Remote Hypnotherapy. A new possibility?

Week 3 in lockdown and I just wanted to offer some thoughts on how this service is continuing to adjust and function during the current conditions, and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised at how effective remote hypnotherapy has been. Since the government announced the lockdown measures I have treated all of my clients through a combination of WhatsApp and Skype and up to this point I have seen no evidence that this has been detrimental to the overall effectiveness of any of the treatment. People appear to respond very well to direct hypnosis through the screen. This would have been unthinkable a few years ago with slower internet speeds and poorer technology.

IMG_20200410_092310

This was also the week I was invited to speak about tips for better sleep and anxiety management on Radio Cumbria. During a 20-minutes interview with Radio Cumbria's Darren Milby I was able to share some of my tips for establishing better sleep rhythms and even though the technology did let me down half way through the interview with a bit of team effort we were able to get back on track and deliver the intended message. Full broadcast can be accessed here
Radio Cumbria Interview


IMG_20200408_211111_081


Nobody knows exactly where this current situation is leading and undoubtedly that is the main reason many people's mental health is being challenged right now. Whenever there is a void where there is a lack of clarity of how each day is going to turn out we fill it with our own stories and 'what if' scenarios. Those stories we tell ourselves are often less than helpful or productive and belie the fact that in the moment we find ourselves in more often than not there is no immediate danger even though everything around us from the media to social media and the echo chambers of our own fear would suggest otherwise. At the time of writing I do know that there is a tremendous spirit in all of us and a much stronger resilience than we might appreciate especially among the vast majority of people in our individual communities and neighbourhoods. We will come through the other side and my hope is we will be better people for it with more empathy and willingness to connect with the real world and not just virtually. Never has there been a better demonstration of our willingness to accept we are part of a collective whole than on Thursday nights at 8pm when everybody celebrates our appreciation for our key workers. In years to come we may remember 2-minutes every week when we stood outside with our neighbours and other strangers, looked at each other smiled and waved and then realised that may be for far too long we have taken our relationships for granted and ignored what we are all about.

Be safe, be well.

David

What exactly is hypnosis?

what-is-hypnosis-cover

My name is David Faratian. I am a consultant hypnotherapist practising at the Cumbria Hypnosis Mindfulness Clinic and in this article, I would like to explore the fascinating psychology of hypnosis and hypnotherapy and attempt to unravel some of the more common myths. Hypnosis has become well-known thanks to popular acts where people are prompted to perform unusual or ridiculous actions, but, it has also been clinically proven to provide medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in the reduction of pain and anxiety. It has even been suggested that hypnosis can reduce the symptoms of dementia. When you hear the word hypnotist, what comes to mind?

If you’re like many people, the word may conjure up images of a sinister stage-villain who brings about a hypnotic state by swinging a pocket watch back and forth. While hypnosis is often described as a sleep-like trance state, it is better expressed as a state characterised by focused attention, heightened suggestibility, and vivid fantasies. People in a hypnotic state often seem sleepy and zoned out, but in reality, they are in a state of hyper-awareness. In psychology, hypnosis is sometimes referred to as hypnotherapy and has been used for a number of purposes including the reduction and treatment of pain. Hypnosis is usually performed by a trained therapist who utilises visualisation and verbal repetition to induce a hypnotic state.

  So what can hypnotherapy help with? Often hypnotherapy is seen as the magic bullet for dealing with smoking cessation and weight loss. While this is partially true, what people may not always realise is that hypnosis has applications far more far-reaching and effective for a wide range of limiting beliefs, behaviours and emotions, including generalised anxiety disorders, OCD, ADHD, IBS, PTSD, Panic attacks, and even some forms of chronic pain. Often hypnotherapy can be a powerful ally for conventional medical treatments as it empowers self-belief and the ability for the client to heal themselves. Essentially the hypnotherapist acts as a bridge between the issue being dealt with and the part within capable of learning and making changes, namely the subconscious mind. If this brief introduction has piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about how this approach may offer a solution to a long-standing issue which has not been effectively dealt with yet, then find out more by reading the rest of the information on this website.




