Tag Archives: Edinburgh


Treating Phobias with Hypnotherapy, CBT and Psychoanalysis in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Stirling and Glasgow

Phobias are irrational fears or fears that are out of rational proportion.  A phobia can be one of many common types and based on primal primitive fears, such as a fear of spiders or heights. It might also be personal and based on traumatic experience, such as being afraid of loud noises or dogs, if for example you had heard gun shots or been bitten respectively.

Why do phobias occur?

Phobias are a strong aversion to whatever is the key characteristic of the fear, such as the spider, bird, wasp, noise or other key part of the situation. The mind associates this trigger or feature with extreme danger. The natural reaction therefore is to avoid and be fearful.

Treating phobias with CBT cognitive behavioural therapy in edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Stirling

CBT looks at the perception and resulting behaviour being shown. Therefore with a phobia one might examine why you find the spider (for example) scary, and address that perception. You might then experiment with different behaviours to try in response. SIT or stress inoculation therapy is a form of CBT which uses gradual challenging of the fear to learn new perceptions and responses as fear reduces.

Treating phobias with hypnotherapy and NLP Neuro linguistic programming

Hypnotherapy, and it’s off shoot NLP, can be used in a variety of ways. These include positive suggestion to change perception directly. These can be given in a variety of ways. Visualisation can be used as a very mild and easy form of SIT. Metaphor and other complex methods can be used to change perception and context. Visual and resource anchoring can be used to design the emotions desired in the situation, for example enabling the person to feel more confident and calm when confronting what was a fearful situation before. With all the variations, the key aspect is to learn a new way of feeling, perceiving and behaving.

Quick fixes and phobia “cures”

In recent years various quick fixes have been marketed, usually using “EFT tapping” which is a form of distraction, and NLP which is an off shoot which uses little bits of hypnotherapy. These quick fixes rely on a sudden disruption of the old reaction spurring the person into “getting on with it”. Neither address the underlying cause, emotions, deeper perceptions or related fears. They can help some people with mild phobias or slight fears, but are not recommended by us for serious fears or phobias. If it was that easy to overcome phobias, the person would not need a few “slight of hand tricks” to do it, they would simply challenge it themselves.

What to expect when seeking help for phobias in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow or Stirling

You can contact us on stuart@psychoanalysis.center for a free confidential email chat first before any commitment. We will also send information files on our service. If you decide to proceed you will need to book an assessment session. Here more details case history is collected and options explored. Phobia cases vary considerably in length from 4-5 sessions with milder phobias, to many more sessions in sever cases, or cases with related issues such as developmental, relationship or post traumatic issues.

Stuart is a CNHC registered hypnotherapist (CNHC is the UK voluntary regulator for complementary therapies including hypnotherapy set up with UK Government funding and support). He is CNHC and FHT AR scheme registered. AR schemes or accredited  registers are the schemes overseen by the Professional Standards Agency for healthcare professionals not subject to statutory regulation. Stuart trained 1993-96 in clinical hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis and stress counselling, being assessed on over 200 client cases and over 1,000 client hours. Since then he has completed extensive post graduate and CPD training including a MSc Psychology and his second Bachelor degree.


Anxiety UK

Anxiety Conditions Edinburgh Glasgow Falkirk Stirling

Dear Colleagues in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Stirling
As we are all aware, money is tight.
Anxiety UK run a scheme based on ability to pay for people suffering from anxiety related issues.

Anxiety Conditions, Charity rates

This might include, IBS, GAD, NEAD, phobias and general anxiety / stress
I now have the facility to take a limited number of clients under this scheme in the above areas.
This is part of our non profit making (cost covering) scheme.
As some of you might be aware, I am an ASM (now Society of Stress Managers and CNHC AVR route) trained (psycho)Analyst, stress counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist, therefore specialising in this work. By all means ask me for details, but in brief this required over 200 client cases, over 1,000 client hours, external city and guilds assessment and since then I have gained a MSc Psychology. I am on 2 AVR schemes. I have regular clinical and peer supervision.
Please, if you can not help anyone with the above issues, pass on the paragraph below.
Kindest regards,
Your collegue, Stuart
Our helpline number is 08444 775774 or via our web site www.anxietyuk.org.uk or maybe a link to our generic leaflet herehttp://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/AUK-Information-Booklet-FINAL.pdf

Psychoanalysis Psychotherapy Edinburgh

Back providing Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Counselling, CBT, NLP Edinburgh

Sorry to say that both of us picked up a tummy bug via our work in the last week and therefore had to take time off to recover and then ensure we did not pass it on. We feel strongly that it is our responsibility to cancel appointments if there is a risk of passing on a nasty flu or other bug.

Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Life Coaching, Psychoanalysis Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow

Since 1993, as a student and since 1996 as a full graduate, Stuart has provided Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, coaching, psychoanalysis, stress counselling and general health education training ( as part of a Level 4 NVQ Training & Development NVQ)

Standards for Hypnotherapy, Counselling, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, CBT, NLP

The most important standards are the AVR scheme standards. AVR or Accredited Voluntary Register are the registers maintained by the Professional Standards Agency. The PSA maintain standards for those healthcare personnel who are not subject to statutory regulation.

Denise is a CNHC registered hypnotherapist –  an AVR register.

Stuart is both a CNHC registered hypnotherapist and a FHT registered therapist, both are AVR registers.

Psychoanalysis in Edinburgh

Back in edinburgh tomorrow (Saturday) all day providing psychoanalysis and integrated psychotherapy for a range of issues. From the diary it looks like a day of sexual therapy issues, developmental and disassociation issues, drug abuse issues and relationship based issues.

Probably plenty of disassociation and rejection themes so narrative work and examining object relations will probably dominate.

The great thing about this job is that although you can predict likely session content, there are always surprises, since in psychoanalysis the client brings their own story without the constraint of fixed session planning.

I (Stuart)  provide psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, cbt, Nlp, mindfulness and eastern Psychology in edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow, Scotland.

Masculine and feminine

Gender Traits in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Clients often wonder if dividing certain traits and behaviours, especially in communication, into male and feminine, is gender specific.

Generally male and female traits are those which historically are more associated with one gender or the other, but not exclusively so. For example Lacan makes clear that the male phallus identity is not biological but about what it means to be male. Kabbala gender is about the female intuitive trait and male logical trait in everyone.

Simply the expressions continue to be used loosely in a non gender specific way, accepting that every person has both non competing sides.

Psychoanalysis, group and individual

Psychoanalysis with couples and individuals

After the weekend break, largely spend on CPD 🙂 ,  and today (Monday) doing paperwork. I am back to clinic tomorrow, Tuesday.  As things stand the day will be spent providing couples psychoanalysis in the morning, and individual psychoanalysis in the afternoon.

Couples psychoanalysis

Couples psychoanalysis combines elements of individual psychoanalysis and social psychoanalytic theory, and looks a lot at perception and narrative. It is highly individual to the couple and draws a lot on the work of Klein.

Individual Psychoanalysis

Individual psychoanalysis is a method that looks at the person, not individual conditions.  Depression or anxiety therefore might be seen as outcomes relating to historical or developmental events.

Psychotherapist psychoanalyst Edinburgh

Stuart has been practicing psychoanalysis for many years having completed his 1993-1996 training in analysis, clinical hypnotherapy and stress counselling with ASM (now Society of Stress Managers, a CNHC accreditation route).

Since then he has completed a 2nd Bachelor’s degree, a MSc Psychology and extensive externally accredited CPD training in different psychological therapies and counselling styles.

Stuart practices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Falkirk. He is registered with the CNHC voluntary regulator as a clinical hypnotherapist, and is listed on both the CNHC and FHT AR schemes. AR’s or accredited registers, are maintained by the Professional Standards Agency for healthcare professionals not subject to statutory regulation.


Coming to the end of a day seminar on dissassociative disorder. An interesting day and good refreshment of skills. Already an area I (Stuart) work extensively with. Interesting to contrast a cognitive and biomedical model with the psychoanalysis model I use and was trained in.

Lacan and mirrors

Lacan and Psychoanalysis

Several clients have asked for more information on Lacan and his mirror theory. It’s not the easiest thing to summarise since it is a key part of his work which developed over his career. However a few points are outlined here.

Lacan is thought to have developed the idea of the mirror when analysing the case of Aimee, a young woman who stabbed an actress to death. Lacan examined the details of the case and concluded that she committed the murder in an attempt to attack herself. The actress represented the fame, success and prestige craved by Aimee herself. She thus projected her disappointment and self hatred onto the hatred and symbolically attacked her ideal self.

As Lacan developed his theory he concluded that because human babies are born helpless, effectively prematurely, they use mimicry to learn how to master themselves and their bodies.

Mimicry therefore causes the child to identify with an image outside of themselves, maybe a real image, or perhaps the image of another child.

By identifying with an image outside of self, I can do things not possible before. This is an “identification” with the other party.

This however results in a fundamental alienation, the “imaginary” is created where if the other child or image wants something, the child will desire it too, extending to other desires and feelings being shared. Lacan believed that the ego is constituted by this alienating identification, and that this is how narcissism develops in the individual.

This causes negative hallucination, with the ego appearing whole and complete, when actually it is anything but.

The ego, if allowed to maintain this illusion will create a false narrative based on the fiction.

Later Lacan developed the idea of the “ideal”, a perfect version of self based on internalised identifications, for example the demands or wishes of parents (implied, explicit or through absense). This identification with the “ideal” draws on the realm of the symbolic world, meant to give the person context and structure.

