Monday, 30 July 2007

NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming and was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder about 30 years ago.

What is NLP?

It is basically an approach to improve thinking and communication skills

Why do people use it?

For a variety of different reasons including:

* Improving what they do now
* Developing particular business skills eg leadership, sales, executive coaching, presenting with impact and influencing
* Entertainment eg Paul McKenna and Darren Brown
* Changing habits eg stopping smoking, gaining confidence etc
* Seduction and enhanced pleasure
* Personal change and development

These can have a positive and significant impact on an individual's life

Where did it come from?

NLP is based on modelling good performance. The two co-founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder started NLP by modelling people who were able to help others develop and change.

NLP is particularly useful for anyone involved in personal or company change.

What are some of the basics?

NLP is really about exploring three areas:

1. Attitudes that lead to success
2. Modelling what works
3. Developing and using techniques that result from attitudes and modelling

What is the learning style?

It is learning by exploring. It is experiential, you learn by going first. If there is a key skill in NLP it is listening and watching without interpreting.

How has NLP helped you?

I have found that I am much more in charge of my life, communicating is easier and it has enabled me to open a lot of new doors.

Anything else?
Communication and learning leeds to change. It starts with yourself and not others. It can involve a certain amount of personal courage.

Source: Michael Beale, UK NLP Practitioner

Hypnosis with Children

As currently practiced, hypnotherapy most often involves teaching a child how to self-hypnotize in order to control bad habits, physical symptoms and other conditions. The child learns to use relaxation techniques and mental images — similar to a daydream or fantasy — to enter an “altered mental state” (in other words, to induce hypnosis).

Once in this altered state, the therapist makes suggestions aimed at producing the desired change in behavior, anxiety level, or symptom intensity. These may range from recalling times of feeling happy and well in a child with chronic pain, to thinking of the body as a “computer” that the child can “program” with his or her mind.

The child may also receive specific teaching about their problem as a means of helping them learn to exercise control over their body. For example, a child with nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) may be taught the basic anatomy and function of the bladder. Ultimately, the child is able to induce self-hypnosis when needed to achieve the desired changes.

What is the history of using hypnosis with children?
Hypnosis of children was first described in 1779 by Mesmer, who reportedly used hypnotherapy to treat a child with visual problems. Historically, hypnotherapy was rarely practiced with children because people thought that children could not be hypnotized. In the 1970's, however, observations suggested that children were easier to hypnotize than adults, and that hypnosis could be used in the treatment of behavioral and physical problems in children.

What are some uses of hypnotherapy in children?
Hypnotherapy has been used to treat hundreds of behavior disorders, chronic diseases, pain control and easing discomfort. Here is a partial list:

Behaviour problems:
- Habits, tic disorders, thumb sucking, trichotillomania (hair-pulling), Tourette's Syndrome.
- Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)
- Sleep terrors, nightmares and other sleep disturbances
- Swallowing problems, food aversions and choking (not related to anatomic problems or disease)
- Anxiety and stress

Chronic Conditions
Case reports suggest that hypnotherapy may reduce episodes of wheezing or shortness of breath, and may decrease reliance on asthma medications.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
A study in adults and children with CF suggests that hypnotherapy can reduce symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, anxiety, and other problems commonly faced by these patients.
Migraine headaches
See this summary of medical literature on the uses of hypnotherapy for children with cancer.

Control of pain, treatment and medical procedure discomfort and other symptoms:
Chronic pain in cancer patients
Initial results from small studies showing that hypnotherapy can be used to manage chronic pain in children with cancer; larger studies are likely underway.
Nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy
Several studies comparing hypnotherapy to anti-nausea medications and simple relaxation techniques show that hypnotherapy plus medications was more effective than medications alone in reducing nausea and vomiting. Children treated with hypnotherapy had less pre- and post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting.
Treatments: pill-swallowing, injections, and medical procedures
Hypnosis has been shown to be very effective in helping children through painful procedures like shots, IV pokes, even spinal taps and bone marrow studies.

Source: Carolyn Lorenz, M.D., Neda Yousif, M.D. and Kyla Boyse, R.N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan. Updated January 2007.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness . Some people describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention. They say they feel very relaxed and calm. During hypnosis, the mind is more open to suggestion than usual.

Hypnosis is a natural mental state. For example, children are often in a state of self-hypnosis when they are playing imaginary games. Actors and athletes often use it to improve their performance. Because people are open to suggestion while in a hypnotic state, they can learn to change their thoughts, feelings, behavior, and attitudes.

People can take these changes that happen during hypnosis and use them for self-improvement in their usual state of consciousness. For example, hypnosis can be used to help reduce anxiety, control pain, control the perception of discomfort during medical procedures, lessen discomfort of physical symptoms and break unwanted habits.

Are there any popular myths about hypnosis?
Yes, there are lots of mistaken beliefs about hypnosis. Here are the facts:
Hypnosis does not:

- Allow the hypnotherapist to control the subject's mind
- Cause people to fall asleep
- Make the subject forget what has happened
- Make people do things against their will.

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Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

You have seen and heard the warnings. You know what smoking is doing to your lungs. Perhaps you have tried to quit smoking before, but the gum tastes bad and no matter how hard you tried you just cannot pretend that the inhaler is a smoke. You have even tried counseling and prescription medications. So, what else is there for you to try? You should definitely consider hypnosis to help you quit smoking.

