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Live phobia free with hypnotherapy

Most of us are frightened of something.Fears & Phobias

Around 2.4% of adults in the United Kingdom have a medically diagnosable phobia, according to a recent NHS survey, that’s around 1.3 million people.

The NHS says: “A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal. Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that’s causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.”

Phobias occur when your brain links a specific trigger event to danger.

This could be having a turbulent flight, watching a giant spider on TV, or having a large dog knock you over when you were a child. You might know about many common phobias, such as fear of spiders, heights or flying, but have you come across these phobias before?

According to the National Council for Hypnotherapy, “A phobia is an irrational fear, literally a fear without good reason, or a fear of something that may not happen”. These phobias develop as coping mechanisms to serve a purpose, to keep us safe from a perceived danger, but they become dysfunctional. The mind is designed to generalise, it’s designed to keep you safe, and so whenever you see that thing in future, it says “look out, avoid this”, even if it’s not logical or rational.

Because phobias are rooted in emotional memories, talking therapies which try to rationalise the thought pattern can fall short.  Hypnotherapy can help.  In hypnosis the unconscious is able to process information more effectively without the interference of the conscious critical mind. There are different types of hypnotherapy and skilled hypnotherapists may combine different forms or use hypnosis in conjunction with other treatments depending on the needs of their client.

Often phobias can be treated in just one session, depending on the willingness of the client to embrace the change, says the NCH.  If you have a phobia or a fear which is affecting your life, why not try a session with an NCH hypnotherapist?

Hypnotherapy can help beat the effects of bullying

Bullying has been in the news in recent weeks with a newly-published research identifying friendship bullying as more harmful than physical, verbal or cyber-bullying. This type of bullying had a greater association with poor health and wellbeing among victims than any other form of victimisation.

The University of Hertfordshire study, which was published by the Journal of School Health, describes friendship bullying as a form of bullying which causes harm to the victim through ‘the systematic manipulation and destruction of their peer relationships and social status’.

Typically, the tactics of friendship bullies include ‘threatening to retract friendships, spreading rumours, purposefully ignoring and excluding the victim or using friendship as a bartering tool’, the report reads.

The BBC quotes lead author Kayleigh Chester as saying responses from a representative group of more than 5,000 young teenagers from across England suggest about five young people in every secondary class will have been bullied by friends in the past couple of months.

Too often, teachers, parents and students fail to recognise deliberate social exclusion as bullying, she added, saying she would like bullying by friends to be acknowledged in school policies as a distinct form of the problem which warrants a specific prevention and reduction strategy.

It can be really difficult to identify and to distinguish from normal conflicts within peer groups, so parents and teachers can be less likely to intervene to help victims,” she said. “I think it really needs to be given as much attention as other forms of bullying, because acknowledging how harmful it is will help in intervening. It’s really obvious it’s a really damaging form of behaviour.”

Bullying can damage self-esteem and cause stress and anxiety which can affect victims and their social interaction, schoolwork and even lead to suicidal thoughts.

But the National Council for Hypnotherapy has well-trained therapists across the UK who can help teenagers conquer their fears and raise their self confidence in just a few sessions of clinical hypnotherapy which can be life-changing.

Hypnotherapy can help bullying victims share their feelings and process them and the NCH therapist can help the victim address the situation by working through the subconscious mind.

The stress and anxiety caused by bullying, if left unattended, can negatively impact the victim’s well-being and how they interact with others. But by addressing the root cause, whether it is a situation, a physical issue, an experience or a relationship, the therapist will then ask the victim how they wish to feel and how they would like to be as well as enquire about things they would chose to do in their lives if free of anxiety.

Hypnotherapy can also benefit the person who does the bullying, even though they might be reluctant to acknowledge their behaviour at first.
In therapy, bullies may begin to understand the impact their hurtful behaviour has on others, explore reasons for why they bully, learn new skills for communicating positively with others, and address personal experiences that may have contributed to their bullying behaviour.

Self-esteem issues among young on the increase

The UK government is being urged to recognize the seriousness of body image fears, before young people suffered a long-term impact caused by depression, anxiety and eating issues, with one expert saying it was now normal for young people ‘to be unhappy with the way their bodies look’.

The Youth Select Committee (YSC), a British Youth Council initiative supported by the House of Commons, with 11 members aged 13-18, saysbody dissatisfaction can start as young as six in its report into the issue, A Body Confident Future.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, associate professor at the Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, added that body dissatisfaction was the biggest known risk factor for eating disorders such as bulimia.

