Understanding fear and resistance to change

New blog added 15/06/17



Fear = False evidence appearing real. Or is it?

Fear however is not the illusion or the false evidence, because in the mind of the experiencer fear seems very real indeed. First there is the illusion we imagine and then there is the emotion created as a reactive element to the illusion.
Our minds can create fear in anticipation of imagining a potential outcome to a situation often untested. This is a reaction to believing false evidence.

Our minds are highly imaginative and our minds are also really not very good a distinguishing the difference between the real and imagined. This is why fear and anxiety are so powerful. There is a good deal of scientific analysis to support the idea that our minds are not very good at telling the difference between real and imagined..

Sometimes hypnotherapy clients will experience resistance and it is the therapist’s role to guide and help the client to identify what the source of the resistance is and then work with it so that the resistance can be overturned in order for change work to succeed.

In my experience of working with people in therapy, from my perspective it doesn't really make a lot of difference whether you (a) either discuss resistance issues or (b) give the client a written document to refer to right at the outset at the consultation pre talk or indeed in further therapy sessions.

Inevitably that information gets forgotten when resistance crops up because most clients come to hypnotherapy with an expectation of hope which is both good and necessary, but for a lot of clients, they also come with an expectation of magical transformation in an instant and even explaining that may not happen doesn’t always make much difference. This may be because of what has been seen on the TV and stage hypnotist shows, or indeed it may also be borne out of exaggerated claims that some practitioners may give the impression of on their marketing.

Yes there are some people out there who claim to fix you in just a single session no matter what and it is indeed unfortunate because we can never really know until we work with a client

Now, the important thing here is those claims to fix you in a single session may well be made in good faith and yes, it’s true that also on stage shows and TV we can see rapid change as subjects seem to become stuck to chairs or forget how to count. However, stage hypnotism and TV demonstrations are usually geared around entertainment with the most carefully selected "suggestible” subjects and the effect will quickly wear off. When we are dealing with rather more complex issues of the psyche in therapy though, then things are somewhat different.

In a lot of therapy situations it is true to say that rapid and permanent change can often take place in one or two sessions, but in a lot of cases because there are numerous layers to the client’s issue, we have to work through those layers in order to help the client.

This can be frustrating for the client who is short on time or money but it is what it is and I have always worked on the principle of discussing all eventualities with my clients so that they know what to expect.


Now, yesterday I was working with a client in therapy for weight management who I have been working with for, several sessions spaced around a month apart, each hypnotherapy session recorded onto CD for use between appointments. To start with, the first few hypnosis sessions we worked with, around issues of stress management, self esteem and learning to let go and like themselves were a very positive success.

My client takes the investment in themselves very seriously and listens daily before bedtime. However, when it came to the weight management hypnosis sessions it has been apparent that there has been some internal resistance happening. There have been successes, my client no longer feels any desire to drink a can of diet coke with each meal, preferring now to drink only water instead and they acknowledge that their portion control is a lot better with smaller servings on their plate. However there complaint is that they are not losing weight. They are staying the same weight.

My client has a medical condition which means that the medications they take will make weight loss slower and this is something we discussed at the beginning. They also have a busy lifestyle as a carer which means that they are on the go with little time for exercise but as I pointed out, to take effective exercise, it takes ten minutes a few times a day. There are challenges here but if progress is to be made those challenges can and must be overcome and it is clear that the resistance is part of the problem

I had identified this in the pre talk just before the last hypnosis session back in  early May and so we had discussed it prior to hypnosis and I worked some positive suggestions of overcoming resistance into that session with the hope that something would start to resolve before yesterday’s session. In the interim from May to June I have kept in contact and so before the session yesterday I knew that resistance was still an issue which needed to be dealt with if we were to make positive progress.

That resistance was indeed still rearing its ugly head and with this in mind earlier this week I created a hypnosis script to deal with resistance and emotional eating, but yesterday instead of the planned hypnosis session, having considered the issue very carefully I decided a different approach to dig down deeper and so I just got my client to talk and I listened and I asked questions, knowing as I do all of the elements of their challenges in their life right now.

