Breaking Habits

Why Change Can Be Difficult

If you have ever attempted to break any habit by shear willpower alone, you know it can be next to impossible. That's because you are calling on the power of your conscious mind to keep you on track. But scientists believe we live in our subconscious mind 90% of the time. This part your brain is called the Limbic System and it does most of the heavy lifting. 

Hypnosis helps you access and retrain the Limbic system by "talking to it" in a language it understands - imagery. Once you get the "boss of your brain" on your side, making a decision to break unwanted habits becomes much easier.

Please keep in mind, if you are under the care of a licensed practitioner, we will need their permission to work with you. Just schedule a free consultation and if you decide you'd like to add Dr. Winslow to your team, she'll be happy to contact your doctor.  View Dr. Winslow's Scope of Practice.

Adrenaline Junkie – There's nothing wrong with fun and excitement and we all want more of it. But is it the pleasure of the activity itself we are seeking? Or, is it the adrenaline rush that certain types of activity, certain situations, bring us? People can easily become adrenaline junkies, needing to feel that rush of adrenaline before they can get anything done, or in order for life not to feel completely flat. And this is a trap. This session will help people who are unable to function or enjoy themselves without adrenaline, and who want to regain the freedom to enjoy life in whatever way they please.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms - Recognizing an alcohol problem and deciding to quit drinking is a brave and daunting task. Making a change in a long established pattern is challenging in the best of circumstances. For someone who has been a drinker for a long time the period immediately after stopping can be the most difficult time of their lives. And hypnosis is a wonderful tool to help ease the stress of withdrawal. This session will provide a framework which bolsters the ex-drinker's resolve to continue on the path of sobriety and can actually lessen the uncomfortable experiences associated with withdrawal.

Caffeine - Like sunbathing, coffee drinking is just fine. In moderation! It's amazing how easy it is to move from moderation to excess - and then find it really hard to get back.  In this session, the merits of coffee drinking are acknowledged, and the downsides listed in order to highlight the benefits of reducing or eliminating caffeine. Gradual reduction of consumption is generally preferable to a sudden stoppage, so an invitation is offered to consider which 'coffee times' would be best to focus on.

Chewing Tobacco - Although tobacco chewing is not as widespread as smoking as a way to consume nicotine, it is as addictive and can be as harmful as smoking. Like smoking, chewing tobacco can become so embedded in a person's life that they may see it as part of their identity - and therefore it's very hard to give it up. This is an effective tailor-made session for tobacco chewers who want to stop.

Chocolate – Chocolate is a wonderful substance. There's something magical about the combination of color, texture and taste in really good chocolate. Something intensely rewarding and satisfying. And, in moderation, there is no reason not to enjoy chocolate. For some people, the craving for chocolate can begin to rule - and even ruin - their life. Guilty feelings and remorse make them gobble it down too quickly to get any satisfaction from it. All they get are the side-effects - weight problems, diabetes risk, migraines. This session offers "chocaholics" a way to free themselves from chocolate.

Cocaine – Intoxicants and stimulants can be a challenge for those who become dependent on them, especially when then decide they want to break free. This session will help people who have become dependent on cocaine break the hold that this drug has on them by 'bringing them out' of this seductive  trance.

Compulsive Hand Washing - Everybody knows that going to the sink and cleaning your hands five, ten, twenty, a hundred times is an odd behavior. Those who engage in it find it just as odd as everyone else does. They rationally know that it doesn't make sense. But it seems they just can't help themselves. This session will help anyone who feels trapped in a superfluous and damaging washing routine break out of the routine and enjoy life again.

Diminish Alcohol Abuse - Being generally socially acceptable, drinking alcohol has an easy way in to our lives. Like everything else in life, it is neither 'good' nor 'bad' in itself. But the way we treat it over time can lead to it taking over our lives in a way that is unquestionably 'bad'. And it’s not a habit that’s easy to escape from. This session will help people who want to take back control over their lives make the break away from excessive alcohol consumption.

