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A few weeks ago, I met the wonderful Rosie! She was such a sweetie pie. She came in with her mum and was very worried about dogs. But once we had done a session or two, her confidence soared - so much so, that the next day she went into the playground and she petted a friends dog!
The next few weeks passed, and Rosies mum gave me a lovely update - she said:
"Hi Emma an update on Rosie. Tonight she went round her friends house after school, who has a dog. She sat at the table most of the afternoon with the dog at her feet! It's amazing what you've done for her to get her completely over this fear. Thank you!"
What a star you are Rosie!! Well done.
The exciting news is that I have my own range of professional hypnotherapy recordings. I bet you didn't know! You can find them via this link. :)
When we talk about the mind body connection as therapists, what does that actually mean?
My new years resolution this year is to start to juice and make smoothies more. I use to regularly have a smoothie in the mornings for breakfast, it made me feel alert and kept me full for the entire morning. I am going to share with you some of my very favourite combinations! :) I'd love to hear some of your faves!
Citrus Pear Combo
½ frozen peeled avocado
1 green pear
1 cup fresh spinach
1 handful of fresh parsley
½ lemon, juice squeezed into the blender
1 cup filtered water
Green Grapefruit Delux
1 peeled grapefruit
2 cups fresh spinach
1 small handful parsley
1 small chunk of ginger
1 green apple
1/4 frozen banana
1 cup filtered water
3-4 ice cubes
Spinach Romaine Banana Ginger
A handful romaine lettuce
A handful of spinach
1 frozen banana
small piece of ginger
1-2 cups water
I like to keep some frozen essentials on hand so that I can make up a smoothie without worrying about running out of fresh ingredients. I keep quartered banana, quartered avocado, red berries, mango and pineapple. I buy these fruits from the supermarkets when they are being reduced a lot of the time, that way, you're getting the benefit of the reduced fruit, but it's also ripe enough that it has plenty of flavour!
Strawberry Raspberry Pineapple
1 cup strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
Raspberry Strawberry Blackberry Smoothie
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup almond milk
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone just did what we wanted them to in the way we wanted them to do it, all of the time? Friends, colleagues, family, lovers? Well, yes, it would be great for a little while.
But as human beings we are not naturally autonomous. We like to be able to be ourselves, inside of our own heads, catering for our own personal needs and desires.
When people don’t comply to what we think is the right way to live or think, we have the potential to end up unhappy and become disgruntled. We even go as far as to making it all about us!
If someone doesn’t do it in the way we think they should, we become defensive, or worse, blame them for not understanding our needs! We then try to force our own agendas and ideals onto their lives and that just makes them confused and miserable and unable to understand what the issue really is.
When we try to force someone into changing or looking at things from our own perspective, it just makes them feel controlled or manipulated. People often do the opposite then of what we want them to do and we end up even more frustrated and angry!
So how do we allow them to be who they are without it compromising who we are? Well, the first step is respecting that, no matter how hard you kick, scream or shout, if someone doesn’t think the same way as you, there’s nothing you can do to alter that. We are all individuals.
Yes, you may have asked that person a billion times to pick up their socks from the bathroom floor, but chances are, they aren’t leaving them there to annoy you. They just forget and aren’t as conscientious as you. That is of course, a trivial example for me to quote, but when you’re faced with someone who you feel does not understand you, or listen to you, or give you what you need in the time or the way you desire; the socks on the floor can be the final thing that makes you flip out and ultimately break a relationship apart!
Ego plays a huge part in failing relationships. We are quite often offended or upset by something that most likely was not intended to hurt or upset us. Talking plays a major role in fixing relationships.
We forget that the other person in the relationship is not a mind reader and cannot be responsible for our happiness. If we don’t tell them how we feel, how on earth do they know what the matter is? All they see is someone upset or hostile. The finny thing is, we then expect them to know what the matter is!
So silly when you come to think of it isn’t it?
We are giving that person the power to upset us! We put all of our happiness onto them, and if they don’t do as we think fit, we them blame them for our unhappiness.
Any time that you put all of your happiness into someone else’s hands, you are asking to be disappointed. There will always be a time or an event which will come along and upset or disappoint you.
Better then, to take control of our own lives. Making sure that we make ourselves happy and then whatever anyone else does around us we can simply choose not to allow it to affect our happiness in any way.
