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Online Hypnotherapy: Will it Work for You?

Hypnos 1030x686 - Online Hypnotherapy: Will it Work for You?

 

A few weeks ago now, I wrote an article for Psychology Today on the benefits of online therapy and how studies show that it is as equally effective as psychotherapy delivered face-to-face (click here). Since that article went live, I’ve had a fair few emails asking if that also applied to hypnotherapy. And the short answer to that question is, “yes.’”

During the pandemic, hypnotherapists had to switch their clinics to an entirely online affair whether people liked it or not. Since then, as with other forms of therapy, some therapists have remained entirely online whilst others have offered both face-to-face and web therapy.

And whilst official studies into hypnotherapy delivered over digital platforms are few and far between (at least, as far as I know, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong), one study showed that it was effective in treating migraines (click here), whilst another suggested it was effective on children presenting with nocturnal enuresis, or bed wetting (click here).

On the anecdotal front, one magazine editor happily wrote about her experience with digitally delivered hypnotherapy (click here) whilst another espoused the joys of her FaceTime Hypnotherapy session (click here). Plus, there are a plethora of successful hypnotherapy apps available that simply require you to sit back and enjoy some beneficial suggestions delivered via your smartphone or tablet.

I know from experience that the one form of hypnotherapy is is just as effective as the other as I’ve been delivering it online for years now, since way before Coronavirus forced the first UK lockdown back in March 2020.

Quite early on in my therapy career (some 19 years or so at the time of writing), someone asked if they could continue seeing me whilst work sent them away across Europe to a variety of locations. I mainly saw them in various hotels rooms, but also once by a large and empty pool and another time on a patio with a glorious mountain in the background. Back then it was Skype rather than Zoom but, the wide variety of backdrops, both panoramic and otherwise, did nothing to hamper our work together.

At the end of the day (or beginning, or middle, or whenever you see fit to see your hypnotherapist) it all comes down to a matter of choice and/or preference. Some people prefer digital (or are constrained by other factors) whilst some prefer to see their therapist for real.

Reasons for wanting to see a hypnotherapist online include factors such as convenience, schedules, work/life balance management, the ability to choose a therapist from further afield (not just nationwide but other countries), enjoying the comfort of your own home, mobility issues, and more.

Web delivered hypnotherapy is just as effective as live hypnotherapy in treating a wide range of issues including stress (life stress, work stress, burnout syndrome, and so on), as well as anxiety disorders, reactive depression, anger-management, self-esteem and confidence issues, weight control, pain control and the like.

If you are thinking of digital hypnotherapy, there are a few things to consider in advance:

  • A good connection (this is vital for any form of online psychotherapy) enables every hypnotic suggestion to be delivered clearly and precisely
  • A good screen size (so laptops and tablets are preferable to smartphones)
  • A comfy chair (the comfier the better)
  • A blanket (if you like to be all warm and snuggly)
  • Good quality speakers (good quality headphones are even better)
  • Somewhere safe, private, and secure (it’s a therapy session, after all, and you will want to keep things confidential)

Another thing to consider is the severity of the problem. If you are at high-risk of suicide or self-harm, one-to-one live therapy with a nearby therapist plus a clear care plan discussed and agreed by you both is a better fit for you, no matter what modality of therapy is on offer. But, for anything at the mild-to-moderate end of the spectrum, you should be good to go.

If you would like to see me for online hypnotherapy, or even online rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT), for that matter, my contact details are at the bottom of this page.

Finally, if you’re wondering, REBT is a rather nifty and elegant form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that works well on everything mentioned above (stress management, anxiety issues, confidence issues and so on), either on its own or in conjunction with hypnotherapy.

Everybody is Stressed, but What Can You do About it?

Stress - Everybody is Stressed, but What Can You do About it?

 

I’ve been a therapist now since 2004 and, for most of that time, when people asked me what I specialised in, I told them that anxiety disorders and work-related stress management were my forte but, on reflection, and for several years now, I would say that both life and work have made me a stress specialist.

That term still covers anxiety disorders and work-stress but, it also covers a whole lot more. Stress affects us all and we are becoming more stressed, not less so. In fact, research from the Chartered Institute of Development has found staff absences due to stress are at their highest levels in over a decade, with the pandemic, the high cost of living and other issues all being significant contributing factors, (click here). But what is stress?

According to the World Health Organisation, “stress can be defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation.”

However, there are two types of stress: good stress (eustress) and bad stress (distress).

