A hypnotherapy case study

I am often asked how life coaching and hypnotherapy can help with life situations, so I thought I’d start a mini-series of case studies for illustration purposes. Client information is always kept confidential, so please note these are fictional stories based loosely on real life examples.

David came to see me to gain some confidence with public speaking. He found it difficult to speak in front of an audience, and this was becoming a nuisance since he’d been temporarily promoted to manager of his sales team to fill in for someone on long term sick leave. He was expected to announce sales targets and rouse the team to achieve them every morning and he would find himself dreading the meeting, giving the speech as quickly as possible and then grabbing a cigarette to calm his nerves straight afterwards. He hadn’t smoked prior to this for many years. His team saw these morning meetings as a waste of time – and he knew that was because he didn’t sound particularly motivating. David didn’t want to tell his manager how difficult he found these meetings because he hoped to apply for a permanent promotion and thought sharing this would decrease his chances of getting it.

In David’s first session we talked through the situation, and the impact it was having.  Under hypnosis, we spoke a little about the source of his fear. David had been asked to read something out in his English class when he was at school, but he misheard the teacher and read from the wrong page. The class laughed, and David secretly vowed never to put himself in that situation again.  Now when David tried to give a speech to his colleagues, his brain associated this with an unwanted situation to run away from, even though the classroom situation had long been pushed aside in his memory. Still under hypnosis, we helped paint the situation in a different light so that David could release the emotional impact of it.

David and I were confident that having got to the root of the problem and releasing the emotions from it would make public speaking easier. However, I also taught him a technique to help him feel more confident just before he was about to give a speech. We practiced the technique together a few times, and I asked David to practice at home for a week or two to really embed it.

I got an email a few days later thanking me for the help – David had delivered the usual morning speech after practicing the technique I’d taught him, and he felt far more confident. He sounded far more enthusiastic, and he knew from the banter his team gave him that they’d noticed a difference. He did not feel the need for a cigarette after the speech.

A few weeks later David made another appointment. He said that the morning speeches were fine now – he even looked forward to them! However, he still felt a bit anxious about his ability to perform in the new role.  Together, we dissected the sources of anxiety and what David could do to alleviate them. Under hypnosis we helped David overcome his fear of asking for help and increased his self confidence.

Apart from an email stating ‘he feels great in his role now’ I haven’t heard from David again!

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