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The mystery around hypnotherapy


Part of the problem with hypnotherapy is that people don’t understand it. “It doesn’t mean I will transport you into a comatose state of mind and control your mind and thoughts,” says Deborah Marshall-Warren, who has been in the business for 17 years and written two books on the subject. Increasingly, hypnotherapy is becoming a popular treatment for mental and physical conditions.

Why is hypnotherapy becoming more popular?
Hypnotherapy is now becoming seen as a first resort as a treatment option instead of a last resort. It’s also being extended to treat physical problems like skin complaints whose cause can often be emotionally triggered.

The techniques used allow you to access information that could take six months to get out in psychotherapy sessions. Bright intelligent people can talk and talk but their subconscious doesn’t often get a chance to come out. A session with me ‘cuts out the crap’ in a short period of time.

What kind of people do you treat?
Marshall-Warren: The most common issues are anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, depression and low self-esteem.

I have treated teenagers who have stuttered since they were three years old. Once we have discovered the cause of the stutter, we can rebuild the person’s confidence and self-esteem. By addressing the emotional root cause, we can reduce the symptoms.

One woman left a job for shyness. It was getting to the stage where she didn’t even wanted to get married because she was too shy. Now, she will speak at her sister’s wedding.

Sometimes people have gone through so much as a child – poverty and abuse -and they overcome it and grow into fantastic people. They can forgive and forget themselves; others need help.

I’m a great listener and sometimes people speak with very little consciousness of what they are saying. Sometimes in language, people almost self-sentence themselves by saying something negative over and over again. For example, ‘it’s such a nuisance to do this or that’ or ‘I’m afraid I could never do that. I’m afraid of X’. They pre-program themselves and some minor things become magnified into dramas.

Do you ever tire of meeting people suffering from anxiety, depression etc?
Marshall-Warren: This is a fascinating subject, my work is never done. Even if it is the 300th person coming for help with confidence building, it is always different.

How many sessions are needed to treat an issue?
Marshall-Warren: The average is three sessions, maximum five. The only exception is maybe weight loss, maybe they come once a month.

Have you had any unique or bizarre cases?
Marshall-Warren: I had one lady who was terrified of vegetables. I saw her once and during the session we turned her into a bright eight-year-old cooking vegetables; it emerged that her mother had cooked soggy vegetables. Later she went out for dinner and ate broccoli, carrots and peas.

Then there was the mother who was terrified of stinging nettles. It was causing a problem for her because she was afraid if her child would run off into a field full of nettles that she would be too afraid to go and catch her.

Many people might be scared to try hypnotherapy for fear of losing control of themselves. Do you really put them into a ‘coma’?
Marshall-Warren: Contrary to belief, I don’t put people to sleep. They are fully conscious of what they are doing. My sessions guide people to relaxation. You cannot relax a person forcefully, you can only guide them. If a person wants to resist, they can.

After bringing a person to a state of relaxation, I create a sense of respect for the subconscious. I always ask permission – for example, ‘self conscious would you agree to go back to …’ The subconscious can always say ‘no’. I do this so you feel comfortable with the new journey and know that you are in control. I don’t do anything without your permission.

How exactly does a session work?
Marshall-Warren: I try to create esteem around you – determination, self-love, self-confidence, the choice comes from you and helps you to design your own labels.

I describe myself as a cheerleader – you create an orchestra and I am like a chorus, respecting, repeating, reacting to the sentences you chose to liberate yourself. I encourage the best and brightest of you so parts of you are owning your own solution.

By supporting you in forcing your words and repeating, repeating, repeating things like confidence, positivity, self-esteem etc, we can override the old patterns of thinking. It’s like installing new software on the hard drive on your computer!

This is not a typical 9-5 job. How did you end up in this business?
Marshall-Warren: Originally, I worked as a teacher for 16 to 19 year olds. This job went beyond teaching; I also had to help them with their confidence, self-belief etc. As multimedia training emerged in the UK, I moved from being a class teacher to a multimedia designer as I loved the creative side of the job – delivering an interactive training program.

After a few years, I began to travel along on my own yellow brick road in a spiritual way. I wanted to do something more aligned with my spiritual growth and development.

I can’t say I chose this path but somehow it came to me. I seemed to have a healing gift but I just hadn’t realized it.

How did you end up in Malta?
I came to Malta in 2005 when I was writing my second book and put myself in isolation in a hotel in Mellieha. Then, I came here to live and never looked back. But I do still spend seven or eight days in London each month.

There are plenty of other hypnotherapists out there. What is different about your work?
Marshall-Warren: Most therapists do direct suggestion which is like reading a script. But I think you might as well listen to a relaxation CD, you don’t need me for this.

The way I work, you are creating your own solution and I am encouraging you to gain your outcome but in a way that you hold on to the power. It’s a very clean therapy which doesn’t work on any assumptions. You design and sing your own song.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Marshall-Warren: It is exciting to see a turnaround in people. I never lose that excitement. It’s like going on stage day after day and experiencing the freedom, liberation and turnaround in people.

Hypnotherapy is drug-free, that’s the best thing about it!

What is your source of inspiration?
I realized that language is as important as the food we put into our mouths. It can be nutritional or toxic. It is amazing what a small detail can make such a big difference.

Interview Alannah Eames More information http://www.marshall-warren.com/

  1. November 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

    During the 1750s Hypnosis and Therapy with Franz Anton Mesmer was what everyone wished to do. Mesmer was ‘first option’, for people seeking alternative treatments, as the medical ‘cures’ were an absolute ‘torture’, and especially so for women. Across Paris and across France, he was legendary, and hugely successful as a healer, and as a professional hypnotherapist. There is so much history to this phenomenal opportunity for transformation and change.

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