Archive for the ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ Category

June 7, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

One of the most powerful ways of reducing stress and inducing a deep state of calm and relaxation is hypnotherapy.

It’s important to highlight however that Cognitive Hypnotherapy helps reduce stress not only through the creation of a relaxed state during the therapy session itself, but also by the techniques that it uses for addressing the origins of stress, which are often hidden below our conscious level of awareness in our personal histories. Very often when we’re experiencing being swamped by stress in the present, the feeling itself and the meaning around what triggers it can be a re-stimulation of earlier anxieties; when these are worked through the stress often diminishes considerably.

Coupled with this Cognitive Hypnotherapy has a variety of techniques and approaches that can allow you to help yourself by equipping you with ways and means of managing your emotional states as they happen. Although many people find their stress reduces sufficiently from just the work in session, it’s often useful for people to have techniques they can use on their own which help to put them back in control of managing their stress levels when back in the throws of normal life.

When I’m working with people, as well as tailoring all of the work we do together to you personally, I’ll often create a recording for you to listen to between sessions which is specific to you and can support the work we do in between seeing each other. Most people find that listening to this frequently between sessions allows them to access much deeper levels of relaxation throughout the week.

Everybody’s different but as a rough guide if I’m working with people to reduce stress I recommend 4-6 sessions depending on the person and what they’d like to achieve. Everything we do is tailored to taking you from whatever you’re experiencing now, to helping you generate the more positive kind of experience you’d like instead.

If you have any questions about using hypnotherapy for stress reduction, or you’d like to see me at my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire please feel free to contact me by telephone or email.






June 5, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy for weight loss is one of the most common reasons that people seek hypnotherapy, and yet while it may seem paradoxical very often the issue is not so much about food, and more about the emotional states that underlie and drive the overeating. In this regard overeating is the surface expression of a problem with deeper roots.

Food for us in the 21st century has become so entwined with our emotional states that we often use the one to influence the other, we eat when we’re happy, unhappy, bored, insecure, and we can over eat to provide pleasure, reward and comfort and sometimes under eat in ways that serve to punish and control. If you’ve ever seen the complex rituals of anorexia or bulimia then perhaps you can see how food can be approached with pleasure and pain simultaneously and with either complete abandon or an excessive level of control. The fundamental act of feeding yourself is intimately connected to how you feel about yourself, and no other animal has evolved such a complex relationship to food probably in part because no other animal has evolved such a complex self – with all the associated ideas of what that self is worth, what it deserves, and how it should be nourished.

acupuncture & hypnotherapy Berkhamsted, Milton KeynesCoupled with this, our relationship to food and particularly it’s association to certain emotional states is laid down at an early age. If you were raised in a house that had to feed many mouths then perhaps you needed to eat quickly in order to get fed, if you grew up in a house where food was withheld as a form of punishment then food may have a different meaning, and if you grew up in a house that equated love with dinner so that feeling loved = feeling full, then food will mean something else entirely.

What becomes apparent about people, food and the problems they have with it, is that food has no intrinsic meaning of itself, it’s a symbol of different things to different people, which means the approach that works in helping people create significant change with their eating patterns is the one with the flexibility to work with each person as an individual.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is one such approach that can uniquely tailor it’s methods to suit each person. It can help uncover some of the history in a persons life that contribute to food being an issue, and work creatively with it so that it can become a springboard for creating a different kind of future, the kind of future where food is a healthy source of nourishment rather than a source of problems in life – the kind of future that imagining living into changes your experience in the present. So if you’re unhappy either with your weight or with your relationship to food, Cognitive Hypnotherapy may just be the thing that can help you create a new direction in life.

I provide Cognitive Hypnotherapy for weight loss in Berkhamsted at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic. You can feel free to contact me with any questions you might have if you’d like to know more.






June 5, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, Cognitive Hypnotherapy

In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness week which ran this year from 13-19th May, Anxiety UK and The British Acupuncture Council have teamed up to conduct research into traditional acupuncture and anxiety.

As Anxiety UK note, 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety and in a survey covering Great Britain, 1 in 6 adults had experienced some form of anxiety or depressive problem in the previous week, with more than 1 in 10 people are likely to have a ‘disabling anxiety disorder’ at some stage in their life.

