All posts by cognitive

Taggart’s weight loss journey

When I was 17 years old I weighed 19 stone, and getting on the bathroom scales to see that the scales were just about to ‘go round the clock’ (after 19 it went to 0, 1, 2 etc) was the last straw.

I had been overweight for nearly a decade and over the years had felt acutely embarrassed about my size, upset and depressed about my weight, angry, despairing, but no matter what strong emotions I had felt, they were never strong enough to stop me from over-eating.

I felt so bad about being fat, and eating made me feel better, which made me heavier, which made me feel bad, and eating made me feel better: an endless cycle. Continue reading Taggart’s weight loss journey

Blue Tree Syndrome

Don’t think of a blue tree!





What happened?

You thought of a blue tree, didn’t you?

The way that our minds work is that we seem to have to focus on the thing that we don’t want, and the more that we don’t want something, the more we focus on it. And this can have some rather unfortunate consequences, because what we focus on tends to grow in our experience.

So if we are dieting and tend to crave chocolate, saying to ourselves “don’t think of chocolate”, “I don’t want chocolate”, just brings chocolate into our mind more and more, thus increasing the craving. Continue reading Blue Tree Syndrome

“Being Erica”

Some of you may have seen the drama series “Being Erica”, where the main character is a well-educated, single Jewish girl in her early 30s. Erica is an underachiever and the series begins with her being fired from a mindless customer service job because she is overqualified. Erica is convinced that poor choices she made in her past have made her life a failure. She she seeks the help of a “Dr. Tom” to undo many of her mistakes, making a list of her many regrets. The therapist, amazingly, has the ability to send her back in time to actually relive these events and even change them. As the series progresses, by changing her past experiences and what she believes about herself and other people, she gains confidence in herself and her choices, dates and finds love, and gets promoted to junior editor at a publishing house.

As far as I’m concerned, Being Erica is all about Cognitive Hypnotherapy. Continue reading “Being Erica”

Sowing Seeds


We’re all familiar with how seeds work: you sow a seed and it starts to grow. You can’t see any evidence of growth to begin with because all the growing takes place beneath the surface, but after a while the plant starts to reveal itself, reaching up to the sky, growing ever stronger as its roots send tendrils ever-deeper into the ground, bedding itself down, clinging on, driving down its foundations and making it more and more difficult to shift.

It’s a bit like that with ideas and beliefs, too, with a seed of an idea in our childhood establishing itself in our subconscious mind, growing, making more connections, eventually showing itself in the way that we behave and think about ourselves, what we believe about ourselves, other people, and the world. Continue reading Sowing Seeds