Michael Hughes

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BA[Hons] HPD CNHC SQHP 5*Senior Psychotherapist & Supervisor
Limited availability
Limited availability

This professional is accepting new clients but may have a waitlist. Please enquire with them directly to discuss availability.

Clifton BS8 & Bristol BS6
Limited availability
Limited availability

This professional is accepting new clients but may have a waitlist. Please enquire with them directly to discuss availability.

About me

Note that I only have limited availability

Due to two clients about to successfully complete their course of treatment, I have face-to-face weekly appointment slots becoming available. X1 slot on Mondays from 11th March at 10 am 

X1 slot on Wednesdays from 13th March at 10 am - enquire for more details. All other face-to face times are fully booked for the whole week. 

Zoom appointments online on Fridays at specified times only from 8th March. Unfortunately ad-hoc only as most zoom appointments are also booked up. 

You may enquire about other future availability or be added to the waiting list but do leave a voicemail message as I don't answer calls that ring off. Alternatively, you can text or email and of course, any information remains strictly confidential. 

With the greatest of respect, only enquire if you are serious about committing to the therapeutic process. Real, sustained changes do not happen in one or two weeks, neuroplasticity and the reorganisation of neural pathways takes weeks or months of repetition - so be realistic about your expectations.

“Rudeness says more about the perpetrator than the target. If they haven't earned your respect, they don’t deserve your attention”. - Adam Grant, Organisational Psychologist 

Being considerate, polite and respectful is a prerequisite - including being respectful of my contact hours, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm only. Note that if you have wasted clinical time before (I keep a record) then you will not be given another opportunity. 

The average success rate for hypnotherapy was 93% after an average of 6 sessions. This was compared to a 38% success rate after an average of 600 sessions for psychoanalysis and 72% after 22 sessions for cognitive behavioural therapy. - Source: Dr Alfred A. Barrios/1970 

I'm fully booked for several reasons

  1. Award-Winning Senior Hypnotherapist and Senior Psychotherapist Established 2005
  2. The Leading Male Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist in Bristol 
  3. No1 Best Rated Male Hypnotherpist in Bristol with 53+ 5 Star Google Reviews
  4. +19 years of bona fide full-time, face-to-face clinical experience in psychotherapy for complex mental health cases - such as a co-occurring disorder with multiple conditions, issues or concerns. 
  5. +14 years of supervising, coaching and mentoring other hypnotherapists at all levels; student, graduate, registered, accredited, advanced, senior supervisors, senior lecturers, director/CEO and fellows.
  6. Bristol’s Premier Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Clinic since 2012
  7. Practice is within one of the UK’s most desirable £4 million properties in Clifton. 

“Seeing Michael Hughes was truly transformative. And if you are reading this right now, I could not encourage you more to have a consultation and explore this potential treatment option as it really could change your life. After over a year of personal struggle, seeing multiple doctors/specialists/therapists without any resolution, I was reaching the end of what I thought all of my options were. And then I met Michael.
Over a series of sessions, in nothing short of what I now consider a small miracle, even if I started as a mild skeptic to this world, I became my old self again. Without his help and guidance I am genuinely not sure what would have happened. I will forever be grateful. The man is magic.” - Dr. Rhodri Thomas, Bristol. January 2024

“I came to Michael for help with recovering from long covid and I am so pleased with the results. Since having hypnotherapy my recovery has massively improved and I feel a lot more relaxed and confident. Over the sessions it was lovely to see how much my stress level was reducing and I have started to feel more like myself than I have in a very long time. I can’t recommend doing hypnotherapy with Michael enough as it has made a huge difference in my life.” - Georgia Moody, Bristol. January 2024 

Mental Triage 

2024 is already looking very busy - I will triage mental urgency and prioritise where I can, depending on the frequency or severity of stress, anxiety, depression, rumination, OCD, PTSD flashbacks, panic attacks, insomnia or various other symptoms or repetitive behaviours.

Rather obviously I do not take calls, reply to emails or messages during 1:1 client sessions where full attention/active listening are required for every client. Think to yourself, would you be ok with your therapist taking another call during your therapy session? Unlikely. It's not professional. 

Boundaried | Respectful | Educational 

Be aware that I switch my work phone off after 5 pm - I do not respond to any messages in the evenings, weekends or my scheduled holidays because having time to decompress from a complex and busy caseload is essential. 

There's an old saying that you can't pour from an empty cup. Essentially it means that we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others and I’m a great believer in self-care. 

I decided some time ago not to burn myself out at the unrealistic expectations of others. Society has changed insomuch as there are higher expectations, or some who have lost touch with common courtesy, interspersed with incivility, entitlement and immediacy, or what I call the “me first” movement. We’ve all experienced examples of the “me first” mentality

  • A driver parks their car and selfishly takes up two bays, or that person who moves into the yellow box junction and blatantly ignores the frustrated people swerving around them
  • Cyclists, drivers or scooter riders that go through a red traffic light
  • People that hold others up or push in. Like merging into a lane or just walk straight to the front of a queue 
  • The group that reserve seats in a restaurant and then just dont bother turning up
  • People that speak loudly on their phone, listen to loud music or play audio from their speakerphones in a quiet carriage, waiting area or cafe
  • That one person who hogs a 4-seater table with a laptop and sits there for hours
  • People that never offer to pay for anything when out with others they feel they are exempt from paying their own way
  • Individuals stealing or blatantly copying your ideas and passing them off as their own or robbing you of time and resources, purely for their own self-gain
  • Consistently blurring boundaries or turning up late, rule-breaking, freeloaders, lack of consideration. Oblivious, ignorant or unmindful or how their actions impact others 
  • General lack of awareness 
  • Everybody else is doing it, why shouldn't I do it?

Anxiety = Dysregulated Nervous System = Selfish Behaviour 

Heightened anxiety causes a narrowing of attention, focused more on upcoming threats and one's self‐preservation. Anxious people keep more resources for themselves/share less with others, becoming less prosocial when anticipating external threats and causes dysregulation in our nervous system, switching on the sympathetic nervous system and activating the fight or flight response. 

A dysregulated nervous system can show up in various ways. Common signs include

  • feeling anxious
  • irritable or angry 
  • having unexpected panic attacks
  • struggling with sleep
  • digestive problems
  • feel tired all the time
  • have muscle pain with no obvious cause

Unfortunately, all of us are subconsciously affected by the actions produced by this selfish mentality and the consequences are widespread and science terms this as ‘emotional contagion’, a modern day plague that can become ingrained in a culture. Additionally, “When a subtype of neurons projecting from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala are switched off, altruistic behaviour is inhibited, and most people behave selfishly.” Scheggia, D., La Greca, F., Maltese, F. et al

Neuroscience shows that selfish people make adaptions to their memories to avoid feeling bad about their behaviour and they tend to remember themselves as being better to others than they actually were. Nevertheless, negative reactions to others' selfish behaviours convert into anxiety and accumulate in our “stress bucket”, this switches our nervous system into survival mode and we become triggered and produce unwanted symptoms via an enlarged amygdala - Neuroscience shows that hypnotherapy works by shrinking the amygdala volume and restoring intellectual control in the executive region called the left prefrontal cortex

In Psychology, Emotional Contagion is the act of catching others' emotions, and we often do this subconsciously - this social phenomenon is when we take cues from other people's facial expressions, body language, choice of words, and nonverbal stimuli. 

Therapy has now defaulted to become the bedrock of having to educate people about boundaries, respectful behaviour, common courtesy, consistency, awareness, patience, mindfulness, gratitude, kindness, compassion and self-care. Thankfully, Neuroscience shows that kindness and compassion are also contagious. I can teach you how to recondition your life to help you to be at your best. 

Bristol’s Mental Health & Wellbeing

Mental ill health costs Bristol £1.37 billion per year. The city also reports
above average rates of common mental health conditions – 20.7%

Local data shows 21% of Bristol residents have “below average mental wellbeing”, rising to 34.2% in the most deprived areas. Bristol has the 3rd lowest ‘low life satisfaction score’ of all English core cities. The good news is that 62.4% of people living in Bristol reported being satisfied with life. However, 2020 onwards saw a 28% increase for anxiety and major depressive disorders in the UK and yet most people with mental disorders do not have access to effective care. 

How do you find a reputable, professional/experienced practitioner in Bristol when there are over 50 local hypnotherapists listed on the hypnotherapy directory to choose from?

The paradox of choice, when people get overwhelmed when they are presented with many options, such as having to sift through endless therapist profiles. 

“It's our personalities that will make us successful practitioners” - David Newton, Chairman and founder of CPHT. 

Let me be clear, there will always be different therapists with different approaches in therapy. I do what's best for my clients

Obviously. We are all unique, intersectional human beings with different beliefs, identities, personalities and nuance. It is a client’s right to get treatment from a therapist they feel safe with, least of all click with. However, rapport is reciprocal, so having a 10 minute discussion on the phone - also gives me an opportunity to assess whether I want to work with you or not

Prospective clients/customers usually find me through word-of-mouth recommendations or referrals but if you are just browsing then perhaps you'll find it easier to make a decision that's best for you as I explain exactly how I've already helped thousands of people achieve their therapeutic outcomes in Bristol and other clients from all over the UK and online worldwide.

53+ Five Star Google Reviews 

Please take the time to read the 53+ authentic Google Reviews averaging 5 Stars (one of the top-rated/currently the top-rated male hypnotherapist in Bristol) from previous clients/patients and see the feedback on their therapeutic outcomes so that you can make an informed decision as to how I can best help you with the issues, problems or concerns that you are seeking therapy for. I’m also passionate in therapeutically supporting innate (born with) or acquired (via trauma or as injury heals) neurodivergent individuals. Here’s just a few of the most recent five-star Google reviews:

Michael really cares about the welfare of his patients and shows this through his deep empathy and selflessness. During this whole process I really have appreciated Michael’s time and care for me as he has changed my life and mentality in the best way possible. Michael’s techniques are really one of a kind and work absolute wonders. I thank Michael for being the best therapist and would recommend anyone to see him who is struggling with their mental health or any problems that they require help with.” - Negin, Bristol. 

“Michael is a very skilled therapist (I’ve been to others before that were definitely sub par!) however the hypnotherapy part of the sessions was incredible! From the very first session I walked out feeling calmer than I had in years. I cannot recommend (or thank) Michael enough. He’s not only helped with what I wanted help with but he’s made me a better, happier person all round.” - Jodie, Bristol 

“Michael has been a tremendous help. I highly recommend him. A true expert.” - John, Bristol. 

One of Bristol's most Accomplished Professional Therapists 

I've been one of a handful of therapists at the forefront of the industry for almost 20 years, many of my contemporaries have either gone back to their old careers, emigrated, moved to online-only sessions, retired or given up. I'm one of two original therapists left who are still in clinical practice from intake 36 (2005), 19 years ago and I was already fully booked upon receiving the accredited HPD diploma. I was one of the first hypnotherapists to work within a GP surgery in South Bristol in 2008, additionally working from 2005 at The Clifton Practice for several years - guided by the sheer neuroscientific brilliance of David Newton alongside the warmth, compassion, patience and understanding of Susan Rodrigues and Enso Healing Rooms (2009 to 2012) with sage wisdom from martial arts expert and healing rooms therapy proprietor Doug Swift. I work online from home on Tuesday’s and via Zoom on Friday’s from The Arches Therapy Rooms in BS6. Since 2012, I’ve worked exclusively Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s face-to-face at Clifton Health within 5 College Fields - a centre of excellence in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Special thanks go out to Chartered Occupational Psychologist Pamela Madden Founder at West of England Coaching and Counselling | Anna Sainsbury-Thomas BSc Psych Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy in Cardiff | Lauren Key Integrative Counselling | Mandy Saligari Co-founder and Director of Charter, Harley Street and Psychiatrist Dr Phil Stutz and Dr Norman Doidge Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst | American Professor and Neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman and the eminent Psychiatrist Dr Milton H. Erickson for all being so incredibly inspiring throughout my career of which I am humbled by and ever grateful for. 

I was also nominated onto the original executive team for The Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and became The Director of Research of the AfSFH in 2010, (I left a few years later as I accepted greater opportunities and I was too busy to accommodate their requests) publishing a game-changer of an article on the brain’s Reticular Activating System, whereby an activated RAS helps us concentrate on our goals - not the useless noise. The reticular activating system (RAS) regulates conscious perception and allows us to focus on information that matters most and you can train your RAS by taking your subconscious thoughts and merge them to your conscious thoughts in order to achieve what you want. 

