Fear of flying: “I was amazed. After just 3 sessions my fear had subsided and I subsequently travelled to Brazil and took 20 flights the following year”

Depression: “After only 6 sessions I went from feeling very depressed to feeling happy and content within myself”

Grief: “Thank you so much for all your work, kindness and understanding. I am so very different from when I first saw you”

Stress/Anxiety: “Just wanted to say hello. Off all pills now!”

Phobias: “Lionel, you have given me a new life. For so many years I was terrified of being enclosed, heights, and snakes. Thank you.”

Chronic pain: “Before meeting Lionel I suffered with chronic pain for 14 years. After a few sessions I noticed an improvement in my pain levels as well as improvements in my confidence and sleep patterns.”

Weight loss: “After just two sessions of hypnosis, my weight loss began. I have lost an average of 1.5lbs a week to a total loss of 24lbs”

Confidence: “Thank you so much for my daughters progress. It has been a joy to see her grow in strength and confidence.”

Post-natal depression: “Thank you thank you thank you for returning me, to me. I am back to better than normal.”

Hypno-birthing: “Over a four month period Lionel taught me the techniques that enabled me a quiet, stress-free birth, needing only gas and air. I am sure my daughter’s easy birth has contributed to the happy content child that she is.”

Confidence in presentations: “Just completed a three hour session. I received great feedback and felt in control all the way through”

Unable to cope: “I found my sessions with Lionel deeply relaxing and supportive. His approach helped my back to a more positive and calm way of life”

Fear of relationships: “You have helped massively. I have now found a girlfriend and am meeting her family soon”

Dental phobia: “I want to thank you for your help. The sessions have been really effective, not only with my fear of the dentist, but also in my everyday living”

Fears: “You immediately dispelled any concerns and apprehensions that I may have had”

Drug abuse: “You are a star. Still clean.”

Alcohol abuse: “You have done what AA could not do. I no longer need drink.”

Stress: “At age 69 I have my life back. I am enjoying every minute.”

Self Esteem: ” You have shown me how to feel good about myself again.”

My Life was Spinning Out of Control

June 2016

I feel as though I am viewing my life through a pair of different eyes. Everything in my experience is somewhat… lighter. New. I contacted Lionel at a time where I felt my life spinning out of control. I was battling with abusive drinking to the point of black outs, heavy smoking, anxiety and disorder in most areas of my life. I was deeply unhappy and I felt lost. Being a human being means that we will all have our ups and we will all have our downs, this is normal, but the difference here was that I genuinely felt as though there was no hope. I couldn’t see that light at the end of the tunnel. I had lost so much trust in myself that I didn’t even have an idea of which direction to turn in. I was coasting, and slowly becoming more and more fearful of this lack of control in my life.

Everything was blurry and clouded. The final push and realization that I needed help was waking up most mornings with a very stiff jaw due to intensive grinding of my teeth in my sleep, a clear indication of the deep levels of stress and anxiety I was dealing with. I kept trying to shift my current state by adopting healthy changes but I couldn’t stick to anything, hence the lack of self-trust which was in fact slowly deteriorating week by week. I was scared and in and out of horrible, abusive cycles.

A couple of years ago, Lionel saw a friend of mine and helped him to kick a 30 year nail biting habit and overcome a heavy drinking problem. I had found Lionel online and decided that as a gift I would offer a few sessions to this friend whom I knew so deeply needed help. This is something that I will never forget. The changes in this friend were phenomenal, and this never left me, hence my contact with Lionel for personal help years later.

I was dreading my first session, mainly because I was not in a place where I felt ready to open up and talk to someone, never mind trust anyone else with the shame and guilt that was consuming me. After seeing Lionel for the first time I knew, almost intuitively, that I was in the right hands. I knew with everything in me I had done the right thing. Lionel creates an atmosphere that is based on trust and honesty. He is an open and honest man but what struck me was a powerful sense of calm that he brings to each session.

Working with Lionel has been transformational and words do not do justice the changes that have taken place in my life since our sessions started. You have to feel it. This is not an easy ride, or a quick fix and as with everything of true value in this life it does take work and dedication, but Lionel makes this clear and his support and methods are life changing. I slowly found myself, firstly, being a lot kinder to myself. This was the catalyst for all the changes that have taken place. Previously my head was bombarded with negative chatter and repetitive, haunting thought processes but they began to dissipate with Lionels help…to ease away and in turn I found myself slowly replacing the destructive, addictive and impulsive thoughts and behavior with positive and sustainable change.

Each little change has brought on the next and with a snowball effect I feel as though I am a new person. Without sounding clichéd or dramatic; I feel as though I owe Lionel my life.  I am so much calmer…happier and focused. I am no longer procrastinating with ANYTHING as I used to. My confidence has sky rocketed and I am so excited for everything to come. I see this whole world before me and I know that I can have anything I want with the right attitude and outlook. I have so much hope again and that crippling fear I was experiencing has lifted, taking a massive weight from my whole existence. I feel free and full of infinite power. I have settled into a place of balance and when I need inner stillness to think ahead or plan my future I can find it with ease. Lionel has woken me up to the realization of the power I hold within myself and I am no longer afraid.

