One major part of Uncommon Practitioners’ TV is the live client session videos. You can read about these sessions below.
This client has always been a high achiever and perfectionist. She is an Olympic standard pole vaulter, a gymnast, and plays rugby for her University. She is also very intelligent and academically competent.
But for the first time in her life she hasn’t done as well in her exams as she is used to. She doesn’t like her course, or one part of it, as much as she’d hoped. Since then she has become somewhat depressed (she is on antidepressant drugs) and has been catastrophizing and feeling tearful and overwhelmed in response to even small setbacks.
Mark works to help her see her depressive biases “from the outside” and uses pole vaulting as a means of hypnotic induction in order to help her manage setbacks and regain her self confidence.
This client has been teeth grinding for around 20 years which has done much damage to her teeth. She wears a mouth guard now at night but for the past couple of months has been mouth clamping during the day. She equates the onset of this behaviour (the teeth grinding) to a stressful period many years before when she’d been bullied at work by three women (“The Witches Of Eastwick!”)
Therapist with confidence issues
This client has confidence issues around practising as a therapist. She has a fear of failure AND a fear of success and who is having real problems transitioning from being a student to being a qualified therapist who charges for her work.
Assertiveness without anger
This client originally came to see Mark because she wanted help developing the self confidence to see clients after training as a hypnotherapist almost a year before. Mark asks her what else she’d like to work on and she talks about anger and frustration. Especially with a particular woman at work and her son who lives with her. Mark seeks to help her feel less angry but still remain assertive.
Therapist with imposter syndrome
This client has problems with charging clients, but he tells Mark it’s because he suffers from imposter syndrome.
Therapist lacking motivation and drive
In this client’s second session he is looking for help with motivation for pushing his therapy practice forward.
This client suffers from lifelong hypermobility and fibromyalgia
Public speaking anxiety session 1
This client comes along for help with anxiety around public speaking
Public speaking anxiety session 2
After the first session with Mark for workplace public speaking fears, this client has done a whole host of public presentations successfully and even enjoyed it! In this follow up session, the client says he just wants reinforcement of the progress.
Low self esteem
A client who has low self esteem around her intelligence and education – she feels overawed while in the presence of people she deems more clever than she is.
After coming to her first session for help with feelings of inferiority, this client has recently split from her husband and needs some support.
Sugar consumption and weight loss
This client has difficulty resisting sugary snacks and is worried about the effect her habit is having on her weight. Mark uses some classic pattern disruption techniques with her.
Health anxiety session 1
This client has health-related anxiety. Her mother died thirty years before at the age of 59 from cancer. Her father had cancer although he died from heart failure. She lost two brothers-in-law over the past three years, both in their forties, to cancer. Now any mention of a symptom can make her feel highly anxious. These symptoms have got worse over time. She also has quite high generalized stress levels.
Health anxiety session 2
This client has had a wonderful result from her first session. In this follow up session she talks about a situation which before would have upset her but how this time she rose above it and remained calm. She has also been much less bothered about reports of illness and disease and not at all panicked like she used to be by health anxieties.
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) session 1
This client was traumatized some years before when a boy in a school she was working in wheeled into her aggressively from behind. She has felt vulnerable and anxious since this event.
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) session 2
This client is back for another session. Since her first session she has overcome her terror of crossing roads, walking in the park near her home and generally being out and about. She feels more self confident generally. She says that she still feels hypervigilant about her arthritic knee and “walks too defensively.” She still has a residual of fear on very windy days as she feels she may fall over onto her knee.
This client has quite recently given birth to twins (a year and a half before the session). She found she effortlessly ate healthily during and after the pregnancy but since going back to work for three days a week she has a real problem with sugar consumption.
Shopping addiction session 1
This client started binge shopping 18 months to two years ago. She buys in bulk online items such as nail polish and stationery. She used to binge drink but managed to put a stop to that. Now since starting a stressful job she realizes in the session that she has been binge spending online £500 to £1,000 a month on stuff she doesn’t need.
Shopping addiction session 2
This client initially came along for help with chronic online (and offline) spending on items she didn’t need and didn’t really want. She got an addictive thrill from buying and receiving the items.
In this second session she relates how she hasn’t bought anything she didn’t need since the first session. In the evenings, instead of going on her iPad and looking for “bargains”, she has been keeping a gratitude journal and doing other meaningful activities.
Shopping addiction session 3
After an initial improvement, this client has relapsed into her expensive online shopping habit.
Heavily criticised as a child, this client feels there is no joy in her life. She is prone to rumination which makes her procrastinate and feel unhappy.
Self esteem and assertiveness
This client presents with low self esteem and problems with confrontation. She feels unable to make decisions or state what she needs from a situation.
Multiple sclerosis pain
This client has MS which was diagnosed around eleven years ago. She has come along for help managing sometimes excruciating pain in different parts of her body.
