Insomnia – a different approach

It’s lovely that Spring is finally here (apparently!) which means that after the clocks ‘spring’ forward, we start to enjoy lighter evenings again. It’s funny how this annual change to British Summer Time can still upset our sleep pattern until our bodies get used to the change in daylight.

All sorts of other things can affect our sleep, from unpleasant things like stress at work to happy but major changes like a house move or a new baby – it might be not being able to fall asleep or waking up in the night and struggling to go back to sleep. I’ve had personal experience of the frustration of repeatedly waking up yet again at 3.30am!

Many people benefit from traditional approaches such as keeping a sleep journal and ensuring good sleep hygiene eg having a good bedtime routine, making sure the bedroom is as cool, dark, quiet and calm as possible.

However, they didn’t work for me. I found the more I focused on my insomnia, the more fearful I felt that I wouldn’t sleep. Until I found a different approach which involved relaxing, focusing not on sleep but on the positive things in my life, doing more of what I love doing (yes, more jigsaws!) and knowing that the world won’t end if I don’t get a full night’s sleep. And funnily enough, this relaxed attitude led to better sleep quality and quantity. Which just goes to show that, as the lovely Andy Workman says, our brain is like a magnifying glass and whatever we focus on expands – be it good or bad!

If you or someone you know would like help with insomnia (or other conditions), please contact me for a free chat on 07790 683403 or click the contact button on my website at

In the meantime, let’s take some sleep inspiration from Cara!

Overcoming Anxiety

So many clients come to see me for anxiety – and we’re all different, so anxiety can show itself in so many ways – from problems sleeping at night to young people dreading going to school in case they might be asked to speak out in class.

Solution focused hypnotherapy is based on neuroscience, so the first step to feeling better is helping clients understand how the brain works. We do this in our Initial Consultation and then revisit it during subsequent sessions, because only by being aware of how our mind works, can we begin to change how we think about things…as the wonderful Wayne Dyer said: “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

It sounds a bit like magic and in a way I suppose it is. But the results speak for themselves – here’s a recent review from the Mum of a teenager who came to see me for anxiety around school, after only 2 sessions:

“Kay has helped my daughter so much by learning the art of positive thinking and relaxation. She now has a toolbox of useful tips and ideas that Kay helped her fill, so that she can use these when needed. Kay has an amazing safe space to explore worries and concerns. I can’t rate our experience highly enough. She is incredibly professional, kind and caring.”

As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I really enjoy helping clients of all ages to change the way they look at things here at my therapy room in Romsey, Hampshire or online via Zoom. So if you or someone you know would like help to overcome anxiety, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a free chat in the first instance by clicking the contact button on my website


Taking time out for you

It was my absolute pleasure to give a talk at the excellent South Hampshire Branch of the National Autistic Society NAS South Hampshire Branch home ( recently on the importance of taking time out for ourselves. Of course it’s important for everyone, but especially for parents of children with autism and other additional needs because we usually tend to put ourselves at the end of the queue.

But it’s just like when we finally head off on our summer hols on the plane and they demonstrate the importance of putting our oxygen mask on before that of our children. It’s the same in our day to day lives because when we’re feeling stressed, our primitive brain senses danger and takes over, so we tend to feel more stuck in old behaviour patterns…and see the worst in everything. Which is not a great place to be.

But when we take time for ourselves to do more of what we love doing (in my case it’s being with my dog Cara, my favourite people, reading, choir and jigsaws in no particular order!), we’re more likely to be in our thinking brain which is where we’re calm, where we can find solutions to our problems and where we can see the positives and appreciate the good bits in our lives.

So take time out to do more of what you love – you’ll not only feel happier and calmer but the world will seem a better place and you’ll be a good role model for everyone around you too!

PS And here’s a picture of Cara taking time out just for her – what a great role model!

Making a difference to young people’s mental health

Young people nowadays face a lot of challenges as they navigate their way through adolescence. From academic pressure to social anxiety, especially as a result of lockdown, they are often under a lot of stress which can sadly take its toll on their mental health. Fortunately, hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool for helping them manage their stress and improve their overall well-being.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help them to focus on the positive aspects of their life and identify achievable goals. By encouraging them to focus on their strengths and what they want to achieve, it can help them make positive changes in their life and develop resilience in the face of challenges.