Handling another therapist’s success.
“Winners make the effort while losers make excuses” - Frank Sonnenberg. Other therapists can choose to be happy or at least neutral for another therapist’s success in business. Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project has said, “People succeed in groups. When one person in your field succeeds, it makes it more likely that you can too.”

There are no quick fixes to success as a therapist because it's not an easy profession - it's mentality demanding and can be physically draining - it takes a lot of dedication, boundaries, resilience, energy, focus, hard work and determination in order to succeed - there's no point in sugar coating it - I just tell it how it is. When other therapists said “it’s not personal, it’s just business” is certainly now a phrase I now echo back. In such a competitive, saturated industry - you just have to get on with it.  When I teach I will often say “The way I run my business is not your business.”

‘I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.’ - Fritz Perls, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst

I’ve been a full-time accredited Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist since 2005 (19 years exp) and a Senior clinical practitioner and Senior Supervisor of other therapists and other supervisors/senior supervisors since 2010 (14 years exp). I offer face-to-face private and confidential therapy sessions in Clifton, Bristol or worldwide online via Zoom. Clients, therapists, supervisors and senior supervisors consult me for my knowledge, skills, innovation and expertise in the profession. I also firmly believe certain aspects of the profession need to be updated and I'm leading by example on this. I’ve worked exceptionally hard to get to where I am in the industry. 

To be honest, most client’s and supervisee’s feedback is that they wished they’d found me sooner. Obviously, clients from all over Bristol come to see me for face-to-face sessions and many more travel in to see me, people from all over Wales; Cardiff, Newport etc, Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire. People from London and further afield; Cornwall, Dorset, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham all tend to see me online via Zoom. 

I provide 1:1 online or phone clinical supervision, mentoring and coaching to other hypnotherapists from all over Bristol, Taunton, Wiltshire, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Oxford, Aberdeen and France. I'm fully booked for supervision and unable to accept any more new graduates, therapists or supervisors as the current therapists have no intention of letting their supervision slot go. As a Senior Clinical Supervisor, I still regularly attend formal group supervision myself, here in Bristol HQ, which is facilitated by one of my original CPHT mentors from 2004. Other therapists that are curious about my style of working are welcome to join my supervisor’s group at CPHT.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to organise my own group supervision as I’m too busy with clinical cases which requires my full attention. In addition, my weekends and evenings are sacrosanct - meaning they are too special or important to interrupt/required to rest and decompress from a busy/complex caseload. In today’s fast-paced modern world of constant contact, the expectation that therapists should be available 24/7 is wrong IMO, otherwise it simply leads to therapist burnout. 

Since 2005, Michael has consistently seen more clients per week face-to-face and online worldwide than 75% of all NCH registered Hypnotherapists. At my busiest I was seeing 35 clients per week and supervising about 40 other hypnotherapists. 

I work exceptionally hard for my client's well-being *Please read (further down) about the importance of choosing an ethical therapist.

What are the most important common factors that help therapy succeed? 

  • 40% clients commitment to the process, motivation to change, client variables and extra therapeutic events. 
  • 30% depends on the client/therapist alliance/relationship, such as rapport/good match and the therapist's interpersonal skills, warmth and experience. 
  • 15% effective therapist techniques and their model of therapy Using the right approach for the particular client or situation. The approach should be tailored to the client’s needs, beliefs and strengths.
  • 15% Realistic hopefulness about the outcome and the possibility of improvement (client expectancy) in addition to the frequency/repetition and intensity of therapist–patient interaction are well-known factors determining the efficacy of psychotherapy. 

Research by Michael Lambert in 1986, Lambert’s Pie, common factors for change in psychotherapy. 

Basically, what prospective clients or potential customers always want to know initially are: 

  • How much do you charge per session? £85 per session, prepaid 1 week in advance to secure the weekly slot. (Some therapists with much less experience are charging upwards of £100 per hour, of course, they need to reflect on this). An additional security deposit (£85) is required as a small number of clients forget to prepay in advance so the security deposit covers every eventuality to avoid loss of income or is used as the final session, by mutual agreement. I’m not a practitioner that sits in vacant or unpaid slots because time is valuable, sought after and is to be respected. (Yes, I’ve thought this through, experience is the greatest teacher). The initial consultation is paid for in advance via BACS transfer. If you are happy to proceed and we are a good fit then subsequent sessions (a course of treatment) are 1 week in advance to secure the weekly time in the diary. A card reader is available for your convenience to pay for face-to-face sessions 1 week in advance by chip and pin/contactless by card or via your phone. *Unfortunately, I rarely have the space to do ad-hoc one-off sessions as I'm certainly not going to interrupt the continuity of someone else’s regular course of treatment. 
  • Can I get hypnotherapy on the NHS? Access to hypnotherapy on the NHS is incredibly limited and while you can discuss the option with your healthcare provider, it’s not widely available and the majority of practitioners work privately. 
  • How many sessions will it take? 8-12 sessions as a general guide. Sometimes shorter; for confidence building, blushing, motivation, insomnia, greater life balance or specific phobias (specific objects or situations like snakes, spiders, wasps, heights, water, darkness, germs, driving, flying, enclosed or open spaces etc),sometimes more sessions are required for complex issues such as debilitating anxiety, stress (health, relationships, work), trauma, PTSD, CPTSD, health anxiety, major life transitions, difficult life events, GAD, panic attacks, pain, long covid stress and anxiety, brain-fog, lethargy, fibromyalgia, malaise, CFS/ME, post-stroke anxiety, tinnitus, dizziness (caused by anxiety) complex phobias like a social phobia or social anxiety behaviours, agoraphobia, eating problems, Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours or compulsions, perfectionism, intrusive thoughts, repetitive nightmares, overthinking, procrastination, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, ADHD, neurodivergence, depression, lack of direction or indecisiveness, relationship issues, “Rebecca Syndrome”, separation anxiety, attachment styles (developed in early childhood), narcissistic abuse, coercive or controlling behaviour, heartbreak, grief, loss, facets of abuse whether it’s emotional, psychological, physical or sexual. *Note that certain issues (for example, chronic pain) must be checked by a GP first and if stress or anxiety are a contributing factor to symptoms then hypnotherapy can help. 
  • Do you have experience of dealing with my issues? Yes 
  • Do you think you can help me? Invariably, yes, highly likely (see above). However, there are some *exclusions for certain conditions that I no longer offer treatment to under 18’s (due to excessive bureaucracy/workload), personality disorders, schizophrenia, stopping smoking/vaping, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, couples therapy, other hypnotherapists or counsellors, sexual issues (low libido, porn addiction, erectile dysfunction etc) because, to be blunt, I'm not a drug, alcohol or sex therapist but I can offer a referral in these instances. I do not provide treatment for these issues (exclusions) during the course (beginning or mid-phase) of treatment. Unfortunately, I can't provide home-visits but I do offer online Zoom sessions as an alternative. 
  • Can I discuss my issues with you beforehand? Yes, of course. I offer a free 10-minute introductory call by mutual arrangement or you can schedule a call through this site that shows you my availability for a call request. Alternatively, you can send an email. *Note that the mobile number or email is an appointment enquiry service only and will not be used for any other matters such as sales calls, recruitment consultants, students or graduates requesting information for free (call your training establishment for this, not me, that's what you pay them for), graphic design or website overhaul, SEO, cryptocurrency, unwanted spam or nuisance calls will be blocked as I am disinterested in intrusive, freeloading/time-wasting callers. 
  • What are the next steps? We book an initial consultation by looking at what limited slot(s) are available. I’ll send an arrangement message with the therapy agreement/terms and conditions with prepayment instructions via text. Upon receipt of prepayment to secure the appointment, I’ll send confirmation and access details/clinic protocols etc 
  • Face-to-face or online? To be honest, the vast majority of enquiries are for face-to-face in-person sessions and online sessions are generally for those past clients (for top-up maintenance sessions) or present clients that don’t live in Bristol or can't physically get to the clinic for various reasons. 
  • Are sessions tailored to each person? Yes. I do not believe in boring, repetitive, parrot-fashion language. Suggestions to the subconscious are tailored to each individual client, depending on what the client brings to each session. Variety, cadence (voice modulation, vocal projection, live vocal layering etc), and flair with hypnotic linguistics are essential to engage every client's imagination in order to elicit the best unconscious responses. I also default to think in 3-D, so I have visual/spatial skills that I use during therapy that illuminate the therapeutic narrative. Neuroscience shows that low-frequency sound, (my cadence/tone of voice and how I skillfully use my voice) allows the client’s neurons in their brain to match to the low-frequency sound to effectively change their emotional tone/tuning by creating a low-frequency, calming oscillation pattern within the listener.  
  • Where is the clinic? 5 College Fields, rear lower ground floor - College Fields is renowned as being one of Bristol’s finest addresses and one of the UK’s top 50 streets - set within a £4 million pound property (with a peaceful garden view) in the heart of the desirable BS8 postcode and is within an easy walk of the fashionable Clifton Village and Durdham Downs. 
  • Parking is easy with spaces freely available on the street outside with a pay and display meter requiring £1.50 for 1 hour, unless you have a CV (Clifton Village Resident) parking permit. Unfortunately, the main driveway for the house is for private residents use only. 
  • Quiet location. The clinic is a truly therapeutic environment, tranquil, and surrounded by trees. You can often hear birdsong from the garden or the distant sound of classical piano music, for additional ambience. Rear ground floor accessibility with a waiting area and toilet facilities.
  • The therapy room has a balance of natural light and/or ambient lighting, it's warm and cosy in the winter and cool in the summer. There's an extra large couch for added comfort and two luxurious pillows/optional soft blanket. 
  • Filtered water supplied and green cane biodegradable soft-touch tissues, if you happen to be thirsty or emotional. Hand sanitiser is also provided. Neal’s Yard organics and Amphora Aromatics products are used throughout the clinic. 
  • Eco-friendly, ethical and organic ethos. 

I'm more than happy to answer any questions (9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday only) you may have as I'm here to help. I have a corporate background in professional client management/training and development. 

Modus Operandi 

My MO (one's particular way of doing things) is that I’m direct, straight-talking, no-nonsense, operate with appropriate professional boundaries, tenacious, assertive, knowledgeable, meticulous, highly skilled, charismatic, personable, perceptive and empathic: I have an exceptional degree of sensitivity in understanding other people's emotions and often work somatically. I have over 19 years of full-time relevant experience and expertise in treating patients. 

Integrative, evidence-based perspective 

I provide individualistic therapy that embodies a holistic, integrative, evidence-based approach, combining ideas and techniques from different therapeutic schools of thought depending on the unique needs of a given client. Clients are able to recognise how their biology is responding and able to implement the tools and strategies being learnt during therapy. 

Cumulative effect of therapy sessions

Tallking therapy techniques including Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, Brain-based therapy, Trauma-informed therapy, Polyvagal-informed therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques and more precisely, hypnotic suggestions, in addition to the production alpha and theta brainwaves (deep relaxation) also have a cumulative effect, when there’s consistency there is a build up of positive suggestions being reinforced in the subconscious mind that it will act upon, and will do so more rapidly than if you were feeding the suggestions to your conscious mind. By significantly lowering the cumulative effects of adrenaline, cortisol (rises as we age), stress and anxiety, by quietening the primitive parts of the brain, we work collaboratively to restore your intellectual control so you can become so much calmer, and resolve problems or concerns. 

Repeated practice 

The more the techniques are practiced and post-hypnotic suggestions are brought into play, the more permanent the results can become. Self-hypnosis training and reinforcement of the mp3 relaxation audio for home use (in between sessions) also provide additional help whilst supporting patients to achieve their goals and improve their overall well-being. 

*It’s important to note that attending sporadic sessions such as bi-weekly (every 2 weeks) isn’t shown to be as effective as weekly sessions, because a therapeutic/trusting relationship has to be established and the brain needs repetition to rewire the nervous system in order for lasting changes to occur.

Cognitive therapy does very little

Research shows Cognitive therapy does not have a lasting benefit

  • After 5 to 20 sessions those with anxiety or depression appear to recover
  • 2 years later they are no different to those who had no treatment

CBT is a surface-level treatment rather than a method for lasting changes as it simply doesn’t address the root causes. 

According to famed British psychologist Oliver James, though, CBT is a “scam” that does little to address underlying psychological issues. James, a psychodynamic therapist, argues that until people understand what led to their psychological troubles, those troubles are likely to reoccur. 25 Nov 2014

I work with my clients to address the underlying psychological issues and often get to the root cause. 

*Choose an ethical and experienced therapist 

Without repetition, any perceived changes are likely to be transient/short-lived. Unfortunately, fast or quick-fix therapy is not a panacea, understandably, certain issues simply cannot be fixed in one or a few sessions. 