Fear of rejection
This client can become highly anxious, scared of rejection and insecure and wants to change this. She feels this is in part due to her father who she describes as narcissistic and always critical of her and also her mother who was, perhaps not surprisingly, emotionally insecure.
Anger management and anxiety in ADHD youth
This client is 17 years old and has been brought in by his mother. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and dyslexia, he has a history of being excluded from school for poor impulse control and also from his current career placement for anger issues. He spends a huge amount of time in his bedroom playing video games and doesn’t want to go out as he fears he may be attacked and lose control with his attackers (or be hurt badly). He sometimes feels he doesn’t want to be here and feels bad that he is a burden on his family.
Mark works to help him reframe some of his all or nothing perceptions to offer hope, and endeavours to help him focus enough to relax into hypnotic trance.
This client negatively mulls over perceived criticisms to the point it makes her feel miserable. This happens especially in a work context. Mark ascertains this pattern has been present in her life since her father died in the 1990s. Mark shows her in the session how she can think a negative through without feeling negative. By the end of the session she feels much better and more hopeful for the future.
Fear of being alone
Sometimes this client’s partner needs to be away from home for training, or goes out with his friends. She becomes terrified of any sound after 10pm and before 5am (or when the sun comes up again). She used to run out into the street if she heard something or go for a long drive but now, with her young children, she just can’t do that anymore.
Pain management session 1
This client fell ill with glandular fever in around 2006, then in 2008 she was diagnosed with M.E. She spent a long time recovering and now works full time. But she has been suffering constant pain and migraines and has tried all kinds of therapies to try and help. She has been told she must just accept the pain but she is not prepared to do that. Mark asks her when she doesn’t feel pain and she tells him when she is asleep. He links hypnosis to REM sleep and uses many hypnotic pain relief techniques within this one session.
Pain management session 2
This client had an almost miraculous improvement after the first session. For up to six weeks she was “90% plus better” and loved feeling how she’d thought she’d never feel again. She tells me though that as her work has become much more stressful some of the old pain has crept back, although not as bad as before the first session. So it seems she has already made permanent gains.
Three quarters of this second session is spent doing trancework. Mark uses conscious/unconscious splitting, hypnotic numbness (catalepsy), regression to carefree childhood times, disassociation and age progression in this session. There are also suggestions for healing and Mark suggests the client re-experience her past had she never actually had glandular fever.
The client goes deeply into trance and takes a while to re-orientate at the end.
Pain management session 3
This is the client’s third session for chronic pain management. She has had some good results from the hypnosis and recently had a whole week of no pain whatsoever although when she went back to work she did have a two day migraine.
During this session she still has a lingering migraine although Mark does manage to relax her and make more suggestions for comfort and a sense of leaving the pain behind in the future.
This is a short session with almost three quarters of it consisting of hypnotic therapy.
Relationship issues and anxiety
This client needs help managing her worries, which stem from her 13 year old stepdaughter who is unruly and aggressive and insulting toward her. Although being a target of abuse is unpleasant for the client, she worries about the welfare of the girl more than for herself. The client has been feeling quite alone especially as she doesn’t always feel in alignment with her partner over his daughter. She wants help in “switching off” these worries enough so she can sleep better at night. Mark locates resourceful feelings and experiences in the client’s life and works to link these feelings to her night time sleeping.
In this second session with the client who had relationship issues and anxiety, we discover she has had good results from the first session 6 months before. Since that time she has been able to sleep better and put worry about her stepdaughter to one side. Her stepdaughter is still basically bullying her sometimes though.
In this session, the client tells Mark her partner still needs to be more consistent with his daughter, setting limits and boundaries for her. She wants to be able to feel less intimidated, anxious and sad whenever the step daughter invades her personal space or ignores the client when she speaks to her.
This is the client’s third session and she had given birth to twins a year and a half before this third session. She found she effortlessly ate healthily during and after the pregnancy but since going back to work for three days a week she has a real problem with sugar consumption.
Mark works to reframe the sugar as bad in all kinds of unfamiliar ways but he is careful not to deliver these ideas like some kind of lecture. He reframes sugar as a ‘thief’ and ‘con artist and builds up the client’s psychological resources in order to move beyond excessive sugar consumption.
Weight loss and alcohol abstinence
This client is a single mum with a Diabetic son who has Down’s Syndrome and selective mutism, and a daughter who sometimes goes missing because she can be suicidal and she hears voices. The client was drinking heavily but stopped recently because of a health scare. She wants to become slimmer, stay off the alcohol and start to feel confident.
This client feels overwhelmed by her life in this first session. So many stresses threaten to overwhelm her, blocking the completion of some primal needs. Although relatively young, she describes how she had suffered a stroke and stress may have been a contributor. She needs to find a way to slow down as during this first session she, as Mark points out to her, is talking like a horse racing commentator. Mark works to break down all this content to set an initial goal and make a difference quickly. Because the client had told Mark emphatically (before filming) that hypnosis hadn’t worked for her in the past Mark seeks to reframe her perception of hypnosis not as merely a therapy tool but as a central aspect of what it means to be human.
