Discuss the relationship between stress, anxiety, habits and phobias and describe how you would treat these issues with hypnotherapy ” Introduction In this essay i will describe individually stress, anxiety, habits and phobias and share their symptoms. I will go on to describe how i would treat these issues with hypnotherapy and if hypnotherapy is not the right treatment due to any ethic al reasons i will then suggest alternative treatments or therapies.
Stress Stress is not a medical diagnosis, but if it continues on for a long period of tim , severe stress can lead to anxiety or depression or much more severe mental health problems. The most common symptoms in people who may be suffering from stress are firstly psychological changes. These changes can be by them developing acute anxi ety or depression. Sleep disturbances or insomnia are another symptom of someon suffering from stress. This can be from having trouble falling asleep to having middle of the night awakenings.
Finally stress can be the cause of sexual dysfunction in both sexes and some evidence suggests that stress can cause infertility. (chrysalis mod 5) Stress can also have a positive side. It is necessary to have a certain level of st ress to perform and enjoy certain tasks like taking an exam or having an important s ports match. Our biological history comes into play during our physical reaction to stress. This is the ‘Fight or Flight’ mode, the need to respond to sudden dangers that became a t hreat to us when we were still gatherers or hunters.
When the body respond in this w ay, it releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline causes rapid changes to the blood flow and increases the heart rat e and breathing as you get ready to defend yourself’ fight’ or to run away ‘flight’. Th e human 2 ody responds in this way to all types of stress. This is due to the subconscio us mind being responsible for our survival, it creates these feelings by employing a co mplex network of arousing and inhibiting neurotransmitters in our brains that either calm or excite us. chrysalis mod 5) Cortisol is present in our bodies all of the time but in long term stress the buil d up of cortisol creates a number Of stress related health problems, ranging from hav ing an imbalance of blood sugar to high blood pressure and lowered immunity. (nhs online) Causes of stress can be from noise, resentment, fatigue and emotional upsets o things that are supposed to make you happy like a house move or a wedding. Some people inherit a proclivity for stress from their parents. The stress is in herited.
They can learn to behave in the same way as someone they look up to, admir e or depend on. (Hadley and Staudacher) Some clients suffer with stress that they can identify whilst others have a cont inued feeling of anxiety and it is the anxious clients that you would need to be caref ul with and maybe refer on. This is because anxiety is a symptom in mental health disord ers and neurological conditions. You should only continue hypnotherapy treatment w th the joined consent from a doctor and your supervisor.
Anxiety ‘Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry and uneasiness, usually generalised and unf ocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing (w ikipedia) Anxiety is something that can persist whether or not the cause is clear, unlike stress which can come and go. A person suffering from anxiety will imagine things t o be a lot worse in their life than it really is. This can prevent them from confronting th eir fears. Some level Of anxiety is normal and exists in us from our cavemen days fight or flight.
The cause of anxiety in some clients is identifiable as in a recent house move or a traumatic car accident but for the clients who do not have a major reason the n it can cause them distress, making them feel more anxious and stressed. When they are feeling anxious and stressed they will begin to experience phy sical, behavioural and psychological symptoms. The most common symptoms are i ncreased heart rate, hyperventilation, nausea, hot flushes and shaking. Feelings caused by anxiety end up in a vicious circle.
The more anxious we fe el, the more anxious we become, the more negative we feel meaning we avoid thing that make us anxious. Avoidings things with anxiousness can bring on and cause p hobias. Phobias 3 Phobias stem from our subconscious mind and can be treated. A phobia is d efined as an irrational fear or anxiety that is triggered by a particular situation such as g oing outside or an object such as spiders. For example, you may know that a spide r that isn’t poisonous isn’t dangerous or that it won’t bite you, but this still wouldnt r educe your anxiety.
A fear becomes a phobia if it has a significant impact on your daytoday life. The symptoms of a phobia are the same symptoms as someone suffering wit anxiety as its the anxiousness in a client who has a phobia that triggers these sympto ms off. If the symptoms become intense they can trigger off a panic attack. Phobias, like stress and anxiety can also be inherited and learned from our pa rents. If as a child you witness your mother screaming and panicking at the sight of a s pider, then you learn from a young age that a spider must be a threat and to always panic at the sight of one.
