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How to beat the winter blues

change is goodWe all feel down or fed up sometimes, but at this time of year, the prospect of a long wait till Spring can make it easy to get into the doldrums. New Year's Resolutions are one answer to this but they often involve focussing on the big life changes which you want to make and as those can seem overwhelming, all too often you end up not changing anything.

So here is my approach to change - an alternative to those resolutions that is fun and effective at lifting your spirits.

Ten tips for new non smokers

tips to quit smokingIn my experience, lots of smokers plan to quit in the run-up to Christmas as the weather turns colder and darker. So why leave it till the New Year?

Here are ten top tips to help you stay smoke-free once you've quit.


Mindfulness, and how to do it right

mindfulnessMindfulness and mindful meditation have become very fashionable recently, but don’t let that put you off. It is simple, and often a very effective way of keeping your stress levels down.

You don't need any particular religious or spiritual beliefs to practice mindfulness. In fact, you can be a complete cynic and still benefit! And you can do it anywhere, so it's very convenient.

Hypnotherapy and anger

anger and hypnotherapyDoes your anger cause you problems?

Most people experience an array of emotions through the course of a day, and in many cases, they are able to express those feelings in an appropriate way. However, there are some that find it difficult to do this, especially with anger. They may think that it’s not acceptable to feel anger at all, and try to hide it or 'bottle it up', or they may lack the skills to express it in a way that's socially acceptable.

Can I get stuck in trance?

stuck in trance?If you put me into a trance can I get stuck?

The short answer to this is no, but I do understand why many of my clients want this question answered, as the prospect of going into trance, or hypnosis, can feel so different from everyday life that it can be a bit scary.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD

OCD is not just about hand washing, despite the picture. It's defined as an anxiety disorder and around 2-3% of the population suffer from some kind of OCD behaviour. OCD is normally thought of as an adult condition, but it can affect children as well. So can hypnotherapy help?


OCD has two components. Obsessions are repetitive, unwanted, negative thoughts which intrude on your thinking. Compulsions are the urges to carry out specific acts or rituals in an attempt to quiet or remove those thoughts.

Obsessions are often around issues which genuinely concern safety or health. For example, most of us wash our hands after going to the toilet or before preparing food. Or we check that the door is locked before leaving for work.

But if you have OCD, the anxiety about germs or home invasion can become so overwhelming that you have to develop some kind of soothing behaviour to reduce it. The most common behaviours which develop in this way are cleaning, hand-washing and checking but counting, measuring, touching and other repetitive behaviours can also be a part of it. Most people with OCD realise that there isn't much logic to their behaviour, but feel too anxious to stop.


The problem is that compulsive behaviour only offers a limited amount of relief from the huge amounts of anxiety and panic that the obsessive ideas have created. In time, the soothing behaviours get more extreme or have to be repeated more and more frequently.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can show itself in response to a large number of different anxieties. For example, feeling unsafe can result in repeated checking of electrical devices or locks, illness can lead to excessive hand washing or cleaning, and feeling out of control can bring about ritualistic behaviours, such as frequent touching or re-organising of objects.

  • Arranger - seek out habits which give the illusion of order and balance.
  • Catastrophist - anticipate that disaster will occur if they do not complete their rituals.
  • Checker - compelled to check on sources that could pose possible actual physical harm. These people will probably repeatedly return to check the status of a stove, emersion heater, light switch or another home appliance.
  • Counter/Arranger - may be centred on perfect symmetry and stringent order.
  • Hoarder - concentrates on keeping all clothes, boxes together with other items. They have the fear that throwing away any belongings may result in some sort of calamity.
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Leonardo Di Caprio
  • Harrison Ford
  • David Beckham

Coping with the anxiety associated with the obsessive-compulsive disorder behaviours is a huge help in eliminating the compulsions and helping you to feel more in control.

Although statistically, CBT seems to be the usual way of helping people with OCD, it doesn’t work for everyone. If CBT has been tried and failed, or if for some reason you don’t feel it’s right for you, hypnotherapy is worth exploring. A responsible hypnotherapist will ask you to check that your OCD has been properly diagnosed and that your GP has no objection to you using hypnotherapy, before working with you.

Hypnotherapy can help you to achieve an inner calmness and promote relaxation, breaking the cycle of anxiety and panic. It can help you find coping strategies that allow you to feel safer without the compulsive behaviours, and it may also help you identify the root cause of the anxiety.

If you'd like help please get in touch.

Claustrophobia and hypnotherapy

help with claustrophobiaClaustrophobia is anxiety which occurs in confined areas; there is often an element of feeling trapped, without having a way to get out. If you have claustrophobia it can drastically impact on your daily life. It can be felt by anyone at any time and comes in various forms and degrees of severity. Lots of people are not comfortable in enclosed or very small areas, or occasionally feel they have to leave a crowded shopping centre, for example. But for a few, it's a permanent thing and even thinking about such a situation can bring about strong feelings of panic and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy and gambling

gambling problemsGambling seems to be more and more of a problem, perhaps because of how easy it is. No more inconvenience getting down to the betting shop or bingo hall, you can gamble 24/7, in your own home, on your PC or phone. As a hypnotherapist, I have noticeably more people asking me if I can help with this issue than I had even a couple of years ago.

In fact, 95% of people that gamble don’t have a problem with it. It's an occasional, fun experience. Of those that remain, around half sometimes gamble more than they'd like, or use gambling now and then to make themselves feel better. The others can develop a real problem where their gambling regularly feels out of control.

Hypnotherapy and young people

teens and hypnosisThese days, being a young person comes with inherent difficulties. There is stress from physical and hormonal changes, growing up, getting (or wanting) more autonomy and freedom, expectations of parents and teachers, pressure from exams, peers, new relationships, maybe working as well as studying. Many young people occasionally find that they lack confidence or experience feelings of self-doubt or anxiety. For some, this is transitory and passes quickly, for others it becomes more of an issue. Research shows (1)  that 10 % of youngsters below the age of 16 develop mental health problems. Knowing it is not uncommon, however, doesn't make it any easier to manage.

Debbie Waller Hypnotherapy

The Loft Complementary Therapies Normanton, West Yorkshire, WF6 2DB

Please note: information on this site is for your guidance only and does not take the place of advice from a medical professional.

© Debbie Waller Hypnotherapy is a trading name of Yorkshire Therapies & Training Ltd.
Registered in England and Wales No. 10275858, Registered Office: Keldale House, Beal Lane, Beal, N Yorks, DN14 0SQ

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