Energy Drink – Despite the worldwide commercial popularity of energy drinks, their high sugar and caffeine content are unhealthy and, unfortunately, very habit forming. Clients who attend this session break away from their dependency on energy drinks, and take back control of their vitality.

Excessive Exercise – More people are likely to suffer from lack of exercise than from too much, but people who overdo it on the fitness front can seriously sabotage themselves. The trouble is that, even if you are aware that constant excessive exercise is actually harmful, the 'high' that physical activity generates can be addictive. So how do you stop? This session is for people whose training program has run away with them. Learn how to take back control and establish a healthier balance.

Gambling – Gambling is seductive. And as most gamblers know, its hypnotic trance can easily trap your emotions while robbing you of  everything that’s worth having. This session will help put you back in the game of life.

Gaming - Online games, where thousands of individuals can participate in fascinating and challenging contests and puzzle solving, and where the game environment is altered by individual player decisions, are a wonderful way to have fun. Huge numbers of people have become fans. But there is a difference between being a fan, and being consumed. If online gaming has taken over your life, this session is for you.

Heroin - Some drug habits can be very hard to break, and heroin is recognized as one of the more difficult habits to treat. Heroin users who want to break the habit often struggle with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and can have difficulties sticking with a reduction program even when using a methadone maintenance treatment. However, there is much that can be done to support and motivate someone who wants to break the heroin habit. This session is not intended to replace other forms of treatment, but to act as an adjunct.

Internet – There's no doubt that the advent of the Internet has brought many wonderful benefits. The instant availability of all kinds of information and entertainment has enabled people to learn new things. But the very immediacy of the Internet can be a trap. The ever-changing pages flashing past your eyes can literally hypnotize you and keep you pinned to your seat when you could be doing something more fun or more productive. This session is for those who are looking for a way to take back control of their lives.

Stealing - Why do people steal things they don't need and have no use for? Time and again? It seems that human beings must attempt to meet their needs. And if they can't do it appropriately, they will do it inappropriately. Of course, stealing can have very serious consequences for the person doing it. This session was carefully put together to help anyone who recognizes that their compulsion has taken over their life and who wishes to overcome it.

Moderate Drinking – Too much alcohol is bad for you, as everyone knows, and everyone also knows it's all too easy to fall into a pattern of drinking more than you should. And even when you intend to limit yourself, you find you've done it again... In this session we work with people who overestimate alcohol’s ability to help them feel good, yet they blind themselves to the consequences of their actions.

Hooked on News – In the instant information age, with the huge plethora of news outlets available to us, it can feel as if we must always be informed about the latest development in any story. Now. If we don't know what's 'the very latest', we can feel inadequate. The media play on this insecurity, and the result is that many people acquire a compulsion to follow news which can be quite harmful to their wellbeing. But how do you break the habit? This session will help you free yourself from the media myth that you must always be up to the minute.

Nicotine - People who use nicotine replacement products to help them quit smoking can sometimes find themselves struggling to quit the very nicotine products that are meant to help them. It can lead to an unfair outcome. This session was developed to specifically to help people who want to stop using nicotine products altogether.

Obsessive Checking – Did I lock the door? Have I turned the tap off? Did I put the keys away? Have I left the lights on? These questions trouble us all from time to time. We can't be quite sure that our memory of doing something is accurate. So we check. And most of the time that's enough. But some people get caught in a checking cycle. It's as if they forget how to trust their perceptions. And they check over, and over, and over again. If this is you, this session will help you to break through the vicious circularity of checking - doubting - checking again.

Obsessive Cleaning – There is no doubt that a relatively clean and tidy house can be good for us in terms of hygiene, and in terms of relaxation. However, when cleaning takes over your life, and there is no way you can feel sure that all the dirt has been satisfactorily removed, cleanliness becomes an impossibly cruel taskmaster. The pressure to clean, and clean, and clean can ruin lives and relationships. This session helps you break out of the trap of perfectionism and regain your freedom.

