Hypnosis is a very effective
tool for treating anxiety problems. Anxiety is a central feature of
most psychological disorders and psychiatric illnesses. If the experience
of anxiety is chronic, persistent and constant, then, once medical causes
are ruled out, it is probably diagnosable as a Generalized Anxiety
Disorder. If the experience of anxiety is chronic, but episodic, and very
intense, it is probably diagnosable as a Panic Disorder.
Panic Disorder with and
without Agoraphobia is a debilitating condition whose essential features
are recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, and the tendency to be overly
concerned about having attacks. These rushes of fear, which seem to occur
out of the blue, are associated with a number of intense physical symptoms
as well as a feeling of impending doom.
As defined by the DSM-IV
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994), a "panic attack" is a discrete
episode of very intense fear and/or discomfort that starts abruptly,
reaches its peak within approximately 10 minutes, and is accompanied by at
least 4 of the following 13 somatic and cognitive symptoms: "shortness of
breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, feeling of
choking, nausea/abdominal distress, depersonalization, paresthesias
(numbness and tingling), flushes/chills, chest pain, fear of dying, and
fear of going crazy or fear of doing something uncontrolled".
Many of these somatic symptoms
are also present in other anxiety disorders. The normal motivation to
avoid or ward off these uncomfortable experiences forms the basis for many
of the self-defeating dysfunctional behaviors that characterize these
As described on the
"People with Generalized
Anxiety Disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry
and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it.
They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues,
money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the
thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. GAD is diagnosed when
a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at
least 6 months.
People with GAD can't seem to
get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their
anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can't relax,
startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble
falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany
the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches,
difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating,
nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling
out of breath, and hot flashes."
My hypnotic approach to
treating anxiety disorders incorporates two aspects: treating the
symptoms and uncovering the root causes.
I address the symptoms by
teaching you cognitive, behavioral and relaxation coping skills.
Self-hypnosis for relaxation and cognitive control of anxious thoughts and
worries is routinely taught as a coping skill.
I also teach instant
relaxation skills to help you cope with stress, tension, and anxiety
episodes on the fly, immediately, wherever they occur. These skills
include refocusing, distraction, cognitive reframing, thought interruption
and deep breathing. These approaches are discussed in our book,
Brief Cognitive Hypnosis: Facilitating the Change of Dysfunctional
I use analytical hypnotherapy
techniques for uncovering, reprocessing and reframing the root causes of
anxiety disorders. This involves the use of a technique called
Ideomotor Analysis. I use this technique to analyze, explore, and reframe
your prior sensitizing experiences during which your key, underlying,
negative fixed ideas originated. The goal is to change these negative
fixed ideas because these are the ideas that fuel your anxieties.
These techniques are discussed in detail in our book,
Ideomotor Signals for Rapid Hypnoanalysis: A How-To Manual.
Fears, generalized anxiety,
panic and phobias can be controlled using Clinical Hypnosis,
Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Relaxation Therapy. Through the use of
hypnosis, you can learn to "un-install" anxious thoughts and in their
place, "install" positive, realistic coping thoughts into your
subconscious and conscious minds.
I use Hypnosis to make
Cognitive-Behavioral and Relaxation Therapies more effective by
imprinting coping skills into your Subconscious Mind.
When you learn and practice Self
Hypnosis, you can mentally practice and rehearse effective cognitive,
behavioral and relaxation coping skills so that they become conscious AND
subconscious habits. This is a very important component of your healing.
This is Short-Term Therapy to
put YOU IN CONTROL. You can learn to control your anxiety through Hypnosis.
Treatment usually takes two to five visits.
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