Though she recalls being first introduced to hypnotherapy through Kaa, the entrancing snake from The Jungle book, Jessica Boston soon saw the effects that it had on helping her mother stop smoking and ultimately, the results she experienced herself when she saw her first hypnotherapist at the age of 15. “Within the week, a problem that no one had been able to help with which had marked my childhood, was gone,” she exclaims. Boston is now a leading Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Transformational Life Coach who has worked with celebrities, athletes, and clients all over the world.
“Mental health issues have been a big part of my life, for that reason I didn’t realise it could be my future, but when I look back it made sense that one day it would be,” she shares. Boston guides her clients to a place of awareness so that they are able to unlock the root causes of their specific issues. Meditation plays a big role in Boston’s sessions and she recently released her debut meditation album with electronic music group Desert with record label Passat Continu. The Sybarite talks to Boston to learn more about the benefits of hypnotherapy and hear her tips for dealing with rising anxiety levels whilst in isolation.
Could you share some specific success stories your clients have experienced after treatment with you?
Over the years, I have been a part of so many stories that make me smile, it’s hard to know which to share. Two clients I hold very dear came to me after attempting to commit suicide. To see them now; smiling, healthy, happy, dreaming, alive, I sometimes have little flashes of where they were when we started and where they are now, it takes my breath away. I also often think of a client I saw about five years ago who was struggling after two physically and mentally traumatic miscarriages. We had to work through it to get her stress level down to be able to help her conceive. The day she told me she was pregnant was one of my proudest moments. I felt intimately involved.
Every part of my job brings me joy—from someone giving up something as seemingly simple as nail biting, to working through the sort of insomnia that deteriorates health. I’ve helped people leave abusive relationships and have watched them demand more from their future partners. I’ve seen people fly that hadn’t done so for over 30 years and are now able to holiday with their family. I’ve seen people give up smoking, drugs and drinking habits, and in doing so, repairing relationships and avoiding future health complications. I’ve watched people fall in love with themselves, shift anxiety to enjoy their wedding day, repair friendships, be able to give speeches about their story that impacted lives, helped them enjoy sex and stopped the kind of OCD that has them waking up at two in the morning to sponge down a cactus. There are no limits to what’s possible!
What is some of the homework you send your clients away to do after their sessions and why is this so important?
Clients that get the greatest results understand that I don’t just click my fingers [and their problems are solved]. I simplify the process and make it as easy as possible, but if it’s just me alone, we won’t be getting anywhere. Most therapy happens outside the therapy room, so the tasks I set are to retrain your thinking, keep you engaged and focused on change. CBT sessions set tasks but they are often engaged in consciously—we are making unconscious processes conscious, so the unconscious needs to be involved. That’s where the hypnotherapy and the personalised meditations I give to every client come in, they work alongside the tasks I set to keep up the momentum until the new behaviour is cemented and part of who you are. They help your unconscious find safety and trust in a new way of being in the world because keeping note of evidence of change cements it.
What are some of the key benefits of meditation and how can someone get started?
Meditation has become a bit of a buzzword as concepts tend to do when they become fashionable; it can be hard to know what it means anymore. There are so many benefits to meditation; most practice it for heightened awareness and a reduction of stress. First, get clarity—start by setting an intention for what you want to get out of your practice. Then, do a little bit of research to see what is out there. I would go to a professional to help you organise your ideas and get a meditation made specific to your needs. I provide this service and can help you realign your focus, tuning in to what helps you move forward, and tuning out what sets you back from moving towards a new reality.
Could you explain what wordweaving is?
Cognitive Hypnotherapists use a language of trance called wordweaving. It communicates with your subconscious mind and undoes the trance you are in when you are hijacked by the emotion your deep-rooted fear-based beliefs control. It uses your own words to restructure your perspective, rebuilding its inner architecture by confusing and challenging the algorithms of the mind. It embeds the lessons uncovered in the session to guide you towards small actionable steps, creating a new reality so you command your life with effortless confidence.
Tell me more about your new album.