As a result of the resistance they are experiencing, I already knew deep down inside what the problem for my client was, but I had to get them to that place where they could identify what it was keeping them stuck and then get them to challenge themselves rather than I point out these things to them which would not have created such a strong impact.

That Ah ha moment for them was very important because it was the spark of realisation for them, the inner knowledge that had been suppressed, but once they knew what is was for themselves then they could begin to do something about it for themself

I knew that the client has various resources open to them for exercise as we had talked about it before and they said that they have a cross trainer in the shed.

Can you get it out of the shed and in a place where you can use it?

The reply was centred around a superficial excuse as to the reasons why not, but I knew it wasn't superficial, that there was another deeper driver responsible for that answer.

Undeterred I asked some more positive probing questions about how they could create opportunity for exercise and they were all skirted around.

That resistance was doing its best to protect the client from taking action and at the root of it when I persisted with exploratory questions and asked “why is that?” to all of those questions, “what's keeping you from exercise? “

My client went quiet for a moment and understood that it was fear. They said I’m frightened.... Yes, plain and simple fear. 

When they disclosed that fear yesterday, it was something which we had already discussed in detail right at the outset in their medical disclosure and we had talked about them seeking professional guidance from their GP about the importance of exercise and what they could do as their GP was already telling them that need to lose weight. But they hadn’t done that for various reasons some of which are understandable and some because of the subconscious preserving the status quo

Their fear was that in having had a heart bypass several years ago that they may end up having a heart attack and dying through overdoing things. 

The reality which we discussed is that the likelihood of an increased chance of heart attack to happen is because of NOT TAKING any appropriate exercise and with this in mind my advice and request to my client is to go and book an appointment with their GP who I am certain will reassure them as I did that in fact taking no action to exercise far more likely to be a problem.

Now that my client has established it is their fear keeping them stuck and understands the nature of that fear and has also agreed that it may well not have any basis in rationality because of one simple fact... they have never been advised not to exercise; there is a very good chance that their resistance can be broken down and indeed that process now has definitely started now the client understands their "WHY"






Conscious mind versus the unconscious mind. What has the greatest influence?

New blog added 01 May 2017


Psychologists agree that the Subconscious mind has the greater influence over our thoughts, actions and behaviours than the logical, analytical conscious part of our mind. This is because the Subconscious part of our mind is far more powerful and tasked with those important protective areas of fight, flight or freeze responses and its primary task is in  with keeping us safe from harm and that part of our brain/mind development goes back many millions of years.

As far as development of the human brain is concerned in our evolutionary stages, the subconscious mind is many millions of years older than the conscious part of our minds. There are a number of studies which put the most ancient Reptilian Complex part of brain at 65 million years and the Paleomammalian Complex part of our brain at 23 million years and these areas of human behaviour are those parts which likely deal with aggression, territorial and ritual displays, anxiety and instinctive behaviour, emotion, feeding, reproductive and parental behaviour.  

The logical conscious part of our minds is the relative youngster in the scheme of things, developing somewhere around 2.5 million years ago and termed the Neomammalian Complex. It is thought likely to be the only part of the brain/mind with awareness of self and conscious thought with all the parts of consciousness which go hand in hand with what it means. I.e. Logic and reasoning,  communication, abstract ideas and concepts, planning, etc.  

The subconscious deals with all of our life experiences and is the repository for everything that has ever happened to us. The Subconscious it is thought is likely to be responsible for working with amongst other things, life experiences storing beliefs, emotions, long term memory and is the part of our mind that deals with creativity. The subconscious since it is not conscious and incapable of reasoning is therefore non judgemental and is very flexible and one could think of it as the hard drive of the brain constantly being programmed with life’s data. Because it is non judgemental it is one of the key reasons why people respond under hypnosis and are seen to be able to change their perceptions of reality as directed by a hypnotist with directed suggestion who temporarily changes the programme for entertainment. However, hypnosis is far more powerful than this. It is capable of creating long lasting permanent change.   