Anxiety is therefore a very common problem, and yet many people endure its disabling effects and suffer in silence. There are however many avenues for help in dealing with the problem in addition to the options provided by your GP. The British Acupuncture Council have produced a fact sheet detailing research into acupuncture and anxiety which you can find here:

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is also a powerful way not only of relaxing but also of addressing some of the deeper issues that can contribute to the occurrence of anxious feelings. Anxiety never occurs in a vacuum and is often related to the past we’ve come from and the future we imagine ourselves living into. Cognitive hypnotherapy can be a powerful yet gentle way of helping your mind uncover what your anxiety may be about, and empower you with the ways and means to create a much more positive kind of experience for yourself.

I provide both Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Acupuncture in Berkhamsted and Milton Keynes, if you have any questions as to how these approaches could help you, please feel free to ring me on 07717 515 013.

March 21, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

In recent years Hypnotherapy for IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) has received an increased level of acceptance in mainstream healthcare. In part this due to a recommendation by The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that hypnotherapy should be considered for those patients whose IBS has not responded to medication after 12 months, so it’s good to know for those patients that suffer with the condition that hypnotherapy is a recognized means of providing relief. You can find the NICE guidance here on hypnotherapy for IBS

If you’re someone who suffers from IBS, which affects up to 22% of the British population, and you’d like a way of not only managing the troubling symptoms but also getting to the root of the emotional stress that can often contribute to the syndrome, then Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be an excellent way of doing this and increasing your ability to relax. The great thing about Hypnotherapy is it can be used safely alongside any medication you’re taking so that it complements any treatment you’re receiving from your doctor as opposed to replacing it.

In patients with irritable bowel syndrome the motility of the intestine is easily affected by an over sensitivity of the sensory nerves in the bowel.  This can cause a variety of symptoms that can include pain, distension, constipation or diarrhoea, bloating and wind. On medical examination of the bowel there is no discernible abnormality which is why the condition is described as a functional disorder – no organic disease is present and yet the bowel does not function optimally. Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome find it’s adversely affected by stress and negative emotional states which is where mind body interventions and stress reduction techniques can be highly valuable.

If you’re curious about how Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help with IBS or another condition that might be troubling you, please feel free to contact me by telephone or email with any questions you might have.


March 6, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

hypnotherapy Berkhamsted, Milton KeynesIf you’re interested in hypnotherapy for weight loss, the highly individualized approach taken with Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help take you from wherever you are at the moment to a solution state you define.

Since everybody is different, the duration of therapy varies for each individual, but as a rough guide you should account for an initial course of 6 sessions of Cognitive Hypnotherapy to help change your relationship to eating.

Our relationship to food is determined by many factors – from our personal and family history with food when we were young, to our self esteem and how we feel about ourselves, and also to ways in which we reward, comfort and control ourselves. For each person food means something different and is associated with different emotional states, which is why an individual approach to each client is essential.

I provide an approach geared toward treating you uniquely throughout, with a solution focused emphasis aimed at transforming your relationship to food so that it becomes not a problem but a source of health. When people have a disharmonious relationship to eating, food can become a source of pleasure and pain all at once, but with the use of hypnotherapy changes in eating patterns can become an opportunity to create yourself in a new way that leads you to more of what you want instead.

Over the course of our hypnotherapy sessions I’ll use a variety of hypnotic techniques, some of which I’ll teach you to use on your own. You’ll also receive personalized hypnotic recordings to listen to between sessions. These recordings employ the use of Wordweaving ™ which is a form of hypnotic language unique to Cognitive Hypnotherapy that constructs hypnotic suggestions using your own language taken from our initial session together. Many hypnotherapists work from set hypnotic scripts with a one size fits all approach, Cognitive Hypnotherapists instead favor an approach that is created fresh for each client which means everything we do is specific to you.

If you have any questions about hypnotherapy for weight loss or any other eating issues please feel free to contact me on 07717 515 013 or email me at:

February 13, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Cognitive Hypnotherapy for anxiety: Understanding anxiety as a state of trance

Cognitive Hypnotherapy in Berkhamsted, Milton KeynesIf you suffer from anxiety then it’s likely you already know what a trance is although you might not have thought about it in that way before. But think for a moment about what happens at those times when anxiety overtakes you: you can be going about your day, functioning well and then something happens that triggers a shift into a distressing, uncomfortable emotional state. It’s quite likely that in those moments your attention has moved from being externally focused to being inwardly focused with a heightened awareness on what’s going on inside. Put simply, and in the terms of Cognitive hypnotherapy you’ve gone into a trance, and all that means is a state where you’re paying more attention to your inward experience than the external environment.

