In Brain News, Charity News

“You had the power all along, my dear” – Glinda, the good witch

Source: Pinterest

We all know this classic story from the 1930s.

Dorothy and her dog Toto are transported by a cyclone to the magical land of Oz, where they journey via the yellow brick road through a process of discovery towards courage (the lion), wisdom (the scarecrow) and love (the tin man).

When Dorothy realises that she is able to click her heels and transport herself back home, Glinda, the good witch, observes that, “You had the power all along, my dear”. In a sense, we are all like Dorothy in that we all already have the inner resources to find our own solutions, it’s just that sometimes we need the support and gentle guidance of others to help us recognise this and develop our own strategies so that we can thrive.

Follow your own yellow brick road

At brainstrust, our support service is built on the belief that everyone is expert in their own experience, and as such we are all fully capable of finding our own solutions to life’s challenges.

Quite simply, although we can’t necessarily fix a problem for you, we can work with you to help you figure out what it is that you need, and then what steps you might take to achieve it.

Source: The Irish Times

We can support you in this process, journeying down your own yellow brick road, through the provision of coaching, resources, education, information and unconditional support.

One such support offer from brainstrust is the provision of regular group hypnotherapy sessions, run by our wonderful hypnotherapist Louise.

Meet Louise

We are so fortunate at brainstrust to have the wonderful Louise Baker (MSc Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health) as our own consultant hypnotherapist.

Louise has run successful private hypnotherapy practices for over 20 years, including Harley Street and The Wren Clinic, helping hundreds of people during this time using a variety of approaches. Recently retired from 1:1 work, Louise is now focused on bringing the power of this work to groups for brainstrust. 

Despite Louise’s impressive career and educational credentials, she’s a lovely normal person too! She lives in Cornwall with her husband and her poodles and enjoys walking on the beaches and clifftops near where she lives. Most importantly for us, Louise cares passionately about supporting people living with a brain tumour diagnosis to live the best life that they can, free from anxieties that make life challenging.


Will you make me cluck like a chicken?

Thanks to the popularity of stage hypnotism, there can be a misconception that hypnotherapy will make us act in strange ways, acting involuntarily as if under a spell.

We’d like to reassure you that this is absolutely not the case! In fact, during your first session Louise will share with you some of the secrets of stage hypnotists and how they are able to achieve these results – having some people clucking like a chicken, or convinced that they are wearing X-ray glasses!

I was very anxious beforehand, but was put at ease straight away by Louise – hpynotherapy webinar attendee, March 2021

Creating calm spaces: towards self-management of anxiety

Your first session with us will take you through some of the theory behind hypnotherapy, covering: some neuroscience of hypnosis, an evidence-based way of understanding neuroplasticity at work; and you will gain an understanding of how hypnotherapy enhances the way we learn new ideas.

These key ideas and concepts form a foundation of knowledge from which you will practice your new skills, allowing you to have an understanding and practical experience of creating and maintaining your own unique spaces and places within.

The aim of these sessions is to support you to practice hypnosis to the point of being able to self-manage in anxiety-inducing situations and settings, such as hospitals or waiting for an MRI scan.

Once you’ve attended the introductory theory session, we encourage you to keep coming back to our ongoing follow-up group hypnotherapy sessions, as much as you need, for your own support and growth.

Reminded me of the strategies I can use when I’m feeling stresses and anxious. Gave me an opportunity for complete relaxation, much appreciated! – hypnotherapy webinar attendee, March 2021

Source: Pinterest

The Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for hypnotherapy

Let’s think again about Dorothy. She falls asleep and is transported to a wonderful land where she travels along the yellow brick road, supported by new friends in her journey towards self-discovery. She had the power to get home all along, she just didn’t realise it.

Dorothy travelled on her journey and faced challenges and fears along the way. With the support of others and a bit of hard work from herself, she was able to discover her inner resources and make positive changes.

This feels like a beautiful metaphor for our group hypnotherapy sessions: “You had the power all along, my dear”.

Join us for the next sessions

It was really good to learn techniques for managing scanxiety and for Louise to share her wealth of knowledge on the functions of the brain. I really liked the practice elements too in the session, to help remember and embed the techniques.

I used the techniques before and during my most recent MRI and it really helped me. Thank you so much for providing these sessions. I look forward to the next one – hypnotherapy webinar attendee, September 2020

Book your free place at a brainstrust group hypnotherapy session today: find these events and more, here.



The Brain Tumour Data Dashboard lets you explore up -to-date, population level data about the brain tumours diagnosed in England between 2013 and 2015. Using the drop down menus on the left you can select different groups of patients to view in the charts below. In these charts the number of patients for every 100 diagnoses is displayed as images of people. Patients have been grouped by date of diagnosis, type of tumour, age, gender, and region in England.

For each group of patients you can explore the different routes to diagnosis, the proportion of those who received chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as the survival of the patients within each group. For more information about what these metrics mean please see the glossary.