Don't be fooled by various fake “award-winning” marketing hype and do your research on “vanity awards” (search online).

Be cautious of “fake award winning therapists”

These types of made-up awards are one of the biggest scams going. I feel this emerging issue needs highlighting so that people can be made aware. Rest assured that I am taking the necessary and appropriate action to abolish the prevalence of fake awards whereby they will be contacted by the relevant body or authority to remove them

Business vanity award scams are a type of fraud in which companies or individuals are tricked or knowingly paying for fake awards or recognition that have no real value. These scams often involve unsolicited emails or phone calls from award organizers who claim to be representing a reputable organization or magazine. Read What are ‘vanity awards’ and why you should NEVER enter them? by Karen Sutton where you can see the list of scam awards. These fake awards are not reputable and the therapist has not been voted for in any capacity. These scams have also been brought to light by consumers leaving their feedback on Trustpilot.. 

Marketing a fake “pay to play” bogus award that doesn’t actually involve any genuine nominations. Similarly, awards that claim to go through a 50-point checking system, in-house “specialist vetting” by a panel of fictitious “expert judges” or allow self-nominating or such like is a facade and is wholly unethical. With a trustpilot rating of 3.1, many disgruntled reviewers and most reporting it as a scam. Scam Detector rated this as suspicious and having low credibility. 

Similarly, be wary of anyone who offers guarantees, as there are no guarantees in therapy. An example of transparent, honest and ethical practice is: 

“Success is not guaranteed and full client commitment is important, such as listening to the relaxation/confidence building download. Full client participation is required – this will be fully explained at the Initial Consultation.”

For example, therapists are not allowed to advertise things such as:

The #No1 choice for stopping smoking 

Or 

The best hypnotherapy in Bristol 

Or

Your local bristol hypnotherapist (when in reality you are online only in a different part of the country) is misleading and is clickbait. 

*Unless there is clear evidence to substantiate these claims, however, I have noticed that in the the vast majority of these statements that there isn't evidence to substantiate these “claims”. 

Ethical therapists are bound by the following guidelines: 

C14. You must follow guidelines in relation to advertising and promoting your services

Any advertising you, or anyone acting on your behalf, undertake in relation to your professional activities must be factual and verifiable.

Advertisements must not be misleading, or likely to mislead, false or unfair. 

Be mindful to ensure you choose an ethical, authentic and experienced therapist.

All of my information is factual and verifiable. Ask for proof and I will be more than happy to supply the evidence. 

An example of good practice on a therapists website to support the transparency regarding legitimate customer reviews is as follows: 

All of the reviews on the page are real, legitimate testimonials which can be found on Facebook and Google.

I'm a huge support to other therapists that want their therapy practices to flourish, but I ensure those I supervise to conduct themselves ethically. 

*Whilst I acknowledge that a small percentage of awards are bona fide ones, it's worth checking out their credibility. 

Establishing a therapeutic alliance 

I don’t buy into quick fixes either or “pit stop” therapy. One must understand that therapy has to be authentic to build a therapeutic relationship/alliance. Appropriate time and attention to listen attentively, to notice what’s really going on. Rather obviously, complex issues require in-depth work so a one-off session or a rapid quick-fix approach isn’t appropriate, ethical or realistic. Metaphorically, more of a road trip than a pit stop because healing isn’t a linear process, it can be unpredictable and filled with twists and turns along the journey. Healing isn't a task, it's a practice:It's not once and done, it's an ongoing practice you have to choose. I think it’s unethical to offer guarantees or say that you have 98% results/success etc, any ethical therapist worth their salt will not offer such things. 

Brain-based 

My work is neuro-psychologically informed psychotherapy that incorporates the latest findings from neuroscience, psychology, cognitive sciences, neuropsychology, somatics etc. You’ll get science-based insight into how your brain is really designed to work. 

Is hypnotherapy becoming more popular? 

Yes, 1 in 18 people have used hypnotherapy in the western world. Hypnotherapy is considered a safe practice when performed by trained practitioners and is becoming more mainstream in treating physical and mental health (Thomson, 2019).

The Health Education Authority has said, “research shows that there is more scientific evidence for hypnotherapy than any other complementary therapy, by using hypnotherapy people can perform prodigious feats of willpower and self-healing”.

“Rather than focusing on the problem, compassion allows individuals to take a step back, reflect on what’s not really helping, and engage in alternative thinking as to how to find a solution,” “When people are a little bit calmer and more collected, we know it helps your brain and body work in a different way – your frontal cortices come online, and you release more acetylcholine, meaning you become solution-focused rather than problem-focused.” - Prof Frances Maratos, an expert in affective science, or the study of emotion and affect. James O’Malley, @Psythor, The Guardian.

Solution Focused Therapy 

Is solution focused therapy effective?The conclusion of eight meta-analyses, a number of systematic reviews, and the over-all conclusion of the most recent scholarly works on SFBT(Solution Focused Brief Therapy), is that SFBT is an effective approach to the treatment of psychological problems, with effect sizes similar to other evidenced-based approaches, such as Cognitive Behaviour (Gingerich, Kim, and MacDonald, 2012; Kim et al, 2019; Trepper & Franklin, 2012).

Obviously, it’s imperative to choose a bona fide solution-focused therapist practitioner with the correct training (CPHT trained), experience and expertise.

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) is a future-oriented, goal-directed approach to solving human problems of living. The focus is on the client's health rather than the problem, on strengths rather than weaknesses or deficits, and on skills, resources, and coping abilities that would help in reaching future goals and working towards your preferred future. When we think about our preferred future we get a spike of anticipatory dopamine, the hormone that makes us motivated to achieve what we want.

Neuroscience of Neuroplasticity 

A basic formula for Neuroplasticity is Repetition (Consistency) + Attention = Lasting Change. 

Treatment uptake by type of common mental health problem
Depression: 59.4%
Obsessive-compulsive disorder: 52.1%
Phobias: 51.6%
Generalised anxiety disorder: 48.2%
Common mental disorder, not otherwise specified: 24.7%
Panic disorder: 20.9%
*It is estimated that 75% of people with mental health problems in England may not get access to the treatment they need. Source: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

I believe that people should view therapy as being like any other health service. Like if you hurt your ankle, you might go and see a physiotherapist, you could go to a therapist if you’re finding your emotions challenging or if your thought process is overwhelming you. 

Michael Hughes hypnotherapy and psychotherapy was established in 2005, now with 19 years of full-time experience as a Senior Clinical Hypnotherapist, Senior Psychotherapist and Coach. Michael has over 14 years as a Senior Clinical Supervisor, Mentor and pioneer for change for new, innovative ways of working within the profession. Michael strives to properly and correctly educate the public in a way that is accessible to those seeking help/treatment. 

Michael is an expert in the profession with over 21,000 hours of providing tailored therapeutic experience in dealing with a wide range of emotional and psychological issues where patients are supported to develop strategies for managing problems and for working out new, more helpful solutions and perspectives on their world.

CPHT The Gold Standard of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Training 

From 2005, Michael was privileged to be taught and clinically supervised for several years by David Newton, the father of solution focused hypnotherapy and psychotherapy who is undoubtedly one of the most successful hypnotherapists in the UK, having the experience of well in excess of 36,000 clinical hours in his career. David is the founder of CPHT Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Training. 

Successful

Michael is considered by many to be a leader in the field of modern, effective, clinical hypnotherapy and one of the most established practitioners there are in the UK. Michael is regarded as one of the most successful hypnotherapists there is in Bristol and the UK, he is also one of the most Senior qualified and experienced therapists in clinical practice. 

Michael has remained consistently busy since the start of his career and continued to flourish within a highly competitive therapeutic field. 

Why so successful? 

Reputation, word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from various GP’s, consultants, mental health professionals, body-based therapists, other hypnotherapists and psychotherapists from around the world will also refer clients to Michael.

Over the years he’s built an impressive network of influential contacts as well as various specialists, including others that are undeniably the crème de la crème of the therapy profession, Harley Street etc 

“Michael works full-time as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist”...

Yes, kudos is often given to those who do work full-time as it’s a very good sign that they are highly skilled as a therapist practitioner. It's assumed that therapy is an easy career but it is not “easy” and many therapists don’t last or burnout/quit. It takes skill, knowledge, resilience, setting boundaries, self-care practice, adaptability amongst other things to remain the very best one can be. 

“Michael really knows what he’s talking about”... 

Yes. One would hope so...as I research constantly about Psychotherapy, neuroscience, the brain and neurobiology. 19 years of doing so rigorously ensures that I do know what I’m talking about. 

“He’s very effective as a therapist practitioner”...

I take that as a compliment. I’m confident in my ability as a therapist and my unwavering belief that I can help my clients/patients. 

“He knows the brain inside and out”...

Indeed, when you’ve researched as are as well read as I am about the subject of how a persons brain works then one wouldn’t expect anything less. 

“He’s an exceptionally skilled professional, empathetic, understanding, listens and is also rather funny”...

I always strive to be so. Therapy shouldn’t be a chore and should be an enjoyable experience on the whole. 

Prestigious Clinic 

In 2012 Michael was headhunted and formally invited to work in one of Bristol’s most prestigious clinics where he was referred hundreds of people and was rigorously tested on his therapy outcomes and ever since then he has have practiced exclusively in Clifton. This is a centre of excellence for health that includes mental health provision via hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and other psychological techniques such as cognitive behavioural approaches, solution-focused therapy etc. Michael is undoubtedly the leading therapist and also the most senior, experienced mental health therapist in Clifton Health. 

The Bristol centre (Clifton Health) is known for its desirable location, secluded, quiet, surrounded by trees, easy to park and conveniently located a couple of streets from Clifton Village. Michael also consults his patients worldwide - online via Zoom

Accredited Senior Clinical Supervisor 

Michael is qualified to supervise, mentor and teach other hypnotherapists (for 14 years) and other hypnotherapy supervisors in clinical practice. Invariably, people know him to be very successful and well known in the profession for his specialist areas of expertise, but he is best known for his knowledge of brain areas and how these explanations are skilfully linked into therapy. Other therapists (mainly nurses, mental health workers, social workers or those with psychology degrees) that book in clinical supervision sessions with Michael due to his knowledge, neuroscience information, innovation that he brings to the profession. Another common reason to access supervision is to prevent therapist burnout. How common is therapist burnout?

In an online survey of 298 qualified therapists, 78.9%suffered from “high burnout,” and 58.1% experienced “high disengagement” (Johnson et al., 2020). The data is concerning for the profession but also for our clients.- 4 Apr 2023

There's naivety with some therapists believing that burnout doesn't happen if you are “solution-focused” but this is absolute rubbish. It is misguided and dangerous to paper over the cracks and ignore the signs of when a therapist is displaying signs of burnout. An effective and experienced supervisor will be more than able spot signs of isolation, withdrawal, negativity, irritability, exhaustion or compassion fatigue early in a Supervisee and step in to help. 

For example, Reciprocal therapy specifically for therapists was my original idea in 2010 to incorporate this into the fabric of the association where I was head of research. I was also one of the first to suggest the incorporation of a free introductory 10-minute clarity call and campaigned for this to become used as standard practice. I also pioneered a new approach to supervision and my model has been copied by other supervisors.

What exactly does a Clinical Supervisor do? 

A Clinical Supervisor provides an environment in which to provide supervision. Supervision is a formal, supportive and developmental process in which trainee or qualified hypnotherapists, psychotherapists or other Supervisors/Senior Supervisors can review their client work with an experienced, highly-skilled clinical supervisor to ensure the provision of safe, ethical and competent therapy.

What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?

"Research shows that there is more evidence for Hypnotherapy than any other Complementary Therapy...by using hypnosis people can perform prodigious feats of will power and self healing".

Hypnotherapy is a fast, effective and powerful tool for lasting change.

Clinical Hypnotherapy uses practical, modern and well-researched strategies to help people make significant, positive changes in their lives in a relatively short period of time. It works on things when we know that we would like to change yet we are unable to put those plans into action. This is where hypnotherapy comes in to help you become unstuck and move forward.

Hypnosis is a completely natural state and it often occurs when we are deeply absorbed, like watching television, reading a book or doing something repetitive. Being hypnotised tends to vary from person to person as everyone experiences hypnosis differently.  In general, most people tend to feel very relaxed and comfortable whilst being hypnotised. Think of it like listening to the radio in the background whilst you restfully close your eyes. When hypnosis occurs we have access to the subconscious mind where the mind can let go of whatever is holding you back and enter into a solution based intellectual mode whereby negative behaviour patterns can be changed in favour of more positive patterns and where unwanted habits can be effectively changed.

