HLN Meets: Silvia Mather of Hummingbird Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy may all be in the mind, but it can potentially yield life-changing results. Don’t believe us? Fair enough. But you might want to listen to what hypnotherapy expert Silvia has to say…
Silvia Mather has over 20 years’ experience working with individuals to help them make positive life changes. Having first entered into the world of hypnotherapy because she was struggling with her own mental health – and was exhausted with a lack of progress with other, perhaps more traditional solutions – Silvia fell in love with the dramatic improvement hypnotherapy helped her to achieve within herself.
Having turned her own life around, Silvia immediately began to train in Hypnotherapy & Counselling and now holds a number of qualifications and awards within the field, as well as being a member of the National Hypnotherapy Society.
We caught up with Silvia to break some of the myths surrounding hypnotherapy, chat about her own journey with the treatment, find out if it really can be life-changing and make sure that, at the end of our first session, we definitely won’t leave thinking we’re a chicken!
What actually is hypnotherapy?!
Hypnotherapy is an age-old therapy that has been used to help people make positive changes since Egyptian times. It uses hypnosis to help the client access their subconscious mind in a safe and supported way. The subconscious mind is where all of our thoughts, emotions, values and experiences are stored, so if we want to make changes to the way we’re feeling, then that’s where we want to be hanging out!
As a hypnotherapist, I’m able to guide my clients into hypnosis but, once they’re there, my job is simply to hold that space for the client. At no point should a hypnotherapist be placing their own ideas into the client’s mind – the individual should very much be in the driving seat, making positive changes in a way that fits them. I’m trained in supporting my clients to work through how best to make those changes and we work together to achieve the best results we can.
I understand that there are many misconceptions about hypnotherapy, but I can assure you that it’s safe, natural and, above all, that you are in control at all times. And I promise that you won’t leave the session thinking you’re a chicken!
Hypnotherapy is actually used a great deal now in maternity hospitals, as a natural way of supporting women with pain and distress during labour. More often than not now, doctors and dentists will recommend it to their patients to help support them with their mental and physical health.
How can hypnotherapy work to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress or phobias?
All of these are emotions, caused by events or someone’s environment. But essentially, they leave the person with a certain feeling: scared, worried, sad. Everything we feel is sitting in our subconscious mind and, by supporting my client to go into hypnosis – where their subconscious mind is most active – I can help them access these feelings, have a look at them and shift them out. The subconscious mind is always looking to keep us safe and keep us feeling our best, but sometimes it just gets overwhelmed and thinks that these negative feelings are of use to us in some way.
A phobia or fear, for example, is there to stop us doing something that our mind has decided is dangerous. In hypnotherapy, we work with the subconscious mind to show it that that fear is not necessary – we are safe, so the fear can go. It’s the same with anxiety. Anxiety is there because the subconscious mind thinks we are under threat in some way. It’s telling us to be on high alert in case anything bad happens. In hypnotherapy, we can show the subconscious mind that this anxiety is not helpful and is, instead, just making us feel really bad. That may sound quite simplistic, but if we work from that theory then even the most complicated and intertwined feelings can be unravelled and changed.
You entered into hypnotherapy professionally because you had experienced it personally. How has it helped you?
That’s right. I had been experiencing bouts of depression and anxiety for most of my life. So long that those feelings became normal, and it had an extremely detrimental effect upon my relationships, working life and confidence. I had a very large build-up of negative feelings that I had never been helped to release. I’d tried counselling, medication and a few other techniques over the years, but all they did was either mask the feelings or stir them up more and make me feel even worse!
But hypnotherapy reached right in there and calmed all those feelings right down. It offered me reassurance that I didn’t have to feel this way anymore and allowed me to process all the traumatic events that I had lived through in a way that left me feeling comfortable and in control of my life. It also gave me the space to remind myself of my strengths and achievements, which are hard to recognise when you’re depressed. It has helped by lifting the depression, removing the anxiety and boosting my feelings of confidence and self-worth. Honestly, it’s truly been life-changing.
Some of our readers may think hypnotherapy ‘isn’t for them’. What would you say to persuade them to give it a try?
What I’d say is that, if they’re struggling to make positive changes to their life, finding it hard to feel positive emotions, or sick of getting up every day feeling terrible and want it all to stop, then hypnotherapy is definitely for them. It’s safe, you are in control, it’s effective and it starts working from the very first session you have.
Who would benefit most from hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy can work with literally any issue you may have. But just to give you an idea, the most common reasons that people come to see me are to overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, and fears. I also see clients who are suffering from high levels of stress and struggling to find motivation. Stopping smoking and making positive food choices is also something that hypnotherapy works extremely well with.
I offer a bespoke wedding service too, working with clients who are getting married to support them through this happy, yet potentially challenging, time in their lives. Especially in 2020 when so many were cancelled!
How are the lockdown restrictions affecting your ability to deliver hypnotherapy sessions to your clients?
I’m delivering all of my sessions via Zoom at the moment and it’s working really well. I’d even go as far to say that it’s even more effective – plus I can be far more flexible with appointment times. I have also developed my membership programme, which gives my members 24-hour access to an exclusive members area on my website, where they can watch hypnotherapy videos, follow wellness challenges and read articles all aimed at implementing daily support for your mental wellbeing. This is a service I’d recommend to anyone, not just those experiencing specific issues, as it builds up steady resilience.
High Life North are currently running our Life Audit, trying to help people focus on their holistic wellbeing in all areas of their lives. How would you say hypnotherapy can improve our overall wellbeing?
The very act of sitting in hypnosis for a period of time reduces stress hormones in the brain. Even if we did this and nothing more, there would be an improvement in brain functioning. The individual would be more focussed, calmer and better able to make positive decisions. Take that one step further with a targeted session of hypnotherapy and there is the potential to improve your emotional health significantly, which may lead to improved physical health. This will then, of course, have a positive impact on all other aspects of their lives.
You can also contact Silvia by phone on 07455 529443 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org