Almost 20 years ago, Chris Carpenter was smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day but then, after numerous failed attempts to quit, simply and easily stopped.
His secret? Hypnotherapy.
“I was a proper smoker, 20 plus a day but it was really easy to give up once I had undergone hypnotherapy, which I tried as a desperate last resort,” says Chris, who is a DS in the Public Protection Unit at Chesterfield working on domestic abuse.
The experience had such a marked effect on him that he decided to study hypnotherapy himself, qualified around four years ago and since 2017 has been working as a hypnotherapist on a part-time basis.
He has a diploma in hypnotherapy and is a member of the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioners’ Association.
“I specialise in helping people with stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Chris, who joined the Force in 2001.
“You see people come to work on a shift who are suffering from these conditions. Hypnotherapy may have had some bad press, particularly through the stage performances of some hypnotists, but it can actually have a significant impact on the lives of people struggling with stress, anxiety and numerous other issues.
“In very simple terms, the mind is made up of two parts – the conscious and the sub-conscious. Our sub-conscious develops learnt behaviour which pretty much runs on auto-pilot. Children are not born frightened of spiders, for example, but they can learn, through picking up other people’s behaviour, to be scared of them, this fear is then stored in their sub-conscious without the conscious mind even being aware.
“But a hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious and alter those patterns of behaviour, helping you overcome that learnt behaviour.”
Chris has helped people give up smoking, tackle their phobias and build their confidence.
“People have got to want to make a change and what I do is help them to do so. Hypnotherapy is not a miracle cure but it is amazing what people can get from it,” he says.