I recently had the pleasure of working with a young person who was struggling with anxiety, especially at school. Together, we worked to identify her strengths, develop achievable goals and strategies which helped her gain confidence, build resilience and overcome anxiety.

Her Mum said: “My daughter started seeing Kay soon after starting secondary school. Kay put her at her ease straight away and within a few sessions I could see my daughter’s confidence growing. She learned techniques to be able to deal with her fears and stressful situations and was able to use them effectively. She looked forward to her sessions and always came out happy and relaxed.”

One of the great things about Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is that instead of focusing on the problem, we focus on how the client wants their life to be and on developing small steps towards that preferred future. Whether they are struggling with academic pressure, social anxiety, or any other issue, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help them identify their strengths and develop the skills and confidence they need to overcome their challenges.

As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I am here to support clients of all ages in their journey towards better mental health. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help, please feel free to share this and/or contact me by calling 07790 683403 or clicking the contact button.

Photo by Angel Lopez

Making positive changes in 2023

There’s something so hopeful about New Year – a time for resolutions and fresh starts. But why is it that we so often give up on those resolutions by the time February comes around? We  know that the primitive mind really doesn’t like change, so make it easy on yourself in 2023 by understanding goals, changing your mindset and breaking your resolutions down into small steps or habits.

Did you know that the process of actually setting and working towards goals makes us happier than actually achieving the goals themselves? I must admit, I’d never thought about it like that, but it makes sense. The journey of working towards our goals gives a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives which in turn gives us a sense of achievement. That’s why we so often feel a bit lost when we actually reach our goal with a sense of..oh, now what?!

So what is a goal? Well, sorry but it can’t be something that you’re doing already! It must be something that requires you to change and do something different – something that moves you outside your comfort zone because, as the wonderful Andy Workman says, that is where the real magic happens!

And we’re more likely to stay motivated if the process, as well as the goal, interests and excites us. If someone doesn’t truly believe they can be a non-smoker, they’re unlikely to become one. But if they decide to identify as someone who is a non-smoker and act as if they are one, they are much more likely to succeed. It’s not a matter of ‘fake it till you make it’ but ‘be it until you become it’!

So it’s about finding the Will to change. Thinking about Why is it important to me? Why do I want to change? And why NOW? Having a good enough reason will help us overcome any doubts or feelings of discomfort.

Then it’s about formulating The Way – What are we actually going to do to work towards this goal in a way that is going to keep us motivated?

‘Motivation is what gets us started but habit is what keeps us going’ Jim Rohn

In BJ Fogg’s excellent book ‘Tiny Habits’ he advises breaking goals down into tiny steps or habits of only 2 minutes to start with eg instead of having a goal of going out for a run, he suggests the first step should just be putting your running shoes on which is easy to achieve! If you then feel like going out for a short run, then that’s an added bonus!

So enjoy setting your new goals and the sense of purpose they bring to your life! Solution Focused Hypnotherapy naturally focuses on positive outcomes so if you’d like some help creating or working towards your goals, give me a call me on 07790 683403 for a chat to see how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you finally make that positive change in 2023.

Police trialling use of Hypnotherapy

Update A27 Romsey now reopened - Hampshire Incidents

Great news that Northumbria Police recently took part in a trial to study the effectiveness of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to help their officers and staff with anxiety and depression. The results found that everyone reported feeling better, with more than 80% showing a reduction in symptoms and more than 90% had improved sleep.

It’s so encouraging to see hypnotherapy becoming more mainstream and away from the ‘woo woo’! I know that it works because I see the positive changes it brings my clients, but it’s great to see research backing it up and, as a result, it looks like there are plans to roll out its use to other police forces and emergency services in the country.

If you’d like to find out more about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you, please contact me on 07790 683403 or head over to my website at Kay Hendy Hypnotherapy

Police plan mental health hypnotherapy scheme roll out | Peterborough Matters


Happy World Menopause Day!

Stress can steal your oestrogen!

It used to be something that was unspoken or alluded to vaguely as ‘The Change’ but nowadays it seems that menopause is constantly in the news – whether it be doom-laden headlines such as ‘Why the menopause is a menace for your marriage’ or Mariella Frostrup declaring ‘Why no woman should have to choose between heating and HRT this winter!’ I think we would all agree that awareness of something that affects half of the planet directly (and the other half very definitely by proxy!) can only be a good thing, as long as it’s done in an informative and positive way and so very much welcome today’s World Menopause Day.