This client describes how things have improved for her after her first session for stress management. But she still feels her partner’s mood swings and temper set her off feeling anxious and angry. She also wants to kick smoking once and for all.
Mark works more on helping her leave smoking behind and manage overwhelming feelings. He induces hypnosis by reapplying the 3 Things Induction and uses double dissociation to deepen the experience for Deirdre. He also evokes times when she was very young and unconscious processes were allowed to happen naturally. He deals a little with her minimal smoking habit and makes further suggestions to help her relax more in life generally and also sets her a simple task to relax every day.
Weight loss session 1
This client has gained around 5lbs in weight every year for the previous 20 years. Her weakness has been chocolate digestive biscuits. Her motivation to lose weight isn’t to do with her health although she knows that ‘should’ be the motivation. What really motivates her is that she doesn’t want to feel repulsed by herself when she looks in the mirror; she wants to feel she looks attractive. Mark uses analogies, metaphors, resource amplification and plenty of reframing in this session as well as utilizing the client’s love of being in the mountains.
Weight loss session 2
This client has returned for a second session for weight loss. Since the first session she has lost over 11lbs in weight. She doesn’t mention that the first session had anything to do with this but rather she discovered how to lose weight almost by luck between sessions. During the session Mark reframes her fears of weakening and starting to eat unhealthily again. He uses a little hypnotic confusion to facilitate hypnotic trance and helps her feel not just loyal to her body but as though her body is going to be loyal to her. “Fake” food is externalized to give her a greater sense of control over it.
Weight loss session 3
This is the client’s third session for weight loss. She has lost 35lbs in the 7 months since her first session. Mark focusses on health and comfort rather than simply appearance because these aspects are so important to her. She tells Mark she can now “read” her body better. She has become very interested in nutrition and is starting to like the idea of high intensity exercise for blood sugar control and fat loss without appetite gain (which is often a side effect of more prolonged exercise).
The client tells Mark her family haven’t really noticed the changes in her, so the intrinsic reward for being healthier is emphasized during this session. She has started exercising on a stationary bike and aims to increase the intensity of her exercise in coming weeks. She also wants to feel comfortable having her photo taken and feels that can be achieved with just a little more weight loss.
Mark asks the client what could go wrong to halt her progress. She says she had been worried about what would happen (to her new healthy regime) if she became stressed by some situation. But she says she had faced stressful times and still maintained her healthy behaviours. She says she values herself too much now to throw it all away. Mark does a naturalistic hypnotic induction and has the client enjoying dancing and skiing hypnotically. He also age progresses the client to greater movement, freedom and having taken unnecessary layers of weight off.
Mark also describes the body as a team, each member of which is taken care of and respected by being healthier. He talks about the benefits of exercise being an unthought about byproduct of enjoyable movement, as well as an end in itself.
Weight loss session 4
The client has lost almost 70 lbs in weight but feels she wants to keep going. She also feels she wants her slimmer self to be a byproduct not a primary focus of her healthy life. She talks a bit about her empty marriage in this session and tells Mark it’s not a problem as they co-exist. But her husband upset her so much when he was trying to show her how the gears on her bike worked that she has now come to associate the bike with being upset and can’t ride it.
But, the client wants to ride it. Mark uses humour and laughter in trance to quickly change the association so that she can start cycling (and therefore exercising) again.
Weight loss session 5
This is the client’s fifth session and although she has lost plenty of weight and got fitter and healthier she feels she has reached a plateau. She has also been feeling particularly stressed recently due to high work demands, her father, and the need to be supportive to her daughter.
She feels her diet is pretty balanced but that she needs to move more. She feels fine about cycling now but feels hasn’t been doing enough.
Mark describes the benefits of short but really intense exercise and she agrees she can start with three lots of 30 second sprints on her stationary bike a week.
Mark utilizes the pleasure she got from a recent holiday with her daughter as the basis for a hypnotic induction and suggests Dev can feel more motivated to get up to a new level – ”find a better plateau” and also feel less stressed day to day.
This client has problem relationships and is continually taken advantage of. She is a cancer survivor, in a relationship that isn’t working right now and in need of help. Mark uses plenty of reframing, builds up her sense of resourcefulness and uses naturalistic hypnosis to help her.
This client ostensibly comes for helping quitting smoking but it soon becomes clear she needs help to calm down, regroup and de-stress after a very tough six months.
In this session Mark simply helps her feel relaxed so she can stop shaking and feel more optimistic about her future. Mark makes some more suggestions regarding smoking but primarily the focus of the session is to give her some hope that things can improve and that she can feel physically and mentally better.
In this client’s third session, she describes how she has lost 13lbs in weight and that she has been swimming 6 days a week. Mark checks that her initial fears around parking and sirens are still not an issue. The client tells Mark that she needs to lose another 112 pounds in weight.
