If you feel uneasy at the prospect of flying for your holidays, or a little anxious when the boss sends you on a business trip, then Solution Focused Hypnotherapy may be able to help you.
Using safe techniques, hypnotherapy can help you to overcome that fear that may have been holding you back for so long.
As a fully insured and qualified Solution Focused Hypnotherapy practitioner we work with clients who may dislike aspects of flying that can result in them feeling a bit nervous before they get onto a plane or while they are on board.
Over a period of normally three to four hypnotherapy sessions, we can help someone feel more confident about flying – with the sole aim of helping them to board a plane feeling calm and relaxed.
I use specific hypnotherapy techniques that involve helping people overcome their phobic responses – these can range from a fear of flying to a fear of spiders or heights.
To be able to help someone gain confidence in an area of their life is a fantastic feeling. Thanks to Solution Focused Hypnotherapy together with their desire for positive change, clients can go on to gain confidence as an air passenger or in other areas of their life.
Hypnotherapy Society via World Health Organization (WHO)
It's World No Tobacco Day on Saturday - why not support it and make it your reason to quit?
Lots of people use Hypnotherapy as an effective aid to stop smoking. If you want to try this too, make sure you use an Accredited and qualified Hypnotherapist.
[VIDEO] World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2014
Raise taxes on tobacco. This short video explains why.
One woman's story of how Hypnotherapy helped her with her debilitating panic attacks.
THE NEUROSCIENCE OF IMAGINATIONUNDERSTANDING HOW IMAGINATION WORKS COULD BE THE KEY TO DAYDREAMING YOURSELF INTO A SHARPER, MORE CREATIVE PERSON.
BY JANE PORTER
"Use your imagination." You've probably heard this phrase since before you can remember.
It was your imagination you were using to create your first finger painting; your imagination that let you visualize what it might be like to make out with your high school crush; your imagination that helped you dream up the idea for your business or book or the house you'll one day build.
But when you use your imagination, what exactly is at work?
Try this: Close your eyes and imagine a bowl of fruit. This is pretty simple. You might see some apples and oranges, bananas, maybe a bunch of grapes. Probably, you've seen enough bowls of fruit in your life to call a stored-up image to mind with little effort.
THE BRAIN IS FUNDAMENTALLY A LAZY PIECE OF MEAT.Now close your eyes and imagine these pieces of fruit could talk. What would they say to each other? Not so easy, right? Talking fruit isn't something we encounter much in life. That means you'll need to use your perception--what you know about the way different fruits look and taste--and fill in the parts you don’t know. That's where imagination comes in.
"Perception and imagination are linked because the brain uses the same neural circuits for both functions," says Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics and director of the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University. "Imagination is like running perception in reverse."
When you call to mind something you've never actually seen, it's a lot easier to think creatively than if you try imagining something that's familiar to you. That's because the brain can't rely on connections that have been shaped by past experience.
THE SUREST WAY TO PROVOKE THE IMAGINATION IS TO SEEK OUT ENVIRONMENTS YOU HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH.But experience something enough times and your brain becomes more adept at processing this information. As the connections between neurons become more efficient, your brain doesn't have to work as hard. "The brain is fundamentally a lazy piece of meat," writes Berns. "It doesn't want to waste energy."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CREATIVE THINKING?First thing's first: Forget the whole ideas of left brain/right brain thinking. Creative thinking happens across various regions of the brain, depending on what stage of the creative process you're in, according to cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman.
In other words, when your imagination is at work, networks in the brain interact with one another. If you lit up those network regions in a brain scan, they might look something like a spotted cowhide.
Three large-scale brain networks in particular can help understand brain activity involved in creative thinking, according to Kaufman:
1. THE EXECUTIVE ATTENTION NETWORKIf you need laser-focused attention on something--be it a complex presentation or a problem that requires your working memory, you're recruiting the executive attention network in your brain.
2. THE DEFAULT NETWORKWhen you're remembering, thinking about the future or imagining alternative scenarios, you're activating the default network; what Kaufman calls the "imagination network." This is also at work during social interactions when, say, you're trying to imagine what someone else is thinking.
