Not a magic wand!

Not a magic wand

not a magic wand

In solution-focused hypnotherapy, we use the metaphor of a magic wand to envision a desired future. This helps engage the client’s imagination and kickstart the process of change.


However, it’s common for clients to mistakenly believe that hypnotherapy acts as a magical fix-all, that they can simply be hypnotized to stop smoking or overcome their fear of spiders. While hypnotherapy plays a role, the actual change comes from within the client. It’s a straightforward process but not always easy, as it requires effort and energy. Our primitive brain tends to resist change, preferring the familiar to keep us safe.


Reclaiming intellectual control and initiating changes, such as breaking bad habits, is crucial to reaping the benefits. This is the challenging part—dealing with our primitive brain’s resistance is like handling a nonsensical but exhausting toddler’s tantrum.


Only by starting and making changes can we retrain our primitive brain. If we engage in activities that make us feel good and break old patterns, our primitive brain begins to embrace the new way. Consistency is key to breaking habits and embracing change gradually, rather than attempting to fix everything at once. We must start small and build upon our progress one step at a time.

As we start to make these changes we begin to uncover that control is a constant, once we gain control of one area of our life we begin to gain the same control in other areas and so the pattern continues.

How does solution-focused hypnotherapy help accessing the subconscious mind?

How does solution-focused hypnotherapy help in accessing the subconscious mind?

Solution-focused hypnotherapy works with a wide range of symptoms simply because they are all connected to depression, anxiety, and anger.

They just present in ways we would not necessarily connect.

Research teaches us the link between our intellectual brain and our older primitive emotional brain.

Our emotional brain is responsible for our flight-fight freeze responses and can be very powerful and largely an unconscious reaction, we have reacted before our intellectual brain has caught up, for example, snapping at someone and then catching yourself on, nearly jumping out of your skin when you get a fright and then realizing after it was nothing to be alarmed about.

Don’t get me wrong our primitive mind is vital to our survival and we would not have evolved without it so it is not all bad! It is just not an intellect, it relies on previous patterns of behavior and actively encourages us to repeat those patterns to ensure our survival.

Our primitive mind is vigilant, obsessive, and negative, it has to be to keep us safe.

Solution-focused hypnotherapy encourages us to access our subconscious mind and move into our intellectual mind where we are more likely to be positive and respond from a reasonable standpoint rather than an emotional one.

For example, as a parent, I know the challenges around getting out the door in the morning on time. I tell my son 5 minutes get your bag and shoes.  5 minutes later no sign of him or said bag and shoes.

If I were in my emotional brain I would likely shout hurry up we have to go! The journey would likely be stressful with me harping on about listening and timekeeping.

After dropping him at school I would then likely feel guilt for losing my temper and promising myself tomorrow will be different etc.

Or it could be as follows, after 2 minutes I notice no sign of him and investigate, I find him playing with the cat oblivious to his surroundings! I can laugh and suggest we race to get shoes and bag as fast as possible, he wins and we go on our way happily chatting and enjoying each other’s company,

My day continues with that positive feel good format.

I feel good about how today went and therefore I am showing my primitive mind that I am in control and it will in return calm down resulting in me repeating the same pattern of being calm tomorrow etc.

The more we repeat behaviours the more hardwired they get in our minds which is why Solution-focused hypnotherapy focuses so much on What has been good.

It emphasizes the importance of practicing the 3 ps Positive thought, positive action, and positive interaction because doing these creates a flow of feel-good chemicals to our brain such as serotonin and many others.

Solution-focused hypnotherapy also utilizes trance which replicates our rem sleep and helps to empty our stress bucket( I have other blogs talking about our stress bucket which you might want to read)

Trance works so well because before starting trance we have spent a good time talking about what’s been good helping us access our intellectual mind so we can then utilize trance in a positive way that brings about wanted change.

lowering stress levels

As a therapist I am always talking about the importance of keeping our stress levels down, when we have our stress levels managed, we are operating within intellectual control.

What I mean by this is that we have two significant parts in our brain. Our primitive part that is responsible for our fight, flight, freeze responses. This area of our brain can be enormously powerful and, in some cases, overactive causing us to respond in ways that are inappropriate to the perceived threat.

Then our intellectual area of our brain that is generally positive and makes a balanced assessment of our situation.