Why You Should Quit Smoking

Smoking does many things to your lungs. If you have seen the before and after pictures, you know how smoking takes a healthy pink lung and turns it into a black unhealthy one. Smoking can bring about cancer, emphysema and can increase your chances of heart attack and stroke. What causes this? The chemicals in cigarettes are outstanding and many of them are poisonous. There is also benzene, a chemical in petrol/gasoline; cadmium, found in batteries and oil paint and hydrogen cyanide that cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.

There are actually 4000 chemicals and of these 43 are cancer causing. One ingredient is acetone, an ingredient in nail polish remover. Arsenic, that is right, arsenic, the ingredient that is used to kill rats! Arsenic is what gives your lips a burn and your mouth a very bad taste.

What Happens When You Quit
This is what happens to your lungs after you quit smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting your heart rate begins to drop. Twelve hours off the smokes brings your carbon monoxide levels to normal. Between two weeks and three months smoke free you begin to lower your risk of heart attacks and your lung function improves.

Within one to nine months, you will find that your coughing level is lowered and your lung capacity increases. One year and you have already cut your risk of a coronary heart disease to half of what it was when you were smoking. Fifteen years and you now have the same risk of a non smoker of having a coronary heart attack.

What Can Hypnosis Do?

Hypnosis is not what the cartoons and movies portray. You do not sit in front of a creepy man as he sways a dangling object in front of your face. The goal of hypnosis is to suppress the conscious side of the brain which is the “thinking” part of the brain with which you function most of the day. The purpose is to let the subconscious become available for tweaking by you and the hypnotherapist. Often, the hypnotherapist will work to teach your subconscious to equate smoking with something unpleasant, like nausea. While counseling only works on the conscious part of the brain, hypnosis works on the deep rooted subconscious levels of automatic thought.

Many hypnotherapists can help you quit smoking with just a single session of treatment


Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Hypnosis for Nail Biting

Hypnotherapy has proved to be one of the most effective ways of stopping people biting their nails.

Most people bite their nails in times of stress or as a habit at an unconscious level, without even noticing they are doing it. Hypnotherapy can help you change your behaviour at an unconscious level and stop you biting your nails. See yourself in the future, with those long beautifully manicured nails.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Alfie the Ant and Hypnosis for Children

A new ebook for children, 'The Adventures of Alfie the Ant', includes the story of how Uncle Harry, the Hypno-Ant, hypnotizes Alfie to overcome his fear of the dark.

Author Dr Bryan Knight is Canada’s foremost hypno-psychotherapist.

“The Hypno-Ant story explains hypnotherapy in a way that makes it easy for a child to understand,” says Dr Knight. “And even shows a parent how to help his or her child conquer a fear of the dark.”

"Parents can also use hypnosis to help older children be calm for exams, to study better, increase their self-confidence -- even enhance their sports performance" adds Dr Knight.

"It's so easy to learn how to hypnotize other people, especially children," says Dr Knight. "In fact, children drop in and out of hypnosis naturally all day. When parents learn how to use hypnosis positively the whole family benefits."

On the front page of each ebook is the name of the child for whom it is intended.

“The Adventures of Alfie the Ant” contains five stories, illustrated by London, England, artist David Reeves.

‘Alfie is Sweet as Sugar’ teaches the value of cooperation.
‘Alfie Takes a Tumble’ shows, without preaching, how to deal with trouble.
‘How Alfie Saved Ant City’ is an exciting lesson in personal responsibility.
‘Alfie Explores the Magic Garden’ ends the ebook with a fun tale about playtime.

Dr Knight wrote the Ant stories in Montreal for his four-year-old granddaughter.
Illustrations were painted by her other grandfather in London, David Reeves.

Knight has authored many books, including "Enjoying Single Parenthood" and "Health and Happiness with Hypnosis." His vast website, Hypnosis Headquarters, [ ] is packed with information about hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis and psychotherapy.

More about “The Adventures of Alfie the Ant”

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Can Anybody be Hypnotized?

It is said that about 95% of the population can experience hypnosis. The exceptions are: those who are educationally subnormal or suffering from senility, very young children (<5 years old), hard drug addicts, anybody under the influence of large amounts of alcohol and some say anybody suffering from epilepsy should never be hypnotised, but I have never heard of an epileptic fit being triggered by hypnosis. Where psychotic individuals are concerned, care needs to be exercised and regression/analytical therapy should most definitely not be employed.

Magic Wand in Treating Small Children with Hypnosis

I often tell clients that I cannot just wave a magic wand to cure them - however, this case history, sent in by Hypnotic World member Jenny Guy made me reconsider.

Jenny was asked to help a 5 year old girl with her fears. (Names are confidential, but we shall call her Kate). Kate had a fear of alarms, especially fire alarms and it caused her to get up several times a night to use the bathroom. She subsequently became a very nervous child.

Knowing that many 5 year olds believe in magic and fairies prompted Jenny to use this belief system to help Kate. So before the hypnosis session, Jenny made a 'magic wand' and placed it in a brightly colored box in her back garden, where a plant pot had been.

During the session, Kate was told that the fairies had left her a magic wand which would protect her from any bad feelings that she might have when hearing a fire alarm. All she had to do was to touch herself with the wand and she would feel fine. Jenny also installed in Kate's mind that if a real fire should occur then her mummy would warn her of it.

Afterwards they went out into the back garden and 'discovered' the magic wand.