This is exactly why Solution Focused Brief Hypnotherapy is increasingly becoming the ‘treatment of choice’.

The science of hypnosis regarding brain activity and connectivity

Research shows that during hypnosis there is a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate, part of the brain’s salience network. “In hypnosis, you’re so absorbed that you’re not worrying about anything else,” Spiegel explained.

Secondly, they saw an increase in connections between two other areas of the brain — the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. He described this as a brain-body connection that helps the brain process and control what’s going on in the body.

Consistency and repetition 
I prefer to work more long-term, as the brain requires repetition to form a regular new pattern of response. Some people request one or two sessions of therapy as this is a bit of a pointless exercise to be honest…as habits are created through repetition until they become automatic, when positive behaviours are consistent, then you’ll notice these positive changes as well as friends, colleagues and family members. 

Making an enquiry or booking an initial consultation 

You can call, do leave a voicemail if it goes to answerphone or I will assume it's spam or an unwanted sales call. You can text or email (not WhatsApp or social media) to ask any questions about the process from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday only (I do not provide an out-of-hours therapy service) or ask whether hypnotherapy can help you, to arrange a 10-minute call or book in an initial consultation. 

I appreciate your patience in response times (up to 48 hours) as I’m a busy therapist practitioner. My phone will be switched off completely when I'm with a client, rather obviously when I'm in session, I can't always respond immediately. I do not respond in the evenings, weekends, bank holidays or scheduled annual holidays as I find this too intrusive. Time out to rest and recharge from a complex caseload is imperative. 

Training, qualifications & experience

I am one of the most Senior Practitioners in the UK and certainly one of the most experienced practitioners as a Level 5 Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor with a level 5 Qualification that is currently the highest award in the country of its kind as most others achieve level 4. 

I trained in 2005 at the prestigious Clifton Practice (CPHT) in Bristol, an accredited centre of excellence and the Gold Standard of Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Solution Focused therapy and Cognitive Behavioural therapy techniques training.

My interest and enthusiasm for neuroscience/brain-based therapy was noted in 2010 when I became Head of Research on the Executive Committee of the Association for Solution-Focused Hypnotherapists (AfSFH), an organisation formed from CPHT, a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to further the public’s knowledge about Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy. During this time, I also qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapy Supervisor. 

CPHT is one of the foremost and leading Hypnotherapy establishments in the UK. CPHT has increased their education provision to over 30 training locations and has been training hypnotherapists for over 20 years. Undoubtedly, CPHT is in the business of helping people become confident, successful, and most of all, happy hypnotherapists. 

I am a member of the following organizations:

  • National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) Senior Supervisor 
  • Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
  • General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR Acknowledged Supervisor and GHR Acknowledged Senior Level & Clinical Supervisor Practitioner)
  • Member of The Professional Standards Authority 

I am registered with all the above which ensures that I meet national standards and abide by a strict code of conduct, performance, and ethics. When choosing a Hypnotherapist to ensure that they are registered with the CNHC and check their details are in the database in order to protect and safeguard yourself and that they regularly attend supervision.

Training, qualifications & experience

*From October 2023 there will be a pause on continuing professional development courses as this has exceeded the requirements for CPD.

Rewind Trauma Therapy - IARTT The International Association for Rewind Trauma Therapy by Dr David Muss.— September 2023 - TBA

The Call to Courage by Brené Brown - Online 

The Tools by Dr Phil Stutz - Online

The Psychology of Attachment Styles with Dr Kathrine Bejanyan - September 2023 - attended and completed. 

The Science of Trauma: The Path to Healing with Dr. Deba Choudhury-Peters -  September 2023 - attended and completed. 

Child Sexual Abuse - Hope for Healing Online Training - August 2023 - currently studying 

‘Working with Trauma in a time of trauma - July 2023 - currently studying 

'Working with trauma that has become stuck' - June 2023 - currently studying 

‘Working with trauma triggers and flashbacks’ - May 2023 - currently studying

'Working with trauma memories' - April 2023 - currently studying. 

Working with Dissociative Disorders in Clinical Practice - February 2023

Mental Health and the Body: Treating Trauma Online Training - February 2023. 

Psychoneuroimmunology-based relaxation therapy in the 21st century with Dr Judy Lovas - February 2023

Trauma and the Body: Dissociation and Somatisation Online Training - January 2023

Dealing with Distress: Working with Suicide and Self-Harm Online Training - January 2023

Working with Shame Online Training - January 2023

Working with Relational Trauma: Dealing with Disorganised Attachment - January 2023 

How to Deflect Negative Emotion: The Mirror Neuron System (MNS) and Emotional Contagion by Dr David Hamilton - January 2023 

Psychopathology for Psychotherapists
Surveying some of the key disorders in mental health - November 2022

Neuroscience Fundamentals for Psychotherapists - November 2022

Obsessional Compulsive Disorder - Neuroscience and neurophysiology to overcome obsessions, compulsions, fears and perfectionism - October 2022 

Subcortical Regions of the Brain, Circadian and Ultradian Rhythms and the Sleep Cycle. Understanding Brain Networks and Brain Plasticity - October 2022

Psychotherapy in Pain Management - May 2022

Treating the severe OCD client - May 2022

Bridging the evidence-based gap: From pathological narcissism to narcissism survivors - May 2022 

How to Work With Shame - January 2021

How to Work with the Traumatised Brain - January 2021

Addressing Post-Traumatic Shame and Moral Injury in Clinical Practice with Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD -  2021 

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - 29th April 2018
Motor disorders with Parkinson’s UK - Mending brains with Parkinson's disease - Why being distracted makes you fall over - CPD - Dr. Emily Henderson is a Consultant Geriatrician and lead for Movement Disorders Research at the Royal United Hospitals Bath and an Honorary Consultant Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol - March 2018
Drug Addiction with the Bristol Drugs Project - Why do people overdose. How do we treat drug dependence - CPD - March 2018
Dementia with BRACE - Making and maintaining memories - Why brain cells stop working properly in dementia - CPD - March 2018
Mental Health Disorders - Finding more effective interventions for major depressive disorder. What does sleep have to do with our mental health - CPD - March 2018
Evidencing The Science of the Initial Consultation - 3rd December 2017
Treating Intrusive Thoughts - 19th December 2017
Psychological Science - 2017
Willpower - Self Regulation and Control - 24th September 2017
An Introduction to EEG electroencephalogram (Measuring Brain Activity) and Hypnotherapy - Saturday 23rd September 2017
Self-Hypnosis for Pain Management - 2017 Hypnotherapy Supporting People undergoing Chemotherapy and Emetophobia -  Dorothea Read & Sarah Whittaker 2017
Needle Phobia - Dorothea Read & Sarah Whittaker  2017
Masterclass in Hypnotic Language and Metaphor - 2017
Masterclass in Conversational Hypnosis - 2017
“The Domesticated Brain: How the Changing Social Environment Turned Us into Children" - Professor Bruce Hood - 18th March 2016
Masterclass in Ericksonian Indirect Hypnosis - Dr. Robert McNeilly 11th & 12th April 2015
Hypnotherapy For Clients Having Chemotherapy - Dorothea Read & Sarah Whittaker  18th September 2015
Senior Qualification in Hypnotherapy Practice - SQHP CPHT 
National Council of Hypnotherapy CPD Training - 15th February 2014
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Claire Brigg OCD - 15th June 2014
‘A life in neuroscience: from brain mechanisms to public policy’.Professor David Nutt - Friday 11th October 2013
The Relationship between Neuroscience and Obesity - Claire Brigg 26th August 2012
Neuroscience and Research - Dr. Naeem Iqbal 28th April 2012
Solution Focused Brief therapy talk with Evan George - BRIEF:LONDON - 26th November 2011
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Refresher Course for fully qualified hypnotherapists  - David Newton 30th October 2011
The Contagious Power of Positive Thinking - Dr. David Hamilton - 13th September 2011
Getting More Clients - Marketing Course - 26th June 2011 Nicola Griffiths 
Psychoneuroimmunology - The Impact of Hypnotherapy on Disease - 20th February 2011 - Dr Ken Murray
Introducing Neuro-Linguistic Programming - July 2011
Head of Research for Association For Solution Focused Hypnotherapists - 2011
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Refresher Course - David Newton 27th & 28th Nov 2010
SFBT Supervision for Hypnotherapy Diploma - AccHypSup; NCH Accredited Hypnotherapy Supervisor 
Solution-Focused Group Supervision Certificate - 20th June 2010 
Solution-Focused Supervision Diploma (16th December 2010)
Diploma in SFBT Skills for Hypnotherapists: SFBT-Hyp-(21 September 2009) taught by David Newton 
Diploma in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Skills: CBT-Hyp-(8th June 2009) taught by David Newton 
Certificate: Drug Addiction: Addiction, Dependence & Change…Biology Or Belief - taught by Phillip Harris (29th June 2008)
Certificate: ‘Solution-Focused Film Show’ (April 2008) training by David Newton 
Certificate in Mindfulness and Acceptance-based strategies (27th July 2008) taught by Denise Clark 
Certificate: Miracle Question (29th April 2007) training by David Newton 
Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy HPD DHP Professional Practitioner (2006) taught by David Newton 
Certificate in Life Coaching - February 2006 awarded by Newcastle University 
Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming - 2005 awarded by Weston College 
RSA NVQ Assessor Award - January 2001
Employment and Diversity Training Certificate (2000)
BA (HONS) 2:1 DEGREE in Three Dimensional Design - 1992-1995
BTEC National Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design - 1990-1992 awarded by Darlington College 

Clinical Supervision

I am a consistent regular attendee of supervisions and now peer supervision as is required at Senior Level. From 2019 I started to supervise other Senior Supervisors. I believe all practitioners have to attend regular supervision and that this be a requirement to practice.

Constantly Acquiring Knowledge

I've read thousands of books, scoured research papers, completed numerous online courses, attended vast numbers of specialist trainings, talks and seminars. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to where I am in the profession. 

Additionally, I regularly attend courses, workshops, seminars (see above) and I research/read continuously to keep abreast with any changes or advances within Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Neurodynamics, Neurochemistry, Psychology, Psychotherapy and everything related to the brain and the wider profession. This ensures that I always keep my advanced/prolific learning and continual professional development up to date.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

NCH
National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)

The National Council for Hypnotherapy holds one of the largest registers of independent Hypnotherapists in the United Kingdom and strives to maintain the highest standards among its members.

There is an agreed Code of Conduct, an established Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure and all members are obliged to maintain comprehensive Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance, maintain regular CPD (continuing professional development) hours, and attend Supervision when needed.

CNHC
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

The CNHC encompasses many types of alternative therapy, including hypnotherapy.

In order to be admitted to the register a practitioner must have studied to the National Occupational Standards for that profession/discipline, or have reached the equivalent of the National Occupational Standards through other relevant training or at least three years of experience and been assessed by their peers.

A practitioner must also have professional insurance and agree to abide by the CNHC Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.

GHR
The General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR)

Hypnotherapists may become members of the General Hypnotherapy Register if they satisfy certain criteria with regard to both training and ongoing requirements as determined from time to time by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC).

Members are either registered at Practitioner status (which confirms that the GHR acknowledges their qualification to practice), or Affiliate status. Although Affiliate level registrants will have completed a sufficient number of training hours to equip them to commence seeing clients on a limited basis, the GHR does not acknowledge them to have yet been trained to full practitioner level.

All GHR Registered Practitioners are required to accept the published Code of Ethics and Complaints & Disciplinary Procedure.

Accredited register membership

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council

Other areas of hypnotherapy I deal with

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years.

“Every story matters...We are all worthy of telling our stories and having them heard. We all need to be seen and honored in the same way that we all need to breathe.”
Brené Brown

Our modern world is certainly challenging out there, whether it's work pressures, physical health difficulties or our mental health increasingly being tested, stress, anxiety, anger, depression, fatigue, burnout, parenting stress, looking after your own parents, financial problems, addictions, housing, increasing difficulties in accessing NHS services and much of the service staff under significant pressures (many signed off sick, suffering burnout or many leaving the NHS altogether due to unrelenting demands and constant pressures), the cost of living crisis...

Worldwide Anxiety up 25%
Worldwide, anxiety disorders grew from about 298 million people affected to 374 million, which is about a 25% increase (April 2023). 

UK Anxiety Statistics 
In the UK, 60 per cent reported feeling anxious in the last 2 weeks and (26%) of those with feelings of anxiety felt anxious to the extent that it stopped them from doing what they’d like or need to do. One in five people (20%) felt anxious most or all of the time.

