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Business Link helps Hypnotherapist focus his mind on growth; A TEESSIDE hypnotherapist is getting ready to support more people affected by the current tough economic conditions and workplace stress after Business Link has helped him get a head for business.

Stephen Gidney, a hypnotherapist based in Stockton, started his business four years ago after knowing for the last 20 years that he wanted to be a councilor. But instead of being the one helping others, he recently turned to Business Link for their support and advice to get him focused on his own business success .

After 30 years in the oil and gas industry Stephen Gidney decided he needed a career change and gained a diploma in hypnotherapy and hypnoanalysis so that he could help other people following his own personal experiences with stress and panic attacks.

Mr Gidney was only 28 when panic attacks started to affect his life: .When I had my first panic attack I was driving in the car with my three children, I thought I was going to die. I didn't know what was going on and I was terrified.

"I went to see a doctor who told me to go home and have a brandy and a psychiatrist who advised me to leave my stressful job, but this wasn't an option. I had three young children and a mortgage so I went to see a hypnotist who gave me suggestion therapy as a last resort and I eventually got through it."

As a councilor, Stephen offers suggestion therapy where people are put into a relaxed hypnotic state and given suggestions that will affect their behaviour and feelings once they are out of the hypnotic state. He also treats psychological and emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, phobias and eating disorders with pure hypnoanalysis.

He adds: "Although I have been a hypnotherapist for four years my knowledge comes from a lifetime of experiences so I can relate to people. Helping people in the area who have been made redundant is a key part of the work I do as many people come to me with anxiety issues linked to them losing their job."

Business Link is also helping those affected by the economic downturn and has improved the support available to Tees Valley businesses in recent months, to help more businesses in the area to start, develop and grow.

"Before I started working with Business Link I was seriously considering winding up the business," said Stephen. "I needed to understand how to grow the business and help more people. It was important for me to realise that I needed support and was relieved to be able to turn to someone for help and support on how best to run my business. Sometimes you just can't do it by yourself."

Mark David, Business Link Adviser, has worked intensively with Stephen to look at his business model so that he can offer his service to new clients and help more people.

He said: "When I met Stephen he had been trying out different forms of marketing and had received very little in return. In his eyes this was the last throw of the dice. We looked at diversifying his service and entering the corporate market, delivering performance training and stress management courses.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Stephen and with the support he's received from Business Link it is looking likely his business will prosper."

Stephen feels that in the turbulent economic climate more people can be helped to overcome stress and anxiety using innovative hypnoanalysis techniques. He adds: "Statistics released by the mental health charity Mind only last week indicate that more people than ever are calling in sick and quitting their jobs because of stress.

"There are some people that come to see me in bits and you see some pretty drastic results just by having a chat with them. This is because they realise they don't have to put up with these feelings and are doing something about it.

"Working with Mark has helped me to do something about my business by clearly defining my business model, exploring a new corporate market and he has given me a desire to make this business a success.

"Although it can be tough, I would encourage anyone who is facing a change in career direction to talk to Business Link about self-employment options, business ideas, whether self employment was right for individuals as well as to discuss training options."

Business Link has a team of expert advisers who offer advice, help and information to individuals and companies across the region, giving them access to the 'business brains' who will help to grow their company and enhance their skills.

For further information about Business Link visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/northeast or call 0845 600 9 006.

Stephen Gidney (left) and Business Link's Mark David
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2010
Words:770
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