HYPNOTHERAPY AND THE SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS
Hamlet's depression was defined by Shakespeare in two contrasting ways as the following two quotes:
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so—
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2
To be or not to be: That is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them…
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1
Thinking Vs Feeling
These two quotes represent the themes of two of today’s prominent evidence-supported treatments for depression, these approaches are enhanced with the use of hypnotherapy..
• The first, our thoughts influence our mood. Hamlet had consistent dark thoughts about himself, his situation and his future.
• The second, relationship issues (emotions) are the highest cause of depression. Hamlet considered his own existence with the loss of his father, and the lack of attention from his mother, who needed to spend time with her new husband. There was the added complication that the new husband may have killed his father.
Hypnotherapy needs to be focused on these two factors.
CBT Explains Depression as a self-fulfilling prophecy
Aaron Beck’s cognitive model (Beck, et al., 1979) suggests three specific concepts to help explain depression.
It is the combination of these three concepts that evolve into the self-fulfilling prophecy of depression for clients.
The three areas are (1) the cognitive triad, (2) schemas, (3) cognitive errors, faulty information processing.
The cognitive triad, inaccuracies that can draw us into viewing ourselves and our experiences in a unique way.
1. First, we develop a negative view of ourselves, we can perceive deficits that lead us to believe we are undesirable and worthless.
2. Secondly, we tend to reinterpret our ongoing experiences in a destructive way, viewing situations as intolerable, confirming how difficult things are.
3. Thirdly, we can project these destructive thoughts into the future, anticipating that the current perceived difficulties will indefinitely continue.
Who would not find it depressing with a perceived negative future?
Why would we not become listless and withdraw to avoid life's demands, if we experience pessimism and hopelessness, if we expect negative events and an unsatisfactory outcome from our efforts.
We can become increasingly dependent on others as we view ourselves as inept and helpless, as we overestimate how difficult normal tasks will be and assume our personal efforts will result in more failure. Who would not experience apathy and low energy, this would be a logical response to doom and failure. Hypnotherapy can help.
Schemas are cognitive patterns that serve to interpret particular circumstances and situations.
Schemas screen out and break down incoming information into familiar, understandable, and predictable
patterns that may then be responded to with a personalised repertoire of reactions.
Beck suggests that schemas can lie dormant until motivated by specific environmental inputs.
With depression, these schemas will be negative, distorted, and highly dysfunctional. When these schemas
are reactivated by circumstances they drive the self-fulfilling negative prophecy, until they become our
personalised reality, autonomous and now an automatic response.
Eventually and once we have ensured the self-fulfilling prophesies are reality, we are unable to entertain
the concept that our negative interpretations may not be accurate and without consciously understanding we move to belief.
Eventually we become preoccupied with negative thoughts about ourselves, our world, and our future, with
all of the related symptoms of depression present.
With hypnotherapy we have helped so many people change.
Cognitive Errors or faulty information processing is the final phase
These are a series of logical errors characteristic of depressive thinking, which serve to maintain the person’s belief in the validity of perceptual negative concepts.
Beck created a list of thinking errors as follows, I have also included some NLP terminology and explanations, all of which are used within hypnotherapy.
(a) Arbitrary inference, when a conclusion is drawn in the absence of evidence or in the face of evidence to the contrary.
(b) Selective abstraction, when a detail is taken out of context to characterise a whole experience, ignoring other salient features of the situation.
(c) Over generalisation, when one or more isolated incidents are used to draw a general rule or conclusion, applied across broadly related and unrelated situations.
(d) Magnification and minimization, when perceived negative events or qualities are inflated and positive ones depreciated.
(e) Personalisation, where a person relates external events to themselves when there is no basis for making such a connection.
(f) Absolute, dichotomous thinking, polarisation, where all experiences are cast into one of two opposite categories.
Each of these errors and their combination will tend to initiate and perpetuate their own cycle of problems that characterise the depressed person’s experience.
Beck notes, the depressed person tends to have enough of an effect upon their environment and those around them, to create situations that match their expectations.
Whilst we may isolate ourselves from others, others may withdraw from us because we become unenjoyable to be with.
