“Hypnotherapy can be a powerful change tool. I see change daily and the feeling of elation is the reason why I do this work. Now, I admit to not being religious in the conventional sense, but rather I am more so spiritual. I feel called to work on behalf of a higher energy; I just can’t explain it. But change people do. From fear of flying to spiders, dogs and cats… to quitting smoking and therefore reducing their risk of illness and death. Another aspect of the job is freeing people, imprisoned in their lives due to anxiety. I can’t begin to say how this therapy intervention changes and saves lives. Isn’t saving a life through quitting smoking enough? I have worked with the rich and poor, ladies and gentleman, old and young – everyone deserves to live a full and ‘normal’ yet exciting life.”
Changing lives. Developing teams. Iain Lightfoot, MSc DHyp MNCH, has been delivering significant changes through hypnotherapy and coaching for more than a decade. In his successful practice that utilizes a combination of reflective therapy and coaching, he fully supports his clients — even 24 hours per day if needed — to ensure they reach their therapy goals.
Often within his line of work, Iain helps people deal with a loss and the subsequent grieving period. While this loss can be from losing someone through death — other losses provoke the same types of grieving stages and emotions, such as a breakup, losing a job, divorce, imprisonment, etc.
We decided to reach out to Iain to gain further insights into his line of work, and how hypnotherapy could help someone to deal with grief.
Iain explains to us that his own experience with hypnotherapy when he decided to quit smoking in 1998 is what led him to pursue a career in this type of work.
“I knew that hypnotherapy was powerful but I didn’t have any thoughts about a career in the industry. A few years later, I agreed to be a test subject for someone who was training as a hypnotherapist, for a fear of heights — while this was partially successful, I have helped myself to overcome this completely.”
Iain tells us that he was using visualization therapy as a full-time coach, and achieving amazing results, so he “decided to complete a hypnotherapy course with the National Council of Hypnotherapy accredited school. I have never looked back. It is a calling. Not a job. Nor is it a career.”
Some common coaching he provides ranges from clean language to humanistic coaching to regression and hypno analytical techniques. In his services as a therapist, he treats people with a variety of issues, but some of the more common ones include:
“I am not interested in simply helping someone — I offer real support and sincerely and genuinely would like to think that we are building a life-long relationship. If in the future the client every wishes to talk over issues, then I am always there for them.” – Iain Lightfoot, MSc DHyp MNCH
People have been using hypnotherapy to help them through the cycle of grief for a couple of decades now. We were curious at what point during the grieving period do people most often seek out help from a hypnotherapist. Iain sheds some light on this topic:
“Through the empirical evidence of my experience and observations, considering the grief cycle — Fisher Curve — someone contacts me usually when they are at the bottom of the curve. They have decided to move on and as hypnotherapists. I feel that we facilitate the acceptance. People tend to get stuck in the processing of the event, can’t move between anger (upset) and low mood.”
Regarding the processing of emotions immediately following the death of a loved one, we asked him what is the best advice he could give to someone at that point. “For someone who has lost someone recently, I would like to offer my condolences and thoughts at this time. I am not attempting to be cold but it is right to go through a period of grieving, it’s an emotional release and there are many changes happening inside of you, give it some time.”
Naturally, we were curious if hypnotherapy is right for everyone, or if there are any indicators that it may be needed to accept a loss and move on. “If after a reasonable period, the individual isn’t improving in mood or emotions, then is the right time to seek assistance and support. There is no set time, but the individual and their family will know when the situation isn’t improving. When that person is ready to move on and make that call, that is the right time.”
How many sessions of hypnotherapy do clients need to achieve desired results?
It depends. Mr. Lightfoot explains to us that many clients only require one session — while others may need several. “My word of warning, some therapists will offer packages — my advice is never accept and pay for a package, say ‘10 at £Xs’. How does the therapist know this many are needed?”
Instead of signing up for a package of sessions — Iain recommends to pay on a session-to-session basis. He does support the idea that reinforcement is still important for long-term sustainable change. However, he strongly feels that clients need to be able to evaluate the fee vs. benefit.
“My promise is to help achieve the maximum change in as few sessions as possible, reviewed on a case-by-case and session-by-session basis. It works and I strongly feel that it is the right ethical approach.”
What kind of change should the client expect? Mr. Lightfoot tells us that from his experience, the most common change observed is that a client can think about the triggering thoughts that typically makes them sad and emotional. The end result is that the pain has eased or is gone. “Can I make some forget? — this is a common request in relationship breakdowns — No, but more so they won’t feel the pain associated with the breakup. Hypnotherapy can help someone remember the good times and accept that the situation has changed, that the person has gone.”
Iain shared with us some insightful stories from his experience as a hypnotherapist:
“I met a young lady about 2 years ago. The doctors had given up and said they could no longer help her. She was at the end of the road. She approached me as a last resort. We worked over a number of sessions, and she is now in a relationship, good employment, happy, and living a normal life. Just one of maybe thousand proud moments! I can’t say how much this has meant to me and her, I can’t say more about the case I am sorry.”
“The second is about how a simple phobia can ruin a life. Imagine, Mary (name altered of course) who had a fear of spiders, a severe fear. Every night, Mary would vacuum her bedroom, check the bed, tuck in the duvet and sleep with the light on, afraid of seeing a spider — falling asleep through sheer exhaustion. Imagine not being able to get your car from the garage due to spiders? Imagine how her life was changed when Mary became free. She had four sessions. Normally, this phobia is done in just one session that lasts two hours.”