My relationships are flourishing, and I have fallen in love with number 1, myself, again. I had lost that and in the most sincere and uplifting ways I feel so ready for the rest of my life. Lionel has been a gift and blessing to me and although I know those ups and downs that are part of the human experience will always be there, I truly believe in myself and my ability to get through anything, and create the life that I have always dreamed of.


A Study in Post Natal Depression

“It’s like you’ve been erased, I felt as if I had died, and was grieving for my lost life. I had panic attacks, constant nausea, insomnia, crying fits and frequent suicidal thoughts. It was as if someone had put me in solitary confinement and thrown away the key – I felt totally abandoned, alone and desperate. It was totally the opposite from what I had expected to feel as a new mother”

I’m sure no one expects to get PND, but it hit me so unexpectedly because I’d had such a happy pregnancy and was so looking forward to my son being born. But, after a very scary birth and 4 weeks of sleep deprivation, I started on a downward spiral. I felt like I was in the film ‘Groundhog Day’, where every day is the same, and that the nightmare would never end. I felt totally trapped by the new life that motherhood brings. I wept for my lost life, missing all the freedoms that I had taken for granted. Every day felt as if I was walking in slow motion, every morning I cried and threw up, and barely ate. I lost the will to live.

I adored my son, but felt completely out of my depth looking after him, and wanted a way out. I walked out once, but my husband persuaded me back. I fantasised about getting into an accident that would put me in hospital, so I could get away. I thought about how to kill myself constantly. And, all the while, I drove myself even crazier as I saw how, seemingly, everyone else took motherhood in their stride and I was a total wreck.

The insomnia was unbearable, and the panic attacks made me feel terrified.

I was completely without hope, unable to see that this constant panic would ever end, though everyone tried to tell me it would. I felt hopeless and desperate. I didn’t think I’d make it.

My husband saw Lionel’s ad in the paper when my son was 6 months old, and insisted I go. I must admit, I was totally sceptical. I’m not a fan of any so called ‘alternative’ therapies, and a firm believer in science and traditional medicine as the cure for life’s ills. But my Dr had referred me to CBT (Therapy), and I’d hated it, and I didn’t want to take anti depressants as I was breast feeding. So I went along the first time, in my usual state of heightened panic, on the verge of nausea and in tears, thinking it wouldn’t help. I couldn’t believe that anything could make me better, I was so desperately unhappy it didn’t seem possible.

I liked Lionel instantly, and he gave me a realistic idea of how much we’d be able to do, and how long it would take. For the first time in months, I could at least see someone thought I could get out of this, and that he believed in me being able to get better. That in itself was a big step.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no instant cure, you can’t expect magic, but Lionel took me from a  suicidal, desperate wreck, who felt totally detached from the world, to someone who could feel hope, could sleep, and who could believe in a ‘cure’ in a matter of 8 weeks. I wasn’t better, but, for the first time ever, I felt hope that I could recover. Bit by bit, Lionel and I put the jigsaw back together – I’d been shattered and needed all the pieces put back together. I’d been a confident, clever, funny, sassy career woman, and he helped me see that I could incorporate my son into that life too. He helped me see a future where I would be happy. I began to totally believe that I would get better, that my life was not over, that I had everything to live for. I would never have believed it possible just a couple of months earlier.

All in all, it took about 5 months to make me ‘normal’ again. And now, I like to think, I’m a much better version of me. I know how to control the demons, and am a far happier, more confident, and nicer person than before.

It is no exaggeration to say that Lionel saved my life or, as he would say, taught me how to save myself.

I would not be here without him.

Please don’t suffer alone. Please don’t cry alone. Please don’t think you’re the only one – it’s so so common. Now, when I mention I had PND, so many women tell me similar tales.

Above all, please take a step to make yourself better. Good luck…. you can find hope again, I promise.


A Client with Bi Polar Depression

Hypnotherapy comes to the Harrow support group.

Last Thursday (January 14th) I invited the hypnotherapist, Lionel Sinclair, to come to talk to the Harrow MDF support group.  I have been working with Lionel since spring of last year and he has helped me to such an extent that I was very keen to let fellow ‘bipolars’ know more about his work and the kinds of benefits he can bring.

He began by distancing himself and his work from stage-hypnotism of the Paul McKenna type, explaining how hypnotherapy essentially works with the subconscious part of the mind, inducing a state of deep relaxation, in which the subconscious can be influenced in various ways.  Although the subconscious normally lies hidden underneath the conscious part of our brain, to which we have ready access, it actually accounts for the vast majority of our mind and determines much of our behaviour.  As well as controlling autonomic bodily functions, such as breathing and heartbeat, it is the seat of our habitual practices and emotions, permanent memories, and our spiritual and creative powers and beliefs.  As such its influence over every level of our well-being is limitless.

