How can hypnotherapy treat anxiety?

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One of the most popular enquiries I receive at my City based practice, is whether I can help with symptoms of anxiety. We all feel anxious at times and of course anxiety when you’re in a dangerous or threatening situation is an appropriate and healthy response. It’s your brain’s way of alerting you to potential harm so that your fight or flight response kicks in. But what about when you feel that same level of anxiety in situations where others don’t? Perhaps when meeting people for the first time, or even socialising with friends or family and your mouth goes dry, your heart starts pounding and you feel self conscious? Or some people experience these symptoms when they’re travelling in a car or train, or when they’re at the checkout paying for shopping, or when they’re eating in front of others. Some people experience generalised anxiety from the moment they wake up in the morning without any particular situation setting it off. So if the anxiety is misplaced or irrational, what then?

It is always important to seek medical help from your GP to rule out any serious conditions. By the time people pick up the phone to contact me, the chances are they’ve been battling with their anxiety for some time and they’ve been advised that this is not being caused by a medical issue but is more of a mental issue. So how can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis is a very relaxing state that allows the conscious, critical, thinking part of the mind to relax and daydream. Whilst detaching from what’s being said, the subconscious then kicks in and takes over, naturally becoming more heightened. Some more traditional forms of hypnosis uses positive suggestions and visualisations at this point to help override the subconscious, persuading it to react differently. For example; “you’re becoming more at ease, more content, more confident in situations. You feel strong and powerful, your words flow easily and effortlessly” etc. It’s important for these instructions to be repeated because, in a sense, you’re trying to force change to occur. It’s like taking a painkiller for a headache. It may work on the pain, but it’s not treating the reason why it exists. If your headache is caused by dehydration, stress or a tumour, then eventually the painkiller will wear off and the pain will return. If instead you address the cause (rehydrate, relax or remove the tumour) the subconscious’ need to warn you that there’s a problem will no longer be there so the headache will naturally disappear.

This is the way curative hypnotherapists work. We do not attempt to treat your anxiety, but instead we seek to identify the subconscious need for it. What purpose is there for you to feel so anxious? Is your subconscious trying to protect you from something? Is it misguidedly anticipating some sort of threat to your wellbeing? Is it trying to warn you or prevent something bad from happening? These are the questions we need to ask the subconscious. By using special hypnosis techniques, we can communicate with the subconscious and simply ask it why it’s causing the anxiety. Once the need for it has been identified and resolved, the symptoms can naturally be disposed of.

If you would like to discuss with me your individual symptoms and how curative hypnotherapy may be able to help, I invite you to contact me. I’m here to help.