Tag Archives: Hypnotherapy Hertfordshire

How Important is Reality?

Just how important is reality or perhaps isn’t?

The reason why this question has come up on my agenda recently is that I recently went to see, in my humble opinion, a fantastic film – The Greatest Showman. A year or so ago I watched a film called ‘LaLa Land’, some of you may have seen it, it had loads of positive reviews that critics loved it, it won a ton of Oscars and when I watched it I was so bored. If you haven’t seen it let me give you the storyline because seriously I’m not ruining anything for you, two people meet, they fall in love, they break up, they meet other people after they’ve broken up, they see each other again across a crowded bar and that’s it, that’s the whole story.

LaLa Land kind of ruined musical films for me for a good long while however this week I was brave and I watched The Greatest Showman and I loved it as in I want to watch it again and again. It was so, so, so, so good and the music in it is, in my humble opinion, phenomenal so I posted on my facebook to share the joy with everybody else and probably nine out of ten people who had seen it also loved it, there were a couple of people who were less enthusiastic shall we say. One fellow hypnotherapist made some comments which I found really rather interesting and this is not a direct quote but it was something along the lines of:

“It was a good film and the music was good however the storyline was a million miles away from the truth of the story about PT Barnum”

The person that made the comment seemed a little bit aggravated by this it’s just something I picked up in the tone of how it was written obviously that may not be the case because there is no tonality in reading people’s words. I started to wonder well who cares, you know, it’s a great movie and it made me feel good and apparently it’s made quite a lot of other people feel good as well so does it really matter if the story that’s told later is different to this story that actually happened in reality?

From an NLP perspective and on on a moral level, I have a huge subscription to the idea of telling the truth as much as I possibly can even to the extent that sometimes it might be detrimental to some of my relationships but for the sake of a clear conscience and getting a good night’s sleep I really like the idea of being upfront and honest with people because it keeps my conscience clean but in the NLP world it seems like that is not necessarily the case and here’s why.

There are certain processes within NLP that we use which deliberately get people to think about old events in very different ways to the way in which they happened in real life, let me give you an example. If somebody has had a traumatic experience in their past and they’re still having problems with their old event years and years later then one of the processes that we could use with them could be a sub-modality intervention or fast phobia cure. When we do those interventions we

explicitly ask the client to begin to see the old event in a different way, perhaps we take the colour out of it or we shrink it down maybe even put some comedy voices in there, some overlaying of baby giggling, all sorts of different things in order to change the impact that that memory had. But now the memory isn’t true anymore, it’s not an accurate reflection of the real-life situation.

So is it really important that we subscribe so heavily to reality in our lives? For me, the things I’ve been able to achieve in my life have definitely come about as a result of a slightly bonkers imagination but I wouldn’t be without that because I wouldn’t have got to where I am now if I hadn’t have had the creativeness and ability to distort my situation in positive ways. in order to move it on to better things later on. From my perspective, if we are able to take something and make it better then why not! Why not almost like divorce ourselves from reality a little bit, I also tend to think that the human brain isn’t necessarily geared up for dealing with reality anyway.

As you know when we take information in through our brains we’re being bombarded with stuff which we cannot effectively process because there is quite simply too much of it, so some of the information just gets outright deleted and we never knew that it was there in the first place, not on a conscious level anyway. Some of it is distorted, so it gets changed in some ways, it might get over-exaggerated or minimised and some of it is generalised upon to link it up with a ton of other stuff that maybe it didn’t realistically link up with but that enables us to be able to process all of that information that’s coming in through our senses so that we can begin to make some form of sense of the world.

Often in NLP when we refer to that processing of information we talk about it in chunks of information or bits, which does make it sound like computers and actually that’s completely inaccurate because human beings are really nothing like computers, in fact, computers are dealing way more effectively with reality than human beings are.  If you complete a word document on your computer and then save it later on, when you go back to it, maybe six months later, a year later, three years later you’re still gonna get the same word document that you had created in the first place, unless you have some kind of fault with your computer but on the whole, your computer is going to stick up on the screen the exact piece of work that you had created way back in time.

The human brain doesn’t work like that, not only are we deleting, distorting and generalising on the information that we take in from one moment to the next but we also repeat that process each time we recall a memory or an experience that we’ve had in the past. Why? Well because our state gets in the way depending on what we’re doing at that moment and how we’re thinking and feeling at that moment of recalling, we could then end up having a very different experience of the memory.

