Alan Gray BSc MA DHP HPD AdvDipH MNCH FNCP
Is stress & anxiety a growing concern?
Hello and welcome! My name is Alan Gray of Scarborough Hypnotherapy, a Practice which I established way back in 2006. Over the years since I've gained considerable and varied experience with clients.
My passion has always been to help every individual identify and resolve emotional and habitual issues. These can often include: anxiety, self-esteem, confidence, stress, habits, weight-loss, smoking cessation, depression and fears, among many others.
To release YOUR POTENTIAL...
ENHANCE YOUR LIFE...
By combining the 'magic' of hypnosis with talking therapies, I will help you resolve those 'things' that have been getting in the way of your progress through life.
And my therapies are fundamentally about the subconscious mind.
The subconscious (or unconscious) contains our 'inner resources'. Inherited dispositions and accumulated memories. Which have formed many automatic ('auto-pilot') responses: habits, 'knee-jerk' reactions, memory recalls, levels of self-belief, confidence, self-esteem, stored emotional responses, self-doubt and other personality traits. Intuition and imagination. Effectively 'computer programmes' with added emotional content.
It could be argued these make us into who we are.
The auto responses have become established to minimise mental effort. So we don't have to think our way through every action.
Our subconscious doesn't require conscious effort, or concentration. It's there in the background. Unless we distract these automatic thoughts through mental effort - concentration.
For example, learning to drive requires concentration. As a learner your driving has yet to become 'automatic'. Like any new skill it has to be learned first, before it becomes 'hard wired'. Think of learning to ride a bike too. Once mastered - and you gain confidence - you never loose that skill and, at least most of, your confidence as a rider.
As for driving vehicles after you've qualified for say a few months, and more gained more experience, your subconscious has been sufficiently programmed by repetition - you instinctively knowing what to do. Which gear to use. And your driving confidence is much greater, compared to the learner driver that you were just a few months earlier.
Driving then requires really quite little mental effort. BUT what can happen is over time we tend to acquire both good AND bad driving habits. As we drive our mind moves between varying levels of trance. How often do you forget the route you took? In fact the mind always looks to minimise effort. Run on automatic pilot.
Importantly, trance can be 'disengaged' at any time. We are never permanently in hypnosis. Although some people might spend much of their life in a daydream trance-like state, Thereby exercising a number of well rehearse habits. Yet when driving a motor vehicle in order to avoid an accident even they would react - come out of trance - in a split second!
Inevitably, everyone's subconscious will have both good and bad elements. We are human after all, not infallible. It will depends on how it's been 'programmed' - influenced & experienced - over time, particularly in our impressionable early life. Then that the mind is immature. Not always able to process feelings fully. Then they can be left unresolved and 'bottled-up'.
But in positive terms the subconsious is a potentially huge source of creativity. And the best ideas often arise when we are relaxed. Such as in the bath or shower. Then the conscious rational mind is resting. The subconscious is free to roam. To think 'outside the box'.
Equally a person might say 'I'll sleep on it'. Which allow the subconscious to intuitively review a issue. And of course more negatively, worry can occupy our mind. Even become obsessional. Which is not good for our mental or physical health.
In which case the conscious mind needs to take more control. With the subconscious being subserviant, yet still providing a rich source of inspiration. Think of the conscious as the master of the ship and the subconscious as the crew. Both need to work together, to take the ship to it's destination.
Problems can therefore arise when the subconscious is to powerful.
Then literally 'the tail is wagging the dog'.
Creating a need for review: 'reprogramming'.
Hypnosis give more ready access to the subconscious
Change can be achieved in several ways.
I basically take a three stage approach:
i) First understand YOUR TRUE NEEDS
ii) Create an approach - which may or may not involve hypnosis - to MEET THOSE NEEDS
iii) Guide and SUPPORT YOU in that journey
But can I Be Hypnotised You May Ask?
Some people worry about this...
The short answer is everyone can...
