Updated: Jul 26, 2019
Hypnotherapy helps people like you and me to overcome our internal horrors and fears comfortably, and quickly, without the stress of reliving the trauma in your mind or spending hours talking it through. Hypnotherapy can remove the effects of trauma without causing discomfort to you and it will improve the quality of your life in other ways too.
Perhaps you have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), or you may just be living with the symptoms of it, maybe you sometimes feel fear, worry, anxiety or stress and you think it all started after you saw, heard about, experienced or witnessed something that was traumatic. Perhaps little things just trigger these uncomfortable feelings and you don’t really know why? How might you tell if you are suffering from traumatic stress?
Ask yourself the following:
· Did anything in particular happen around the time I started noticing the symptoms?
· Do I feel really upset to talk or think about this event, even now?
· Is the memory as painful and vivid as the day it was formed?
Traumatic memories become trapped in the brain between the amygdala, where the protective flight/fight response resides, and the hippocampus where recent memories are stored. Neutral and pleasant memories are transferred to the neocortex where long-term memories are stored, and they start to feel more distant over time. Sometimes we have to help traumatic memories to be transferred into the long term memory of the neocortex. Hypnotherapy can help you neutralise traumatic memories. It will put the memory in the past where it belongs, where it will fade over time, you will be able to remember it but you won’t feel the pain associated with it.
These days, our lives are generally quite stressful, most of the time most people, one way or another, cope with the everyday stresses and strains, but sometimes our bodies become overloaded and switch permanently into ‘protective or survival mode’ and that’s when your health and well-being can suffer. Millions of people suffer with the after effects of traumatic events that they have witnessed or experienced, leaving them with ‘flashbacks’ to the feelings they felt before…..damaging their happiness and self-confidence ….. giving them sleepless nights or nightmares that destroy restful, restorative sleep. PTSD sufferers find themselves being pulled back to feel the same feelings, the same intensity of fear and pain each time they encounter the slightest subconscious trigger that in some way , at a deep subconscious level, reminds them of the original trauma and it’s not a reaction that they can control consciously.
For some people, talking things through doesn’t help, in fact it may make things worse. Even talking therapies can’t seem to help some people get to that subconscious level needed to make the changes required. Some people don’t want to talk about the trauma because it makes them feel worse, but sometimes it can be helpful, and over time they recover. Symptoms of traumatic stress can show themselves years later and when these symptoms surface, hypnotherapy will help you manage them.
Most people associate PTSD with people who serve or have served in the armed forces, but trauma can affect all of us. Some people encounter traumatic events every day in their working lives e.g. emergency service workers, including call handlers and frontline staff. People like you and me are also vulnerable to the damaging effects of trauma in our ordinary everyday lives. Our bodies are designed to protect us, and our minds cannot distinguish between real threats and imagined threats, everyday stressors can easily put us permanently into ‘survival mode’ leaving us feeling anxious, worried, angry, guilty, or stressed.
I know from personal experience just how effective hypnotherapy can be for the treatment of anxiety caused by a traumatic experience. A few years ago, I was a victim of a burglary. It was in the early hours of the morning when three men broke into the post office which I ran and owned and where I also lived with my daughters. I was terrified, it felt like hours, but was all over in a matter of minutes. I could not see what was going on, but I could hear them breaking in, and not being able to see just increased my fear as my imagination was left to fill in the gaps. Remember, the mind cannot distinguish between real and imagined. Later I watched the CCTV footage of the break in, which filled in the visual imagery to create my traumatic memory.
I had a few weeks of counselling to help me to come to terms with what had happened, after all I had no choice but to carry on living there and continue to run the post office. The counselling helped me to focus on what I could do to make myself feel better about being there. It helped a little; it was good to talk about how I felt, but months after the event I started to suffer with symptoms of fear and anxiety. Totally out of my control, in the middle of the night I would be woken by someone closing a car door outside, I’d wake up in panic, my heart racing, hypervigilant waiting to hear the sound of breaking glass again. After months of suffering I sought the help of a hypnotherapist. I had never been to one before, but I needed to do something to get my life back on track, so I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’
From the first consultation I knew I was in the right place. We talked all about me and why I sought help, I identified the things that seemed to trigger my anxiety and fear and some goals for the changes I wanted to make. I identified how I wanted to be, and feel after the treatment. I had five hypnotherapy sessions and my sudden episodes of panic and fear disappeared, I felt comfortable in my own home again, I could talk about the incident without feeling distressed, and I continued to run the post office. I learned how to relax and manage general stress and anxiety, and I became more confident and resilient in myself. This experience of hypnotherapy inspired me. It was the trigger that put me on a path to train and qualify as a hypnotherapist myself. There cannot surely be a better recommendation than that.
Hypnotherapy provides an ethical and kind relief to people suffering with the after effects of trauma. Ethical treatment for trauma should be*:
Fast: you can be traumatised in a second, that’s all it takes to fix an emotional response pattern in your brain, so it makes sense that the treatment should be quick too. A one-off traumatic memory can often be resolved comfortably in just one hypnotherapy session.
Dissociated: this means the therapy needs to be able to remove the traumatic memory to a place in the brain where it can reside as an historic memory without the painful feelings attached. It’s the way the brain usually works naturally to process any painful memory. This places the memory in a part of the brain where it can stay comfortably, healthily and safely without causing you to hurt.
Deeply calm: the treatment for trauma needs to be comfortable and kind. Hypnotherapy places you in a profoundly relaxed state where the memory can be retagged as no longer threatening incredibly quickly, even if the trauma is years old.
So if this article rings true for you, why not contact me to book a consultation appointment where we can discuss how hypnotherapy might help you, and you can experience a short hypnotherapy treatment to discover just how incredibly relaxed you will feel. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Initial Consultation: £35 Adults - £25 16-18yrs, full time students, senior citizens
Hypnotherapy Treatment Sessions: £75 Adults - £65 as above
(*Source: Uncommon Knowledge 2015)