I’ll give you another example, I have to confess I have seen The Greatest Showman twice so far and I’m planning a third watch. The first time around that I watched the film, I was in a bit more of a stress state and it was after work, I was running late and It was just a stressful situation. There was a scene in the film where the main character was speaking with his family having just got the sack from his job and I’m not spoiling anything here, by the way, his daughters were asking him about making wishes. Now there was a way in which I interpreted that particular portion of the storyline which made me think that he had forgotten his daughter’s birthday, the very first time I watched the film and heard that portion of the story. I was operating from the belief that he had forgotten his daughter’s birthday and this was accounting for the things that he said and how he was reacting but when I watched the film the second time around, it was a lot more chilled out and when I watched the film for a second time around, I realised that I’d completely got the wrong end of the stick the first time because he was actually toying with his daughter, he was messing about with her and pretending to have forgotten her birthday.

I like to think that I’m a fairly astute character, that I’m quite good at tuning into these things but apparently state affects even me! So this is why when we have a recall of a memory or experience from the past we might end up changing that memory or experience as we recall it based on our present state. This means that we could end up deleting, distorting and generalising upon our memories in different ways every single time we remember them. Computers are going to be much more reliable in terms of representing accurate information compared to a human being, human beings are not quite so accurate when doing that process.

I like to think that if you’re creative and you have a good imagination then good for you, just make sure you do find things with it. Very often people use their imaginations to trip themselves up in unhelpful ways, for example, people who have phobias have great imaginations, they’re really good at imagining worst-case scenarios but it’s not the best way for them to be able to use their imagination, it could be put to much better use however instead they use it for the purposes of

seeing man eating spiders sitting on their face and things like that. If you’re using your imagination for positive purposes and you know really who cares about the fact that it’s different to the reality of what’s really going on in life. Sometimes what’s going on in life, you might want some time out from there, ultimately it’s all about your intention if you have an imagination which you are using to harm yourself or

to mislead others then maybe being away from reality isn’t such a good thing but if your intentions are good, if you’re using your imagination to be creative, to help change the world in wonderful, powerful, meaningful ways or maybe just to change your own world in wonderful and powerful and meaningful ways then that is, in my humble opinion, a very good thing.

Imagination is an art form, so being able to utilise it and escape from reality for a little while can be a truly wonderful thing and if you can use it for the purposes of making yourself and/or others happy then that indeed is an even better thing to be using your imagination for. In the words of PT Barnum:

‘The noblest art is that of making others happy’.

By Gemma Bailey


The Pursuit of Change

Today I’m going to be discussing how it is that change is possible even when you think it isn’t my behavior and communications

It’s interesting because in my work I have people who come to see me, at my Hertfordshire therapy clinic, because they want to change and they obviously believe that change is possible, otherwise they probably wouldn’t bother coming to see me. There are other people that I work with, who are not clients and there are the people that I know socially, for example where I have noticed that some people develop an idea that the things that they dislike about themselves are not changeable.

Imagine being in a situation where you have resigned yourself to being stuck with the things that you dislike about yourself, you’ve decided that these things cannot be changed, that you cannot change them and that there is no point really finding another way of doing things, you’re just stuck with what you’ve got and that’s the end of it. Then imagine that those things about yourself actually really impact upon your relationships with other people, how well you are perceived to the rest of the world, how well you are able to form other relationships moving forward, imagine believing that those things about yourself, those qualities that you need to improve that there’s no point even trying because you’re just stuck with them doesn’t that sound a little bit crazy.

To not want to bother improving and changing the things that you can change and improve about yourself but actually just living with it instead, that’s nuts! why would anybody ever do that? Here’s the thing, sometimes change is not seen, sometimes the tools that we need to be able to make those changes are not easy to come by and perhaps in the past you have given it your best, like a lot a lot of other times before, you’ve really gone at it all guns blazing, thinking that this thing, this new way of being, this methodology, this strategy, this therapeutic intervention, this is going to be the one that finally makes things change for you and then it doesn’t work.

It happens that sometimes the route that we want to take to create the changes that we wish to make are not the right ones for us, for our individual psychology, for our way of being, for our environment, for our way of life, sometimes you don’t hit upon the right route to take you to where you want to be first time around or second or third or a hundredth time. Sometimes change doesn’t come fast, sometimes it doesn’t come easy and sometimes it doesn’t come via the route that you think you need to take. Does that mean that you should just back off and you know just make do with what you’ve got in life?

