Targeted Hypnotherapy specialises in treatments for anxiety, its underlying causes and knock-on effects.
You probably don't realise it, but its highly likely that anxiety is somehow contributing to what's bothering you.
How do I know? In its many forms, anxiety is the most common problem I treat in this Practice. It is all too often the root cause of the problems clients bring to me.
Setting The Scene
Think of Anxiety as a verb, rather than a noun. It's something you do, a pattern you run. Anxiety is certainly not a label that defines who or what you are. You can't catch it nor inherit it genetically.
You can however "learn it". The great news is that can therefore "unlearn it". That in essence is what we do together during therapy. It can be treated effectively irrespective of whether you've been anxious for just a short time or a very long time.
At Targeted Hypnotherapy, our style of strategic psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy offers the possibility of relatively quick changes and lasting results for anxiety sufferers. Importantly, it can often progressively eliminate the client's reliance on anti-anxiety medications.
We pay close attention to anxiety as a potential underlying cause to most of the conditions we treat in this practice. We've accordingly given the subject significant attention on our website.
Watch a short video Introducing Targeted Hypnotherapy and our style of therapy.
Click here to read Part 1 in my Anxiety 101 article series that explains some of the most common symptoms and effects of anxiety, and reveals some startling statistics about its prevalence.
Treatment of anxiety draws heavily on the clinician’s Strategic Psychotherapy competencies. It’s important that any therapist you might be considering is competent and formally trained in that field.
But I'm already taking anti-anxiety medications...?
Often, new clients mention that they are separately seeing their doctor for anxiety and routinely taking prescription anti anxiety medications. Interestingly, after my therapies clients often choose to do away with their anti anxiety medications altogether and manage to do so without undue difficulty.
There’s no point just “wallpapering over the problem” with medications or trying to deal with it with one-size-fits-all script-based hypnosis. The way each individual “does anxiety” is almost always different. At Targeted Hypnotherapy, our highly tailored approach directly targeting how you do your anxiety will be important to achieving best and enduring results.
Understand A Bit More
Anxiety is in fact a complex set of learned and conditioned behaviors and response/reaction habits. It's all in your mind.
Anxiety, as with many “mental health issues”, has to some extent been unfairly stigmatized within Australian society. Today, it’s much more widely accepted as a legitimate and “normal” health issue.
Let’s put that in perspective. In 2017 the World Health Organisation estimated that worldwide, 260 million people suffer from anxiety related disorders. In the US for example, it effects more than 18% of the total population. It costs the global economy more than $1 trillion annually.
Perhaps now you can understand why it forms a part of almost every problem I treat. Anxiety is actually very common and generally treatable. These days, it's far from being a taboo topic you can’t discuss or should feel ashamed of as a sufferer.
What is Anxiety?
We all experience it at some point in our lives. We might feel anxious before an exam or a very important client presentation. Perhaps in your case you’re living with pain, stresses in your job, your relationship or as a parent.
In some cases it becomes prevalent when you worry about yourself, your life, your loved ones.
In others it arises for the sufferer when facing uncertainty, when living with a phobia or the results of major trauma. At other times, it happens when one feels out of their depth, overwhelmed, judged or threatened. It’s actually a normal and natural response in some circumstances; part of our fight or flight response process. In most cases however, it’s not valid, helpful or useful.
These feelings often arise when we cannot readily determine if something is actually worth worrying about. So often, we just allow the worry to run unchecked. It's not uncommon for the sufferer to become stuck in circular, unhelpful thinking and worrying.
Some mistakenly believe that anxiety actually makes them perform better. This is not the case. There are better ways to ramp up your performance than to endure persistent anxiety.
Anxiety can be present in sufferers on a daily or even hourly basis. It can dramatically impact how they think, feel and operate. Sometimes the anxiety is evoked by negative thoughts, low self-esteem or doubt, and other times by their environment.
It’s All About Perception
For Anxiety to operate, it relies on your perceptions. A “perception” is an awareness of something you create through the input of your senses, shaped by your thoughts and beliefs. That’s right, your five senses: smelling, hearing, seeing, touching and tasting.
Your perception shapes and effectively becomes your reality. Unfortunately, it’s often inaccurate.
Let’s step through how a perception is created
Something occurs in your life and, fuelled by all of your sensory inputs, associated thoughts and emotions, your mind creates a perception. “The way you see it”…”how you decided you felt about it”…”what you decided about what you felt”…and “what you told yourself about all that stuff.” Those perceptions are often filtered into the unconscious mind where they huddle, compare notes and organise themselves.
You make mental connections between various thoughts and perceptions and they become firm beliefs and even belief systems…without you even realizing it.
They operate in the background, within your unconscious mind of your life, dictating whether you feel safe or helpless or in danger or guilty or …?
Beliefs, often deeply held, are not necessarily based on facts or reality. They are shaped by subjective, often emotion charged interpretation.
Thus, we find ourselves facing the realisation that some very unhelpful beliefs have become our perceived reality.
- That’s just how I am, why I’m like I am, why I’m stuck or can’t change, why I find it difficult to trust, why, when someone does or thinks something about me, it must inevitably mean…and so on.
Now here’s the good news. Just because a thought comes to you it doesn’t mean you have to keep that thought at all, let alone start to let it fuel false feelings or perceptions. You have a choice, can learn to better distinguish the thoughts worth attending to, and can change your perceptions.
Hypnotherapy is a very successful way to re-frame or even re-program such false perceptions.
Other Approaches to Treating Anxiety
Traditionally “talkative” therapies such as counselling focus on exploring the origins of a client’s anxiety and why it exists. It’s a process that can last for years.
Is that not OK?
Let’s face it; if I call the fire brigade to report that my house is on fire, I do so to get results. I don’t want to stand for ages with the firemen admiring the fire and discussing how it started. I want the fire out…now. That doesn’t eliminate the importance, in certain cases, of forensically examining cause …later. But perhaps in many cases it does. Perhaps also you can see the parallel.
At Targeted Hypnotherapy, I expect to see positive results for anxiety sufferers within three to four sessions. I treat anxiety as a repetitive and unhelpful pattern of thinking and behavior; something you “do” rather than an illness you “have”.
Special Note: For Anxiety, hypnotherapy is often applied in parallel to treatment by your GP. It does not automatically eliminate the possibility of your needing medication or psychiatric assistance, although in many cases it brings lasting and non-chemical resolution. It literally varies from case to case.
Overcoming Anxiety With Targeted Hypnotherapy
Targeted Hypnotherapy’s approach to treating anxiety, is an especially powerful method of managing Anxiety. The use of the hypnotic approach addresses the unconscious mind, where amongst other things your perceptions, belief systems and learned responses live. By utilising strategic psychotherapy, it precisely targets how anxiety operates in your case, and hits your underlying patterns of thinking, feeling and doing.
I tend to divide therapy for anxiety into two parts. Firstly, I help my clients understand what anxiety looks like for them. In essence “how they do it” and how it manifests and impacts their lives. We then explore resources and tools they have to “do it differently”; to unstick what is usually stuck, and to move from thought to purposeful action. Next, we identify practical strategies specifically relevant to them to help them significantly reduce the anxiety experience and its knock on impacts.
Sometimes the transformation is big, sometimes it’s small; this depends on the level of anxiety and what they really want to get out of the therapy. One thing for sure; anxiety needn’t be something you just “live with”.
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