About Catherine

hypnotherapy-courseCatherine Spence, MA (Oxon), DHP (NC), RH, RYT, and CHBP is the founder of the Heal Through Hypnosis™ course. A British qualified and registered hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and mindfulness coach who specializes in seeing clients with any kind of confidence, anxiety, insomnia, self-esteem or self-control issues. Catherine also works with phobias, relationship issues, and past traumas. This includes several years of experience and hundreds of client hours, with high success rates of supporting clients to transform their lives and reach their goals.

Catherine has elaborated on many of her achievements, focuses and scientifically backed research below;

From attaining a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology and a Diploma in Hypno-Psychotherapy from the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. I am a registered member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, and the National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness. I’m bound by the code of ethics, data protection and confidentiality of the UKCP, and I am also a qualified yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. These code of ethics apply only within the U.K. and are different from those globally.

I use only evidence-based techniques. My academic background included neurophysiology and the study of neuroplasticity which underlies all my techniques and approaches. I also have my own personal daily yoga and meditation practice which borrows heavily from Buddhist and mindfulness-based philosophies. I believe that we are what we practice and that with calm focus and self-compassion and a bit of time, we can all shift the neurological patterns that are our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships, so as to live healthier and happier lives.

During deep relaxation sessions, you can mentally rehearse situations that you find tricky, as well as learn to be more relaxed in body and mind. The relaxed state is also excellent for developing focus and directing your energies on areas of your life that you feel would benefit from that.

Ideally, you will remain conscious and in control during hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is different from stage hypnosis in that the goal is to help you control your own mind, rather than be controlled by someone else. You may find, however, that change is surprisingly easy, once your subconscious is involved in the process. The trick is to find the sweet spot between relaxation and sleep, where your imagination is at its peak and you feel completely safe to explore new ideas. The positive associations that you form in this state will stay with you after the session.

I run a busy private practice in North London, England as well as being a singer in a band, enjoying live comedy shows and the occasional Sunday roast dinners down the pub.

Moving on, here are my focus areas which we will be going through on this course.

Course Outlines:

Weight management Shyness/Social nervousnessConfidence
Public speakingBoundariesQuit smoking: gradual tapering off
StressLow mood
Fears/Aversions (Rewind technique)
Letting go of the past (Timeline technique)Healthy habits
Insomnia: information and recording
Quit smoking one-hit wonder: information and recording20 minute nap
Yoga NidraGeneric relaxationGeneric going to sleep
Physical discomfort1-2-1 sessions

A section on how these hypnosis recordings work:

Some of these recordings have embedded binaural beats running through the music. These are beats that play at slightly different frequencies in each ear, encouraging your brain to produce brainwaves, which would be measurable on an electroencephalogram (EEG), at a particular frequency. When we are in different mental states, our brains produce different frequencies of brainwaves, so we can encourage these states with particular binaural beats played through headphones along with the hypnosis recordings.

Most of these recordings use Theta frequencies (at 2% sound volume) for that half-dreaming meditative state. Others use Delta for deep sleep or Alpha for calm focus.

Deep sleepREM sleepRelaxed focusFocussed attention (external stimuli)High-level information processing
Pain reliefDeep relaxation/ inner peaceStress reductionHigh level cognitionCognitive enhancement
Anti-aging (cortisol reduction, DHEA increase)
MeditationPositive thinking
Analytical thinking & problem solvingMemory recall
Creativity Accelerated learning Stimulated energy and actionPeak awareness
Access to an unconscious mind Hypnopompic/ Hypnogogic states (waking up or falling asleep)Flow state (effortless engagement)-Transcendental states

Scientific Data:

There is peer-reviewed scientific research to back this up, for example a study by Kasprzak (2011) “Influence of Binaural beats on brain EEG signal” at the University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland and Atwater (1997) “Accessing anomalous states of consciousness with a binaural beat technology in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

Our brains are made up of neuron cells which communicate with each other via synapses. Whenever we create a habit, good or bad, we strengthen the synapses which make up the neuronal pattern of that behavior in our brains. It can seem hard to break existing habits but once you learn hypnosis, visualization, and relaxation techniques you will be able to form new patterns in your mind and, with time and practice, you can strengthen those synapses until the new behavior becomes natural to you. This is called neuroplasticity, and it’s been shown to be disrupted by stress and depression. (for example by Pittinger and Duman, 2008, “Stress, Depressions and Neuroplasticity” in the journal Nature”) and activated in states of hypnosis (Rossi, “The psychobiology of gene expression: neuroscience and neurogenesis in hypnosis and the healing arts”)

What’s the neuroscience behind hypnotherapy’s effectiveness?

During hypnotic states, brain imaging has been shown to alter the way the brain works. The default mode network has reduced activity, while there is increased activity in prefrontal attentional systems. (Shown by McGeown et al in the journal Conscious Cognition 2009, Deeley et al in the International Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 2012) These studies showed that suggestions had a deeper effect than imagination alone when in the hypnotic state. During hypnosis, the idea is that the suggestions sink so deeply in that they will stay in your subconscious mind after the session. You won’t have to remember anything new, the deeper emotional patterns driving your tendencies and behaviours will change and feel automatic when you go about your daily life.

The default mode network (DMN) is a network of brain segments that become active during a state of trance, self-generated thought, and when not connected to outside stimuli.

Music Credit:

Music by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. Licensed by Enlightened Audio.
Music by Elshan, Ananas and Atmosphaeres. Licensed by Pond5 Audio.

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