Health Crisis - Surge in ill health will have a major impact on NHS

According to a recent BBC report (25.7.23) and research conducted by the Health Foundation, the number of people living with major illnesses in England will rise nine times faster than the healthy working-age population, projections show people will be living with anxiety and depression, chronic pain and diabetes. Obesity is one of the major factors that will drive rises in illnesses. The projections suggest there will be 9.1 million people with a major health condition by 2040, a 37% rise in the latest data from 2019. 

“With patients struggling to see a GP at the front door of the NHS and unable to access social care at the back door of the NHS, NHS staff are unfairly caught between a rock and a hard place, picking up the slack from a health and care system that is broken at both ends. - Guardian report 22nd August 2023. 

“Nearly 170,000 workers left their jobs in the NHS in England last year, in a record exodus of staff struggling to cope with some of the worst pressures ever seen in the country’s health system.” - Guardian, June 2023  

I offer private treatment to help adult patients with a wide range of emotional and psychological issues, however, in the more specialist areas, I tend to offer private therapy treatment for individuals (be aware that NHS waiting times for therapy, such as CBT often involve long waiting times. 

The Guardian, March 2022 reported

“Delayed treatment increases risk and you can expect problems in application to study or work, relationship issues, other emerging co-morbid mental health issues, for example, depression, with increased vulnerability to self-harm, anxiety with panic attacks and so on.”

A recent BBC survey (March 2022) found that public satisfaction with the NHS has dropped to its lowest level in 25 years after a sharp fall during the pandemic. That is a drop from 53% the year before - the largest fall in a single year. The public said it was taking too long to get a GP appointment or hospital care, and there was not enough staff. Satisfaction with GP care and hospital services were both at their lowest levels since the survey began.

And mental health charity Mind said there were long waiting times to access NHS services and people being turned away are all now commonplace.

It’s estimated that 1.6 million people are waiting for treatment on the NHS, and the number of adults experiencing depression and anxiety is at pre-pandemic levels.

The pandemic, covid and lockdowns have caused a perfect storm for an unprecedented need for treatment and unfortunately, the longer anxiety issues are left unchecked, the more anxiety spirals, and the increasing anxiety makes thoughts, feelings, and behaviours worse, often intensifying existing symptoms or generating new ones as anxiety always has to have a focus. Increasing stress and anxiety work in tandem to heighten subjective units of distress (SUDS scale).

The general feeling is that NHS psychological and mental health support is so stretched and subject to such long waiting times and when patients do finally manage to access services that the provision of support is insufficient (normally 6 sessions) or disappointing. 

Hope for the future and the expectation of positive change.

Most of my clients are comforted in the knowledge that I've had direct experience historically of anxiety and various other disorders that I have managed to overcome. This gives people a sense of hope and expectation about the possibility that positive changes can happen and their future can be brighter. 

I offer professional private treatment for help with: 

Stress, Anxiety/Psychological distress 

People tend to call me when they are in psychological distress, often suffering from heightened stress and anxiety whereby it's negatively impacting their normal life. Prolonged stress causes 'wear and tear' on the body that life events and environmental stressors create. When events occur that exceed an individual's capacity to cope, (in therapy we call this a full stress bucket) allostatic overload may occur.

A dysregulated/chronic stress response becomes maladaptive and allostatic. Allostasis is the process of adaptation to acute/chronic stress involving the output of stress hormones (too much adrenaline and cortisol build up in the body). Prolonged stress = prolonged output of stress hormones that leads to imbalances when we are constantly living or stuck in a fight/flight response; when it won't switch off and we get sick or experience chronic symptoms. This is a result of a coping mechanism(s) which was unconsciously learned such as hypervigilance, anxiety, trauma, anger procrastination, depression etc 

But the good news is with hypnotherapy and psychotherapy you can unconsciously and consciously unlearn it and rewire the neural pathways towards healing your nervous system, restoring the balance to the mind and body by learning how to rewire your chronic stress response, regulating your nervous system and promote well-being. The relaxation response is accumulative insomuch as once sufficient repetitions occur then you’ll start to feel the benefits and put you back into what scientists call the flow state that is supported by neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. 

The sooner you get in touch to significantly lower your stress and anxiety the better - returning to the flow state before you collapse and crash from too much “allostatic load” from an overloaded nervous system. 

Post CAMHS therapy 

With the greatest of respect, please ensure that if you are a parent wishing for your 18+year-old to access the service that they want to willingly and actively participate in therapy. Do not send them if they are not committed to attend, otherwise this is a waste of time. 

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. CAMHS is undeniably under immense pressure to offer timely treatment to the tsunami of teenagers out there that need help. 

I get a large percentage of recommendations from parents that want their 18-year-olds (and upwards age range) to see me, post-CAMHS treatment, when CAMHS treatment is due to end. Alternatively, if the waiting list is too long for NHS adult mental health services or the treatment wasn’t right for the individual and the symptoms, issues problems or concerns still persist. 

These cases are often highly complex cases where the parent(s) have heard about the therapy work that I've provided for others and they want their son or daughter to book in to see me for therapy. 

Many of the cases referred to see me are neurodivergent, meaning having a brain that works differently from the average or “neurotypical” person.

These young adults often feel lost, have lack of direction or a sense of apathy about the future, with the perception that life is becoming much harder (expensive housing, extortionate educational fees, increased competition and fewer places on courses (2023), the cost of living crisis, higher competition for jobs) that can feel overwhelming to a teenager. This often manifests in existential crisis, whether it's sexuality or identity issues, depression, insomnia, anxiety, ADHD, ASD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, OCD, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, anger, self-harming, feeling like there is no point or there's no future (many have paused their studies or dropped out of college or university) other teenagers may be feeling so stressed or develop such high anxiety about the pressures to succeed and many worried parents refer their son or daughter to see me. 

This stress, anxiety and maladaptive behaviour that prevents you from making adjustments that are in your own best interest. Avoidance, withdrawal, and passive aggression, pressure can manifest in numerous symptoms or behaviours from frequent outbursts or anger, detachment, eating disorders, self-harming, suicidal ideation that are often triggered by trauma that can be the death of a friend or family member, an accident or just general malaise as a result of a fried nervous system due to repeated high cortisol levels (stress hormone from the sympathetic nervous system; fight/flight/freeze) in their bodies that depletes executive functions, decision making, memory and goal orientated behaviours. Their brain’s default mode network when they are inactive then negatively projects the future and makes things worse. This is where hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can rewire the brain and the associated networks by significantly calming the mind and body. 

Parents just want their son or daughter back. They don’t want to see them suffering or struggling and often finding the right help or skilled therapist can seem exasperating for a parent as it can be a minefield out there. 

As the parents generally set up arranging an appointment, a discussion is required before I consider taking on a case as this depends on the severity of complexity of the presenting symptoms or issues. 

I have to balance my caseload so I will ascertain whether I can take on new cases, depending on the severity of the other complex cases that I currently deal with. Whilst I fully appreciate parents are desperate for their children to see an experienced mental health professional for the correct therapeutic interventions *Unfortunately, I can no longer see under 18’s due to the bureaucratic additional administration required from external organisations. 

Men’s Mental Health

You will often see many female therapists that niche their business for providing therapy for women but there’s plenty of men out there that need help.

At any one time, it is believed that one in eight men have a common mental health problem, such as depression and anxiety. 

I’ve seen a significant increase in men coming forward to access the therapy service in recent years and I’ve supported mens mental health in addressing their anxiety and helping them to navigate negative, anxiety based/stressful or angry or intrusive thoughts or feelings that affect their behaviours towards themselves, their relationship or their work. 

Men often have concerns about masculinity, guilt, shame or talking therapies being perceived as weak that stem from outdated societal stereotypes, beliefs or pressures to man up and sustain being macho, tough, having to suffer in silence or endure painful or uncomfortable feelings that aren’t especially useful when you know that your mental health is suffering. For example, I was raised by a Scottish, professional FA Cup-winning footballer, Billy Hughes. My late father (70) played professionally for Sunderland AFC in the 1973 FA cup final at Wembley Stadium. My late uncle (79) was Celtic footballing legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes.

Both men were old-school, had a strict, tough upbringing and they never really talked about feelings or emotions. My father and Uncle both held the belief of just manning up and getting on with it. 

I make it my mission to break down the stigma surrounding mens mental health (if you’ve got a broken leg it’s attended to but if you have a mental health issue then it’s often overlooked as it’s not always obvious to others and often you feel you should just soldier on) as by learning to express how you feel and process the emotions you are feeling in a safe, confidential therapeutic space can ironically be exceptionally empowering. Accessing the right support can be daunting but it need not be as therapy is often a cathartic experience on a journey where it can make you feel so much calmer, resilient and stronger as a result.

Professor and author, expert on vulnerability and shame Brené Brown says “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.”

Adrenal Fatigue I Burnout I Depression 

“I’m signed off work at the moment” is something I'm all too familiar with hearing when people call to book an initial consultation. 

I treat a large number of people for adrenal fatigue, burnout and depression. Recent research shows that three out of five working people (61%) said they felt exhausted at the end of the working day, polling of more than 2,000 working people in England and Wales found.

New research on depression isn't actually caused by low serotonin and this mode of thinking is outdated. Increased inflammation is seen in the periphery in both depression and fatigue. This inflammation leads to increased permeability of the BBB (Blood-Brain Barrier), allowing for easier entry of inflammatory molecules or immune cells into the CNS. (Central Nervous System) Inflammatory signaling in the CNS leads to both structural and functional changes, with the hippocampus being the location of many of the changes. The hippocampus is particularly sensitive to stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and fatigue is often a precursor to depression/burnout. 

Demands from employers are increasing and the pressure to work beyond our contractual hours is worsening, what with intrusive technical surveillance or being tethered to technology, answering calls or emails with an expectancy of being on call, staff shortages, stagnant pay and ever increasing workloads.

These pressures can take their toll on our mental and physical health, staff call in sick, sickness absence increases and staff retention becomes problematic. People are usually on full sick pay then half pay then occupational health in your workplace get involved, it's stressful.  

Continuing to push and push people to work even harder simply isn't sustainable.

People need to switch off or have some downtime to rest and recharge, otherwise, the demands of employers will continue to fuel this expectancy of overworking, fatigue and burnout. When stress overloads our system then our lives can quickly unravel, negatively impacting our work, relationships or the way we feel about ourselves.

Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can help reset and recharge an overloaded nervous system and we can use solution focused therapy effectively with the combination of deeply restful and restorative hypnotherapy and take steps to increase hippocampal repair through brain plasticity, as well as the LPFC (left prefrontal cortex (the brain’s executive network) and move the focus of attention away from the primitive brain’s reactive fight/flight/freeze/fawn response and amygdala predominance of negative bias, threat detection and negative future projection in default mode network (DMN). Hope is at hand to combat learned helplessness that is exacerbated by fatigue/depression and burnout. 

Anger Management 

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. ~ Mark Twain

In 2023, Shopworkers, GP surgeries, call centres, hospitality, government workers etc have all reported a significant rise in abuse as a national rage seems to have permeated into a societal norm. There has been a surge in the public’s anger since the covid pandemic began. Uncertainty often causes stress and modern life seems to increase the intensity of uncertainty and exasperates people’s frustration tolerance. 

People will have certainly noticed signs in all of these types of places and messages on telephone waiting lines stating that staff will not tolerate anger, abusive language or violent behavior. Research in the past year shows there's been a 25 per cent increase in abusive behaviour nationally and up 53 per cent of violence and abuse in Bristol since 2022 (British Retail Consortium).

45% of staff regularly lose their temper at work. This could be because of a demanding workload and increasing stress levels or it could be due to the fact that 53% of people have been the victims of bullying at work. Both bullying and increased stress levels have a detrimental effect on anger and the (usually unhealthy) way it is expressed.

Not surprisingly Britain is the top road rage country within the European Union with 80.4% of drivers claiming to have been involved in road rage incidents; another 1 in 4 drivers admit to committing an act of road rage. Source: BAAM

We know that stress increases anger and anger is a primitive response in defending ourselves against other wild tribesman and wild animals. But with various societal changes since the pandemic have influenced a much more competitive environment and when meeting our basic needs have become increasingly challenging and our threat response is activated then people are quicker to anger because a decline in human empathy triggers a frequency in a significant rise in abusive behaviours.

Anger always comes from within an individual and is expressed outwardly and often stems from feeling rejected, or threatened or experiencing some form of loss, injustice or mistreatment whereby we change the pain or frustrations we feel into anger and direct it, express it towards others. However, when an individuals anger is left to intensify, it can lead to hatred. 

