Problem Behaviours

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Make behavioural change quickly and effectively

I have a plan to help you with your problem behaviour…

Discover what triggers behaviour
Install new behaviours
Make new behaviour automatic

If you have a problem behaviour that’s driving you or the people around you nuts, then you should know that it is changeable. Even if you’ve spent decades doing the same thing over and over again, I can help you to not only change the way you respond, but also make the new behaviour automatic so you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

In life, we have many problem behaviours that we pick up along the way. Things like smoking, drinking and substance abuse, we tend to think of these issues as addictive behaviours. However, there are also habitual problems like nail biting, gambling, negative self-talk, insomnia, being critical. For some of us, these problems can get out of hand and can create a significant negative impact on our lives and those around us.

Some of the more common problem behaviours


Although smoking is a problem behaviour, a completely different approach is needed. This is because there are a lot more influences and triggers to the smoking behaviour. Therefore, my approach is different. With smoking, I will do all the work in one long session, typically taking 90 to 120 minutes. The reason for this is that with smoking you either do or don’t smoke, and the sole aim is to move your focus away from smoking for good, so doing further sessions where we talk about your smoking behaviour is not appropriate.


Most people can enjoy the odd flutter here or there, in the hope of winning money or prizes. However, when it becomes a compulsive behaviour and they find they cannot stop, the impact on their lives can become enormous. They may lose all their possessions, fall into debt, or drive away family and friends because of their need to obtain more and more money to feed their behaviour. At this point, it is fair to say that the person has become addicted to gambling. A hypnotic intervention can be used at any point along the journey to addiction, obviously the sooner the better.


Behaviours surrounding insomnia are almost always supported by underlying low-level anxieties. These worries have to be cleared in the first place before new sleeping patterns can be established. Most people with insomnia don’t even realise that the anxieties and worries they have are having an effect on their sleeping patterns. However, once they are removed it is fairly straightforward to establish new, more appropriate sleeping behaviours.


When people come to see me for drinking problems, the outcomes they are looking for are very different. For example, they may want to stop completely, cut down, stop drinking during the week, or even just stop drinking spirits. That being said, they all have decision points that the clients have to pass through, and these decision points are where I will insert powerful interventions where the client can make new automatic responses, allowing their behaviours to change without too much effort.

And a lot more besides…

  • Over eating, poor relationship with food and weight gain
  • Biting nails
  • Teeth grinding
  • Recreational drug use
  • Sexual performance

Here are just a few of the behavioural problems that I deal with.

It doesn’t really matter what behaviour it is that needs to be changed because the behavioural process that we use is pretty much the same for all of them. Hypnotherapy is very effective at helping people to make long-lasting behavioural change. In the main, most problem behaviours can be altered in just a few sessions.

When using hypnotherapy for behavioural change, it is usually achieved moderately quickly and can usually lead to a permanent resolution. The result is not determined by the length of time the behaviour has been happening for.

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    What our clients say about us