Is it at all possible that this thing that you want to change about yourself is actually quite important? It could actually make a really big difference. Is it not even more important to continue? The pursuit of that change, in spite of the knocks and failures and errors that you’re going to make a long way, I believe and I’m not a particularly spiritual person, but I believe that even when we have these situations where it seems like we’d invested too much hope in finding the right source to help us to become the person that we want to be, even if that doesn’t work out and it turns out you have been completely going the wrong way forward. that there is still going to be a time in the future when you gain something from that experience and that thing might be wisdom, later that thing might just be a funny story about how once upon a time you tried rebirthing or age regression or some other new-age methodology to help you to overcome those anxieties that you had and it didn’t work and you felt like a woolly nose lady bashing cymbals in the background.

Even if all you get from it is a funny story that you end up telling somewhere and  for some people it works. Even if that’s all you’ll get, you’ll still get something out of it, there is still some reward to be had by keeping going and looking for a way that will work for you, to help you become the person that you want to be. We know that the human brain has the ability to rewire itself, things can change in there and you can change them but sometimes it’s as if our ego has got cemented into place and that ego says this is who I am and everyone else is gonna have to live with it and in fact, therefore, I have to live with it too, I have to stay this way.

Don’t let your ego in the way of you being able to recognise that past you doesn’t know everything, that perhaps other people have solutions that you haven’t discovered yet, that perhaps other people might have some quirky alternative ways that really work for helping you to be able to change who you are and how you are in life that would wreak, for you, very positive rewards and benefits. Don’t let your ego get in the way of you exploring another way of changing yourself, your habits by convincing yourself that you are the one person on the planet whose psychology is set in stone and doesn’t work on the same brain wavelength that every other human being does, don’t do that to yourself, that’s silly and it prevents you from moving forward and from having the life that you might like to have.

Sometimes we need to put aside our current thinking and get a bit curious all over again so that we can figure out, we can begin to take, to move in a different direction in life, maybe there are some learnings that you have yet to experience that will take me to where I need to be. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ve already learnt it all, that if it existed you would have already found it, that’s not going to wash around here, around here we keep searching, we’re curious, part of what we learn in NLP is an attitude of curiosity, we’re looking at developing within ourselves a way of being using our creative brain to find alternative ways forward when we are in stuck situations and when we cannot find them we accept that we haven’t got all the answers here but this doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, it just means that you haven’t found them for yourself yet.

If you cannot find them alone then find someone who’s a good researcher, who has a good brain for being able to find a way forward when they seem to be stuck in times of trouble because those people exist. I would like to think that on the most part, always for my own problems but certainly for other people’s, I am one of those people. we’re going to suck up the potential for disappointment because we know there is highly likely to be a lot of it around but we’re also not going to give up on ourselves quite so easily moving forward, we’re going to accept that we might not know how that change will occur but we’re also going to accept that change can occur and if it can then there is a way for us to evolve ourselves with that, there is a way for us to bring that forward into our awareness. The skills and knowledge of other people who might be able to look at things from a different angle to what we can could helps us to evolve, to achieve  that change. That may require that we reach out for and ask for help because sometimes we need to reach out to others in order to be able to cultivate that opportunity to find whatever it is we need to find in order to open up the possibility of change to ourselves and that’s the pursuit of change is what I want you to focus on.

Overcoming a relationship break up

Have a think about the experiences that you’ve had with that person. You’re probably doing a lot of this already, but remember that every time you replay an experience that you had with someone you delete, distort and generalise on the experience that you had which could mean that if you’re replaying all the good times that will no longer have together and that you’re deleting what maybe wasn’t quite so good about those times, distorting what was good about them to make them seem even better than they really are perhaps even generalizing that this was the best relationship you’ve ever had. When you think about stuff too much it really becomes quite different to the truth of what the situation was.

There are certain people that I can recall and when I think about them, I make it seem as if it was a really great relationship and that we had a really great time. Actually, if I look at the bigger picture I can see that the reasons why things ended were good reasons because there were definitely issues there at the same time. Remember that being dumped, being left or having to end a relationship does lead to some negative feelings but those temporary feelings are better than being treated very badly in the future. At the very least you wouldn’t want to be with someone who didn’t really want to be with you because you like yourself more than that, don’t you?

Get busy. Have fun with life, have more fun do more fun stuff. Remember that we only ever really learn through experience and later on there will come a time when you look back and go ‘ah that’s why I needed to have that happen.’

