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News for therapy on Monday 17 Dec 2018

Understanding Your Dreams - What They are Trying to Say and Do for You (Lifestyle Therapy)

Susan Leigh is Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with Individuals, Couples and Business Clients to help them resolve problems, behaviours and issues and so improve their quality of life. Dreams are sometimes used as a part of the healing process. For more information see

How often in a tense or stressful situation does someone say, 'sleep on it, do not make a hasty decision, see how you feel tomorrow'. And the truth is, we often do feel better or differently about the situation the next day.This is because overnight our conscious mind has been put to one side as it sleeps, stopping all its chatter and thoughts. Our unconscious mind is enabled to work through and explore other options and possibilities. This often results in much of the original tension dissipating. Other options become possible. We open ourselves up to new potential and experiences.

We are self healing organisms. What seems unbearable one day is often more bearable the next day.
Dreams often use metaphors as a way of representing significant people or situations that are happening in our lives. Sometimes these are situations that are in need of attention or healing. The best person to interpret ones dreams is ourself, because one situation could feel completely different to two separate people. It is always important to ask ourselves after a significant dream, how did that feel to me ? Things that one might expect to be frightening can sometimes be dealt with calmly in a dream and, vice versa, things that sound calm and easy may well be unsettling and sinister. This is important information to review the following day.

There are different types of dreaming.
  • Day dreams are where we suspend full awareness for a time and allow ourselves a break or an escape.

  • Night dreams very often contain thoughts from before sleep. They may be wish fulfillment, where the unconscious mind has not accepted reality, in the case of a bereavement for example.

  • Some people experience lucid dreams, where they know that they are dreaming and can manipulate what is happening.

  • Repetitive dreams often occur when there is some unresolved problem or experience, something overwhelming that could not be dealt with at the time, like abuse or a trauma.
Often though, dreams are a powerful way of healing the perspective on an existing situation, finding ways to heal it, look at if differently, from a better point of view. Hypnotherapy often utilises dreams to continue the therapeutic process after a session.

Generalisations are often made about the content of dreams and what they represent.

A house will often be interpreted as representing the dreamer and any new rooms are seen to mean that the person is being presented with new opportunities and experiences. If they feel good, then the person is looking forward to the future, but if they feel bad then it may well be that the person is feeling unprepared, uneasy or inexperienced about the prospect. New rooms being opened up often bodes well; it is the unconscious mind identifying that the dreamer has more potential than they realise.

Water often represents feelings, emotional situations. Calm or still water often reflects good feelings and relationships. Choppy water, with dark waves and skies can mean disturbances and troubled experiences. Deep water may mean a deep, meaningful, special relationship, or it can mean feeling out of ones depth, being fearful of going into a relationship, holding back, afraid of losing control of ones emotions. It all depends on how the dreamer felt during the dream.

People in dreams may be significant in their own right, or they may be representing certain of their traits and characteristics. This is especially true of celebrities and famous people. They are there usually to bring some perceived attribute into the situation. A celebrity with negative characteristics is a warning about someone with those attributes.

The same is true of animals. They can represent some spiritual or physical qualities and bring them into the situation.

The way to use dreams therapeutically is to write them down as soon as you awaken. Reflect on the dream first. Get the details clear in your mind and then make a note, especially about how the different aspects of the dream felt to you. Keep a notepad by the bed. We are programmed to amnesify our dreams fairly quickly upon awakening so writing them down straight away is important. Then the question to ask is 'what in my life is like this ?' Use this information as a window onto the unconscious and look at the parts of the dream that had a particular resonance to them. This is the information needed to help understand how the dream can help you, and which areas of your life are the most significant.

For further information: Understanding Your Dreams - What They are Trying to Say and Do for You

Lifestyle Therapy
3 Alstone Drive
Oldfield Brow
WA14 4LD
United Kingdom
Telephone 0161 928 7880
News Ref:1911

Why Choose to have Therapy ? (Lifestyle Therapy)

Susan Leigh is a South Manchester based Counsellor and Hypnotherapist with over 20 years experience. See her new website,

I often say that therapists are in competition with many people - the stranger at the bus stop, the hairdresser, friends at the gym, over a coffee, close family members, the person stood next to us at the bar.

If we are feeling upset or stressed, it can be valuable to offload to a friendly face, and often times feel better for having done so. Sometimes it is enough just to voice or vent how we are feeling, whether or not we get advice back in return.

When there becomes a pattern to the negative feelings or they are becoming slowly worse, then that can be an indicator that something of a more professional nature needs to be brought in to help.

The sort of problems that can be helped by therapy are those of emotional or psychological background : Stress and Anxiety, low Self Esteem, Grief, Relationship problems - where communications are needing to be improved whatever the end result, unwanted habits, even some physical problems, like pain, have an emotional or psychological component that can be relieved and so help the symptoms.

There can be a real advantage to hiring a neutral professional to help heal negative habits, outlooks, behaviours. For a start, a therapist has nothing to gain from the outcome of any sessions. Friends and family are rarely neutral. They will often have an opinion about what's happening in a friend or family members life. A therapist can help to trace the origins of a problem, help the original reasons and impact be understood and then allow those reasons to be let go of. Also a therapist will not judge their client, they are not going to be disgusted or horrified to hear their client's story. They will probably have heard variations of it many times before. They are interested in you - helping you to feel better about yourself and getting you and your life back on track.

Self awareness is a huge part of the therapeutic process. Understanding oneself and the triggers that can cause a negative reaction helps regain control over choices about behaviour. I call it 'spotting the amber lights' . A green light, like with traffic lights, means that everything is going well, moving in the right direction. A red light means, stop, everything has come to a halt, can't move. The amber light is the one to learn to look out for. That's the time when stress indicators begin to flash and that information allows a person to stop what they are doing and take a positive break instead.

Every person will have their own amber lights. Learning to recognise your own is the key. They can range from restless or fitful sleep, irritability, blurred vision, lack of concentration, IBS symptoms, loss of sense of humour, short temper, over or under eating, lack of libido, and so on. There are over 360 symptoms of stress, tension and anxiety.

Positive things to do when you recognise that your amber light is warning you are things that schedule in some space, some fun, some nice things that you like to do, that give time out. These can vary from an evening out with friends or a loved one, going for a walk, reading a book, having a nice soak in the bath for half an hour. Just recognising that you need some 'me' time is good.

There are many different ways of therapeutically treating the mind/ body connection.

Talking therapies can help bring about insight and recognition. They also provide skills and techniques to manage and control ones state of well being.

Meridian therapies work on healing and releasing the energy flow and any blockages that may have arisen to cause ill health. EFT and TAT are both well known in this discipline.

Hypnotherapy works on the unconscious mind, where learned responses and behaviours, that may go back some years, have been reinforced over and over again. Patterns like fear, insecurity, neediness, guilt. It works on healing and releasing those old patterns and allows the present day person to be what their conscious mind knows and wants them to be.

If you're looking to find a therapist, personal recommendation is always the best way. Failing that using the internet or a directory is another option. Check that the person is qualified and insured, is a member of a professional organisation and is committed to Continuous Personal Development. Then phone them up and have a chat. Ask them questions and ensure that you feel comfortable about what they have to say.

This relationship could hold the key to your future health and happiness. It's important to find the best person for the job.

For further information: Why Choose to have Therapy?

Lifestyle Therapy
3 Alstone Drive
Oldfield Brow
WA14 4LD
United Kingdom
Telephone 0161 928 7880
News Ref:1527

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