What is Coaching?
It is believed that the term 'Coach' was first used in a learning context in the 1800's. Possibly derived from the fact that a travelling coach (vehicle) transported people from one place to another, a metaphor for the work coaches and clients do. A Coach is trained to have a structured conversation with you which enables you to move forward in your life in the areas you want to improve on. These might be concrete goals such as starting a business, physical goals such as losing weight or abstract goals such as improving motivation. We begin by clarifying what your goals are and if you don't know, (for some people they just feel a need for change) this in itself becomes the goal. The ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as 'partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.' What this means in practice is that as your Coach, I believe that you have the answers to your problem within you, even if you don't and I ask you questions which get you to create the solutions you choose to resolve your issues. In this way we create the life you choose.
What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy?
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is drawn from recent discoveries and ideas from Evolutionary Psychology, Positive Psychology, Cognitive theory and NLP. It incorporates them into a modern approach to hypnotherapy. Practitioners are taught to draw on a range of techniques that they use to mould each session into an approach tailored for the exact needs and issues of each individual client. Practitioners believe that trance is not something you are put into, but something that happens naturally for all of us. Think of when you drive somewhere and can't remember how you got there, or when you tune out from what's happening around you - those are trance states. We have many trance states which influence us in different ways, for example, we have all experienced things that 'trigger' us to react in a certain way. For example, when people get angry, afterwards they feel shocked at their reaction or a piece of music that makes us feel great even when circumstances around us haven't changed. These are times when the unconscious brain is making a connection between something in your present life with something in your past life. Your unconscious works to protect you, but occasionally makes miscalculations as to how to do that effectively. Phobias are a great example of this, we may get flustered making a presentation as an adult because as a child we were laughed at standing at the front of our class. The brain has not updated its information and sees the work presentation you are perfectly capable of making, as the same event you were in as a child. It creates a behaviour - for example a panic attack - to prevent that humiliation taking place again, ignoring the fact that the panic attack has a negative impact.
All behaviour has a positive intention. However, if the unconscious is put under stress, instead of evaluating the situation rationally, it can be tricked into thinking it's under physical threat like that of our caveman days. It can respond physically, filling your body with stress hormones, increasing your breathing and causing you to sweat - often felt as a panic reaction. It is preparing you to fight, flight (run away) or freeze just as if we were still cavemen needing to react to a sabre toothed tiger! We cannot process emotions in this state, so until we calm down we are unable to rationalise with ourselves. This is unhelpful in our modern life where stress can be a daily occurrence! Unfortunately, by the time our defences have come down, the behaviour or unconscious created has caused us problems. This is often the reason you can't understand why you reacted in a certain way and why all your good intentions of doing better next time go unheard; you feel you have no control. The unconscious believes it is protecting us and keeps its processes out of our conscious mind so it's hard to change them. Research shows we act 90% of our lives from our unconscious.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy believes that the role of the hypnotherapist is to de-hypnotise you from those trance states your unconscious has got trapped in so you can be free of the links that trigger you to perform your unwanted behaviours or experience unwanted thought patterns. We don't just teach you to understand or cope with the experience, we remove those original miscalculations so there is no longer any need for the unwanted behaviour. It can stop as quickly as one session or decrease over time after your session.
Cognitive Hypnotherapists also believe that your mind used your strengths, resources and capabilities to create this 'problem'. Our role is to enable you to use these exact resources to remove the problem. You have everything you need, we just show you how to use it. We use structured language to help you embed the changes you have made during the session so they stick and often you will be given a recording that helps to further embed the changes. Because your mind created it in its own unique way, we have to individualise the solution to fit you exactly. This is where we differ from traditional hypnotherapists, we don't use the same 'scripts' for everyone, we don't 'put' you to sleep and we don't say or do anything you won't remember. The entire treatment is unique to you and that is why it's has high success rates.
What is NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming
NLP is a description of understanding how people organise their thoughts, emotions and language to to produce a certain behaviour pattern that can have positive or negative results. A key element of NLP is that we create a unique understanding of the world because of the way we filter the information absorbed through our five senses. From the data we collect we create internal maps of our experience which the mind evaluates to construct a behaviour. When these evaluations miscalculate we can end up with behaviour we don't want.
Neuro - The minds filtering system for the data absorbed, including images, sounds, touch, feelings, tastes and smells.
Linguistic - We then give this data personal meaning but adding our own unique language to the images, sounds and feelings, tastes and smells. Because we add language to it the data then becomes conscious.
Programming - Our behavioural response as a result of the calculation the mind has made from the data received.
What this means in a session is that by asking questions about your experience of the problem you have, we can use your imagination to change the meaning you have given this data and by changing this meaning, we not only change the problem you are having, but can 're-programme' your experience to be as you choose it to be, not only resolving your issues but creating a newer more positive behaviour in it's place.