Obsessive Behavior - We all use repetitive behaviors every day. They help us structure our lives and keep things predictable and manageable. But for some people, for various reasons, the ability to determine that a behavior has accomplished its purpose and can now be stopped becomes unreliable. They can find themselves in a nightmare of repeating the same pattern over and over, with no sense that it's 'enough'. This session helps people caught in these patterns (alongside professional help if necessary) develop the resources to interrupt them and get their lives back.

Overcome Religious Guilt - For someone who has had a strict religious upbringing, it can be very difficult to shrug off that guilty feeling of having to atone for their sins. While there is a cliche surrounding "Catholic guilt", it's not only Catholicism or Christianity that uses guilt on its followers. Even if as an adult someone is rationally aware that they don't need to feel like this, guilt operates at an unconscious level, which means the emotional mind holds on to accusations and blame. This session will help you to become free of that old religious guilt so you can live the type of life you want.

Painkillers- Painkillers are wonderful drugs, and ease the suffering of many millions of people. But they do have a dark side. It's very easy to become dependent on them, and to find oneself going well beyond the prescribed dose into the dangerous territory of being hooked. This session was developed to help people who are caught in the habitual overuse of painkillers to free themselves from reliance on these drugs.

Party Without Alcohol – There's a great deal of social pressure to join in when other people are drinking. Everybody believes that alcohol helps you relax and enjoy yourself. But 'everybody' is wrong. Research shows that what people expect has far greater influence on how much they enjoy themselves. That knowledge doesn't stop the social pressure, of course. Learn to change your own expectations and responses so you can enjoy yourself in the way you want.

Sensorimotor – Although all of us can sometimes get worked up about some physical process going on in our bodies, and continuously focus on it for a while, for some people this is more than an occasional experience. It can take over their lives, causing severe stress to them and those around them. This session helps people quickly calm down this extreme obsessive focus so they can get on with their lives without getting distracted by physiological responses.

Shopping – If only it really was true that you could buy your way out of your problems! Shopaholics, who compulsively shop for things they don't need and even don't want, act as if it was true. While on their spree, they are absolutely convinced that their shopping is going to make everything absolutely marvelous. But it doesn't. Afterwards, they are left with debt. And guilt. Until the next time. In this session we’ll unmask that false promise of happiness, and replace it with a healthy strategy.

Slot Machines - Why do people get hooked on pressing buttons and watching flashing lights? Because the machines they use have been carefully designed to hold their attention and convince them they are about to make a big win. Perfectly rational people can and do fall for this clever trick. Hypnosis is a powerful way to break free, because it can destroy the illusion that gambling creates.

Social Networking – Online social networks are a marvelous tool for communication and connection. But their episodic and intermittent nature can make using them risky in an unexpected way. They can keep you 'there' when you really want to be somewhere else - doing something else. This session is an effective tool for people to use to help them regain a feeling of control over their use of online sites.

Stay Off Alcohol - As everyone knows, anyone can stop drinking but staying stopped is the challenge. And with alcohol, the temptations to return to overconsumption can be many and various. It is important to have a number of strategies available to help the ex-drinker defend themselves. This session is designed precisely to meet this need. It provides a proven strategy, and also works at the subconscious level to boost resistance to temptation.

Stop Obsessive Thoughts – People can get caught up in all kinds of overwhelming thoughts, from worries about failing at something, to worries about having made a mistake or offended someone, to recurring troubling ideas, perhaps about violence, or sex, or doing something inappropriate. Is there any way out of this type of thinking? We’re here to help people who are concerned about intrusive thoughts learn to manage their emotional response and see these thought patterns for what they really are.

Tan Compulsion - Sunshine is good for you - in moderate doses. Not getting enough is bad for you, because without sunshine your body cannot make Vitamin D. However, getting too much is very very bad for you, leading to premature aging and nasty skin cancers. So it's odd that so many people become hooked on excessive sunbathing or frequenting tanning salons. But when they realize what harm they are doing and want to stop, it can be quite difficult to break from this habit. This session will help people who are overdoing their UV exposure.

If your concern is not on this list - no worries. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Winslow to discuss your concerns. The consultation is free.