How to use

  1. Select the year of diagnosis using the drop down menu.
  2. Select your patient group of interest from the four drop down menus in the following order:
    1. Tumour group
    2. Age at diagnosis
    3. Region of England
    4. Gender of patient
  3. To view a second chart to compare different groups of patients, click the ‘compare’ button.The second chart will appear below the first chart.

*Note that the tool is best used on a laptop or tablet rather than a mobile phone*

Unavailable data

Some of the data in these charts is not available.There are two main reasons for this:

  1. How the data has been grouped

If you cannot select a patient group from the drop down menus, the data is unavailable because of how the data has been organised.

Public Health England has grouped the data like a branching tree. The bottom of the tree contains all the patients with brain tumours, and then each branch divides the data by a certain characteristics, like age, or location of tumour. But the data is divided in an order, starting with location of the tumour (endocrine or brain), then by age, region, and gender. Age is at the start because it makes a bigger difference to survival rates and treatment rates than gender or region. Sometimes, after the data has been split by type of tumour and age, there is not enough data to be split again. This is because to protect patient confidentiality groups cannot contain less than 100 patients. Because some groups cannot be split further, you cannot create ‘totals’ for everyone by region or gender. For example, you cannot see results for all ages by region, or all brain tumours by gender. If these totals were calculated and released, it might be possible to identify patients, which is why Public Health England cannot release this data.

  1. Statistical reasons and data availability

If you can select a patient group from the chart menus, but the chart does not display, the data is unavailable for one of several reasons:

  1. Data is not yet available for the selected year from Public Health England.
  2. Data is not available because the data quality is too poor to release this statistic.
  3. Data is not available as the statistic is not appropriate for this group.
  4. Data is not available because the standard error of the estimate was greater than 20% and so the estimate has been supressed.

Up to date brain tumour data

Brain tumour data may influence the decisions you make about your care. Data also helps you understand the bigger picture, or landscape, in which you find yourself.

Brain tumour data and statistics influence the focus, and work of organisations like brainstrust. The information helps us to understand the scale and impact of the problems we are setting out to solve.

This tool helps you understand the landscape in which you find yourself having been diagnosed with a brain tumour. This landscape can be particularly tricky to navigate as there are many different types of brain tumour, all of which have a different impact.

The information you see represents the most up-to-date, official, population level brain tumour data available for England. Over time we will be adding to the brain tumour data available and publishing reports, with recommendations, as a result of what we learn from this data.

The data behind this content has come from Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) and is a direct result of the ‘Get Data Out’ project.

This project provides anonymised population level brain tumour data for public use in the form of standard output tables, accessible here:


The number or rate (per head of population) of new cases of a disease diagnosed in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of cases divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Malignant tumours which grow by invasion into surrounding tissues and have the ability to metastasise to distant sites


The number or rate (per head of population) of deaths in a given population during a specified time period (usually a calendar year). The crude rate is the total number of deaths divided by the mid-year population, usually expressed per 100,000 population.


Not cancerousNon-malignant tumours may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body.


The length of time from the date of diagnosis for a disease, such as cancer, that patients diagnosed with the disease are still alive. In a clinical trial, measuring the survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called ‘overall survival’ or ‘OS’.

Routes to Diagnosis

Under the ‘Routes to Diagnosis’ tab in the Brain Tumour Data Dashboard, you can explore the ways patients have been diagnosed with brain tumours. There are many ways, or routes, for cancers to be diagnosed in the NHS. A ‘route to diagnosis’ is the series of events between a patient and the healthcare system that leads to a diagnosis of cancer. The routes include:

  1. Two Week Wait

Patients are urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer via the Two Week Wait system and are seen by a specialist within 2 weeks where they are diagnosed.

  1. GP referral

Diagnosis via a GP referral includes routine and urgent referrals where the patient was not referred under the Two Week Wait system.

  1. Emergency Presentation

Cancers can be diagnosed via emergency situations such as via A&E, emergency GP referral, emergency transfer or emergency admission.

  1. Outpatient

Outpatient cancer diagnoses include diagnoses via an elective route which started with an outpatient appointment that is either a self-referral or consultant to consultant referral. (It does not include those under the Two Week Wait referral system).

  1. Inpatient elective

Diagnosis via an inpatient elective route is where diagnosis occurs after the patient has been admitted into secondary care from a waiting list, or where the admission is booked or planned.

  1. Death Certificate Only

Diagnoses made by Death Certificate Only are made where there is no more information about the cancer diagnosis other than the cancer related death notifications. The date of diagnosis is the same as that of the date of death.

  1. Unknown

For some patients with a cancer diagnosis, there is no relevant data available to understand the route to diagnosis.


More information

If any of the statistical terms in this section of the brainstrust website are hard to understand, we recommend looking them up here:

Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Statistics Explained

If you are looking for help understanding terms relating specifically to brain tumours, and treatment, then the brainstrust glossary is available here: