Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Fears and Phobias
If you are reading this page then you, or someone close to you, may already have reached the point where the mind and body feels completely overwhelmed by the struggle to keep fears and stress in check. We experience such distress when the demands we face (or think we face) exceed our perceived ability to cope and thus distress and anxiety levels continue to rise.
Symptoms and categories
Symptoms may be mental or physical or a combination of both, any of which are unwelcome (for a detailed list of causes and symptoms click here).
There are 6 recognised categories of anxiety disorder: Generalised Anxiety, Acute Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Phobia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Such labels can be unhelpful however as they can be self-fulfilling and self-limiting. And while there may be similarities, no two people’s experience of anxiety, and what they do to create and then deal with it, can ever be the same. Rarely also does it have a single root cause; the reasons are often complex. This is why I seek first to understand and then tailor treatment to each client’s needs and ways of being.
Living in our world, an ever-changing one with all its attendant social and economic challenges, also presents its own challenges.
Life is full of challenges and problems for many people, a lot of the time. So potential causes of anxiety and stress are not in short supply. As someone once said, “Of course you have problems! The cause is simple: you got born!”
Is fear hardwired or learned?
Yet as far as we know humans apparently are only born with two fears hardwired in the brain: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. When you think about it, both make complete sense in terms of human evolution. When our primate ancestor mothers swung through branches, then an impulse to hang on, combined with a healthy fear of letting go, plus the need to be alert and respond quickly to any unexpected noise in unfamiliar territory, would have been essential for survival.
This means that all other fears are learned. You learn to be afraid of criticism or of being wrong. You learn to fear rejection. You learn to fear authority. You learn to fear what people might think of you. You learn to fear lifts or dogs or flying or driving. You learn to fear failure.
And whether it is triggered by past events, or the way you think about your life and the future, or for a reason you are completely unaware of, the root of all stress and anxiety is fear. Yet as fear and all of its associated problems is a learned response, perversely this is very good news indeed. Because what you have learned you can unlearn. It is possible to learn new, better ways to live life, to face and overcome challenges, to let go of limiting beliefs. You can learn to stop asking the wrong questions and running the wrong scripts in your mind. You can learn how not to make life tougher than it needs to be. You can learn to look at life differently and better.
The Envision Approach
Hypnotherapy is very effective at enabling someone to learn how to change their mind for good, to be able to better control their thoughts and feelings.*
In addition to hypnosis, I also show people how to challenge their own thought processes and think more appropriately. I teach people simple yet useful tools and techniques for feeling calmer and more relaxed, physically and mentally…. to be more confident and optimistic.
For deep-seated fears, phobias, OCD and PSTD I use different techniques as appropriate such as the rewind technique and parts therapy. I provide hypnosis recordings and other resources for people to use between sessions and also as ongoing support for them whenever treatment is completed.