Looking at the model of the iceberg in the illustration below and seeing how large that influence is on our behaviours, beliefs, habits and thoughts there is a very convincing argument that working directly with the subconscious part of the mind in hypnosis that faster more permanent results are achievable in helping people create a major shift in their beliefs thoughts and actions than at the conscious level where the subconscious would always win because of how it is and because of its larger power and influence over that part of “Me’-I” and what that reasoning part of wants; which is all tied up in our belief structure and which is driven by the subconscious part of our mind.

However, changing things at the subconscious level is a real game changer because faster change can be achieved. This is something Hypnotherapists have understood for decades. Using the intervention of hypnosis and therapy combined to become hypnotherapy puts you back in control in a safe protective way where you can under direction from a skilled therapist access your own inner resources to harness the phenomenal power of your mind and create the change you want in your life.

©Trevor Wales Hypnotherapy Solutions . 2017


What are Cognitive Mind Based Therapies and Why I use different Therapy tools



New blog added 19th Jan 2017

What are Cognitive Mind Based Therapies? 

Cognitive mind based therapies are a set of useful therapy tools that can be used to help to empower people who wish to create personal inner change in their lives. Change in their way of thinking, feeling and behaviours, to make improvements to some aspect of their daily lives, to create lasting positive change based on the reasoning and theoretical models that the personal emotions we experience control our behaviour and that all behaviour has the express purpose of keeping us safe through the part of our mind that is the subconscious, that ancient fight of flight mechanism designed to protect us and keep us safe from harm. 
In some people’s lives, significant events which happen that are highly emotional can trigger an adverse reaction which starts a change in thinking, feeling and behaviour from the norm that they experience and this may sometimes lead to certain behaviours escalating out of their control, resulting in obsessive behaviours, phobias, anxiety or even addictions. Cognitive mind based therapies use a variety of helpful and highly specialised therapeutic tools to help to find the causes that led to these behaviours.



Cognitive mind based therapy tools can help you improve your life. 

If you are looking to create change in your life and looking for help with issues such as Stopping Smoking, Diet and Managing Weight, Anxiety, Fear of Flying, Fears of Open or Closed Spaces, Fears of Talking in Public, Addictions, Exam or Interview Nerves, Nail Biting, Wedding Day Nerves, Improving your Self Confidence or anything else connected with matters of Beliefs, Behaviours, how you feel and how you view the world and yourself, if you are exploring the idea of using Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Mind Based Therapies, there are two things I would like to share with you. The first is that BWRT ®, Hypnotherapy, EFT & NLP really could work for you exactly as it has worked to help millions of people around the world to get the best out of life. The second thing to share with you is that as an experienced skilled and highly ethical hypnotherapy practitioner of over ten years, I can help you to make those improvements to feel better within yourself, to create the positive changes that you want to make in your life, like the many people around the country and across the world who I've already helped to do this.  

Why do I use different therapy tools such as BWRT, EFT and NLP alongside Hypnotherapy?

The answer is very straightforward. Having a diversity of different therapy tools is very useful, because although they are all designed to achieve the same ends, to help you feel better or achieve your goal, they all work in different ways which gives me flexibility in how I work with my clients. Some of the therapies I use such as BWRT®, EFT and NLP are in the fully waking conscious state and not in the trance state as in hypnosis. 

The advantage of having several options are various, for example, one chronic pain client I worked with a few years ago who saw me for hypnotherapy was in so much pain to begin with that they were unable to relax sufficiently for hypnotherapy to commence. In this situation, I introduced EFT to the client and after a few minutes of working in the conscious state the client was able to reduce their pain levels sufficiently enough for hypnotherapy to begin and so a combination of EFT and hypnotherapy produced the results for that particular client.

Another reason for having alternative tools is that some client’s health conditions such as serious heart condition, epilepsy and severe asthma would all be contra indicators where it could be potentially very unsafe to use hypnosis. In this case working consciously with interventions such as BWRT , EFT and NLP can be a very effective alternative.

