Hypnotherapy is an incredible tool, but how can it help? Harley Street Hypnotherapist Fiona Lamb answers your questions

I need help with my sleep. I've tried every herbal method (baths, teas, and exercise) but nothing is helping. I've heard hypnotherapy could help, but can it really? I'm desperate to get some rest.

Since hypnotherapy works with the unconscious part of the mind and sleep is such an unconscious process, this method works really well. The main cause of insomnia is anxiety. Our bodies can go into a heightened state as our minds sense danger or a threat. We are usually kept awake by extra adrenaline going through our nervous systems, keeping our minds active and alert. This could be triggered by stress, trauma or childhood events.

In hypnotherapy, we work through fears so your mind can think logically and you can get the sleep you need. When you feel calmer and more relaxed in general, it’s easier to doze off at night. We also look at any particular beliefs or frustrations around sleep, allowing you to let go of negative thought processes, so you feel safe and secure enough to doze off.

Fiona Lamb | @katesharpphotography

I was recently promoted to my dream job, but part of that includes pitching to clients. I'm experiencing severe anxiety, and also issues with my digestive system. How can I overcome this fear of public speaking?

The biggest and most common cause of anxiety is the belief that we aren’t good enough. We can learn this fear of rejection as a child and it can stay with us through our adult life. We can learn that it’s not safe to be around others and the fear of failing can be very debilitating. The critical inner voice takes over and even though logically there is no immediate threat, your mind is predicting danger.

Try positive affirmations such as ‘I am good enough’, ‘I am safe’, ‘I am calm’. It’s also beneficial to start to use your imagination in your favour. At the moment your imagination is working against you and presuming the worst will happen but imagine if you started expecting a different outcome.

We can put lots of pressure on ourselves to be perfect but you need to remember we are all only human and it’s OK to make mistakes

We can put lots of pressure on ourselves to be perfect but you need to remember we are all only human and it’s OK to make mistakes. You can only ever do your best. Give yourself permission to not get it right every time and detach yourself from the outcome. Colleagues obviously believe in you, so you need to start believing in yourself.

It can be very common to hold a lot of tension and fear physically in our bodies. I would recommend practises such as yoga to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps to regulate the rest and digest functions in the body and aids in relaxation.

I'm an emotional eater and feel I need help to break the cycle. I commute daily, so I stock up on treats before the train home. It doesn't help that I hate my job. Help...

Firstly, identify the underlying feeling that is causing you to eat on the way home from work and ask yourself what it is you don’t like about your job. It could be a colleague making you feel inadequate, an angry boss making you feel frustrated, or unstimulating work that’s not satisfying. Food may just be distracting you from the real issue.

If there are feelings of sadness then you need to find natural ways of boosting your serotonin and those happy hormones. Exercise, ensuring you get enough daylight and surrounding yourself with uplifting people is a good place to start.

If there are feelings of sadness then you need to find natural ways of boosting your serotonin and those happy hormones

A mistake many people make is labelling sugary or carb-heavy foods as ‘treats’. Treating your body with nutritional food can feel much more empowering, as every time you show your body love and respect, you send the message to yourself that you matter. You will soon start to notice a difference if you reframe this belief. It’s important to not restrict yourself too much and go on extreme diets as you will only feel deprived. Learn to feel calm and relaxed around food seeing it more as fuel, remembering that it isn’t your friend.

Once you deal with the emotion, the habits will be much easier to break. Try distracting yourself on the train by taking a good book, playing a game on your phone or downloading movies to watch. The less attention you give to food and the more you find other ways to deal with your emotions, your dependence on food will decrease.


Fiona Lamb is a certified, advanced clinical hypnotherapist based in Harley Street and High Street Kensington. Read more about Fiona on Hypnotherapy Directory.

Learn more about the different types of hypnotherapy and the common areas it can help with, such as smoking, hypnobirthing and hypnotherapy for IBS.