It sounds far more complicated than it is. Essentially, what it all boils down to is a willingness to accept that, for the main part, people are in their own world, living inside their own heads, without much thought for us at all. Therefore, we can allow them to live in exactly the way they see fit, without taking anything personally or trying to make their behaviour all about us.
It is no one else’s responsibility to make us happy and satisfied all of the time. It is our own responsibility. We have complete control over our own behavior and because we do, we can use it in so many positive ways.
In accepting other people, we do not compromise our own beliefs or allow ourselves to be mistreated or walked all over, we just stop expecting a different outcome. Instead of saying “you never…” or “I would have done…” we begin to take charge of what did happen or what we want, and ultimately, how we can achieve that happiness on our own. We can’t change things that have happened in the past, but we can chose how we react to things in the future.
Instead of feeling helpless and in someone else’s hands, we start taking charge of ourselves and stop blaming other people for everything.
It is incredibly liberating to be the master of your own happiness.
Author Emma Evans
My client had happily been working for the same delivery company for the past 6 years, but a year ago, he sustained an injury on the job. He had to take a little time off and then go back to reduced hours for a while on his return. But the whole incident had left him feeling pretty rubbish & depressed.
His company kept giving him jobs which were out of his ability because of the injury. He was placed on multiple disciplinary hearings and forced back off of work with acute stress as a result.
He was put on strong medication and told by his GP that he would no be able to return to work in his current state, but he had to go back to work as he was on a final warning with yet another disciplinary! He ended up with severe depression coupled by awful headaches that were totally debilitating.
When he called me, he had already been to see someone for CBT and also a group counselling provided by the NHS. He was back at work and there was no let up to the stress he was under. We soon established by chatting that he had actually gained his HGV license but never been in a fit enough state to use it!
We chatted about his options, we did a lot of self esteem work & eventually he decided he could try to apply for HGV jobs.
In doing this, taking the power back into his own hands, he would be removing cause of his headaches and stress symptoms, because he would no longer be a subject of institutionalised bullying, he would no longer be facing losing his job due to his illness that had been created by stress, and he would be able to earn more money!
His company had been trying to do everything in their power to make his life as miserable as possible and were pretty much making it impossible for him to stay. So why stay? It wasn't defeatist to go or give up his job, in fact, far from it! It was just the thing he needed to regain his self esteem, self confidence and power!
This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of pincer movement when companies are faced with mental health issues! Depression is something that companies often just don't cater for appropriately. I think, due to a lack of education, some employers panic when they hear the word depression because they don't know how to deal with it at all. So what do they tend to do? Instead of helping the person to get through what is usually a phase, instead they pile on even more pressure in hopes of forcing the employee to either work regardless or leave!
Luckily for my client he realised just at the right moment in his life that he was worth so much more than that kind of treatment! So he applied for different jobs within the HGV industry and he found that he WAS wanted! He got offered 3 jobs in very quick succession and the best part was he could earn a third more than he had been, with the potential to earn a lot more still!
When he identified what the true problem was, he could manovre into a much better position and get himself into a far better situation! For months if not years he had felt powerless, but not any more!!
I was so pleased to receive an email from him recently telling me that he had started the new job and he was loving it!
This whole tale just proves how powerful our own minds can be! If you are in a situation where someone else or something else is sapping all of your energy, self eateem and confidence, CHANGE IT! You CAN succeed if you walk away, even if the prospect of doing so is scary at first. If you can see it, you can achieve it.
I am so proud of my client. Against the odds he has removed the source of his anxiety and depression and I am certain that he has a much brighter future on the road ahead!
Author Emma Evans
Just watch, and please like on Facebook :)
Author Emma Evans
If you've had a smear test come back as abnormal, the following explanation may just answer a lot of your questions regarding what that means. Please do read the previous post which can be found here:
So, you've got the diagnosis of abnormal cervical cells and as I stated all over the last article, because I really want you to listen....that quite possibly means that it's NOT cancer, but abnormalities created as a result of a very common virus called the Human Papillova Virus or HPV for short.
