Todd* was not the kind of person you might normally think of as needing a hypnotherapist. Twenty years old, and a trainee plumber, he had a good job and a great relationship with his girlfriend. He didn’t have any fears or phobias, or any habits that he needed or wanted to stop. He did however have one problem – he could not pass his driving test, and he’d asked to see me for hypnotherapy for driving test anxiety.
He had been for his test three times and, in his own words, “each time I’ve got worse than before”. Todd had actually failed on more parts of the test each time – “I’m dreading going back a fourth time because what else will I get wrong?” he asked me.
I checked with Todd what his driving instructor was saying about his driving. According to his instructor it wasn’t getting worse at all – in fact in his lessons he was an excellent driver. The problem was with the test, not with his driving, and the problem was around the way that Todd was thinking about it. This is exactly the area where hypnotherapy for driving test anxiety can make a difference.
Every time Todd had thought about his first driving test he had imagined that he would do badly, and saw himself being unable to park, or missing “Give Way” signs. These were the parts that he had failed on, and things had gone downhill from there, with every test seeing him imagine something else going wrong.
Todd’s rehearsing of his failing the test was a bigger influence on the outcome than his driving ability. With Todd pleasantly relaxed I got him to imagine driving as flawlessly, in a circuit that included success in all of the elements he had struggled with before. Recording this for him I asked him to listen to it every other day until his next test.
Although I only saw Todd for one session I asked him to let me know how his driving test went. I am pleased to say (although not as pleased as Todd) not only that he passed, but that he realises that whilst positive thinking won’t make everything ok, it will make a difference to how he approaches things.
*Todd’s real identity has been protected, and he is happy to share his story about using hypnotherapy for driving test anxiety reduction.