An Evening with CSS Taiko

I had the absolute pleasure very recently of spending an evening joining others in watching a performance by Peter Hewitt of CSS Taiko and his fellow Taiko drummers on a visit to the Camphill Village Trust at Newnham on Severn.

Having attended one of the Saturday morning workshops which Peter holds at the Colwell Arts Centre in Derby Road, Gloucester I did have an inkling of what to expect.  However, I had not been prepared for the sheer exuberance and energy which the performers put into their gig, or the relaxed and easy skill with which Peter engaged his audience and drew them into the performance, not just in between pieces but while each piece was played as well.

Peter Hewitt leading CSS Taiko in a performance

The concert was sectioned into two parts.  During the first half, Peter and his fellow performers played a set of around 4 or 5 different pieces, with evocative titles such as Stepping Stones and The Edge of Magic.  Each piece was introduced with some background to its origin and comments by the audience were welcomed, if not actively encouraged.

Following an interval of around ten minutes it was the turn of the audience to experience drumming at first hand when they were invited up on stage to try drumming for themselves.  This opportunity was welcomed with much enthusiasm.  So many people wanted to take a turn that it was necessary to organise them into two groups.

Peter took the lead in introducing the eager participants to the basics of Taiko, breaking down the different elements of a simple piece and then encouraging them to put the elements together before telling them they had just learned a piece that had been played during the first half of the concert.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to try their hand at something new and I’m very sure took away positive memories of the evening.  Of course, the great success of the evening other than bringing this wonderful performance art to a wider audience was the wish of some of the members of the audience to become involved in the workshops which CSS Taiko1 run.

 

1 CSS Taiko is a non-profit making charitable organisation which works to integrate special needs children and adults within the local community, bringing people from all backgrounds together in a common enjoyment of Taiko.  Peter Hewitt, together with his wife Angie, daughter Vashti and son in law Nev devote much of their spare time to bringing Taiko to as wide an audience as possible.  CSS Taiko operate an open door policy at their workshops which are held on Saturday mornings at the Colwell Arts Centre, Derby Road, Gloucester.  See their website for more information: http://ccstaiko.co.uk/ or drop by between 9.30am and 12.30pm to come and see what they do.

 

Regression Therapy

Past Life Regression

Past life regression holds a fascination for many of us and indeed many people associate regression therapy (hypnotic life regression) with mentally travelling back to a former life (or lives) to uncover their identity and/or any significant events which happened to them in that life time.  It may be that they are experiencing “flash backs”, dreams or intuitive insights that they believe to be connected with a previous life experience.  It might be the case that an individual is experiencing problems in their present life which they strongly believe are the result of influences carried over into this life time from a previous one.  The apparent lack of connection between what they are experiencing and their current reality may cause a sense of cognitive dissonance.  

Regression therapy is an invaluable technique, widely used by both hypnotherapists and psychotherapists, for helping to uncover the roots or triggers for emotional or psychological issues that we may be experiencing in our daily lives.  Sometimes it may be that an otherwise mystifying or seemingly random unwanted behaviour or response pattern that we exhibit has its roots in our younger, formative years and as a result of some kind of emotional or psychological trauma that has long since been lost to our conscious mind.  It is important to recognise though that what is perceived by a child or teenager as traumatic may appear to an adult as irrelevant or unimportant.  It is not how it may appear to us, as adults, that is critical but how it felt to the child who experienced the event.

Regression therapy, whether it is past life regression or present life regression, can be helpful to us in exploring and understanding our own thoughts and feelings, allowing us to gain a new insight into who we are and what motivates and drives us.  The desired outcome to regression therapy is of course to achieve a new and beneficial sense of wholeness, of mental and emotional wellness.

Inner Child Healing

One of the typical ways in which regression therapy is utilised is to facilitate healing of the “inner child”.  This therapy enables the person undergoing regression to re-visit or reconnect with aspects of their childhood psyche that have been affected or damaged by events beyond their control at that point in their lives.

Allowing these hidden triggers to be brought back to the surface, to consciousness, gives the individual concerned the chance to re-evaluate the event(s) in question and apply their understanding as an adult to the situation which they were unable to process as a child.  Communicating directly with their child self under hypnosis is able to bring about healing and a feeling of closure, allowing the adult to move forward leaving the longer term lingering effects of the historical trauma behind them.

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A good therapist will guide but not lead the process, being careful not to make any suggestion which could lead to their client constructing a false memory of something in their life which never really existed or took place.  Ideally the therapist should have undergone training and have experience in supporting a client through the regression process and be able to facilitate their client’s resolution of any material which arises as a result of that regression.

