Susan Hepburn

Susan Hepburn

The hypnotherapist to the stars says, "Whether you're a sportsman or from any walk of life, it's all about the power of positive thinking."

Raise Your Game: What is hypnotherapy?

Susan Hepburn: Hypnotherapy is a way of putting thoughts into a person's mind to reprogram the brain. If there are things they want to do, or things they ought to do, like exercise, eating healthily and making healthy choices, I put that into their subconscious mind to make sure they believe they can do it.

I've been doing this for over 20 years. I help a lot of sports people. If they lose their ability to score a goal, I help them to rediscover the motivation and belief in themselves that they can do it.

On a computer, if there's a file you don't want, you just delete the file. The brain works like that in a way. I enter the subconscious mind. If, for example, they have an aversion to exercise, I find out why that is, the root cause of it, pull that defective file out and get rid of it so that they want to exercise and make healthy choices.

RYG: How do you go about hypnotising someone?


Susan Hepburn



SH: I just make sure that they're really relaxed. As soon as they're hypnotised I can reprogram their brain so they can do the things they want to, but just can't bring themselves to do.

RYG: What kind of person comes to you for help?

SH: All sorts of people from all walks of life. I see celebrities, footballers, rock stars. It can be a real mixture throughout the course of the day. They're all treated the same once they're here. People come to me if they want to lose weight. I programme them to control their portions, to eat healthily and to drink lots of water. Exercising is really important, along with making the right choices with food. Every person that comes to me knows exactly what they want and need to do, but they can't do it. I programme their brain so they can do it.

RYG: How did you develop this skill?

SH: I'm a chatterbox. I'm interested in people and I'm always asking questions. Hypnotherapy was an area I could go into to use my skills of talking and listening. I'm not spiritual but I'm perceptive with people. I pick up on things that are troubling them, and it's almost as if I can read them. I use that to find out why they've got an issue with motivation, or not exercising.

I love helping people. As a little girl I thought I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. I was and I moved onto this. The mind fascinates me. I work long hours and I'm never tired. People say to me 'Where do you get your energy from?' I exercise every single day. I don't smoke, I don't drink. Healthy mind, healthy body, and I'm convinced I'll be around for another 30 or 40 years.

RYG: What kind of qualifications have you had to get to do this work?

SH: I've got qualifications within psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. You've got to understand the mind, which is the psychotherapy part. Hypnotherapy is about knowing how to do it. The voice is really important. When I hypnotise someone I use a sleepy, monotone voice. I lilt it so it goes up and down.

I've got the ability to relax people. People have often said to me, 'I feel relaxed in your company,' so that gave me a head start. I train people in hypnotherapy and some of them just haven't got what it takes. I'm so passionate about my work. I'm up at six thirty in the morning and I go to bed at about one o'clock. The energy I've got is from eating healthily, drinking lots of water and exercising every day.

RYG: Why would sportspeople come to you?

SH: Invariably it's because they've suddenly lost their form. That scares them because there's always someone that's prepared to step into their shoes. They become afraid and they want to get their form back. Other players have been injured for a while and they lose their confidence. People think that celebrities and sportspeople are immune to these kinds of problems, but they falter the same as anyone else.

Sportspeople come to me because they're human like everyone else. They have fears the same as everyone else does. If they have a fear that they're really concerned about, and it's affecting their play, I can help them overcome that fear by programming the brain to help them do what they want to do.

RYG: Is it that negative thoughts become more dominant than positive ones?

SH: Absolutely. Negative thoughts override the positive ones. If you take professional footballers, they want adulation. When negative thoughts take over it becomes like an obsession for them. They can't eat, they can't sleep. Sometimes they can't train because they've got an injury. I help them to overcome that so they can be more positive and think 'This isn't going to last forever, I will play again. Let's leave this in the past and move onto the next game.'

RYG: Your work must be incredibly satisfying?

SH: I love it. When I do my work I feel there's nothing I can't do. If someone comes to me and asks 'Have you ever dealt with this before?' Whether I have or not I'll say I have because if I'm confident they're confident. I never think I can't do something, whether it's in my personal life or my work. I think I transfer that to my patients.

RYG: Can you help young people to study for exams?

SH: I do. People go into the exam room and they freeze. It's almost as if they can't read the questions because they're so terrified. I need to make them calm, and to believe that what they've learned throughout the year is enough, and that they've absorbed that knowledge and all they have to do is put it down on paper.

That knowledge is in there and as soon as they start writing it just starts flowing. Whether you're a sportsman or from any walk of life, it's all about the power of positive thinking.

RYG: You've worked with boxers in the past, what sort of problems can they have?

SH: I used to work with a World Champion and he suddenly became afraid of being hit in the face. He heard someone had come to me and sorted out their problems so he decided to come along. People think that when boxers are in the ring, they've got no fear, but he developed a fear of being hit in the face.

RYG: Do fears start off small and then become worse?

SH: Yes. When someone has a problem and they show fear, if it happens again and again it becomes massive. I worked with one person who was afraid of bananas. Before she'd come into my office she had to make sure there were no bananas in there. That started off as something really tiny. When she was a little girl someone chased her with a banana, and the fear got bigger and bigger. If you get that fear resolved as a child it's easy, but it grows with time.

RYG: What tips would you have for young people who say 'I can't get over my fear of exams?'

SH: I would say that they definitely can get over it. I don't believe in failure, I believe in success. You can do whatever you want to do in life, as long as it's realistic. It's all a matter of mind over matter and believing in yourself. It's only your nerves that make you think you can't do things. Just believe you can do it.

You have to be prepared and in shape, otherwise you're going to be injured and out for a long time.

Mark Richardson

Ice hockey player/coach

Training ground

Colin Jackson

Work hard

Colin Jackson reveals more top tips on making exercise part of your lifestyle.

Media zone

Pierre Dulaine

Video clips

Check out the video with the famous dance instructor Pierre Dulaine.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.