.

DNA Mutations

Until now, it had been assumed that the DNA mutations that lead to lung cancer were permanent and persisted even after a person quit cigarettes.

Previous studies had already established that people cut their risk of lung cancer once they quit but it was thought that this was because further mutations caused by smoking were avoided.

But the new research has found that the few cells that escape DNA damage subsequently act to repair lungs.

Precisely how some cells remain undamaged remains unclear, however, for people who quit it is these remaining cells that grow and replace the corrupted cells.

Dr Peter Campbell, of the Sanger Institute, told the BBC there were “cells that, kind of, magically replenish the lining of the airways.”

So for those hardened smokers who demanded further evidence that they really ought to quit: there they have it.

Extra Motivation To Stop Smoking

Dr Rachel Orritt, of Cancer Research UK said the research provided extra motivation for smokers to quit.

Here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, we never tire of telling people that giving up cigarettes needn’t be hard: Stop smoking it’s a doddle.

The dangers of Vaping | Hypnotherapy Leeds

Vaping HypnotherapyThe dangers of vaping

So vaping’s not so safe after all, we’re now being told. Well,  here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic , we’ve never advocated the use of tobacco substitutes as a means to quitting.

The main reason is that such products, and that includes e-cigs, help perpetuate the myth that smoking is primarily a physical addiction rather than a psychological issue.

Nicotine gum, patches and more recently vaping, all maintain the fallacy that quitting cigarettes is going to be hell.

Successful treatment using hypnotherapy

But that’s nonsense. I’ve successfully treated hundreds of smokers using hypnotherapy and I start by explaining to them that what they regard as their physical addiction is their minds playing tricks. They mistake the fear they feel at giving up as being withdrawal symptoms. But this anxiety is a conditioned response. Their conditioning has been reinforced over the years, not least by the marketing of tobacco substitute products, including e-cigarettes.

But surely, many people insist, vaping is safer than smoking.  I don’t disagree; yes it is – but it’s a bit like saying boxing is safer than being a Roman gladiator and then being surprised when your nose gets bust in the ring.

Just because smoking is so life-threatening and debilitating and vaping somewhat less so, doesn’t equate to vaping being safe.

And now we’re being informed that e-cigs are actually worse for you than has been generally assumed.

New statistics

New research reveals that adults who vape are 56% more at risk of a heart attack and more prone to coronary artery disease and depression compared to non-users. They are also 30% more likely to have a stroke than non-users.

Mohinder Vindhyal, Assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine who led the research using data from more than 96,000 people is quoted as saying: “This is a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”

The conclusion is clear: given a choice between smoking, vaping or quitting the only safe option is to stop.

New research into psychology of smoking

New research into psychology of smoking

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic our principal tenet in successfully treating smokers wanting to quit is explaining how their ‘addiction’ is  a psychological issue rather than being a physical craving for nicotine.

But this is not a popular view accepted by the world at large. Some people  find it a difficult concept to accept, mostly because the notion that smoking is physically addictive has become deeply embedded in the human psyche.

So it’s pleasing to be able to cite some professional research that supports my insistence that smoking addiction is “in the mind.”  

The latest findings come from a new study by Israeli scientists.

Dr Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology says that the psychological element of smoking is the key factor in convincing a person they are addicted.

In his study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Dr Dar writes “These findings might not be popular with advocates of the nicotine addiction theory, because they undermine the physiological role of nicotine and emphasize mind over matter when it comes to smoking.”

No smoking on air flights

In the study, researchers monitored the craving levels of in-flight male and female attendants, all of them smokers, during two flights, when they couldn’t have a cigarette. The attendants worked for Israeli airline El Al and were monitored on a l0- to 13-hour flight from Tel Aviv to New York and a two-stop shorter trip from Israel to Europe and back – each leg lasting three to five hours.

The team studied responses of the staff to a questionnaire. They found towards the end of each short flight, craving levels were much higher than those at the end of the long flight, which was presented as evidence that  cravings are triggered by anticipation rather than nicotine deprivation. 

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we explain to clients that the role played by nicotine in smoking ‘addiction’ is minimal and its presence short-lived – any short-lived physiological can be negated through hypnosis and by short-lived we are talking no more than an or hour or two. 

