Weight Loss Case Illustration
The following example, based on real client casework at Gateway Hypnosis, demonstrates the holistic approach that we took to the client’s weight problem and integrated these specific therapies: Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Coaching and Emotional Freedom Techniques.
(Please note that some of the information below has been altered to protect the identity of the client).
As with all clients, Helen was advised to contact her GP for a checkup prior to embarking on a programme of hypnotherapy, to ensure that there was no physical reason behind her particular weight issue.
‘To be perfectly honest I am contacting you as a last resort … I seemed to have tried everything else’. Helen went on to tell me that she was desperate to lose weight. She talked about feeling that she had been on a diet for most of her life, but she had never managed to keep the weight off. ‘All I have to do is look at a cake and I seem to put on weight!’ She hoped that I would ‘send her to sleep and when she woke up she would never want to over-eat again and would be skinny for the rest of her life!’ Although, she laughed after she said this, we both knew that this was really her secret hope.
We talked about what hypnotherapy could and could not do and what the Gateway Hypnosis weight loss programme involved. Helen signed up for an intial block of 3 fortnightly sessions, which would enable her to see if the hypnotherapy was working for her.
During Session 1 – We talked about her history with food and how this was linked to her image of herself. Helen underwent a hypnosis designed to enable her to deeply relax, visualise a more positive and slimmer body, adopt healthier lifestyle habits and deal with stress. I also gave her a download which she was to listen to every day to help reinforce these key messages.
During Session 2 – Helen reported that she had enjoyed the session and was finding the hypnotherapy beneficial – she was feeling less hungry and was finding herself making healthier food choices. She had in fact lost 2lbs since we last met! I introduced her to Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) to help her with her food cravings and we undertook a further hypnosis to help her deal with some of her negative beliefs about herself.
During Session 3 – Helen stated that she felt the programme was working for her, she was continuing to lose weight at a healthy rate of 1-2lbs a week. She decided that she wanted to continue and booked a further 3 sessions. We undertook some further Tapping work and I taught her Self Hypnosis so that she could learn to hypnotise herself and give herself positive and beneficial messages.
During Session 4 – Helen indicated that she was still finding the hypnotherapy useful and was exciting by the continuing weight loss. We discussed some of her earlier memories with food and used regression therapy to go back to some key times in her childhood, to explore some of her early history, which was still impacting on her in the present day. She realised that some of her patterns around food, such as always feeling that she had to eat everything on her plate arose from her early family history, where it was seen as very naughty not to eat everything that was given to you, because people were ‘starving elsewhere in the world’. So although she might not enjoy the food, or indeed was aware that it was not particularly healthy for her, she felt that she still had to eat it.
During Session 5 – Helen and I discussed the role of stress in her weight gain. She had a busy and demanding job, which gave her little or no time for a lunch break. This had led her to make poor food choices at times, or in fact miss meals altogether. We talked about how stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol and other stress-related and inflammatory hormones which raises the risk of diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. We used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to explore how she could respond more positively in stressful situations and discussed how she could use the tools of hypnosis and tapping to help her deal with her stress on a daily basis.
During Session 6 – Helen felt that she was continuing to change her life in more positive ways. She was continuing to steadily lose weight and was enjoying exercise. She had taken up Yoga and Badminton and reported that she was feeling more in control. The big revelation for her was ‘I really enjoy food now …. I enjoy cooking it and eating it – in fact I have turned into a bit of a gourmet – and guess what …. I am OK to leave food on my plate!’ She also indicated that she was looking for a new job – one that was for less hours per week, to enable her to have a better work life balance. We undertook some further hypnosis designed to reinforce these new positive behaviours and to eliminate any further blocks that stood in her way.
Helen contacted me again several months later and indicated that she had continued to make positive progress. She had found a new job and was finding life considerably less stressful. She had continued to lose weight and had in fact lost 3 stone overall. However, the main difference was that she had noticed she was able to focus on herself and her own well-being for the first time in her life – without feeling selfish. She had got off the merry-go-round of diets and as a result now felt a new found sense of peace, calmness, self esteem and good health.