Seasonal Affective Disorder

male dression silhouette

Light, Exercise, and Diet Help Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Transitioning to the long, dark days of winter usually takes a little time. It’s hard reacclimatising to waking up in the dark and returning home from work in the dark. For most people, adjusting to the change of season once again as everyday activities move indoors is just business as usual. However, according to American Family Physician, as much as 6 percent of the population suffers from a form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is also known as winter depression.
Fatigue, an unhealthy craving for carbohydrates, and a persistently bad mood are common symptoms of SAD. In the more severe cases, work productivity may suffer and individuals might avoid going outside altogether. Feelings of hopelessness and low motivation often ensue. When SAD impairs your ability to function normally, it’s time to adopt self-help strategies that can help get you reenergised.
Light
Research has shown that a lack of exposure to natural light is a leading cause of seasonal affective disorder. It creates a hormonal imbalance that has a direct effect on mood and motivation. House lamps aren’t strong enough and often use the wrong kind of light (white light is necessary). A light box, one that generates at least 10,000 lux (100 times stronger than a lightbulb), is usually prescribed in such cases. They’re made specifically for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, and they’re safe because they filter out ultraviolet light. In fact, some people keep a light box at work so they’re exposed to light throughout the day. It’s also important to get as much exposure to natural light as possible. If you can, make a point of taking a walk on your lunch hour or walk (or ride a bicycle) to the store instead of driving.

Balanced Diet
People who struggle with SAD tend to overeat comfort foods that are heavy in carbohydrates, which causes weight gain. Overeating becomes a form of unhealthy emotional compensation, so it’s important to stick with a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and protein. Emphasise foods rich in vitamin D, a byproduct of sunlight which is in short supply late in the year. Salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and foods rich in omega 3 are especially beneficial late in the year.
Find Ways to Stay Active
Exercise is a good way to improve your mental outlook. It activates feel-good hormones in the brain that encourage you to continue exercising. Physical activity gets your blood flowing and heart pumping, a self-invigorating form of care that can help you overcome the effects of fatigue and lethargy. Research has shown that even one hour of exercise a week can mitigate the effects of depression.
Social Interaction
Getting out and about may be the last thing an individual plagued by seasonal affective disorder feels like doing, but it’s important for combatting poor moods and feelings of isolation. Simple acts like going for a walk outdoors with a neighbor or relative can improve your sense of well-being. Or, make a point of having coffee with a friend once a week at your favourite shop. Sometimes, just sharing happy memories with people you care about can have an uplifting effect on your spirits.
Meditate and Contemplate
Sometimes, engaging in contemplative disciplines like meditation and journaling can help you achieve a new perspective, one that helps you overcome depression and keep problems in their proper perspective. Meditation is a good way to strengthen the mind-body connection, whereas keeping a journal helps you make sense of your thoughts and feelings in a way that nothing else can.
Gut Health
It’s very difficult to feel good about things when your digestive health is suffering. Maintaining a balance between good and bad gut bacteria is essential for good digestion and your overall physical well-being.
Caring for your mental and physical needs can help stave off the emotionally debilitating effects of seasonal affective disorder. So, remember to stay physically active and set aside some time to process your thoughts, both of which are important strategies when the long days and lack of sunlight weigh down on you.
With special thanks to guest blogger Kimberly Hayes

If you would like more information about how our service can help with SAD or any other form of generalised anxiety disorder then click here for a FREE exploratory consultation.

Wishing you a peaceful day,
David Faratian





The power of words in hypnosis part 1

hypnotherapist


Today we are going to discuss an aspect of hypnosis that most people are probably unaware of. This is the area of language and how it is used in hypnotherapy. The reason why this is so important for the work we do as therapists is because all language is processed and created unconsciously. This is why therapy does not fit into a neat box and it can never be a case of one size fits all, especially when it comes to delivering language to the unconscious of our clients. Therapists who use scripts are merely indulging the 'junk food' of hypnosis. Before you write to me defending the script based approach, let me tell you I used to be exactly in the same school of thought. All that has now changed and here's why.

