I’m currently writing a book for Routledge, Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, with my sister who is a psychotherapist and the reviews so far have been totally inspiring! We have currently written four chapters and will hopefully complete the first draft by Summer 2018.
What is getting into the zone?
For any sportsman or sportswoman, getting into the zone is the process of being totally focussed and firmly in the present in terms of mind and body experiences. This allows you to perform to the best of your abilities without being disturbed or distracted. In the zone you can react to situations and events in a way that is almost ‘automatic’ without worrying about your performance or allowing any anxiety or worry to get in the way.
How I help athletes get into the zone
Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be a very effective way of getting in the zone because it teaches the mind and body to relax and experience thoughts, feelings and sensations in each present moment. Through breathing techniques and visualization/experiential exercises we explore sports performance in a heightened state of deep relaxation. This allows us to mentally rehearse ourselves performing to the best of our abilities while ‘in the zone’ and from this mental and physical point we work on triggering getting in the zone automatically during sports performance.
We work together to remove any blocks you may have about getting in the zone, such as fear of performance or injury, perfectionism or trying too hard, so that you don’t try too hard to force yourself into the zone – it just happens naturally.
Over the years I have helped many athletes get into the zone for optimal sports performance including runners, footballers, cricketers, rugby players, darts players, cyclists, motocross racers, tennis players and can offer a wealth of experience in helping you reach your sporting goals.
All sports performance sessions include audio downloads to help you practice getting in the zone at home.
When I read a recent report by the World Health Organisation regarding binge drinking statistics for the UK, I was initially surprised by our high placement of 13th in the list of world countries with the heaviest drinking. But heavy drinking and alcohol abuse are some of the most common issues I deal with on a daily basis.
Over the last several years I have developed a solid system of interventions within a therapeutic plan that help clients overcome their bingeing. These include:
1. Anchoring Feelings Of Power And Control
I often get clients to experience moments in their life when they had total power and control or if they cannot remember such a time, imagined power and control. This helps build confidence and the power to say no to alcohol. Hypnosis is fantastic for enhancing positive experiences and we build on these positive experiences during each session.
2. Saying No To Alcohol
There are certain situations where people who binge find it difficult to say no and I focus on bringing these situations up in the clients mind and get them to rehearse their newfound power and control. It’s surprising how powerful practising saying No! to alcohol is – the mind learns from this rehearsal and prepares you to stop drinking and to walk away from alcohol in these situations.
3. Imagining Ourselves As Non Drinkers
Sometimes bad habits feel like they have been with us for a lifetime but this is not necessarily true. I help clients imagine themselves without the binge drinking habit and this can be a real release for someone who has labelled themselves with the tag of ‘binge drinker’ for too long.
4. Changing The Binge Drinking Part Of Us
Through hypnosis we can address our binge drinking part and get it to accept healthy new ways of behaving instead that let the drinking habit go. Imagine yourself dealing with issues such as boredom or loneliness or anger in healthy ways that avoid alcohol intake. This can be achieved through hypnosis and really empowers the client.
5. Dealing Positively With Binge Drinking Triggers
Being aware of our triggers for excessive drinking can pave the way forward for reacting differently to alcohol in these situations. No matter what life throws up we can take a step back and experience ourselves in a positive way that helps us deal with any situations without the need to binge on alcohol.
These are just some of the techniques that I use on a daily basis to help clients stop bingeing. Get in touch if you need help!
One of the challenges of being a hypnotherapist is to use hypnotherapy to help athletes overcome any anxiety or negative emotions and feelings they may have regarding their performance and to foster positive thoughts feelings and emotions surrounding their sporting activities instead.
Imagery with hypnosis is a technique I regularly employ to help sportsmen and sportswomen boost their sports performance. Imagery is used by athletes to imagine themselves performing a specific activity in a specific situation. For example, a footballer may imagine taking a penalty in the last minute of a football match, a gymnast of performing a complex set of floor exercises. With imagery the athlete is able to boost their confidence and self esteem by imagining themselves performing their specific activity in just the way that they want to perform it, utilising all of their senses (sight, smell, hearing and feeling).
Hypnosis is a powerful aid to the process of sports imagery as it makes this process more powerful and vivid.
So for example, in a situation when an athlete comes to me with a problem regarding performance anxiety due to an injury, we can work together to take the athlete back to when the injury was sustained and we can then lift any negative emotions and feelings surrounding this event. We can then get the athlete to imagine performing to the best of their ability in a high pressure situation, instilling confidence and getting rid of any anxiety that they may have. This can all be achieved through powerful mental rehearsal techniques under hypnosis.
I really enjoy working with athletes in this way, building up their confidence to perform to the best of their abilities.
Good luck to Leicester City!
Working with professional and amateur golfers over the years, I have built up a rich picture of the types of challenges facing golfers during a game of golf.
