Binge Eating Disorder: Is Hypnotherapy The Answer?

Binge eating
This is a conversation between my work colleague and I when I announced that I was going to try hypnotherapy for binge eating;

Me: “I’ve booked myself if to see a hypnotherapist for binge eating.”
Colleague: “You aren’t a binge eater-are you?”
Me: Well, kind of. I find it hard to stop eating once I start and I’m always thinking about food.”
Colleague: “But so does everyone!”


Most of the people I know would have said the same, but does that mean it is healthy?

Okay, so I’m neither overweight nor model thin, so most wouldn’t suspect I have issues with food, but I do. I don’t ever want to be the type that eats purely to fuel the body, but I also don’t want to be consumed by thoughts of when/what I can eat next.

My weight fluctuates throughout the year. Once I say yes to tempting treats my mind goes into overdrive until I’ve gained three sizes. It is at this point that I find myself at war with my mind. When I’ve battled hard to lose the weight, my brain clicks repeat, and so the cycle continues.
I decided to try hypnotherapy after reading articles on how it had helped so many people control their eating.

The website read:

“We work with the unconscious mind to remove positive associations connect with binge eating allowing you to feel in control.”

-It sounded great, but I didn’t have a clue what it meant.


My first session lasted about an hour. We talked about me which was rather self-indulgent but enjoyable. My therapist told me that hypnotherapy is about reaching psychological wellness, meaning that we have a clear state of mind free from addictions.


“Once we have a clear mind we are more susceptible to being guided in the right direction.”

I realise that my mind is far from clear and ponder if this affects my binge eating habits?

The therapist said that I needed to think about eating like going to the toilet-only doing it when we need to, and when it isn’t convenient, we don’t act upon it.

I tell them that I consider myself to be a very happy person, so comfort-eating doesn’t apply to me. My therapist tells me that this constant happiness state isn’t real and that I should allow myself to feel different emotions. If I have negative thoughts, I need not to worry about them.


“It is about getting happy with looking like you. The dissatisfaction kicked in at some point and it has become a permanent feature.”

Brutal, but true.


Then we moved onto the actual hypnotherapy. I laid back in the chair whilst calming music played and my therapist spoke over it. I defiantly felt relaxed and a little woozy, but I was aware of everything-even the cars outside. The therapist talked about how I would soon find myself not wanting to overeat because it would be too much effort. -I have to say that at this point my mind had wondered to what I wanted to lunch.
I was given a CD to play at home over the next week.

For the rest of that week, I did make better food choices and didn’t eat to excess but sadly, it didn’t last. I found myself not having time to listen to the CD because my mind was full of everything else.

I went back for three more sessions. We worked on various issues that I didn’t even consider would impact on my eating such as relaxing before I went to bed, removing work from my house, allowing myself time to feel emotion, and forgiving myself for not being perfect.

Granted I do not always listen to the CD, but I know it is there should I need it and that is enough for me.

So, how are things now? Well, I’ve accepted that my body is a vessel and not a failed project, I can be unhappy and angry, and that if/when I slip off the path that isn’t the end of the world.

Of course, things haven’t always gone to plan and there have been times when I’ve wondered if any of this has helped at all, but those times have become far less frequent, so something is working.


If you would like to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you with binge eating,

please contact us on 01803 500300 for a no-obligation discussion.

Binge eating


Driver Anxiety, The Unspoken Phobia


Thousands of people each year are affected by driver anxiety regardless if they are a learner or an experienced driver.

Vehphobia is the term coined to explain the condition. The term means a persistent or reoccurring fear of driving. Symptoms vary person to person and by the situation. The most common is a fear of driving on the motorway. Less well-known fears include passenger and parking anxiety. This condition can affect anyone from the everyday commuter to professional drivers.

Driver anxiety can be associated with panic and erratic driving behaviour, such as sudden stopping, driving slowly or driving close to the edges of the road.


It is important that if the condition is serious to impair judgment that the DVLA are informed.