3. THE SALIENCE NETWORKThis network monitors both external events and your internal stream of consciousness, moving quickly between the two depending on which is most relevant in the moment. It gathers all of the information coming at you and prioritizes it, sending signals to the brain about what it ought to process first.
THE DEFAULT NETWORK IN THE BRAIN IS ACTIVE, MAKING CONNECTIONS AND IMAGINING DIFFERENT SCENARIOS UNTIL--"AH-HA!"--THE RIGHT ONE COMES TO YOU. Researchers are studying that second network in particular, what Kaufman calls the "imagination network" as a way to understand daydreaming and creative thinking. What, they want to know, is happening in that default network when you're focused on another task?
"The motor part of the brain is active, if you're driving for example," says John Kubie, Associate Professor in the department of cell biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. "But the other part of your brain isn't just twiddling its thumbs. It's doing something."
Perhaps it's that other part of your brain that accounts for those "ah-ha" moments when solutions to problems come to you from what feels like out of nowhere. That's why great ideas frequently hit us when we're driving or walking or taking a shower. The default network in the brain is active, making connections and imagining different scenarios until--"ah-ha!"--the right one comes to you.
So how to get your imagination firing in order to give your creative thinking a boost? "Creativity is enhanced when you begin to recognize that many of your fantasies may have relevance to some of the kinds of things that you are interested in doing," according to Jerome Singer, whose work in daydreaming is seminal in the field of psychology.
And according to Berns: "The surest way to provoke the imagination … is to seek out environments you have no experience with. … Novel experiences are so effective at unleashing the imagination because they force the perceptual system out of categorization, the tendency of the brain to take shortcuts."
Go to a museum. Take a walk. Read a book set in an unfamiliar place. Let your mind wander and you might be surprised what it turns up.
A Hypnotherapy Association has recently conducted research into the reasons people seek the services of its members. Anxiety was by far the most common condition seen by the Association’s Hypnotherapists, with over 34% of cases related to anxiety or stress.
The research was carried out by the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (AfSFH) in the form of a survey sent to the Association’s 168 registered members. The Hypnotherapists were asked to provide statistics relating to clients they saw during a period of one week at the beginning of June 2011.
The survey was intended to provide a snapshot of what prompts people to seek Hypnotherapy.
Association Trustee, Nicola Griffiths, explains: “Whilst many people are familiar with the use of Hypnotherapy in helping clients to quit smoking or to help overcome their fear of spiders or flying, the fact that the therapy can help with a wider range of issues is less well known. We wanted to conduct the survey to demonstrate the scope of our work.”
“‘We had an excellent response and were able to analyse statistics relating to some 227 anonymous clients. As Solution Focused Clinical Hypnotherapists we specialise in helping clients to cope better with a range of conditions, many of which are either caused or exacerbated by anxiety, so it was interesting to see such a high percentage of clients presenting with anxiety or stress. It’s encouraging to feel our message is getting out there.”
The most common reasons for people seeking the therapists’ services were:
Anxiety or Stress (including Panic Attacks): 34%
Eating disorders or Weight Loss: 11%
Sleep Disorders: 3%
Smoking Cessation was less than 3%. Nicola explains: “This, again, is to be expected. Whilst our therapists do provide Smoking Cessation treatments, these are not the mainstay of our work. We specialise in working with clients, using a collaborative approach, to help them make changes over time in their responses to life’s ups and downs. The effort a client puts in between sessions to making changes is at least as important as the therapy sessions themselves.”
“Our Solution Focused approach is relatively modern and is based on Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), a well-researched form of psychotherapy developed in the 1980s. We encourage clients to focus on their preferred future rather than dwelling on past or current problems.”
Other reasons for seeking help included: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Sports Performance, Relationship Issues and Pain Management)
73% of clients seen during the survey week were female. Interestingly there was only a slight difference between the proportion of male or female clients seeing male or female therapists, but not enough to be significant. Clients seem to be equally comfortable seeing male or female Hypnotherapists, with only a small bias towards same gender pairings.