Additionally and very rarely, some clients may be uncomfortable with the idea of going into trance as there may be the mistaken belief that they are somehow giving up their power. Nothing could be further from the truth.  A hypnotherapist helps and facilitates the client to tap into their subconscious mind and bring their own inner resources into focus where they can work to create the changes they want. However, in the rare cases that surface from time to time interventions such as BWRT offer the client the opportunity to work with their situation in the fully conscious state and in a very private way where not too much is needed to be divulged in the consultation to the therapist and this suits clients who find it hard to talk about their problem for whatever reason.  

Why choose BWRT® EFT and NLP?

BWRT®, EFT and NLP are not in the hypnotic state and are in the fully conscious awake state although it is quite possible that the client may well engage into a spontaneous trance like state whilst engaging with those therapies. BWRT® is a very fast dynamic therapy modality which is content free and often produces very dramatic shifts and changes in just one or two sessions and it is very well suited for issues such as depression, fears, habits, phobias, generalised anxiety disorders, social phobia, stress & anxiety.
The really big point of interest with BWRT® which makes it so effective and efficient is that there is absolutely no need to find out why the client has the problem that they have come for help with. BWRT® is a solution focussed therapy and the therapist is working as a solution focused behavioral psychotherapist not as an analyst searching for the starting point of the behaviour.




The way in which BWRT works is truly remarkable and is fast becoming the therapy tool of choice, it’s almost like magic and issues are sometimes completely cleared in one or two sessions. For more information on BWRT you can read my blog about my experience of working with clients. 
Having tools that offer clients choice gives them positive alternatives and as can be seen from the above being able to use therapies in combination with each other can be very helpful to move things along .



How many sessions will a client need and why therapy sessions must be booked by the express agreement of the client. Written by Trevor Wales Hypnotherapy Solutions.



New blog added 15th January 2017


#Hypnotherapy #BWRT #EFT #NLP #Cornwall #Devon nationally and internationally via #Skype 

#Ethical practice. How many sessions and which enquiries should a therapist work with? 



My blog today is for the benefit of potential clients and for other therapists. I suppose you could say that I am on a mission really and perhaps expressing a few thoughts, thoughts about how we all as therapists need to represent our industry with the utmost integrity and how clearly some practices alienate client trust and need to be rethought.


On Friday, I received a call from a person out of the county, in fact two counties away and as it goes that is not unusual as I work by Skype. 
What was very unusual was that the enquirer told me that they were assessing my services with a view to seeing how I could help a family member. So far, nothing at all wrong with this, but what followed next clearly was.

The enquirer went on to explain that something very complex and rather sad had happened in the family a while ago and that they were calling on behalf of a person who the family thought needed help and they thought therapy is the route to go, I can't say what the issue is for client confidentiality reasons, but it is very clear that there is an issue which has consequences and impacts upon the family as a result of the person in question' behavioural pattern.
My reaction to the enquirer was to ask why the person who needs help was not on the phone rather than a family member who may not have sought permission. Out of common courtesy I listened to what they had to say. 

The enquirer went on to say that because of what the family thought of the seriousness of the issue that the family had pushed the family member into therapy with what sounds like a fair measure of pressure. Of the situation I can see that the person needing help is in a state of denial and there are some straightforward textbook answers for their behaviour and I beleive that if the 'person' comes for help of their own free will, then therapy will no doubt be able to help.
I went on to tell the enquirer that as an ethical practitioner I would be unwilling to take the family member on for two reasons,one of them being the fact that another therapy practice was already working with the family member. I also declined to be involved unless they first contacted me of their own free will. I explained my reasons why which you can read below, 

The single big issue here is that forcing someone to undertake therapy (and this is very different from mental health issues where sectioning and cpn need to become involved if the person is at risk to themselves and others) the issue is that unless the 'person' realises that they have a problem,then therapy is very unlikely to help. What will most likely happen is that the person will have a few sessions and seeing that nothing changes, they will bail out. The first thing which needs to happen is getting that person to understand why they need help and what that the continued consequences of their actions would bring to the family. That is the first step. Once the person can see the 'WHY' and understand it then they will make progress in therapy if that is the road they chose to take.