Self-fulfilling prophecy

We explain to clients that what they perceive to be cravings, thereafter, are in fact anxieties triggered by expectations. In other words the craving is an anxiety about becoming anxious. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Nevertheless, the popular belief persists, despite being an example of  inaccurate thinking. 

As philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that is not utterly absurd.”

It is a quote that can be applied to many aspects of life.

You can find out more about smoking cessation in my book, Stop Smoking: It’s a Doddle, available free to download on this website.

Super-size Models | Hypnotherapy Leeds

Weight Loss Hypnotherapy LeedsSuper-size Model

Hypnotherapy Leeds

A letter in the ‘New Scientist’ magazine caught my eye this week because of its relevance to the weight-loss treatment I offer at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic.

The letter mentioned American super-size model Tess Holliday who describes herself as a body positive activist.

Her Wikipedia profile says Tess embraces the word ‘fat’ and advocates that people should be able to eat as much as they want without suffering social ostracism.

I couldn’t agree more with Tess’s insistence that people shouldn’t be subject to mockery or exclusion because of their size. Of course not – no-one deserves to be bullied.

But whether or not an individual is happy with being overweight is another matter.

Confidence credo

Yet I admire Tessa’s body confidence credo – part of treatment at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic involves teaching people how to ‘own’ their personal characteristics and not be troubled by the prejudiced opinions of others. Treatment at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is always non-judgmental no matter what condition or disorder is being treated.

You might wonder, though, that if I agree with Tessa’s sentiment, am I not being contradictory or even hypocritical by suggesting fat people should lose weight?

My answer is no – I’m not. I’m not because while I applaud people embracing mental well-being, I also care about people’s physical well-being. The two are not distinct. Psychological issues and physical issues are often intertwined.

And put simply, the hard truth is that being fat is not good for physical health even if it can be made to seem glamorous.

That brings me back to the letter in the ‘New Scientist’. It is from a Ms Christine Rogers of London responding to a previous article in the magazine on ‘fat acceptance.’

Everyday tasks

Ms Rogers writes that she is aged 79 and overweight, having risen from 7.5 stone (48 kg) in her 20s to 75kg today. At one stage she weighed 90kg. She points out that Tessa Holliday is aged only 33 and seemingly capable of coping with her excess weight. However, Ms Rogers warns that the model is storing up trouble for the future. She doesn’t mention the obvious medical problems of heart disease and diabetes in her letter but focuses instead on less glaring difficulties that emerge with age such as the painting or cutting or toenails, getting in or out of a bath or into public transport seats – everyday tasks made more problematic by being overweight. Seemingly trivial tasks that in youth are simple enough become more onerous with age, particularly so if one in fat, she says.

Ultimately, though, being overweight is a lifestyle choice. No-one needs to be fat.

Taking responsibility at Leeds Hypnotherapy

I teach clients who come to see me at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic that losing weight needn’t be a chore. It can actually be fun. It is about taking responsibility and being the person you want to be.

If you choose to be fat now and in the future, you are entitled to that choice, (though that decision impacts on the lives of others close to you.)

Unlike super-size model Tess, it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to turn being overweight into a profitable business plan.

But be happy, whatever your size.

Be aware, though, that being fat is never going to be the healthy preference.

What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

Hypnotherapist Daniel McDermid | What happens in a hypnotherapy session?What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

Hypnosis at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic

In the second of a series of articles for the Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic website, I’m going to respond to another question that I’m often asked: “What happens in a hypnotherapy session?”

People are intrigued to know just what happens in a hypnotherapy session and understandably first-time clients might even be a little apprehensive about the process. I wish to reassure them.

Hypnotherapy and Stage hyposis

Any apprehension might arise because of associations people have made between hypnotherapy and stage hypnotism. But as I never tire of pointing out: the two things are different. So, let’s not be confused. Stage hypnotism is a show – a performance intended to entertain and isn’t really hypnotism at all – it’s mind manipulation. That’s not to say it isn’t clever but it is showmanship not therapy. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, uses hypnosis as a means of integrating rational understanding into a client’s unconscious. It is an ethical practice that helps address a multitude of conditions or disorders yet the client remains in control at all times – even during trance. The benefits and efficacy of properly administered hypnotherapy is widely acknowledged by medical professionals both in the UK and around the globe.