Kate began to feel much safer and became more confident in herself, sleeping better and losing her fear of alarms.

A similar procedure was used in Steven Heller and Terry Steele's book 'Monsters and Magical Sticks' with a child who suffered from nightmares. This is a great little book packed with useful information.

Source: Jenny Guy

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

An Ericksonian Approach to Treating Thumbsucking

The child is made to feel that he really ought to suck his thumb which takes away most of the pleasure.

Thumb sucking is a deeply rooted habit which may have been with a child since before birth. It stands to reason that it will often take more difficulty on behalf of a child, to give up a habit of a lifetime than a habit that was more recently acquired.

Because thumb sucking is an unconscious habit, making it conscious can often be the key element in overcoming it.

I go along with Milton Erickson's methods here as I have found they can produce excellent results. All too often we say to our child things like, "Don't suck that thumb, big boys or girls don't do it, take that thumb out of your mouth . . ." etc.

The child is thumb sucking for comfort, and in effect we are taking away that source of comfort, without replacing it with a more effective one, which can create anxiety for the child.

Ericksonians will praise the child liberally for thumb sucking and may talk extensively about fairness and taking turns, relating that to how it is not fair to suck one thumb and not the other, or when you have sucked both of them, would it not be nice to give all the fingers a turn, and of course do not suck one finger for longer than the other because that would not be fair to the rest of them.

This dialogue is continued for a length of time, following the induction and deepener, if they are being used. The result is usually an initial increase in thumb sucking, which is always praised and encouraged, followed by total cessation as the child gets fed up of the habit.

The habit, by this time, has been taken from an unconscious level, to conscious level where it is easier to control. The child will often complain that he/she is fed up of thumb sucking because it takes up too much time (and of course, there are better things to do).


Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Successful Hypnotherapy Sessions with Children

It seems ridiculously basic, yet, it is important to remember that a child's problems are as important as an adult's. Children need to be treated with as much respect as we treat adults. They do not need to be “talked down to.” Children may not have as many years; yet, just as with adults, imprints are planted in their minds from the time they begin life by whatever they have seen and learned from parents, relatives, teachers and peers. Whatever a child has experienced,it has been as strongly received as any complicated thing that has happened in an adult's life. The difference is that children are still bound to whatever their parents wish for them and for themselves.

An effective session deals with the parent's concerns for the child, while honouring the child's desires and needs. The therapist gathers information in order to determine how best to approach the child's problem. A sensitive hypnotherapist will have discerned possible questions before they are asked, in order to clarify how sessions will be conducted and to clear up any misconceptions about hypnotic processes. Good rapport is developed with both parent and child. Convincers, or hypnotic tests, are used prior to and/or during a hypnotic session. The guide uses methods of induction and prescription appropriate to the child's age and problem. To keep rapport, the therapists meets back with the parent(s) with any recommendations, including possible “homework” or other support.

Building Rapport with the Parent

What makes working with the child unique is not so much their problems, or even the techniques or tools you are able to use, but having the parents as a contributing factor. From the time you first meet a child, you are dealing with that parent, as well. Establishing rapport with them is as important as establishing rapport with the child. In one way or another, a parent can support or ruin the work you do. They can be supportive or detrimental to the child. The child's problem may well be brought about by parents or, at the very least, exacerbated by them. Keeping the parent feeling that they are part of the process, without revealing the confidence the child has given you, is important. Explaining some of this to the parent, at the beginning, and speaking to the parent after a session, goes a long way in keeping the communication open, and in justifying the parent's confidence in you.

Building Rapport with the Child

Although not required, other additions that help create a successful atmosphere and process may include such things as a game that can be played by two, talking to the child about their life and school, etc., or taking home some kind of little gift or reminder of the visit together. (I keep little boxes of various kinds filled with interesting items. The child, when introduced to the room, can go through them to decide on something to take home, while I have a brief conversation with the parent.) Some therapists find that letting a child touch things in the counseling room helps them to feel comfortable. A smaller child might like to choose a stuffed animal or a doll to hold while talking with you. Many therapists learn a simple magic trick, which serves the dual purpose of “breaking the ice” and showing the wonders awaiting them, in terms of solving their problem.

Use of Intakes with Parent and Child

It is helpful to create some kind of intake to use for the initial visit with child and parent. Doing an intake can help a great deal in building rapport, as well as gathering important information that will assure successful visits. An intake with the parent should include questions that elicit basic data on who is in the family, the child's medical history, clarification of the child's problem and some background as to what led to it. The intake with the child assists the expression of what their experience is of the problem, and how it matches the concerns of the parents. It should elicit some of their favorite things that might help you build a story, should you decide to create one during the hypnotic process.

Use of Imaginative Scripts

A child does not always have to have traditional inductions used in order to be hypnotized. Besides the traditional positive suggestion approach, there is a wide variety of possibilities for effectively inducting a child and providing a proper “prescription” for healing or changing habits. Most children are in a sort of trance-like state already, or, at the very least, fuzzy about the line between the real and unreal. This makes it possible to create a trancelike state in some very simple ways. Some of these can include telling stories or creating a metaphors, using the child's favorite television program to spin a tale, creating an adventure a child can go on that leads to a solution to their problem, looking at a gyroscope or into a kaleidoscope, focusing on a dot on the guide's finger, coloring an optical illusion while the therapist talks to them, making use of a pendulum, hypnotizing a puppet in order to show a child how very simple it is, going on an amazing trip such as a rocket to Mars, or locating a magical kingdom where wonderful things can happen that change your life.