I have learned that the most important distance in golf is the five inches between our ears: the mental part.
One of the most important challenges facing any golfer is the ability to let go of a bad shot and focus on the next one instead. This is the standout characteristic of the best golfers in the world – golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are able to forget a poor shot and focus all their energy on getting their mind right for the next challenge. They have won 32 professional majors between them to prove this.
In terms of getting over a poor shot there are four things that I focus upon during hypnotherapy sessions for improving golf at my Leicester based practice:
1. Getting the client to imagine themselves taking a step back and releasing any negative thoughts emotions and feelings they have about the poor shot. Mentally rehearsing this process helps to prime the mind to do this routine on the actual golf course itself.
2. Mentally rehearsing practicing the shot with the club. If you watch golf on TV you will see professional golfers take a step back and swing their club a couple of times in order to ‘fix’ the poor shot they have just taken.
3. Imagining walking up to the ball and focussing solely on the next shot.
4. Arriving at the ball and entering ‘the zone’, a place of total concentration and focus. The previous shot has been forgotten.
No matter whether you are a professional or amateur, anyone can learn the above four techniques, improving their golf performance on the course.
Mark Spalek GHR (reg), Dip. Hyp, Dip. NLP, GQHP, MSc, BSc, PGCE
#leicester #leicestershire #hypnotherapy #sports #performance
One of the first questions clients who wish to lose weight often ask during their free initial consultation is how hypnosis works with weight loss, so I explain to them the concept of hypnosis and how it is used within hypnotherapy and treatment interventions in order to facilitate healthy weight loss.
Hypnosis is a combination of focus, attention and concentration onto a specific target or goal or issue that we are trying to aim for, improve or remove altogether. So the goal for someone on a weight loss programme is to lose weight healthily and achieve a target weight, and once that target weight has been achieved, to maintain it.
In other words, when hypnosis is directed towards weight loss, it helps us lose weight.
As a hypnotherapist, I help the client direct their attention towards:
– Building a positive image of themselves at their target weight, and making this experience of their target weight as real and vivid as they can, sending powerful ‘change’ messages to the mind.
- Dealing with the often negative emotions and feelings surrounding unhealthy eating habits.
– Noticing triggers for unhealthy eating and reacting differently to these triggers so that unhealthy eating patterns are disrupted.
– Making the necessary changes to eating habits and lifestyle in order to promote effective weight loss.
– Accessing power and control from within in order to prevent binge eating and stop eating unhealthy fattening and sugary foods.
– Increasing motivation to exercise and staying motivated to maintain the target weight once it has been achieved.
Of course, each of the above is tailored directly to a clients specific needs as we are all individuals with different thoughts and feelings towards eating as well as different eating habits.
In conclusion, as a hypnotherapist with many years of experience with helping people empower themselves and take control of their lives I can categorically confirm that what we focus upon with our minds we can be successful at achieving!
Mark Spalek GHR (reg), Dip. Hyp, Dip. NLP, GQHP, MSc, BSc, PGCE
#leicester #hypnotherapy #weight loss
Yes it’s that time of the year again when I’m planning another self hypnosis hypnotherapy workshop for reducing stress and anxiety at work. The next workshop will take place in my practice on Saturday January 16th 2016 at 11am and will focus on:
- Utilising powerful diaphragmatic breathing techniques to allow the mind and body to relax.
- Experiencing the source of your work related stresses whilst in a calm hypnotic state, before utilising mental rehearsal techniques that allow you to release the anxiety and imagine yourself at work feeling calm, relaxed, in control and happy.
- Coping with any future work stress triggers in a more mindful way so that you are able to lift the anxieties and worries you may have about your work and flourish instead.
This workshop is perfect for anyone that is thinking about giving hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis a try because the techniques I use within this workshop are also used within therapeutic interventions.
As with most anxiety or stress, becoming mindful of how we think about the anxiety and react to it – often with negative behaviours or emotions – is a vital part of the process of learning to let go of the anxiety and feeling better able to cope with pressure at work.
Book early to avoid disappointment!
Welcome To The Hub!
An information channel for Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and how it can benefit in the treatment of many anxiety disorders including:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Acute Stress Disorder
I have included this information channel for health and medical centres, surgeries, GP’s and individual clients suffering from stress, PTSD and anxiety because I believe in and successfully employ an integrated approach to therapy including hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, CBT and Solution Focussed Therapy to help you overcome anxieties, fears and phobias as quickly as possible so that you can get the life that you know you deserve.
The Hub can be accessed at:
You will find useful information on research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in treating anxiety as well as booking forms for FREE relaxation classes and also a 20% Discount Offer for your first session!
Mark Spalek, Clinical Hypnotherapist (GHR (reg), Dip. Hyp, Dip. NLP, GQHP, MSc, BSc, PGCE)
Lecturer In Confidence Building
Positive Suggestions Hypnotherapy