YOU SHOULD NOT PANIC if you get a letter saying you have an abnormal smear test or if they state you have low grade or high grade dyskaryosis. In my previous article I talk all about the absolute horror of getting that letter through the post which states any of the above. It can really upset women and make them terrified of the implications.
In simple terms; HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. However, before you fear the worst (that your other half has been messing around behind your back!) it's a really common virus effecting almost ALL sexually active men and women at some point in their lives. There's no shame in having it. It can be caught at any part of sexual contact via skin to skin contact. So that means, all types of sexual intercourse including normal, oral and anal sex.
It's not choosy, it just likes everyone! It's a little like herpes in as much as it stays within your system for years and can remain dormant. There are over 100 variants of the virus and most are not harmful.
Many people contract the virus and don't ever have any side effects. The body fights it off and they never develop any illnesses as a result. Some contact the version that leads to genital warts, and some get the strain that can cause cancer. The type of HPV virus that causes genital warts is not the same as the one that causes cancer.
- Borderline or mild cell changes (low grade dyskaryosis)
- Moderate or severe cell changes (high grade dyskaryosis)
- Often referred to as CN1, CN2 and CN3 changes depending on the severity.
And just to reiterate.....anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person.
In anyone who has had multiple partners, it could have been your first sexual contact, the latest one or any in between. Our children in the UK are now being vaccinated against this virus because almost all kinds of cervical cancer are caused by a strain of HPV.
Once you become sexually active, you need to go for your smear tests because by far the best way of never getting cervical cancer is regular screening and treatment if abnormal cells are found!
HPV can also cause other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (calledoropharyngeal cancer).
The good news is that HPV cell changes are slow. Really slow. So chances are, if you discover any cell abnormalities, a quick treatment is all you need in order to get rid of them!
Below is a very unartistic diagram I drew to show the progression of HPV into cancer. I hope this will settle some nerves and give you some hope that even if you have been diagnosed with abnormalities, as long as they've found them early enough, there should be no reason to think you have cancer.
I hope this article and the one before helps some of you. I work with people who have either had, or are currently being diagnosed with cancers of all kinds. Fact is 1 in 4 of us will contract cancer at some point. Being on top of it is the key. Even if you don't have symptoms, DO get your pap smear tests done!
Author Emma Evans
As part of my job, from time to time I have to support someone who may be facing cancer or is awaiting a cancer diagnosis. With 1 in 4 people getting cancer of some kind during their lives (often perfectly treatable and non-life-threatening) therapists do see a fair share of clients who are recovering or have just been diagnosed.
Recently I had experience of a cervical cancer scare. I did a LOT of research for this particular case and I figured that some of the information that I found out may be really helpful for other women who are possibly going through a similar situation.
Firstly, when you go for your smear, it may not be the most pleasant experience in the world, but hey, 5 minutes with someone poking about in your insides has got to be better than the horror of a full blown cancer diagnosis. Especially when you consider that almost all cases of abnormal cells found CAN be treated if they are found early enough, as was the case of my recent client.
Smear tests (pap smears) really aren’t anything to worry about.
So what’s the score with the smear test? Well, let me explain them in simple non-scientific terms.
At your smear you’ll be asked to take of your clothing from the waist down, you then lay down on a medical couch, the nurse or doctor will cover you over usually with a towel, and then off they go.
They use a speculum, which looks like this:
It’s not as scary as it looks. I always think it looks like a funny duck, but anyway, it’s just an extending tube type device, this is covered with some kind of lubricant & then gently goes inside of your vagina and allows the person doing the smear to have a clear view of the opening of your cervix. It’s important they can see inside so that they can collect cells from the opening of your cervix to check to see that everything is ok. It shouldn’t hurt at all when they put it in, you might feel a little pulling, but that’s about it.
Then they use a tiny brush to collect the cells on your cervix. The brush usually looks like this:
The bristles of the brush are soft. The most you will feel is some pressure and an odd feeling – like a scraping or a tickling sensation. Some women report feeling this as a bit of a sore feeling but you’ll be glad to hear, it’s done within seconds!
That sample of cells then gets packaged and sent off to a lab for analysis.
So, you’ve been for your smear and between a week to 30 days later you should get a letter from the NHS (if you are in a different country this may vary) to say your smear test is clear – which basically means there’s nothing to worry about. If you do not receive your letter from the NHS you MUST – I repeat MUST follow it up with a phone call to your GP. It is not unheard of for these tests to go missing in the process, so if you don’t get a letter – check, check and double check. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you find out the result.