This can create an interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecy, where what the person expects from their world, eventually shapes their interactions to match those beliefs.
The above comes close to explaining depression in terms of relationships however, many of these characteristics can be heard in general conversation with people who might consider themselves to be by nature positive. We believe this to be depressive thinking, that does not infer the client is depressed, although escalated there is a strong possibility this might become a reality.
Hypnotherapy can help the client examine current interpersonal relationships and understand how they have developed from experiences in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
This suggests there are six main areas of interpersonal distress around which depression evolves. These interpersonal domains include:
A) Grief, with a focus on the person’s reaction to the death of a person or people, either now or in the past.
B) Loss, a relationship, the future perceived whilst in the relationship, debilitating illness and again loss of dreams which might become unfulfilled.
C) Developing in the company of important others displaying these symptoms.
D) Relationship disputes, which involve interpersonal disputes with friends, family, partners or colleagues.
E) Transitions involving life changing events such as marrying, divorce, taking a new job, becoming a student, a parent or a redundant parent etc.
F) Interpersonal deficits, which relate mainly to interpersonal isolation and the poor quality and quantity of the depressed person’s interpersonal relationships.
Hypnotherapy is an ideal approach to help us change our perceptions and see ourselves, the world and our relationships in a more functional way.
The key element is that the depressed person responds to each of these areas of interpersonal distress in a way that sets up a characteristic cycle, which eventually takes on a life of its own.
This cycle can eventually become a syndrome, that might be referred to as clinical depression. One critical aspect of treatment is letting clients know that being depressed is no more their fault than having epilepsy or a broken leg.
The interpersonal view suggests, depressive symptoms are a result of failing to look at options to resolve critical areas of interpersonal distress and then take action to resolve them.
Hypnotherapy views depression as irrational thinking. Resolving depression involves changing irrational thinking patterns. The SCCP's hypnotherapy eclectic approach helps to facilitate change in thinking and when the client is ready, to optimistically look for options to resolve interpersonal stress whilst building self-esteem. This increases motivation to build the confidence to resolve these issues.
How One Woman Treated Her Depression & Anxiety Experienced While Pregnant With Hypnotherapy
Whilst pregnant with her eldest daughter, she and her partner had many fears that you might be able to relate to, not being able to afford children, the fear of "just not being ready" and the scariest, "how our mental health struggles might affect our child."
She decided to treat her anxiety and depression while pregnant, hoping that she would be better equipped to handle motherhood and maybe, break the cycle of inherited anxiety and depression.
Reluctant to go on medication again, having experienced the negative side-effects of various SSRIs in the past, she felt that therapy seemed a better option.
Untreated depression in an expectant mother during pregnancy can lead to a higher likelihood of developing postpartum depression after the baby arrives. This is why women are encouraged to address mood instability or anxiety during their pregnancy.
By reaching out for help now, she felt that she would be gathering resources, establishing good mental health, and preparing herself for the journey ahead.
She decided on hypnotherapy although had doubts about its integrity due to her experience of stage hypnosis.
Having found a hypnotherapist that she could work, her history, feelings, thought patterns and parenting goals, were discussed.
She felt the main thing she wanted to work with was the manifestations of depression and anxiety.
For example, when extremely anxious, she had a tendency to speak quickly, to clean aggressively, to lose her temper faster, to scream or to cry while feeling painfully out of control, or to stop talking altogether, internally hermitting herself even when remaining physically present.'
She knew these were behaviors that might affect her children, even if they didn't "inherit" her specific mental health troubles, they could still suffer as a result of her behavioral patterns.'
There have been many studies regarding inheriting depression, anxiety and mood disorders from parents. In 2018, a British research team isolated a gene that, as Health-line reported, "appears to be prevalent in multiple family members with depression," stating that, "people with parents or siblings who have depression are up to three times more likely to have the condition."
In 2015, a study by Dr. Ned Kalin, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, showed that anxiety can be passed down to our young. Dr. Kalin and his team studied rhesus monkeys, ultimately isolating three regions of the brain associated with anxiety, and tracing behaviors from one generation to the next. "
They found that 35 percent of the variation in anxiety could be explained by the genes passed down by parents, LiveScience.