The Star/Tree/Garden script in GREAT ESCAPES, Volume I, is a good example of placing the child in a visual and safe setting. Blowing up balloons, receiving gifts from the sea, burning a ship of problems, changing labels and others provide settings that allow the child to be active in their changing. Another value of such methods is that they can be used for just about any age group. Being animals, meeting a magician who helps you change, greeting people on the other side of the rainbow, or going into a tough area with your favorite hero are fun for a child and make use of their wonderful imagination.

Locating the Source

When a child is brought in for any serious issue, it should be assumed that there may be some deeper problem, for which this is just a symptom. In such cases, the problem-solution finding process script, in this volume, can be very helpful, especially for younger ages, or less articulate children. Regression is possible in a later session, if such a script or process has not been fully effective.

Value of Homework

Homework can be a helpful addition in supporting the work done in the office. It can serve as reinforcement for the child and gives the parent some way to participate. Homework for the child also can serve as a sort of post-hypnotic suggestion, thus strengthening the session. Homework for a parent could range from creating a log or chart for a child's improvement, to using particular affirmations with the child, before bedtime.

What Is Required?

A child, just like an adult, has to want to change and be willing to work with the therapist. A hypnotherapist who works with children must, obviously, like them. They need to be able to establish trust with both parents and child. They must treat a child's case with as much confidentiality as an adult's. A 15-minute session may be all that you need, at times, to do just the right thing for a child. It is their belief at work, just as it is with adults.

Source: CHILDREN AND HYPNOSIS by Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., C.C.H.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Why Children Might Come to a Hypnotherapist

Issues, for which hypnotic methods and tools are a helpful response, include doing homework, performing better in the classroom, getting to school and liking it, improving grades, friendlessness, thumb sucking, bedwetting, nightmares and fear of the dark, stealing, low self-esteem, dealing with divorce or death in a family, illness - their own or someone in the family and a myriad of other problems.

One of the most frequent reasons children are brought to hypnotherapists is for learning improvement. When it comes to school life, there are many problems children can develop. This may be one of the largest areas of concerns for parents and one for which good marketing can reap good results. Such arenas as reading, writing, memory, getting homework done, grades, peer pressure and friendships, classroom deportment, self-esteem and even wanting to be in school are effectively and easily handled, for the most part, by one or two hypnosis sessions.

The Power of the Imagination

The imagination of children is very keen until parents, teachers and others interfere. In many schools, the style of teaching in the classroom can tend to rule out the playful and imaginative, once children pass the second or third grade. When adults consider daydreaming worthless, when they call attention to its “cuteness” to others and associate imagination with lying, or otherwise imply ridicule and non-belief, the child gradually lets it weaken.

The doorway between the conscious and the unconscious mind is the imagination. For children, it is relatively easy to reach at the deepest levels, in a much quicker time than required by a good many adults. Stories, adventures, visualization, imaginative games, role-playing, magic, puppets and costumes work most effectively with children. Any tools that stimulate the imagination should be at the hypnotherapist's disposal.

What Hypnosis Can Do For Children

Hypnosis works well because there are less years of reinforcing imprints on one's mind. Children are more susceptible to hypnosis. They have the drive to discover and they hunger for new experiences. They are open to new learnings, willing to receive and respond to new ideas, as long as they are presented in an understandable way. Children are usually easily relaxed and focused. They have an ability to change and to be versatile, and, before the age of twelve, to accept most ideas uncritically. They are not as dominated by rational questioning and concerns that adults have formed through their life experiences. Also, they do not have the fears and misconceptions about hypnosis that so many adults have. This makes it relatively easy to work with them.

Working with children is a wonderful specialty. The benefits of hypnosis with children are the same as for adults, as long as their problems are treated as seriously as adults. Hypnosis is a powerful tool in strengthening a child's confidence. It helps a child to feel empowered where, before, they have been “victim.” It releases willingness to use their natural gifts. It elicits talent and creativity. It provides a wonderful foundation in their education. With a good hypnotherapist, children can experience true success in their lives in all areas. They feel happier, and have a sense of real freedom.

Source: CHILDREN AND HYPNOSIS by Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., C.C.H.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

What brings about or exacerbates children's problems?

Much that goes on in our world can cause problems for children, just as it does for adults. Rapid physical growth over short periods of time and concerns about changes in their bodies can cause stress and loss of self-esteem. Various problems in school with studies, teachers or peers, may be troubling a child. There are many fears that can plague children: fear of the potential danger in our schools today, fear of the dark, fear of going to sleep, fear of doctors, dentists and needles, etc. Many children experience the embarrassment of habits they find hard to break, like bed-wetting or thumb sucking. A new baby or other addition to the family can cause undue stress. Loss of their own bedroom space due to a new addition to the family, or having to move to a smaller place can make children unhappy. An underlying fear of kidnapping and other abuses may affect our children far more than we realize. It is difficult to keep such news away from a child's hearing, these days.

With children, the world revolves around them until experience helps expand that world. As they are the “center,” then everything is where they are. If there are problems in the family, they take on those as their own. If parents are having trouble in relating well, their children can become fearful and guilty, as if they were the cause or should have prevented it in some way. This is what creates “ADULT CHILDREN.” A recent client of mine was the oldest son of his family. He saw his mother beaten, nightly, and both he and his brother received the rage of a drunken father. Yet, he could not help his mother or protect his younger brother. This left him scarred with tremendous guilt and fear, which he carried into his marriage and his relationship with his own sons.