Can you sleep, can you daydream, can you be a little lazy at times? If your answer is of course, then you can experience the peaceful, relaxed and natural state of hypnotic trance.
You will certainly never be 'taken over'. Or 'go under' - a misleading term. You WILL be aware during the experience. Concentration is not needed. Do you concentrate to daydream or drift off to sleep? No. Simply give yourself permission to let go and enjoy being lazy!
We work together to make beneficial changes, whatever YOU wish them to be...
You will find me understanding, engaging (yet professional), down-to-earth and I hope with a sense of humour too. Able to closely relate to your challenges.
Don't worry either, over the years, I've heard it all! I never ever judge anyone. Accepting we are all different, yet underneath basically the same. Complex, yet simple in our needs. I'm here to help you progress. And, unlike many hypnotherapists, I've been through therapy myself during initial training. So I know what it's like to be a client.
Perhaps you relate to one or more of the following...
Panic attacks 'come out of the blue', get stressed, lack confidence, feel depressed, anxious, have a weight problem, low opinion of yourself, drink too much wine beer spirits, phobias worry me, lack self-belief, have difficulty sleeping, public speaking nerves, tend to over-think things, can't relax easily, smoke - even though it's unhealthy & expensive, get easily embarrassed, have sexual issues, suffer from 'tummy nerves', fear many things, are pessimistic, get angry often, have a gambling problem, just dread flying, struggle with relationships, are shy, put things off, procrastinate, can't make decisions, fear rejection and more...
Such issues occur widely in our society...
So you're not alone...
Many people consult me on personal development too.
Others to help develop their career, or become more socially adept - perhaps to help them develop a relationship with someone special of the opposite sex...
The fact is we can ALL learn self-confidence, feel more secure, optimistic, resilient, have self-belief...we CAN all learn to feel happier and more content. Not necessarily every minute of every day, of course, but certainly for most of the time. It's just a matter of learning the secret...
Of course, happiness is a comparative state. Fleeting sometimes. And to fully appreciate the good feeling we need to experience more challenging times is too. But challenges can build strength of understanding and develop character.
As a client-centered holistic practitioner I integrate evidence-based hypnosis with analytical hypnotherapy and psychotherapeutic understanding,,,
Helping you become a 'NEW YOU'.
Just as motor vehicles have improved dramatically over the years so we as individuals can reach similar heights in OUR development.
Personal development is a great objective. Our mind has amazing potential, given the chance to extend it's capabilities!
Some people see hypnosis as offering a 'quick-fix'. A last resort to be tried after conventional treatments have failed! Frankly that's not unusual!! They may have seen the hypnotist Paul McKenna or others stage shows, as I have. Which literally turned someone into a chicken, who could sing like Madonna or Elvis...and so on!
If only life was that simple...
Stage hypnosis has always been purely to entertain. In real life, lasting change can take a little longer, requiring a level of client involvement, commitment and patience. But it's well worth it, well worth it! We only live once...
Life is, or should be, a continuing learning experience. Where over time we build a subconscious 'mind-map' of our world. Adding knowledge, opinions and beliefs along the way to our earlier perceptions. Remembering some, forgetting others. That's the plan at least.
Yet human memories can be short lived, over-ridden by newer events...where our short-term memory communicates with the long-term memory...
Often people will say: 'history repeats itself', i.e. we don't learn to avoid mistakes made in the past. We can forget some mistakes as they get lost in long-term memory, until the next time. Mistakes can become habits. Even passed to the next generation, through conditioned learning.
It is during those impressionable early years that parents, grandparents, friends, teachers and significant others help shape and influence our character and personality. Then anxieties can be learned and installed in the subconscious. Added to which we also inherit physical and mental characteristic.
These become gradually programmed into our subconscious mind-set. And emotional experiences - good and bad - are often most strongly etched on the long-term memory. We forget the everyday events much more easily. Strength of memory is influenced by strength of emotion at the time of the experience.