Additionally, failure to treat anxiety and depression before or during pregnancy might make you more susceptible to postpartum mental health struggles, something worth combating.
Hypnotherapy turned out to be something she greatly benefited from, so much so that it was something she revisited when her second baby along.
As her therapist explained, 'it isn't a one-session-fixes-all kind of deal, despite how it may sometimes be portrayed in pop culture.' Like all forms of talking therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, it's a process that varies for everyone.'
She did not always walk out of a session remembering everything her therapist had said, but she did always walk out feeling good. Feeling capable.
She now feel a lot calmer.
A misconception about hypnotherapy seems to be that, during a session, you completely lose sight of the world around you, thus making yourself vulnerable to the suggestions of someone who is, essentially a stranger. This is inaccurate.
She never once lost consciousness. She was always totally aware of where she was and what she was doing.
She felt that being "hypnotized" was more about closing her eyes and trying not to think about anything.
She commented, 'It has been about actively striving to turn off unproductive, harmful thoughts by entering a temporary state of total relaxation or at least, a state of relaxation more significant than is usual in day-to-day life. Upon getting to that point, your therapist will begin making positive suggestions based on the goals you set.'
Adapted from https://www.romper.com/p/i-treated-my-depression-anxiety-while-pregnant-with-hypnotherapy-18722016 By Marie Southard Ospina
Sept 11, 2019
Depression And Anxiety
Personality and Depression: Major Personality Traits Linked To The Risk Of Depression Explanatory Models and Review of the Evidence Current evidence suggests that depression is linked to personality traits. Recent research helps us to understand the association between personality and depression, allowing us to identify who, under enough stress, might start to suffer with depression and or anxiety. I would add to this research by saying that any one under enough stress would suffer with anxiety or depression, a natural protection response; Depression can dull the senses down or in the case of anxiety, increasing sensitivity to perceived stress or danger. When the brain perceives that it needs to protect, it looks for problems, this response can be heard in our conversation as negativity, only seeing what is wrong. As an example of this, I asked a client to look at the garden in full bloom, and tell me what he saw, his response was, "the grass needs cutting and there is a weed in the path." There was no mention of bluebells and flowering shrubs etc, which were probably not seen or experienced? This sensitivity is heightened, dependent on the brains dominant modality, when we are predominantly kinesthetic we move through our world processing events through feelings and not visually, auditory, gustatorily, olfactorily etc as a dominance. There is a possibility this over sensitivity is also enhanced by being left handed. There are many scientific reasons for this: https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/little-known-facts-about-lefthanders.aspx#03 Lefties are responsible for 10% of the population (ish) and yet responsible for more than 30% of my case load? I am not saying that righties do not suffer with depression and or anxiety, only that lefties might be prudent to be more self supportive by gaining skills which might protect them. I have not used clinical terms, which might describe these personality traits as I believe labels are often unhelpful and can be used derogatively. Here is a list in every day terminology that might identify a personality profile which could suffer with depression and or anxiety more readily. 1) External locus of control. 2) Internally sensitive 3) Difficult to let things go. 4) Over conscientious. 5) Perfectionist nature. 6) Strong emotional responses to innocuous events. 7) Rigid beliefs, in terms of what is right and wrong. By the way, perfectionist nature here does not mean that everything has to be perfect but things need to be perfect or right for the individual, for this person to feel comfortable. Back to Kenneth S. Kendler: Personality characteristics then appear to contribute to the tendency and progression of depression through a variety of neurological pathways. The implications for prevention and treatment with therapeutic interventions are profoundly obvious, as all of these personality tendencies can be addressed and with therapeutic support, modified to a more resilient personality profile. The research conclusions comes from 21,000 Swedish subjects who completed personality tests over 25 years. This research has been adapted for this article by the SCCP, with the additions of personal observations of self and clients over 35 years of clinical experience. Regarding the conclusions from these two studies and contrary to popular opinion, these traits can be changed with the correct therapeutic support. The results revealed that negative emotionality was key and that genetic factors were important in the development of depression. Professor Kenneth S. Kendler, who led the study, said: “The personality trait of neuroticism – perhaps better understood as “negative emotionality” is a strong risk factor of major depression. Our study shows that this occurs largely because levels of neuroticism are an index of the genetic liability to depression.” Although links are sometimes found between depression and being introverted, as well as being low on conscientiousness, it is neuroticism that has the greatest link to depression. The studies were published in the journals Annual Review of Clinical Psychology and Archives of General Psychiatry (Klein et al., 2011; Kendler et al., 2006). ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
How Can Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy Help Depression & Anxiety
Personality traits or the way that we can think can influence our emotional welbeing.