She told the BBC: “It is a really important mental health issue, and I don’t think it is taken seriously enough.”

The YSC heard from expert witnesses, including bloggers, social-media companies, teachers and mental-health professionals, on the subject and its report, is being sent to the government for an official response.

Among other things, it askes Parliament to: address current knowledge gaps, especially about body image in pre-adolescents; develop resources for groups other than women, who are targeted in most current campaigns; appoint a Government Equalities Office minister and for major brands to increase uptake of its Body Image Pledge.

“Body dissatisfaction must be recognised as a serious issue which potentially affects every young person. This report is only the first step; far more needs to be done by society at large to tackle this issue,” the YSC said.

The rising use of social media is also blamed for causing young people to worry about their body image while there are concerns that most campaigns are targeted at women, overlooking other groups such as young men, LGBT youth, ethnic minorities, and those with disabilities or serious illnesses.
The report found that body image worries could affect very young children.

Overcoming self-esteem issues and building self-confidence can be easily done with clinical hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH,) with almost 1,800 fully trained therapists across the UK, is there to help.

The NCH say clinical hypnotherapy can be used to help treat a wide range of issues such as fears and phobias, anxiety and stress, panic attacks, insomnia and lack of confidence along with weight management issues, stress and anxiety.

When seeing a hypnotherapist, they will assess your concern, identify its root – whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will set you a goal asking how you wish to feel, how you would like to be, and things that you would chose to do in your life.

They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal.

After sessions with the therapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many say that they are calmer and have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily,” says the NCH. “Hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously were a concern.”

Resilience: Are you flexible enough to cope with life’s demands?

Posted on 5th November, 2017 by NCH News

How good are you at handling the day-to-day stress you experience in your life?Stress & Anxiety

Do you thrive in highly pressured environments or does just the thought make you feel weary?  Life as we know it has increased its pace exponentially in the last few decades and burnout leading to stress, anxiety and physical illness is becoming increasingly common.

What keeps us healthy and able to deal with the stresses of life is resilience which has two parts, how you recover from and grow from major life or work related adversities or traumas and how you handle every day stresses, strains and hassles.

Because the latter type of stress are ongoing, everyday occurrences the way you deal with them is crucial with researchers finding that seemingly minor, every-day events have long-term implications for mental health.  In this study researchers asked participants to describe their stress reactions to a range of common, every-day situations including problems at home, in the workplace or in their social lives.  Ten years later the participants were reassessed and they discovered that the way these participants reacted to everyday stressors and hassles predicted changes in their mental and physical health.

Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK.   Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life. This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience – the ability to adapt and bounce back when something difficult happens in your life.  For example, you can make some lifestyle changes, look after your physical health, give yourself a break or simply accept help from your support network.

Seeing a hypnotherapist can help.

After a session the person being treated usually feels more relaxed, calm and confident.. Often change is subtle, as the hypnotherapist will be working with the subconscious mind, and a very positive shift in feeling and reaction to certain previously stressful situations can be noticed.  Through working with a hypnotherapist you can expect to feel calmer and more confident, with less stress.

The newest healthy living trend: Sleep

Posted on 16th October, 2017 by NCH News

Insomnia is thought to affect one in 3 people in the UK, with sufferers finding it difficult to get to sleep, having interrupted sleep, waking early, and having difficulty concentrating and feeling tired and irritable during the day.

With the ever growing pressures of modern life it can be incredibly difficult to switch off and get restful sleep.

There is a growing body of research which suggests that sleep deprivation causes many physiological changes in the body leading to insulin sensitivity loss, the stress hormone cortisol rising, and the immune system becoming less effective.  These changes mean that insomnia sufferers are more likely to contract Type II diabetes and become obese.   There is also recent research that shows that sleep loss causes a buildup of the types of  proteins in the brain that are linked to the acceleration of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

During REM sleep one of the stress-related chemicals in the brain, noradrenalin, stops being produced. It is theorised that this change in the brain chemistry allows us to remain calm while our brain reprocess all the experiences of the day.  A lack of quality REM sleep can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, and those feelings of anxiety and depression in turn can mean even less sleep the following nights.