It might not make sense right now but just know it’s okay to feel bad when a relationship ends for a period of time and that over time you will automatically and quite naturally start to feel better. They’ll be in your thoughts less and you’ll start to pick yourself up and move on. And the when you do you’ll look back on the experience and it will all make perfect sense as to why things had to end the way that they did.

Ask yourself this question: How much more pain would you have had to have had before you knew it was time to move on?

I don’t think you would really want to have to do that to yourself, would you? So, be pleased that you have much more control over yourself than being run like a big bag of chemicals. Know that those chemicals do play a vital and important role in your life in determining how you feel in any given situation.

But then once you’ve recognised those chemical feelings exist it is wholly and completely possible for you to take greater responsibility and greater control over the way that you are feeling. You don’t have to be run by your emotions and that you can choose to be feeling exactly how you want to feel in any given moment.

You don’t have to depend on other people to be feeling a certain way. All of those feelings exist within you. They are your feelings and that you can have them whenever you choose to do so.

A good hypnotherapist will have the skills to help you overcome the pain of a relationship breakup and hypnotherapy can be incredibly helpful in this area. Contact the Hypnotherapy and NLP clinic to arrange a free consultation.


By Gemma Bailey

Releasing Disappointment

Disappointment is one of those feeling that we all experience but fail to discuss as much as other more (seemingly) significant emotions such as anger, stress and anxiety.
It may be because emotions like humiliation and disappointment tend not to be crippling. Life still goes on in spite of them, but they cast a bit of a cloud over what might be a perfectly happy human.

Disappointment tends to bring with it feelings of sadness and failing. It can have undertones of anger and bitterness and has the potential therefore to be a very complex emotion.

Often, though not always, disappointment brings with it a continual whirring or ‘what if’s’. If only things had been different. Returning to what might have been is what creates the stuck-ness that disappointment has and it cannot really be overcome until someone is ready to put a greater degree of energy and focus into what will happen next than they are currently putting into what might have been.

Living in the past rarely serves us unless it is to learn from the mistake we made and to make contingency plans for how we will be better prepared in a similar situation in the future.

Essentially, once the driving process of what might have/should have been has passed, the only way to really move on is by asking (and answering) the question:

“What are you going to do about it? How can you be ready for what happens next?”

Some of you reading may be old enough to remember the old BT adverts with Maureen Lipman in the late 80’s. In one such advert she calls her grandson to find out about his exam results. They are not as good as his grandmother would have wanted. You see the disappointment flash across her face and you can hear it in his voice too as he recites each subject he took and each one a failed exam.

Finally she says “You didn’t pass anything?”

“Pottery” he replies with a sigh.

It would have been a fleeting “What can he do about it?” thought that causes her to respond with: “Pottery? Very useful! People will always need plates. Anything else?”

“And sociology.” He responds glumly.

“An Ology? He gets an Ology and he thinks he’s failed! You get an Ology and you’re a scientist!”

As she continues to reassure him you see his eyebrows lift as he begins to consider that his grandmother might have a fair point in what she is saying.

Releasing disappointment doesn’t just come from finding ways to make the best of what you have or what you are left with. It also comes from being honest about what you’ve got and creative about what you chose to do with it next. It might also be a case of forgiving and deciding to set the bar in a different place to where your prior expectations had previously thought it could go.

Recover first, then make a plan for moving forward and make that plan have multiple prongs that can safeguard you from having the same sort of disappointment again in the future.

By Gemma Bailey

Moving On After a Relationship Break-Up

There are no set rules when it comes to the best way in dealing with a relationship break up because most of the actions you need to take will need to be customised to your own unique situation.

That’s why at The hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire, we always perform a consultation (fact finding) session first to find out more about how you are thinking and feeling presently and where you’d like to get to in your thinking and feelings to be able to cope better with what has happened.

Some people will feel hurt, anger or simply lost when when a relationship fails. Part of moving on can be to look at why things didn’t work out so that you can be better prepared in the future to avoid the mistakes or clues that might have shown you that things were not as you would have hoped.

If you feel you have been wronged in some way, these are particularly important emotions to resolve so that you are able to be more robust in the future and avoid having what could otherwise remain as a vulnerability from being exploited.

Of course, we all know that time is a healer and that pain can fade with time. However, I also fully appreciate that when you are in emotional pain, waiting for it to pass with time can be an unrealistic expectation. When the heart break is interfering with your interactions in the rest of your life or preventing you from functioning as you need to, then it’s time to take some action to speed up the process of recovery.

