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12 beauty
the treatment
A hypnotherapy session with Robin W
Thorburn of Exclusive Hypnotherapy,
Chilvern Cottage, 10 Biggar Road,
Edinburgh (0131-445 2485,,
£80 for a 90 minute (approx) session.
why go?

If you’re suffering from stress, a phobia,
or want to try to kick an addiction
(smoking, food, bad partner, booze…),
this could be worth a shot. Thorburn
can also treat lack of confidence. In
fact, most of his customers are looking
for help with public speaking.
our spy says
I’ve always wanted to give
hypnotherapy a whirl. Still, I was jittery
as I climbed the stairs to the slightly
witchy-looking cottage where the very
well qualified (he has almost the entire
alphabet after his name) Thorburn has
held his practice for the last 21 years.
It’s a weird social situation to be a
While you perch on a leather chair,
Thorburn sits behind a desk, which
makes the experience feel more official
and less awkward.
He’s also pretty good at making
one feel at ease, and we chat for a
bit before he asks me what I want to
achieve and gives me some cognitive
therapy, which aims to recognise
the chain of events that can lead to
upsetting emotions.
However, this is all a preamble to
the hypnotherapy bit. As I wanted to
lower general stress levels, Thorburn
described some scenarios that he would
talk me through while I was “under”,
one of which involved walking down a
grassy hill and through a meadow.
“Are you happy with those?” he
“Yes”, I say, before reclining the
chair and closing my eyes. At first,
it’s hard not to be self-conscious,
as Thorburn describes what you’re
“doing” (walking along a beach, for
example, before attaching negative
words to a balloon and letting it float
He talks in a slightly American accent
at a level pace that’s reminiscent of a
minister reciting a sermon.
While he speaks, my consciousness
fluctuates. At some points I pull myself
back from the edge of sleep and, at
other moments, I feel slightly bored. I
never totally lose awareness of where I
am and always feel in control. After 30
minutes or so, Thorburn talks me back
round from 10 to one, before I open
my eyes.
The results
Two weeks later, and I do feel a tad
more relaxed and able to distance
myself from negative thoughts, and
that’s after only one session. Thorburn
chanting, “You’re calm and confident”,
like a monotone cheerleader, pops into
my head occasionally. Not a bad thing,
Spa spy Mind over matter what’s new?
green day


Gaby Soutar