Gender: Male
Age: 65-70
Presenting problem: Insomnia and Anxiety Dreams
Treatment modality: Hypnotherapy
Number of sessions: 2


Malcolm* was at his wits’ end when he got in touch, looking for help with chronic insomnia.

He explained how, over the last two years, he’d been having upsetting, recurring dreams, which disturbed his sleep and left him exhausted during the day.

It had become so bad, he said, that he now dreaded bedtime, knowing he would not sleep well. Most mornings he was so tired he would get back into bed after breakfast.

Exploring the nature of the dreams during our consultation, Malcolm recounted how – although they would vary in their content – the theme was always the same: Trying to get to an unknown destination but never reaching it.

As the twists and turns of the dream took hold, he would find himself using a number of different transport means in his efforts to fulfill his quest, all of which would ultimately fail; jumping on a bus only to discover it was the wrong one; driving a car and getting lost; accepting a lift from friends, only to discover they were going somewhere else.

Individually, these night-time visions held no direct fear or terror but Malcolm felt tormented by each failed mission.

He simply could not understand just where he was trying to get to.

Further discussion revealed that he had retired two years previously, which in itself was not a problem as he declared he was very happy in his retirement. However, it soon became evident that Malcolm was holding a deep sense of guilt.

A year prior to retiring he had been injured in an accident and was subsequently absent from work for several months, before eventually being retired on medical grounds. He had received full pay throughout this time.

Being a conscientious, loyal man, Malcolm said he could not shake the feeling he had let his colleagues down during his long absence and, moreover, that he hadn’t deserved to be paid for work he had not done.

Agreeing to get started on resolving his problems as soon as possible, Malcolm had two sessions of hypnotherapy, one week apart.

At our first session we resolved the guilt he was carrying and then, at his second appointment, we dealt with all the ‘unfinished business’ brought about by his forced retirement.

A month later I met with Malcolm to ask how he was getting on.

With a clear-eyed look of delight he exclaimed that our sessions had ‘worked a treat’ – the dreaded dreams had stopped! What’s more, he no longer felt anxious at bedtime.

These days, Malcolm looks forward to joining his wife as the evening draws to a close, confident that he will wake in the morning feeling refreshed and excited about whatever the new day will bring.


*Names and some details have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

If you are experiencing insomnia or other sleep problems and would like to discuss how Claire can help, please get in touch, today.


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