In those distressing moments you’ll probably be creating a particular kind of interior experience using, in different proportions, your visual system (comprised of mental images), your auditory system (comprised of internal dialogue) and your kinesthetic system (comprised of feelings) which all combine together in a seamless way to create the experience of anxiety – “I can just see myself losing my job, and hearing what my wife will say, and then my chest tightens and I feel like I can’t breathe”. Often our language is more literal than we realize and reflects the way in which we construct our internal experience, which is one of the things Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help with.

Cognitive hypnotherapy can help you by bringing awareness not only to what you think, but how you think. When you get a better handle on what is you actually see in your mind, feel in your body and hear in your internal dialogue then you’re in a better position to begin changing those components of experience to get a different kind of result, and there are a number of techniques that can help you do this that are made all the more easier when used with hypnosis.

What Cognitive Hypnotherapy can also do is help identify both those positive and negative trances you dip in and out of naturally and provide a crossover of resources from the areas where you feel good, to areas where you don’t. Trances are not the mystical states that many misconceptions of hypnosis have fostered, we are in and out of them all day long from the moment we wake till the moment we sleep, when you walk into the travel agent at lunch time and thumb through a brochure for the Bahamas you go into one particular kind of trance, when you go back to the office to be told by your boss you have to chair the afternoon meeting on a subject you know nothing about, you go into another. Going into trance is probably something we don’t have much choice about, it’s just a natural part of the drift in our attention, but the kind of trances we go into are a key component in the quality of our lives so gathering as many resources as we can to make those experiences positive is one of the most important things we can do in mastering our minds.

If you’re someone that suffers with anxiety it’s likely the trance states you’re going into are filled with a plethora of negative mental imagery, less than complementary internal dialogue, and a whole host of associated unpleasant feelings , but the good news is the brain is plastic, experience is malleable and we’re creatures that are always capable of learning and adapting. As one author has stated, nothing needs to be the way it’s always been, so if your trances aren’t serving you, fear not Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be just the thing that can put you back in control and help change your experience.

I help many people with anxiety at my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, if you’re curious about what cognitive hypnotherapy could do for you please feel free to give me a ring on 07717 515 013.

















January 27, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, In the media

Does hypnotherapy for pain relief produce measurable change in the brain?

One of the more slippery aspects of investigating hypnosis has been teasing out what’s actually going on when people are hypnotised (being ‘hypnotised’ can be understood as simply participating in a process of suggestion using focus, attention and imagination).

In recent years though this problem has become easier to resolve with the development of neuroimaging techniques that give an objective picture of what’s occurring in the brains of hypnotic subjects, and the results of these experiments are intriguing.

A Guardian article on hypnosis and neuroscience back in 2010 reported on research of a woman with synaesthesia whose condition was ‘disrupted’ while undergoing hypnotic suggestion. Not only was her subjective experience of the symptoms improved but the electro physiological correlates of her brain changed too, suggesting her brain was experiencing less of the dissonance that characterises the condition. Synaesthesia is a condition whereby stimulation of one cognitive pathway creates an involuntary stimulation in another so that sufferers may for example see sounds or hears colours, so the fact that such a condition was apparently amenable to psychological suggestion was surprising.

This excerpt from a BBC programme below looks in a similar vein at what happens to one journalist’s experience of a painful stimulus when undergoing a hypnotic suggestion for anaesthesia. What he experiences, and what his brain demonstrates surprised him, and it might surprise you too….


N.B If you’re considering hypnotherapy for pain relief you must see your GP first to rule out any underlying cause for the problem

January 19, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, In the media

A couple of blog posts ago I linked to Trevor Silvester’s short video explaining what Cognitive Hypnotherapy is all about. Here you can read a little more of Cognitive Hypnotherapy’s coverage in the media in this article which featured in The Guardian’s health and well-being section of Life & Style.

At my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, I help people overcome a number of physical and emotional problems with the broad range of techniques and approaches that comprise this form of hypnotherapy. Cognitive hypnotherapy can help people with a number of problems from feelings of stress and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, help with stopping smoking and changing eating patterns and many other problems where our thinking patterns can get in the way of our experience of life.

It’s the beginning of the year and a time of potential, more than ever it’s important to manage our minds so they work for us in creating what we want instead of putting familiar obstacles along the path. Cognitive Hypnotherapy could be the way to facilitate that for yourself if there’s something you’d like to change. If you’re seeking hypnotherapy in berkhamsted and are curious about how this approach could help, please feel free to get in touch.

