“You’re in the Evening Standard on page 3!”
After over ten years of working bloody hard to develop Cognitive Hypnotherapy into an approach that not only works, but which the public come to recognise, that has got to be a great message to get, so you can imagine how much I was looking forward to reading it.
The headline read: “You are feeling very slim: Hypnotist who wants to help Met lose weight”. Exsqueeze me? The interview with the journalist had been about the use of Cognitive Hypnotherapy as an alternative to gastric bands. This can’t be right…
I describe myself as “Derren Brown without the Jazz hands.” Errm, no I don’t. I vaguely remember the reporter suggesting the similarity and me, a bit embarrassed at the comparison, saying something dismissive like “well, without the jazziness”, meaning the needs of showbiz to spangle things up. I think I may have said that. But ‘Jazz hands’? What does that mean? Seriously, write and let me know. It’s the kind of thing an arse would say. Brilliant, so now people who don’t know me, up to and probably including Derren Brown, think I’m an arse. And I had hopes of us having a coffee together one day.
I’m described as a ‘cognitive hypnotherapist’. When I complained to the managing editor about the inaccuracies of the piece he replied that the article contained no criticism, either explicit or implicit. Predictably disingenuous. If I refer to the ‘reporter’ Tom Harper, you all understand I’m implying something by the inverted commas, don’t you?
He used Tom Harper’s notes to reject my complaint . Presumably the same notes that recorded the following comment, allegedly from me: “Supt Kholi wants to do the hypnotherapy programme. He was blown away by the idea as the Met are on a big health drive at the moment.” Both Supt Kohli and I are in complete agreement that we’ve never met or communicated. I didn’t even know his name, I just knew vaguely that he had spoken to my ThinkingSlimmer partner about the possibility of running a pilot study. I have no idea if the Met has an obesity problem. I did say, on the basis of personal experience, that it’s difficult to eat well and exercise on shift work.
So, it’s clear that the ‘reporter’ has been economical with the truth, but why? There were two positive bits of news here. The first is that the Met were investigating a promising method of improving the health of their officers at very little cost, and the second that Cognitive Hypnotherapy could provide an alternative, cheaper and non-invasive method of helping obese people compared to gastric band surgery. Why work so hard to make the story, “Met waste public money on wacky therapist? I rarely read newspapers – they never leave me feeling better – so I don’t know if my friends claim that the Evening Standard has an anti-police agenda is true. Whatever the reason, it’s a shame, and I was left deflated and feeling that I’d let my network of hardworking therapists down.
But on Saturday night I went for a meal with an ex-client. She reminded me, as she tucked into her goats cheese salad and garlic bread, that it was ten years ago that she first saw me. Her name is Chloe. Back then she was 17 and weighed 5 stone 2lb. She had anorexia and was going to be sectioned if her weight fell below 5 stone. She was told she would never have children as a result of the damage she had done to her body. Today, over 8 years since I saw her professionally, she is a mother of three lovely girls. She trained with me to be a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and now specialises in helping people with eating disorders. I didn’t watch her eat, the meal was just a natural medium to catch up in, but her plate was empty by the end. She used to cut her peas into four. Imagine how that meal made me feel. I mean it, imagine it. I love what I do. I believe it what it can achieve. So does she. So do the thousands of people who’ve been helped by this method over the last ten years by me or the people I’ve trained. So am I going to let inaccurate, lazy or dishonest ‘reporters’ stop me from banging our drum? Of course not. Onward and upward. And I haven’t given up hope on that cup of coffee.
I don’t believe for a minute that a ‘reporter’ like Tom Harper can get the same feeling from writing his stories that I do from being a ‘cognitive hypnotherapist’. And if he does, he needs to see one.