Anxiety can be paralyzing. It can keep us from making friends, putting ourselves in social situations, or moving forward in our careers. Even more than that, it is extremely uncomfortable; interfering with our everyday lives and sometimes even our health.
Anxiety can be experienced both somatically and cognitively, and people’s reactions to their anxiety often exacerbate the symptoms. It is experienced somatically, such as racing heart, shallow breath, and other anxious bodily reactions. It is experienced cognitively through thoughts that something terrible might happen, or worry of what others might think. People’s reactions to anxiety may lead them to develop a drinking problem or to overindulge in food. Perhaps it interferes with a person’s career or relationships, or results in low self-esteem.
Dr. Sera Lavelle, Ph.D, Dr. Noah Kass, DSW, LCSW, Dr. Samantha Gaies, Ph.D, Dr. Sacha Zilkha and Dr. Sara Glazer, Psy.D utilize hypnotic techniques to address troubling symptoms associated with anxiety and panic. In reaching a relaxed and reflective state, their patients are able to decrease the intensity of their anxious feelings while gaining insight into the root causes of their behavior. By tapping into their inner resources and creative problem skills, their patients are able to challenge their irrational beliefs and catastrophic thinking patterns so often associated with anxiety. Through the use of guided imagery and indirect suggestion, patients are able to accept and cope with their fears.
Hypnosis in addition to therapy can be extremely beneficial as it can address several aspects of anxiety. First, it can address the bodily reactions through hypnotic relaxation and visualization techniques. It can help obsessive thoughts by helping a person focus on positive thoughts and quiet negative self-talk. Lastly, it can help treat difficulties that develop in response to our anxiety, such as lifestyle habits or problems that interfere with everyday functioning. In order to address the complexities of anxiety, the therapists employ mindfulness, psychoanalysis and CBT to address the underlying anxiety, while using hypnosis for the specific difficulties that arise as a result of anxiety.
Research has shown that hypnosis is particularly beneficial in treating anxiety as well as issues that people develop in response to their anxiety, such as alleviating fears such as public speaking, flying, and test taking as well as phobias to needles, animals, or other anxiety-provoking stimuli. Generally, people become fearful of the stimuli, as well as their own somatic reaction to it. Our method works by altering the way one views the fear, as well as calming a person’s reactions to that fear.
Hypnosis can be particularly helpful in treating:
To read research related to hypnosis and integrative therapy for treating anxiety and related struggles, please visit the scholarly articles below:
Hypnosis & Anxiety (Sunnen, 2016)
Hypnosis Today (Smith, 2011)
Hypnosis in the Treatment of Phobias (McGuinness, 1984)
Rapid Treatment of Compulsion by Flooding with Hypnosis (Scrignar, 2011)
Self-hypnosis for anxiety associated with severe asthma (Anbar, 2003)