So Stoptober is here – are you ready to quit smoking?

Hypnotherapy is a great way to stop smoking:

  • It all happens in one session – and that’s it.
  • No need to spend money on patches or vaping afterwards.
  • You save hundreds of pounds in the first year alone.

It’s a simple process:

  • Call me first, I’ll answer any questions you have, and then book you in.
  • Find a quiet, comfy place where you can relax at home.
  • We’ll have one Zoom call lasting a couple of hours – then no more smoking.

Hypnotherapy works

  • Experts say that 90% to 95% of smoking addiction is psychological – not physical.
  • Hypnotherapy helps you reprogramme your brain.
  • Hypnotherapy works when you really want to stop, but somehow you can’t do it on your own.

Just imagine:

  • What will you do with the money you save.
  • How your family will feel about you when you quit for good.
  • All the health problems that you will avoid by quitting now.

Here’s what a client sent me

I had the most surreal hypnotherapy with Tim, I was using this for the first time to quit smoking and since having our appointment I have not touched or thought about a cigarette in 28 days.

Only call me when you really want to stop.

Tim Maude Hypnotherapy

07730 315503

The small print:

  • Calling me to have a chat and ask questions is free and there is no obligation to take it further.
  • Cost is £200 (a fraction of what you will save) for a single quit-smoking session – which will be around 2 hours.
  • During the pandemic, all sessions are conducted over Zoom (or other online video system), as recommended by the National Council for Hypnotherapy.
  • I am sorry, but I cannot offer a guarantee that you will quit forever. Hypnotherapy will only help you if you are fully committed to quitting permanently.
  • I only take on people who really want to quit, so please don’t ask me to help your partner. If they really want to quit, they need to call me themselves.

Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash

Pandemic Worries? Pandemic Stress?

Are you one of the many who are stressed by the pandemic? The Health Foundation reported, as early as June this year, that 69% of UK adults are feeling somewhat or very worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) are concerned about a potential mental health crisis with substantial increases in depression, anxiety and insomnia being reported throughout the world.

Worries about catching the virus, worries about the future of their jobs, worries about their children and family, increasing loneliness through isolation, worries about going back to school or work, anger at other people’s behaviour … these are just some of the mental health issues that the world is facing. And they are magnifying other underlying anxieties, depression and other mental health issues

By June this year, mental health had worsened by a staggering 8.1% since the beginning of the pandemic, and this in a time when access to mental health services has reduced.

The NHS has also recognised the issues of increased mental health issues, and has published their “COVID-19 anxiety tips”. When you analyse these 10 tips, you will see that they are all focused on the three P’s – Positive interaction with other people, Positive action through meaningful activities, and Positive thinking.

Hypnotherapy is a great way of helping you reduce your anxiety levels. Bad things (such as COVID-19) happen in the world, and hypnotherapy can never stop that, but it can help you cope with it better. Hypnotherapy can help you forge new neural pathways in your brain that help you reduce anxiety and cope better with everything that life throws at you.

In my practice, I use solution focused hypnotherapy, which looks at finding solutions rather than digging up the past – solutions that are unique to you, not simply generic tips. Following the NHS generic tips on coping with anxiety will be a great help for many people, and is a really good place to start. However, if you want to do more and find solutions that are unique to you, give me a call.

Tim Maude Hypnotherapy

07730 315503


Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

One Man, Two Guvnors

or … One Brain, Two Minds

In Richard Bean’s play, “One man, Two Guvnors”, an out-of-work skiffle players ends up being employed by two different men and spends his time trying to stop them learning about the other. Anyone who smokes has exactly the same problem – One brain, Two minds

We all know that we have one brain, but what we don’t always recognise is that we have (at least) two minds. We have our rational, conscious mind that thinks it’s in control, making all the decisions. But hidden, outside of our conscious control, we have our primitive mind, that acts like a little child – demanding attention and taking over when it can.

For the smoker, it is the little child that is actually controlling what is going on. Every time your nicotine level drops, there is a small uncomfortable feeling, and your primitive brain spots this. You find yourself reaching for the cigarettes and heading outside, often without even thinking about it – because thinking requires your rational, conscious brain to be in charge and, at this point in time, it’s not.

If you decide you want to stop smoking, your devious primitive brain finds ways around it. It waits for a weak moment and then jumps in. Maybe it’s when you’re stressed, or your friends all seem to be having a good time chatting in the smokers’ area. The primitive brain has a tantrum that is impossible to ignore. Eventually, you give in, you come up with a plausible but erroneous excuse (“Smoking helps me relax”, “I don’t have the will power” etc.) and you’re back smoking again, giving in to the tantrums of the primitive brain.

So if you want to give up smoking permanently, you have to tackle the primitive part of your brain and stop the little child having tantrums. One great way to do this is to use hypnotherapy. It’s fast and effective. One session and you’re done. So when you are fully committed to giving up smoking, give me a call or message me and we can have a chat.

The Story of the Catman

Twenty years ago, if you had put money on boxer Glenn Catley- the Catman – to become super middleweight champion of the world, you would have made yourself a tidy sum. He was really only a middle weight and was up against Markus Beyer, the reigning super middleweight champion of the world. No one expected him to win.

