Welcome Friends

Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Have you noticed how Remembrance is assuming ever more importance in our lives over the past 5 or 10 years?

It has always been part of my life, my father was in the RAF and then I became an Army Officer in 1992. There was never a year that I did not attend a service or a parade. It does feel that there is a great deal more interest now though. Is it more part of the collective conscious now? We are 2 Gulf wars down and have suffered an appalling loss of life in a short time in Afghanistan. There is now far more publicity for the Armed Forces since they have come out of the shadows imposed by the prolonged deployment in Northern Ireland and the security issues it demanded.

When I was a young officer we had to check our cars for bombs every time we got into them; we never wore uniform in public; we never told anyone we met what we did, we made up stories about our backgrounds. And Remembrance was something for other people. Now it seems, we are VERY interested in it, people are falling over themselves to pay their respects.

I think the fact that the last of our servicemen from the First World War are dead, makes up want to hang on that bit more. A sense of spoken history is almost gone. If we haven't written down or otherwise recorded these people's stories by now then we never will and it's lost forever.

Deployments in war zones can leave mental scars. It is estimated that as many as 10% of servicemen suffer from long term effects of operational tours. It's easy to be empathetic to someone who has lost a limb or an eye but very many injuries are invisible. There are so many interventions that can help with mental trauma and PTSD. We have fantastic treatments like hypnotherapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming) that can make a massive difference to people's lives if only they knew how to access them. At this year's Remembrance service I will be specifically thinking of those who need mental help.

One last thought... We know all about the Gulf wars; we respect those servicemen remaining from the two World Wars; the Afghanistan deployment is constantly in the public eye; no one over the age of 15 can be ignorant of the struggle in Northern Ireland. Who has remembered those who suffered in a very grim war in the Falklands?

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Joy of Small Things

It’s well into Autumn now and sometimes it can be hard to remember the warm(ish) days of summer and those long evenings. As the days grow shorter and colder and literally close in, very many people feel unsettled and low at this time of year. Autumn often heralds the start of low mood and mild depression and doctors have recognised this and called it Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It is thought to be linked to the lack of sunlight and it can be hugely improved by spending time outdoors or by investing in 15 minutes a day in front of a light box!

SAD or not, most of us could benefit from investing 15 minutes a day on nurturing ourselves. It is easy to start the gradual slide into a mild depression. It is easy to allow stressful events in our lives or an overload at work to engulf and overcome us. Sometimes life just throws the worst of situations at us and there is nothing we can do except to get on and go through it until things improve. But we do not have to slide down the slippery slope.

It would be easy to say that if we look on the bright side, count our blessings every day and meditate on flood victims and starving children that we would feel better about our lot. Yet such a Pollyanna strategy could as easily irritate. After all, there’s always someone better off than us and someone worse off, it doesn’t ultimately help our own self right now. The Buddhists, Zen masters and Taoists have a more realistic way of living; they practice “mindfulness.”

Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as being non-judgemental to your inner thoughts or your experience at that moment in time. It is very much about accepting things as they are right at that moment and not analysing or evaluating your thoughts, just noticing them. It is gaining ground as a way of alleviating depression, anxiety and even post traumatic stress disorder. I talk to my stressed and depressed clients about mindfulness and about finding the joy in small things. It is far easier to notice small beauties than it is to force yourself into thinking that your life is perfectly fine when the reality is that you are going through a complete nightmare!
So if things are all too much, if it feels impossible to be thankful, if you can’t see the wood for the trees then focus in on the very small things that ARE ok, if only in that very moment. Noticing the beauty in a ray of sunshine across your kitchen worktop; seeing a vivid and beautiful colour; hearing an exquisite piece of music; finding a conker that sits perfectly in your hand; feeling the tingling spray from a shower in the morning. Just noticing, paying attention to, being mindful of tiny things at that very moment in time can be enough beauty and joy to help you through the day. We all have a basic human need for beauty and joy, to keep us content, to keep our mood elevated, raise the feel-good chemicals in the brain. If we can do this daily, even for a short moment, it will pay off in the longer term.

