Category Archives: Hypnotherapy and NLP

NLP for Children


Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, brings together the mind, language and the notion of programming, or informing the brain, how the two relate to each other. In looking at how we use language to create our model of the world, NLP explores how the dynamic between mind and language affects our state of mind, behaviour and even our physiology.

This is of course just as relevant to children as to adults, with the added advantage that children’s minds are receptive to new ideas, as they have not yet lived a lifetime of interpreting the world according to received ideas which may or may not be helpful.

Parents encounter so many challenges in bringing up their children to be the best they can be. Dealing with, and rising above, their own emotions in so many circumstances. From feeling over-protective and learning to allow their children to learn from their mistakes, to managing anger and frustration when conflict arises.

NLP can help both parents and children, from baby blues following birth, through the terrible twos and the trying teens. Visualisation and ‘parts’ techniques can help with issues as diverse as lack of confidence and potty training. It can also help undo negative trains of thought that may have unknowingly crept into parents’ language, even when trying their best to be encouraging and helpful.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help children to use their brain to better effect, right from the start, using the most appropriate language to understand and express themselves. This in turn can help engender strategies for life, and for success.

Examples of how NLP can help children include:

  • Learning ability, and supporting your child’s learning
  • Confidence and high self-esteem;
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Developing empathy and positive socialisation
  • Maintaining both mental and physical health
  • Harmony at home, including preventing anger and fear issues, and finding win-win solutions to household disagreements.

It can help parents to parent with confidence, while tackling either general communication and behaviour patterns, or shining a spotlight on specific challenges.


New Year, New You!

new year resolution

New Year, New You!

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? The New Year has started, and, as many of us are still feeling bloated and slightly queasy from a possible over-indulgence in rich food, late nights and alcohol, we start January full of good intentions.

Lose a stone. No alcohol. Quit caffeine. Stop smoking. Throw the chocolates out with the recycling. Early nights. Don’t shout at the children; hold doors open for people. Let go of grudges and smile more. Our top wish-lists for New Year’s Resolutions include weight loss, exercise and aspects of personal development, ranging from new hobbies and skills to being a better, nicer or happier person.

The problem is, after that initial burst of enthusiasm, often coupled with feelings of self-disgust at the size of our thighs/smell of cigarettes on our clothes/that jaded hungover feeling, life gets in the way. Statistics show that of the 26.5 million of us who made resolutions on the 1st January, 78% of us will have given up within ten days, and 2% by the end of New Year’s Day!

Will power is especially hard to achieve when we’re tired, bored, over-worked or frustrated – which often kick in as we settle back into our routines, at a cold, dark time of year renowned for its lack of fun and sparkle.

The GOOD NEWS is – You CAN do it!

It is possible to stay on track and make permanent changes in our habits. Here are several simple and practical things you can do to make your resolution work, hour by hour and day by day.

Start small and aim above all for consistency. If you set your goal in small, incremental steps, you are far less likely to be setting yourself up for disappointment and all the negative feelings about yourself that go with it. So, for example, aim to lose 1lb a week for 12 weeks instead of embarking on a crash diet that will leave you feeling half-starved and reaching for the chocolate after two days. Substitute the biscuit jar with a lovely bright bowl of healthy fruit where you’ll clearly see it.

Make a list of all the benefits and turn your resolution into a positive, rewarding experience – getting into those jeans that have been in the wardrobe for 6 months; no more stale cigarette smells on your breath and clothes; waking with a clear head and renewed energy.

Use a positive mantra e.g. ‘I want to eat delicious, fresh, healthy fruit’ rather than ‘I have to stop eating that chocolate even though I want to’. ‘I want to breathe fresh air and have clear comfortable lungs’ instead of ‘I have to give up smoking and fight the cravings’.

Keep a diary. This will enable you to celebrate your achievements, and put any lapses into perspective. Accept that there may be lapses from time to time, be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you have the occasional slip.

Two’s company! Any resolution will work better if you can involve a partner or friend to help both of you keep on track.

Formulate an ‘if-then’ plan for when and where you’ll activate your resolution – i.e. ‘IF it’s the afternoon and I’m craving chocolate, THEN I will eat a piece of fruit instead.’

Formulate an ‘if-then’ plan for how you’ll handle obstacles – i.e. ‘IF I don’t have any fruit to hand, THEN I will drink a glass of water and THEN walk to the shop and get some fruit.’