Resolution of past trauma is commonly experienced as restorative and transformative. It is important, however, that anyone considering regression therapy, whether past life regression or current life regression understands that uncovering trigger events and historical trauma can be an emotionally draining experience as negative feelings are uncovered and explored as part of the process of healing and resolution.

Quit Smoking – Top Tips for Overcoming Addiction

Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

A recent study by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit in Canada, published in the BMJ in 2016, has concluded that, dependent upon the individual’s smoking habit and length of addiction, it may take up to 30 attempts to successfully give up cigarettes or tobacco and to quit smoking altogether.

Of course there are many factors involved in successfully giving up smoking.  These include: the number of cigarettes per day smoked; level of nicotine dependence; the number of years spent smoking; the person’s lifestyle; health; enjoyment of the habit; and their psychological profile.  All these considerations come into play when assessing the likelihood of success or failure. 

For most smokers who have attempted to leave the smoking habit behind, the symptoms associated with withdrawal from nicotine dependence are all too familiar, to one degree or another.  Craving for tobacco, irritability and mood swings, increased appetite and weight gain, tiredness, restlessness, sleep problems, anxiety and difficulty in concentrating – these are all side effects of nicotine withdrawal.

How Hypnotherapy can Help

Every therapist has their preferred treatment plan for smoking cessation.  Hypnotherapy can ease those nicotine cravings, help bolster commitment to stopping and support the change from perception of self as a smoker to that of non-smoker. 

I offer two different routes.  The first option is a one off intensive session of around 2-3 hours at a cost of £185.00; while the second option is a gentler 3 sessions of approximately an hour each for the same cost of £185.00.  The first option is designed for immediate cessation, while the second option uses a tailing off plan to reduce smoking over the first week and to be smoke free by the second session, with a third session just to reinforce the therapy.  For more information or to book a session please use my contact form.

Some of the Nasties in Cigarettes

Quit smoking

Clearly nicotine is the major culprit in our addiction to tobacco. This is itself a toxin and carcinogen, impacting on the major organs of the body and significantly increasing the risks of cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.  Nicotine depresses the immune system and significantly affects reproductive health (all you couples out there who want to start a family take note).  There are many other toxins to be found in cigarettes other than nicotine, which are extremely harmful to the body.

These are some, but by no means an exhaustive list, of the chemicals you voluntarily ingest by smoking tobacco:

  • Carbon Monoxide – starves the body of oxygen; leads to cardiovascular disease; combines with blood to prevent proper absorption of oxygen; contributes to low birth weights in babies of smoking mothers.
  • Hydrogen Cyanide – paralyses the cilia (the small hairs on the walls of the bronchial tubes which are responsible for cleaning the lungs); interferes with normal use of oxygen by nearly every organ in the body; a chemical warfare agent and is used for fumigation, electroplating, chemical synthesis, mining, production of synthetic fibres, dyes, pesticides and plastics.
  • Ammonia – paralyses the cilia; toxin that is corrosive to tissues upon contact; extreme contact can be fatal.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide – paralyses the cilia; found in car exhaust fumes; major pollutant; directly damages lung tissue; causes inflammation of the lungs. The body usually produces tiny amounts to carry signals between cells and cause airways to expand to help oxygen absorption. Nitrogen dioxide causes the airways to expand even further to help absorb nicotine and other chemicals. When not smoking, shuts off nitrogen dioxide production in the body, causing difficulty breathing.
  • Acreolin – paralyses cilia; major chemical in cigarette smoke; causes DNA damage and is thought to cause cancer; stops our cells repairing DNA damage.
  • Formaldehyde – paralyses the cilia; known to cause cancer; used to kill bacteria, preserve dead bodies and to produce other chemicals.
  • Napthylamine – cause lung cancer
  • Nitrosamines – group of chemicals which directly damage DNA; very strong cancer causing chemicals.
  • Lead/nickel/cobalt/beryllium – poison
  • DDT – a banned insecticide – used to be used for malaria mosquito control and was banned when it was discovered that it caused severe health problems for humans, such as increased risk of breast cancer, diabetes, spontaneous abortions, decreased sperm quality, impaired neurodevelopment in children, accumulates in the body.
  • Methanol – highly toxic; blurred/dim vision or blindness; skin irritation; permanent motor skill impairment; headache, dizziness; giddiness; insomnia; nausea; gastric distress; conjunctivitis; can kill
  • Benzene – solvent used to manufacture other chemicals, including petrol; causes cancer.
  • Cadmium – metal used mainly to make batteries; causes cancer; damages the kidneys and arterial walls; prevents cells from repairing DNA.
  • Polonium 210 – radioactive element which emits alpha radiation which is usually blocked by skin; enters the airways and causes damage directly to surrounding cells.
  • Chromium – metal used to make metallic alloys, dyes and paints. Known to cause cancer; allows other cancer causing chemicals to stick more firmly to DNA and damage it.
  • Butadiene (BDE) – used to make rubber; some scientists believe that this is the largest overall cancer risk because of the quantity found in cigarette smoke.
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) – group of powerful cancer causing chemicals which damage DNA and set cells off on the way to becoming cancerous; one of this group, benzoapyrene (BAP) – directly damages p53, a gene known to protect our body against cancer.
  • Arsenic – causes cancer; damages heart and blood vessels; accumulates in the body and interferes with repair of DNA.
  • Acetaldehyde – also formed in body tissues from drinking alcohol and is responsible for the symptoms we recognize as hangovers.
  • Hydrazine – very toxic chemical used mainly in rocket fuel.
  • Toluene – damages brain cells and interferes with their development.
  • Hydrogen sulphide and pyridine – irritate airways
  • Sulphur dioxide – paralyses cilia allowing other chemicals to accumulate.

