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The Edinburgh Reporter’s Mike Smith is a qualified hypnotherapist. In the latest article in the series From the Chair of the Hypnotherapist, Mike looks at work-related stress and how hypnotherapy can help with this issue.

How has your day been at work? Tough? Do you feel unable to cope with the demands being placed on you? Stress, including work related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as a lack of confidence and self-esteem.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and recent research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to any particular sector, job or industry.

If you are fed up with your lot, you may be looking to change jobs or even change your career. With application forms and CVs submitted, the first hurdle is getting short-listed. When you get that email or letter inviting you to attend an interview you get an adrenalin rush and are on a high. But then you read that, as part of the interview, you have to give a presentation. Perhaps you revel in this. Or perhaps – like many people – you panic at the thought.

You really want this job. And to have a chance of beating off the undoubtedly stiff competition, you know you will have to give a good presentation. But if you’re someone who is lacking in self-confidence, you may be in self-defeating mode even before the interview begins.

I’ve had clients tell me ‘I’m no good at presentations. I know what I want to say but it just doesn’t come out right’.  Or ‘I hate talking to a group of people, particularly people I’ve never met before’. Or ‘I know I can do the job but I’m not sure I can talk the talk’.

Self-doubt takes over. Self-confidence dips. This can affect not only your presentation but your interview particularly if the presentation is at the end of the competency based questions – and the presentation has been on your mind so much you haven’t been able to fully concentrate on the rest of the interview.

So, what can you do to overcome this dilemma?

Hypnotherapy can help. I have been asked to help clients who dread having to give presentations, whether as part of a job interview or in their existing role. Hypnotherapy can increase self-confidence and self-esteem – and it has worked for clients who have approached me in the last year.

So, what is hypnotherapy, I hear you ask? Well, hypnosis is an altered and heightened state of awareness that is sometimes referred to as a trance state. Most of us slip in and out of trance states throughout the day in everyday life. Has anyone ever said to you ‘Hey – you’re away in a dream!’ in an attempt to get your attention? When you day-dream you are at your most relaxed and comfortable. This is often when the best ideas ‘pop’ into your mind – they certainly do in my case!

You may be aware there are two parts to the mind, the conscious and the subconscious. Many therapists use the term ‘unconscious’ instead of ‘subconscious’, and many describe the workings of the mind in great detail. My explanation is very simple:

The Conscious

You are aware and in the present with your conscious mind. It’s the part of your mind that reasons and makes decisions and choices. It acts as a filter to thoughts and suggestions, deciding whether to keep them in the forefront of your mind, or put them ‘on hold’, or to dismiss them altogether. When a thought or suggestion is put ‘on hold’, it goes straight to the subconscious where it is filed away.

The Subconscious

The subconscious is a container for your thoughts. Amongst other things, it houses all the information your conscious gives it to store, like memories and things it can’t deal with immediately.

Hypnotherapy is a skilled verbal communication, used during hypnosis, which helps direct your imagination in such a way as to bring about intended alterations in sensations, perceptions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour. The process begins with an initial consultation meeting during which I will ask questions about your lifestyle. I will also ask about things that make you relaxed such as your favourite place in the world to go; happy memories of a special time in your life; favourite pastimes and generally things that make you feel happy and relaxed. From this initial consultation, I create a bespoke script for use during the hypnosis. We will then decide together on the changes or goals that are desired.

Unlike stage show hypnotists, during hypnotherapy you are fully conscious and aware at all times. You will never be asked to do anything you don’t want to do – so there will be no flapping around the room believing you are a chicken! With regards to having to do a presentation, hypnotherapy can help you to:

  • Control feelings of nerves
  • Project your voice
  • Answer questions
  • Deal with tricky situations

If you are looking to change your job or career but feel you may struggle with a job interview or presentation, hypnotherapy may be for you. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit my website Mind Generating Success. Phone or text me on 07521353787 (24 hours) to arrange a date and time for an initial consultation or email me at:

It’s not as expensive as you might think – £60 per session. If you’re a public-sector worker and a Premium Benefits member, you’ll get a whopping 20% off every session.

Evening and weekend appointments are available if required. Home visits are available by arrangement.

We have but one life – so why not try and change your life for the better?

Mike Smith Hyp CS

Mind Generating Success

Colinton Road

Edinburgh EH14 1DJ

National Hypnotherapy Society Membership No: HYP14-01935