Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner in Kingston Surrey
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Author Archives: Jill Tonks

We are such creatures of habit!!!

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A 91 year old man spent 2 years complaining to the Post Office about his mail going missing. He discovered he had been posting his letters into a dog poo bin!. When interviewed Alf said ‘I’ve not got the best eyesight these days’ and went onto blame the ‘bloody council’ for not identifying the box more clearly!! 

How often do you keep doing the same things even when they are not working for you? It’s a common thing because we are programmed to continue doing familiar things and be wary of anything different. This aspect of our thinking has kept us alive for many generations and is hard wired into our brain and at the same time change is always possible if not always easy.

If something isn’t working for you, pay attention, you may need to do something different because if you always do the same things, you get the same outcomes.

For the best birth possible…

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 This article about Frederick Leboyer, one of the original obstetricians who promoted natural childbirth 40 years ago, likens labour to a storm, through which a woman must sail her boat. “She has to remain the captain of her ship – it’s that straightforward,”

Giving birth is one of the most natural things a woman can do; we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Allowing your body and mind to get on and deliver the baby is a key part of natural childbirth. There are very few things in life we can’t control and childbirth is one of them. What if you could be in control of being ou of control. You working in partnership with your body and mind to deliver the baby in the best way possible for you?

Hypnotherapy for childbirth enables you to do just that, to get out of your own way, stay relaxed , calm and confident, manage your fears and take with each step on the journey to birth as it comes.

I run express birth classes as a Mindful Mamma practitioner every month in Surrey. As well as teaching the mum to manage herself, these one day classes explore how to have the most natural birth possible and the important role of the father or birth partner in this.

For more information or to book go to

The Magic of the Moment

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It’s been an unusually hectic Summer; working without childcare, juggling children and domestic life. I’ve found myself rushing far too much, feeling constantly short on time for myself and my family. My body has been slowly stiffening up reflecting the physical tension this creates for me. Last week was my half century birthday and I went with my husband to watch the opera in Verona as a special treat for us both.

Not only do I love Italians, the language and culture but to watch La Boheme in Verona, in the Roman amphitheatre was completely magical. I was totally absorbed in the performance, the music, the open air setting and it was probably the first time in the Summer break I stopped to embrace fully the moment. All my senses were occupied, the sound, the spectacular setting and the music was very moving and I was with someone very special.

It’s really made me focus on the need to pay attention to the present moment, just to enjoy being rather than constantly fast peddling fowards or backwards! That has been very good learning for me and something I know I should do more but….. life just gets in the way. My promise to myself this year is to do more of this. Enjoy being as much as doing.

In the moment, staying present, everything is OK and all those niggling worries can just melt away and I can enjoy and appreciate all the good things in my life.

For the Best Birth Possible…..

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This powerful campaign is very exciting. How to put women’s innate ability to give birth naturally at the centre of the care of pregnant women! Hypnotherapy for childbirth has a massive impact on women’s ability to have the best birth possible, let go of fear and be in control of letting the mind and body get on with women’s innate ability to give birth.

If you are interested in harnessing this potential go to

Acceptance and Appreciation

Posted by Jill Tonks in Blog - (3 Comments)

I’ve just spent a few days with my elderly parents. My father has advanced Alzheimer’s disease. It’s been a difficult journey coming to terms with his deterioration. As I was leaving him yesterday, I got a big squeeze and a thank you!! He has no language to know my name or say much at all but there was a flash of recognition of who I am to him and that was special. I returned home to my lovely husband and family and my thoughts today take me to 2 core things.

There are some things I can’t change and my dad’s heatlh is one of them so I have to accept this and enjoy and appreciate those glimmers of a connection with him. I’m also hugely grateful and appreciative of what I have in my life and that makes me feel good.

I wonder in the midst of your life what there is to accept and appreciate now. Even in the difficult times, it’s not easy but it’s always possible to find something to accept and appreciate and when you do, it’s amazing how much more there is to see!

In the moment,the quality of our thinking can make a massive difference to how we experience ourselves and the world around us. As human beings we have what the psychologists call a ‘confirmation bias’.  What that means is that in our evolution as a species, it has protected us more to think more negatively than positively. When we lived in tribes on the plains of Africa, a strange rustle in the bushes could mean a nasty predator ready to kill us! Enjoying the lovely sound or wondering what kind of furry creature it might be could mean that you could be attacked and killed! Thinking short cuts have kept us alive in the past and can be very useful nowadays but equally can be very destructive.

Most clients that I work with talk to themselves in a way they would let nobody else do; effectively criticising and bullying themselves which creates a spiral of negative thoughts and feelings which can lead to anxiety, depression, eating problems and many other issues.

