Friday, December 08, 2017
Glasgow Hypnotherapy & Counselling Background
I help people change their lives.
To be honest I’ve always felt the desire to help people, and when I began to get results using these methods on myself, it never crossed my mind to work with others. I never set out to be a therapist of Life Coach or Trainer – I was going to be a journalist! But once you know how to change a food addiction, and your mate’s sister sitting next to you at dinner confides in you that she’s hooked on pizza, why wouldn’t you help?
That was always my core drive, and still is. To help people. Now I’m not a complete altruist, because it’s my business and I expect to be paid. But that was my passion – Maybe you’ve seen “Star Wars”, when Obi Wan Kenobi told the Imperial Storm troopers “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” and they let them pass, instantly changing their minds. “Wouldn’t it be really cool to be able to do that!” I thought. I want someone to come to me with a problem like “I’m comfort eating cos I’m depressed”, and with a wave of my hand I tell them “Stop it!” and they stopped. That would be magic! Real magic.
Love helping people. Always have. Even in school my friends would come and ask for dating advice – even though I was single. Like being the reliable one people come to for help.
I’m a messenger of hope. Eager to share the message that you can teach an old dog new tricks. You CAN change if you want to.
Used these mind techniques to change my own levels of confidence, heal and ulcer and change my own self-image
Ordinary world – limited awareness of the problem
My earliest memory is waking up in Strathclyde hospital with pneumonia, aged 4. I’m told I had been left outside in a pram and got sick. I would catch pneumonia again in 1986 only six weeks into a new job. Another Christmas in hospital. Somewhere in between I was told I had an allergy to house dust, so they took me into hospital and cut open one of my nostrils to make it wider. How the **** does that work?
My family health record was atrocious. My Mum had high blood pressure and would later develop all sorts of weird and wonderful ailments, many of them rooted in fear and psychosomatic illness – what the dictionary defines as a physical disease that is thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors. Even my brother had hospital treatment when he was very young.
See, we grew up in a small cottage in the middle of nowhere, with dogs in the house, mice in the garden and my Dad’s racing pigeon lofts at the bottom of the garden. We didn’t get out of bed until the coal fire was lit and the water was warm enough to wash with. There was asbestos in the roof tiles and house dust that looked like tumbleweeds. My mates at school would be running round in short sleeved shirts and I’d be dressed like a spaceman I had so many layers on – and guess who caught the cold! No surprise that I got ill at least twice a year, especially in November.
Funnily enough, my Dad used to refer to it as “Black November”. He told me that in his lifetime November was always cold and dark and wet, and he’d get ill every November. And he installed that into me as well. He’d developed testicular Cancer and as a kid I remember him going for radiation therapy. He’d beaten it, but later that would play on my mind, especially when my brother got ill. My Dad also had a hard time breathing – years of working with homing pigeons had given him a condition called “pigeon lung”. Cruel that his bobby actually harmed his health.
Growing up in the 70’s we had a typical Scottish diet at the time – sugary cereal for breakfast before school, chip shop fritters and burgers for lunch, and a plate of stodge at night which invariably involved the deep fryer. Add to the mix sweets and sugary drinks. No wonder my dentist loved me. No wonder I could barely stay awake in class. I’d wake up knackered in the morning before I even started, and I’d collapse into bed at night. In between I relied on coffee to keep me going – sometimes five mugs a day. Can you relate to that?
At school I became terrified of reading aloud in class. I’d get really scared, I’d break out in a sweat, I’d stutter and my chest would feel like it was going to burst and I couldn’t breathe… In fact I used to dodge English classes in case I’d have to read out loud. Especially plays – where you can see your line coming closer as you go down the page and the closer it got the more nervous I became.
I had a duodenal ulcer by the time I was sixteen because I was so nervous and timid with people. Imagine that – I managed to burn a hole in my stomach with my brain. What a crap superpower! So at 20 years of age I’m on a drug called Tagamet which lines your intestines to prevent irritation. I called it “an old man’s drug”.
I found it nearly impossible to say hello to people I knew! I’d keep my head down, avoid eye contact, stay locked up tight and be shut down emotionally. Can you relate to that at all? You’ve probably heard the old cliché about FEAR – that it spells “False Evidence Appearing Real”, or as I prefer to say “F*** Everything and Run!” Diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer in my teens.