Those who suffer from Vehphobia say their quality of life is impaired. May cite having to meticulously plan any journey to avoid any trigger roads-motorways, A roads, hill starts, sharp corners. Those with extreme cases give up driving altogether.


So what causes this?

As with generalised anxiety, the cause varies wildly. Triggers can arise from a traumatic event, a stressful situation/time, a predisposition for anxiety, change of vehicle/journey, driving with passengers or a new baby, or by roadworks.

Imagine that you are driving along and suddenly someone cuts you up. Immediately your body goes into fight or flight mode as a shot of adrenaline is pumped around your body. Now, you are in a car, so you cannot flee, neither can you fight. You take a couple of deep breaths, perhaps turn the music up to calm yourself and allow your body to settle. All of this is fine and perfectly normal but what if it happened on your way home as well, the next day, and then several times a week for the next year? What if on a particularly stressed day? This build-up could lead to a serious problem. The point here is that some will have driving anxiety from an accident, but most develop it because of numerous small events.


Can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy has a strong positive history when it comes to helping those with anxieties. Hypnotherapists have several approaches-Neurolinguistic Programming techniques or NLP, Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing or EMDR, and cognitive Behavioural therapy or CBT-which are all designed to produce changes on an unconscious level.

For your safety, both in session and on the road, your therapist will work at an appropriate pace whilst maintaining your road awareness and comfort behind the wheel.

If you feel you would like support with anxiety around driving please contact us to arrange an informal discussion.


do not understand
new skills

Things I Learnt About Being a Hypnotherapist

Hypnotherapy itself is only a small part of a successful business

Not everyone agrees with hypnotherapy

There are some who you just can’t help

What to do if it goes horribly wrong

Stage hypnotherapy is not good but it helps




I have been a professional hypnotherapist for fifteen years and I still thoroughly enjoy the process and results.

When I started my journey hypnotherapy was not taken as seriously as it is in 2017. It was seen as ‘way out there’. It is thanks to people such as Dr. Whorwell, a Gastroenterologist, Manchester University, who single-handily put hypnotherapy into the NICE guidelines as a treatment for IBS.

When I qualified (2002), there were very few hypnotherapists in Devon. Jump forward fifteen years and there are many hypnotherapists, most of which I have personally trained. This double-edged sword of public acceptance and competition creates a great need for successful marketing. The problem is that not everyone has the money to hire in a marketing guru. I have spent a small fortune on marketing companies over the years, money that quite frankly could have been put to better use.

Another thing I found out after the fact, I had to be my own accountant and deal with the HMRC. In the beginning, I genuinely thought that all I had to do was put an advert in the Yellow Pages and the work would come flooding in. How wrong I was! Still, the options were limited to print, radio, and television. Today we have to be the salesperson, the marketer, the financier and IT savvy before we can even begin doing what we set out to do. Things become even more complicated if we do not know how to do all of these things when we have to outsource and negotiate rates of service. Of course, all these things can be learned but it takes time and cost is always at the top of the business list.

One piece of advice is to be bold; tell everyone how accomplished you are. I have trained some fantastic therapists over the years, but they have been too shy to tell the world that they are really very good.



Not everyone understands Hypnotherapy

Some people just don’t get it and that is okay.

In the early days, I did a large amount of networking-standing in front of people saying “My name is Chris Fleet and I am a hypnotherapist”. It was usually at this point half of the room shared humorous glances and tuned out. Granted it was frustrating but there was still the other half who listened. That was an important lesson I learned early on-not everyone will understand hypnosis and that it is no mickey mouse stage show. The best thing is to work on those who are interested. The number of therapists I have seen trying to convince noninterested people about hypnotherapy defies belief.




When hypnotherapy doesn’t work

It is estimated that 98% of the population can be hypnotised but that doesn’t mean you will be able to hypnotise all of your clients. That is why it is important to have plenty of tools in the box. You need a good network of contacts and resources such as CBT, Counselling or NLP in adjunction to hypnotherapy.