So what can help us through the menopause? Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) works by rebalancing our hormones including boosting levels of oestrogen which naturally decline as a result of the menopause, causing all sorts of symptoms including brain fog, anxiety, hot flushes, depression and insomnia. HRT suits some people but others, especially those who have had breast cancer, may need other methods. Some people may benefit from a nutritional approach and adopting a more wholegrain way of eating such as the Mediterranean diet. However it appears that just reducing our stress levels can have a really positive impact too.

We know that when we are stressed, our bodies produce cortisol to get us ready for the fight/flight response. However we are now becoming aware that cortisol works in balance with oestrogen so if we are stressed, causing an increase in our cortisol levels, this makes our declining oestrogen levels go down even further! So reducing stress is a really important way of helping us to balance our hormones and so may reduce the symptoms of the menopause.

Solution focused hypnotherapy can definitely help with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause itself because it is so beneficial for reducing levels of stress (through emptying our ‘stress bucket’) which can have such a beneficial effect on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

If you would like further information, please contact me for an informal chat on 07790 683403 or email me at


Spring is nearly sprung!

At this time of year, in the depths of February, it’s easy to feel despondent. But on yet another dog walk, I looked around me and saw the snowdrops pushing up through the ground and I’ve even got sparrows starting to nest in the birdbox above the door! So spring is not quite sprung, but I can definitely feel that it’s on its way.

Talking of optimism and new starts, how many of you have kept to those New Year’s Resolutions that you made with such enthusiasm at the start of the year?! Go on…be honest! It can be so tempting to make potentially life-changing resolutions on 1 January, but the problem is that we sometimes set the bar so high for ourselves that we can send our primitive brain into panic mode.

For those of you familiar with Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, you’ll know that when we’re operating in our intellectual mind, we tend to think rationally and calmly and therefore make sensible decisions based on a proper assessment of the situation.  However, when we try to make major changes in our lives, our primitive brain senses danger because it prefers us to follow previous patterns of behaviour, even if they’re not necessarily good for us. Plus, when we operate from our primitive brain, we don’t think so clearly and are more likely to respond emotionally and succumb to that biscuit or cadge that cigarette and then think ‘Well that’s it, I’ve failed so I may as well have another one!’ This kind of black and white thinking is definitely the primitive brain in action – it doesn’t think things through but tends to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ (we love a metaphor in the solution focused world!). And sadly this often leads us to feeling like we’ve ‘failed’ and to a downward spiral of negative thinking.

So how can we set ourselves up with more chance of success when we’re trying to make positive changes in our lives whether it be physical habits like losing weight or creating more positive ways of thinking? Here are some ideas:

  • Just make a start..don’t wait until you feel motivated to do it – sometimes we just have to get on and do it because once we get started, we create lovely feel good chemicals like serotonin which help to motivate us and keep us going. Even Joe Wicks says ‘I always say you have to remember that the motivation comes from the end of the workout.. I know when I get up and do 20 minutes of exercise, I feel better for it’. If even Joe Wicks doesn’t feel motivated to make a start, don’t have too high expectations of yourself!

  • Take small steps – you’re more likely to make changes if you’re kind to yourself and commit to making small changes at the beginning which you’re more likely to achieve. It also means you’re less likely to trigger the primitive brain into sensing danger and sabotaging your best hopes by giving up at the first setback. I’ve started Couch to 5k three times now because of various challenges eg dodgy knee, long Covid, golfer’s elbow (I don’t even play golf!), but each time I feel up to it again, I have another go and here I am yet again at week 5, but I’m still going..yay! Plus, the beauty of this approach is that by achieving those small steps, you’ll also create lots of small bursts of dopamine in your body which will in turn motivate you to keep going. Definitely a win win situation!!

  • Be consistent and patient – new habits should feel easy, especially in the beginning and this will make it easier for you to stick to them and even feel that you can begin to increase things a little every day or every week as you see results. Remember the saying that ‘cells that fire together, wire together’. This just means that the more you repeat an activity (good or bad!), the more likely it is that you’ll create a new neural pathway in the brain which leads to the creation of a new habit. It’s a bit like when we first walk through a field of long grass, it’s hard to see where we’ve walked, but the more we walk the same way, we create a new pathway through. Creating habits of new ways of thinking and behaving is literally rewiring our brains!