Benefits to Stepping away from the Habit

The benefits to quitting smoking are well publicised and any smoker who has reached the decision to change their lifestyle to exclude this toxic habit is usually well aware of the immediate and longer term good news.  Within 20 minutes of quitting, blood pressure, temperature and pulse are normal.  

After 8 hours without a cigarette, those dangerous carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream have dropped and oxygen has increased.  After 24 hours, your chances of heart attack are already decreasing and in only 48 hours, those nerve endings which have been damaged by the smoking habit are starting to repair themselves.  Your sense of taste and smell will have already improved. 

Three Months Plus

By the end of 3 months, lung function has improved by up to one third; your body’s circulation has improved and exercise becomes easier. Somewhere between 1 and 9 months of non-smoking, your lungs are repairing themselves.  The tiny hairs in your respiratory system, the cilia, have begun to work again and the lungs are clearing themselves of the build up of mucus and smoking related residues. 

By the time you have been a non-smoker for 1 ½ years, the excess risk of heart disease associated with smoking has halved and recovery rates from heart surgery have doubled.  Between 2 ½ years and 5 years after stopping, your risk for many cancers has halved; and by the time you have been clean of tobacco related toxins for 15 years, the risk of your developing lung cancer or heart disease is the same as for someone who has never smoked.

What You Need to Know – Top Tips for Overcoming Addiction

The chances are that what you have already read is far from new to you, although reminding ourselves of the damage caused by smoking is helpful in motivating us to carry through our new found resolution to leave the habit behind us.  If you are one of those very lucky people who can simply stop, then you won’t be reading this anyway – so this is for the majority who have to do it the long way.

Because smoking is not just about physical addiction, but also about habit and routine, there are lots of things we can do to increase the chances of a successful outcome to our decision to quit smoking:

1. Get Help

Sounds silly perhaps, but few of us are blessed with the willpower to successfully make the transition to our new chosen lifestyle without a little support here and there.  There are endless resources on the internet in the way of information, support groups and tips on how to make the move easier for us.  Most GP practices have smoking cessation support in place and can help you to overcome the addiction. 

Therapies such as hypnotherapy and CBT, meditation, mindfulness and yoga are used by many people to ease the way and facilitate a new lifestyle.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks to successfully stopping is the way we see ourselves as smokers or ex-smokers rather than non-smokers.  Changing our self-perception takes a lot of the slog out of gaining our freedom from nicotine. 

Find your resolve slipping? Hypnotherapy really does work to help you quit smoking – maintain your determination and can take more than just an edge off the path to being that non-smoker you are aiming for.

2. Keep Busy

Distraction techniques are a very useful way of focusing our attention on things other than that niggling desire to have a cigarette.  I know someone who picked up their knitting needles every time they felt the desire for a cigarette – they finished a man’s sweater in a week!  Do something that you wouldn’t normally associate with smoking and which keeps those hands, as well as your mind busy with other things. 

Physical activity is good – you can’t easily smoke in the swimming pool for instance – if you are someone who always lights up with a cup of coffee, then stop the coffee and switch to herbal teas and water while you go through the initial phases of your newly found non-smokerhood. Interestingly, coffee also increases carbohydrate cravings, so cutting out the caffeine will also help guard against compensatory eating when you quit smoking.