I have previously had clients come in for CBT but haven’t taken to it so I combined hypnotherapy and cognitive therapy. It works both ways as I had a hypnotherapy client who really struggled so we started using CBT. It is about using those tools correctly.

Some therapists simply do not know if their client is in hypnosis, they go on if they look like they are, but are they really? It is important to check to ensure the suggestions are going in and not being washed over them.



Instant and snap inductions

More commonly seen by stage hypnotherapists it is useful to know how to hypnotise your client in a matter of seconds. Why do you ask? It is because some clients are very analytical and when they are required to think too much it stops the process from working. You can ascertain during their initial consultation which process will work best for them.

For those not in the know, there are three main types of induction (with a thousand variants).

  1. Progressive induction where the conscious mind is effectively bored.
  2. Rapid induction which when correctly used takes 2-3 minutes.
  3. Snap induction which does what it says.

I tend to use the second most often.

In order to execute rapid induction, you need to be trained properly because if it should fail it can really affect your client’s confidence.

If you would like to know more about each of the different inductions and how they work for different clients do contact me and I can send you information and video footage of how they work.

weight loss

Hypnosis For Weight Loss?

Weight Loss


For those with weight issues, they are always ready to try any measure to help them shed those excess calories but many haven’t heard much about hypnotherapy for weight loss. The technique and it being a psychological therapy does make one wonder how it would work but it does. Weight gain/loss starts in the mind so it should be the first place we start.




What is hypnotherapy?

It is an alternative mind-body technique designed to be used in a way that alters a person’s mental state in a positive way. The mind is transferred from the physical state into the subconscious state allowing positive suggestion to take more effect. This subjective state allows the practitioner to suggest positive ways in which you can alter your behaviour with no detrimental effect.


Does it work in shedding excess weight?

In one word, yes. By sourcing the root cause for the excess weight, we can analyse it. You gain the opportunity to find the real cause of why you are unable to maintain a healthy weight. Your therapist will find ways to enable you to come out of overeating. Of course, there are many reasons a person overeats from stress to tiredness, boredom, and lack of willpower. Exercise is an integral part of weight management and through hypnosis, it can be suggested that you increase your current exercise program to one that will be more beneficial to you.


Once the problem is identified, the hypnotist will more towards its cause by going back in time focusing your mind on a point(s) in your life that have lead you to a negative self-image. They start to work on these issues by repeatedly reiterating phrases and asking you to use mental imagery.


If you are tired of trying the latest diet or are at your wit’s end, hypnotherapy for weight loss could be ideal for you.


What’s Your Cave Like?



Imagine a friend of yours shows you a cave….. It’s pitch black in this cave, there are lights available but they can’t find the main switch yet.

All you have to find your way around is a pencil beam of light. As you try to find your way around the cave your light picks out something glittery – something shiny, as you look closer you realise that it’s a gold necklace. You shine the light somewhere else and you notice another glint of light, you walk closer ignoring the cobwebs that brush your face until you see a cluster of diamonds.
By now you may be a little curious as to what else is there so you look for shiny bright things – you pick out some emeralds and some rubies, you are in a cave full of treasure, there may be some squidgy things on the floor as you look about but you ignore them as you continue to look for all the wonderful jewels and gems that abound in this cave full of treasures – because that’s what it is – a cave full of treasure.

You leave this wonderful cave and pass the torch to your friend telling them of all the wonders the cave has.

This person walks into the cave full of excitement and anticipation, however, the first thing they do is tread on that squishy thing you ignored. As they shine their beam of light on it they see a pile of excrement, undeterred they look for the treasure, they see something against the far wall and with a sense of excitement they walk towards it only to realise that it’s a dead rat. As they walk away cobwebs brush across their face and they wipe them away with irritation as they look up and notice bats hanging off the ceiling and the bat droppings all around them. They’ve seen enough and come rushing out the cave to confront you accusing you of lying to them about this wondrous cave, it’s horrible they proclaim.

caveYou see, sometimes as people, we’re too busy looking at the filth to see the beauty in things. As a therapist you can teach people to look at the whole picture, yes, of course, there’s muck and filth in that cave but there’s also rare beauty too – we just need to help our clients to switch the light on so that they can see it too.

