Meet the Therapist: Elaine Collins
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I discovered hypnotherapy by chance some years ago when I was struggling with stress, anxiety and panic attacks. The sessions had such a powerful, positive effect on my wellbeing that I wanted to learn more and to share that knowledge with as many people as possible.
Where did you train?
I initially gained my diploma in hypnotherapy and counselling skills with Chysalis Courses and became a member of The National Hypnotherapy Society. Since then I’ve qualified as an NLP Practitioner, coach and Timeline therapy practitioner with ABNLP through Unleash Your Potential.
I’m also a certified hypnobirthing, fertility and postnatal practitioner.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise?
My practice is warm, caring and empowering. I combine hypnotherapy with effective NLP coaching techniques so my sessions are very much based on helping my clients to access their unconscious mind to make positive changes.
I’m solution-focused in my approach so the emphasis is less on what’s happened in the past and more on working with a client to help them understand where they are now, what they want to achieve and how best to get there, in a way that works for them.
We all have the resources we need within us – hypnotherapy helps to unlock them.
How does hypnotherapy help with infertility?
Our minds have enormous power over the body, which is constantly influenced by our emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Research shows that hormone levels, ovulation and other reproductive factors may be affected by what is going on in your mind.
To aid natural conception or assisted options such as IVF, hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to positively influence your thoughts, beliefs and emotions, reduce stress and increase feelings of calmness and relaxation. This in turn will have a positive impact on your body, maximising the chances of conception and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Hypnosis can also help to restore confidence in yourself and your body. Being in a state of hypnosis can be useful as a means to resolve any issues around managing stress or unconscious blocks that may be affecting your ability to conceive and become a parent. It can also assist you to overcome anxiety so you can experience freedom from fear of conception, pregnancy or previous traumatic birth experience.
What sort of people do you usually see?
I usually see people individually and my clients range in age from teens to the elderly.
Anxiety is a very common issue for my clients, whether they’re coming for help with that specifically or if it’s contributing to other difficulties, for example: IBS, phobias, insomnia, exam nerves, work performance etc.
Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?
In my practice I’ve noticed that it’s only now people seem to be coming forward for help with issues either caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. During lockdowns I was braced for an influx of people who were struggling but it seems that, as we often do in times of trouble, we put our heads down and get on with it. It’s only now that life is returning to ‘normal’ that people are coming for help with anxiety, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, a sense of loss and a loss of direction and symptoms of Long Covid.
What do you like about being a therapist?
I absolutely love guiding people into a blissful state of relaxation through hypnosis and witnessing the positive shift in their thinking.
What is less pleasant?
It can feel isolating working on your own so it’s important to build links with other therapists so you have a support community.
How long have you been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
I’ve been with Welldoing for just over a year. I find the platform straightforward to use and the support from the team, should I need it, has been first class.
I’m also really enjoying the new programme of CPD lunchtime webinars.
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
I believe that knowledge is power and regularly share further sources of information with my clients.
There are so many good resources available these days but two of my favourite go to books are Dr Rangan Chatterjee Feel Better In 5 and BJ Fogg Tiny Habits. Both have great advice on breaking down seemingly unachievable goals to doable bite-size chunks that can really make a positive difference to your wellbeing.
I’m also a fan of the Action for Happiness webinar series – a fascinating range of speakers who share some great wisdom.
What you do for your own mental health?
I’m lucky to live just 15 minutes from the sea so a walk on the beach with my cocker spaniel Teddy is my favourite way to clear my head, whatever the weather.
I’ve always got several books and knitting projects on the go which are a great way to switch off. Lockdown introduced me to the joy of jigsaws and painting by numbers, which I do while listening to an audiobook – so that’s a double hit of relaxation!
You are a therapist in West Wales and online. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area?
West Wales is quite a rural area so people often travel quite some distance to see me. That’s when the benefit of online therapy comes into it’s own!
What’s your consultation room like?
It’s a light, airy, peaceful space at the top of an old building – most of the time all you can hear are the birds. Most importantly there’s a really comfy big armchair that my clients can sink into as they relax.
I also offer sessions online which is great as my clients can feel secure and comfortable in their own space – and they don’t have to face a journey after their session but can continue to relax and absorb the benefits.
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
Some people can be a little nervous about hypnotherapy so I’d like to reassure anyone who is hesitant that it’s a completely natural and deeply relaxing therapy. It uses techniques that are simple but effective and really make a difference to your mental and physical wellbeing.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
The most important thing I’ve learned is about the impact what’s going on in my mind is having on my body. I’ve discovered how to be more aware of how I’m feeling at any given moment, to recognise signs of tension in my body or negative thoughts in my mind and to be able to take action to prevent stress or anxiety spiralling.