She tells Mark she feels that she has associated being heavier with feeling protected and safe. Mark subtly reframes the idea of being safer by being bigger, aiming to remove this block to weight loss.
Mark uses a naturalistic hypnotic induction and during trance personifies the client’s joints and other body parts as members of a family that need protection, from weight.
Family issues and trauma
In this client’s fourth session, she is deeply troubled by the painful memories that are being stirred up by re-established contact with her son whom she hadn’t seen since he was seven. She is feeling overwhelmed and fearful about this contact. Her son is angry with her and her estranged adult daughter will have nothing to do with her.
Mark helps the client compartmentalize the worry and also prepare to sort out old photos and documents stemming from when her now estranged children were young.
Fear of death
In her fifth session, the client describes some anxiety/stress issues which had haunted her years before and seem, in part, to have returned. She describes anxious excessive sweating and horrible feelings around death.
She describes some of the disappointment she’d been feeling regarding her estranged adult son’s attitude.
Mark seeks to “scramble” patterns of excessive sweating and negative feelings about death. Mark does some age progression with her.
Overwork and exhaustion
This client is a therapist and teacher but has got into an ‘all work no play’ spiral. Overwork is impacting her primal emotional needs. She is avoiding contact with friends and spends less time with her 15 year old son.
This pattern got so bad a few weeks before coming for help that she had a collapse in energy and had to stop working due to overwork and exhaustion. Mark works discovers that this pattern was formed when she was a child. He locates resourceful times and uses those hypnotically to help her experience how things can be better in the future.
This client has put on about 14lbs over the last year, mainly through over eating chocolate in the evenings it seems. Mark discovers this problematic behaviour began to increase after the client had split from her boyfriend.
Mark helps the client access the different steps of the pattern and starts to link the feeling of self disgust and bloatedness to the start of the pattern. He also uses reframing and hypnotic phenomena during the session.
This client has come for help wanting to overcome the trauma of being wrongly accused of historical child abuse. Mark discovers that he is an extremely able hypnotic subject and uses a conversational hypnotic induction with him in the session.
Mark helps the client overcome traumatic memories of being accused. This video also demonstrates many other fruitful examples of conversational hypnosis, reframing, solution focussed questioning, rapport building and resource location.
This client thinks about work all the time and never switches off. He dreams about work, wakes up at 4am thinking about it and feels he has to check his phone and email all the time. He also feels he has to take on the problems of other staff.
Another returning client has a different goal this time, to be ‘a better version of himself’.
This client has lost 28lbs (over 12kg) in weight since his last session with Mark. And although he has felt generally better he has still been overworking. He has been feeling exhausted and worked every day for the last 19 days before this session.
Mark discovers that he would love to get back to playing tennis and playing music again but work has overtaken everything. Mark uses the experience of “locking work away in a safe” from his recent holiday in Corfu and also, during hypnosis gives Iain a method to quickly bring a sense of peace whenever he needs it.
‘A better version of myself’
This client’s last session was over a year ago, and he says he feeling generally much happier. He says he wants to continue to become a “better version of himself” and Mark explores what this would actually mean in reality.
A few minutes into the session, much to Mark’s surprise, the client spontaneously enters deep hypnotic trance. Later he awakens from trance, again without Mark’s suggestion. During the trancework Mark and he focus on widening perspective, becoming this “better version” of himself and feeling a sense of peace more often.
After the client spontaneously reawakens they continue to discuss some of his needs and Mark gives him a little focussing exercise to help him feel “pieces of peace” throughout his day.
This client describes how, although he is successful, he has often felt like an imposter and has low self esteem. His mother was, and still is, sadistic. She would take her frustrations out on the client and his brother by biting them.
Perfectionism and self hate
This is the client’s second session and he tells Mark things have improved for him in some ways. He no longer metaphorically “whips” himself so much by being too self critical or putting himself down but he has noticed that being tough on himself was actually a form of motivation. He says he still needs a sense of self worth in order to be able to absorb his achievements rather than dismissing them. He feels everything he does is for other people but he never does anything for himself.
Mark asks what he would be doing if he was doing things for himself and he says he would make his business really profitable and sell it within two years. Mark suggests that he start to do what he needs to do for that little child in the past who was tricked into believing he was no good.
Mark uses reframing and hypnosis to attempt to reawaken the client’s sense of liking himself and being for himself despite his mother’s cruel treatment and emotional conditioning of him in the past.
This is the client’s third session and he’s come a long way. He is being more assertive and thinking of what he needs more rather than just feeling he should hand over all his power, all his agency to others all the time. He describes in this session how he has progressed but also what he feels he still needs. He has an immediate concern that he needs to ask his wife to return a large sum of money he’d handed over to her (belonging to him) and has a huge business opportunity which can finally help him become financially secure.