We can accept our thoughts for what they are; we can notice how we may feel overwhelmed, rattled, angry, sad. They are thoughts, at that moment, not a great predictor of the future to come, nor an analysis of the past, only the thought of a moment. After that thought comes another thought and we can experience it without dwelling on it or judging it. And if we practise noticing any moments or experiences of joy or beauty that occur, then how much more comfortable does this feel than allowing ourselves only the feelings of sadness. Try it, I promise it helps.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hypnobirthing - Hypnosis for Birth

I recently took a couple through the whole hypnosis training for childbirth. They were a delightful couple and the baby should be making an appearance in the world very soon.

What shocked me was that they had to travel from London to Northamptonshire to find a class! The birth classes in London were booked up for 4 months ahead.

There is an easy solution to that! Either get on an intercity and come to the peaceful Northamptonshire countryside, or if your feet are stuck in the city - many Londoners' are! - then I will come to north London to run a class for you. I have a room in West Hampstead which is perfect for the job. Just 3 Saturday mornings is all we need for me to teach you how to use your own abilities to manage pain, manage labour, birth your baby calmly and comfortably and really have a great birth experience.

Sounds simple? It IS!!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Very busy at HMcH HQ

Lots of Hs (aitches) involved there! But it seems like abbreviating things is the only way to get through all I have to do these days.

The phone has been red hot over the past fortnight and I have clients desperate to see me. So much so that it's tough to fit them all in. Tempting to book my son into a few more after school club sessions so I can accommodate them. But in a week where UNICEF has published a report condemning the British way of life for not giving our children enough of ourselves and our time, it's kind of put me off.

One thing that is not being abbreviated is my fitness sessions. My gym session with a trainer this week was so hard that I had the jelly legs and the flashbacks to my very first training session at my first unit in Germany. It was the fittest unit in the Garrison. The other subalterns had looked at me with pity when I told them which company I was joining. I was the only girl... And I was desperate after only the warm up! What a shock being thrown into circuit training with these fit young men, I couldn't quite believe how fast they were, how strong. I was a minnow in comparison. 12 years later I was diagnosed with asthma! What a laugh.

I could write something really clever now about mental toughness and how to develop it; about how to look on the surface as if nothing is a problem when all the time you are peddling like mad just to keep afloat; and about how EVERYONE is far more nervous and unsure of themselves than they look. I could write about how many of those incredible, tough, fit young men ended up crying on my shoulder. And then I could write about how many of my phone calls this week were from young men who get anxious and blush in meetings, presentations and interviews.

So what am I really saying here? That everyone gets anxious and nervous, everyone has at some time or other been tongue tied and that everyone just acts it out when they need to. So if you need to pretend, then do so. And if you get tongue tied, the person listening will have been in exactly the same place, and more than once. We're all human, all of us, all of the time.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Hypnosis Lowers Blood Pressure and Assists Surgery Success

Yet another reminder of how hypnosis helps with surgery AND with lowering blood pressure, but very close to home this time.

My husband had major abdominal surgery in November last year and unfortunately had to have the same operation again a week ago. Knowing how poorly he had been and how hard the recovery was, this time he decided to invest some time in preparing himself for the surgery, something he had not done last time.

The first challenge was to get through the pre-op assessment. He was sent home from it after his blood pressure was found to be too high, rendering him unsuitable for surgery! He spent the weekend trying to lower it to no avail. Admitting defeat, he lay back in my chair as I spoke to him for 14 minutes. His blood pressure reduced by 20 points systolic and over 20 points diastolic. This reading prevailed, meaning that he WAS able to go for his operation.

We also did some pre-op hypnosis, getting his body and mind into the right shape for recovery, no bleeding, increased comfort post-op etc. He came out of the surgery in far better shape than the previous operation, with considerably reduced pain. Everything has been far easier for him than the last time and he was able to return home quickly. One major improvement has been his ability to eat, which has also progressed a lot quicker than last time. He is up and about, feeling a lot better than he was expecting and able to eat more solid food, which is aiding his recovery.