Remember my client? She came to me after she had attended her smear. She thought that because she hadn’t heard anything she was ok. Four years on, she went for another smear and this showed a cancerous growth. This is rare – I stress that because it truly is rare to get full blown cancer of the cervix – but it can happen if you don’t get checked regularly enough or don’t get the warning that something is up! Anyway, lets carry on.
If your test comes back borderline, this usually means either something went wrong with the test so they need to re do it, or it was not conclusive. In either of those cases you will be advised if you should leave it until the next smear, or you have to go back for another.
There are a number of other results that can be daunting at first so I am going to explain them here because so many women are understandably terrified when they see the words “abnormal results”.
Abnormal test results quite often DO NOT mean you have cancer. Now, I know that’s easy for me to say and right about now, if you are reading this because you’ve done a search, chances are it’s because you’ve read those dreaded words “abnormal cell changes” or "mild to moderate dyskaryosis". I understand that this has probably put you into a complete tail spin, fearing the worst and you may be feeling dreadful.
But let me assure you, abnormal cell changes can just mean that the lab has picked up some variant from “normal” cells and you need further investigation. It also means that you have usually caught them at a time when they are treatable. If these are left untreated then you have a risk of developing cervical cancer. So as you can see, early detection is essential.
A few facts:
- More than nine out of ten screening results are negative and around one in 20 show mild cell changes called mild dyskaryosis.
- Dyskaryosis just means cell changes.
- For most women with mild cell changes, the cells will go back to normal without treatment.
- One in a 100 test results show moderate cell changes (moderate dyskaryosis) and one in 200 show severe changes (severe dyskaryosis). If your results indicate that you have cell changes, you will be sent for colposcopy to investigate further.
- It is extremely rare for cancer to be diagnosed from a cervical screening test. Less than one in a thousand women’s test results show invasive cancer.
Ok – so a recap; mild, moderate or severe dyskaryosis can be picked up on your smear test. I repeat to you though lovely lady; this does not necessarily mean you have cancer, so please, take a nice deep breath and try not to panic. No, don’t try not to panic – JUST DON’T PANIC!
These cells are almost always treatable!
I understand that’s its as scary as hell. I truly do. I’ve seen enough clients who are in a hysterical mess because of that letter. One piece of paper that even states on it somewhere that it doesn’t mean you have cancer – but they still come to me, petrified.
The next step after the abnormality letter, is to wait for an appointment to have a colposcopy.
A colposcopy is a procedure where someone who is trained in gynaecology and most importantly, cell changes, will have a proper look, probably paint a solution on to your cervix and look for any cell changes. It can be a specialist, a consultant or a specially trained gene nurse who does your colposcopy.
This procedure can identify how severe the changes are (how wide spread) and also, by taking a biopsy, the lab can then test to see what kind of cells you’ve got.
The cells are classified as:
CN1 - mild changes, these cells can often just resolve themselves believe it or not! Sometimes they just go away. But if you have them, chances are they’ll send you on your way, tell you not to worry too much and re-test you with another smear in around 6 months to a year.
CN2 & CN3 – moderate to severe changes. In these cases the specialist will probably want to do some treatment. Depending on the surface area or how deep the cells have gone, there are a number of relatively straight forward removal methods.
If your doctor or specialist nurse finds an area of abnormal cells, you may have treatment there and then, or they may make you another appointment to have treatment in a few weeks time.
Usually a simple procedure can be done called a LLETZ (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone). This means cutting out the area of the cervix where the abnormal cells develop. This sounds much scarier than it is. It is a quick 5 minute procedure that is pretty painless. The transformation zone means the area just inside the cervical canal.
LLETZ is the most common treatment used in the UK. It is simple and quick to carry out, works really effectively and can be done under local anaesthetic. They take this sample of your cervix a clear tissue sample for the laboratory to examine. There are quite a few other treatment options, including laser, cold coagulation and cone biopsy, and these can work equally well.
Sometimes the doctor or specialist nurse cannot see clearly enough because the abnormal cells go further up into the cervical canal than can be seen with a colposcope. If they cannot see all the cells that are abnormal you may need a cone biopsy.
