Hypno-coaching, personal coaching..? Don’t need therapy but looking at coaching?


Hypno-coaching, personal coaching, life coaching, personal development, CB-coaching, NLP-coaching, goal-directed coaching..  What’s the difference and what are you looking for?  Well, there are probably as many different types and styles of coaching as there are coaches.

Whatever its name, coaching basically helps you look at whatever challenges you have in the present and/or what it is you are wanting to attain in the future, and helps you develop strategies, methods, practices, skills and techniques to enable you to move towards your goals in a coherent, pragmatic, structured (but flexible), positive manner.  It enables and encourages you to use not only your accumulated knowledge, experience, skills, talents, understanding, analytical/logical abilities, and so on (and help you to develop these), but also your creative, imaginative, intuitive, and as yet untapped latent potential resources.

Coaching is a highly effective standalone process.  However, if you are interested in incorporating hypnosis, this has been found to increase the effectiveness of a number of psychological disciplines, including CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy), and can speed up the process.  But the choice is entirely yours and it is not a requisite to achieve positive and lasting results.

Coaching is a proactive discipline, requiring the coachee to take full responsibility for their own life and direction, while providing a structured and supportive realm and relationship within which you can grow, learn, develop and enhance your innate skills and abilities, acquire and develop new skills, techniques and strategies, and endeavour to achieve your full potential in life, whatever your aims, priorities and intentions.  It can help you focus on, aim for, and achieve both short- and long-term dreams and goals.  If you are uncertain what it is you actually want to achieve, coaching processes can help you identify, clarify and prioritise your intentions and objectives.  And if “goals” are not your aim per se, then it can still help you maximise your potential and effectiveness in your life (and relationships), enabling and empowering you to feel more fulfilled, confident, at ease, content, and joyful with where you are right now.

Coaching draws on tried and tested methods and practices from a wide range of disciplines including psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), emotional freedom techniques (EFT), counselling, cognitive-behavioural (CB) psychology and therapy, yoga, meditation, relaxation skills, assertiveness training, mindfulness, problem-solving therapy, resilience training, stress management, positive thinking, affirmations, energy psychology, emotional brain training, “the new biology”/ “the biology of belief”, neuroscience/ neuroplasticity, psychoneuroimmunology, and more.

Coaching endeavours to devise an approach appropriate to the individual, tailoring methods, practices and techniques according to individual requirements, and adapting such methods and techniques as required throughout the coaching process.  Coachees take an active role in identifying the approaches and interventions most appropriate to their needs, and are required to fully take part in their coaching process for the fulfilment of their desired objectives.

AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey offers hypno-coaching and personal development coaching as alternatives to “therapy”, in order to help a person identify and focus on their positive intentions for themselves and their lives, enhance self-belief and self-confidence, and uncover and maximise their own unique combination of skills, talents, interests, perspectives and potential.  Hypno-coaching generally requires at least some one-to-one sessions (in person).  Personal development coaching can be carried out by a combination of Skype and phone sessions, with email support.  Please contact me for further information and/or to book a consultation (see above right for contact details).


Relaxation Skills Training (Applied Relaxation) and It’s Benefits – Part 2

In my blog entry of 30th April 2013, I discussed the benefits of Relaxation Skills Training (or Applied Relaxation) in comparison with attending the occasional yoga, Tai Chi or meditation class (which are great places to start learning relaxation skills). Here, I will describe the training in a bit more detail. For anyone who is looking to reduce or more effectively manage their “stress”, overcome panic attacks or phobias, break out of a cycle of anxiety or habitual worry, manage a stress-related illness, control exam anxiety, overcome performance anxiety, improve their work efficiency, reduce their levels of physical tension, or even enhance their creativity, this will explain the stages of relaxation skills training and the rationales behind them, so you can decide whether this is something that could benefit you.

As I mentioned in the earlier article, many people may have never experienced a state of deep relaxation. Even during sleep, the body and mind do not necessarily relax completely. In fact, contrary to experiencing relaxation during sleep, many people in our busy Western society either have disturbed sleep or difficulty sleeping, or find that even with a reasonable amount of sleep, they may have rather “active” dreams and wake up feeling less than rested or even exhausted!

Yet deep relaxation is usually the body and mind’s only respite from the constant drip, drip, drip of adrenaline and other stress hormones into our systems from the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response and chronic stress/anxiety/tension states). In deep relaxation, the sympathetic nervous system is toned down or even switched off temporarily, allowing the other arm of our autonomic (automatic or “unconscious”) nervous system – the parasympathetic nervous system – to gain the upper hand for the time being. This part of the autonomic nervous system is responsible for rest, repair and recuperation – allowing body tissues to repair themselves, cells to build up energy stores, our hormone and immune systems to balance and strengthen themselves, body organs to have respite from the effects of chronic stress – in essence facilitating our body’s self-healing abilities. In addition, deep relaxation allows our thinking (analytical) mind and mental stress/anxiety circuits to rest and enables parts of the brain involved in relaxation, memory, creativity, learning and other nurturing activities to become stronger.

Relaxation skills training involves a number of stages, and the number and extent of the different stages can vary depending on a person’s existing skills and experiences, and their particular needs and inclinations. However, broadly speaking, the format of the training will have the same basic elements. Firstly, your body and mind experience deep relaxation, perhaps for the first time, so that you, your body and your mind know what they are aiming for (your “goal” – a relaxed state). And you then practise one or two, or more, relaxation techniques, so that you learn to elicit the relaxation response for yourself, and your body and mind get more and more familiar with this state through repetition of the practices (the body and mind/brain learn pretty much everything through practice and repetition until the state, or new skill, becomes a “habit”). The next stage is to learn to elicit the relaxation response at will (on demand, as it were) – sometimes called cue-controlled relaxation. You learn this first in the clinic room, then you practise doing it at home to reinforce this part of your new skill. When you feel comfortable and confident with being able to bring about relaxation “on cue”, you are ready to go to the next stage. This may involve rehearsing relaxation and maintaining that state while in hypnosis and while imagining situations that normally or previously might cause you anxiety or stress (this stage is sometimes called “hypnotic desensitisation” – you desensitise to the anxiety or stress situation by imagining it happening while in deep relaxation). The final stages – depending on your needs – often involve practising using your relaxation skills out in the real world (“exposure therapy”), first in low-anxiety/stress situations, then gradually, as you build up your skills and confidence more and more, in higher anxiety/stress situations, until you experience feeling relaxed more and more of the time, and finally you find you rarely experience anxiety or stress any more in day-to-day situations.

Of course, you won’t extinguish your ability to feel anxiety, fear or stress completely – and nor should you want to – as these responses, in appropriate (eg. life-or-death) situations, are vital to our survival. But – and this is the point – you will be able to have control over such feelings in situations where they are inappropriate and counter-productive.

As you can probably tell from this description, the art of relaxation takes practice and persistence if it is not your current usual state. But much of this is up to you and done at your own pace and in your own time (as “homework”) – so it needn’t take an endless number of clinic sessions. And the benefits will last a lifetime, and will probably extend your life, productivity and quality of life immeasurably too!

If you think you might benefit from relaxation skills training, meditation/mindfulness training or hypnotherapy and you’d like to book a consultation or find out more about skills training or therapy, or if you have any other questions, please contact me at AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey by email or phone (see top right of this page).