  • Get the support of a buddy – we’re social creatures and we often find things easier if we have someone by our side either metaphorically or in reality. And remember to be your own cheerleader too – encourage yourself, recognise your achievements along the way and keep telling yourself that you CAN do this!

  • Picture the end result – Our minds are incredibly powerful and if we focus on what we want to achieve, then we’re more likely to get there. As the wonderful Andy Workman said, ‘when we learn to ride a bike, if we keep looking down at the pedals, we’re more likely to lose our balance and fall off. But if we look up and keep our eyes focused on the way ahead, then before we know it, we’ll be cruising along no problem!’ You can use a range of strategies to help keep on track eg affirmations, vision boards with photos of how you want your life to be or maybe the promise of a special reward when you’ve achieved your goal – the carrot is definitely mightier than the stick!

  • If you need more help, reach out and try the solution focused approach – sometimes we need a bit more support to make big changes in our lives. You may have read on my Facebook page that one of my recent clients, Margaret decided that after more than 50 years of smoking, she finally wanted to stop. But not surprisingly she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to do it, so reached out for help. We had just one session together plus a few follow up texts and phone calls and she’s now gone for more than a month without a cigarette and is quite rightly feeling very proud of herself…so massive congratulations to her!! It’s all about changing our mindset because if we believe we can, we can.

Solution focused hypnotherapy can help with so many challenges in life including losing weight, improving self-esteem and even phobias and the best thing is that it usually takes only a few sessions or even just one as with stopping smoking. Sometimes we find that just a few sessions of emptying our Stress Bucket help us reduce our levels of anxiety enough to get us back into our intellectual mind where we find it easier to make changes because our head is clearer and so we can see a way forward to a happier future.

If you would like to discuss how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you, please call me on 07790 683403 or click on the contact button.

Winter Drawers On!

Brr! There’s definitely been a chill in the air the last few mornings. But I have to say that there’s something very special about this sunny crisp, cold weather as we move through Autumn into Winter. I took the above photo of the beautiful River Test here in Romsey as I took our rescue dog Cara for a walk recently. I feel very grateful to have such beauty on our doorstep, especially when I think back to living in London with the constant traffic and noise whenever I stepped outside our front door. But it’s not always easy to see the bright side of things.

The clocks going back signals that Winter is around the corner and this, together with the change in seasons itself, can cause some people to feel low as we all prepare to batten down the hatches to get through the Winter.  With the onset of shorter days and less daylight, up to 20% of us can suffer with the ‘Winter Blues’, but up to 6% of the population may even be diagnosed with a particular type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for short.

The exact cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder are largely unknown, however, there are a few possible explanations which include:

  • A lack of natural sunlight which has been shown to affect our circadian rhythm causing changes to our normal sleep/wake cycle.
  • A drop in Serotonin and Melatonin Levels. As we know, Serotonin is a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) which plays an important part in regulating our mood. This is a similar case with Melatonin, a hormone that our brain produces in response to darkness and which helps regulate our circadian rhythm including our sleep patterns.

So what can we do to feel better?

Well if you think you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s a good idea to see your GP as they may be able to provide assessment and diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment if necessary (see the NHS website for more info).

But there are also other things we can do to help ourselves if we have a case of the ‘winter blues’  including:

  • Get outside, especially in the morning light as often as you can. But if it’s difficult to get out, try to sit near a window to make the most of any natural daylight. If you can’t get out, some people find special SAD lamps helpful as they can reset our circadian rhythm. Vitamin D supplements may also be useful to make up for the lack of sunlight in winter months.

  • Remember the 3 Ps which all help us to produce more Serotonin naturally and the more we produce, the happier we’ll feel and consequently the more serotonin we’ll naturally produce and so feel consistently happier:
    • Positive actions – any kind of movement (especially outside) or anything that you love to do eg gardening, singing in a choir, reading, puzzles, painting
    • Positive interactions – these can be in person or on line via Zoom, WhatsApp etc. The most important thing is making positive connections with others
    • Positive thoughts – these are the things we say to ourselves including gratitude, appreciation and generally being able to ‘flip’ things so we can see them from a more positive perspective
  • Talking therapies such as Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help reduce your anxiety, improve your sleeping pattern and help you to think more clearly and rationally about your situation and remember that Spring will be with us in no time!

