Ann Finnemore, Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Stress Management

I blog about the latest research, items appearing in the news, related books I've read and about how the various tools and techniques I use in therapy and coaching work. I also like to pass on any tips that could help you succeed in making any of those changes you've been thinking of (along with the occasional healthy recipe). I hope at least some of what I write makes you think -- that's always a good way to kick off a change of some sort!

Secondary gain

Secondary gain

What does your problem do for you, that is useful? I ask this question to clients who have a problem behaviour that they want to stop. It might be smoking, over-eating or some other habit. Most are surprised by the question at first, many are amazed that I even think that their problem might be useful to them in some way.

I ask because often (not always) if we have a behaviour we dislike and want to stop, but which we keep on doing, it’s because at some level it serves a purpose. If that purpose isn’t dealt with, and that need met some other (harmless) way, then we’re likely not to let go of the habit.

It might be that the habit seemed to help us originally, but that now we know that its disadvantages outweigh that. However, although we know that intellectually, our subconscious keeps the habit going – so we’re doing it almost automatically.

Once we realise what need (if any) the habit satisfies, then we can choose to meet that need in a healthier way. Once that’s done, getting rid of the habit will be so much easier.

Typical examples include smokers who use cigarettes as a way to excuse themselves for breaks or to get away from stressful situations, and people who over-eat for comfort or to deal with anger or some other emotion. In such cases, by finding alternative ways of dealing with stress or of dealing with strong emotions, the person discovers they can let the habit go.

Hypnotherapy can really help with this process, bringing about lasting changes instead of the more usual temporary ones which result from simply trying to use will power alone to stop.

So, if you have a habit that you want to stop but can’t, ask yourself what you get from it. If the answer really is “nothing”, then great – you’re already ready to let go of it. If, on the other hand, you find that there is something, then find a new way of getting that purpose met – then you’ll find it easier to let go of the habit itself.

If you find you're repeating the same patterns of behaviour, or have a habit or problem that you just can't get rid of, then why not contact me to find out how I could help you make the changes you want? 

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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

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