Showing posts from August, 2020

Anxiety: The Mind's Fake News

  Don’t even bother trying…it’s bound to go wrong… If I go to that party, everyone is going to stare at me… There are people far better for that job… there is no point in applying… You know you are scared of that… avoid it… that’s the safest option… These worries, fears, phobias, and panic attacks are your mind lying to you! It’s fake news… your mind is telling you there is something to be fearful, worried about, when it’s not true. Like all fake news, you can ignore it, but it will find a way of creeping back in, and each time it tries to be more and more convincing. It is still lies from your mind. Think of anxiety as unconscious stress; stress that originates inside your mind. Your mind wants you to avoid anything similar to that unconscious stress so it interrupts your behaviour to prevent that happening. And not just your behaviour… Unconscious stress intrudes on your thoughts. Ask anyone who suffers with anxiety and they will tell you how much they think about it. It is rare

What is the most important question to ask about anxiety?

  Let’s imagine you are talking to someone who has been trying to manage anxiety… what would be the best question to ask? What symptoms have you been experiencing?  What seems to trigger the anxiety?    Is there anything that has helped previously?  We might even ask… how long have you been feeling anxious?  Obviously all are important questions…but what about… WHY have you been suffering with anxiety? When did you first remember feeling anxious? These might be the most illuminating questions because they are moving away from focusing on the direct symptoms of anxiety and beginning to consider what the CAUSE of the anxiety might be. Anyone with anxiety is going to have thought about where it might have started. They will have spent many hours pondering over the possible causes, but even then they will admit that those causes somehow don’t seem right. This leads to the hypothesis that there must be a cause that they haven’t worked out yet; perhaps an unconscious one which has been trig

From Mesmerism to Modern Day... A History of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

‘There is an “it” which thinks in me and makes  me doubt whether it is I that think.’ Claude Levi-Strauss If you had to describe Hypnosis to someone, what would you say? It’s okay, the whole issue of an agreed definition has troubled academics and practitioners for many years. Often words like: relaxation, focused thinking, trance and sleep, are the first selected, and sometimes people talk about a hypnotic state. I work with this definition: A state of relaxation and heightened awareness, induced by suggestion How’s that?  It combines the idea that experiencing hypnosis is relaxing with the very common phenomenon that our senses become more sensitive. We become more aware of our surroundings while experiencing hypnosis and make sharper isolations of thought, even though to the observer we look perfectly relaxed. The definition also makes the point that the state is induced (either by themselves or another) by suggesting that it is going to happen. Think about that… a situation wher