He is throwing off the emotional cruelty his mother subjected him to but still wants to be more for rather than against himself. Mark uses plenty of reframing and solution focussed questioning to help the client envisage even more progress.
Low self esteem and confidence
This client feels she doesn’t live properly. She feels put upon and low in self esteem and confidence. She appears to have quite an unhappy marriage and her mother seems to emotionally manipulate her. She worries about her health. Mark seeks to help her expand a sense of what is possible for her in this session. He uses humour to help her focus her way into hypnotic trance and also the love of her beloved Bedlington terrier. She becomes tearful when they discuss the possibility of going someplace like Italy and Mark seeks to help her feel that travel and increased assertiveness is possible for her.
This is the client’s second session. She has started to be more assertive in her life already and feels more hopeful and able to state her ideas. She has become less concerned with what others might think of her.
She tells Mark she feels she has already changed and made progress but that there is just so much to change it feels overwhelming. Mark reframes the idea that there is so much to work on and talks of ripple effects and domino effects.
She also tells Mark she used to be an alcoholic for twenty years. Mark already knew that she used to smoke but no longer does. These evidences of the capacity to change are utilized for the therapy and specific goals are set for future progress.
Mark uses a naturalistic conversational hypnotic induction and seeks to help her connect to a greater sense of being herself and exploring life on her own terms.
In this client’s third session, she tells Mark that she has continued to become more assertive and recently stood up to her critical sister around the care of their demanding mother. In this session she opens up more about her former alcoholism, her marriage and her dreams.
Mark does some role play with her which, at first, feels strange to her but she soon really gets into it and says she finds it useful. She reports feeling the beginnings of a migraine just before trance induction but after the session, she says all signs of the incipient migraine had vanished.
This client has lost confidence in herself and her body. She describes how her mother died and how that since, she has been suffering from flashbacks of seeing her mother in the hospital. She is quite depressed and has become socially withdrawn. She feels guilty over not seeing her father as much as she would like because he lives so far away.
Mark works to help overcome the PTSD in this session and also employs age progression and reframing.
This client says she is an “all or nothing” type of person with “an addictive personality.” Last year she lost her job and the relationship with the man she still loves. She has gotten into the habit of drinking wine and snacking in the evenings between 6pm and 9pm. She also tends to smoke a little when she drinks in this way. She feels this behaviour is “filling the gap” left by her relationship. She wants to stop this. Her sleeping isn’t too good at the moment, not helped by her drinking and late eating.
She likes to play tennis and describes a recent trip to Lake Garda in Italy in which she could have one glass of wine and “not even think about it.” Mark uses her recent trip and familiarity with Lake Garda in Italy as a basis for conversational hypnotic induction. Mark then helps her to rehearse changing the pattern of the behaviour.
Low self esteem
This client has low self esteem, she is depressed and feels guilty for divorcing her husband 6 years before. She can’t see anything positive in her life. She laments the past and dreads the future. She sees coming to see Mark as her “last chance saloon”. Mark uses her love of humour in and out of hypnotic trance as well as reframing, metaphor and solution focussed questioning.
This client is a worrier and suffers free floating generalized anxiety. She worries and frets over things she has to do. She has to plan everything down to the last detail but it’s the worrying that is getting to her. Her mother (who died when the client was 21) was very strict and had a way of controlling her with just a look. Her mother had very rigid ideas on right and wrong.
It’s clear in this session that the client feels life somehow has rules that she must abide by, but of course without her mother those “rules” are not clear. Hence an almost constant nagging anxiety. She has tried CBT, mindfulness and counselling but feels nothing has shifted things for her. She is not happy in her job and finds it stressful and unfulfilling.
Mark uses humour, reframing and metaphor and analogy with this client. He also recognizes there is a risk that she will keep analyzing and maybe worrying in that she is not ‘doing’ therapy right so he suggests that she will be over thinking during the hypnotic session and that’s fine. This is an example of giving permission, even encouraging something that otherwise the client may fight against, which helps take pressure off.
Chronic worrying and perfectionism
In this second session, the client has come for help with chronic worrying and feeling under pressure that all kinds of things “should” and “must” be a certain way. She has noticed some improvement from the first session but there is still some way to go. Mark helps her to be aware of the effect her expectations have and uses humour to anchor more positive feelings to previously less positive thoughts.
Back in 2010 this client was fired from his job and was unemployed for 6 months as a result. Now he is in a similar job but feels constant and terrible pressure and fears that he might be fired again.
He thinks about work all the time and never switches off. He dreams about work, wakes up at 4am thinking about it and feels he has to check his phone and email all the time. Mark checks for trauma, asks the client to put away his phone at the end of the work day two to three times a week (to start with) and teaches the client the “Three Things Induction” to use for himself to help him sleep better and relax.
The client also feels he has to take on the problems of other staff, and Mark manages to find a resourceful state of mind and works to help him access those tranquil feelings in order to switch off from work more easily.