If you feel you may need a bit more assistance, NLP and hypnotherapy can help you access powerful additional tools to keep you motivated, boost your will power and resolve cravings. Do give me a call on 0117 907 7722 or send an email to, and I’d be delighted to talk it through with you and help you achieve your goals.

Most important of all have a Happy and Healthy 2016!


When confidence fails you… all is not lost


Confidence. The sense that you can do anything you set your heart and mind on; that you can overcome the obstacles which may be in your way; that you can triumph, no matter what. It is something we are born with – we need it, in order to survive – but is also something which life’s obstacles can knock out of us.

For that reason, we might find the very idea of a particular situation so scary that we simply cannot imagine being able to do it. To walk into a room and introduce ourselves happily to a stranger; stand up and give a talk; perform at an interview or in an exam, or ask the boss for a pay rise or promotion. In the case of generalised poor self-confidence and low self-esteem, we might simply feel that we can’t ever achieve our goals, or that we are not worthy of love or praise. Low self-esteem can often be compounded by related problems, such as comfort eating, which then lead to an even worse sense of self-worth in terms of weight gain and subsequent negative body image.

People with low self-confidence will often feel shy, uneasy or uncomfortable in certain situations; unsure of their needs or feelings, and are likely to have negative thoughts about themselves and their abilities.  The causes can be specific or general – ongoing low confidence can be the result of an individual’s early life experiences, while fear of a certain situation may have been sparked by a particular bad experience in adulthood.

Confidence issues can be resolved.

The good news is, confidence issues can be resolved, as everyone has the ability and skills to enhance their self-confidence. It is often the case that people are simply unsure of how to tackle it, or believe it can’t be done.

The combination of Hypnotherapy and NLP is a really effective way to get to the heart of the problem, as it cuts straight to the subconscious, overriding all the negative messages that have become habitual. It isn’t a magic wand – it does not suddenly turn you into a different person – although many people experience change more quickly than they believed possible. The therapy allows you to forget the unhelpful beliefs you had about yourself. For example that you could not interview well because you fluffed an important interview in the past, or that you were unworthy of love because you had experienced rejection by a parent or other significant person in your life.

Hypnotherapy and NLP work on your subconscious mind helping you to rediscover the innate confidence you were born with, putting you back in the driving seat by reminding your subconscious of the qualities and abilities you possess which will enable your confidence to grow. These positive thoughts and behaviours will then become a natural part of you – happening without you even realising. You can learn to feel confident again, in order that you can live the life that you love!

If you would like help to improve your confidence or self-esteem, through hypnotherapy or NLP, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Anxious About Anxiety….


It’s been over a year since the launch of Sarah Holmes Health, when I added a raft of new treatments to my portfolio, introducing hypnotherapy, NLP and coaching to complement my usual fare of physiotherapy and acupuncture.

I hope you won’t mind me sending you a quick update once a month? My aim is to cover – in very brief terms – one subject at a time, with useful hints and tips for anyone to whom it is relevant, and so help you, or perhaps someone you know, to manage common conditions on a day to day basis. I promise not to bore you or clog up your inbox, but if you would prefer not to receive this type of communication from me, just reply to this email and let me know.

I thought I’d kick off with a note about anxiety. Anxiety is a remarkably common issue, and can take many forms, from fear of flying to spiders to exams. Mild anxiety is reflected in feelings of nervousness, fear and worry, and is both vague and unsettling – but in its more serious manifestations, it can result in real physical symptoms and have a debilitating impact on one’s life. Some people are prone to Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which is an ongoing condition, making the sufferer worry about everything from money to illness to family matters, even if there is no specific reason. Other forms include attachment disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress and anxiety-related depression.

The good news is, there is a lot the individual can do to help reduce the symptoms, and indeed to overcome them. The first step is simply to recognise that there is an issue to be dealt with, and after that, relaxation and breathing exercises, yoga and meditation, exercise and a healthy diet including plenty of greens and Omega 3 can make a real difference.

But if you – or someone you know – simply can’t stop worrying about getting on that plane, or indeed missing the flight, or any other specific or non-specific anxiety, then hypnotherapy, NLP or a combination can really help to tackle the problem at source, and create new ways of thinking to avoid ‘catastrophising’ and focus on the positives.