So how do we get more sleep?  “Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help us overcome patterns of sleep disturbance” says the NCH.  Engaging in good sleep hygiene is particularly important for insomnia sufferers.  This means creating a good pre-bedtime ritual which encourages sleep by limiting exposure to blue light (from TVs, phones and other electronics), allowing enough time to wind down after exercise and making sure your sleeping area is comfortable, dark and quiet.

 If you have tried all this and are still struggling to consistently have a good nights sleep it is important to speak to your doctor to eliminate any physical causes. Your doctor may prescribe a range of interventions aimed at helping you sleep, including suggesting hypnotherapy.  Hypnotherapy for insomnia can help you find and tackle the root cause of your insomnia.

If you have suffered from insomnia for a long period of time, patterns of sleep disturbances can become embedded in your subconscious. Hypnosis for insomnia aims to communicate with this and suggest positive changes, allowing you to sleep comfortably.

Social media and anxiety concerns for young people

The impact of social media on the mental health of people aged 14-24 has been revealed in a study by the Royal Society for Public Health and Instagram was rated as the worst social media platform with issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image being mentioned by those polled.The poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to score popular apps on these issues and, based on these ratings, YouTube was considered to have the most positive impact on mental health, followed by Twitter and then Facebook. Snapchat and Instagram were given the lowest scores overall.The RSPH study says social platforms should flag up heavy social media use and identify users with mental health issues.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said: “It is interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

Instagram said keeping the platform a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority. Michelle Napchan, Instagram head of policy, told the BBC: “Keeping Instagram a safe and supportive place, where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, is our top priority – particularly when it comes to young people.

“Every day people use Instagram to share their own mental health journey and get support from the community. For those struggling with mental health issues, we want them to be able to access support on Instagram when and where they need it.”

About 90% of young people use social media – more than any other age group – says the RSPH, adding that rates of anxiety and depression in the UK have increased by 70% in the last 25 years.

Supporting this, the National Council for Hypnotherapy says modern society and social media place great demands and responsibilities on people and their time, adding that about one in seven suffer from stress or anxiety at any time in the UK. While some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well being.

With more than 1,800 qualified clinical hypnotherapists across the UK, the NCH can offer help and non-invasive treatment to those who want to rid their lives of stress, anxiety and other similar issues.

An NCH hypnotherapist can help assess a person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will work with that person to establish a goal as to how they wish to feel, be, and things they would chose to do if free of anxiety.

“They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal,” says the NCH, adding that, after hypnotherapy sessions people often feel more confident and more relaxed in situations that have previously been challenging.
“Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily. Those who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

Commenting on the RSPH survey, Tom Madders, from mental health charity YoungMinds, said: “Increasing safety within social media platforms is an important step and one we urge Instagram and other sites to act upon. But it’s also important to recognise that simply ‘protecting’ young people from particular content types can never be the whole solution.”

Alleviating anxiety issues with therapy

Posted on  by NCH News

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone has revealed she started therapy for anxiety when she was just seven years old and, she told The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, she ‘benefited in a big way from therapy’.Stone, Academy Award winner for her role in La La Land, said acting made her feel less anxious and said, as a child, she believed she would never be able to leave her native Arizona, but by age 15 she was able to move to Hollywood.

I was a very, very anxious child and I had a lot of panic attacks. I benefited in a big way from therapy – I started it at seven
“Acting and improvisation helped me so much,” she said adding that she managed her anxiety through ‘great therapists and great cognitive behavioural tools’.

Stone joins stars like actress Jennifer Lawrence and singers Adele and Taylor Swift in admitting to suffering from anxiety.

Adele has said of her fear of performing: “I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage, my heart feels like it’s going to explode because I never feel like I’m going to deliver, ever.”

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, with more than 1,800 fully-trained therapists across the UK on its register, says treating anxiety issues is becoming more common and adds that over-anxiety can lead to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated, and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this,” says the NCH. “The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or ‘fight-or-flight’. This is primal response that protects you against threats in your environment. You may feel as if you are on high alert as well, unable to calm down or relax, your mind may race unable to focus or quieten down.”

While it is a normal part of the human protection system to experience this fight-or-flight response, says the NCH, this is only when there is real and present danger. To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety.

It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as ‘free floating’ anxiety.”

But, in sessions with a clinical hypnotherapist, the therapist can help assess the anxiety, identify its root and then work with the anxiety sufferer in setting and reaching a goal of how the person would like to be if free of anxiety. By using a range of different techniques the therapist will then work with the person to achieve this goal.