You may have been told as I was by parents, teachers and others that: 'life isn't a bed of roses' 'you can't have everything' 'you lack self-confidence' or similar. Such saying are can be unconsciously passed down even through generations. With well meaning, if misplaced, intentions.
It is these early suggestions that can influence the beliefs we have about ourselves, negative or positive. Some children rebel and have the confidence to ignore negative suggestions. But the more introverted and compliant can take them in emotionally as they believe an adults. And over time, we become what we believe...proving for themselves that the sayings were accurate.
Such 'imprints' with sufficient emotional content go on to influence our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Sometimes throughout life.
Being on unconscious 'autopilot' they follow well rehearse paths - literally like motorways of the mind. As pathways of least electrical resistance requiring no conscious thought. Conveniently quicker and easier than concentration.
BUT these may not be in our best interest.
We may have been 'programmed' with excessive fear and anxiety,
Or conversely, with self-belief and confidence - something the public school system does well
Low self-belief can cause us to become 'stuck'. Unable to move forward, unable to progress. Unable to rid ourself of bad thoughts and habits: such as smoking, nail biting, gambling, over-eating, over thinking, worrying...
It's like being an adult one moment and a nervous child the next. Where the emotional 'inner child' takes control...losing our temper, missing the plot, ignoring logic, having tantrums, being selfish, basically being emotional immature...
Panic attacks are where the emotional subconscious takes over. Creating acute fear! An overprotective 'knee-jerk' reaction to a perceived stressful event.
This is the 'inner child' reacting defensively and protectively. Like a child would. Disengaging from the stress…
Often as an expression of unresolved childhood emotions.
Depression also can arise from similar unresolved feelings. Internally suppressed or 'bottled-up' emotions. Where a high level of current stress can act as a trigger. This provides a subconscious reminder of an earlier strongly charged emotional event.
Pessimism takes over. Things get 'out-of-balance'. Go downhill. Yet importantly we really should acknowledge our true feelings - they're there for good purpose. Get them out in the open. It is after all what makes us human. But unlike man's best friend the dog - who communicates emotionally for survival, hunting in packs for food, we humans can repress our true feelings, particularly when children.
Personally I suffered from depression for many many years. I would not wish it on anyone. My experience is that conventional medical treatments, even by specialists, was unhelpful. Medication was never an answer.
Overuse of drugs remains a big problem generally in the medical profession. In fairness, doctors just don't have sufficient time to address the underlying cause of mental disequilibrium. In my opinion, their medical training in mental health also confuses cause and effect. Often their view is that the initial cause is some biochemical malfunction, rather than emotional. Mostly doctors don't do emotion. When more realistically, it is strong emotional events that take root in the memory-based protective subconscious. And it is this that creates ongoing biochemical effects.
Eventually I make a liberating breakthrough with hypnosis. Then the repressed emotion from a bereavement in my early teens was finally released in an abreaction. The effect was truly liberating! My only regret was that the release didn't happen much earlier in my life. However every day now is precious.
So should things get 'bottled up' in a similar way for you, don't suffer alone...
Help is at hand.
We can work together to give YOU back your freedom.
My Professional Training
I first qualified as a Hypnoanalyst with the Hypnotherapy Control Board and was invited to join The International Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts (IAPH), now the International Association of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy. Over years in practice I've added advanced qualifications - all of which are listed below.
My qualifications also include the 'gold standard' Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD). The only externally accredited hypnotherapy qualification in the UK.
I completed twelve sessions of personal hypnoanalysis myself during initial training...
So I understand what it's like to be in the client's shoes!
I am also an accredited member of several professional bodies, including a Senior Advanced Practitioner of the General Hypnotherapy Register and the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council.
An accredited member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy. The NCH is widely regarded as the most progressive organisation within the profession. I follow their code of ethics, professional standards and regularly update my training.