Meanwhile the narcissistic imaginary register Lacan developed earlier is now shown to depend on this symbolic origin. The image that people seek in a narcissistic desire is one to match the “ideal”.

From here develops the two terms “ego ideal”  and “ideal ego”. The second is the person you imagine yourself to be like, the first is the reason you want to be like them. If you fantasise about being a hero, the “ideal hero” is the hero, the “ego ideal” is the source of that desire.

Lacan eventually adds the category of the “real”, the self that “resists symbolism absolutely”.

“reality” therefore is a mixture of symbolic and imagination, and the real is excluded from our situation within imposed narrative, and not dominated by the internalised symbolic.

Lacan therefore comes up with the three registers – the real, the symbolic and the imaginary.

When working with clients I tend to simplify and integrate other models. I find it easier to conceptualise the ideal or desired archetype which represents the perfectionism desired, usually based on judgements from others. The imaginary can be summarised as the mirror we see in the eyes and behaviour of others as we emotionally associate with them, and the real is the core identity, the part of us which is “good enough”. This is not to reject the first two, rather to be self aware and empowered.

A useful text to dip into is “Lacan for beginners” Leader & Groves.

I  (Stuart)  use elements of a number of thinkers in psychoanalysis in my psychoanalysis and psychotherapy practices. Lacan is one such thinker,  often along with Jung and Klein.

Contacting us for psychoanalyis, hypnotherapy

Contacting us for psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, counselling, CBT, Coaching, NLP Edinburgh Falkirk Glasgow

We may take slightly longer to respond to psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, counselling, coaching, CBT, NLP, mindfulness enquiries from the 28th March to the 30th March.

Today (Friday 28th) I am off to clinic in Edinburgh in a few minutes to provide psychoanalysis and CBT support.

Tomorrow we are both in Glasgow at a seminar for CPD.

Sunday we will start getting back to email and contact form enquiries.

We appreciate your patience in the meantime! 🙂 🙂

The Narrative in psychoanalysis

Using the narrative in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy

The narrative, or the story being followed and invested in by the client is a concept often associated more with humanistic psychology and positive psychology because of it’s connection with eastern psychology. However the narrative can link very well to psychoanalysis.

Who am I, what is my archetype?

The archetype is sometimes the ideal person or concept that we strive to be. In his Red Book, Jung refers to having to slay the blond warrior and allowing oneself to become the authentic person. More generally the archetypes that correspond in our unconscious minds to ourselves and other key players in our lives are crucial to the make up of the narrative we follow.

The Lacanian mirror

To paraphrase the Lacanian idea, essentially there are three versions of us –  the real us, who we are pretty much unaware of because we are not happy with it, the ideal us or “super-me” who is perfectionism embodied (and who corresponds in many ways to an archetype) and the mirror image who we see of ourselves in the eyes and reactions of others.  Our narrative becomes focused on trying the third “me” to look like the “super-me” and this becomes a main part of the narrative.

The negative Narrative

In CBT having a negative narrative is often referred to as catatrophising. We ask “what if” repeatedly until we end up with disaster. “what if I get an unexpected bill, then what if I go overdrawn, then what if the rent check bounces, then what if my home is repossessed and I am living on the street with addiction issues”.  What often happens is we approach a problem with the expectation that something bad will happen, then we become anxious and tense in anticipation, creating anticipatory anxiety.

Having a positive anticipation looks completely different.  As a respected colleague John Parkin suggests in his mindfulness based teachings, what if you approach the problem with the idea that it will be really easy and straightforward. The first answer is –  no anticipatory fear and anxiety to make you freeze up or become stressed. The second answer is that you will approach it in an optimum state of calm preparedness –  flexible and calm, ready for anything even if things are not 100% perfect.

Object relations, the Kleinian model of relationships and our interactions teaches us about many of the problems with feelings of rejection, abandonment and conflict. The lessons we learn through these experiences often influence how we perceive and anticipate events, especially when they involve interacting with people.

Creating your own narrative

Creating your own narrative, and having the realisation that you have every right to create your own narrative is a very empowering concept. The narrative needs to focus as much as possible on the “real me” which in Lacanian theory we tend to suppress, enabling the concept of “authenticity” as much as possible. This means that we have an authentic concept of ourselves, and life around us, but have the courage to write the script of how that interaction might turn out. Using this model, and other techniques alongside it, the client can learn to make positive and proactive choices, reject old conditioning from others, and become aware that they are “good enough” –  neither “flawed”, nor destined to strive for “perfectionism”.

Psychoanalysis in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow

Stuart trained in psychoanalysis and clinical hypnotherapy from 1993-1996 with over 200 assessed cases (over 1,000 client hours) and external assessment via the NVQ system. He graduated in 1996 with a diploma in analysis and hypnotherapy and an NVQ Level 4 Training and Development. Since graduation he has completed CPD training in a range of other models of psychotherapy, counselling, coaching, NLP and mental health, along with a MSc Psychology.