The answer is to work on reducing individual stress, increasing connection whilst reducing isolation and loneliness.  If you don't learn how to deal with anger triggers, it activates the sympathetic nervous system/fight or flight response and dangerously raises the stress hormone cortisol which adjusts (and rises) to try to help us deal with further stressors but this can cause outbursts, abuse, anger or violence which can lead to a whole slew of physical and mental health problems. Anger is an incredibly toxic emotion and certainly takes its toll on the mind and body. 

Anger can be a negative and detrimental trance state (an intense narrowing of focus that is linked to the expectation of being angry or angrier via negative reinforcement). 

Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy works to significantly reduce stress and anxiety away from the sympathetic nervous system and towards the parasympathetic nervous system (deep rest and digestion that hypnosis activates) in order to restore peace and calm to the mind and body and updates the brain via positive repetition to help avoid the triggers, help you to become calmer and more relaxed, allowing you to respond to situations more effectively, rather than react inappropriately. 

One antidote to anger is kindness to oneself and others (rather challenging in the current climate), in addition to significantly calm the body at a deep, subconscious level. When the body is calmer on a deeper subconscious level and our breathing pattern returns to its automatic rhythm then our thoughts, feelings and behaviours revert back to a deep, inner state of contentment. 

In solution focused therapy we would also look for what we call “exceptions” and help the client to remember these times so the client can come to realise they already possess the solutions within themselves. 

Panic Attacks - I used to get panic attacks in my twenties and ended up in A&E breathing into a brown paper bag...I get a lot of people referred to me for dealing with Panic attacks and the debilitating feeling that panic propagates. I have a full understanding of the mechanisms of how they operate and hope to overcome them. A panic attack is often caused by a full stress bucket as anxiety always has to have a focus but with panic attacks, the metaphorical stress bucket has subsequently overflowed causing these attacks. If the anxiety is left unchecked it can grow into fear and phobia or cause us to feel trapped by fear and anxiety. We work together in therapy and by significantly lowering anxiety to restore that sense of control, balance and equilibrium to give you your life back. 

Calming the Autonomic Nervous System  

Hypnosis has shown an effect on the regulation of the autonomic nervous system by increasing parasympathetic activity. The Analgesia/Nociception Index (ANI) is derived from heart rate variability and represents the relative parasympathetic tone. This is achieved through parasympathetic  positive trance. 

Hypervigilance/threat anticipation 

I used to suffer from extreme hypervigilance...People experiencing hypervigilance are unusually sensitive to the environment and people around them. It is not a condition in itself, but a way of behaving that may be caused by trauma or an underlying mental health problem. When someone experiences hypervigilance, their subconscious is constantly anticipating danger. 

The situations they are trying to spot might be:

• a physical danger
• a repeat of a traumatic event
• something wrong in a relationship

This super alertness makes people with hypervigilance feel and act as though there is always a threat around the corner.

Normally, they are not responding to a real threat. Rather, their brain is overanalyzing, and overreacting to, input from their senses.

I help many patients to overcome this type of overactive threat detection system. 

Intrusive Thoughts - (also see OCD description) Experiencing sudden, involuntary, unwanted thoughts that are often repetitive and can be disturbing or distressing for the individual. Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and about 80 to 90 % of the general population has experienced intrusive and disturbing thoughts, images or ideas at various points in their life and heightened stress and anxiety can fuel intrusive thoughts/images or ideas. The most common are intrusive thoughts about relationships that can place a strain on the relationship itself. Examples of relationship intrusive thoughts can include:

analyzing the strength of their feelings for their partner obsessively and finding fault constantly seeking reassurance from their partner or doubts regarding fidelity, controlling behaviours etc 

Trauma processing Dealing with deep-level trauma that intense anxiety and stress exacerbate - helping to release any repetitive subconscious negative habits that are affecting the mental or physical aspects of a person's life for stress-related issues that have been ruled out medically, have not responded to standard talking therapies etc and are a direct result of trauma/anxiety/depression and stress. 

However, without proper intervention if the trauma is repeated, emotions may be down-regulated so that we feel numb and emotionless. This is a protective response to the trauma, and the effect may last for a long time, sometimes years and can sometimes lead to FND (Functional Neurological Disorder).  

Dissociative/Psychological Numbness - I've also experienced psychological numbness and dissociation in my twenties...I’ve helped a vast number of patients who experience numbing of emotions (aka emotional blunting) as this is a primitive response to protect oneself from unpleasant or painful feelings. Elevated stress, anxiety, depression or trauma can often fuel emotional numbing that gains strength (if left unchecked) to avoid future potential “threats” often fuelled by negative forecasting, rumination and future discounting and other cognitive distortions. Dissociation is a way the mind copes with too much stress and anxiety reduction and hypnosis help to deeply calm the mind and body and allow a recollection to feeling emotion. 

Workplace Bullying or stress at work 

British adults in employment, 79% commonly experience work-related stress. 1 in 5 will call in sick due to work stress. 

47% of UK workers have observed bullying at work – while one in ten have experienced being bullied in the workplace. 63% of women were subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. 44% of people reported bullying allegations in the UK and 42% leave their jobs because of bad management. 

For example, in the NHS, the 2022 NHS annual survey revealed that 44.8 per cent of staff report feeling unwell as the result of work-related stress.

Patients want to access external, private, therapeutic support to talk through their concerns with total confidentiality. I particularly enjoy helping people who experience bullying in the workplace to assist them in significantly reducing the stress and anxiety bullying causes, to rebuild their self-esteem and confidence to tackle the work situation assertively and effectively to empower themselves.

Clients learn to transform from the “victim” to the “creator” of their circumstances to help facilitate the patient to move forwards from the toxicity of the bully/bullying.

Historically, I've had my fair share of workplace bullying experiences where the bully systematically often bullied the entire workforce (in my twenties) and I took most of the perpetrators through a formal complaints process or tribunal to halt their unacceptable behaviour.

I despise injustices and am unrelenting in order to remedy any such instances and I have certainly surprised many people with my tenacity and wilfulness to achieve fairness and justice as I am unwavering insomuch that such perpetrators must be held accountable.  

I firmly believe that staff should feel safe and treated with respect in their workplace. 

When helping clients...often one of the best things is I’m not aligned with any workplace/company/occupational health and what we discuss remains completely confidential so there’s peace of mind while we work collaboratively to navigate solutions. 

Insomnia and sleep issues When we sort our sleep out then generally everything else sorts itself out. We need our sleep to go into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) to process each day's events through clear dreaming (a rerun of the day or through metaphor or stories). When our sleep suffers then we aren’t able to clear out or process the very issues or concerns that cause stress and anxiety in the first place.

Unfortunately, as adults, we are restricted to just 20 per cent of REM so we can see how when sleep is disrupted that we can’t process emotion, stress or anxiety effectively. Hypnosis is clever as it replicates REM so we can process these feelings or emotions that have accumulated and finally let go of the things that have been piling up in our lives (in our metaphorical stress bucket) or that continue to bother us but with hypnotherapy we can restore our ability to find solutions, gain insights, solve problems and get our life back on track. 

Perfectionism and excessive devotion to work to the point that individuals exclude hobbies and friendships. The three types of perfectionism are socially prescribed perfectionists, other-oriented perfectionists, and self-oriented perfectionists. The approach of “healthy striving” can help people find the middle ground between high performance and damaging overachievement. I offer relevant and tailored treatment for perfectionism, the anxiety that fuels such exacting standards and behaviours and to help the person achieve a greater life balance. 

Health Anxiety (Specialist area of mine) and one I used to suffer severely with in my twenties. I suffered particularly badly with a severe case of papulopustular rosacea (PPR) that primarily affects the face whereby I practically hibernated for 9 years.

Despite useless creams and steroids being prescribed by various doctors, dermatologists, acupuncture, etc, I never gave up and continued to research the condition myself and I finally discovered what worked to clear my skin...Soolantra, a cream that was developed containing ivermectin.

I fully appreciate the debilitating effects that living with this type of condition impacts severely tests one’s mental and physical health/resilience. 

I have vast knowledge and experience of Health Anxiety...a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness. I’d suffered from Health Anxiety or hypochondria, depression, panic attacks and worries about all aspects of health in my twenties. Health Anxiety is:

• Being preoccupied with having or getting a serious disease or health condition
• Worrying that minor symptoms or body sensations mean you have a serious illness
• Being easily alarmed about your health status
• Finding little or no reassurance from doctor visits or negative test results
• Worrying excessively about a specific medical condition or your risk of developing a medical condition because it runs in your family
• Having so much distress about possible illnesses that it's hard for you to function
• Repeatedly checking your body for signs of illness or disease
• Frequently making medical appointments for reassurance — or avoiding medical care for fear of being diagnosed with a serious illness
Avoiding people, places or activities for fear of health risks
• Constantly talking about your health and possible illnesses
• Frequently searching the internet for causes of symptoms or possible illnesses

I finally overcame health anxiety through hypnotherapy after trying all manner of other therapies and interventions. It was hypnotherapy and psychotherapy that finally gave me the solutions to break free from the cycle and repetition of health anxiety. 

Somatic symptoms and Pain Management 

Pain is the most common symptom, but whatever your symptoms, (important that any pain is checked out medically first via your gp)  you have excessive thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to those symptoms, which cause significant problems, make it difficult to function and sometimes can be disabling.

In solution-focused psychotherapy, pain gate theory is explained and therapeutic work is done to replace negative automatic patterns/templates of subconscious expectations of pain habituation with more positive thoughts, feelings and behaviours that with repetition can disrupt pain sensations and affect the gate in the production of serotonin and noradrenaline (and opid type chemicals or hormones such as endorphins and enkephalins) which turn down the pain fibres ability to transmit the signals of pain.

By replacing stress, anxiety, tension, exhaustion, frustration and depression with more automated subconscious positive thinking, that allow for positive interactions, focusing on gratitude, enjoyment and exercise etc that allows for the person to manage their pain more effectively and get on with their life and the things they enjoy. 

OCD: Obsessional Compulsive Disorder - another specialist area of mine and one which I suffered from extensively when OCD ritual behaviours started just before my teens when my perfectionism symptoms of Symmetry and Order OCD developed then as my anxiety increased, the OCD spiralled, manifesting as Ruminations / Intrusive Thoughts OCD regarding Somatic (Body-Focused) Obsessions and Health Anxiety OCD well into my twenties (before training as a therapist) so I understand its deeper workings and how to overcome it or positively direct it, as I did during my therapy training. OCD intrusive, ruminating thoughts/Order and perfectionism behaviours used to be severely debilitating for me for around 17 years and OCD really impacted my life.

Obsession comes from the latin verb that means "to besiege".
Jeffrey M. Schwartz

“One of the driving forces of compulsions in OCD is chronic doubt. It’s known as the doubting disorder. Your brain tricks you into thinking that something has been overlooked, and this fear drives the individual into repeating the action again,” - Dr Holly Schiff

For example, intrusive thoughts are very common in most individuals, the majority of people (84%) report unwanted or intrusive thoughts. In fact most people have random thoughts pop into their heads about harming others, about disastrous events occurring, about ways to commit suicide, and about sexual behaviours they would never perform (Radomsky et al. 2014).

There is evidence that genetic factors suggest that OCD runs in families. However, experts believe that certain genes may make a person more likely to develop the disorder. Biological aspects such as imbalances in serotonin can cause OCD. Environmental factors whether it’s upheaval or trauma experiences in childhood can also trigger the disorder. The same applies to significant life events, heightened stress or cortisol can trigger anxiety disorders (GAD/PTSD can co-occur that can trigger OCD in adults, especially with a history of trauma. 

“OCD can be present if someone also has another disorder, such as anxiety or depression, and it can be present in individuals with neurodevelopmental differences such as ADHD and autism,” - Dr. Amy Marschall

The difference is that people with OCD are more likely to focus on an unwanted intrusive thought and evaluate it more negatively (Gibbs 1996). 

Thoughts are not the problem; the intense focus on the thoughts is the problem and the frontal lobes (Obitofrontal cortex) repeatedly produce negative/distressing or unwanted thoughts due to the frontal lobes ability to anticipate and cause “cognitive fusion” that continue to activate the amygdala (fight or flight response) and the person with OCD experiences uncomfortable levels of anxiety or distress due to an area of the brain called the basal ganglia and a loop dysfunction in OCD could reflect both sides of basal ganglia function, motor and cognitive, to bring about repetitive actions (compulsions) and repetitive thoughts (obsessions) and the creation of “cognitive fusion” whereby the cortex gives priority to the most dominant thought and keeps thoughts stuck there.

