Best Actress Oscar Winner reveals the power of hypnotherapy

“It’s genuinely quite stressful…” Olivia Colman uttered as she began her acceptance speech for her Best Actress Oscar last week.  It’s fair to say that many of us up on that stage, having to find the words at that time, would also feel exactly the same.  But those words ring especially true when you learn something else about this Oscar winning actress…

Back in 2017, Olivia’s screen career was positively stratospheric with a string of successful film and TV productions under her belt including The Night Manager, Broadchurch and Peep Show.  Olivia was starring in a stage production of Mosquitos at the National Theatre, London.  As the opening night of the show approached, something started to develop within Olivia – a fear of performing on stage. 

Four years had elapsed since she had last performed on stage in West End. “I think enough time had elapsed between plays and I had developed a massive fear… ‘what if I can’t remember how to do it?’,” she confessed. “The wonderful thing about screen is that if you get it wrong you can do it again. But you can’t do that on stage because if you get it wrong people have noticed, or hopefully they haven’t. I developed a fear…”

What is interesting, is how the actress then sought to conquer her fear.  She revealed “I had to have cognitive hypnotherapy before my first night because I was so terrified.”  And prior to the first night’s performance, she underwent a course of cognitive hypnotherapy – a modern approach to traditional hypnotherapy combining cognitive behavioural therapy, NLP, positive psychology, hypnosis and modern neuroscience.

As Olivia found out, this form of therapy can be an extremely effective way of making positive and long-lasting change.  During the treatment, through dialogue, the client and therapist identify any troubling issues, together with underlying habits connected to them.  The client is then placed into a pleasant and natural light trance state (like daydreaming) where they listen to the therapist providing beneficial corrections directly to their unconscious mind. 

Common misconceptions of hypnotherapy are nearly always as a result of having seen hypnosis stage shows, popular back in the 1990s. During these performances, members of the audience were seen to do bizarre activities – seemingly against their will (that’s worthy of an entirely separate blog though!).  Cognitive hypnotherapy bears no relation to this concept, people undergoing the therapy are: always in control, know where they are and what they are doing.

Cognitive hypnotherapy acknowledges just how individual we each are in terms of how we tackle life – this is perfectly illustrated by how, following her successful therapy, Olivia Colman and her Mosquitos co-star Olivia Williams prepared for each night’s show:

“Willy [Olivia Williams] is having a chat and a coffee,” while by contrast “I step into a ‘circle of excellence’. I squeeze my knuckles and I breathe out ‘love’ to the audience and I tell myself that the audience are just imps from the Forest of Goodwill and nobody there doesn’t like you. It’s all fine!”

Well, I’m sure we will all agree that the end result is truly astonishing – clearly, cognitive hypnotherapy has helped this Oscar winning actress achieve great success in her life.  Well done Olivia and huge congratulations on your recent Best Actress BAFTA and Oscar awards!

The Arch Clinic are now offering cognitive hypnotherapy in Windsor, please see our therapies page to find out more.