Hi, Robert Shields here writing to you from the U.K.
I recall some years ago when I sat facing a client who could
only be described as a Hypochondriac (suffering with imagined
She shocked me by telling me that she visited her doctor
every day and that he was no good as every time he gave her
medication, it only 'cured' that illness and another illness
To say the least, I felt sorry for her doctor as I could see
that her problem was not being ill but attention seeking. How
did I diagnose that? Simply by asking her questions and giving
her a sympathetic ear.
"How long have you been married?" - "Fifteen years and two
"Is your husband working?" - "Yes, BUT, he works away from
home." (Client looking very sad.)
"How long does he stay away from home?" - "Oh, he is away
from Monday to Friday and only comes home at weekends, and
sometimes he also has to work at weekends." (Client looking a
"Does he like his job?" - "He likes his job but says he
doesn't like working away from his home. He cannot change it as
there are no other jobs he can get."
"Is he worried that you are always ill?" - "He is like an
angel when he is home and looks after me. He worries about me
but cannot get another job or become unemployed as we cannot
live without his earnings."
I noticed at this point in our conversation that she pulled
her legs up a little and began to 'pout' like a small girl.
"It must be very hard for you managing on your own most of
the week and not having him there to look after you?" - "I know
he has to work so I accept it as part of my life."
I continued my questioning, which is a necessary part of
every Hypnotherapist's consultation, and then asked her if she
knew and understood that I was not only a Hypnotherapist but
also practiced homeopathy. She knew I did hypnotherapy but did
not know what homeopathy was, so I explained as best I could to
I also explained that my treatment for her would also
include Homeopathic remedies and asked if that was OK. She was
more than happy with that and was excited at the new approach
to her many illnesses.
I won't go into the rest of the session as it involved
routine questions such as her medical history and medication
etc. which adds no real value to this article.
On conclusion, I gave her two sugar pills (placebos) and
gave them a name (which I don't recall at this time) and
explained that they would help to reduce her present symptoms
or clear them completely.
The Second Session
The client returned with a big smile on her face and much
earlier than her appointment time.
She reported a total success in removing the symptoms of the
illness she had, but, she now had another illness, the first
one was stomach pains, now it was tightness in her chest.
On this occasion I used hypnosis to relax her
and give her suggestions to help her with the 'attention seeking' aspect of her
problem. Suggestions such as she had no need to look for admiration from other
people as she was a wonderful person who need not answer to anyone else for her
looks or personality. (That, of course, is only a very short version of the total
suggestions I used as they changed with each session).
I again gave her placebos and off she went looking very
Then the following day, which was a Saturday, actually
confirmed my diagnosis and added some further knowledge to my
arsenal in dealing with her problem.
At that time, I also saw clients on Saturdays. My office was
in the town centre. I had a gap in my schedule so I went out to
do some shopping. And as I was walking to the shops I noticed a
couple in front of me that looked as if they were newly
The man was tall and the lady small and she had her arm
linked into his and her head on his shoulder. Gazing up at his
head. It was as though she was his daughter and admiring him as
a daddy. This was as they were walking and with many people
I then realised it was my client. It then struck me that in
her husband's presence, she was reverting back to childhood and
behaving as she did as a little girl.
The Third Session
Again, my client returned looking very happy and reporting
total success, but again, she had developed another
I asked her about her father, and learned he was deceased
and she missed him very much, after many years.
On this occasion, I decided that I would use hypnosis and
role-play as a father and child. I explained to her, whilst she
was in hypnosis, that she was to think of me as her daddy (even
though many clients do that automatically as they unconsciously
consider the Hypnotherapist to be a father figure). I then
assured her, as her daddy, that I loved her and cherished her
beyond anyone else etc, etc. and that when she grew up, she
would always know I loved her, etc. etc. (This is not a lesson
on Hypnotherapy, so I will not go into full details here).
I then gave her another placebo and off she went looking as
happy as any human being can.
I continued with this line of treatment until she returned
one day and said that she was totally 'cured' (I have been using the word 'cured
for simplicity. For, as a therapist I believe that human beings are helped to handle
their lives much better and live better lives, not cured like a piece of meat).
A Surprising and Disappointing Conclusion
A few days after her final session, a reporter from the
local newspaper phoned me, as she often did, to ask if I had
any newsworthy items for her column. At that time I was
appearing on television shows and many radio stations and was
well known to much of the media. I explained that I had a
client who was an 'incurable' hypochondriac and who was now off
all medication and living a normal like. I would contact my
client and ask if she would like to speak to the reporter but
under no circumstances could I give a direct contact without
I phoned the client and she was very excited to know she
would be featured, both in writing and a photographs, in the
local newspaper (her fifteen minutes of fame). All she asked
was to give her until the next day to speak to her husband first and then she
would phone back to make an appointment for the journalist to contact her.
The next day she phoned me and asked in a voice that showed
total disappointment, if I would just forget the whole thing.
She explained that she had excitedly informed her husband that
she was going to have her photograph in the newspapers and he
said, "What? You can't do that. If you do, the local Social
Security Office will find out and stop your Social Security Disability
Allowances. And you can get into trouble for not telling them
you are now well. Not to mention you will have to pay back the money
you received since you got better."
I never saw her again and heard that she
was back to seeing her doctor daily.
Need I say more?
NOTE: The whole of this article can be reproduced
providing the following Bio is included:
"Robert Shields, is the Principal of The Robert Shields
College and runs a low cost Hypnotherapy Diploma Training
Course that includes a money-back guarantee. Details can be
found at: http://www.hypnotherapy-training.com
He is also the originator of Fear Elimination Therapy that
removes phobias and fears in minutes (Not N.L.P.). Details at:
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