School and Learning Influences

In school, common problems for many children are the loss of a friend who moves away, being shamed or frightened by a teacher or principal, the death or serious illness of a school peer or teacher, boredom with school and having to make new friends. Unfamiliarity with schoolwork, or falling behind in a subject can cause excessive stress. The insistence upon “correct” performance in front of others in a classroom can be extremely hard on a shy child. Threats or bullying by other children and the general fear and pressure of drugs and guns, in many schools, are serious concerns and add tremendous stress for certain children.

Societal Influences

The Media - Our modern century provides an enormous spread of negative influences on our children. Television and movies regularly present violence, sex and innuendo as the norm. Shallowness and self-centeredness are projected by sit-coms on TV by unmarried 30 year olds who are totally wrapped up in themselves. Advertising and acquisition are other primary images, as parents go crazy trying to get the child whatever the child wants. Pre-teens understand that being very thin or buff are the models they must follow or they will not be acceptable to their peers. Young girls, especially, begin worrying about their weight at an earlier and earlier age.

News events on TV - War and the resulting migration of homeless families, famine and other tragedies within countries, kidnappings, abuse and other mayhem against children, and the latest disease or other terrors are projected on the screen, nightly, inundating our children, just as it does adults. Children are just as impacted as their parents by this constant onslaught of negative messaging.

What adults consider important in life - Millionaires seem barely out of diapers. A car at age 16 is a must. Slimness for women and powerful “pecs” for men are major images projected by television, movies and magazines. Fear of retirement, ill health and the desire for youthfulness remind us, “For god's sake, don't get old or your life will be over.” Millions are spent every year in keeping us beautiful forever, and in staving off eventual death. Children receive this information by words or inferences from the time they are born, unless they have parents who find ways to help them keep a balanced approach to life and living.

Family Influences
When children are brought to a counselor's office, they come with their parents. Those parents may reflect the other factors that contribute to a child's problem. Parents often lose sight of the impact of major events or stress in the family upon the children. Often, adults make the mistake of believing that children are resilient. They do not speak to them about difficult situations, yet will speak “around,” or in front of them, as if they were not there or would not understand. Many times they do not bother to ask the question of “why,” when a child is troubled. Often, parents perceive their children's problems as rather unimportant, in the light of their own difficulties.

Problems many children face, in family life, are dissatisfied parents who can never be pleased, being compared to a sibling, an older sibling leaving for school without them, a death in the family, divorce or other separation, loss of a parent or favorite grandparent, and moving away from friends or members of the family. A depressed, anxious or highly-strung parent, family members who are chronic worriers, and otherwise negative influences affect the outlook of children. High stress is created by an abusive sibling who teases or shames, arguments or violence between parents, threats of harm, an addictive parent or step-parent, physical, sexual or verbal abuse of the children, a parent or sibling who is physically ill much of the time. These must be considered when dealing with the child's presenting symptoms.

Influence of Peers

Although possibly more strongly felt once children reach pre-teens, even smaller children are affected by their friend's choices and experiences. Moving to a new school, having to make new friends, handling bullies, unfamiliarity with schoolwork, as well as falling behind in a subject or being “behind” the other kids, and other comparisons, are common problems for many children. Being teased for being the “wrong” height or weight, or for not fitting the status quo embarrasses some children. The struggle to belong and rejection by groups become especially hard on pre-teens and teenagers.

How Stress Can Affect Children

When children are experiencing unrelenting stress or are worried, whether or not they are conscious of it, there are warning signs for those who have the eyes to see. Schoolwork may begin to slide. A child may begin to lose things on a consistent basis, steal, become accident-prone, have headaches or stomachaches, bite their nails or pull hair or lashes. They may return to wetting the bed, after having been dry for some time. Health problems may start cropping up. Other people may notice a dramatic change in disposition. The child may begin to stop wanting to go to school, or begin to cause problems in the classroom. They may lie and have other avoidance patterns. They may turn to drugs or alcohol. They may begin to have trouble sleeping, experience frequent nightmares or sleep walk.

Source: CHILDREN AND HYPNOSIS by Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., C.C.H.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people make positive change.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Sex Lies and Hypnosis - programme 2

I have been away so am catching up on my TV programmes. The second programme of "Sex Lies and Hypnosis" aired on 10 July about a couple, Darren and Antoinette, who were planning to marry but rowed incessantly. She felt insecure and constantly questionned whether her fiancé loved her enough so unconsciously was pushing him away to test that love. He was tired of her controlling nature. They needed marriage counselling before they were even married. Watching them initially, they did not appear to be a couple at all.

They did not speak for ten days after each of their first sessions as neither wanted to be the first to start the discussion even though they both wanted to know what had happened.

Ursula James saw each partner over a 12-weeks period using regression therapy to find the demons in their past. Antoinette had a strict Catholic upbringing in Ireland, living with her grandmother from age 3-6 until reunited with her mother.

It transpired that the main cause of their disharmony was that Antoinette had attempted suicide two years previously with a paracetamol overdose. The couple had never discussed this so both internalised their raw and strong emotions. Darren was angry with Antoinette for not considering the effect her death would have had on him. She had used the attempt to test his love as she thought he would initially grieve but quickly get over her.

