Hypnotherapy for anxiety
A lot of people use hypnotherapy for anxiety, in this article we are going to take a look at what you need to know like
- What is hypnotherapy?
- What should I expect of hypnotherapy for anxiety?
- Does hypnotherapy for anxiety work?
- How do I find a hypnotherapist?
What is hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is the combined use of a psychological or mind body therapy and a hypnotic trance. This means that the therapist helps a person into a hypnotic trance, usually through focus or relaxation. Once in that trance, techniques such as systematic desensitisation, cognitive reappraisal, imagery and memory work are used to create change which is both intellectually and emotionally affective. For more information on hypnosis and hypnotherapy see http://matt-hypnotherapist.co.uk/home/faqs/
What should I expect of hypnotherapy for anxiety?
As with any hypnotherapy session you will talk with a hypnotherapist before being guided into a hypnotic state at which point the formal therapy will be done. Hypnotherapists vary in their approaches to hypnotherapy for anxiety but commonly used approaches include:
- Relaxation and/or mental exercises – These are used to reduce physical stress and to help organise the mind. They often provide valuable control tools for times of particular stress.
- Cognitive work – to change unconscious or semi-conscious beliefs which can exacerbate stress and to alter expectations of the future.
- Desensitisation work – a process in which the therapist encourages the body to learn to be calm in trigger situations, with trigger symptoms or trigger thoughts.
- Some may use what are known as psychodynamic approaches, this involves looking into sensitizing life events which may have contributed to a pattern.
Does Hypnotherapy for anxiety work?
Yes! There is a wealth of evidence to support the use of hypnotherapy for anxiety (Coelho, Canter, Ernst 2007, Hammond 2010). In particular, there is good evidence for its effectiveness with:
- Chronic illness related anxieties (Genius 1995)
- Test anxiety (Baker 1995)
- Pre-operative anxiety (Absenger et al 2012)
- Dental and medical phobias (Willemsen 2002).
- Phobias (Morgan 2001, Hartman 2010).
How do I find a therapist?
If you live in or around Birmingham (UK) then I would naturally suggest you call me, anywhere else in the world and you should consider the following:
- Are they a member of a professional body such as the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH)?
- Do they talk about hypnotherapy for anxiety on their website?
- Do they have a broad set of skills (REBT, EMDR, Behavioural therapies); different skills are helpful with different types of anxiety problem.
I hope this helps and best of luck arranging your hypnotherapy for anxiety.
Matt Krouwel is a hypnotherapist in Birmingham, who specialises in hypnotherapy for anxiety and related conditions such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), panic disorder and psychosexual problems.
Absenger, C., Hadl, M., Bornemann-Cimenti, H., Szilagy, S. I., Wejbora, M., & Sandner-Kiesling, A. (2012). The influence of preoperative hypnosis on perioperative anxiety‐a systematic review of the current literature: 1AP1‐9. European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA), 29, 8.
Baker, J., Ainsworth, H., Torgerson, C., & Torgerson, D. (2009). A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of hypnosis on exam anxiety. Effective Education, 1(1), 27-41.
Coelho, H., Canter, P., & Ernst, E. (2007). The effectiveness of hypnosis for the treatment of anxiety: a systematic review. Primary Care and Community Psychiatry, 12(2), 49-63.
Genuis, M. L. (1995). The use of hypnosis in helping cancer patients control anxiety, pain, and emesis: a review of recent empirical studies. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 37(4), 316-325.
Hammond, D. C. (2010). Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety-and stress-related disorders. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 10(2), 263-273.
Morgan, S. (2001). Hypnosis and simple phobia. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 29(1), 17-25.
Willemsen, R. (2002). [Hypnosis technics used to diminish anxiety and fear: review of the literature]. Revue belge de medecine dentaire, 58(2), 99-104.