Thursday, 28 January 2016


Blushing is a uniquely human response. No other creature does it. The reason why we do it is something that has intrigued psychologists and sociologists for a long time. Physiologically, the facial flush is a response to an adrenaline surge, most commonly triggered by feelings of embarrassment or guilt. It is yet another variant of the "fight or flight" response;  not a conscious action, once again we are in the realms of the unconscious (subconscious) mind.

Occasionally everyone does something, says something, or even just thinks something that they wish they had not; something that is perceived somehow as unacceptable in a social setting. On realising the error, we feel embarrassment or guilt. It seems to be the case that the blush response is a signal to others that "I am wrong and I acknowledge that". Indeed, studies have shown that people react more positively towards persons who blush than those who do not in such circumstances. So there is, in a way, a positive reason for blushing in certain situations. It's only when the mental trigger for blushing becomes too sensitive, and we blush too easily, that it becomes a problem. The blush itself becomes a source of embarrassment and the process feeds on itself!

Dealing with unconscious matters is, of course, where hypnosis can be extremely helpful. In a trance state, the conscious analytical part of the mind is pleasantly relaxed and distracted, making the unconscious more accessible to positive suggestion. Hypnotic suggestion can be used to interrupt the blush process, as well as helping to build a more positive and confident self image. In this way, the majority of blushing cases are treated in a single session. Unfortunately, results are not easy to predict, however and some blushing cases require a little more work. This happens in cases where  the problem originates from a childhood experience of embarrassment or guilt, but the incident is now consciously unknown to the sufferer. In such cases the symptom does not shift until the initial cause has been found and dealt with, usually requiring a further four or five sessions. 

If you'd like to know more about how hypnotherapy could help you, please give me a call on the number below. You can also find explanations of the different hypnotic approaches on my web site.

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

It's all in your mind!

Anxiety, depression, phobia, stress - they are all in your mind. Of course they are. Where else would they be? So isn't it curious that orthodox medicine chooses to treat these conditions by putting something in your stomach? A pill for every ill has been a way of life for over a century; so much so that many people, including the majority of medical professionals, see it as the only way.

Of course drugs do have their place in managing the debilitating symptoms of anxiety and depression, but they do nothing to alter the underlying thought processes that are anxiety and depression. That's where the talk therapies come in; particularly those which access the unconscious (or subconscious) part of the mind, such as hypno-psychotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Permanent change can be achieved in between five and ten sessions, even in severe cases. Simple phobias are often treated in a single session. The key to this rapidity lies in the way these particular approaches bypass the logical, conscious mind and deal directly with the unconscious - something that counselling and CBT cannot do. 

After all, if it was a logical conscious problem, no-one would choose to continue being anxious or depressed. They would just stop.

You can find out more by reading the various articles on my clinic website or you can pick up the phone and make an appointment for a free, introductory consultation to find out how depression and anxiety need be nothing to worry about!

021 487 6072

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The "vaping" craze

During over eight years of helping people stop smoking using hypnosis and NLP I have noticed that there is a similarity in the way people start with the habit in the first place. In the vast majority of cases it starts in the early teen years, and the reason is almost always the same - their friends were doing it, or older kids were, and that familiar teenage need to not be different from everyone else meant they had to do it too. I often think it's a pity that no-one realises that the "cool" people being emulated probably started smoking for the very same reasons when they were younger and more insecure! So, actually it is a childish habit, not a "grown-up" one.

In view of this, maybe it is not really surprising how the "vaping" craze has accelerated so spectacularly. Tobacco products are not allowed to be advertised any more, but suddenly bright and colourful e-cigarette shops are appearing on every shopping street as businesses realise there is still easy money to be made from the former tobacco market - not only from smokers wanting to give up, but by the young and impressionable who want to be a part of the latest and coolest fashion. Sell someone a habit and you have a customer for life.

An article in yesterday's Independent newspaper highlights the fact that the drug companies are now becoming interested in the vaping market. This is a sure sign that there is big money to be made, indeed the global market is estimated to be US€6 billion per year. The article, written by academics from the University of Warwick, also casts doubts on the efficacy of e-cigarettes in helping a patient stop smoking. To me, this is not surprising; after all, a paper in the British Medical Journal concluded that nicotine replacement therapy - that is, the old style chewing gum and patches - was considered "successful" being 6.75% more effective than placebo. Vaping is only another form of "nicotine replacement" so there is no reason to assume it will be any more effective. 

If 6.75% is considered a successful improvement then hypnotherapy combined with NLP must surely be a minor miracle! I know of no other method that is as effective and as rapid. The majority of people are smoke-free after one session, and relaxed about it too. Cravings gone, habit gone, and no need to keep buying a replacement product to feed a replacement habit!

Riverside Hypnotherapy and Coaching
021 487 6072

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

New Year - New location!!!

Sometimes what first appears to be a crisis can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In the middle of last year I learned that I would not be able to continue working from my established office, as the space was required by the landlord for other purposes connected to his own business. I didn't really want to move, but I soon began to see it as an opportunity rather than an unwanted problem and started to search for a new home for my business.

And now I'm there! After more than eight years based in Penrose Wharf, Riverside Hypnotherapy and Coaching has now moved to more comfortable and spacious accommodation within Old Bridge Therapy Rooms, at 2 Lavitt's Quay in the very centre of Cork City, overlooking St Patrick's Bridge.

The room has been completely refurbished for a professional, yet homely and comfortable feel. I'm delighted with it!

Having more space has enabled me to incorporate a counselling/supervision area as well as the more traditional reclining chair for hypnotic work.

Contact details remain as before:

021 487 6072