Whole-Being Hypnotherapy

Column by Susana Raby

Published in Marie Claire magazine, March 2000

If you've tried everything and nothing seems to make you feel better, it can help to view the problem from an alternative angle. Here, Susana Raby shares her experience, gained from over twenty years as a medical journalist, to add to the advice of your GP.


Q: I have a terrible blushing problem. I'm so embarrassed by it that I find it harder every day to face the world and I've become a virtual prisoner in my flat. I've always been an anxious, easily flustered person, but now my life is a misery. What can I do to help myself? Elizabeth Grey, London.

A: I would suggest a course of hypnotherapy with a qualified practitioner with whom you feel comfortable. Deborah Marshall-Warren, who has successfully treated many clients with severe blushing, practises a form of hypnosis called interactive hypnotherapy. Her approach is to take patients back to the seed of the problem -- usually a situation in early childhood that was experienced as humiliating -- to bring a fresh perspective, then to 'integrate' with the negative feeling or feelings. Throughout the process, in which various aspects of the subconscious are addressed in the first person, the client provides the material to work with and comes up with the solutions. It is a far cry from stage hypnosis, where people are told what to do by the hypnotist. The aim, in effect, is to get permission from the subconsious to stop holding the person hostage. Three to five sessions should be enough to make a difference.

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