The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania define Positive Psychology as:

“The scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.”

Broadly speaking, the fields of psychology and psychotherapy traditionally focused on what was wrong and how to “fix” it. Recent thinking, however, has shifted focus onto what is working well and how doing more of that enhances wellbeing. Research supports this notion and suggests that using your strengths and recognizing what’s going well in your life buffers against negativity and offers protection to your mental health. This goes hand-in-hand with Solution Focused Therapy which I have been practicing since 1992.

Positive Psychology


Drifting in and out of trance is part of our everyday life, like those times when you drift into a day dream for a few moments, that can be described as a trance state. A Hypnotherapist uses this relaxed state to help you make the changes you want.

To dispel any myths about this natural trance (hypnogogic) state, here are some facts:

  • You cannot get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis- this is quite impossible.
  • You do not in any way become unconscious or semi-conscious.
  • You cannot, at any time, be made to do things you do not want to.
  • You are totally aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times.
  • You do not go to sleep – you do not even have to close your eyes.
  • You are not in anybody’s power and nobody can take control of you.
  • You can voluntarily leave the hypnotic state whenever you wish to.
  • You cannot ‘leave your body’, ‘lose your mind’ or be ‘possessed’ in some way.
  • Hypnosis is a truly natural state of mind and body.
  • There is no such thing as a ‘hypnotised feeling’.
  • Hypnotherapy


    This therapy does exactly what it says on the tin.

    It has been described as ‘an approach to psychotherapy based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. It explores current resources and future hopes rather than present problems and past causes and typically involves only three to five sessions. It has great value as an intervention and can be used safely in isolation or as an adjunct to other treatments.’ Chris Iveson, (2002) Brief Therapy Practice London

    I first came across this approach in Victoria, Australia in 1992 when I joined Families First, Family Therapy team who were introducing it into the Child Protection arena. The approach had been developed in Milwaukee by a team lead by Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg and I was extremely fortunate to receive intensive, on the job, training from the Milwaukee Team. The approach was so successful that the program was then launched Australia wide.

    This approach fits with my personal values and I believe that by combining it with Positive Psychology, it not only makes addressing issues seem effortless but promotes optimism and hope.

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