3. Self Talk

You know that little voice inside you that says “If I don’t have a cigarette I’m going to explode at someone”, or “I’m so stressed I just have to have a cigarette”; and all the other negative, self-defeating internal dialogues that happen?  They all accumulate and build up to crisis point until we give in. 

You can change that self talk.  Practice mindfulness as much as you are able and when you catch yourself with that unwanted chain of thoughts starting then simply say “STOP” – in your head or out loud, it doesn’t matter.  It will interrupt that flow of negative thoughts and give you the chance to replace it with more useful and positive thoughts – pick anything you like that will mean something to you.  It could be affirmations such as “I feel so much better in myself already”, “I can taste my food again already” or “this is far easier today than it was yesterday”.

Talk positively to yourself at every opportunity, praise yourself for doing well and use reminders that you are progressing towards the goal you have set for yourself, which brings me on neatly to the next tip.

4. Have a Goal

I won’t try to convince you that giving up a habit which has fed the chemical factory that is your body with a cocktail of chemicals for perhaps years is a picnic or a pleasure cruise.  You are willingly going through withdrawal from a physical, mental and emotional addiction and some days are bound to be easier than others.  However, I wouldn’t recommend dwelling on the downside to the process you are going through. 

I DO RECOMMEND setting yourself a goal, whatever it may be.  Perhaps you have been promising yourself that luxury spa weekend with a friend for ages but have never done it.  That would be such a good medium term reward to give to yourself after say a month of being a non-smoker.  What about that new phone or computer you have been eying for months now? 

Set yourself a target, a timescale, that you need to reach to reward yourself with it.  I am not suggesting for a moment that you max out your credit cards by indulging your every impulse.  I am suggesting the age old carrot and stick routine.  It’s trite and clichéd, but it works.  Reward yourself, not punish yourself. 

5. Change Your Routines

Identify those danger zones – the places you used to habitually buy your cigarettes and the places and/or times of day that were your “must have a smoke” spots.  Change them! If you used to buy cigarettes when you stopped for fuel, then consider paying at the pump.  If you are paying cash then get someone else to go in and pay for you or only take enough cash in to the shop to pay for your petrol or diesel.  That way you walk out and drive away without the pack you used to ask for almost without thinking about it. 

Do you always use the same supermarket for shopping and habitually stopped at the kiosk on the way out?  Switch supermarket and choose one where the kiosk is not on the way to the exit.  Was your favourite smoke time after lunch, or perhaps before bedtime after the kids were safely tucked up?  Change your routine to avoid triggering that old habit.  When at work go for a short walk or run an errand either before or after eating, to cut out the time you would otherwise have set aside to smoke. 

Use your distraction techniques here too – whether it is to do the crossword or go on social media – anything which occupies you mentally and physically.

 

Put that cigarette money aside when you quit smoking

6. Put that Cigarette Money Aside

Think about how much you spend every week on cigarettes or tobacco.  When you quit smoking, how long would it take you to save up for something really special?  Make the effort from the word go to put that money into a savings account or a piggy bank and watch it grow!  On a twenty a day habit, you could save yourself around £225 a month or more at today’s prices.  Well worth saving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Phone Call Can Save a Life

Statistics can inform us about the numbers of people who commit suicide each year in the UK.  The numbers can tell how many of those suicides were of men compared to women; the age group and other demographic information.  Statistics cannot tell us about the feelings behind the graphs and reports – about how those people who felt isolated or desperate enough to take their own lives finally did just that.

Suicide: Feelings not Figures

Suicide is not about statistics and for that reason I will not be quoting facts and figures to back up what I write. The decision to take our life is about the negative feelings, which all of us can experience from time to time in our lives, and how the sheer weight of those negative feelings can be enough to drive someone into taking their own life in order to escape those overwhelming feelings.

Nearly everyone, at some point in their life, will entertain the idea of taking their own life. This might be prompted by feelings of isolation and loneliness; of fear or deep sorrow; depression or desperation. The one thing almost all suicides will have in common is the inability or lack of opportunity to confide in someone and to find help in overcoming the tidal wave of negativity they find themselves in. All these feelings are ones that we all experience from time to time, but for some people they can become overwhelming and unbearable.  Even when we have a friend or family member we want to confide in, we might find it difficult to share such personal feelings or believe that they are not interested or would not listen to us.   Reaching out to someone when we feel so dreadfully alone, isolated, can seem impossible.

