Since all behaviour is learned and everything starts with a thought then this allows you a powerful route to solving most of the problems which originate in our minds, namely problems which reflect our attitudes and beliefs and consequently our behaviours.

You may be surprised to learn that most of my clients find it a relatively easy process to make their desired changes. The human mind may be a complex system which we are still learning to understand yet it can be a surprisingly simple system to programme - or reprogramme. Many of our attitudes and beliefs are learned in the simplest of ways - sometimes unconsciously through a chance remark made to us as a child - so why shouldn't it be easy to learn new ways?

Since those days at the end of the last century when Sigmund Freud was developing what was to become Psychoanalysis, the world of psychotherapy has made significant strides and a wave of different therapeutic approaches have been developed particularly those known as Behavioural Therapies viz. Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and most recently Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

These therapies have a contiguous thread as each owes something to one or other; if you were offered therapy in a hospital or psychiatric clinic it is most likely to be CBT and it will be offered enthusiastically as a medically approved alternative to a drug based solution. However the new kid on the therapeutic block is NLP which has refined and added to the CBT approach and it is actively marketed almost as a wonder cure to psychological ails and also to business performance (businesses are run by people and people have attitudes and beliefs that might need changing!) This explains why there is a burgeoning training industry carrying the NLP banner and many of these commercial messages are redolent of sales training lectures I attended in the 1960's!

However without doubt NLP offers a very intelligent and effective range of techniques to alter negative behaviours and many creative minds have had their input into developing this elegant 'mind technology'.

With so many therapies on offer you may be forgiven for thinking it is all rather complex and confusing. In truth it is the opposite as all therapies share the same end result - greater happiness - whether that be someone seeking to stop smoking, or lose weight, lose a phobia, eliminate stress, anxiety or panic attacks, or maybe be more confident or perform better in a job or a sport or hobby. All of the aforementioned are an expression of an attitude, beliefs and ultimately behaviour and all of the therapies aim to make the appropriate influences to create the desired changes, they just have differences in emphasis - they still tend to be branches from the same tree - and then there is Hypnosis!

I have devoted a separate section to Hypnosis as it is a powerful process in its own right, however the originators of NLP (Bandler and Grinder) based much of their new therapy on the effectiveness of hypnosis as practised by the American psychiatrist/hypnotherapist - Milton Erickson.

Erickson enjoyed a powerful reputation for solving some difficult and challenging psychiatric cases so it made sense to study what he was doing that made him so effective and Erickson's hypnotic approach involved heavy use of metaphor (as opposed to authoritarian instructions) and this brought the focus on to the power of language to change what a person might think and believe (hence the 'L' in NLP).

As a therapist I would draw upon all of the therapeutic techniques I have referred to but essentially I pair up an RET / CBT type approach with hypnosis. It really is a powerful combination and explains why my sessions are longer rather than shorter - but invariably resulting in less sessions needed by you - usually one will suffice.

So how does the therapy work in practice? Remember all we are ever doing is thinking (try not thinking), and our thoughts can lead to feelings and feelings can be powerful (think of a panic attack!) and that then leads to your behaviour. The therapy is then the process which enables you to alter your attitudes and beliefs from negative, life limiting ones to optimistic, life enhancing ones and it is normally a simple process.