When a relationship has gone bad and there were clear signs, perhaps for some time, that the partnership was toxic in some way, you’d think that this would accelerate the healing process. In my experience I have found the reverse to be true. Often when a relationship is already showing signs of unpleasantness, we have a tendency to want to fix it before jumping ship. All of that effort and energy that goes into tolerating abuses, helping the other person, making excuses for the way things are is suddenly redundant. It’s proven to be a waste of time and this can make us feel that not only have we lost someone who is part of our lives, but we have lost a battle to save them/the relationship/ourselves too. It’s an extra blow. Logically your mind may say “Look at all the trouble you had. Remember how unhappy you were, all of those bad things they said!” and then it seems almost crazy that logically knowing that to be true, you’d still feel so sad.

A baby step that you can take to start moving in the right direction is to begin to slowly build yourself back up. What do you deserve in a relationship? What kind of standards do you want to set for yourself that your next partner should (within reason) adhere to? What will you not tolerate?

You can begin to remove the emotional charge from this situation by reminding yourself in a way that an empowering coach would say “You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be treated well. Remember that and move forward with your focus there.”

Make moving forward about becoming the best you can be and really knowing what you want from a relationship. That doesn’t mean you are seeking another relationship necessarily, it simply means that you are making a point of knowing yourself, knowing what you want and refusing to take anything less than that.

By Gemma Bailey

Overcoming Parental Abuse

Our parents are the people we should be able to depend on the most. They are the people who have the greatest responsibility in not just raising us in healthy and safe ways, but also in a way that will develop our self esteem to enable us to have robust mental well-being.

Sadly for some, this basic requirement was not met. There are multiple reasons why a parent would fail in this way and each case were this failure has happened has its own intricate web of history. Some parents simply lack skills, others had themselves experienced poor parenting and some were just not fit to parent or to deal with the many challenges that a child can bring. Some Parental abuse may be physical, verbal or worse still. Some abuse may be deliberate and other abuses come from ignorance. For that reason, we will not dwell too much on the reasons for abuse or the type of abuse that can occur because each case should be regarded as unique.

What is important to consider is how you as an adult, now move on with your life in a way that enables you to feel free of the past.

For some, knowing why something occurred is important to them. Knowing why doesn’t always provide a sense of peace and knowing the real reasons why someone did what they did may be impossible at times to explore, let alone understand.

However, at The Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic, we use a framework called the six human needs. These are different to Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs. The six human needs are based around emotional drivers.

The human needs are as follows:


Most of the behaviours we do will meet one or more of the needs above. This includes our negative behaviours as well as the positive ones.

For example, being physically aggressive towards another person could meet the needs of:

Certainty – That the aggressor will be feared and therefore feel more in control.
Uncertainty – That the other person may react in an unexpected way. It’s easy to think we may dislike uncertainty, but actually excitement and thrill comes from our need for uncertainty.
Significance – The aggressor will be noticed, acknowledged, recognised etc. Love – Clearly I do not imply that this is in a loving, appropriate or meaningful way, but that a certain amount of connection and attention may come from being aggressive. The aggressor may also have reasoned with themselves that this behaviour is a way to teach/create boundaries/communicate the importance of their message which they believe is a loving one.

There is a presupposition within NLP that “All behaviour has a positive intention.”

For someone who has been abused by a parent, the idea that their parents behaviour was in any way positive can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, it is important to point out that the behaviour isn’t necessarily intended to have a positive effect on the person at the receiving end of it. It simply means that for the perpetrator of the behaviour, there is a positive intention. That positive intention doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doing the behaviour from a positive frame of mind or with positive emotion. It simply means that the intention behind their behaviour is to meet one of those six human needs.

In meeting their needs, this allows them to avoid having to deal with other unwanted emotions that perhaps they would not have the resources to deal with.

With a combination of NLP and Hypnotherapy at our clinic in Hertfordshire, you can find that you are able to forgive parental abuse. That is not to say that you will forget the abuse or suddenly develop loving feelings towards your abuser. In fact forgiveness is as much for yourself as it may be for your abuser. Hanging onto parental abuse only serves to continue to harm yourself and this is where forgiveness can be very valuable. Many people feel frustration at how they have allowed the past to continue to hurt them long after the abusive situations have ended. When you learn to forgive yourself for abusing yourself in this way, then the real healing from parental abuse can begin.

By Gemma Bailey