In OCD the brain’s frontal lobes, anterior cingulate gyrus and basal ganglia are overactive and the brain lights up so much in these areas, it’s like the brain is on fire. These brain areas are associated with attention and automatic habit formation when the brain becomes stuck on intrusive thoughts or rituals due to an under functioning inhibitory pathway and an overactive excitatory pathway to the basal ganglia. Research also shows clinical OCD sufferers also have excess glutamate and reduced GABA in their anterior cingulate cortex.

Cognitive fusion (CF) involves the tendency to "buy in" to thoughts and feelings and consists of three empirically established domains: somatic concerns (body), emotion regulation (feelings), and negative evaluation (thoughts) and the weight that ocd sufferers attribute to the obsessions. 

Brain imaging, studies show that the prefrontal cortex (orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortexes), basal ganglia, and thalamus are involved in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder causing a lack of certainty and difficultly with decision making. 

Certain brain areas also play important role in the regulation of serotonin (our coping chemical) and people with OCD are often found to have lower levels of serotonin and or damage to their basal ganglia. 

One of the best ways to restore function and treat basal ganglia brain damage is through neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to repair itself, create new neural pathways, and strengthen existing ones. Pathways are best enhanced through repetitive exercise, or massed practice/repetition. 

Having spent 17 years tirelessly searching for a solution, after trying medication via the GP, Meditation, Mindfulness, Counselling, Psychoanalysis, Acupuncture and a whole plethora of therapists and therapies, due to my own high levels of scepticism I had back then about hypnotherapy, I was late to the party (aged 29) before discovering hypnotherapy when all other interventions just hadn't quite managed it. Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy ran much deeper in my journey to conquering OCD... 

Through hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and the brilliance of my incredible mentor - David Newton, what I was taught about the neurobiology of the brain, I learned to redirect and positively pivot this intense focus as a force for good and how to change the focus towards the positive until it became subconscious positive repetition. This is exactly why I enjoy helping hundreds of people to overcome OCD. I explain how the neurobiological factors and neuroscience (including how to produce natural serotonin) about why our brains work in this way and, more importantly, what we can do about it (most of my clients request that they want tools to overcome OCD) and how hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can help you where the knowledge and understanding imparted during therapy is key. 

Fears and Phobias

We are born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, everything else is learned. 

Thanatophobia is an intense fear of death or the dying process. While it's natural to feel anxious about death from time to time, thanatophobia is an anxiety disorder that can disrupt every aspect of your life. I used to experience this intense fear in my teens and twenties. So I have an understanding of how debilitating this can feel so I've helped many client's with this. 

I also deal with many complex cases of Emetophobia (Fear of being sick) and Pseudodysphagia (fear of choking) and also for Globus hystericus (GH) is a subjective feeling of a lump or foreign body in the throat thought to involve psychogenic factors. Driving phobia is another area I get numerous recommendations and referrals for, having treated it successfully many times before. Vestiphobia - fear of clothing is another anxiety area I see much of. Social phobia or social anxiety is a common presenting issue that I help patients with and there are many other fears and phobias that I've helped patients with over the years so these are just a few examples but there are many more fears and phobias that I can help people with and sometimes without graded task exposure which is all too common place in other therapies. 

I also get many cases for Amaxophobia (Fear of Driving) Amaxophobia (also called hamaxophobia) makes you feel anxious or fearful when you drive or ride in a vehicle, such as a car, bus or plane. With it, you have a fear of driving and may also get anxious being a passenger. This fear can interfere with work, socializing and travel etc

Similarly, I work with Hodophobia...which is the medical term for an extreme fear of traveling. Some people call it “trip-a-phobia.” It's often a heightened fear of a particular mode of transportation, such as airplanes or train travel and I’ve helped many people with these symptoms/presenting issues. 

GAD: General Anxiety Disorder: People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. 

Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:

  • panic disorder
  • phobias, such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia
  • social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

Relationship Issues I see patients that have experienced a range of issues from controlling behaviours (suffering from narcissistic, grandiose or covert narcissistic abuse) arguing and jealousy or resentment patterns that erode relationships. I also tend to see a lot of patients where the relationship has ended and they feel empty/lost/grief regarding the temporary void that this causes we work on processing these emotions and subsequently rebuilding and restoring confidence, self-esteem, new ways of thinking, feeling etc 

Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic personality disorder is relatively rare. It is estimated around 1 per cent of the UK population has a diagnosable form of the condition. 

At the end of a relationship, narcissists may become combative, passive-aggressive, hostile, and even more controlling. People with NPD often fail to understand other people's needs and values. They are hyper-focused on their egos but do not account for how their actions affect others. I help patients to understand this toxic relationship and emerge from a victim mentality to one of personal empowerment by strengthening their sense of self through subconscious ego-strengthening suggestions in addition to increasing self-worth, self-esteem, educating the patient around appropriate boundaries and assertiveness whilst understanding not to enter in the realms of the narcissists psychological projection, game playing, gaslighting, controlling and manipulative behaviours that narcissistic personalities attempt to continue to snare their “prey”.

Narcissists keep their victims in a constant state of flux and hypervigilance (constantly assessing threats around you) and anticipating their next attack, this causes stress, anxiety and fear so that cortisol levels (stress hormone) remain so high that your nervous system and fight or flight response becomes increasingly activated. Your amygdala (emotional, primitive part of your brain) over activates to make you more emotionally unstable and volatile. This negatively affects your hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning. These weakened areas in the brain become the perfect ‘emotional rollercoaster’ for gaslighting and being ensnared by the narcissists continuing manipulation, toxicity and abuse causing sadness, hopelessness and general distress. What’s worse is that they will deliberately isolate you, alienate you from your support network (friends, colleagues, family) will be frequently be deceived by the charms of the narcissist.Or they will recruit other people to do their work, this is called triangulation. Once you’re being gaslighted by a narcissist, you are essentially being trained to stop believing yourself, your instincts, your mind.

When we are constantly stressed, sad or anxious the activity levels in our prefrontal cortex dramatically reduce and minimise our thoughts, the amygdala swells in size so we become ruled by negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, fear, grief, guilt, envy, jealousy and shame which plays out in our behaviours, so we can’t think our way our of the cycle of emotional turmoil, and remain stuck in the cycle of narcissistic control, mistreatment, coercion and abuse = Trauma. Trauma bonding is exactly where the narcissist wants you. This is when you know they are abusive and manipulative, but you can't seem to let go. When they sense you are attempting to break free they may seek revenge or discard you completely. When you've been overloaded with the stress hormone cortisol for too long, even the thought of moving on to a “stable relationship” seems boring when there's an absence of constant drama. 

Healing from narcissistic abuse/trauma bonding and the brain damage caused by narcissistic abuse can often be a complicated process that often involves PTSD or CPTSD, caused by repeated trauma, but this can be effectively navigated with the right therapeutic approach and understanding. 

There is hope, research shows that the new neurones can grow to repair a damaged hippocampus (memory and learning), reduce amygdala sensitivity (fight and flight, emotional processing), strengthen the prefrontal cortex (intellectual control) and help the victim move towards recovery from narcissistic abuse and the damage can be reversed. 

Empowering Empaths and HSP’s

I’m a high level empath... I work with many empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) that feel like they need help to become stronger with setting boundaries, facing fears of confrontation and facilitate self-empowerment and to help them realise their fullest potential. These are highly sensitive individuals that feel deeply such as anxiety, frustration, anger or exhaustion due to feeling emotions so intensely that these intense emotions can affect their nervous system. 

Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, offers this short quiz to evaluate whether or not you are an empath:

Ask yourself:

Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or overly sensitive?
If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
Are my feelings easily hurt?
Am I emotionally drained by crowds, require time alone to revive?
Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
Do I overeat to cope with emotional stress?
Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?

According to Dr. Orloff, “If you answer ‘yes’ to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding ‘yes’ to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type”

Do get in touch if you feel you are an empath or HSP that can benefit from the therapeutic interventions I offer. 

Assertiveness, Boundaries and Empowerment 

I work with numerous patients on correctly asserting themselves, understanding, asserting and maintaining appropriate boundaries without it being confrontational or feeling guilty. The therapy empowers individuals to improve their work, relationship and the way they feel about themselves in order to transform their lives on an automatic subconscious level and this also shows up consciously in the persons new perspectives, positive interactions and positive outcomes. 

Dysfunctional Social Interactions - I see many patients when they are in conflict for whatever reason that is negatively impacting their social interactions, how they react to other people and blame others for the unfortunate events or unfair treatment or circumstances that they feel have left them angry or apathetic. 

Confidence and Self-Esteem Issues. I work with patients that present with things from Victim type mindsets or Imposter syndrome/self-sabotage/secondary gain to negative childhood patterns that are carried through to adulthood. 

Exclusion Particulars

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years. I can offer a referral to another therapist for patients under 18 that have sufficient time to deal with the additional workload, administrative aspects and plethora of other aspects that this requires and I became increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of external interruptions that these cases required. People were adequately warned I would retract the service for under 18’s if this continued. My caseload is simply too busy and sometimes highly complex for such matters that I no longer have the time for. 

You may contact me to ask if I offer therapy for the issues you are seeking treatment for but I'm known to be quite particular about the patients I choose to see. It's often assumed I will just automatically take on anyone that makes an enquiry but I will make that decision whether or not I wish to take on an individual or not on a case-by-case basis and this depends on my current caseload. I do not make same-day appointments or get involved in the drama of requiring an immediate appointment - this is not the way I work as my caseload is busy enough. Similarly, if a patient doesn’t leave sufficient time for the presenting issue(s) (such as fear of flying or a driving test/exams) to be treated then I’ll simply redirect you elsewhere. 

Unfortunately, I am unable to see people at the clinic that have a phobia of dogs and appreciate that people do not enquire about Cynophobia (fear of dogs) and find another practitioner do deal with this. This also applies to Ornithophobia (fear of birds). 

Unfortunately, people (including celebrities) who cannot commit to a regular rolling attendance (due to their own schedule) of a designated slot is not something I can’t accommodate as the rest of my diary is normally full which clearly limits flexibility. One must understand this when agreeing to work with me as regular, consistent attendance is required to achieve the desired therapeutic outcomes or I may end your treatment as any disrespect of my time can negatively impact rapport. I make every effort to respect your time and I expect my clients/patients to respect my time and income. 

• Please note that there are some issues I do not offer therapy for, for example, I no longer offer therapy for couples therapy, sexual problems/porn addiction or stopping smoking (inc cannabis/weed/vaping) - although people keep on enquiring, I’ll just refer these people onwards. I will offer therapy for some aspects of drug addiction (not smoking related) but I am selective (I will need to speak with you) on whom I work with in these instances and may refer onwards. If a patient requires core CBT or counselling then I do have an exceptionally talented and highly skilled network of key therapists that are exceptionally skilled in various modalities that I provide referral details for which may be in-person or via zoom. I used to provide 1:1 therapy for therapists, other hypnotherapists, psychotherapists and counsellors but therapy for other hypnotherapists, counsellors or any therapist isn't something I currently offer, however, I can redirect you elsewhere to an appropriate referral. 

Depression cases require a discussion regarding the severity of each individual case before I will consider taking on a new patient with clinical depression. 

Couples therapy, Gastric Band hypnosis, Regression of any kind or uncovering memories, BPD (unless on controlled medication), MPD, NPD, ASPD (Multiple personality, Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorder) DDNOS, in general, personality disorders are issues I no longer offer therapy for but I can offer you a referral to a colleague or one that specialises in the treatment of such. Some further exclusions apply such as I do not travel to see people off-site, I never have as I do not have the time to do so because I’m simply too busy. I no longer treat children as the administrative aspect and liaison with the parents, schools, CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) takes up far too much time but I can offer a referral to a therapist that offers therapy to children or teenagers.

I simply don't have time to give “corporate talks” as any requests for these will be declined so I can focus on 1:1 patient care. 

UK hypnotherapy regulation prevents hypnotherapists from providing a clinical diagnosis and this must be done so via your GP and a necessary referral where appropriate. 

I simply do not deal with any enquiries regarding “past life regression” in any instance. Past life regression is widely rejected as a psychiatric treatment by clinical psychiatrists and psychologists. A 2006 survey found that a majority of a sample of doctoral-level mental health professionals rated "Past Lives" therapy as "certainly discredited" as a treatment for mental or behavioural disorders.

To reiterate, I do not treat narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) under any circumstances. NPD is a lifelong mental disorder and narcissists are highly unlikely to reach out for support. However, what I do help with is helping survivors of narcissistic abuse and help heal the pain of the relationship trauma caused by the scale of destruction that the narcissist, their toxicity and pain they have caused. 