If you want to learn how to do this either for yourself or for others I can show you how….

It’s at this point that you – the therapist – take them back into the cave locate the correct switch and turn a brilliant set of halogen lights on so that you can point out the jewels and treasures that are hidden in plain sight of us all.


Things Money Simply Cannot Buy

Job satisfaction is such a major component of becoming a hypnotherapist. I got a phone call from the parents of a young chap who had a quite traumatic incident one day and was trapped in a train carriage for a period of time.

things money can't buySince then he struggled to go anywhere where there were doors that closed behind him. It was so bad that he couldn’t even make it through the office front door first time he saw me.

I didn’t have the heart to charge anything like full price and the end result was far better than money ever could have been.

SO how did this young lad get back on buses and trains again?

The first thing we did was go for a walk with his mum and him round to the local park where we talked about football. I asked him who his favourite players were and what position he played. I told him how rubbish I was and how I still try to play, he thought this was quite funny.

Signed up

Next time I saw him was a home visit we talked more about football. I got him to pretend that he was watching a game and the manager looked into the crowd and picked him out to come on a substitute. The crowd was singing his name as he scored an equaliser, and then the winner for his team.

He imagined the manager then asking him to sign a contract. The challenge was he had to go to a strange office to do it……..The next week he was happy to come to my office even if I had to leave the door wide open initially. The look of pride on his face when he showed his parents that he could shut himself in the office was worth so much more than money.

Later on, we walked to the train station which happens to be the end of a branch line. I spoke to the guard asking if he could step on and off the train to get used to it whilst the train was waiting at the station.

All in all, I saw him about four times.

Next thing I knew he was getting on and off trains and buses, going to new buildings and being a normal happy boy again.

Did I charge a fortune? No… over a period of 4 hours I charged less than I would for a full session under normal circumstances. Was it worth it? You bet it was – the letter in the post was better than anything money could buy.

If you would like to learn how to help children I’d be happy to help you. Just click here to take a look at the courses available.


The Oak Tree Script

This script was inspired when my daughter stood underneath our 200-year-old oak tree.


Imagine if you would an autumnal scene in rural Devon. A squirrel is out foraging for nuts to store and by the banks of a beautiful stream in the lee of a hill, the squirrel drops an acorn.

Now, this acorn lay on the soft ground until a passing animal accidentally treads it into the ground and there it lay all autumn and winter hidden forgotten and protected by brambles and ferns.

In the spring the acorn begins to send a tiny shoot down into the ground and anchors itself there as a tiny stem appears and the acorn begins it’s transformation.

The year is 1765, King George the 3rd is on the throne, the English empire is vast stretching from India to America

The tree continues to grow, sheltered from harm by ferns and brambles. Spring turns to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, by the time it is spring again the acorn has grown to a seedling, maybe no more than a foot high but its roots are growing stronger by the day, imperceptibly, bit by bit the tree grows stronger and stronger. As the years roll on this seedling becomes a sapling standing over three feet tall, by now thousands of miles away from the ‘Boston Tea Party’ starts the beginning of the American war of independence, all the while the seasons roll by – one after the other, year after year.

Nearby to the oak tree people build a house, the house is fashioned out of the local granite, mined and split by hand, the mortar between the stones is made of mud, lime and horsehair and a family begin to farm the local fields raising sheep and taking them to the nearby market town to trade wool and meat. And still, the oak tree grew ………..

By the time the tree had reached maturity America had gained independence from Great Britain and Benjamin Franklin who helped shape so much of what we now call the USA passed away – and still the oak tree grew its roots growing stronger by the day, going deeper and deeper into the ground, imperceptibly, bit by bit the trees grows stronger and stronger, the roots going deeper and deeper.

Years pass by and the family in the farmhouse expand, children, play in the stream next to the tree and lay in the shade that the tree provides. They employ farm hands who build extra buildings nearby, made of stone and topped with thatch.