I have the same hypnotherapy sessions on CD that I used for my husband - lowering blood pressure and pre- and post- op. Contact me if you'd like them via my website http://www.northamptonhypnosis.co.uk

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Hypnosis helps surgery

One of the oldest uses of hypnosis is for the preparation of patients prior to and during surgery. James Esdaille, working in Calcutta in the mid 19th century used hypnosis where he had no anaesthetics to remarkable good effect. Patients had less bleeding, less post-surgery complications, better managed blood pressure and recovered more quickly.

This is from an email I received this week:

"The hypnotherapy sessions I had with you really helped me to deal with the whole process of being in hospital and having the operation. I saved the recordings on to my MP3 player and listened to them a couple of times in the week before being admitted and played them in hospital too. I found them deeply relaxing and comforting. Apart from being nervous on the morning of the op I was generally quite calm and accepting that I was in good hands. After the operation I had no further bleeding, the swelling and bruising have largely gone and I have been able to manage any pain with normal pain killers."

This lady received just 2 sessions with me and we recorded both sessions to CD for her to take away. The operation went even better than was expected and she is making a fabulous recovery.

Things you didn't know!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

IVF CD is available on Amazon

It is now there on Amazon, available for free delivery too. If you are going through IVF treatment, this CD is really going to make a difference, helping to keep you grounded and sane throughout what is often called a roller-coaster of a ride.

Here's a link to the product info:


Well worth an very small investment given the thousands that IVF treatment costs, not to mention the emotional cost of going through it. Why not give yourselves the absolute best chance of success.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New IVF CD in Production

My new IVF CD is currently being produced. With eye-catching design by Create a Brand again, it is going to look as wonderful on your shelf as it is effective. But it won't be on your shelf! It will be playing on your CD player, computer or mp3 player.

I have some excellent reviews from the pre-production version and it contains tracks that I have been using in my practice for several years. If you want an easier, calmer IVF treatment cycle and you can't get to a therapist directly, this CD is a must-buy.

Look out for it on my site and on Amazon within the next week.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you have read the blurb on the side about who I am then you'll know that I was an Army Officer for many years. It's not something that you ever quite lose either, it stays with you and last night I dreamt about military service.

We were on an operational tour in Afghanistan and were moving from one location to another, always making camp in buildings. On the last move we had arrived somewhere where the buildings were quite broken down and we were busy trying to fix one corner where there was a hole in the wall. Leaving a couple of the soldiers doing that, I settled down to start to scribble out a plan or some orders of some sort while I waited for my commander to turn up. It was then that I realised it was already morning as I heard the sound of birdsong...

... and realised it was the birdsong of my alarm clock waking me up gently.

If you don't get easy, benign dreams like that; if you are woken up by nightmares; if your dreams intrude on your waking thoughts; if a memory of a traumatic event or time in your life plagues you, then you could be suffering from post-traumatic stress. It's not just soldiers, any stressful time in our life can have repercussions later in our lives and have the power to disturb.

If you are suffering from disturbing thoughts and memories that you can't seem to get away from, do give me a call. I am skilled in many techniques for helping you through it gently and with compassion.

Phone me on 07771 822602 or click here to go to my website for more information.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

"Police hire Hypnotist"

As reported yesterday in the Evening Standard, the Metropolitan Police is in talks with a "hypnotist" that they hope to hire to tackle obesity levels amongst police officers. It is reported that 5% of Scotland Yard police officers are overweight, which equates to nearly 2000 individuals.

The "hypnotist" in question is a man called Trevor Silvester who is a retired police officer himself. It is reported that he charges £200 per hour.

Well its worthwhile feeling thankful today then if you live in the Midlands - Northamptonshire, Warwickshire,Leicestershire, North Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire - because you can find hypnotherapy to lose weight at a quarter of the price of a London hypnotist! Thank heaven. My prices are nowhere near that sort of level and you don't have to go to London either. I have offices in Northampton, Daventry and Rugby, where you can come and see me to lose weight with hypnosis, EFT and any other therapies that I feel will benefit you, and all at a fraction of the cost of a trip to London.