In therapy, we see this all the time with quit smokers in the therapist chair who are there because they are pressured into hypnotherapy or therapy by a family member and see nothing wrong with what they are doing even though every smoker knows the risk. The therapy is never going to work. It will be a big fail!

Getting back to the enquirer, they went on to tell me that they had found a well respected therapist in Cornwall who the family member had been to see and that after one session of therapy that family member had said that they were not happy.There are several reasons here. One is that there was some difficulty fitting around the clients working life which the therapy practice was apparently unable to accommodate, Saturdays were a problem for the practice I understand.

There may well be other issues such as rapport but that is not mentioned, however, the big single fact that sticks out and shouts is that the family member doesn't want to be there and is in denial over their behaviour and beliefs and it is a big obstacle that the therapy practice will have to surmount, so getting to yes is the most important part to making progress.

If you are a new therapist ,asking the right questions and realising the importance of ethical boundaries are vital because our first duty is to protect our clients both existing and potential and we also dont need to set ourselves or or industry up for disappointment and failure. I said to the enquirer that I would not treat his family member unless they contacted me personally and that we had a good chat before hand. Although the enquirer was somewhat taken aback they understood. A person's behaviour and free will is there own business unless they are putting the lives of others and their own at risk.

Now I know that in my usual style that this is rather a long post and I hope you are still all with me.

The last thing that really annoyed me and I think this is a really important issue for me representing my industry, was the next big problem for the client which I clearly understand why they would feel uncomfortable with. After one session costing over £75.00 he was advised that he would need TWENTY sessions and I took it to be from the enquirer that the person needed to pay twenty sessions worth either in large installments or all at once.

Speaking as a therapist with over a decade's experience, there are some treatment programmes where you know that a certain number of treatments are perhaps most likely and so when I talk to my clients I give them a broad overview, an average of how many sessions they might expect with flexibility as to how many sessions they might need because that is indeed sensible and ethical to my mind.Weight management and quit smoking programmes come to mind here.

What I never do with my clients is to claim that a client's issue will be resolved in a certain number of sessions with certainty. Everyone is different and a person's issue may well be resolved in just a few issues and when that happens that is really great and that is what our profession is all about, helping people change or find resolution in the most efficient and effective way. 
To tell a client they need to have twenty sessions is just plain wrong in my view because no therapist can know that for sure.

Certainly in some case there may well be complex emotional issues that take time to resolve but the journey has to be planned and taken in steps and evaluated at every session to see the progress a client is making. 
Our work as therapists should be solution focussed and for this reason I beleive therapy assessment tools are very helpful which is why I use them.

Clients will be looking at us to help them and not just to relieve them of large amounts of cash and telling a client they need to spend huge amounts of money to be fixed amounts to just that. Clients are not cash cows! They are people with issues and challenges who need our help.

I believe we must work hard as therapists to work in an ethical way that is supportive of our industry and of ourselves. We need to keep in mind why we came into this industry .... to help people. 
We are merely facilitators to help people unleash the power of their own minds and inner resources. 
If a therapist is in this industry just to make huge amounts of money, well it might work for a while but you are in the wrong industry. My professional reputation is very very important to me because it is intrinsically linked to my core values and if any of my clients thought I was just after making money I would be deeply hurt. I just would not ask someone to pay all of that money up front or tell them that is how many sessions their problem leads.There are just so many questions of trust here that are wide open.

My mission as I would hope all therapists mission is, is to help people in the most efficient way. From what I heard from the enquirer it would seem that some therapists are not only doing their practice harm they are harming the industry and should reappraise why they are in the profession and how they work with people

If the person in question at the start of this post,calls me and asks for my help, which I hope they do, I will be very happy to help them but I won't be telling them that they need twenty sessions because I just dont know. 
They may get to where they need to be in a few sessions , they may well take over twenty but the point is the client should not be set up in such a way that they are told they need twenty sessions at the first session. Step by step progress assessment is the way forward. I hope the practice will learn from this because it is clear the client will not be going back as a result of being told with such definite certainty they need to pay for twenty sessions.



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