It has always been a dream to explore the relationship between hypnosis and music. As a child, I had a tape for helping me learn the timetables and because of how much I loved the songs, the information stuck. I can still hear it in my head today. You can listen to a song you haven’t heard for years and your unconscious will know where the bass kicks in. I wanted to make a really beautiful, high quality meditative experience, tapping into that power.
I approached my friends Desert about a collaboration to take the listener on a journey to question ‘established truths’ about their lives and the stories we tell ourselves. This Feeling is You has 7 tracks each with a specific intention like addressing “negative” thoughts or creating a foundation for confidence, all the while building on peace, love, trust and purpose. Listeners can take the album as a whole, customise the playing order, or use individual sections to help with particular thoughts and feelings. What we’ve created is beautiful but also an incredible therapeutic tool and application of what I know to create change. It is equal parts art, science, and magic which is exactly the point at which I believe hypnosis lives.
What are some of the common habits people make that they don’t realise is contributing to increased stress levels?
At the moment, many are having to sit with parts of themselves that they usually distract themselves from facing. Business and high functioning anxiety work as strategies to stop you from looking at what’s going on inside. Now more than ever, control habits like obsessive behaviours such as spending too much time on your phone might be resurfacing, trying to predict outcomes by looking for signs, or even picking fights with loved ones. Being out of balance with your diet that you overeat or under-eat, drinking too much or smoking, holding tension in your body, skin flare-ups, hair pulling, a tight jaw from clenching and teeth grinding and nail biting are all physical symptoms of unresolved stress.
What can clients expect from a session with you?
Hypnosis sessions with me are a conversation with both the conscious and unconscious processes; successful therapy needs to engage both. Your mind will be focused, the nervous system relaxed, and you become exceptionally suggestible. The focus of the session will vary, but my goal is to leave you with freedom, clarity, and peace. You will be safe in the knowledge that you know how to deal with challenging thoughts and feelings, being able to manage responses to your own emotional and physical pain, and improve any area of your life by applying what we establish as successful at creating results.
What are some of the new anxiety issues you’re seeing due to the current lockdown?
I’ll give you some examples of what sessions have been focused on in the past week. Career fears: Who am I without my job and income? What now? Uncertainty is creating fluctuations of emotion, ranging through the day from calm to sheer panic. Fears around loss, loss of a sense of identity, of relationships from differences in beliefs around COVID-19—handling of it and how it manifests in coping skills, or loss of an illusion of a seemingly healthy relationship because changes in the day-to-day dynamics mean it is now under strain.
Another is fear of losing a loved one or the pain of having lost one. Health anxiety and anger around incompetence over a lack of testing, watching the NHS struggle and the mishandling of information from our government, frustration over people who don’t seem to be taking it seriously, heartbreak over dreams and goals being put on hold and the guilt that comes from that seeming self-serving or selfish. And finally, a loss of a sense of freedom and normality; a mass loss of a sense of an illusion of control. There is a lot of collective grieving going on.
Do you have any tips for how those of us self-isolating can transform our homes into de-stressing environments?
Your unconscious mind does not love change. An afraid mind prefers its certain misery to uncertain happiness, because at least it can believe life is stable. When change is happening, without safety, patience, and time for the unconscious to find its footing and update at its own pace, it panics. It believes you are unsafe so it becomes hyper-vigilant to keep you OK. What you can do is understand its nature and help it. Create safety in your home, like a bird making a nest. Walk around your home, calmly and peacefully. Check in with your intuition and ask if you can do anything to make the space feel more light and joyful, more useful, and most importantly, more safe. If you want to make a space more useful and implement better habits, visibly set up everything you need to build a habit. For example, an exercise station ready to go or vitamins you want to take daily on the counter.
When out and about in London, where do you head to relax?
I love Glow Bar for a Moon Milk and an infrared sauna. I also love going to Yue float for a float in one of their amazing flotation tanks or to listen to my album on the Ajna Lamp. But more than anything, I love green spaces, flowers, and birds, so a park or garden. A bit of sun on my face, some fruit, a dog and some good conversation is heaven.
Website – www.jessicaboston.com
Booking – https://jessicaboston.as.me/schedule.php
Buy album – https://passatcontinu.bandcamp.com/
Find out more about album – www.thisfeelingisyou.com