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 our reactions to our anxiety often exacerbate the symptoms. It is experienced somatically, such as with our racing heart, shallow breath, and other anxious bodily reactions. It is experienced cognitively through our thoughts that something terrible might happen, or worry of what others think of us. Our reactions to anxiety may lead us to developing a drinking problem or overindulging in food. Perhaps our anxiety interferes with our careers or relationships, or results in low self-esteem.
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 our functioning. In this way, we employ mindfulness, analysis and CBT to address the underlying anxiety, while using hypnosis for the specific difficulties that occur.
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:
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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 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)