Some people might cheer themselves up with Strictly come Dancing and the thought of Christmas, but to others these are definitely not something to look forward to! Which just goes to show that it’s not what happens to us that causes us anxiety and low mood, it’s our thoughts about the events themselves.

I can relate to a lot of this because unfortunately I caught Covid back in August and have been suffering from Long Covid ever since. So even though I have the beautiful River Test on my doorstep, I found it hard to appreciate it because all I could focus on was how unwell I was feeling, worrying about how much longer was I going to feel like this and would I ever get back to normal? (whatever normal is!) I was very definitely in the grip of my primitive mind which, as we know, tries to keep us safe by imagining the worst possible scenario.

But the good news is that we are not our thoughts and our thoughts can be changed. The past is gone and the future is simply in our imagination…cue for a burst of ‘Just my Imagination (Running away with me)’ by the Temptations! It’s not real. What if we thought …what if the best thing happened instead? Imagine that ideal future in vivid detail…feel it, see it, be there in your mind. Once we have a clear picture in our mind, we have something to aim for and it’s more likely to happen. And as Bloody Mary sang in my mum’s favourite film South Pacific:

‘You got to have a dream, If you don’t have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?’

And I’m pleased to say that I’m now on the mend what with the support of my family and friends, some acupuncture sessions and in particular some wonderful hypnotherapy sessions which helped to reduce my anxiety so I could see things clearer and helped me to imagine a more positive future, a future in which I felt better….and now I’m delighted to say that I am very definitely on that path!

So remember that our negative thoughts are just thoughts and thoughts can be changed. Remember too that we get more of what we focus on, so imagine instead how we want to think and feel, how we want tomorrow to be – and before we know it, those positive thoughts have become a reality and we can see light again in our lives ..even in the depths of Winter!

If you would like to talk to me about any of the above or to have a chat about how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy might be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07790 683403 or click on the contact button.

Returning to work after lockdown

Returning to work

Now that restrictions for COVID-19 are being lifted, many people are now returning to the workplace after a long period of time spent working at home. This can understandably make us feel anxious for all sorts of reasons. For example you might be feeling:

  • worried about catching coronavirus (even if you’ve been double jabbed) and the possible risk to vulnerable family members
  • anxious about mixing with lots of people again
  • unsure about possible changes in your workplace
  • nervous about doing your job again after so long away

However, it’s important to remind yourself of the positives aspects of returning to work, including:

  • being able to see colleagues again – positive interactions
  • gaining a sense of achievement from your work – positive thoughts
  • getting involved in your work and being able to do something useful – positive actions

If you’re familiar with Solution Focused Hypnotherapy sessions, you’ll recognise what we call ‘the 3 Ps’ (positive interactions, positive thoughts and positive actions) which we know help to create serotonin in our brains which in turns helps us to feel positive and motivated.

If you have any specific concerns about returning to work, remember to talk to your line manager and find out how they might be able to support you. It could be that there are opportunities to change aspects of your job that you’re not happy with for the better. Or you may be able to book in some training to brush up on certain skills. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself and take things slowly. It’s unrealistic to expect things to feel ‘normal’ on day one.

Looking after yourself

Making time to look after your own wellbeing can really help ease feelings of anxiety. Try to set aside some time each day for activities that can help you unwind and relax which might include more examples of our 3 Ps eg:

  • Positive thoughts – meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, watching uplifting films or comedy programmes which make you laugh!
  • Positive actions – going for a walk, yoga, gardening, reading, listening to music or taking a scented bath
  • Positive interactions – making time to spend with family and friends either in person or online

Getting back into a good daily routine can also help with the return to work as this can help you to feel better both mentally and physically including:

  • eating well – remember to try to eat regularly as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as you can
  • staying hydrated – make a habit of keeping a bottle or glass of water nearby
  • limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake
  • keeping active – it doesn’t have to be going to the gym, just a gentle walk is a start
  • having a good night’s sleep – stick to a regular bedtime and try not to resort to sleeping tablets or alcohol as these can interfere with your restorative REM sleep