Feeling Overwhelmed

There are so many different feelings and events which may take us to the point of despair: guilt; fear; anxiety; depression; loneliness; grief; bullying or harassment; abuse – physical and emotional; self-doubt; to name some of them.  When we are grappling with our darkest feelings, we may not be able to see a way through to the other side. Others around us might well hold out a helping hand, but we may not recognise the support which is being offered. We can become more and more isolated until we feel completely detached from the world around us. When the pain becomes so intense that we are unable to bear it any longer, the urge to rid ourselves of the pain by taking ourselves out of the situation can lead to our attempting suicide.

While it may be true that even 20 or 30 years ago there was little or no support for individuals battling with these emotions, this is not true today. Many healthcare professionals are trained and experienced in helping people through these crises; and in a society where around 25% of the population can expect to experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, whether that is depression, anxiety, psychosis or another illness, we need not feel either ashamed or guilty about what we are experiencing.  With the right support, we can find ways to identify and resolve the causes of our unhappiness, allowing us to move on to a more positive future.

What can You Do?

Do you know anyone in your family or circle of friends who is suicidal? Do you struggle with suicidal thoughts and feelings? If so, please take action to save a life, whether that is your own life or that of someone you love.  You can contact the person’s doctor; or phone one of the organisations which exist to provide support for exactly that kind of situation – whether that is the Samaritans; Papyrus; Calm; or another support body you may already know of.

 

Making that Call

There is a way through and it only takes one phone call to save a life.

 

Your Fertility Journey

Starting Your Family

Whether you are just starting out on your fertility journey, having decided that now is the right time to start your family; or whether you have been on the road to conception for a while, therapy and counselling, either one on one or as a couple, can support your aspirations.

One of the first things couples may consider when they stop using contraception is what changes they can make to their lifestyle as part of the transition to providing a healthy and beneficial environment for a baby. There is more to preparing for your own little miracle than decorating and furnishing the spare bedroom as a nursery. Reducing or stopping smoking altogether; limiting alcohol; paying attention to your nutrition – these are all subjects which come up for discussion and agreement.

Raising The Chances of Success

Aspects which are sometimes not taken into consideration can make a difference to achieving successful conception and a healthy, trouble-free pregnancy. Body weight, exercise, stress and age all have their effect on our reproductive systems. Being ready, both emotionally and mentally, to have a family is fundamental to success. Therapy  is a beneficial and respectful way of improving and optimising your chances of success. Professional support can help by supporting you through these changes to your lifestyle in a holistic approach.

Your fertility journey - sleeping baby

There are many couples who discover that their journey to parenthood becomes more complex as they seek medical assistance through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). In these cases therapy is there to support you through the process. Therapy and counselling can help you to relax and to visualise positive outcomes.  It can help you to align body and mind for the highest possible chance of success. Therapy can assist in coping with the emotional demands which come with the process of IVF cycles and the quest for conception.  The therapeutic process is there to support you throughout your fertility journey. Practical techniques and imagery, both under hypnosis and awake, give you the tools you need to gain the most benefit from your treatments.

Stress and Fertility

Research has shown a link between stress and reduced fertility. A study of pre-conception stress and the risk of infertility, carried out at the Ohio State University College of Medicine (2005-2009), showed that women in the top third of subjects monitored for stress markers in their saliva exhibited a 29% reduction in fecundity compared to women in the lowest third. This translated as an up to two fold increased risk of infertility in these women.

Stress causes the adrenal gland to produce adrenaline, which in turn inhibits the reproductive system from utilizing progesterone. In women, progesterone levels rise in the ovaries before ovulation takes place and then subsequently plays an important role in the placenta in maintaining pregnancy.  In men, progesterone is the precursor for the production of testosterone, which is essential for the formation of sperm.  When experiencing stress, progesterone, which would normally be available for use by the reproductive system in both men and women, is used by the adrenal glands in the production of cortisol – effectively reducing fertility in both sexes.

Stress also triggers the production of high levels of prolactin by the pituitary gland, which acts to inhibit ovulation and can result in poor quality of uterine lining, reducing the chance of a successful embryo implant.

IVF and Psychotherapeutic Counselling

A study conducted into pregnancy rates for IVF, involving 1,156 women found a correlation between successful conception rates and psychotherapeutic support. 56.4% of women who had received therapeutic support in advance of treatment successfully conceived. Participants who agreed to therapeutic support at the time they gave consent for IVF had a 41.9% success rate. This compared to 44.3% in the group which declined support and 39.0% in the group which made no comment.