Rational understanding

The “rational understanding” just mentioned, itself needs to be explained, of course. And at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic I first of all chat with a client, which helps put him or her at ease and allows me to understand their condition. After preliminary pleasantries, I will then explain to the client what I mean by the phrase rational understanding.
First of all, I should state that I can only speak for how treatment is administered at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic. I use techniques that I have developed over the years, which I have been teaching to other practitioners around the country and abroad and which I know work. Some of the techniques I employ will be different from those used by other hypnotherapists, though there are basic principles to which all trained practitioners might be expected to adhere.
The first task of the therapist is to ascertain what condition it is that troubles the client.

Anxiety fears

Quite often, a client will misinterpret his or her condition. For example, someone with a phobia, say a fear of spiders, believes that even thinking of spiders scares them or makes them anxious. In reality they have a conditioned fear (they’ve hypnotised themselves, if you like, into being scared of spiders). But it is not actually the spider that makes them anxious – that is just what they believe – it is a pre-existing anxiety that makes them blame the spider. In other words they are anxious about being anxious. They are scared of being scared. It isn’t always the easiest concept to grasp but using cognitive behavioural therapy, we get there. And we exchange what are called unhealthy negative emotions for healthy negative emotions.

Emotional coaching

What happens in a hypnotherapy session at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic? This is what I call emotional coaching and it is about teaching clients to understand their feelings, emotions and thoughts – it teaches them the difference between demands and preferences. It teaches them about psychological perception. It teaches them to think accurately. It teaches them to think and act rationally. After all, we know that in the UK, at least, spiders can’t actually harm us.

Once an understanding is established and a client understands what it is I’m talking about, we can proceed to the next stage. (Grasping the concepts is usually easier face-to-face during a session than it is reading about them. At my clinic in Leeds, I can tell if someone understands what I am explaining and if not, I will approach it from a different angle or use another example.) What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

Hypnosis explained

After the emotional coaching part of the session, we move on to inducing trance. I always explain what this entails so that the client knows what to expect before, during and after hypnosis. There are different approaches to inducing trance. Some practitioners will use a rapid approach while others (the majority) will ease their client into a focused, meditative state. What happens in a hypnotherapy session at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is admittedly slightly different to what clients would receive at different organisation.

Inducing hypnotic trance

The most common technique is to use body relaxation – the therapist talks to the client, asking them to focus on different parts of their body, usually from the toes up and to feel each section of their body slowly relax, leading eventually to a tranquil state where the client’s conscious is still aware of what the hypnotherapist is saying. There is nothing to fear and the feeling is soothing.

Deepening a hypnotic trance

The hypnotherapist may then count down from 10 to 1, gradually deepening the trance. Once a client is in a focused state, I will begin to make suggestions that have been agreed upon with the client during the earlier part of the consultation.

Hypno- therapy

As the unconscious mind opens, I am able to integrate the principles learnt during our emotional coaching and the client, accepting the benefits of healthy beliefs chooses to adopt them. He or she will be enjoying their trance state and already feeling a sense of revelation about their new-found comprehension.
For some people reading this, of course, the whole process will be translated as “woolly” nonsense and there are people who insist they cannot be hypnotised. To those people I say: everyone can be hypnotised. They just don’t know it. They are simply allowing themselves to become conscious of their own unconscious minds, so that they can make their desired goals a reality.

Different hypnotherapy techniques

Different techniques can be applied to different people. But as an ethical practitioner, I only treat people who wish to be helped and we work together to achieve optimum results. I find that gently easing clients into trance is the most enjoyable and beneficial route.
Reassurance for Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic clients.
Before hypnosis begins, I always reassure clients that at no point during trance will they lose their free will and that they will be able to come out of trance at any stage if they so wish. This has never happened in my experience because people in trance find the state they are in so pleasurable.


And so, once the unconscious has absorbed its new understanding, I ease the client out of their trance.
This is done by counting them back to a fully conscious state. Sometimes people are perplexed because they believe they haven’t been in a trance – it’s only when they realise that an hour has passed that they begin to recognise the value of the experience. The inner strength and understanding they have gained in the process stays with them. There will most likely be specific moments in the future when they recognise the changes that have been made. It is not their personality that has been changed, just their understanding and insight. They are no longer becoming victims of tricks of the mind.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information on what happens in hypnotherapy session.