When we speak we don’t actually know how we produce language we just make various sounds and the words seem to just emerge from our mouths as sentences with meaning. Whenever I initiate a trance in any of my clients I don’t think about what I’m going to say in advance I just seem to ‘know’ what to say. I’m not following a teleprompter I’m not following a pre written script, I’m just saying what comes to mind and letting the ideas ‘flow’, In fact, unless I say something random during a particular train of thought like “butterfly” you will naturally make sense of everything I say to you, because as the subject you are also processing information unconsciously. There is a neuroscience and the neurology going on behind the scenes. This is why language when it comes to hypnotherapy and change work. If the therapist cannot deliver language which evokes a person's own unique representation of their world, then how can he hope to engage with their perceived reality and change it? Language is produced unconsciously, it’s comprehended unconsciously and it’s perceived unconsciously. Language is able to produce powerful hypnotic states, emotional states, deep feeling states. Language can cause us to create pictures in our minds. You only have to think about your favourite novel that you’ve ever read that stimulated your imagination. Why was that? Clearly the language that you were reading was being perceived through your brain as a set of emotional and visual associations and connections which brought the story to life. However, the way you perceive the story is very different from how someone else perceives it based on how they unconsciously process that language. All language is hypnotic, which is why there are certain words and phrases that carry more power than others. In my next blog I will talk about these in more depth.


David Faratian





Nightmares, flashbacks, trauma

ptsd trauma cloud

Probably one the most distressing side effects of trauma is the nightmares it can evoke. Nightmares attack when you are peacefully asleep and your conscious mind is off guard. By not dealing consciously with the nightmare, symptoms can worsen and the capacity to get a good night's rest may start to endanger your wellbeing. What should occur is the contrary. The memories which are essentially trapped at some point in time need to come out and be expressed and experienced in order for you to be free from them. Repressing them simply causes the initial pain to be prolonged unnecessarily for the rest of your life.  



Most nightmares are repetitive in nature, and the surreal way in which your dreams replay the part of the trauma can make the experience appear to be far worse than it actually may have been in reality. Regular nightmares which aren't related to trauma have a tendency to be distinctive each time. Obviously nevertheless this is the way it goes. Our fears may be also reflected by trauma nightmares. You might start to dream that members of your household get hurt. You might start to fantasise that you just get hurt in another way. This is your mind expressing what it fears, instead of what occurred. 



These dreams supply you with important details about what you fear. Traumatic nightmares are good in some sense. How can something be good? Nightmares allow you to know the problem is being worked on by your mind. Our brains are fabulous things. When we get hurt they act like computers replaying repeatedly the event, attempting to make sense of it. Our brains treat traumas as issues to be solved. Your brain is also attempting to take what happened to you and somehow make sense of it or to reduce the sense of overwhelm. In other words, to just get used to the idea that something horrible occurred. To get used to the emotions of powerlessness. Rather than dismissing them, drowning them out with sedatives or alcohol or staying up all night to avoid sleep, one should treat them as vital information. 

The brain remembers that you've been hurt once and is attempting to give you details about where, how so that should a similar event happen again you could either avoid it in the future and be in a stronger position to know how to deal with it next time. 

Hypnotherapy has an excellent track record when it comes to rationalising the stuck state of a nightmare, traumatic memory or flashback. Unlike most approaches to eradicate nightmares which rely on faith that the nightmare will eventually subside, hypnosis can effectively bring the memory out of its stuck state into an area of conscious awareness where it can be worked with and therefore eliminated. Nobody wants the fear that going to sleep is going to be unpleasant. If you are currently suffering from this unhealthy psychological imbalance and would like to explore options for curing the problem then please click the following link for more information and an opportunity to discuss your problem with a professional advanced hypnotherapist.

Wishing you a peaceful day

David Faratian