This client is a business owner and a single mother of two. But she finds it hard to focus as she constantly ruminates over her failed marriage (which she ended three years before). Did she do the right thing? She reflects that she was more financially secure during the marriage. She also has a horrible memory in which she had been attacked by family members and removed by the police.
Mark seeks to deal with that memory and helps to build her sense of freedom and focus so she can truly start to move on with her life.
Social anxiety session 1
This client is a young woman who wants help overcoming sometimes quite extreme social anxiety. She feels anxious in meetings at work and when socializing with strangers, but also sometimes even with friends she knows well. She met Mark ten years before when she attended an introductory hypnosis workshop. Mark reframes social anxiety, finds some of her resources and seeks to transfer resourceful feelings into social times in order to help her feel more confident in those times.
Social anxiety session 2
Two months after her first session for social anxiety, which can sometimes be quite extreme, this client has returned for a second session. She tells Mark how things have progressed since they first met and what she would like more of.
Mark uses lots of reframes and helps her get in touch with times she’s felt appreciated and confident. He helps her focus on her strengths as they work on her feeling more confident when teaching a yoga class.
Mark does a mini hypnotic induction early in the session then a conversational and permissive deeper induction later on.
Social anxiety session 3
This client has made good progress since her first and second sessions, and has noticed feeling more relaxed and spontaneous at the start and finish of yoga sessions, at work and out with friends. But there is still a way to go. Mark reframes confidence as “relaxing with uncertainty” and “being okay with whatever happens”, rather than certainty that everything will go perfectly.
The client has a dream to run yoga retreats somewhere beautiful in the sun. Mark encourages this daydreaming and also aims to link it to a real sense of possibility. She describes anxiety as like a wave and Mark uses a wave metaphor in trance with her, who later reports having gone very deeply into hypnosis and clearly enjoyed the experience.
Social anxiety session 4
At first, the client seems to have made little progress, but 20 minutes into this fourth session she tells Mark how much more confident and relaxed she is teaching yoga and how something important has shifted. Mark does a lot of reframing in this session and her main focus seems to be that she wants to feel confident not to wear her glasses as an emotionally protective screen.
Mark sets her a task of not wearing her glasses at a social event the next day and to email him to let him know how well it goes. The client has also been given the job of presenting to others in her work which she has some trepidation about.
Mark uses a naturalistic hypnotic induction based on her recent yoga training trip to Guatemala and links her yoga practice to the development of a “social asana”.
Shock from being left
This client received successful therapy from Mark two years before this session for PTSD during a cancer diagnosis and for help relaxing with the uncertainty of waiting for cancer test results. Those sessions can be seen inside The Rewind Technique course.
This time she has come along because her partner of seven years (whom she doesn’t live with) went off and didn’t contact her until she discovered he was surfing in Sri Lanka. He has been gone four months and wants things to return as they were with her. But the client is not sure what she wants.
She does know that whatever she decides about him and any future with him needs to come from a place from within her which is authentic, rather than be pressured from all the opinions of friends and relatives. Being able to feel free to intuitively make the right decision for her becomes the goal of the session.
Confidence in own thoughts
In her first session this client described how her partner of 7 years, had up and left without telling her. He just disappeared and she was left to hear from a third party that he was surfing in Sri Lanka. He had been there for months and hadn’t communicated his intentions or wishes regarding their relationship. In that first session, the client had wanted help deciding what she wanted independently of all the advice and ‘noise’ from friends and family.
In this second session she says she was finally able to step aside from what others were constantly telling her to do regarding her relationship but that now she felt she needed help with the grieving process of getting over the relationship, that’s if she wants to let go of it at all.
The client tells Mark of an amazing experience she had after the first session some months before and Mark evokes that to induce hypnotic trance. He also uses some of her analogies and ideas to enhance the hypnotic experience in this session.
A former client returns for help with her professional life this time which is focused around helping people with cancer.
Anxiety and perfectionism session 1
This client has been chronically worrying about imagined imperfections in her own performance in different areas in life. She can track the start of this back to when she fell out with her father when she was at University and he cut off all funding to her. It was the worst and best thing, she says, that could have happened to her.
Mark reframes her worrying with subtle approaches to reframing, resource allocation and utilisation. She wants children as soon as possible but fears her chronic worry will transmit to her future children. Mark shows her how to relax deeply and feel differently about her old worries. He also uses metaphor to help her let go of old worries.
Anxiety and perfectionism session 2
This client has actually had quite a bit of positive change since her first session for chronic perfectionism, worry and anxiety, although Mark has to dig a little to get her to describe the extent to which things at least initially changed. Her husband noticed the change and she has been much more relaxed about all kinds of things. She says that she feels the anxiety has crept back a bit but then feels there haven’t been too many triggers anyway. This may mean it’s more a fear of the fear (of it creeping back) than it actually coming back the way it was before.