In terms of the age of clients:
18% were 19 to 30 years old
37% were aged 31 to 45
27% were 46 to 60 years old
11% were 61 to 70
with a handful of clients under 19 or over 70. The Association speculates: “The peak of 31 to 45 year olds could be a reflection of their life stage with children, careers and financial pressures all taking their toll.”
Nicola concludes: “The Association’s first member survey has highlighted that clients of all ages are seeking Clinical Hypnotherapy to help with a wide range of conditions.”
She adds: “AfSFH registered Hypnotherapists are highly qualified, many having gained the ‘gold standard’ Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD), which has been recognised by the Open University to be the equivalent of 45 points at Undergraduate Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).”
So you think you're too old to change, break habits or learn new ways of behaving? Think again!
Not so long ago many scientists believed that the brain didn’t change after childhood – that it was hard-wired and fixed by the time we became adults – but recent advances in only the last decade now tell us that this is not true. The brain can and does change throughout our lives. It is adaptable, like plastic – hence the term “neuroplasticity.”
Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Learn more about neuroplasticity in this short video.
Six myths surround stress. Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Let's look at these myths.
Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody.Completely wrong. Stress is different for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.
Myth 2: Stress is always bad for you. According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us.
Myth 3: Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it.Not so. You can plan your life so that stress does not overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties. When stress is mismanaged, it's difficult to prioritize. All your problems seem to be equal and stress seems to be everywhere.
Myth 4: The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones. Again, not so. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. We are all different, our lives are different, our situations are different, and our reactions are different. Only a comprehensive program tailored to the individual works.
Myth 5: No symptoms, no stress. Absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the strain on your physiological and psychological systems.
Myth 6: Only major symptoms of stress require attention.This myth assumes that the "minor" symptoms, such as headaches or stomach acid, may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to do a better job of managing stress.
American Psychological Association.
Adapted from The Stress Solution by Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D., and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D
New diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in British service personnel have increased, official figures show.The number of new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder recorded in British troops has increased, according to official statistics.
A total of 94 members of the armed forces were newly registered as suffering the disorder between July and September last year, nearly four times the 25 diagnoses recorded in the same period in 2008.
There were 305 new cases of PTSD among UK troops in the 12 months to September last year, double the 153 logged in 2007 to 2008, according to statistics released by the Defence Analytical Services and Advice.
Rates of mental disorders were found to be significantly higher in personnel who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Women, soldiers, RAF personnel and non-officer ranks were also more likely to suffer mental health problems.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by stressful or frightening events. Its symptoms include flashbacks and insomnia, and it can develop many years on.
A spokesman for Combat Stress, a mental health charity for military veterans, told The Sun: "The nation is facing huge numbers of soldiers who will need help overcoming things they've experienced serving their country."
(Sam Marsden, Daily Telegraph).
Others who can develop PTSD are; members of the emergency services; victims of domestic violence, child abuse and bullying; people who have been involved in accidents, natural disasters or acts of terrorism or who have a terminal illness.
However, PTSD is a treatable disorder. The use of good medication along with therapies like Solution Focused hypnotherapy, relaxation techniques and group support can be used either on their own or in conjunction with one another as a combined approach that can prove life changing. These techniques can help to readdress the survivor’s situation in a safe and supportive environment. Don’t suffer in silence.
Half of Britain Suffer Phobias…
Around 50 per cent of adults in the UK suffer from phobias. Two psychotherapists, Nik and Eva Speakman, who appeared on ITV's This Morning say people are born with only two phobias - a fear of falling and of noises. Any others are developed through personal experiences.
A survey, carried out by ITV asked around 2,000 people about their phobias, with one in seven claiming to be scared of flying and ten per cent admitting their fear of spiders. A scary seven per cent said their phobia had actually cost them their job, with one in ten saying their relationships were affected. With phobias having this much impact on peoples' lives, it may be worth having hypnotherapy to try and overcome the fear.
(The National Hypnotherapy Society)