In the book ‘The Resilience Factor’ by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte, the common thinking traps are explained. The main ones are:

  • overgeneralising – reaching conclusions based on little evidence – ‘I’ve not been invited out by my friend, she doesn’t like me.’
  • always and never thinking – ‘ Why does this always happen to me?’
  • catastrophising and tunnel vision – ‘ ‘If I don’t get that job, my life is over’

Some really useful tips in the moment to get things in perspective are:

That’s not completely true because….’ I know she likes me, perhaps she wants to spend some time with some of her other friends’

Another way of looking at this is…..’sometimes this does happen to me and there are lots of times when it doesn’t’

The most likely outcome is.….if I don’t get that job I’ll be gutted but there will be others…and I can…apply for those and keep trying to get the kind of job I want.

These 3 self talk starters can make a powerful difference to the quality of your internal dialogue. Try them out and practice getting into better habits than the ones you’ve got.

I spent this weekend training as a mindfulmamma practitioner with midwives, health visitors and other hypnotherapy colleagues. I was inspired! This programme brings together the best of  the approaches to natural  childbirth, mindfulness techniques and hypnotherapy. The end result is a programme that empowers women and their birth partners to take back control of one of the most instinctive, natural experiences a woman can have.

My first birth nearly 20 years ago was a bit of a disaster. I wasn’t prepared mentally or emotionally and hospital approaches were a lot more traditional then. I was left with physical complications and had post natal depression.

This programme gives women an opportunity to decide and take control of how they want labour and birth to be so the mum feels strong, the dad can be confident and guess what, the baby can be born so much calmer! All of which creates a very calm start to feeding  and the powerful journey in those early months of becoming a new parent which can make a huge difference to this powerful life changing event.

I’m really looking forward to enabling women and their partners to access what I didn’t have through imparting knowledge and skills in this programme. For further information get in touch with me or visit the website   for further information or to book a place on the next course.



Emotion is Contagious

Posted by Jill Tonks in Blog - (3 Comments)

This fascinating clip from You Tube shows the power of mirror neurons between a child and it’s mother and the impact her lack of communication has. It’s very powerful, quite upsetting in fact when she withdraws her attention.

The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions.

We are social creatures, and our survival depends on understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others. Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others not through reasoning but through direct simulation -feeling, not thinking.

You can begin to see the power of this process and it’s implications for us a human beings, what and who we have in our environment; as parents what our children pick up intuitively, and for any relationships you have or create.

I work with a lot of clients who experience depression and anxiety and are swimming in negativity. When they begin to understand, see and experience the opposite, the results can be life changing!

The good news is that the way you are can have a great effect on those around you, emotions are contagious so let’s spread the good ones!!

This article by Dr  Markham explains the importance of children having unstructured time and spening this with children. So often we can cram the summer holidays full of stuff to do. Often the best time is when we just get alongside ourselves, our kids and notice what’s happening. So often when I work with clients when they get back in touch with the child in themslves, things become so much simpler.This is how we can get to know ourselves and our kids better.

Enjoy the precious time you have in the holidays.

Life is . . . I am . . . People are . . .

Have a think for a moment about your response to these questions. You can answer honestly because no one is listening! So when you have, take a moment to consider your responses. Do they seem right to you? Can you justify them to yourself?

Everyone’s response to these statements will be different, and an individual’s responses might be different at different times. If you are feeling good today your responses may be more positive than if you had just had a stressful day.

The truth is that we each live in our own separate reality; this is a physiological fact. Our brains filter information through the five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste, and then make representations of that information inside our minds. We then experience these representations, first as thoughts and then as emotions. But as we make sense of all this information in our mind, certain bits of the data are inevitably deleted, distorted and generalized. And since we all delete, distort and generalize that information slightly differently, we all have slightly (or sometimes completely) different perceptions of what is going on around us.

In other words, the way in which we think determines what we see, hear and feel, regardless of what is actually going on around us in the world. Or, to put it slightly differently, there’s what happens . . . and there’s what we think about what happens, and the meaning we give to it.

The quality of our thinking impacts how we feel, which in turn affects our behaviour. Difficulties occur when this perception is too rigid or distorted or too negative. In my practice as a cognitive hypnotherapist, most of my focus is on shifting clients’ perceptions to enable more choice in their lives. Distorted thinking patterns can often be linked to past negative experiences which can be reframed. If you find yourself saying to yourself ‘I can’t…’ or ‘I should….’ or labelling yourself ‘I’m useless’, you might be limiting your own potential to achieve things in your life.

What’s the quality of your thinking like? Is that how you want to think?

Catch yourself out and change the quality of your thinking.