Ursula encouraged them to write a letter to each other and read them out loud in a session. Only then did Antoinette fully believe in Darren's love for her and his total commitment. They then threw themselves into wedding planning and went on to marry three months later.

Recommended books by Ursula James available from or

© Antonia Stuart-James 2007. Reproduction only permitted with author's credit and website link.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems.

Where is the love?

A husband and wife came for counselling after 15 years of marriage.When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 15 years they had been married.

She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unloveable. An entire laundry list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.

Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, he embraced her and kissed her passionately. The woman shut up and quietly sat down dumbfounded as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said,
"This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you handle this?"The husband thought for moment and replied,
"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish."


Sometimes what we need is obvious.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Things to help avoid stress

If you are starting to deal with stress, you are going to need to find some ways to avoid it. You need to find ways to help you feel more relaxed throughout your day and to deal with the problems that can occur at any time.

When you feel stressed, practice taking long deep breaths. This will help to calm you down throughout the day and to get your thinking back on track so that you can get through the moment with a clarity and calmness.

When you are at work, you need to leave your desk or station and take breaks. You can do this at different points throughout the day. When you start to feel the pressures kicking in, you may need to get up and walk away. It is important to go and take a walk or go outside for some fresh air. Give yourself time to gather your thoughts and take time for yourself.

Taking plenty of exercise is very important. You will need to make sure that you take the right amount of exercise that will help you feel good about your body and it will also help to clear your mind from stress that can build up. Eating right is very smart too. You need to eat a balanced diet that will give you the essential nutrients that your body is going to need.

Do not drink too much caffeine. You can have your coffee in the morning but do not over exceed your limits. This stimulant can bring the stress on even more. Do not depend on drugs and alcohol to help you relax. This can only cause more problems because it can become a crutch for the person to lean on.

You need to have good management and organization skills. When you are prepared and organized, you are going to have an easier time managing your day and your schedule. You need to look at things positively. You should not have a negative outlook on life. Keeping a good and positive outlook is necessary for a good view on life.

Find the humour in life. You should not take everything so serious. Do not be afraid to laugh and have fun in your daily life. You should not bury your emotions. Keep a good light on things and do not be afraid to let people know how you are feeling whether you agree with their thoughts or not.

Learning self-hypnosis can help a person cope with stress along with other aspects of stress management.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make change and manage stress.

How does stress affect the body?

Having stress can affect the body in many ways. It is something that can bring emotional and physical problems to the body so a person should take the appropriate steps to deal with it.

There are many ways that stress can harm the body. The release of chemicals called catecholamine from brain will include hormones that include adrenaline and epinephrine. A person may feel an increase in their heart rate and blood pressure. This will occur when the body is feeling the stress and their lungs and heart are going to work harder. The rate of breathing will increase and the lungs will take in more oxygen.

The blood flow increases to get the body ready for other demands that stress brings on. A person will probably have dryness of the mouth. Blood flow will decrease to areas that are less important for basic survival and this will include the mouth. The cause of dryness of the mouth will mean that a person will have a hard time talking and swallowing.

The skin can become clammy as the blood flow is diverted to vital organs and muscles. You will feel hot or cold when this happens and you may have feelings of hot flashes as well. You will also find that digesting food is more difficult and you may experience stomach problems like nausea or cramps.

Having long-term stress can lead to physical or psychological damage to the body. Stress develops slowly into more serious problems, which can include anxiety disorders or depression. This is when a person will feel lonely and disgusted with their body and will not want to be around any other people. When this is the case, it is time for them to get the help that they need to cope with their stress. This is the only way that they can get rid of the stress that is ruining their lives.

Stress can make a person push their loved ones away. It can affect personal relationships and make it hard for people to want to be around you. Some people will get irritable and upset over the smallest thing. They will get angry easily and find themselves yelling at the people that they love the most. This is a normal side effect of stress but it can be helped and a person can start to feel like themselves again with a little help and understanding.

Learning self-hypnosis can help a person cope with stress along with other aspects of stress management.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make change and manage stress.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Hypnosis on Big Brother

When Brian entered the house, we were told that "he likes to dabble in a spot of cosmic ordering and reckons he can self-hypnotize". Typically for British media, this was presented with a hint of scorn.

Well, Brian might come across as a bit thick but at least his thinking is taking him in the right direction. Cosmic ordering, if practised properly, may well take him from his present job as a data-entry clerk to something bigger and better. For more information, find out about "The Secret".

The Secret DVD

This week we were shown how he hypnotizes when he practised on Gerry and Amanda. Unfortunately, he counted forwards to take the person deeper and backwards to wake them up which is the wrong way round. To take the person deeper, count backwards which causes confusion to the conscious mind and so gains access to the subconscious mind. Counting forwards to wake the person reintroduces order which signals to the conscious mind that it is time to wake up.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English Hypnotherapist in Belgium.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Bedwetting Responds to Hypnosis

I once helped an eight year old boy to stop bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis to give its medical name. His parents had tried a mat and alarm. They did not let him drink anything for two hours before going to bed yet still the problem persisted. As he was about to go away to boarding school, it had become an urgent problem to avoid shame and inevitable teasing from his fellow dorm mates.

I came across this technique which worked amazingly well. Under hypnosis, I simply called the boy, Adam, by his middle name, James, and told that boy to wake up Adam whenever he needed to empty his bladder. Combined with the fun of sitting in the magic chair, Adam and James responded well and the problem was overcome.