When the tree is growing at its fastest Queen Victoria comes to power, families have come and gone, horses pull ploughs in the fields and farm hands gather to cut corn and make hay, the weather changes with the seasons, the tree bends and sways in the winds but still remains strong and powerful. As time passes the growth of the tree begins to slow but grow it does, it’s roots grow stronger by the day, going deeper and deeper into the ground, imperceptibly, bit by bit the tree grows stronger and stronger, the roots going deeper and deeper.

Strange noises are heard from the fields as mechanisation begins to take place in the countryside and people desert the land to move to towns and cities in search of work – and still the tree grows. Soon cars begin to travel along the roads where once were horse and carts, the families trudge off to the great war, some to return some don’t.

Unfazed by all of the comings and goings the oak tree grows – and grows.

The years and decades pass, the skies become inhabited with planes and helicopters, man lands on the moon and the world passes from the industrial age through to the digital age.


This tree is a magnificent thing of beauty, tall broad and regal, with its roots as deep below ground as its branches are as high. It has overseen generations of families, two world wars the invention of cars planes and space rockets and still, it grows, its roots grow stronger by the day, going deeper and deeper into the ground, imperceptibly, bit by bit the tree grows stronger and stronger, the roots going deeper and deeper.

And then one day there was a storm – it was the biggest storm this country had ever seen it was a hurricane, it was so strong it uprooted smaller trees, even some large trees came crashing to the ground. The storm blew slates of roofs and brought down power lines. The tree bent and swayed with the winds and the rain as bolts of lightning arced across the night sky but still, the tree stood firm because its roots were so deep in the ground.

The day after the storm the families from the farm house came out to the fields, with chainsaws they cleared away brush and scrub, they made good the damage that had been done – and they marvelled at the strength and longevity of the tree.

This tree is still there now, strong proud and magnificent still providing shelter and protection for small animals and nesting places for birds.

Imagine now, anyway that makes sense to you that you had roots growing out of your feet, these roots can penetrate through the floor below you and right the way down into the earth below, imagine these roots grow stronger and stronger with each and every breath you take. As you breathe in you breathe strength out of the very ground and as you breathe out you relax …. As you breathe in you breathe in strength ……. and as you breathe out you relax……. as you breathe in you  breathe in strength – as you breathe out you relax

And then …. You notice that a squirrel has dropped an acorn nearby ……………….


Hypnotherapy, Football and Bricklayers

HypnotherapyLast night I played my usual Friday night kick around, we play indoor football every week and it’s just a bit of fun, we rarely keep score – it’s a run around, a good way to keep fit and a nice way to say goodbye to Fridays. Last night, however, was particularly frustrating for me personally.

I have been playing football for over 40 years now and I think that I have a sound knowledge of the game, after all with four decades of experience you quickly learn how not to do things.

We mix the teams up every week and last night I was on the mainly youngster’s side (the early to mid-twenties), some of these lads are actually quite skilful in certain aspects of the game, they are quick (quicker than me that’s for sure) they have shed loads of energy and enthusiasm, our team also had one player more than the opposition did.


So why did we lose so abysmally?


JoyWell, in my opinion, it was because whilst these lads were great at doing certain little bits they just didn’t know what to do or where to go when the other team had the football. They hadn’t been taught properly, they didn’t understand the real basics of how to play the game. Maybe they weren’t taught it properly at school, maybe they just watched highlights on TV and tried to emulate those players – who knows but the team with the greater experience won so easily last night it was woeful.

It reminded me very much of when I was an apprentice bricklayer, I went on site one day and there was this chap who could twizzle his trowel around on one finger like a cowboy does with his gun in western films, he could flick a piece of muck (mortar) up with his trowel, spin round on his heel and catch the muck again on the back of his trowel. I was impressed! Until we started building ……..