A cone biopsy is a minor operation that you usually have under general anesthetic. You will probably stay in hospital overnight.
While you are under anesthetic the doctor cuts out a cone of tissue from your cervix. The cone includes the whole area of the cervical canal where there might be abnormal cells. The cone of tissue is sent to the laboratory for examination under the microscope.
In both cases, they are straight forward procedures that may be slightly uncomfortable afterwards, but apart from slight period pains (and not being able to have sex for 4 weeks, or wear tampax) usually you will not get any other negative effects and usually that’s all you will need in order to clear the effected area.
Remember; the good news is, even if you have pre-cancerous cells, and even if you have lots of pre cancerous cells, it often STILL doesn’t mean you have cancer.
Cancer of the cervix usually takes many years to develop – somewhere between 6 and 10 years in fact.
BUT if you don’t go for your smear, you don’t know if there are early changes – so you really must do that – unfortunately the Jade Goody effect has evaporated, with one in four women missing their last cervical cancer screening test! Don’t risk it being you with that awful letter landing on your door mat.
Please look out for my next article explaining why cervical cancer develops and explaining HPV. Oh, and if you’ve enjoyed reading this jargon free explanation of abnormal smear test results, please do pass it on. You can share it on social media or email it to your friends. But whatever you do, please make sure YOU are the one who gets checked regularly.
Author Emma Evans
Our year two hypnotherapy/psychotherapy course at MidKent College is going well. Lots of enthusiastic minds all learning how to become fab therapists! If you're ever interested in training to become a clinical hypnotherapist, have a look at the website, it's a fascinating career to develop. www.kentinstituteofclinicalhypnosis.co.uk
I'm seeing so many stressed out people - mainly work stress at the moment which is very effectively treated with hypnosis. Also a number of people with relationship issues. It seems that people are finding things hard right now in all areas of life. But I can help people start to sort through their issues and eventually become a lot less stressed or worried. You don't have to be bogged down with life all of the time, there IS help.
Call me to make an appointment. 07979 330395
He makes some fabulous if not uncomfortable points. Yes kids are being so influenced by a virtual world that some are retreating right into themselves and not developing the social skills they will require in life. I particularly worry about the negative impact of the variety of things you can commonly find on the internet, even when you're not looking such as violence and pornography, for example. Some undoubtably spend too much time in front of a computer screen interacting with a virtual world, but that's some, not all.
I know plenty of people who encourage their children to go out and play with their friends, or kids who do actually enjoy real social interaction.
I take his point about "look up" because if we all took more time looking at the world and connecting, rather than disconnecting via electronic devices then maybe we would notice real life things a lot more, and for some, maybe life would improve or get happier. I notice people out for meals or walking along the road and none of them are talking to each other, the art of conversation does seem to be being dumbed down as a result of the technology that we all have sitting in our handbags or pockets.
We carry around little devices that connect us to the rest of the world in a split second. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
Just because you have friends on social media sites, that doesn't have to mean you cherish them less. In fact, there's an argument to say that before the birth of social media or the internet, none of us got in contact with our friends anyway! We didn't know where they were, we kind of left school, college or Uni and that was that, if you were lucky you might bump into them in the street, or see them up the pub, but in general, who really stayed in touch? Now we all stay in touch!
The author of the video insinuates that we try to create false ideas of what our lives are like. But I don't buy into the argument that we are all fake! Yes we do put the good bits of our lives on Facebook, but that's because it's a bit depressing to share all the bad times as well. Some people do share the bad times and I've seen people ridiculed for it or criticised. So maybe the fact people share the positives of their lives is less narcissism and more genuinely wanting to share stuff and connect with friends!
There's a lot to be said for putting down your device and sharing real time with people who are next to you, but social media IS a lifeline for a lot of people, so if you try to have a balance between the two, well in my book you're not doing much wrong.
Have a look at the video and make your own mind up. I'd love to hear your thoughts! You are welcome to leave me some comments.
Author Emma Evans
Emma Evans runs Kent Therapy Clinic and also helps coach other therapists in her spare time when she's not seeing clients at her busy practice. This blog is full of useful articles and interesting facts to do with therapy in general. Please feel free to add your comments to the blog.