Children generally do respond well to hypnotherapy, providing they are at least seven years old, of normal intelligence for their age and can sit still long enough with their eyes closed. They enjoy the concept of sitting in a magic chair which also works on a trip to the dentist, or flying around in their mind's eye on a flying carpet.

Obviously, I have changed the names of this boy to protect his identity. It is important to establish whether the child has always had the problem (primary) or has lapsed after months of dry beds (onset) and that there is no physical cause. Parents should not expect dry beds before the age of five.

I use this as a source book for working with children, available from

These books from might be helpful in treating children with hypnotherapy:

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

As a hypnotherapist and someone who cannot abide people smoking, I am always delighted when someone comes to me to stop smoking and is successful. People want to stop for different reasons eg health, fitness, smell on their clothes and hair, pressure from family and friends, save money, poor skin, yellow fingers and teeth etc. As long as someone really wants to stop for their own reasons, not because someone else wants to stop, hypnotherapy is a very successful method for stopping smoking, usually around a 95% success rate. The success starts the moment the person makes the commitment by ringing a hypnotherapist for an appointment.

Other methods such as nicotine patches and chewing gum just stop the person smoking but do not overcome the nicotine addiction. I know someone who is still chewing Nicorette gum 17 years after giving up smoking!

Acupuncture is also effective but with nowhere near a 95% success rate.

Some people do have the willpower to cut down or even stop completely but most people do not as it is a deep-rooted habit and that is why hypnosis is so helpful. It accesses the subconscious mind where habits have been formed and reprograms the mind of a smoker into becoming the mind of a non-smoker, an ex-smoker. That is why the effect is so quick and long-lasting because the mind has been reprogrammed. Some people may lapse in situations where they always smoked or when experiencing a new stressful situation but often they will have a back-up CD from their hypnotherapist to top up their willpower as it were.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Success Through Hypnosis

"Nothing focuses the mind like success, and nothing helps you achieve it like hypnosis."

This is a quote from Ursula James which I totally endorse. No matter how deep-rooted the problem, unwanted habit or negative behaviour pattern, hypnosis can quickly achieve results providing of course that the person wants change and is willing to commit to therapy. Change can be very quick. Anthony Robbins says that change can happen in a second, in the click of a finger if someone is ready.

Are you ready to make change to improve your life?

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Change Your Attitude With Hypnosis

Attitude is in your mind. Hypnosis can change that attitude from negative to a more positive way of thinking. With a more positive attitude, the door opens to a more productive and happier life.

Often clutter in the mind is the cause of a negative attitude. As the saying goes, "You cannot see the wood for the trees." Hypnosis can help the subconscious mind plough through the clutter to pinpoint what is needed as a focus and make the necessary adjustments to set the person on the way to greater productivity, better health, happiness, prosperity and inner peace.

Hypnosis starts with relaxation, best with no outside stimuli. If self-hypnosis, listening to a CD just before going to sleep can be most effective. Once the person is deeply relaxed, hypnosis can offer a new way of thinking by suggesting to the receptive mind a new way of seeing things, resulting in a new, more positive attitude.

Hypnosis does not change who you are or alter your personality in any way that you do not want. When you have the desire to be a more positive person, hypnosis uses your strengths and turns those into tools that can help you make the changes you want.

I can help you make the changes you need to live the life you want.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Complete Mind Therapy for Boosting Confidence

It is said that our self-confidence is at the highest at the age of five. Our education system, peers and other influences knock our self-confidence to a level of about 10% by school-leaving age. We then have to compete in further education or in the world of work although we are ill-equipped in terms of life skills. We might be proficient in foreign languages, or calculus, or 17th century history but what about public speaking, handling people, preparing reports to impossible deadlines? No wonder so many suffer from stress and low self-esteem.

Hypnosis works by accessing the sub-conscious mind and re-programming negative habits or beliefs. As this can happen very quickly, fast results can be achieved, especially in boosting confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

A unique form of hypnosis called ´Complete Mind Therapy´ includes NLP techniques to boost confidence and prepare the mind to overcome any problem or unwanted habit. Indeed I used this treatment on its own to stop two men drinking alcoholic spirits. Both had drinking problems that were ruining their family and business life yet after just one session of Complete Mind Therapy, they have now not touched spirits for several weeks.

I can help people in person with Complete Mind Therapy at my practice in East Belgium. Alternatively, I can supply a digital download of the therapy. Just contact me at for information.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Studies Reveal Hypnosis is More Effective when Stopping Smoking

Half of all smokers will die prematurely. Some 440,000 deaths are attributed to smoking annually. Every organ in the body has been linked to a disease that smoking causes. Adjusted for inflation, smoking 20 cigarettes a day costs a smoker $100,000 over his or her lifetime.

These statistics are straight out of the office of the U.S. Surgeon General and are compelling enough to prevent anyone from starting the deadly habit. But for the millions of Americans who are trying to stop smoking, mortality rates, economic impacts and physical impairment statistics do not do the trick. What can do the trick, however, is hypnosis: an alternative that is becoming a standard smoking cessation procedure.

Consumers looking for avenues in which to quit smoking have a lot of choices: patches, gum, cold turkey, support groups, acupuncture, carrot sticks and sweets are but a few of them. While these avenues have worked for some, they do not get to the heart of the problem, or shall we say the “brain” of the problem.