The aim of the study was to measure whether the simple offer of psychotherapeutic support during assisted reproduction made a difference to the success rate. 

The findings of the study supported the conclusion that psychotherapy should be a part of any fertility treatment (e.g. family therapy; hypnotherapy; counselling; relaxation and physical perception exercises) to optimise the chances of success.

Emotional Rollercoaster

From the first moment that you embark on putting your plans for a family into practice, you sign up to the emotional process that accompanies the anticipation which builds up each month until the fateful day when menstruation either occurs, with its subsequent feelings of disappointment, or fails to materialise, at which point life goes on hold until either pregnancy is confirmed or the unwanted period simply arrives late.  For couples which do not fall pregnant straight away, this monthly cycle can mean a whirlwind of conflicting emotions which accumulate and build as time passes.

This not only reflects on the chances of successful conception as stress, depression and anxiety increase, but also impacts on the relationship as each individual in the couple seeks to cope with their own feelings and those of their partner.  Sex can become a chore instead of a pleasure and the focus on getting pregnant can mean losing sight of all the things in the relationship which were valued and special. Your own circumstances can impact on other family relationships and friendships, changing the way you interact with others – particularly in relation to parenting and pregnancy.

Having professional support in place, either for you as individuals or together as a couple, can help to maintain a healthy and vibrant relationship as you move through these events; so that you finish your journey, wherever it may take you, in a space which is comfortable and hopefully shared with the family you set out to achieve.

For more information or to book a consultation, please use my contact form.

 

 

Coping with Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a term used to describe feelings of apprehension, fear, nervousness and worry. Anxiousness is one of the most common health problems in the UK today, with more than 1 in 10 people (according to Anxiety UK) likely to experience a disabling anxiety disorder during their lifetime. 

Anxiety is a normal reaction to have when we are faced with any kind of pressure – being asked to do something new.  That might be stepping outside our comfort zone. It may be having to fulfil expectations, either of ourselves or of other people or working to deadlines and timescales. So many aspects of our daily lives cause stress and when it remains within healthy bounds we barely notice it. It is feelings of anxiousness which give us that push to overcome procrastination; to “get the job done”; or to prepare ourselves for events in our lives which are important to us, whether that is a job interview; a speech; moving house; examinations; marriage; or any other situation we may face in life. It gives us the edge to act and achieve.

Anxiety

Sometimes though, anxiety becomes our normal response to everyday living. We find ourselves feeling anxious about things which previously we would have dealt with easily and without question or doubt. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that Generalised Anxiety Disorder (that is general anxiety without a fixed focus) affects up to 5% of the population in the UK; and accounts for up to 30% of mental health problems which people consult their GP for.

Types of Anxiety Disorder

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorder.  I commonly encounter the ones below through my work as a therapist and counsellor:

  • Social anxiety disorder can make it difficult to interact with others, as we fear being judged by people we come into contact with. This can cause us to withdraw from and avoid meeting or being with others as a way of avoiding triggering our anxiety.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can manifest as a means of controlling our anxiety. This might be in the form of repetitive actions, such as continually checking that doors and windows are shut and locked. Perhaps it is manifested by repeated routines such as hand washing; or in a less visible way by intrusive and distressing thoughts.
  • Panic disorder (panic attacks) can be very frightening, triggering symptoms such as: palpitations; nausea; confusion and breathing difficulties. These attacks tend to peak and die away within around ten minutes.  For some an attack can be more prolonged. It is not uncommon for a panic attack to be triggered simply by fear that one might occur.
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a non-specific state of anxiety which affects every aspect of our daily life. It is estimated that up to 5 in 100 people live with this disorder. It can lead to a constant state of apprehension and fear. Rather than having a specific trigger, GAD is ever present and manifests as a “worst case scenario” response to everyday situations. This can range from being convinced that we are going to fail before we start something – to imagining that our partner has met with an accident on the way home because they are running ten minutes late.

Moving On

Overcoming anxiety requires our commitment to what can be a gradual process of replacing negative response patterns with positive ones, particularly when our issue is deep rooted and sustained. New techniques and tools, designed to help us turn our lives around need to be practiced daily on an ongoing basis; until they become part of our normal daily function.  The more committed we are to finding a resolution the more effective treatment has been shown to be.

Do you identify with any of the symptoms of anxiety described above? Counselling, BWRT or hypnotherapy can help you to overcome your problems.  Contact me today to make an appointment.