Sticking to diabetic diet
This client was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than ten years previously. He is fully aware of what can happen if the condition remains unmanaged. He even knows someone who recently lost a toe to complications arising out of diabetes. He finds it hard to exercise because he’s had two hip replacements. His main weakness are jam and cream donuts and apple pies and other sugary “treats.”
He and his wife have a son living next door so his grandchildren often come in to play. His wife keeps a “treat drawer” for the grandchildren but sometimes he raids that drawer and eats the grandchildren’s sweets!
Mark seeks to build motivation to control these impulses by disrupting the pattern and appealing through the unconscious mind to different parts of the client’s body.
Sports performance session 1
At 40 years of age, this client has a dream. He has been in the “fight game” all his life but time is running out. He has fought for European titles in kickboxing but has never won more than a British title. He seeks help from Mark to give him a real sense that he can achieve this even when it’s so late in the game.
The client’s sister died whilst hiking in the Himalayas ten years before. He has been to the place where she died and has put up a plaque in her memory and to warn travellers of the risks of falling. He says his sister was always supportive of him and his sporting dreams. Mark uses this in the session.
Sports performance session 2
He has done it! After decades of trying he has become World Kickboxing Champion at the age of 42.
In this follow up session Mark emphasizes just what an achievement that is, looks at what the client wants to do right now and digs into what other goals he has. You’ll see Mark use the client’s metaphor of “a devil” and “an angel” to help him feel more empowered to reach new goals and hear an unusual therapeutic story Mark tells the client during trancework.
This client comes for help with panic attacks. Mark had helped her stop smoking 16 years before and she now needs help to stop the 10 panic attacks a day she’s been having for many years. She tells Mark about the first time she can recall having one years before when having to visit her estranged father.
Mark encourages her to step outside of the panic. He reframes panic as wasteful energy expenditure and deeply hypnotizes her so she can evoke a preferred future.
Many weeks after the session Mark receives an email from the client saying she hasn’t had any panic attacks since the session.
White coat syndrome
16 years ago this client had colon cancer. He was totally cured and is not worried about it returning but now has ‘white coat syndrome’ which makes him feel terrified when his blood pressure is taken which in turn is probably skewing his readings. But he even feels tense when he takes it himself.
He is not due to have it taken for 18 months but is already worrying about it constantly. He didn’t bring his blood pressure monitor with him incase Mark asked him to use it!
Mark uses different hypnotic approaches in an attempt to greatly diminish the anxiety whilst understanding that the high readings may have a physical cause.
Anxiety session 1
This client needs help to overcome severe anxiety she felt when training in a hospital as part of her midwifery course. Such is the severity of her fear she had to stop the course and take a year out but she’s determined to go back to the course feeling calm and confident. She describes the nervous breakdown she had after the birth of her own son 10 years before. The anxiety is only in the hospital setting and was not manifesting in the academic university setting.
Mark and the client focus on goals. Mark locates some of her personal resources and induces hypnosis indirectly. She experiences the hypnotic phenomena of arm levitation during the session and Mark links this to her feeling calmer during those times in the hospital training setting.
Anxiety session 2
This client comes back four months after her first session and tells Mark she has, since the first session, got a job as a Maternity Care assistant in a local hospital. She is feeling good about that and more confident she will be able to resume her training the following March. Amazingly, Mark uses her memory of dealing with her daughter’s self harm cutting as a resource she can re-access and use in the hospital setting. The client is still scared of the thought of going back into the hospital setting so Mark works more on this.
Mark utilizes her pre-session talk of being near a river in France to conversationally induce deep trance. Mark reframes the symptoms of anxiety. Mark has the client go in and out of light trance a few times before applying an instant hypnotic induction in order to train her to focus and feel calm very fast.
Anxiety session 3
In this client’s third session, she feels she can make a decision regarding what to do in her career based no longer on fear but on logic. She is working in a hospital and wants to volunteer to do shifts on the maternity ward upstairs which would be a first for her.
The focus of this session is to reframe her anxiety to excitement. Mark uses, in hypnosis, an earlier conversation he had with her about the nature of time. The session is full of reframing, the therapeutic use of metaphor, some hypnotic phenomena, the use of therapeutic word play such as double entendres and even some evocation of the client having first got up and learned to walk when very young. It’s quite a short session but packed full of solution focussed therapy and it was a really deep hypnotic session for the client.
Diagnosed with stage 1 cancer a year ago, this client had surgery and aggressive radiotherapy. He lost 28lbs in weight and was finally given the all clear about 6 weeks before the session. But he has lost confidence. He has, not surprisingly, anxieties about the cancer returning but has also lost confidence in himself more generally. He feels low in confidence around his health and body and wonders why anyone would want to be with him in a relationship.
This is the client’s second session and he has come a long way. He has done a coaching course. He is feeling more confident around his body after his cancer diagnosis a year before. He is dating even though he had felt that no one would ever want to be with him. And he is picking up business in his work life.
