Hypnotherapy in Sheffield for Health and Healing
Sheffield Unchained visits independent Hypnotherapy In Sheffield, a professional hypnosis and hypnotherapy service based near Abbeydale road in Sheffield.
Shauna Naylor is the founder of Hypnotherapy In Sheffield, and with her friendly unassuming manner, creates a safe and nonthreatening atmosphere from the start. She explains how some clients admit it takes courage to arrange their first interview. However they soon feel at ease within the homely residential setting and bright, cheerful clinic room.
Shauna says she too initially felt nervous about hypnosis but was convinced by the very good results people got from the process. Overcoming fears, she started a course of study:
It’s not the scary thing it sounds like; it’s more like meditation, where you feel very serene and in control. You just feel relaxed. Stage hypnosis is more covert; hypnotherapy is a slow and gentle process which has been agreed to from the outset.
Shauna explains how she got interested in hypnotherapy. After completing a foundation year in Psychology at Sheffield University, she was involved in developing a successful resettlement training programme for young people through the Roundabout Homeless Charity.
She reports investing one to one time with struggling clients, getting onto their level with informal chats, coffee and creative activities. This reportedly produced significantly better results than other similar projects on a national level. Sadly, after a few years, funding cuts made the level of time commitment unsustainable. She says:
Time is THE commodity that is most important for people. The young people came first for me – always! I think it is right to give people proper time, to find a way forward that works for them.
I think a lot of people stagnate in this life; get stuck and don’t have people to methodically look at things and see what’s going on and what it really is that’s holding them back.
The process is outlined in detail when the client arrives for their first appointment. This involves a full assessment session of up to ninety minutes, which looks at each individual holistically, mapping out any physical, mental, relational and life issues.
The average duration of treatment is between three to eight sessions. If severe issues are highlighted, the client may need to give consent for communication with their GP. Shauna emphasises that hypnotherapy should work to complement other mainstream treatments.
Large posters on her wall indicate that Shauna is registered with the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), both government endorsed bodies which aim to formalise holistic therapy and address any potential disparities in practice. She explains that practitioners are in a privileged position and registration ensures they remain safe, kind and caring, maintaining client confidentiality and practising the appropriate duty of care.
Shauna describes how the hypnotic process takes the mind into three different types of trance. The light level feels similar to dozing off, where the limbs are heavy; the medium trance feels similar to day-dreaming as the concentration wanders; the deep trance is similar to a deep sleep and several times more refreshing.
In all three states people are more susceptible to messages but still have enough conscious control to accept those they like and reject others they do not. A brain scan during hypnosis shows the focus centre in the middle of the two brain hemispheres light up with activity, as higher complex functions stop and the brain goes into a super-focused, primed state of awareness.
The therapist then “sows the seeds of change, delivering messages through different paths of language with delicate, subtle suggestions” to combat habitual and ingrained negative reactions.
The aim is to improve action, productivity and results, but also happiness and excitement for life. You are getting under people’s defences and that’s where real change happens.
It’s clinically very powerful stuff.
Shauna also uses various psychotherapeutic techniques, tailoring her therapy to address individual needs. Included is Jungian theory which emphasises individual responsibility, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which promotes changes in thinking patterns and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) which adjusts the way the brain responds to negative triggers.
Questioned about potential effects on the body, Shauna says that hypnotherapy can reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol and cause the release of feel-good endorphins. Due to this relaxing effect, hypnosis can lower blood pressure, so clients need to be brought out of the hypnotic state slowly and gently and advised to have plenty of fluid and rest for twenty minutes afterwards.
There is a more dramatic side effect which she says is always made clear from the first appointment:
Hypnotherapy can trigger changes in life. People need to be made aware of the power of it – it creates a hunger for change.
The move to a part time position with the charity Chilypep gave Shauna freedom to start developing her hypnotherapy business. She describes the project VOYCE (Views of Young Carers Explained) which succeeded in a campaign with other national groups to change the law and was instrumental in helping young people caring for family members with substantial needs get access to mental health assessments and support. However, in 2013 Shauna’s own business became very busy and she decided to devote all her time to developing Hypnotherapy in Sheffield.
Shauna explains how the business has grown so much that she is considering involving more therapists. She anticipates further developments, one example being her “Hypnomentoring” course for business people which is currently being piloted. This is based on standard mentoring principles with her own “spiritual well-being” twist and of course, hypnosis, because it gets such good results.
Hypnomentoring is aimed at:
…helping people to grow and to look at what they are doing currently; how they can become more productive and efficient AND more fulfilled; that’s the difference!
A lot of business people come to me frazzled, absolutely shattered – it seems to be the well-being that gets lost in this process of setting up a business. You have to remember why you did it in the first place.
Through the sister site Health and Healing Sheffield, Shauna offers a more spiritually based healing therapy if this is requested. She feels the result of a personal experience of Reiki healing in 2007 means that she remains calm and peaceful in order to help others:
I have now gone as far as I can go technically, teaching and running workshops. If somebody hates their life and hates their home but has a successful business, they are still going to be intrinsically unhappy.
I think it helps people feel better connected, whether that’s with themselves or with others.
Referrals are beginning to come in from GP surgeries, hospitals and gyms and hypnotherapy is growing in popularity.
More and more people are waking up to the possibilities of hypnotherapy; how progressive it can be and how quick and effective.
Shauna thinks that the stresses of modern life and lack of support services may be a factor.
We work very hard in our society. There are pressures on children with more tests in schools; adults in the work place have much bigger case loads and less support.
Everybody is so vulnerable nowadays. In the past people used to say ‘It’s just some people with mental health issues over there’. Now it applies to all of us and services need to be ready to accommodate that.
Shauna claims that:
Hypnotherapy produces happy, confident, comfortable people.
If that is so, then this is a service which is desperately needed.
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