I got my university degrees because of hypnosis.
I didn’t know that at the time, of course! It was only later, after formal training in hypnotherapy, that I came to realize that I had been using hypnosis to arrive at my goal. When things got tough, when challenges appeared, when setbacks occurred, I would lie quietly somewhere, relax and simply say to myself: “You can do it”. I was using self-hypnosis without even knowing it!
I left school at the age of 16 with no formal qualifications to speak of. I undertook an apprenticeship in a trade. That would have been fine – but I just wasn’t cut out for it. No qualifications – no trade: what do I do now?
I set about gaining academic qualifications. I proceeded one step at a time. If someone had told me, when I was studying for my first O Levels, that I would one day have a PhD I would not have believed them. I just kept thinking one step ahead. When I was studying for O Levels I was thinking about A Levels. When I did them – in my early 20s – I started thinking about a formal degree.
How did hypnosis help me? The word “hypnosis” can mean many things. It can mean formal trance induction, such as we use in therapy work. Or it can simply mean getting the mind to accept certain ideas and suggestions, both consciously and unconsciously. I under-performed at school. They told me I was mediocre. I believed them – for a while. But there came a time when I knew I would have to challenge that judgement. I would try to prove them wrong.
I just kept telling myself that I could do it – that was all! And I kept doing it. Even when I got a bad mark for a piece of work, or a disappointing grade I still told myself that I could do it, that it was important to make mistakes because mistakes are your best and truest teachers!
I decided to learn Ancient Greek. I could just imagine my old form tutor howling with laughter at the thought of me taking on such a lofty academic subject. I wonder what he would have made of my 1st Class BA in Greek and Philosophy? I learned many things on my journey from CSE to PhD. The most important thing I learned was this: that with a bit of self-belief, almost anything is possible. Hypnotherapy can give you that all-important self-belief.
I trained in hypnotherapy at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy under two very distinguished teachers and practitioners: Dr John Butler and David Howie. I was awarded my Diploma in 1997 and my Advanced Diploma in 2003. I am a full member of the National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists.
In addition to my therapy practise I also have a part-time lectureship in Classics with the Open University in the South. I live and practice in Horsham. I am married with two daughters.