Managing expectations

I no longer ascribe to “free” requests for information when these requests are actually business consulting by fee arrangement. It's disrespectful to expect information I've worked hard for and expect it for free. This applies to students (contact your training provider or accrediting body or association, not me), marketing, web designers, SEO, “training opportunities or corporate talks” I’ll pass thanks, I don’t have time as I’m too busy, graphic design, student survey requests, therapists, coffee meets to “pick my brain” are not efficacious and I never find them useful or interesting. It’s not personal, it’s just business. Vast experience has shown these types of requests to be a waste of valuable time that is rather spend doing something far more constructive, like continuing professional development courses I source and study or focussing on patient care. Think of it like a do not disturb sign/quiet please, treatment in progress. With the greatest of respect, if your enquiry isn't regarding a therapy enquiry or an therapy appointment booking then I'm not interested and not obligated to reply to these unwanted/spam nuisance calls, emails or messages. Note that any scam, nuisance or crypto currency calls will will immediately blocked. 

Providing a private therapeutic service is a business, just like any other business. 

Policy on tone, rude or aggressive messages 

I do not respond to rude or aggressive messages or behaviour in any form. If messages or emails are not respectful then the patient will lose their rolling slot and any treatment will be terminated and contact will cease. Think about your tone before you decide to press send. 

Fees

£85.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Health Insurance/EAP

  • BUPA
  • Axa Health
  • Health Assured
  • Aviva
  • Saga
  • Vitality
  • WPA

Additional information

10-minute contact call (free)

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years. If you would like to, we can set up a free telephone or online video call (up to 10 minutes) so that you can ask me any questions you may have before booking in for your initial session.  Just go to the contact page and send me a message. Do note that my core hours are 9 am until 5 pm and that requesting a preferred time is not the way the diary operates…any remaining time that’s left in the diary is the time slot that will be offered as other spaces are often already taken up by other patients. 

Initial Consultation £85 - an additional security deposit of £85 required from May 1st 2023 to be used as your final session fee by mutual agreement or used to cover circumstances where you cannot attend for whatever reason as I am not a practitioner that sits in vacant, unpaid time-slots as I do not operate in this manner. 

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years.

*Paid in advance on the day of booking to secure any appointment be it face to face or online via Zoom. Subject to terms and conditions.

(Including a complimentary relaxation CD/MP3)

Stop Smoking Therapy 
[Stop Smoking Therapy/vaping or stopping weed smoking is not currently available as I do not have the time slots to include this]

£375
Stop Smoking Therapy 
(lasts up to two hours and includes a complimentary relaxation CD, & further supporting documents) Before 5 pm only. For stop smoking sessions I ask for a non-refundable deposit of £187.50 payable via PayPal or bank transfer, at the time of booking to secure the appointment. Subject to terms and conditions. Stop smoking appointments can not take place in Clifton due to the limited availability of sessions that are reserved for 1:1 face to face /recurring weekly attendance.

Initial Consultation £85 

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years.

The initial consultation is where I find out a bit more about you and how you would like hypnotherapy to help you. I also explain in great detail how the brain works and what Hypnosis is and what it is not, what it can and can’t do. This session is likely to last for approximately 50 minutes to an hour. Prepayment is required and the end of your session to secure any session for the following week (face to face or online via Zoom) or I will not be present as I have a busy schedule with other commitments and I value my own time. Understand that I will not continue to see any patient that decides to waste clinical time. 

Subsequent Sessions £85 

Please note I only see adult clients over the age of 18 years.

Subsequent sessions (face to face or Zoom online) are 50 mins to 1hr and are prepayment is required (by BACS transfer) at the time of arranging the initial consultation or at the end of your last attended session to secure the rolling slot if in person. The prepayment session fee must be paid by 5 pm on the day of your last attended session or it will not be secured and the slot will not be held any further. Do ask for clarification on “prepayment to secure” if this isn’t how you’ve worked before, it is certainly the way I work and I feel that the wider public need to be educated on therapeutic etiquette including considering other patients that are trying to access the service. 

You must prepay for your scheduled appointment whether or not you decide to attend them.

Understanding of therapy commitment 

The client must want to undertake the therapy (not a friend or relative pushing them to take it). Clients also need to fully commit to following the processes involved. If one or both of these are missing, then the chances of a successful outcome for the client are reduced accordingly.

No Discounts 
Due to high rental/ other business costs, there are no discounts or concessions. Discount requests will be respectfully declined as this negatively impacts the therapeutic alliance as all courses I’ve attended to acquire my knowledge have been self-funded. The stated fee is the fee that stands as I offer a premium service and always give 110 per cent in the service that I provide and I expect my patients to be respectful as such. I do not entertain discussions regarding requests for discounts as my training and knowledge reflects the set fee. Any discourteous, rude, offensive or aggressive messages will not be responded to as per the code of ethics regarding abusive/rude/inconsiderate or disrespectful patients. 

My fee is slightly higher than some other hypnotherapists due to my extensive experience (18 years full-time), knowledge, and expertise.

Payment is always in advance. No exceptions. 

Please ensure you can afford treatment as it will be a waste of time if you assume sporadic ad-hoc treatment is effective. Sporadic attendance is simply not effective as the brain requires repetition to establish new, lasting positive templates and for positive changes to be sustainable. 

Habit Formation Research and Therapeutic Consistency 

Research on habit formation (Lally, Potts & Wardle 2010), suggests that automaticity (automatic or habitual response) tends to level out at around 66 days after the first daily performance of the action.  Thus, for clients who are changing their habits, it can be good to encourage repetition of the desired behaviour for around 10 weeks to enable the new behaviour to become ‘second nature’.  Dr Kate Beaven-Marks

References
Lally P, van Jaarsveld CHM, Potts HWW, Wardle J. How are habits formed: modelling habit formation in the real world.Euro J Soc Psychol. (2010);40:998–1009.

Therapeutic consistency is your responsibility in turning up and attending your scheduled sessions that are solely scheduled for you. Not doing so can impact therapy outcomes. Ethically, absence is discussed as to why this is happening to ensure you are on board with treatment or it may mean you lose your scheduled slot. 

Contact

Please include a contact number when enquiring by email as sometimes emails can bounce back undelivered. 

Due to a continuation of such a high demand for appointment times to see me that arranging an appointment or any other contact time is strictly between the hours of 9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday only, *although my phone is switched off when I am in session with patients to give each individual my full attention and the mobile is only turned back on in any “clinical windows” that allow me to respond. I do not answer after 5pm as boundaries and time to decompress/process a complex caseload is imperative for self-care and prevents burnout. 

Appointments are only offered on what slots may be left so requesting a specific day or time may not always be possible as these may already be booked in by existing patients. 

Prospective client's can ask if there is availability or request that I consider your case and I will ask you a series of questions as to whether I wish to work with you and take on your case (depending on the complexity of my current caseload) otherwise you can wait to be seen or I will offer an appropriate referral.

Spam, nuisance calls, crypto currency etc will immediately be blocked. I don’t have time for it. 

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

See contact page for availability. My contact hours are strictly Monday to Friday 9 am until 5 pm. I do not provide an out of hours, evening or weekend service as I have other commitments. 

Further information

Five Star Google Reviews

ANDREW SOULE 

My first time trying hypnotherapy, he is both caring and supportive, Michael helped me deal with some tough issues both personal and professional. He allowed me to move forward after being stagnant for a long time.

KATE HUNTER
Michael is a wonderful hypnotherapist. I met him approx 10 years ago. I first went to him to overcome a fear of flying and went on to fly solo to Australia feeling calm and enjoying it (and did several internal flights out there!)!

Years after that, I suffered acute anxiety and panic through extreme pressure at work so I went back to Michael. He taught me all about the biochemical responses that were happening as a result of the stress & worked with me to calm my Amygdala’s response. His sessions were the only time I could relax and my hypnotherapy sessions ensured my recovery.

I’ve since been back at various times when I know I need some time with Michael. I love our time together. Not only do I learn so much, I also have a safe space to talk and be heard, and know that I’ll receive the best hypnotherapy to work on myself and being the best version of me.

Michael is calm, funny, caring, patient, and reassuring. He is excellent at what he does and without a shadow of doubt, I would urge you too book some time with him & experience the benefits for yourself!

DAVID CARDEN 
Life changing experience.

Michael is without a doubt one of the most important people I ever met in my life.

He not only changed my ailment, but my whole perspective on life as a whole. I highly recommend him to anyone on the fence.

Thank you so much for what you do Michael.

ALISON BALL Michael is calm, friendly and patient and he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the brain and mental health. The combination of hypnotherapy and positive talking therapy is very powerful. We have used twice for OCD issues. Cannot recommend highly enough.

RHIANNON WOOD The best way to describe what Michael does is to give an example. When I first started seeing him I had spent my whole life with an inner monologue of negativity. My mind would never leave me alone. I'd suffered breakdowns and was starting to worry my life would only be a maelstrom of negativity. After the first two sessions (the first was talking and the second was talking and hypnotherapy) I found myself sitting at work and realising I hadn't had a single thought in an hour. I was completely in the present and engaged with my surroundings. The difference he has made in my life is incalculable. If, like I did, you suffer from anxiety, depression, low self esteem (or any of the other myriad of things he treats) he is absolutely the man to see. My life has gone from strength to strength since I started seeing him. He does not judge, he is kind and patient with everyone. I cannot recommend him enough.

HELEN JONES When I first went to Michael I can only describe myself as being broken, having tried various other therapies nothing had worked, I was desperate to find a way forward.

From my very first meeting with Michael I knew that this was my way forward, he was understanding, kind and compassionate and appeared to know me better than I knew myself. Michael changed my life in the most positive and incredible way.

Michael saved me and I am forever telling people how amazing he is.

M WILLIAMS
I have known Michael since 2011. During that time he has supported me personally and professionally and has been instrumental in developing me as a person and helping me fulfil my potential in a professional services environment. Michael is not only a fantastic hypnotherapist, but a lovely person and I always look forward to our sessions. Thank you for all your support and encouragement over the years. 

STEPH M 
I've known Michael for more than ten years and I would encourage anyone to contact him if things feel too challenging or overwhelming.

Michael has supported me through a number of stressful times in my life and has helped me to reflect on personal relationships with others and more recently to cope with major surgery and a difficult recovery. He helps me to understand how I respond emotionally in different situations and how to find positive solutions.

I appreciate being able to ask Michael for guidance and support which is always given with warmth and kindness.

LOUISE C 
I met Michael at one of the lowest points of my life when I couldn’t find a way forwards.

His calm and reassuring approach has really helped me to turn my life around.

I really can’t rate him highly enough. Thank you Michael for changing my life for the better!

SARAH EDWARDS 
I am struggling to write this review as Michael has helped me so much that it’s very hard to articulate or even start to explain the impact he has had on my life.

Michael is able to understand who you are and what it is you need to feel better, he does this with compassion, sincerity and totally without judgement. He brings a reassuring humour so you can see light at the end of the tunnel. A session with Michael feels like seeing an old friend and you can’t help but feel a little lighter.

He is a total professional and his knowledge of the brain and mental health is second to none. He goes above and beyond and I feel a huge comfort knowing he is there should life throw another curve ball.

If you have any doubts about hypnotherapy or feel nervous about the process then please don’t, give it a try, it has saved me more than once.

SUZANNE HETHERINGTON 
I first visited Michael for help with insomnia and found his support and knowledge really helpful. I have consulted him on various issues over the past few years and always find him to be calm and supportive. I find checking in with him a couple of times a year, really helps to support my emotional well-being.

SANDRANUK
Michael is the best therapist I've ever met. If I have some bad times, I go back to him and he fixes me back up quickly.
Life is unpredictable and we all face ups and downs. Normal counselling or therapy did not help me fast enough when I had the biggest "downs". I have felt helpless and so desperate at times.
When I tried hypnotherapy with Michael, I realise what an amazing change this could bring to my life. I've had rough times again since the 1st time and Michael welcomed me back despite a long waiting list. I was back facing the hardship of life shortly after.
If you feel lonely, or desperate, or lost, then contact him, he can help where no others can.

For video testimonials please visit my website http://www.michael-hughes.co.uk/about/

5 College Fields, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HP

The Arches Therapy Rooms, 198 Cheltenham Road, Montpelier, Bristol, BS6 5QZ

Type of session

In person
Online

Types of client

Adults
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

All clients receive a comprehensive text message regarding access details to the clinic and expected standards of behaviour that are required when arriving for the initial consultation.

Online platforms

Zoom

Supervision

In person
Online
Phone

I’m a Senior Supervisor since 2010 with 19 years experience and 14 years of supervising hypnotherapists at all levels across the profession.

View supervision profile

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