Mental health services need attention, says Theresa May

Posted on 17th August, 2017 by NCH News

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that ’10,000 members of staff will be trained spotting issues around mental health’ adding that the National Citizens Service ‘will build in mental health awareness’ after admitting to the BBC that the UK’s mental health services are ‘patchy’ and need to be reviewed.

The Prime Minister told BBC’s News Beat she would support teenagers through a new strategy and better access to help.

While 6,000 mental health nurses and doctors have been cut from the HS since 2010, Mrs May denied there’s a big problem with mental health provision in the UK, despite Labour accusing ministers of letting a generation of young people down and not funding services properly.

Earlier this year, a survey of NHS trusts suggested that mental health services in England could be overwhelmed by a combination of rising demand and staff shortages.

And Mrs May told the BBC: “One of the things I’ve been doing is actually looking at the community mental health services for young people and reviewing that across the country because it is patchy.”

While services seem to be struggling, clinical hypnotherapy is an alternative source of help for those suffering some mental health issues. It is also known that more young people are suffering from stress and anxiety than in previous years which can lead to further problems as they grow up, if not treated.

Says the National Council for Hypnotherapy, which has more than 1,800 highly-trained therapists across the UK: “Hypnotherapy is an evidence based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide.”

The Council explains that hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes. An external influence (the hypnotherapist) assists in activating the inner resources of a person (the client) in order to achieve realistic goals.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH. “Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

There could be people who want help but cannot get it due to the strains on the NHS. But, says the NCH, you may be ‘one of those people but are now ready to explore ways of freeing yourself from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life, free to do things that bring you joy’,

Mrs May told the BBC: “Over the years we haven’t given mental health the same focus in our National Health Service and other services as I think is necessary. Intervening early for young people is important. We’ve increased the number of mental health beds for young people and we’re putting record amounts of funding into mental health in the NHS.”

She adds: “We do need to ensure is that we are raising that awareness and seeing that support there.”

But that could take time and it is known that GPs are under pressure too. Mrs May said she had visited a school recently and saw ‘some of the first sets of training that we’re doing for teachers and staff in schools so they can better identify when young people have mental health problems and to know what is the right support to give to those young people’.

Is workplace stress becoming an epidemic?

Stress at work is spiralling out of control, with many employees in danger of completely burning out, a survey shows while a psychologist has warned that over-stress is ‘a time bomb ticking away in the basement of UK plc’.

The survey, reported the Daily Mail, warns that 25% of those in professions such as teaching, social work and the police are suffering from serious stress. In other occupations up to 15% of staff have problems with those in the private sector suffering from the requirement to deliver higher and higher productivity per person.

In the public sector – particularly in the NHS – staff are being asked to take on more responsibility with fewer resources, the survey leader Professor John McLeod of Abertay University, Dundee, said.

People who need workplace counselling show signs of psychological distress equivalent to that found in out-patient psychiatric hospitals,” said McLeod, adding that the culture which gives employees and bosses the longest working hours in Europe must change or Britain will
‘break down’.

While he said this was not ‘a minor worry any more but a serious crisis in people’s lives’, Ruth Lea, of the Institute of Directors,disagreed, saying: “’People should really get things in perspective. Most people are comfortable at work and often stress is just part and parcel of a job.

“There may be people who are too stressed but this can be addressed. It is usually a sign of bad management which can be changed.”

McLeod warned that workplace anxiety will not go away unless Britain learns how to offer help to staff. But he said the British ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude often prevents people admitting how awful their workplace is.

Undiagnosed anxiety conditions now cause more absences from work than traditional complaints such as backache, hangovers and stomach trouble.

His report, for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, claims counselling can reduce the incidence of office-related stress by half. Countering stress boosts performance and cuts the number of sick days taken.

Dealing with stress and anxiety is becoming more common for clinical hypnotherapists, says the nation’s largest professional association, the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH. “Today, about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.”

Many NCH hypnotherapists offer special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work.

“Stress is one of the major reasons people take time off work, and investing in stress reduction schemes companies can increase productivity, happiness and subsequently loyalty in their employees,” adds the NCH, “It is worth talking to your employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.”

During sessions with a hypnotherapist, the therapist will help assess the stress or anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will set a goal asking how the person would like to feel, how they would like to be, and things that they would chose to do if free of stress and anxiety.

“They will then work with the person to reach theirr goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal,” says the NCH. “After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.”