What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

Is hypnotherapy better than counselling?

is hypnotherapy better than counsellingIs hypnotherapy better than counselling?

I often get asked questions about my work at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic – not just by clients but by people I meet elsewhere who wonder what hypnotherapy is all about. Some are intrigued and some are puzzled. And others have some funny ideas about the whole process.
So I thought it might be a useful exercise to try to answer some of the most common questions that come my way.
I’ll kick off what is going to be a series of blogs by trying to address a question I was asked just last week: “Is hypnotherapy better than counselling?”
Well, I know what I might be expected to say.
But I’ll start by stating that the efficacy of any type of treatment generally depends on the expertise of the person offering help. And I’m fully aware that counselling provides a valuable service for many people.
In essence, counselling involves a trained professional listening to an individual’s emotional anxiety regarding a particular traumatic event, for example a job loss or relationship breakup or bereavement. Counselling can be on a one-to-one basis or involve group sessions or be conducted on the internet or even over the phone.
In the UK, the National Health Service offers free counselling and there are more details to be found at www.nhs.uk. Treatment can be accessed without referral from a GP. There are also private counselling services available, which incur a fee. There are free counselling services offered by a variety of charities too.

Psychological issues with hypnosis

Hypnotherapy usually includes elements of counselling and is a category of psychotherapy, which itself is an umbrella term covering various forms of treatment for psychological issues. One particular advantage of clinical hypnotherapy is that it achieves more immediate results compared to conventional treatment, though there are always going to be some people for whom conventional treatment will be preferential.
And then there are psychologists – both counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists who work mostly in hospitals and rehab units as well as privately. Some will employ hypnotherapy within their treatment programmes.
But hypnotherapy, sadly, is not usually available on the National Health Service as a specific treatment option, though the benefits of properly administered clinical hypnotherapy are widely acknowledged by most health care professionals.

Gaining insight “Is hypnotherapy better than counselling?”

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, I treat clients for a range of psychological conditions using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the first instance to enable them to understand their condition. The client’s newly-acquired insight is then integrated into the unconscious (subconscious) through clinical hypnosis.
We are all governed by our unconscious – it keeps us alive and protects us instinctively but at times, for reasons of conditioning or even circumstance, the unconscious can misinterpret our environment. As a consequence people often misunderstand why they act as they do – why they smoke, or why they have this or that phobia, or why they get angry or feel unable to control their emotions, why they feel anxious, frightened or depressed.
What hypnosis provides is a means of communicating with the unconscious to achieve a heightened sense of awareness. This enables an individual to reset his or her unconscious and, therefore, in the future react with rationality to specific events. Hypnotherapy trains the individual to think accurately. As well as addressing specific issues it enhances overall wellbeing.
Whatever psychological issue a client presents at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, there is no judgment but a simple assurance that most psychological conditions can be treated successfully. When other forms of treatment might be preferable, I advise accordingly.

Easing anxiety with counselling and hypnotherapy

“Is hypnotherapy better than counselling?” It’s true that for some people, the opportunity to talk about their issues with a counsellor will resolve or ease their anxieties.
But for others the services of a trained clinical hypnotherapist is going to be more beneficial, especially when dealing with longer-term conditions such as phobias, OCD, weight issues and smoking. More details about treatment and conditions are to be found on my Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic website.

Spider phobia treatment in Leeds

Spider phobia Hypnotherapy LeedsSpider Phobia

If the following little tale makes you want to scream – or even sends a shiver down your spine – you might consider paying me a visit at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic.
…Only last week I was picking up toys from the living room floor when what I thought was a large rubber spider came to life. I can’t deny it made me jump as it scuttled off under the sofa. But my reaction was caused by the unexpected movement and not because I’m scared of real spiders. I don’t have a spider phobia.

