About Michael Capek
Michael Capek graduated as a doctor from Leeds Medical School in 1979. He passed his MRCGP in 1983. In 1997 he concluded his MSc in Health Psychology from the City University. He also has an unnamed degree, BA (Hons) 1st Class, from the Open University based on subjects in mathematics and mathematical sciences.
27 years as a principal in general medical practice, he has a special interest in mental health and has been practicing medical hypnosis for the last 11 of these. This was a skill developed to help those patients with medical or psychological problems that were not being helped by standard treatment. Thus he specialises in managing those patients who have otherwise medically unexplained symptoms, medical conditions that have persisted for a long time and proven so far resistant to improve, or cases that are too complex for other practitioners to take on. He can also treat the simple and straightforward.
While hypnosis is the primary therapeutic skill, it will be undertaken with a very broad therapeutic base. Dr Capek is knowledgeable regarding medication and other psychological therapies, thus making him well placed to advise on the roles of these, either in their own right, or in conjunction with hypnosis. Therapy will never be guaranteed, but will only be offered in anticipation of its success. The advice you will receive will be compatible with current medical practice.
It is unfortunate that at present the private medical insurance plans do not support the funding of hypnosis. Thus expect to be charged at a rate commensurate with a competent medical practitioner. However, on the positive side, therapy will be undertaken within the framework of standards, ethics and professionalism as required by the General Medical Council.
For more information regarding Dr Capek and clinical hypnosis please view the website: www.bscah.com/
and his entry via: www.bscah.com/Referral_List/
About Medical Hypnosis
The word “hypnosis” implies sleep, though this poorly describes what is happening. There is no fully adequate single word to describe the hypnotic state though there are aspects in common with trance, dreamlike state, meditation, mental imaging, relaxation therapy.
Only a few things need to be understood. The first is that the mind can exist in several different states. The most obvious is the difference between being awake and sleep. Others can also exist. All drivers will be aware of travelling a distance with one’s mind on anything but the road, being safe and yet unable to recall any incident from the last miles of the journey. Being in a hypnotic trance is to be in another state of consciousness. Its value is that it allows access to the sub-conscious mind.
The conscious mind is everything that we feel, see and think and that we are aware of. The sub-conscious is all the mental activity that does not reach consciousness. We are not normally aware of what the sub-conscious is doing, even though its work is vital to our functioning and its activity is much greater than that of the conscious mind.
Hypnosis is achieved by asking the conscious mind to focus. By narrowing its span of attention, broader access to the sub-conscious becomes available. The deeper the trance the greater the access to the sub-conscious. Even when in a deep trance, like being in a deep sleep the person can come immediately to full awareness when a danger presents itself. Unlike being asleep, when in a hypnotic trance, the conscious mind still retains a large degree of awareness and control. Indeed, hypnotherapy is about increasing a person’s control. The person often needs a measure of control in order to be able to enter, move about within and leave the hypnotic trance. Furthermore, medical hypnosis is very often about overcoming restrictions dictated by the sub-conscious mind and consequently enabling the person’s free will to carry out and achieve more.
Hypnosis is a skill. All people have it, it can be developed and some people have a greater talent for it than others. The hypnotherapist acts as the trainer to the person allowing the individual to develop this skill. Patients who have been treated by hypnotherapy can be encouraged to do it themselves at home and gain on-going benefits.
The role of the medical hypnotist is to know which technique is appropriate for a particular patient with a given condition. This may be for a specific, known and well defined problem and can be approached directly.
Alternatively there are techniques that are often content free. In these the hypnotherapist can work with the individual’s sub-conscious mind with the detail being denied to both the conscious mind and the hypnotherapist. The advantage is that the sub-conscious can work on a particular topic that may be too painful to bring to the surface. It also means that the patient can benefit whilst at the same time being free from the fear of making embarrassing disclosures to the therapist. Hypnosis does not have to be deep in order to benefit.
Lastly it is important for the patient to have confidence in the technique and the therapist. If there are any doubts or there are questions raised, please do not hesitate to ask before starting.
About your therapy
How to contact me is available on the Contact me page. The telephone number provided is that of a mobile number held by my personal assistant. Please give her your contact details and she will forward these onto me. This arrangement is as it is, so as to avoid interruptions in surgery. Alternatively you may e-mail using the web-based form available. Either way I will reply as soon as is feasible and make contact with you so we may speak on the phone.
This is an opportunity for you to briefly describe what is happening to you, your reasons for considering medical hypnosis and for me to develop an understanding of you and your concerns. I will need to ask some questions about your past and present to gain a feel of the issues. By the end of the conversation I will be in a position to advise whether I think hypnotherapy is the best course of action for you and how many sessions of therapy you may require.
My advice will be frank and honest. It needs to be, as it is the start of the therapeutic relationship. I also feel obliged to ensure that if I am asking you to part with your money, that the advice given is genuinely in your best interests. On your part, there is no obligation on you to take up therapy. Indeed, for one reason or another, probably less than half of these intital conversations will progress to formal therapy.
It is impossible to say how many sessions a particular person will require. For some people a single session is all that is needed. For others it may be as many twenty. It depends on many things, including the number, nature and complexity of the problems. Some people take to hypnosis more readily than others and this also helps.
At the beginning of the first session you will be given a number of questionnaires to fill out. Further questionnaires will be given after therapy and may be repeated during therapy and about 6 months after. They are in part to give you an additional measure of progress, but they are also being used hopefully to demonstrate to those in the NHS who have to make decisions that hypnosis is effective.
The attitude to therapy is that I am helping you to develop a life skill, that ultimately will not be dependent on any therapist. This will mean that it will be of benefit to you for not only your presenting problem, but also for the future as you will be able utilise the skill in other situations. It also means, and this will be reinforced many times, that it is you, but under my guidance, that will be making yourself better. And lastly, you are in charge, thus if you are not yet ready to deal with a certain aspect, it can be put off for another session.
The first session is usually the longest. As well as the questionnaire, a full medico-psychological history is completed. Unless the plan is to go for a one or two session course, the first two sessions will be about developing the hypnotherapeutic skills which will be of benefit in future sessions. These will be built on over time. It is hoped that you will be able to practice the self-hypnosis in between sessions. As you will be developing the increased flexibility within your mind, the therapeutic gain from each session will increase.
The standard rate is currently £32 for every 15 minutes of visible work which is equivalent to £128/hour. This sounds a lot and for some people it is. However relative to the charges by others, highly qualified in other professions it is extremely good value. This is to cover the invisible work for which there is no charge. This may be the writing up of the session notes or corresponding to the GP.
Concessions may be offered. If therapy will be prolonged, the rate will reduce so as not to be too prohibitive.
Last, if therapy proves successful it can be anticipated that the improved mental state will increase your earning capability and that in time the therapy will have paid for itself.