We often hear people say:
"Well this is me!"
"This is the way I am!"
This line of thought can hold us in a static position which is just not healthy.
Sometimes we can feel comfortable with the way that we are and don't want to change.
Of-course the reality is, experiences in life will change us everyday and hopefully, we will all continue to learn and grow, change?
There are people changing everyday, in and out of therapy.
If we want to change we can and will, and we do.
Change is not quite that straight forward.
We can want to be slimmer and yet eat more food than we require to sustain us.
We do not want to be alcohol dependent but enjoy a drink on a regular basis.
We can want to be fitter but don't like exercise.
The answer to our dilemma is gently does it.
We can all enjoy the benefits early on during our journey of change.
Sustainable change takes time, however, we can enjoy the benefits of minor change almost immediately.
Let us look at a little more research:
Research explains that anxiety affects around one-third of adolescents, probably we have all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives.
New research finds, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, sleep, a lack of stimulants and day light exercise all provide promising mind-body approaches to treating anxiety.
Traditional treatments for anxiety are cognitive-behavioural therapy and/or medication.
With long waiting lists and short session times, CBT can be difficult to access and maintain, some find medication helpful but "the meds" can have significant side-effects, just read the contraindications that come with the medication. Some patients have complained that the side affects to "the Meds" are worse than the illness.
The medication route has been further exacerbated with recent research which claims that some medications are only as effective as the placebo affects allow.
Mind-body approaches, though, are often cheaper, accessible and usually with no side-effects.
We do need to accept at times, although not always, at the start of the therapy the client mighty feel worse as they work through their issues.
This is known as the "Bell Of Therapy".
What is happening here?
We all have natural coping mechanisms that help us to feel better.
When something worries or upsets us, we can push this issue to the back of our mind or fill our lives with something else so that we do not have to think about it and it feels better. This is known as suppressing the information.
Suppression as a short term measure is a coping mechanism that allows us to push an issue to one side, so that we can get on with our lives, no problem.
The trouble comes when this mechanism becomes a default behaviour, the issue and the feelings are suppressed into our unconscious mind, crudely put, it is still between our ears and it has not gone away.
It has been said, the root of depression is suppressed feelings and often anger or the sense of disempowerment..
I doubt if this is the only reason but it could certainly be the pathology of depression.
Researchers identified studies that supported the use of:
Mindfulness, which involves increasing self-awareness and the use of breathing techniques, which studies have shown can benefit the anxiety sufferer.
The SCCP has developed a technique which incorporates, Hypnotherapy, relaxation and feel good imagery techniques, Mindfulness, CBT and NLP, which is extremely effective with anxiety and depression.
The study’s authors write:
Almost one-in-ten adolescents are said to experience severe anxiety, Severe enough to disrupt their lives.
“Whereas anxiety and fear can be typical reactions for the academic, social, and developmental challenges are common during the adolescent years, clinical or pathological anxiety can be excessive, persistent, and disruptive.”
Ms Fulweiler and Dr John write:
“A growing body of evidence supports the implementation of mind-body therapy as a low-risk and cost-effective strategy in the management of anxious teenagers.
Mind-body therapies (hypnotherapy) encompass self-regulation and positive thinking to help promote self-control, physical health, and emotional well-being.”
The study was published in the journal The Nurse Practitioner (Fulweiler & John, 2018).
Anxiety and depressive responses are not solely the domain of adolescents, what has become apparent is, there is no need to continue suffering.
There are many Brief Strategic approaches that can be used today, these therapeutic interventions are taught by the SCCP.
If you wish to gain more information about these techniques, why not CONTACT James for a free COURSE BROCHURE or a free INITIAL CONSULTATION AND PRACTICE LEAFLET.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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