I have been elected to be a Fellow of the National Council of Psychotherapists. A Fellowship can only be awarded by the NCP directorate to Members who have quote: 'demonstrated outstanding service to psychotherapy, coaching or education'.
And in 2019 I was nationally elected for a three year term, by many hundreds of my professional peers, to the Hypnotherapy Specific Board of the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
This Department of Health approved organization sets the highest therapeutic and ethical standards to protect the public as they access complementary therapies. Hypnotherapy is the largest register of practitioners in this organisation.
I act as an adviser to the CNHC on all aspects of the hypnotherapy profession, particularly training standards.
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
A question which almost all clients ask. The short answer is: it depends. People come in many shapes, sizes, personalities, abilities and motivation. They come with different expectations too. Each one totally unique. So one cannot be too prescriptive.
Unless a client has come to stop the habit of smoking - where a single session is normal - then more than one session is recommended. For the majority of smokers, smoking is merely a bad habit. Highly effective clinical (suggestion) hypnotherapy is the approach here.
If the issue is considered to be quite straightforward, such as a fear of flying or weight loss, then two or three sessions will generally suffice. The Weight loss Hypnotic Virtual Gastric Band is over 4 sessions of one hour each.
But for more complex issues a need to identify and resolve the cause of the problem will arise. This is where analytical hypnotherapy with psychotherapy is a better approach. As a guide 6 to 8 sessions at weekly intervals will normally be needed. Sometimes more.
It is not unusual for a client to consult with an apparently simple single problem, such as drinking to much alcohol. Whereas this unhealthy habit is merely a symptom of more deep rooted unresolved emotional issues.
The drinker may have had an abusive childhood, be very anxious, depressed, and suffer regular panic attacks. Even be bored, lonely. Emotionally unfulfilled. Find relationships difficult and deteriorating. They self-medicate with alcohol to keep the lid on their low self-esteem negative feelings. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.
I work sympathetically. The unconscious is the 'library' of our past memories, feelings and habits. They therefore need to be treated with respect. Hypnosis allows easier access to this library of our mind...
to facilitate removal of 'out-of-date books'.
Some Client Testimonials
Hi Alan, just letting you know that I passed my driving test yesterday and only had a small amount of nerves. I'm convinced my nerves would have taken over me more if I hadn't had hypnotherapy with you so thanks very much! Sophie
I visited Alan Gray earlier this year as I was experiencing personal problems. On my first visit I found Alan to be a person who never judges you, but who was quite happy to sit and listen to the problems I was experiencing. The more sessions I attended the more I found I was able to talk openly about my troubles. The hypnotherapy I underwent has made me stronger as a person and all this is down to one person: Alan Gray. I would not hesitate to seek treatment from Alan in the future if I need to.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for giving me my life back. When I wake in the morning I'm ready to face the world with confidence and relish. Once again Alan many thanks. If it wasn't for you I would still be suffering from the problems that you have been able to resolve with your patient treatment and also sense of humour and understanding. Best wishes, Steve from Whitby.