I am never sure of whether or not I really approve of boxing. Nevertheless, this weekend I sat enthralled listening to Glen as he told his story. It was absorbing, touching and exciting, even though I already knew the denouement.

So why did the Catman turn up one Sunday morning to talk to a bunch of clinical hypnotherapists? The answer is simple. He puts his success down to one thing … hypnotherapy. Although I am sure there was a lot of skill and training that went into it as well.

Hypnotherapy is not only good for helping people with problems of anxiety, depression, phobias etc etc, it can also help to improve sports performance. Beyond all expectations and against all the odds, Glenn used hypnotherapy to improve his performance to the point of becoming world champion.

I don’t usually make recommendations, but today I will make an exception. If you ever get a chance to meet Glenn Catley and hear his story, seize the opportunity – you won’t regret it.

Glenn’s website can be found at

Diets and exercise that fail

Have you ever been on a diet, and then six months later found yourself weighing heavier than before? Have you ever tried to loose weight but found yourself cheating without really thinking about it? Have you ever started an exercise regime, but found that you somehow just stopped doing it?

Most experts will tell you that your weight is all about two things – how much you eat and how much you exercise. Sounds obvious doesn’t it. But there is a third factor that plays a massive part – your brain.

The problem is, your brain sometimes works against you. The other day for instance, I noticed an open bag of salted peanuts on the table. As I went to put them away in the cupboard, I tipped a few into my hand and ate them … Why? … I wan’t hungry … I didn’t need to eat … In fact I didn’t really think about it at all. I just ate them automatically. Some part of my brain decided that I should eat the nuts before I even got a chance to think about it.

You see, we have different parts of our brain that all have their different jobs to do. Sometimes they work against each other. One part says, “I need to get to a healthy body weight,” while another (more primitive) part says, “you need food to survive – eat now.” Sometimes the primitive part takes control – particularly when we are under pressure, stressed out or tired. Therein lies the problem.

And guess what – going on a diet or starting an exercise regime often increases the amount of pressure you are under, makes you more stressed and makes you more tired. So that primitive part of the brain gets more control, which puts you under even more pressure … and so on. And guess what … six months later you’re fatter than before. Sound familiar?

So what can we do when our brain works against us?

Hypnotherapy is designed to help the different parts of the brain to work together instead of against each other. People I have helped with their diet tell me that, after a while, they catch themselves eating more healthily and doing more exercise – without even thinking about it. This is because the different parts of their brain are working more closely together and, in particular, they become less stressed and pressured.

If you are one of those people who struggles to control your weight, I am currently doing a special offer on a Weight Management Support Programme. When you start, we will have an initial consultation, where you can tell me what you want to achieve and I can help you understand some of the science behind how the brain works and what you can do about it. Following this, we will have weekly sessions that will help you get the subconscious parts of your brain working for you.

As we are in lockdown – all sessions are conducted online, over Zoom, Skype or Facebook Messenger video.

Search for “Tim Maude Hypnotherapy” and give me a call for an initial chat on the phone.

For the first five callers only, the special offer costs are £10 for the initial consultation, and £30 per session for up to eight sessions. Quote offer code WL101. Offer ends 19th June 2020.

#weightloss #hypnotherapy

Who Hijacked My Brain?

You are eating in a restaurant having a pleasant conversation, when you hear a sudden loud crash behind you. Immediately, you you feel your chest tighten and your heart seems to jump into another gear. You might cry out or swear. You turn towards the noise. Maybe you raise your arms to protect yourself, or throw whatever you have in your hand at the source of the noise. You do all this without thinking, because your conscious mind has been hijacked.

Of course, it is just the waiter who has dropped a tray. He apologises for disturbing you, picks up the tray and walks off. Somewhat embarrassed by your reaction, you turn back and try to pick up the conversation, but forget what you were talking about a few seconds ago.

So who hijacked your brain?

Because it was hijacked … you did not consciously decide to react like that, something hijacked your conscious mind and took over. Different people have different reactions; some will recover control in a second or two; others will have a panic attack or start swearing in anger.

Some people notice that their reaction gets worse when under a lot of stress, or when short of sleep. And it doesn’t matter if they have the intelligence of Einstein or the determination of an Apollo astronaut, everyone’s conscious mind gets hijacked sometimes.

So what was it that hijacked your brain?

Well, to start with, it wasn’t all of your brain that got hijacked, only the conscious part. The culprit is a very primitive part called the amygdala. The reaction we all have is called the “amygdala hijack”.

The amygdala is the brain’s security officer. It checks everything that goes on to see if it is safe. If it thinks that there is some kind of emergency, it takes over control – that’s the amygdala hijack. The amygdala isn’t clever, so it picks something that you’ve done before and reacts by doing it again – sometimes totally inappropriately.

So when you find you loose control, even if only for a second, it’s the amygdala hijack. The amygdala is trying to protect you, but sometimes leaves you red-faced or increasingly stressed. This happens to everyone sometimes, but if it causes you problems in your life, contact me at, and we will see what hypnotherapy can do for you.