Immediately after his first session his sleep dramatically improved and he feels that now he is sleeping well again all kinds of other parts of his life, certainly his emotional life, have dramatically improved also.
Mark asks the client what else he might like help with, what might be a “further step in the right direction”. He says he feels he needs to be able to trust his own decisions more. Mark induces hypnosis by having the client recall a wonderful moment from his business life. Mark also uses a sense of playing golf as a metaphor for doing things in his way and driving effectively into the future. Suggestions for a healthier and healing body are also given.
Low self esteem and panic attacks session 1
This client suffers panic attacks and low self esteem after having escaped a violent relationship. Her father had also gone missing and been washed up after having drowned. Mark seeks to deal with the panic attacks in this first session.
Using solution focussed, goal oriented language, Mark seeks to externalize the panic attacks from who the client really is and finds resources she can use to help her leave panic behind. Mark describes everyday experiences of dissociation to start the process of hypnotic dissociation in the client herself. During hypnotic trance Mark tells her a therapeutic metaphorical story relating to fear.
Low self esteem and panic attacks session 2
Since her first session three months before, this client describes how she has gained control over the panic attacks and has not been troubled by them since. Now the panic is controlled, the client states a new goal, that of increasing her self esteem through becoming more assertive in relationships and asking for what she needs and wants more often. Mark focusses on her resources, the “fuel of therapy” and she describes how she has been prone to excessive people pleasing and how people have and do manipulate her.
Mark unwraps the nebulous phrase “self esteem” in order to establish real goals. The client describes how a memory of being bullied at school still bothers her and Mark seems to sooth that memory so it no longer has an effect on the way she feels in the present.
Low self esteem and panic attacks session 3
In this third session, the client describes successes she’s had through being more assertive with people. She is now able to state her own point of view and needs and gives particular examples where she has exercised her new found confidence.
She is happier but wants to work on her over anxiety with her own punctuality and also her feelings during frustrating phone conversations with call centres. Mark casually induces hypnotic trance and uses the “Helping Hand Technique” to help her change the nature of specifics in her past to do with worrying about being late. Mark frames her new found assertiveness and confidence as a perspective that needs to be protected.
Low self esteem and panic attacks session 4
In this fourth session, the client has made great progress. She has got the old panic attacks under control and if ever it feels like one is starting she is able to stop it before it takes hold. But there is one thing she would like to work on now. She tells Mark that she overreacts emotionally to times in which she feels other people are treated unjustly. She gives Mark an example of a recent time in which she felt really angry and anxious on her good friend’s behalf. Mark seeks not to remove the feeling but to tone it down so that she no longer feels overwhelmed by it but actually feels able, if need be, to be assertive and stick up for others.
Mark uses a fun recent memory to conversationally induce hypnosis for her and uses metaphor, reframing and resourceful feelings to help her with her stated goal for the session.
Lost and indecisive
This client is feeling lost, having moved to a small town almost two years ago with her partner, the relationship has broken up and she seems to lack a sense of intimacy and misses her family back home. She worries about all kinds of things. What to do in life, her aging parents, her tendency to self sabotage by drinking and eating too much and biting her lips. She is feeling really indecisive about what to do in her life so Mark works to help her make decisions.
Fear of heights
This client has a long standing fear of heights. She recounts three times which were particularly scary. Mark uses The Rewind Technique (not shown in video) to unhook the emotional effect from past memories then uses hypnotic rehearsal (shown in the video) to help instill calmer responses to heights in future.
This client initially presents with three problems: help with feeling motivated to build her business, lose weight and change the way she is in relationships. Mark asks her what she’d like to work on first and she choses relationships. She has had a tendency to try to ‘rescue’ people and ‘look after them’ to the detriment of herself. The client describes previous relationships in which she financially supported men even when they had good jobs. It seems much of her kindness has been taken advantage of. She wants to have a more reciprocal relationship in which she is taken care of as well as being the one who cares for. During the session Mark also addresses her business motivation and, to some extent, her desire to lose weight.
Crippling self consciousness
This 18 year old client has a history of acute anxiety and some depression. She suffers from crippling self consciousness. In this short Zoom session Mark uses reframing, solution focussed questioning and some relaxation training to get things started. This session was conducted over Zoom.
OCD and depression after traumatic experience
This client was hit by a car at the end of the previous year. Since then she has become depressed but although that seems to be easing she is now suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mark elicits necessary information, reframes and uses hypnosis to begin to help her overcome the OCD. This session was conducted over Zoom.
Depression and low self esteem
This client has been very depressed, including having had suicidal thoughts. Despite his achievements and capacity to teach himself languages and marketing he feels incapable and unable to be successful. The disconnect between what he is really like and his low self esteem view of himself is stark. Mark helps to reframe some of his negative biases and shows him how to relax deeply. This is a great case to follow if you are interested in treating both depression and low self esteem. This session was conducted over Zoom.