I went to hypnotherapy to seek help for a phobia that I have had for as long as I can remember and I thought I was going to have it forever. When I went to Alan I was skeptical however I was greeted with a lovely, chatty gentleman who made me feel very at ease and after my first session with him I saw a drastic improvement in my phobia. I had 3 sessions and my phobia has disappeared and I can now live without the limitations that my phobia caused me. I never thought it would be so easy to get rid of but it was. I would highly recommend Alan to anyone. Kind regards, Jade-Taylor
Training, qualifications & experience
- Advanced Diploma in Hypnotherapy
- Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma
- Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy
- Advanced Neuro-Noetic Hypnosis Certification
- Diploma in Hypnoanalysis & Psychotherapy
- Advanced Diploma in Stress Consultancy
- Licensed Practitioner Hypno-Band (Virtual Gastric Band)
- Master Practitioner Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
- Advanced Practitioner Emotional Freedom Techniques
- Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Pure Hypnoanalysis
- Advanced Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
- Diploma in Past Life Regression
- BSc (Hons) (Uni Wales) Rural Economy
- DMS (Uni Strathclyde) Management Studies
- MA (Uni East Anglia) Development Economics
- Doctorate in Metaphysics (AIHT)
- Smoking Cessation Certification
- 5-PATH Advanced Transformational Hypnotherapist
- Advanced Practitioner Meridian Energy Therapies
- Certified Practitioner IBS Holistic Therapy
- CertEd (FE) (Uni Portsmouth) & Qualified National Vocational Qualifications Assessor
Recent Continuous Professional Development (CPD):
Anatomy and Pathophysiology for Clinical Hypnotherapy (Robert Gordon University)
Health Psychology for Behaviour Change (MSc module Robert Gordon)
Mindfulness for Therapists (Samye Ling Buddhist Centre)
- General Hypnotherapy Register (Senior Advanced Practitioner)
- National Council for Hypnotherapy (Accredited)
- Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (Registered)
- National Council of Psychotherapists (Fellow)
- Associated Stress Consultants (Fellow)
- International Hypnosis Research Institute (USA) (Chartered)
- GHR Central Register Stop Smoking Therapists
- UK Guild of Hypnosis Practitioners
Institute of Biology (MIBiol)
NHS Provider Code: 8HE88
Enhanced Certificate Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) (Protection of Children Act)
I can help children from the age of 8 years to under 16 years old when accompanied by a parent or guardian during therapy. Generally children respond well to hypnosis.
I follow the Codes of Conduct and Ethics of my professional memberships.
I am very happy to see clients from Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Bridlington, Malton, Driffield and all villages between within surrounding areas and beyond. In fact, I've seen clients from as far away as the Netherlands.
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.
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
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.
National Council for Hypnotherapy
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.
The Hypnotherapy Association is a leading independent professional body in Britain representing approved hypnotherapists in active practice. All members agree to follow a code of ethics.
There are a number of different membership categories, e.g. Associate Member, Licentiate Member, and Full member, with the different categories standing for different levels of training and experience.
Hypnotherapy Association is a Registered Member of UKCHO (an umbrella body for the hypnotherapy profession in the United Kingdom).
The General Hypnotherapy Register
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
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.
Areas of hypnotherapy I deal with
If you have been diagnosed or suspect you may have one of the medical conditions starred above, you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment and always inform your health professional before starting any alternative or additional therapies or treatments.
Session fees have been maintained at their present level for the past four years.
Free initial 30 minutes consultation. Stop smoking is £120, including a free follow-up session. All other treatments are £60 a session. A session is between 60 and 75 minutes.
Most clients pay in cash, although card payments can be taken.
Please note cheques are not accepted.
For best results it is important that clients are disciplined in keeping appointments. Where there is a programme of sessions to be completed, it is recommended that weekly attendance is recommended where possible.
The more complex a problem a clients presents with the greater the number of sessions will be needed to resolve the underlying cause. Every effect (symptom) will have a cause (usually emotional).
Hypnotherapy can provide a relatively quick solution to many issues. Nonetheless, clients should be realistic in their expectations. Therapy should not be regarded as a "quick fix" requiring no involvement or effort by the client. As with all 'talking therapies', it is unrealistic to provide a guarantee of success.
Please note where possible at least 24 hours notice of a missed appointment should be given. Otherwise, as is normal in professional practice, a cancellation fee of £30 will become payable.
All sessions are by pre-appointment only. Appointments can occasionally be made outside of normal working hours (after 5pm and on Saturdays).
Free parking (3 hours) is available close by at Sainsbury's Supermarket, or free for up to 3 hours on some local streets. Generally Sainsburys is best.
You can enter the Scarborough Hypnotherapy building in privacy.
There is no receptionist to ask you questions. So please take a seat in the comfortable waiting room and Alan will see you at your arranged time.
The Practice is situated on the ground floor and has wheelchair access.