Footnote: The term “Amygdala Hijack” was coined by Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence.

Hypno Weight Loss

I have just “come back” from a weekend course (running over Zoom of course) covering solution focused hypnotherapy and weight loss. What I didn’t know was the relationship between weight loss and gain and the stress hormone, cortisol.

For those adrenaline junkies who love the really scary theme park rides, have you ever noticed how there is often a junk food stand at the end of the ride, selling sugary drinks and fatty foods? And have you ever noticed how you crave the junk food as soon as you have finished the ride? That is the cortisol doing your thinking for you.

Cortisol is the main stress hormone. It also regulates other stuff in your body, including how your body uses fats and sugars. If your body produces too much cortisol, it starts to crave sugar and fat. “Comfort food” is so-called because that’s what you eat when you’re stressed.

So reducing stress is one of the ways we can control our eating.

For a summary of Cortisol, see

A brief how and why of phobias

Do you ever feel a sudden sense of panic about something that other people find innocuous? Your friends tell you that it’s harmless, but you can’t help feeling that sudden tightness in your chest and the compulsion to get away? Maybe you’re a bit embarrassed about it … join the club, there are thousands of others like you.

We all have anxieties in our lives, some more than others. This is not the same as a phobia. Anxieties are concerns and worries that produce adrenaline and might keep us up at night. This is not the same as the immediate fear as you encounter your phobic fear, accompanied by a sudden surge of adrenaline, tightening of the chest, increase in heart rate, and focused attention on the object of your fear.

Inside your brain

Imagine that you can look inside your brain. One of the things you would find there is a small almond shaped part called the amygdala. The amygdala’s job is to look out for you, and to keep you alive. It checks everything you do to see if it’s safe. If it thinks that there’s some sort of danger, it leaps in to protect you before you have had a chance to think about it.

Many drivers will have experienced seeing someone who looks as if their going to step out in front of the car. Your foot is on the brake before you even know it and you feel a sharp sense of anxiety. You feel the surge of adrenalin rush through your body. That is your amygdala doing its job, protecting your life.

Unfortunately, the amygdala is pretty dim. It is not creative. It can’t think of new ideas. So when it notices something, it has to check on previous patterns of behaviour to decide what to do next. Once you’ve learned to drive, it knows that if something looks dodgy on the road ahead, it has to tell the foot to hit the brake pedal as quickly as possible. It’s done this loads of times so it remembers the pattern.

When the amygdala gets it wrong

So what happens when the amygdala get things wrong? Something happened in your past that taught the amygdala that if you notice “X” then send a massive jolt of adrenaline into your system, and get ready to run. The “X” could be a getting on an airplane, seeing a spider, going out of doors etc. (Insert your own phobia here.) The amygdala has done this loads of times so it remembers exactly what to do.

Most of the time the amygdala looks after you very well – but, because it is stupid, it sometimes gets things wrong. It is trying to look after you, but in this case it has got the wrong programming. We call this a phobia.

What you can do

So what can you do about a phobia? You cannot rationally think it away, because the amygdala is not part of your rational brain. In fact, when it is seriously concerned with a potential “danger”, it will turn the rational part of your brain off while it “deals with the situation”. It’s no good trying to explain to someone with a phobia that “there’s no need to panic”, because the amygdala isn’t clever enough to understand what you’re saying, and it’s the amygdala that’s in charge at that point. The only thing it can do is to react in the same way that it did the last fifty times – panic.

The only way to deal with a phobia is to reprogram the brain so that the amygdala has a different reaction. The amygdala is outside our conscious control, so it has to be done subconsciously. Fortunately, this is quite easy with hypnotherapy.

Treating phobias

If your phobia seriously impacts your life, then it is worth getting treatment for it. Of course, as a hypnotherapist, I favour hypnotherapy, which can treat most phobias in a very relaxed and pleasant state. However, I should also mention that “other treatments are available”, for example:

Systematic desensitisation – becoming slowly more used to the cause of the phobia
CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy
EMDR – eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing

Hypnotherapy treatment for phobias can be done online or face-to-face in as little as four sessions. Clients are sometimes surprised because of the unusual feeling (for them) of being confident when facing something that they used to be scared of. They cannot quite understand how the old fear has gone so quickly, without them having to undergo any anxiety-inducing desensitisation.

If you would like any help for your phobia, contact me at and we can arrange an online meeting and take it from there.

Lovely testimonial

I have just received a wonderful testimonial from a client. I just wanted to share it.

“Working with Tim has really saved me from myself! I’m a mother of three young and very active kids and life can get a bit stressful. His scientific insights and professional knowledge was beyond helpful. Not only did he help me gain a deeper understanding about the complexity and power of the human brain, but he taught me how to use the tools that we all inherently posses to keep our brains healthy and strong, which then helps to foster a healthier and positive experience in everyday living. I know life is hard sometimes, but I realize now that I already have the tools and been taught how to use them to improve and enrich the quality of my life! Tim’s kindness coupled with his professional and skillful approach, he patiently helped me to recognize and acknowledge this, and I will be forever grateful!”