Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fear of flying

The fear of flying is one of the most common phobias I deal with. For some people, the fear is of actually being up in the air; for others it is the fear of some kind of disaster or act of terrorism. Sometimes the fear is not actually about the process of flying itself, but of being locked inside the aircraft and having no way of getting out. Whatever the form the phobia takes, it usually has two aspects that need dealing with. These are first of a the actual panic that sets in when the sufferer is aboard the plane or at the airport; and secondly the dread that comes before the event itself. People often say that the "looking forward to it" is every bit as bad, if not worse than the travelling itself.

The cure can be surprisingly quick. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) provides a set of tools that can deal rapidly with the thought processes behind the phobic response - meaning that in as little as one session, a phobic "panic" response can be removed. The client also learns how to deal with the negative internal imagery they previously associated with travelling by air to an extent that they can actually begin to look forward to it in a positive way!

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact me via my website or by calling 021 487 6072.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A stress free Christmas

Will you be having a magical Christmas this year, or a manic one? Make plans now to ensure it’s a holiday to remember, rather than one that raises your blood pressure.

Christmas is but one day a year, but nowadays the festive season seems to start as soon as Hallowe’en is over. During the run up to the big day the best tip is to plan ahead. Buy a nice notebook and write all your tasks down. Then ask yourself which are really urgent and/or important. Try and do the important things before they become urgent. Delegate any less important tasks to others. Get the family involved! Set a cut-off point by which everything will be done and you can put your feet up and enjoy yourself!

When Christmas Day arrives, aim to create a relaxing atmosphere. Carols are much more calming as background music than modern festive pop songs. Light a soothing scented candle. It’s all about creating a wonderful memory. You probably don’t recall presents from two years ago but you always remember a wonderful time spent with friends and family.

For detailed advice on stress management see my website or call to book a personal session. It may be the best present you could give yourself this Christmas.

The Stress of Christmas Q&A

What causes the stress?

When the demands of a situation exceed what we believe our available resources are to deal with it, we feel stressed. Resources can include financial or emotional, or time and energy. These are all needed in large quantities during Christmas celebrations and also during the build up to the holiday period.

Why is Christmas so stressful for some people and not for others?

There are many reasons. For example, some people may be short of money but still face the emotional pressure of others’ expectations; some simply have their own emotional deficit because of bereavement; some are just not “party” types but feel obliged to “enter the spirit” of Christmas. Reasons are many but the feeling is the same.

How can I avoid being stressed over the festive period?

Plan ahead and avoid doing anything at the last minute. Shop online, or early. Send cards early. Look forward to the nice feeling of having it all done! Delegate jobs to other family members – don’t take it all on yourself. That applies to Christmas Day too.

On the day itself, if you are the not so keen on the merriment and find the pace of it all a bit too much; plan a few 10 minute escapes to let yourself wind down. Nip out and feed the birds or drop a “forgotten” card through a neighbour’s letterbox. Have a few escape plans ready and if you feel stressed, use one of these excuses to get away for a few moments.

Does planning really help stop the feelings of stress?

Having a written plan means you are not carrying too much around in your head, and that in itself is an immediate stress reliever. Ticking off completed tasks can be a great feeling, too! A plan makes you feel more in control and less overloaded.

Happy Christmas!

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


A phobia is an anxiety disorder characterised by extreme and irrational fear of simple things or social situations. Unlike other anxiety disorders, there is not an underlying anxiety present for all or most of the time, but only when the "trigger" or source of the fear is physically present. In the presence of the trigger, the phobic response is immediate and can be very severe. Interestingly, the fear response can also happen just by thinking about or imagining the trigger stimulus. The sufferer often develops complex strategies to avoid any risk of exposure to the source of the phobia. This can often reach a stage where the phobia literally rules their life.

An NLP practitioner has several tools that tackle the thought processes behind the phobic response. Deeper therapy is not usually necessary as there is no need, in most cases, to look for a "root cause" of the anxiety, as the anxiety is only there when the phobic trigger is present. Treatment is usually a combination of hypnotic suggestion and neuro-linguistic programming techniques. Effectively, the subconscious mind is re-programmed to experience the previously terrifying subject in a new and different way. The majority of phobias are removed in a single session of treatment.

Phobia Q&A

Are phobias diseases?

A phobia is not a disease or a mental illness, merely a somewhat distorted thought process. The object of the sufferer’s fear is often imagined in a manner which is far worse than the actual risk to their safety. Of course, the sufferer knows that their thoughts are irrational and illogical, but this doesn’t mean they can stop them. The problem is not in the logical, conscious mind; it is in the instinctive, subconscious part.

Can they easily be treated, and how?

Fortunately most phobias are easily removed in one session of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and light hypnosis. The subconscious thought process which causes the phobic response is “scrambled” in such a way that the client finds it impossible to think about the former phobic trigger in quite the same way again!

Why do people get phobias?

Sometimes it is by exposure to a frightening situation at a young age. For example, a barking dog can seem very large and terrifying when you are only small; to most adults, much less so. The learned behaviour may persist into adulthood, and a phobia is born. Phobias can also be learned from parents, or older relations. Children use adults, and particularly parents as role models, and if Mum leaps onto a chair screaming every time she sees a spider, it is more than likely her child will learn to react in a similar way. After all, if it is that scary for an adult, what chance does a kid have?

Have you any advice for people who suffer from phobias?

There is no need to suffer. Contact a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner and you could be free of fear by tomorrow. There is more information on my web site:

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Depression is a disorder that involves the body, mood and thoughts, and can affect the way you feel about yourself, the way you eat and sleep, and the way you think about things. It is quite normal for most people to feel a little down or pessimistic from time to time. It is important to realise that depression is not a sign of weakness and that it is not easy for the depressed person to 'pull themselves together' and get better by themselves. Without any form of treatment the symptoms can often go on for months or years.

Anti-depressant medications, on a doctor’s prescription, are very helpful in addressing the imbalances in brain chemistry which occur in the depressed mind. However, it is my experience, both as a former pharmacist and a former sufferer of depression, that medication is not necessarily a permanent solution to the problem. The problem lies in the way we think; and the way we think is what causes that chemical imbalance in the first place. To change the way we feel, we must change the way we think. Of course, when you are depressed, that's much easier said than done! That's where therapy can help.

Depression Q&A

What is depression?

We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Depression affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and it may even feel sometimes as if life isn't worth living.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The symptoms vary between individuals, but typically include anxiety, insomnia, lasting feelings of sadness or hopelessness and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing. A fairly comprehensive list of possible symptoms can be found by following this link

How is depression diagnosed and treated?

Remember only a doctor is qualified to diagnose depression, so that should be your first port of call if you think you may be suffering. Medication may be prescribed, which is designed to correct some of the “chemical imbalances” which occur in the brain during depression. Although this does not “cure” depression, it can greatly relieve the symptoms and make therapy a lot quicker and easier. It is only by therapy that the underlying thought processes can be amended and the depression truly defeated.

How long does it take to feel better?

The time taken to feel better depends on how bad the symptoms are and how long the patient has suffered them. Typically an average of eight to twelve sessions of therapy may be needed to break the cycle of depressive thoughts and remove the associated anxiety. Feel free to contact me via my web site or by telephone if you would like to know more detail, or to arrange a free introductory consultation.

021 487 6072