Eustress refers to the sort of challenge and pressure that you thrive under or rise to meet with excitement. It could be a work deadline, or a wedding, or a rollercoaster ride. Meanwhile, distress is what we often mean when we are talking about ‘stress.’ It can refer to seemingly insurmountable pressures in any context (life or work), pressures that you feel you can’t cope with, or are not dealing with as well as you’d like. But stress isn’t a diagnosis in and of itself. It’s an umbrella term for a variety of things including:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Reactive depression
  • Anger-management
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Procrastination
  • Insomnia (often stress related)
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis (also often stress related)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, (nearly always stress related)

 

You can turn to unhealthy coping strategies when you are stressed, such as alcohol, drugs (both prescription and recreational) and comforting eating. Stress can wear you down, it can affect you physically as well as mentally. You can become distracted, less productive, more forgetful, and more prone to illness (stress affects your immune system). Chronic work stress even has its own diagnosis: Burnout Syndrome. This is a purely occupational phenomenon not official recognised until 2019 and characterised by exhaustion, increased negativity (or cynicism) towards your job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Stress is such as small word for something with so many distressing ramifications.

Stress affects both your mind and your body. A little bit of it is good for you, but too much stress can easily overwhelm you. And we are living in a very stressful world; one that doesn’t seem to be interested in getting any easier. Stress quickly mounts up and it soon takes its toll.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help mitigate your stress, such as yoga, meditation, taking regular breaks, and going for long walks. And, if those things aren’t enough then therapy and coaching can help.

I practice rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and clinical hypnotherapy, and both can help you mitigate your stress and build effective coping strategies in the face of it. With REBT and hypnotherapy the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your daily live become something much easier to deal with.

So, if you think your stress is getting the better of you, feel free to book a call. I work face-to-face and online and can see anyone, anywhere (time zones permitting). And online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face, studies say so (click here).

Where Does the Time Go?

Ask - Where Does the Time Go?

 

Can it really be three years and five months since I last blogged on my own website? The answer to that question, going by the dates, is obviously yes. Yes, it has been more than three years.

Okay, in that time, I wrote and published one book (you can find a link to it here) and I’ve been writing a regular column over at Psychology Today (you can click on that here) and I’ve also been writing elsewhere (you can check a selection of those articles out here) but, still. Three years.

It’s been a tad remiss of me and so, to address that imbalance, I am going back to blogging on my own website where, over the coming months, I will hopefully be not only offering words of wisdom, but also helpful tips, exercises, and insights to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing that much better. After all, it’s a stressful world out there. So much so, that I’ve had to slightly redefine what it is that I offer (or, more importantly, what it is I treat).

I offer rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) and clinical hypnotherapy (either separately or combined) together with elements of positive psychology and I offer it in both a psychotherapeutic and coaching capacity.

Times past, I said I specialised in the treatment of anxiety disorders and work-related stress management as, at the time, I was receiving more referrals for these things than anything else. So, that is how and where I built my areas of expertise.  I can also help you with pain control, but that’s another story.

Meanwhile, back to stress.

Since the pandemic and everything else that came after it, I’ve just accepted the fact that I am now a stress specialist. This still covers anxiety disorders and work-related stress management but, also a whole host of other things (more of that in another blog, I reckon).

“Stress,” is what people state the most when I ask them what they want help with. “I want you to help me manage my stress more effectively,” they say. And this I can do.

People also ask me to provide them with coping strategies (again, this I can do) but, when I used to ask them what they wanted those coping strategies for, they used to mention specific things, such as “my job,” or “my boss” or “my relationship” or “my challenging friend.” Nowadays, however, when I ask people what they want those coping strategies for, the most common response is, “everything.”

Despite all the strides made in mental health and wellbeing, despite the mine of information and the wealth of support that is out there, life has become even more stressful, not less so. And people need help in dealing with that.

To that end, my next book (out Spring 2024) is called How to Cope with Almost Anything with Hypnotherapy. And it will do just what the title suggests, using not only hypnotherapy, but also elements of REBT and positive psychology to help you increase your resilience, improve your wellbeing, and handle whatever life throws at you next more effectively.

In the meantime, I can personally help you cope with almost anything either face-to-face or online. And a recent study (click here) has found that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy.

People also value the convenience of it and the ability to engage with a therapist from the comfort of their own homes. So too do many of the therapists that offer online therapy.

So, face-to-face, or online, if there is stress in your life, if there is something you would like help in coping with, now is a good time to start. Because life always has that something to throw at you.

Online Therapy: Counselling on Your Couch

Skype1 300x199 - Online Therapy: Counselling on Your Couch

 

Someone asked me the other day if I offer therapy via Skype. I’ve written about the subject before (click here) and the answer is, “yes I do,” for two very good reasons. One: it’s just as effective as therapy delivered in person (as is telephone therapy for that matter) and, two: more and more people seem to like their psychotherapy and counseling delivered that way. Read more

Skype Therapy: Highly Effective & Highly Desirable

Although the term ‘Skype’ is fairly new, video calling and (by association) video therapy are not. There are hundreds of studies, going back decades, that highlight the effectiveness of both video-conferenced and telephone-delivered therapy. But, who would benefit from counselling delivered this way and why would you want to do it? Read more