Here’s the guardian’ article:




January 13, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy in Milton Keynes and BerkhamstedOne of the unique benefits of Cognitive Hypnotherapy compared to other therapeutic approaches is its highly individualised approach to each client. Many forms of hypnotherapy label a client with a problem like ‘anxiety’ and then use hypnotherapy scripts for that problem. Cognitive Hypnotherapy doesn’t, it treats everyone an individual that constructs their own experience uniquely so we don’t use set scripts but rather take the unique way you experience your problem (and how you define your solution) and use your own language to construct hypnotic suggestions highly tailored to you. This approach is designed to be very specific about the aspects of your experience it’s aimed at changing –  for an individual effect geared toward producing the change that really makes the difference in each person.

One area where this can be particularly useful is in using cognitive hypnotherapy to help with stopping smoking. A stop smoking program is done over 3 sessions, with the first session being an information gathering session in which I gather everything needed to tailor a hypnotherapy program completely to you. Since every smoker has a different history with smoking, experiences different triggers for doing it, gets different psychological pay off’s from the process, has different motivations for stopping, how could one approach fit everyone? Naturally it can’t which is why this individualised approach done over 3 sessions makes so much sense. What’s really useful about this first session is it helps unpack the problem in front of you and really clarify for you the reasons you want to quit and what you’re going to get from doing so… and also what’s not going to happen in life if you don’t. Cognitive Hypnotherapy has some wonderful questions for thinking about these things in new and creative ways that can really help shift your perspective and make change easier.

So how does cognitive hypnotherapy for stopping smoking work? If you imagine your brain is exposed to between 2 and 11 million bits of information a second and that you can consciously be aware of between 5 and 9 of those bits, then it’s apparent that the window of our attention is very limited. And yet whatever our focus is on is all we see. What do women trying to fall pregnant see everywhere? Mothers with babies happily enjoying motherhood, what happens when you’re considering buying a particular brand of car? All of a sudden it seems to be everywhere. So attention is attuned to seek more of what it looks for. Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help by influencing where your attention goes, which is a valuable facet when it comes to a habit.

What often happens with smokers when they try and give up is they spend all their time trying NOT to think about smoking or NOT reaching for a cigarette, which is rather like trying NOT to imagine a hippo jumping up and down on a mini – in order to not think it you have to think it in the first place, which just puts it more at the forefront of your mind, and what’s on the mind is brought to mind. Cognitive hypnotherapy works by directing your attention not toward the problem itself but toward the solution. What if instead of what used to trigger your craving instead becomes the thing that triggers a set of images, feelings and sensations that lead to leaving cigarettes alone? What if  your mind was attuned not to cigarettes but more of all the exciting things you’re gaining by leaving the habit behind? What if that seemingly automatic process of reaching for a cigarette could be interrupted and broken down so it ceases to operate in the same way? Some of these changes are what cognitive hypnotherapy helps to facilitate.

Essentially, hypnotherapy is about filling that space of attention that is between 5 and 9 bits of information wide with the information that makes the difference to how you feel and how you behave that leads you to create a different kind of path forward. So whether you choose cognitive hypnotherapy or not to help you stop, and however you think about doing it, think it how you want it rather than how you don’t…then you’ll avoid that hippo.

I offer hypnotherapy for stopping smoking at my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. If you’re curious about the process or you’d like to have a chat with me please feel free to email me at or call me on 07717 515 013.

Hypnotherapy for smoking works to help you when you are motivated to quit at the outset, it should not be thought of as a technique to make you change if you don’t want to.


January 11, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a powerful way of facilitating change in areas where you’re feeling limited or stuck, and for most people being stuck means either feeling ways they don’t want to be feeling or not feeling ways they do want to be feeling, with all the attendant behaviours that go with both states. Cognitive hypnotherapy can help you move the obstructions that might be getting in your way, stimulate your unconscious to clarify what you do want instead, and in turn help you in creating that.

While most people coming to have cognitive hypnotherapy will have a specific problem they want to work with, it’s a therapeutic approach concerned with much more than just remedying problems, it’s the kind of therapeutic work that’s generative (the most potent kind of work in my opinion).

Therapeutic work that’s generative or solution focussed helps to clear up the limitations of the past but focusses largely on priming the kind of thinking that leads you into creating a different kind of future – the kind of future that’s not only free from the problem you want to resolve, but the kind of future the prospect of which excites you in the present and pulls you toward it..

So what else is it that differentiates cognitive hypnotherapy from other therapeutic approaches? And more importantly, what it could help you change that would really make 2013 your best year yet?

Check out this video for an intriguing explanation:

 I offer Cognitive hypnotherapy in Milton Keynes and Berkhamsted, if you’re curious about how I could help you, feel free to email me on or call 07717 515 013

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