I notice an email has just arrived from the contact form on my website. It is from … let’s call her Jenny … who says she wants to know if I can help her. She says she has a panic attack if she travels to anywhere new. I am not busy, so I go to the across the garden to my clinic and call her back. She tells me her story of how stressful it is for her to travel anywhere.
I tell her that I can help and ask if she has any questions. She asks what will happen in the clinic and how long it will take, and after I have answered she asks to book in for a session – just to see how it is.
I am reading through the notes I took during the phone call on Sunday, while waiting in my clinic for Jenny to arrive. She arrives on time at three, and I invite her to sit in the comfortable chair.
Over the next twenty minutes, I ask her questions to understand what her life is like, but more importantly, I ask her what her best hopes are from working with me. This is important because it is far more useful for me to understand what she wants to achieve, rather than to understand what her problems are or where they came from. She tells me that she would like to be able to go on holiday to the Lake District with her husband – and to remain calm so that she can actually enjoy it.
And then it’s my turn to talk. I explain to her what is actually going on in her brain that causes her to panic when she goes somewhere new. It is important for her to understand that it is simply a matter of a primitive part of the brain that has got things wrong.
I then invite her to lie back (the chair is a recliner) and experience a short hypnotic experience – just a short process for relaxation. Fifteen minutes later, she opens her eyes and blinks a few times before sitting up. She is quite amazed at how she feels after a simple hypnotic relaxation.
I explain that I cannot tell her how many sessions she will need, but I am sure that I can help. I usually see clients between five and ten weekly sessions. Jenny books in for the following week.
Eight Weeks On
For me, this is most satisfying thing about my job, when, at the end of a session, Jenny and I have a conversation. I have had this same conversation many times before … Has she achieved what she wants to achieve? Does she feel able now to go on that holiday to the Lake District, with that calm and relaxed state of mind? Jenny says that she thinks it will be fine, as she is so much more at ease with travelling now.
Jenny asks if it would be all right if she could come back for a few sessions before the holiday if she thinks she needs it. Smiling, I agree, knowing that she will never call me – because she won’t need to.
And finally …
If you need help getting over a problem like Jenny’s or anything similar, do contact me. I will call you as soon as I can for a chat, and I can tell you if I am able to help. My clinic is in Fleet in Hampshire, and I also work online.