“I don’t even think that I should be here if I’m honest” Barry* told me. “My wife said that I should see you about my thoughts, but to be honest I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them.”
I’m contacted by a lot of people who say they have dental phobia. A large number of them turn out to not like going, but it doesn’t stop them seeing the dentist or having work done. Alan* though was at the very opposite end of this reaction.
“I’ve been meaning to come and see you for ages” Jackie* told me, “but…” “But life gets in the way?” I asked. “No, I just keep putting it off”. Which was exactly what Jackie wanted to see me about -procrastinating.
Anna* was sceptical when she came to see me. “You’ve been recommended by a few people” she told me, “but I don’t really think you can help me. Can you provide hypnotherapy for sweating problems?”
Jane* was terrified when she came to see me. Not of me personally you understand, but of what she was convinced was wrong with her.
Charles* was angry when he came to see me. He was angry to have been asked to come, angry to be there, and angry to have to be expected to talk to me. He didn’t have to be angry though – as I reminded him, he didn’t even have to be there.
Joe* came to see me with the same sort of thoughts that a lot of people have – that he was wrong to feel anxious or depressed. Like them he didn’t simply struggle with his feelings, but beat himself up about being anxious or depressed, and end up feeling twice as bad. And just like them, Joe felt that whilst other people might be different, for him it was definitely wrong.
“Do you do hypnotherapy for checking things too much? I need to check things for work, but I think it’s got a bit silly lately”. That’s how Jason* introduced himself – and, as he’d say later “with a bit of an understatement”.
It’s not often that people ask me about something I’ve never heard of before -whether that’s sympathetic pregnancy in men, or people waking up with foreign accents. But although I’d heard before of what was affecting Adam* I’d never heard of it affecting someone the way it was him.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been having very similar conversations with quite a few different people. They’re parents, and it’s normally, but not always, mum instead of dad that I speak to. It’s about their son or daughter, normally at university but sometimes at college, but always the effect that their perfectionism is having on them.