 For example if we are under stress and we get a phone call about a change in plans, or something unexpected , our primitive brain goes into overdrive and we feel overwhelmed, out of focus , wanting to run away etc, but if our intellectual brain is in charge we will assess this new information and adjust to it, e.g. I can reschedule A or B and oh, this might work out better because I can now do X, Y and Z.

This is all stuff we can relate to, but the question is how do we keep our stress in a manageable place and what do we do when we have deadlines to meet, work life balance, relationships to keep etc, surely, we are going to experience stress?

Absolutely we are going to experience stress that is a part of life and for some of us we thrive on it. For others it takes over and we lose ourselves and where we want to be. So as a person and Hypnotherapist, I spend a lot of time researching and understanding our responses and how we can change them for better outcomes. If you are a client of mine past or present you will know that I talk a lot about the 3Ps, Positive thought, Positive interaction, and Positive action because when we start to embrace these steps into our everyday lives, we start to change our reality moment by moment.a little bit about stress

Anxiety and procrastination

When you come to a session with me, as my clients will confirm, I talk a lot about ‘the stress bucket’ and the importance of keeping your bucket from overflowing by doing the ‘3 P’s’
Positive thought
Positive interaction
Positive action
It sounds simple, and in reality; it is, as change is very straightforward and results can be felt quickly. However, as anyone suffering from anxiety knows, the intrusive thoughts, which lead to procrastination and self-criticism, have a mind of their own. You are telling yourself to just get up and wash those dishes, clean that cupboard, make that coffee date with a friend, and whilst doing that your brain is becoming overwhelmed with all you need to do. What happens next can be likened to a scene from a toddler’s room – your brain throws its toys out the cot saying, ‘do nothing!’ It’s a state of paralysis so to speak, where action becomes an insurmountable mountain that you are not equipped to climb.
What we continue to do is what we have always done to keep safe – what we are programmed to do in times of stress or danger.
The problem with this is that our primitive brain is in control. If we were to initiate our authority over this part of our brain, we would see that actually; we are capable of being at the helm of our own ship.
Our primitive brain is at the intellectual level of a five-year-old and just as a five-year-old would do if it doesn’t get its own way, our primitive brain throws a tantrum until it gets what it wants. It’s our role as adult to learn to recognise this and take our place as captain.
Easy right?
Well in theory yes, but realistically we must deal with the feelings associated with feeling stressed – and these feelings can be incredibly debilitating and very real.
This is where neuroscience comes in, and where I can help.
Through harnessing the power of your imagination through trance, we will, together, help you take back that authority one small step at a time, so your emotional brain doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
Our emotional brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination, which helps us empty our stress bucket a little each day until we are able to recognise what is real and what is just another ‘inner tantrum.’ This process gives clients the tools to continually improve even when therapy stops.
It takes action to bring about changes, as we are changing the way we perceive reality which in turn allows us to achieve the best outcome in any situation we find ourselves in.

Feeling tired?

Feeling tired exhausted or fatigued is something that happens to all of us at some point, but what if it continues and you find yourself dragging yourself out of bed no matter how much sleep you have had, you just cant seem to shake this constant mental and physical exhaustion?

I recently had an experience of this, I had been burning the candle at both ends so to speak and wasn’t getting enough sleep and convinced myself that this was the cause of my lack of motivation to just get on with things however I did notice that on my days off I still couldn’t  shake it even though I was well rested physically.

I had a short holiday planned and was surprised to find that once I arrived in my lovely sunny destination all exhaustion disappeared, I had not had any extra sleep in fact probably less due to the long flight but I was full of energy and anticipation as my focus had changed.

This got me thinking about how we can get so caught up in our problems that we fail to see the solutions, we convince ourselves that the reason we feel the way we do  is due to our circumstances and surroundings and it takes a change in perspective and focus to realize that we are all in control of how motivated or energized we feel in any given moment by changing how we think about it.

So something to try next time you find yourself blaming your current circumstances for how you feel is to change your focus and draw your attention away from your surroundings think back on a time when you were really excited or filled with joy,  focus on it, close your eyes and re experience that time, notice how you smile to yourself you might even start to smile on the outside too! Small changes lead to big ones, we are only able to change from moment to moment so how would you like your next moment to be?