How hypnotherapy saved a Norfolk woman

Hypnotherapy can help with a wide range of issues which can hold people back in life. Jilly Cutting's sessions with Joy Gower were life-changing in more ways than one, as EMMA LEE discovered.

If anyone knows how powerful hypnotherapy can be, it's Jilly Cutting.

Not only did it give her back her self-confidence after an accident, but, aged in her 60s, it has led to a new career.

'I had an accident at work which unfortunately damaged my leg and face and I had to give up my career,' says Jilly. 'I had an operation on my knee and facial plastic surgery which left me feeling sorry for myself and I lost my self-confidence.

'While the scars on the outside had healed, the ones on the inside had not. I felt everyone was looking at my face and I didn't want to go out,' she says.

The turning point came when she read a newspaper article about Joy Gower and hypnotherapy.

Joy has been a hypnotherapist for 12 years – she trained as a hypnotherapist after it helped her during a difficult period of her life – and she has built up practices at Blofield and Norwich, which she runs with her husband, Robert.

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'I read it and thought 'this may be good for me' and contacted her,' says Jilly. 'After a few sessions I realised I had found my self-confidence again and was back to being me.'

Hypnotherapy works by putting someone in to a deeply relaxed state – somewhere between being asleep and awake – and tapping in to the subconscious mind, making positive suggestions to help change behaviour.

It can help alleviate all sorts of problems which can hold people back, including anxiety and stress, weight loss, addictions such as smoking, irritable bowel syndrome, exam nerves and phobias.

It is very effective for treating phobias, such as fear of flying, where the subconscious mind overpowers the rational mind, and over-eating, known as the virtual gastric band treatment.

Jilly's sessions with Joy gave her the confidence to do things she never thought possible, including singing in public with well-known Norfolk musician Lee Vasey and Friends and organising an X Factor-style talent competition at local venues to raise money for Help for Heroes.

She recently fulfilled another ambition.

'Eleven years ago I also told Joy I wanted to paint and last May, 2011, I went to an art exhibition and saw Emma Hart. I talked to her and had a few lessons with her and got the confidence to try oil painting. I sold my first picture at the Martham Festival this May – I am over the moon.'

And it has also led to a new career. As well as helping people change their lives for the better, seven years ago Joy, above, branched out and now also trains people to become therapists themselves – including Jilly, who has joined Joy's practice at Queen's Road in Norwich as an associate.

'I kept thinking of how much new confidence I had gained and what can be accomplished, even at my age. And I felt I wanted to help others as I had been helped,' says Jilly.

Joy's training programme takes between 10 months and a year to complete and is practice-based to help students become confident with working with people. Newly-trained hypnotherapists continue to get lots of support and supervision when they've completed the course.

'I was thoroughly impressed with Joy's training programme as there was more intensive training – one-to-one if you wished – and lots and lots of back-up support,' says Jilly. 'I decided to sign up and found it changing my thought process at the same time and learning that there is no failure – it's feedback to do it even better.'

As Jilly has discovered, age is no barrier to changing direction.

'I have qualified and have had lots of enquiries already for gastric band and confidence sessions. Although I am over 60 I feel that this is a good thing as my life experiences will enhance my hypnotherapy and I can use these experiences when seeing clients.

'I cannot praise Joy and Robert highly enough for their support and professionalism throughout my training,' says Jilly, adding that her daughter, Dawn, is now also training to become a hypnotherapist.

Joy says that she feels a great sense of pride when she sees the positive changes hypnotherapy enables people to make to their lives.

'Hypnotherapy has helped Jilly to sing, paint and become the confident person she is. We've both had similar journeys and she's found her calling now.'

Joy Gower or Jill Cutting for training and hypnotherapy. 01603 712704.