The Gentle Mind

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and hypnosis, especially for Lincolnshire

Some things are equally divided across the UK population. Stress, anxiety, overeating, phobias, most types of drug taking, loss of confidence, low self-esteem and trying to stop smoking.

But in my experience, there are some conditions that Lincolnshire folk over-index on. And as a Yellowbelly I’d like to help with:

Exam stress

There are 16 grammar schools in Lincolnshire. And for most, it’s the start of getting an education to get out of the county. Lincolnshire is the 21st County in England (of 24 total) when ordered by population density. And we’ve always been a net exporter of people.

In turn, this can place pressure on children to do well at school so they are mobile (read they can leave).

And it starts at a young age.

The pressure can be, inadvertently, from parents, children to each other, or a child simply imposing it on themselves as they have their own high standards.

I work to help children take away the pressure and simply enjoy the process. Relax. Do their best and give the exam less meaning.

Horse riding

Being a rural county horse ownership is high. And when horse and rider are one it’s. A thing of great beauty. Greater than the sum of the parts.

But when the rider loses confidence the relationship can break down.


  • Your horse is spooked on the road by car drivers coming too close too fast.
  • Your horse is spooked on the road by car drivers coming just because - horses aren’t machines and they can be perfectly calm until they’re not.
  • The horse you bought has a habit that doesn’t immediately show.
  • The horse loses confidence in you.
  • You lose confidence in your horse.

All of the above are cases of where there’s been a change of thinking, I can help you get back to where you’re calmer, more confident and take back control.


This takes several forms:

  • Driving tests
  • Motorways
  • Humber Bridge

Being a large rural county with limited to no public transport passing your driving test can take on disproportionate significance. You add pressure on yourself to pass to give you more freedom, independence and get to work. I can teach you to relax and enjoy the process of driving and even taking your test.

There aren’t that many miles of motorways in the county, but then again that can be part of the problem. People aren’t used to driving on them. This can lead to panic and catastrophising. Especially amongst the older people of Lincolnshire as they lose confidence in themselves and their driving ability.

Finally, the Humber Bridge. To me a massive piece of impressive engineering in the county that rivals Lincoln Cathedral. But then again I’ve driven across the bridge, cycled over it, ran across it and swam from Barton to Hessle under it. Not so for others. The size, the drop, the crosswinds, and the curve that stops you from being able to see the far side all cause distress.

All self-impositions. I can help you see it for what it is: just a piece of tarmac of some water. Yep, let’s keep it this simple.


This is linked to the low population density and age. It’s tough enough losing a partner, but in rural areas with limited transport links it can feel like you’re locked in. Never seeing anyone. Especially if you’re old and have mobility issues.

With hypnosis we can work together to lower its intensity, or how strongly it’s felt. This can change from moment to moment and over different durations of time.

Farming and rural pressures

I touched on this in ‘loneliness’. People in Lincolnshire can be few and far between. And for those in the farming community, there are added pressures.

Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) figures show that male suicide rates in the county are above the national average.

Most male deaths were among men in their prime aged 35-44, and there was an increase in the number of young people under 18 years.

As you can see this is a problem where men over-index.

Typically in rural Lincolnshire men are least likely to take days off sick or holidays, and are most likely to report poor physical health. There’s also a high incidence of smoking, drinking regularly and eating no fruit or vegetables.

And for farm workers, the suicide rate is twice the average for all occupations (ONS, 2016).

It’s no rural idyll.

Plus there’s the curse of “tradition”. The pressure of maintaining the legacy of the family farm or business and living in a close-knit community where there’s a feeling of a stigma of failing to keep generations of tradition going.

This keeps going as before and expecting a different outcome. That’s called madness.

And the easy answer? Just come and talk. Then you can think and walk away from the problem. Stewing just makes it worse.


It’s everywhere. From the top to the bottom of the county. It’s available in pubs and delivered through Facebook. And taken by all ages. Before a night out and during a night out to keep going when you’ve had too much to drink.

And to shift cocaine takes everything. Changing the way you think, feel and act - and hypnosis.

Also looking at the observable facts. How much you’re really spending (sticking up your nose) and facing up to the long-term consequences.

In the short term, there’s stomach pain, a reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting and constipation. Then the increased heart rate and blood pressure, along with the restricted blood flow through the arteries, can also see the risk of a heart attack rise.

The direct use of cocaine can also cause behavioural change. Cocaine increases the amount of dopamine in the brain’s reward centre. It can lead to a person becoming more erratic and violent, and feeling more confident and invincible, which can increase the likelihood of them becoming involved in reckless behaviours where they have the potential to be injured.

In the long-term, the effects of cocaine can cause a person to build up a tolerance to the drug, where more of it is needed in order for them to feel the same effects. When upping the dose or frequency of use, this can increase the effects that cocaine then has on their mental and physical health.

Snorting cocaine also damages the mucous membranes within the nose, creating a dry environment with less blood flow. This can seriously damage the soft tissue and cartilage, and heavy use can cause a person to perforate their septum, leading to the collapse of the nasal structure. This can also happen to the upper plate of the mouth (see a before and after of Patsy Palmer the former ‘Eastenders’ actress).

The heart also takes a pounding. Chronic cocaine use increases the risk of blood clots, which in turn can lead to heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, strokes and deep vein thrombosis. It can also cause inflammation and death of the heart muscle, deterioration of the heart’s ability to contract as well as aortic ruptures, angina and permanently increased blood pressure.

There’s nothing cool or designer about it.

Age-related problems

Lincolnshire also has an aging population. And this brings its own stresses and anxieties.

Loss of a partner. Rarely do elderly couples die together. One goes before the other and this can lead to loneliness and a sense of loss - heartbreak really.

It can become hard to get out and about if you don’t drive, or live where there’s a poor bus service (that’s most of the county). Or if you know few people, say, you’ve cashed up in another part of the country and retired to Lincolnshire.

It’s tough, but it’s about understanding that loss doesn’t mean the loss of the future of the one who’s left behind

Living with someone with dementia. You may be living with someone who is now nothing like the person you knew for decades. Dementia takes them away from you whilst they’re still here. The brutal truth is that if you can’t control it, you have to learn to give it less meaning. Accept and get on with living.

Living with cancer. 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. In fact, one-quarter of new cancer cases are diagnosed in people between the ages of 65 and 74. And the most common cancers occur more often in older patients. The typical age for breast cancer is 61, for colorectal cancer it’s 68 and for lung cancer, it’s 70.

And Lincolnshire, with its ageing population, has more than its fair share of cancer sufferers - and survivors. It’s also a subject close to my heart - my mum had breast cancer, dad oesophageal and a brain tumour that killed him.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and hypnosis can help at all stages. The shock of the diagnosis. Feeling weak with the radio or chemotherapy, developing a needle phobia and once you’ve survived coming back and making the most of the life ahead of you.

Who am I?

I’m James Thomas. A Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. Born in Lincoln with consulting rooms in Louth and Lincoln.

I’ve used hypnosis thousands of times to deal with clients’ stresses, anxieties, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, PTSD, overeating, low self-esteem, eczema, anger, to name but a few.

Get in touch with me at or call 07787563099.

Let’s make a calmer version of you.

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