There are, though, a lot of people who ARE afraid of spiders

Some of them are terrified – so much so that their lives are made a misery. They have a phobia of spiders.
Bad news then if they happened to have read a headline in the Yorkshire Evening Post last week: “Huge spiders are invading Leeds homes”. Reporter Alex Evans revealed that at the moment we’re in what he calls Spider Season – that’s the mating season for our eight-legged chums – and, apparently, thanks to the warm summer they’ve been at it like hammer and tongs since mid-August this year.
The Yorkshire Evening Post article is accompanied by a series of pictures sent in by readers – and I have to say some of those spiders look as big as spuds – not the sort of thing anyone with arachnophobia will want to looking at before bedtime.
But, happily, Alex provides a few helpful tips on how to keep the beasts at bay… tips that include drawing a bold chalk line around your bed because apparently spiders don’t like chalk. So teachers at least should sleep easy this September. I wonder, though…As I shifted my sofa in search of my own runaway spider I found no trace of my spider but there were at least two stumps of chalk from the toy box lying on the floor as if mocking all journalistic advice. Or maybe that was why my spider had fled the scene?
Anyhow, such conundrums aside, what I need to say, as a therapist, is that people need not be fearful – arachnophobia (spider phobia) – is like other phobias and can be treated.

Spider Phobia treatment at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic

At Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic, I have successfully treated numerous clients for their spider phobia using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and clinical hypnosis. And I always start by explaining to clients that phobias are rooted not in what individuals perceive as being the cause of their anxiety but by the fear of their anxiety being triggered. In other words they are scared of being scared.
It’s not always an easy concept to grasp but essentially phobias including spider phobia’s arise from conditioned anxiety about being anxious and can be treated by providing insight, changing perceptions and allowing an individual to think rationally. Hypnosis integrates this new-found understanding into the unconscious. More details can be found on my website.
At the end of treatment, a client who has come to me with arachnophobia is able to hold a spider in his or her hand and not be scared – assuming, of course, I can find a spider – but at this time of the year, that’s not too difficult.

Vaping or Hypnotherapy in Leeds

Vaping HypnotherapyVaping is back in the news

Over the past few years, Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic has helped hundreds of smokers give up cigarettes.

And one question sometimes asked by people first enquiring about treatment is: “Would it be just easier to vape instead – use e-cigarettes rather than the real thing?”

My answer to this is simple: “When you really want to quit, I’ll be here and happy to help.”

I add that quitting is by far the better option.

I also add that when they are ready to quit, giving up will be a doddle. It will be a doddle because I’ll teach the client to understand their condition and integrate that comprehension into their unconscious, through clinical hypnosis.

You might conclude then, that I don’t think vaping is a great idea and as a consequence that the recent recommendation by the Science and Technology Committee of MPs that vaping be provided on prescription by the NHS is flawed.

This, though, is not entirely the case.

First of all, I am happy to accept that vaping is a far safer option than smoking cigarettes and that anyone not yet ready to give up entirely should make the switch from cigs to e-cigs as soon as possible.

But there are other factors to consider.

The most important of these is that the use of tobacco substitutes in smoking cessation programmes perpetuates the myth that smoking is primarily a physical addiction when in reality it is a psychological issue – like obsessive compulsive disorders it is rooted in anxiety and can be successfully treated. The reasoning and methodology of this treatment are explained in my book “Stop Smoking: It’s a doddle” which can be downloaded for free from my website.

It should be noted that treatment using clinical hypnosis is far more cost effective than vaping.

And with vaping you’re still shackled to a useless, expensive, socially-restricting habit. Figures as to how many vapers are also dual users (that is they continue to smoke tobacco too) are a concern too.

Health studies

Other matters to consider regarding vaping, include the fact that, as the products have been available for only a decade, no long-term health studies have been possible; there are suspicions that vaping can damage vital immune system cells. In other words while vaping can almost certainly be deemed a safer option than cigarettes it is not correct to say the practice is without health risks.

A claim made by the science and technology committee of MPs’ report into vaping that raises concern is that there is no evidence to suggest e-cigarettes provide a gateway into smoking for youngsters. I would, however, ask from what studies has such a deduction been drawn and I would point them in the direction of studies by Cardiff University and some in the USA that might challenge such a conclusion.

Vaping in public

Finally, another matter certain to cause controversy is the suggestion that regulations on vaping in public be relaxed, so as to encourage smokers to switch from tobacco cigarettes. The obvious question here is why vapers should be allowed to expose others to their habit?

I’ll just stick to helping people quit and conclude with a quote from George Butterworth of Cancer Research UK responding to the report, who said that any changes to current e-cigarette regulations “should be aimed at helping smokers to quit whilst preventing young people from starting to use e-cigarettes.”

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