Humanistic therapy - the present moment
Humanistic therapy deals with issues in the present moment to clarify what you need in life.
It is a positive psychology approach based on the belief that we are all intrinsically good people who have the power to make our own decisions. It recognises that we can improve our lives if we accept responsibility for the needs that are currently unfulfilled in our lives. Instead of focusing on where we have gone wrong, humanistic therapy focuses on our positive attributes and on promoting or developing healthy behaviours.
As good, powerful and creative people, we can learn to see ourselves in a positive light and become more responsive, capable and successful in resolving problems.
This type of therapy is non-directive, which means that I am not going to push you or tell you what to do. I listen to you, provide a sounding board and help you to realise how you have the power to make the changes that are required to improve your life. I will encourage you to accept responsibility for meeting your needs because when you do this, you will discover solutions that you were unaware of prior to therapy.
Over 2,400 years ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates exclaimed: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Hypno-psychotherapy is simply psychotherapy combined with light hypnosis that helps a client to link and connect the events of the past that are influencing his/her present-day life. It has been described as the ‘gold standard’ of therapy because it sometimes works quicker than standard psychotherapy. So, what is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focused awareness. It is completely natural and safe in the hands of an experienced hypnotherapist. Clients are often surprised (and sometimes disappointed) to discover that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
The most frequent comment is ‘I didn’t feel hypnotised’. That is because hypnosis is not a feeling; it is an altered state of consciousness that occurs many times naturally over the day for every person when we go into ‘automatic’mode. This ‘automatic’ mode occurs when we daydream, become engrossed in a good film or find ourselves arriving at a destination in the car and being unable to recall how we got there. The same thing happens when we are on the computer or smartphone; time seems to speed by and we are ‘entranced’ or hypnotised by endless texts, YouTube videos, news bulletins or social medial platforms.
Hypnosis is the doorway to our unconscious mind where all these automated processes work away unnoticed until they produce results that we don’t want. Studies have shown that you control your behaviour during hypnosis and can refuse to respond to suggestions and even oppose them (Lynn et al, 1990).
Going into hypnosis, deepening, maintaining and using the trance states are all skills that are acquired through practice. It’s like learning how to walk for the first time-but this time, it is walking through your mind in both an objective and subjective way to discover how your internal belief systems and programs are working.
When you find a belief system that is negatively impacting your life, you have a greater chance of changing it into a positive belief system through mental imagery.
According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the state of inner absorption, concentration and focus attention that is brought on by hypnosis may help us to use our minds more powerfully. Hypnosis has multiple uses including treating symptoms of anxiety, impact of traumas, fears, phobias and sleep problems, to mention but a few.
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Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that is used to treat issues/problems presented by a client. It provides a safe space to understand and resolve problems by talking to trained therapist either face-to-face or online.
It can also include group therapy if required. I use integrated psychotherapy, which means primarily an analysis of the presenting issues and then integrating appropriate elements from complementary therapies such as CBT, Gestalt therapy, hypnotherapy to help resolve those issues. For example, there is a growing trend of clients who present with social anxiety.
How do you know if you have social anxiety? The DSM-5 (the bible of mental health practitioners) defines social anxiety disorder as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.”
Anxiety in these circumstances cannot be linked to another illness, for example, panic disorder or Parkinson’s disease. Social anxiety refers to a person who is afraid of being embarrassed, humiliated, or otherwise negatively evaluated, and where it significantly interferes with their engagement in career, academic life and/or relationships for a period of over six months.
Consequently, social anxiety triggers symptoms of anxiety or fear that are disproportionate in their intensity to the situation in which a person finds themselves.
As a coping or defensive mechanism, a person may avoid such circumstances or experience increased anxiety and distress if they have to endure the situation. Adults respond to social anxiety by becoming quiet and withdrawn from social situations. They never make plans to socialise or be with friends and they frequently call in sick to work because of their fear of interacting with their colleagues.
Performance tasks often trigger social anxiety in children who can, sometimes appear to be openly defiant, have temper tantrums, cry excessively, or become clingy. Children, in particular, have a fear of criticism and constantly ask for assurance about the consequences of doing something wrong in public. A relatively new phenomenon is the impact of cyber bullying and addiction to social media platforms. Physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, dry mouth or the inability to speak frequently present.
Psychoanalysis can help to uncover, for example, the originating cause of social anxiety, but you need to be committed to change in order to maximise the benefit psychotherapy. Normally, you will meet your therapist regularly, usually weekly over several months, but with hypno-psychotherapy, the process normally concludes in a shorter space of time.
Individual sessions last approximately fifty minutes but group sessions are longer. You’ll be taught specific skills such as learning how to control the thoughts that affect your emotions, which in turn, drive your behaviour. You will be encouraged to do reflective journalling (and taught how to do it) because there is a goldmine of information available in your writing that helps you to identify triggers, patterns and offer clues as to how to resolve matters easily.
Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on the way illness may result from relationships with other people, for example, bereavement, conflict, relationship breakup, or even moving house. It helps you to name how you are feeling and work out strategies to help you move ahead.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is a form of group cognitive therapy that uses meditation and breathing exercises to break the recurring negative thoughts. Negative thoughts generally trigger a downward spiral into any unwanted emotional state. In this way, a client can learn how to break a negative thinking pattern before it takes hold and the emotion level.
The therapy was originally developed to prevent relapse and it has been shown to be effective, particularly with patients who have had at least three episodes of depression.
BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT)
‘BWRT®’ stands for ‘BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®’. It is a modern model of psychology and psychotherapy created by UK professional therapist, Terence Watts, MCGI. It uses a totally logical, practical and down-to-earth working method in which it’s not necessary for you to talk about anything you would rather not discuss – the practitioner only needs to know how you feel and how you would prefer to feel instead.
BWRT® is unlike any other therapy you might have heard of or read about, using the latest discoveries in neuroscience coupled with your own unique brain processes to help you get better. Only Certified Practitioners have been trained to deliver BWRT® and all have to adhere to a strict ethical code.
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The BWRT website is at http://www.bwrt.org
The BWRT® Coaching programme is itself a step ahead – several steps ahead in fact – of more traditionally-based methods because it searches out and resolves the hidden conflicts and contraindicators that are inherent in the human psyche. It will allow you to provide effective help with:
- Performance Enhancement
- Career ladder-climbing
- Battles at boardroom level
- Sports Performance
- Life Goals
- Group Facilitation
- Management Issues
- Relationship Problems