Hypnosis puts a patient into a relaxed state of mind, allowing the hypnotherapist to access the patient's subconscious mind and the triggers that set off his or her desire to smoke. Through a handful of sessions, the patient’s thought process is changed, which enables him or her to resist the temptation for a cigarette when the enticement rears its ugly head. This is the essential difference between hypnosis and other methods: hypnosis delves into the person’s subconscious, and fixes the underlying issue; other methods merely mask the addiction, feeding it bit by bit until the nicotine craving—hopefully—diminishes.

The effectiveness of hypnosis in helping smokers quit has been thoroughly examined by smoking cessation groups. Quit Smoking Support, a website that has been labelled by Yahoo as “An Incredibly Useful Website,” analyzed the varying methods in helping people quit. Their research indicated that, when hypnosis was done correctly, 66 percent of people reported success, compared to a 25 percent success rate for those who used a form of nicotine replacement, 25 percent who used a form of behavior therapy and just 5 percent success through other “go it alone” methods. So, when it comes to hypnosis and its effectiveness, as they put it, “There is no other method supported by research that even comes close.”

In Colorado, as reported by the Windsor Tribune, professional counselors are getting the word out to Windsor residents on how to kick the smoking habit through hypnosis. Sandi Y. Squicquero has been a licensed professional counselor for the past 20 years. She now works at The Medical Hypnosis & Counseling Center, P.C. in Windsor, Colorado, and boasts an 80 percent success rate in the three offices she has worked in. But despite the stellar success rate, she advises those seeking help to be sure they really want to quit.

“You have to want to quit for your own reasons, not someone else’s,” she said to the Windsor Tribune in an interview. “The more you repeat the suggestions, the more it is implanted into their subconscious. But you still have to want to quit” (Windsor Tribune, July 10, 2006).

Once you yourself have resolved to quit, hypnosis treatments can be expensive as they often take several sessions. But as a study out of the Ohio State University School of Nursing shows, nearly 60% of people who underwent hypnosis to stop smoking were still no smoking after 15 months. This is in stark comparison to the 10% of people who were still not smoking over the same period using other methods.

Can you really put a price on your health?

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

Excellent Self-Hypnosis Book by Adam Eason

I am often asked for a good book on self-hypnosis and read some good reviews for this one by Adam Eason:

"The Secrets of Self-Hypnosis" is a ground-breaking, practical, step-by-step guide to harnessing the power of your unconscious mind. Using a structured and unique methodology, this book shows you how absolutely anyone can enter hypnosis easily, how to be in control of the state of hypnosis, how to deepen your experience of it and deliver powerful changes or make updates to your life, all by yourself! In addition, the "Secrets of Self-Hypnosis" has a wide range of advanced techniques and strategies. You will learn how to: increase confidence, manage and overcome inertia, distort your perception of time, become a non-smoker, achieve and maintain your ideal weight, let go of pain, and much more. This book also shows you how to learn and use the language of success and self-mastery and utilizes a great many techniques from a wide array of other fields to ensure that your experience of self-hypnosis is powerful, profound, and helps you achieve your dreams. "Adam Eason has written the ultimate book on self-hypnosis. An incredible resource for those with knowledge of hypnosis and those just beginning!" - Kevin Hogan, Psy.D., Author of "Psychology of Persuasion".

"This is the finest book about self hypnosis I've ever read. Adam Eason's work is thorough, clear. The book is well written, easy to read and one that you will be glad to have in your library. The book is a blueprint for self hypnosis. He starts you out with defining what each word means then moves along to all the basics like inductions. Then he shows you how to write new programs and so on.

There are plenty of scripts and then lots of subjects that he covers in depth. Stress relief, overcoming pain, time distortion, insomnia, smoking cessation, weight loss, confidence and there are more.

The bibliography is nice to have and I really wish I would have written this book!"

Kevin Hogan
Author of Through the Open Door: Secrets of Self Hypnosis

Available from or

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit

"Sex, Lies & Hypnosis" - Ursula James

A new hypnotherapy series just started on British TV entitled "Sex, Lies and Hypnosis" showcasing therapy by Ursula James.

The first programme was about a young couple who loved each other deeply and were parents to an 18 months old daughter yet could not stop terrible rowing. The girl moved out to a hostel with her daughter whilst the couple sought therapy.

Ursula came across as understanding and trustworthy, indeed she told each of the couple that they would have to trust her.

By applying a band on their forehead to conduct an EEG during the session, she showed when their brainwaves changed during relaxation and hypnotic trance.

Each party had relationship issues from the past although we were not told with whom and these were causing them to sabotage their current relationship. By classic regression techniques using books in a library, Ursula lead them to a point where they revealed the incidents which were causing the problem but did not actually discuss them. Instead, she left each person's subconscious to chew over the information and bring a cause to the conscious when ready to process that information.

Whilst some of the press tried to discredit Ursula James, I took her at face value and appreciated the therapy she gave which produced good results. By the end of three months the couple were living together again and consciously knew what they were doing which damaged the relationship and so could choose different behaviour.

Recommended books by Ursula James available from or

© Antonia Stuart-James 2007. Reproduction only permitted with author's credit and website link.

Antonia Stuart-James is an English hypnotherapist in Belgium helping people to make positive change, overcome unwanted habits and relieve stress-related health problems. For more information, visit