As long as a client is open and willing, a hypnotherapist can take them into a state of deep relaxation, in which he is able to work with the subconscious and initiate changes in patterns of behaviour.  The inter-related benefits of hypnotherapy are, in this way, two-fold, insofar as it helps a person reach a state of relaxation which is deeper and more regenerative than sleep itself, at the same time as giving them a means to alter aspects of their behaviour.  In practical terms, Lionel’s initial session/s with a client are usually devoted to inducing this deep relaxation and readying them for further work.  Once this ability to relax and access the subconscious is established, he will move on to deal with more specific aspects of behaviour.  For some, this can be problematic habits, such as smoking or diet.  For others, it is a quest to find ways of coping with long-term or ongoing problems and conditions, and it is here that hypnotherapy is probably most pertinent to the bipolar sufferer.

Lionel explained how, over the years, he has come to work with a number of bipolar clients and how dealing with this condition has almost become a area of specialism for him.  As his understanding of bipolarity has deepened, he has developed his own ideas and something of a system for treating the problems specific to the bipolar individual.  He talked about some of the similarities and differences between working with bipolarity and unipolar depression, and how hard it is for those who have not themselves experienced mental illness to come to a true understanding of what it involves.  In Lionel’s own case, it was the extent to which hypnotherapy helped him recover from a very severe episode of depression which inspired him to change direction and become a hypnotherapist himself.  I have certainly found, in working with him, that his own past experience of mental illness has given him a degree of insight which is rarely found.

One thing which Lionel was particularly keen to make clear is that hypnotherapy is very much a ‘complementary’ treatment, a way of helping bipolar sufferers manage the symptoms of their condition which works in conjunction with, and not by replacing, conventional medicine and psychiatric treatment.  It is, rather, a way in which people can learn to deal more effectively with the symptoms and concomitant problems caused by the illness and can, hopefully, become another strategy for ‘self-management’, with which one can maintain better mental health and reduce the risk of major episodes.  There is no claim that it will, in some way, ‘cure’ the condition or eradicate the need for medication.

In Lionel’s experience, many people come to hypnotherapy as a ‘last resort’, having tried almost every other type of ‘therapy’ on offer, and are amazed by its effectiveness and how it finally helps them with problems which they had come to believe were insoluble.  He pointed out its advantages over, for example, many sorts of traditional ‘talking-therapies’.  While these allow someone to gain a degree of conscious understanding of their problems, unlike hypnotherapy, they have no means of facilitating change over emotions and behaviours which are essentially lodged in the subconscious.  This certainly reflects my own experience.  When a doctor friend of my parents suggested that I go to see Lionel, I was recovering from one of a sequence of major episodes I have gone through in the past few years.  These episodes and their treatments had left me physically and mentally exhausted, depressed, and deeply sceptical, having tried so many ‘alternative’ therapies, with so little success.  I agreed to give it a try and turned up with little or no expectations that hypnotherapy would actually manage to alleviate any of my symptoms.  By the end of the first session I was hooked.  For the first time in years, without the use of tranquilisers or alcohol, my mind had stopped racing.  He had induced a state of deep calm which I had come to believe was no longer possible and, although this was temporary, the enormous benefits of having been able to reach such a state were immediately recognisable.  Nor was this restricted to our sessions together.  Lionel provides all his clients with a recording of each session, so that they are able to progress with his work whenever they wish.

Once Lionel had answered a number of questions raised by members of the group, he asked whether he could do a brief relaxation session for everyone, to bring things to a close.  Even with my deep faith in hypnotherapy, I was concerned as to how well this would work in a room crowded with relatively stimulated people.  Fifteen minutes later I came to, feeling deeply relaxed, and it seemed, from the absolute silence and stillness in the room, that this had been a fairly common experience.  To reduce twenty or so bipolar people to a state of calm in the space of minutes must surely be an achievement which speaks for itself!

Where then does hypnotherapy fit in with bipolarity?  At the present time, bipolar sufferers are coming more and more to recognise that ‘alternative’ strategies for self-management can help in keeping the condition under control and improving the quality and stability of their lives.  Over time hypnotherapy might become one such valuable tool for increasing numbers of people and its benefits may even come to be more widely recognised amongst the psychiatric establishment.

From my own point of view it would be almost impossible to encapsulate the extent to which my life has been helped or even transformed by hypnotherapy.  These are sentiments which are shared by a number of those, bipolar and otherwise, who have, on my recommendation, visited Lionel; and it is not just the clients, but also those around them, who recognise the beneficial changes.  Most notably, in my case, it has helped to relieve me of a racing mind and a detachment which have, over the past few years, dominated my mental state.  Although my condition is not eradicated and I still experience episodes when extreme medical intervention is necessary, hypnotherapy has allowed my emotions to resurface, so that I am truly present within my own life, finding peace, the genuine resurgence of my personality, and a deep connection with those around me which, following a decline in my mental health four and a half years ago, I had come to believe I would never recapture.