I don't take pop star wages, so I won't charge you celebrity prices either!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Lose weight in Northampton

One of my weight loss clients in Northampton once grumbled to me at her first appointment that her weight problem was hopeless and that she needed Paul McKenna. Well, I took this as a bit of an insult if truth be told! I did however calmly tell her that she certainly did not need Paul McKenna as she had me sitting right with her and charging her far less than a celebrity hypnotist!

If you want to ditch the excess pounds and you live near Northampton, Daventry or Rugby, then you can use hypnotherapy to lose weight. It's far easier, simpler and more effective than you ever knew. Phone me at my practice at any time - Helen McPherson Hypnotherapy 07771 822602

Monday, 17 January 2011

Hypnotherapy in Rugby is where it's at

And finally I am about to start working in Rugby. It's been a while in coming but had been on the cards for some time. I will be working with therapist George Houguez at Trance4mation http://www.trance4mation.co.uk

George is an experienced hypnotherapist and instructor at the London College of Clinical Hypnosis. He has been in Rugby for some years and has an abundance of experience. Between the two of us, you'd be unlucky to find an issue that we haven't come across and treated successfully. There will also be a greater range of appointment times because if one of us is not available at times to suit you, then it's likely that the other one will be. So if you're needing or wanting hypnotherapy in Rugby, call us.

There is also a super group room that will be perfect for birth hypnosis group sessions. Hypnobirthing coming to Rugby too!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

2011 Salutation - If you haven't changed already - it IS time to change now!

My first blog post of the year and it is 12th January already. Apologies for being so tardy.

Hopefully you will have reprised what I said a few weeks ago AND what I said last January about resolutions and how to keep them. And seen my December's post called "Let's get emotional." If not, go there now. In old Army parlance (and also said in a gruff voice using RP) "I commend it to you!"

Time to change then. So what? It is time to change your attitude. Time to change your thoughts. We get what we think about, what we focus on don't we. We can pretty much accept that. That's why we always say to focus on the positive, use positive language. Here's a good example from the physical realm.

When you ride a motorbike, sometimes steering it is far harder than it looks. Trees, hedges, potholes all come up far quicker than they are meant to and leave you little time for evasive action. And if you look at the thing you are trying to avoid hitting, you tend to hit the darned thing after all. Obviously on a bike, this is to be avoided (ouch!). On your bike licence course they tell you, "Don't look at the hedge!" and it's true that when you ride, if there's a hedge looking a bit close and you tell yourself not to look at the hedge but, "Look at the road!" then you do end up leaning further and steering into the road and away from the hedge. Phew!

In the same way, you must stop negative thoughts now. Even seemingly innocuous ones can keep you trapped. How about if you are an ok weight but its not easy to stay that way. You are probably telling yourslef, "I'm an ok weight at the moment but its always a battle." Guess what, you are locking yourself into the belief that you have to have a battle to stay at a good weight for you. Your predominant thought is, "It's always a battle" so you perpetuate that belief, you take actions as if weight is a battle and hey presto, your weight is always a battle and always will be.

Now, change that thought. Change it to what you REALLY want and you'll start focussing on that thought instead and living like that. Take these people who go to "Fat Club" as they call it. Well, a Fat Club is surely a club where people go who are fat, just like Swim Club or Drama Club or Chess Club is a club for people who swim, act or play chess. So as long as they go to Fat Club, they will continue to be fat, perpetuating the focus and actions of being overweight. Why aren't they going to "Thin Club" if they want to be thin? And don't call it Slimming Club either - if you focus on slimming, you'll always be slimming! Celebrate "Thin Club"!!!!

Change your entire thoughts and you change your actions. Decide now exactly what you want, whether it is to be a size 10, to be rich, find a partner, whatever. Then think like it has already happened. Decide that you are already a size 10, do what size 10 people do, live like a size 10 person, eat like a size 10 person. Visualise putting on size 10 clothes, visualise your scales showing you the weight of a size 10 person. Then one day turn round and see that reality - you WILL.

Change your thoughts to change your life this year. Have a good one.