Whole-Being Hypnotherapy

Deborah Marshall-Warren in

Vogue magazine


Vogue Magazine is published by Conde nast Publications Ltd, Vogue House, Hanover Square, London W1R 0AD. Their web site is http://vogue.com.

JUNE 1999

Illustration of stress

Article by Carmel Allen

Published in: Vogue magazine, June 1999, page 126

Want to change your life? Here's how. We sent five women to life coaches to see if they could achieve their goals. Carmel Allen went to Deborah Marshall-Warren for five hypnotherapy sessions.

I'm a born worrier. Hardly a day goes by without me worrying if I've upset someone or done the wrong thing. I'm also a perfectionist, so I am constantly thinking I could do better and casting doubt over everything I've done. Put these two characteristics together and you'll always be moving one step back for every two steps forward. Deborah's work appealed to me because it's fast and because, unlike typical life coaching sessions, there is none of the motherly-style "Have you done this?" and "There's no such word as can't" dialogue.

Deborah thinks that five hypnotherapy sessions are enough to break old behavioural patterns and find new approaches to life by "coaching" the team players you already have in your own head, namely your self-esteem, intelligence, determination and so forth. "Think of yourself as a car. You can't drive forward if you're only looking in the rear-view mirror," she explained.

The hypnotherapy has little in common with the Paul McKenna stuff we see on television. As you lie back in a reclining chair, she takes you through a relaxation process. I imagined myself to be a stone falling in a pond, going down deeper amd deeper. Once I achieved a profound state of mental and physical relaxation, I was able, with Deborah's help, to go back and become my six-year-old self and in another session, my 13-year-old self. In one session, I went back to my childhood home and systematically went through all the wardrobes and drawers, tidying them up as I went, checking all the rooms were in order before closing the door for good on everything it represented to me.

The sense of "letting go" of unnecessary baggage was wonderfully liberating. I even had conversations with my subconscious and reconciled the differences between the present me and the girl I was. Although nothing I said surprised me, hearing my voice change when I spoke as a child was rather spooky.

I didn't think there was any immediate difference in my behaviour but in retrospect there was. I became much more matter-of-fact instead of be-all-and-end-all. I have since found myself worrying less about what other people think. I'm probably more focused but less determined - if something doesn't work then I'll do it another way rather than get hung up about it. I will definitely go back to Deborah should I feel the team players in my head need a coach to brush up their technique.

Contact Deborah Marshall-Warren on 0207-432 0307. The Mind Detox costs 8.99 for the book or 6.99 for the audio tape.


The de-stress test

Article by Zoe Souter

Published in: Vogue magazine, October 1996, page 323

Everybody agrees that excess stress is physically and mentally bad for you. But short of moving to a desert island, what are you supposed to do about it? Vogue tried six methods of dealing with the pressure of everyday life.

[The first of those methods was Deborah Marshall-Warren's whole-being hypnotherapy. Zoe Souter's report is reproduced below. These sessions took place in Regent Street. Deborah has since moved to her own, larger and quieter premises in West Hampstead.]

Friday My job as bookings editor for Vogue (which means fixing up locations, photographers, models etc for our fashion shoots) is always pretty hectic, but this weekend I have three important fashion shoots - and one of the photographers has gone missing in LA - and at least 10 more to produce in the next few weeks. My shoulders are in spasm, I am chain-smoking - disappointing as I had hypnosis to give up eight months ago - I have a persistent headache and sore throat, and am sleeping badly.

I am also moving house this weekend and my boyfriend is going away on a classic-car rally, leaving me to cope on my own. "A course of hypnotherapy to relieve stress?" offers the features editor. I jump at the chance.

Wednesday At my initial appointment in Deborah Marshall-Warren's small office, she talks me through the "orange liquid" hypnotherapy treatment - a "detox" for both the mind and body. An advanced hypnotherapist with a string of letters after her name, Deborah reassures me that I won't be persuaded to do anything I wouldn't do if I were fully conscious. But I am still worried about the power of hypnosis.

She asks me to visualise orange liquid slowly filling my body, and then draining out. I find it hard: I am aware of lots of noise, which is distracting. As she is telling me how hypnosis is going to relax me, change my life, make me more self-confident and ease the cold I've been battling with for the last few days, I can only think of how uncomfortable I am. I am still feeling very weird and distant a couple of hours afterwards. Deborah gives me a relaxation tape to listen to but I have lost my Walkman in the move.

My cold gets worse, and I have to go to bed for four days.

Friday - one week later I return to Deborah feeling apprehensive. I really had not enjoyed the previous session so we try a different method. She explains that "part therapy" involves bringing forwards parts of the "active" subconscious while under hypnosis to "confront stress". The aim is to overwrite "mental scripts" that have been laid down since childhood with new behaviour patterns to "become the person you want to be".

I will be speaking during the part therapy. I am terrified that I am going to confess something stupid. While I'm under hypnosis I am aware of my brain being in two parts - one is thinking and the other is the subconscious side which responds to Deborah's questions. Some of my responses surprise me. When Deborah asks me to think of ways to deal with stress, I come up with some very coherent answers.

I have to superimpose a visualised positive image of myself over a negative image. Instead of imagining myself as Cindy Crawford, I conjure up a radiant golden head thrown back laughing. When I come out of the hypnotic trance I feel less knocked out than last time, though more emotional.

My boyfriend tells me that I have become more irritable and selfish since the treatment began, but I think that I am dealing with work more calmly.

A week later Deborah is trying to access my subconscious fear. I find this difficult and the words do not come readily as they did last week. I drift off. When I come round Deborah tells me that I went to another place (to sleep, I think!) but she seems pleased.

A week later I have to cancel my appointment at the last moment as I am hopelessly busy and feel I couldn't relax. This weeks is the busiest that I can ever remember, but I think that I have stayed reasonably calm throughout. Because of the hypnotherapy? I reschedule the appointment but I have to cancel again (model gone missing and a hairdresser stuck on a delayed train from Paris).

Three weeks later Last week I was totally exhausted and forgot my session. Today is the final session - we agreed on the length of treatment at the outset - and Deborah reinforces earlier strategies to combat stress. The new "mental scripts" seem to be taking effect. My boyfriend tells me I am not quite so irritable and selfish, and even my granny has noticed I am more confident.

Two months on Having been initially very sceptical about hypnotherapy I am now recommending Deborah to all my stressed friends. Generally I feel more confident and calmer and I am now considering going back to try to give up smoking.

Deborah Marshall-Warren, Whole-Being Hypnotherapy, [020-7838 0765]. Call the Hypnotherapy Society for details of hypnotherapists in your area: telephone 01580-765856. [New telephone numbers supplied since publication.]

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