    We’re proud to have helped people like you overcome their challenges

    N K
    N K
    Howard has helped me tackle anxiety which I have struggled with over the last 20 years. I had tried medication, CBT and counselling and nothing had helped. He has helped me to understand the power in my own mind to overcome my anxieties and be more positive. I have learnt to re-frame and stop overthinking and being negative. He has helped me to deal with some major life events that were haunting me. My family and I have seen a dramatic improvement in my mindset and the way I tackle issues that ordinarily would have resulted in debilitating panic attacks. Could not more highly recommend Howard.
    ss b
    ss b
    Firstly Mr Howard is very professional throughout the process. He looks after like a mother, he politely check if the techniques are being implemented with the clear understanding. He is very humble and down to earth in approaching very sensitive issues of the individual. He then designs the program according to the specific requirements of each individual. He changes his approach instantaneously if clients struggles to visualise or do something. I found him very dedicated to his work, he responds 24/7. Sends reminders, study material to bring positive energy in every aspects of life. God bless you Mr Howard. It is a blessing to have a mentor like you.
    Janice Graham
    Janice Graham
    On the 20th November 2021 I suddenly and from nowhere, developed Tinnitus - to say this hit me like a ton of bricks is an understatement. Howard, who can relate to the condition of Tinnitus, was able to completely understand my situation, and help me through it. We completed a session and Howard was able to calm my nerves and my racing brain by teaching me some coping methods through Controlled Breathing and Tapping. Howards calm and informative ways allows a person to understand what anxiety and stress is doing to their bodies, and how to overcome it. He very kindly sent me a tape to listen to for Controlled Breathing and Self hypnosis which has helped me immensely when I feel anxiety creeping up on me. Thank you Howard for the informative zoom session on Tapping, Controlled Breathing and Self Hypnosis.
    Penelope Nanton
    Penelope Nanton
    Have had many hypnotherapy sessions with Howard over the years. He has helped me through many difficult passages and taught me how to deal with stress and anxiety and taught me how to look at life with a different vision. Howard is always there for me when most needed if I slip backwards or if I am faced with a challenge. In addition to this his seminars are a great place to learn and continue learning. Thank you Howard for always being there and all you have helped me achieve.
    Steven Howard
    Steven Howard
    Howard treated me for ptsd and my stress was under control after the first session. His hypnotherapy technique made me feel like I’d had the best deep sleep I’d ever had and that was in an hour session! Unbelievable results that I cannot thank him enough for. I recommend Positive Belief to anyone with stress or anxiety problems like I had as an overworked paramedic.
    Tony Charlton
    Tony Charlton
    Having smoked for 38 years I have given up thanks to Howard's positive therapy. I gave up before our first zoom meeting and the whole experience has been inspirational. I'm a great believer that you get out of life what you put in. Well I can honestly say that in this case I have put some effort in but have got so much more out of the experience. If this helps just one person to give up like me then im happy . Many thanks Howard .
    Manjit Dhillon
    Manjit Dhillon
    I had been a “Yo-Yo” Dieter, been a “High Volume” eater and a “All or Nothing” person all my life. I lost the weight and then regained it as I never worked on how to lose weight and maintain WHILE eating healthy foods. Having gone through the menopause (losing focus , memory and gaining weight around my tummy ) I thought, that was it and I would never be able to lose weight again. Also I lived on” Artificial Sweeteners” and low fat foods for as long as I can remember. Howard kick started my healthy eating plan. He provided the structure, the accountability and techniques that helped to work with me to lose 20lbs in 6 weeks (while still feeling full and eating lots of food). I know that I was his toughest client. I now have everything that I need to continue on my own until I reach my goal. It is all sustainable weight loss. I no longer have any artificial sweeteners in my tea,( I had been looking for ways to give up on it for years). I had information overload about diets. Howard explained that stress was the biggest culprit and learning to work with breathing, tapping, coping techniques and hypnotherapy helped the body & mind work more effectively and in harmony to achieve the goals desired. Howard helped to be more mindful and calmer in the whole approach. Thank you Howard. You are a Star!!!
    Elaine Conaghan
    Elaine Conaghan
    Delighted with my progress in 6 weeks of working with Howard Ratcliffe I am mentally physically and spiritually transformed! Howard is a genius in motivational and intense support! Howard has monitored and supported my progress for 7 weeks over 16 hours a day 7 days a week . I’m in awe of his dedication to me snd I owe to him my success although he claims it is me!! I would highly recommend Howard, I will definitely be coming back for alternative treatments and I suggest if you really want to change your holistic self then you invest in Howard because he will genuinely be invested in you!.
    Georgia Wilkinson
    Georgia Wilkinson
    I had been suffering with chronic pain in my stomach for over a year, struggling with walking, sleeping, attending school and living a normal 16/17 year old life. After having countless tests, scans and appointments through the hospital and having no real results or diagnosis, I was getting more and more frustrated. The only thing I was advised to do was continue taking pain killers and seek support from the pain clinic to handle living with the pain. The only times, during this period, that I felt even a remote sense of relief from the pain was when I had acupuncture sessions. However, this only lasted for a few hours. This all changed after travelling to see Howard. My sessions with Howard were empowering, informative and life-changing. He was very knowledgeable and helped me to understand how the brain and body processes pain and stress. After the hypnotherapy, I was feeling the most relaxed and hopeful I had felt in a long time. He has a very calming presence and was both very professional and easy to speak to, making me feel at ease throughout. Now, over a year on, I am happy to say I have been pain-free since then, with only the occasional flare-up (of which I can control, using the methods Howard taught me). I regularly listen to the tapes that Howard has sent me and have integrated the methods and techniques he taught me into my daily life. I am very appreciative of Howard’s help and support, and I will forever be grateful for how much he has helped me to improve my life and health. I would definitely highly recommend Howard to anyone who would benefit from help and support in changing their life for the better, no matter how big or small their challenges may be. Thank you Howard 🙂
    Flower Power
    Flower Power
    After one virtual relaxation and meditation session with Howard I was able to sleep better that I had in months... a whole night of unbroken sleep and I feel like I can tackle the world again! It was great to be able to access this even with Covid-19 restrictions and I really look forward to my next session. Many thanks Howard.

    Fully accredited & certified

    (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists & Hypnotherapists)

    Accredited Hypnotherapy Training Course Trainer

    Member of The International Society of Paediatric Hypnotherapists T.I.S.P.H

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