My Dad had to go for frequent check-ups and the last time I saw him was when I drove him back from Stonehouse Hospital for his routine medical. I left him at the fireside with a cup of tea and went back to work. My Mum found him dead on the carpet that night. And can you guess when he died? [Black] November 1991. How’s that for the power of suggestion.
Call to adventure – increased awareness
Now my brother had studied psychology, so I started to read all these thick, heavy books about Freud and Adler and traditional behavioural change. But Freud said it would take 300 hours of therapy for the average person to change. Mind you, Freud was a coke addict. And if you prefer Carl Jung, well he based his psychological archetypes on the major arcana of the Tarot Cards. So don’t preach to me about traditional routes.
So I started reading about personal development for my own benefit. They say that people get into self-help books for one of two reasons – either inspiration, or desperation. Well, I was pretty desperate!
I saw a classified ad in the local paper from the British Institute of Practical Psychology – it was a distance learning course over 4 months that taught me a lot about phantasms from the past and visualising a positive future.
Refusal of the call – reluctance to change
At the time I was working in the civil service, the only male amongst a department full of older women. Boy that taught me to grow up fast. But my friend and flatmate had done a runner owing lots of rent and utility bills and I felt betrayed and hurt, and I was under financial pressure to sort it all out. That meant working 7 days a week and constant overtime to get out of the hole.
Added to that I found my girlfriend in the arms of another guy, so now I had betrayal issues.
All the positive thinking in the world and visualisation techniques I’d learned hadn’t stopped my best friend and my girlfriend from breaking my heart. I hadn’t visualised either of those events, so I doubted the effectiveness of any of this “positive thinking malarkey”.
Meeting with the mentor – overcoming reluctance
One day I got a leaflet through my letterbox, offering a way to make some extra money through network marketing. The guy who became my sponsor was an older man with a lot of life experience, and he introduced me to a whole library of American audiotapes by motivational speakers. Foremost amongst them was Zig Ziglar – the perfect blend of sales man and motivational guru. This looked like the answer – think positive and make more money. Perfect combination!
Crossing the threshold – committing to change
So now I’m doing part time network marketing selling designer fragrances via party plan to mainly young women, and getting paid to do it! Meanwhile I’m still doing the day job in the civil service while living on motivational tapes. I entered a whole new world with a great bunch of motivated, upbeat people who all wanted success and achievement.
Tests, Allies and Enemies – experimenting with the first change
One day a friend of mine invited me along to a new martial arts class. Whoah! I’d grown up with “Enter The Dragon” and Marvel comics so I loved the idea, but I was the skinny specky asthmatic with zero coordination so what hope was there? But despite my fears, I nervously went along, and met the Instructor – a tall skinny guy who was a world kickboxing champion. 64 of us enrolled that night. 7 years and 6 belts later I was the only one still training in Lau Gar Kung Fu.
Man I was fit. We’d do 100 sit ups, 100 press ups, go running for 2 miles then come back and learn an hour’s syllabus 3 nights a week. Looking back I didn’t really appreciate it at the time. You don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone.
Now I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist – but I have now spent two decades in personal development helping people transform their lives – I’ve learned and taught advanced techniques like NLP [Neuro Linguistic Programming] and Hypnosis.
For me it was always about making changes. If you’re not happy with the results you’re creating, then change what you’re doing. Whining and complaining won’t make it any better, and nobody’s going to come and rescue you. The sooner you realise it’s up to you, the better. It’s what you do that counts. So initially I did private therapy to help people and earn some money, and then started doing workshops to try and share this mind-set with as many people as possible.
Then in the late nineties I came across a magazine article on the blossoming field of Life Coaching which had just arrived from the USA, and I saw a natural extension to what I was already doing. Scottish people love American stuff don’t they? So many Scots sing with American accents – have you ever noticed that?
So… NLP helped me to help my clients clear up the mental clutter and limitations that hold us all back. Life Coaching looks at the external factors that make you who you are – your health and eating habits, your family relationships, your intimate relationships, your management of money, your environment, and your career. And the great thing about it was that it could all be done over the phone – a weekly in depth chat with your own confidant who would never judge you – only gently explore, guide and help you move in baby steps towards your life goals. No embarrassment, no shaming. Now I had ways of dramatically improving my own life, and the lives of others, on both the inside and the outside.