This is an extract taken from the Daily Telegraph October 2009. The names have been removed to protect privacy.
I've failed my driving test four times, but I am a good driver. I know I am.
My first three attempts were total disasters with lots of points awarded against me, mainly for speeding and lack of observation.
My fourth attempt was again another disaster as I drove out of the test centre when it wasn't clear to join the major road. The examiner who'd previously witnessed my girl-racer act now had to deal with a childish tantrum as I got out, slammed the door and shouted, "Leave me alone!"
Something had to be done, and after hearing about the reputed 90 per cent success rate of using hypnosis, I made an appointment to see a hypnotherapist.
After assuring me that I wasn't going to dance like a chicken – "trances" are actually states of deep relaxation in which subjects retain their own will – He set to work, guiding my breathing and using subliminal suggestions to combat my fears. My mind cleared and, as I repeated his words, success seemed possible.
I left, eager to practice the breathing exercises and "affirmations" and noticed that, for once, I was looking people in the eye. My friend remarked on an increased confidence in my driving.
A fortnight later on the day before my test I had a second hypnotherapy session, which concentrated on visualizing a positive result. The next morning I was met by the long-suffering examiner I'd had twice before. He probably wanted to flee more than I did. But this time I calmly dismissed my fears and focused only on the road ahead.
About 40 minutes later we arrived back at the test centre where - to my unalloyed joy - the visualization in my hypnotherapy sessions became reality, and I passed.
I seized the certificate the teenage me had once craved and headed out to celebrate on that old favourite, rum and Coke