This is stored in your subconscious mind and in your interna I belief system. Another cause Of a phobia can be from suffering with long term stress. Long term tress can cause feelings of anxiety and depression which reduces your ability to cope in particular situations. This can make you feel anxious and more fearful abo ut having to be in that situation again and over a period of time will develop into a phob ia. ( www. mind. org. k Habits A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously/’ (wikipedia) A habit is something we do without thinking and some habits and routines ar necessary like the ritual of getting ready for bed, having a shower, brushing y our teeth and applying night cream and making sure that the house door is locked. Smoking , nail biting and comfort eating on chocolate are just some of the ba d habits that we create ourselves as a coping mechanism. At some point in our lives, s moking or nail biting would have gotten us through a stressful or nerve wrecking time .
Some people smoke to relieve stress whilst at work and use the idea of going for a c igarette break to take time out and temporarily relieve their stresses of the day so far. Other people use smoking to control their weight as smoking can suppress the appe tite so therefore are using smoking to control another habit, overeating. Young people start smoking to ‘look cool’ and to assert themselves and to 100 k grown up. When they are all grown up and independant in the outside world and th eyre still smoking when they no longer need it to assert themselves then the habit is n ow called an empty habit.
An empty habit is that at one point when they were younger, the smoking had a purpose and function in their lives but now as an adult they ha ve outgrown and outlived that process but are left with the habitual behaviour. (Hypnotherapy a Handbook) To change this habit or any other hab it a client eeds to be aware that the habit is no longer effective and that they themselv es must make the decision and take full responsibility to change it. Treatment Strategy All of the issues raised and discussed can be traced back to the Initial Sensitisi ng Event (ISE).
This is defined as the first time our subconscious received information t hat a thing, person or type of person was dangerous, undesirable or a threat. (mod 5 notes) A parent or person of authority being afraid of something then leads you to b e afraid of the same thing. During a consultation with a client, if the ISE is left unchecked and you dont id ntify the trigger Of a fear, phobia , anxiety or what causes them stress could lead to fur ther complications like panic attacks, further anxiety or even heart attacks from th e added stress.
An induction for someone suffering with stress and anxiety should always be very relaxing and that itself is a big part in their treatment. The use of metaphors i n a stress/ anxiety screed are a must. In ‘Hypnotherapy a Handbook’ it asks the client to imagine writing their stresses and worries onto a blackboard and then one by one erasing and wiping them away and to imagine throwing them into a flowing st ream and atch them drift away.
This is more effective when repeated a few times but the metaphoric imagery is a gentle way of the client facing their worries. Psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help to t reat anxiety and in some cases a referral to their GP for anti depressants is the an swer as some mental disorders do have anxiety as one of the main symptoms, so as a n ethical therapist you must know when is best to refer these clients on for better and more effective treatment. For effective treatment whilst dealing with phobias, identification to the ISE is again vitally important. The cause Of a phobia can be due to a recent event or an ev ent from over a year ago. If the client didn’t address their anxiety there and then, then anxiety will indeed have increased. This increased anxiety means the client wi started to of changed their lifestyle to avoid anything associated with the said event. This means that the clients issue has now developed into a phobia.
The induc tion screed for a client with a phobia would indeed confront the situation and all is sues raised would need to be relaxing and calming. The most effective treatment for phobias is CBT as this type of therapy can ch nge a client’s mindset and the way they think or perceive things so knowing to refer someone on again would be an ethical choice. As habits are being run through your subconscious mind, the treatment for th em IS Hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is perfect to help people effect change. A habit breaking screed can be personally made and the most simple method is to directly sug gest to the client that they will stop smoking, drinking, nail biting and so on. Someone wit h a bad habit will be made to focus on all of the bad things and negative things that th eir habit rings to them or their health and then focus on the benefits giving up the ha bit will bring.
The use of aversive images like vomit and bad tastes and smells can be effective as can the use of positive suggestions and positive gains. For example telling the client they will have cleaner fresher breath and be financially better Off now they ha ve quit smoking. (Hypnotherapy a Handbook) A good rapport and good relationship is important so you really know what w ill give them that boost they need to stop and change bad habits. A mixture of these suggestions is useful in their screed.