People arrive at my hypnotherapy consulting rooms here in Bournemouth wanting answers… How can I enjoy my life? How can I let go of this unwanted behaviour or habit? How do I feel better? How do I make the pain go away? Many hypnotherapists and other therapists may well respond with that question… “What has worked for you in the past?”

To some, that question could appear to be a bit of a cop-out… A client is paying the hypnotherapist to be the expert and offer up the answers, surely?

As a client, YOU are the expert in what works for you… You know better than anyone how to keep your brain being a finely tuned engine…

Finely Tuned Engine
Following my earlier university training, my fellow students and I had to shadow an experienced and well seasoned hospital psychiatrist once a week. many of the patients we encountered had been through psychiatric hospitalisation and many of them reported hearing voices all day, with or without medication.

As you’d imagine, different people heard different things, but the large majority had voices that picked on them relentlessly: “You’re good for nothing, you’ll never amount to anything, you’re worthless, you don’t deserve to live.” It’s no wonder many got to feeling suicidal and found their way to these kinds of hospitals time after time.

What do you do to help these people feel better? How do you help them to quieten down those voices?

Many of them already knew what worked and what was effctive for them: “I listen to music.” “I meditate.” “I snap a rubber band on my wrist.” “I paint.” “I tell the voices to be quiet.” “I stay sober.” Pretty much, they had all lived through the issues, they had tried most things and found what had the most benefit for them.

most of us do not hear voices in the way I mention here. Though just about everyone has stress, and from time to time, that stress gets overwhelming, just as I mentioned yesterday… So this notion today extends to the fact that we’ve all had practice coping with stress, you included. Yes, even you.

You’ve faced what seemed like impossible challenges, and you’ve made it through. No one knows better than you how you did it. And so, the therapist’s question to you, the expert: “What’s worked in the past?” Should be seen as a wise one…

The key to getting through whatever you’re going through now may be revisiting a long-lost coping strategy: “I used to keep a journal.” “I used to jog.” “I used to take baths.”  “I used to eat better.”  Whatever it was that worked, you probably weren’t doing it just because someone told you to (except maybe at first). You did it because it worked.  Scan your past for answers about how best to cope today.

You’re also an expert on what won’t work for you. When you’re struggling or in crisis, it’s just as important to remember what doesn’t work as what does.

Ok, I am off into London for the remainder fo the day… Going to the huge marathon expo event in Docklands… Got to pick up my marathon number ready for Sunday… And do my best to avoid eating too many free samples of energy bars and protein drinks!