The problem was he couldn’t build a wall either plumb nor level. It was all very flash but essentially a complete waste of effort – because he hadn’t been trained to get the basics right in the 1st instant. It was just the same as some of the lads at football last night – lovely blokes one and all – just not trained properly, not their fault but the fault just a lack of training.

I had the same situation with a hypnotherapist who wanted to work here recently. She had been on a hypnotherapy training course with a school that shall remain nameless and wanted to work out of the clinic here. I have the clinic’s reputation to think of, I’ve heard a few things about the training course the lady had been on so was very watchful of this person. She talked about how she could do this protocol and that protocol and do gastric band hypnosis, all sorts of stuff.

I decided to give her a little interview; I asked her what the stages of hypnosis were – there was silence! I asked her how she knew if her client was in hypnosis – silence! By now I was beginning to feel sorry for her so I asked her a simple one, do you use CBT in hypnosis – “Do I use what?” she asked…..

The problem is that when people go to see a hypnotherapist and they don’t get the success they will say “I tried hypnosis but IT doesn’t work.” What they really mean is “I tried hypnosis with xxxxxxxx and it didn’t work with that person.” There are many reasons why it may not have worked and a lot of them will have come down to the therapist and not the hypnosis. And that is exactly why I started training, people are trusting trainers that have been on maybe just one course themselves, they may not have teaching qualifications, they may be able to twizzle a trowel round in their hand but can they build a wall?

Personally I’ve have been on more training courses than I care to remember, I have ten Diplomas, not just in hypnotherapy but in other talking therapies too, and that’s why if you want to learn hypnosis and hypnotherapy you need to learn from someone who’s actually been there and done it themselves and wants to train not just for the money but to get the job done properly and give the industry the right standards ……

Want to know more? 

Contact us


How not to Hypnotise a child

Below is a story about how not to hypnotise a child


ChildThere are many ways to hypnotise people, some people like to use progressive inductions, some (like myself) prefer rapid inductions and some prefer snap inductions.

Yesterday evening I heard a parent using covert hypnosis on their child after a school music concert. It was horrible, I knew that if I intervened then it would have most likely made things worse for everyone including me.

To be fair to the mother if she knew what she was doing she wouldn’t have done it.

This is what happened:
I was walking back to the car in order to pick up my partner and our child, my daughter was the youngest (and in my opinion the best) participant in the concert aged just 7, she goes to a primary school so the oldest children would have been 12

The family in front were in a discussion as to how the child performed, from what I could gather the child wasn’t happy performing in a concert and didn’t want to continue. The thing that made me worried was one of the mothers  when asked by their partner what the problem was said, “He’s talking rubbish again, he always talks utter rubbish and always will.” She then turned to her son and told him “If you don’t push yourself you will be a failure. Do you want to be a failure? Do you? Do you want to everyone to know that you’re a failure?”

Now whilst the intent on behalf of the mother was positive inasmuch as she wanted her son to succeed the boy who by now was almost in tears may well (and probably did) hear “blah blah blah – you’re a failure”, “blah blah blah – You fail”, ”blah blah blah you talk rubbish”, “blah blah blah – you always talk rubbish”.

Severe criticism at this age can lead to an absolute fear of being criticised later on in life, this can then lead to someone becoming too scared to step over the starting line or being an absolute perfectionist.

I remember as a 10 or 11-year-old coming home from school one day very very proud of a wooden fish I’d made, I showed it to a family member who then pointed out all the defects, my bubble was well and truly burst. I ran to my room and swore to myself that nobody would ever do that to me again (classic negative self hypnosis). Did I become a perfectionist? No – it was worse, I became a procrastinator instead, if a job wasn’t finished then it couldn’t be criticised as it wasn’t done yet, this went on for years until some work was done on it but that’s for another blog…


I just hope this young lad who was at the school concert doesn’t get battered down before he gets a chance to get his head above water because his mother probably did a fantastic job of hypnotising him, the problem was she did it in a negative manner.

If you want to learn how to undo the kind of damage that can be done unintentionally or if you need to have it undone for yourself, just as I did then give me a call …….