"My sessions with you have definitely changed my life. I know today I am a different person. My self love, confidence and self-esteem have soared so much that I have embarked on a new career. Before I came to you I did not believe such change was possible but now I know it is. I am living proof of it. From the bottom of my heart I thank you."
As humans, we are designed to feel anxiety in order to keep ourselves safe. It's an ancient mechanism and our ancestors, out on the plain or in the jungle, may have been faced with a hungry lion or tiger so it was necessary for certain adaptive responses in the body to switch on, such as accelerated heart rate, rapid breathing, feeling clammy, legs shaking and even the need to defecate or vomit. In other words, the 'fight or flight' response, the body getting ready to run.
We are not usually in life threatening situations these days, but for some people the level of anxiety they experience in certain situations can feel like that. I usually describe anxiety as misuse of the imagination, that is: assuming the worst is going to happen, hyper-vigilance, catastrophising and all or nothing thinking.
Experiencing anxiety and panic when we don't need to is a bit like a faulty car alarm going off. We can re-set that faulty alarm under hypnosis so that the situations, people, places, events that used to cause panic are now manageable and calm, maybe even enjoyable.
"My son was in such a low place a few months ago. He'd lost all confidence and was coming in from school, going to bed and crying. And I could never have imagined how he'd be right now. Happy, funny & really lovely to be around! I'm so proud of him and again I can't thank you enough for your help."
How Can Hypnotherapy Help?
Hypnosis is extremely effective in relaxing the thoughts that lead to misuse of the imagination. It may be necessary to de-condition past events with a specific, highly effective technique. I also rehearse my clients, under hypnosis, for a future without the problem and I teach various techniques for use outside the session to bring down levels of anxiety in any possible, future situation.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Did you know that one in fifty people will experience OCD at some point in their lifetime? That millions of people around the world suffer from this disorder?
OCD is a combination of obsessive, intrusive thoughts which typically create anxiety, doubt or guilt and compulsive behaviours to try to eliminate these thoughts. Specific thoughts and compulsions can vary tremendously:
obsessively checking that things have been locked or turned off or shut
touching objects a certain number of times
arranging objects in specific configurations
You probably feel misunderstood because other people may dismiss your symptoms as quirkiness or eccentricity. It can be difficult for some people to understand that this isn't something you're doing consciously. It's not something you can decide to switch off either. Maybe you've felt isolated or frustrated by how OCD has been controlling your life and stealing your ability to relax and enjoy yourself.
OCD can sometimes be triggered by a high period of stress or a significant disruption in your life. There is also evidence that it can be hereditary and some people may be more genetically disposed to it than others. Research suggests that the part of the brain that would normally dismiss a worry as irrelevant, or dismiss some dirt as unimportant, is under-active in an OCD sufferer, therefore intrusive thoughts feel more emotionally compelling and harder to dismiss.
Trying to force a thought out of your mind only adds to the emotion and significance you are attaching to it, and trying to distract yourself with a mental ritual like counting or checking to make sure the worry wasn't true, all train your brain to be more compulsive.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help?
After guiding you into a state of hypnotic relaxation, I will cam down any anxiety you have felt about the triggers for OCD so that you can feel calm and relaxed whilst not engaging in the old compulsive behaviours. Old triggers for compulsions feel less and less important after a while and become easier to dismiss, enabling you to reclaim your life from the tyranny of those old OCD rituals.