In recent years, a higher proportion of Judy’s clients have sought help to deal with anxiety.
Anxiety and Phobias
My professional view is that it is normal to feel anxious about a genuine threat (it’s actually a part of our evolutionary wiring). However, we don’t have to experience feeling anxious about living in general (despite the overwhelming negative / fear-inducing input from the media).
Nor do we have to be overly anxious about some of the specific challenges that life presents us with. We simply need to reconnect with our own inner, often-forgotten, resourcefulness, while also learning some new skills to deal with our anxious feelings.
My goal with therapy is to free my clients from the background anxiety that buzzes around in their minds and bodies, robbing their lives of joy. My aim is to release them from the emotional paralysis triggered by specific events (ie phobias).
“Background” anxiety can sometimes be a learned condition, or habitual way of thinking and feeling, that is picked up in childhood from over-anxious parents or other significant adults in a child’s life.
Teaching clients how to “unlearn” anxiety involves some simple steps.
- Firstly it involves teaching them how to be more focussed on the present rather than being focussed on a scary, imagined future. Mindfulness skills come into their own here, and have been shown to be powerful antidotes to anxiety. Similarly, habits of thinking (such as “what if disaster strikes…”) can be effectively replaced with more positive thoughts using mindfulness and hypnosis tools.
- Secondly, “unlearning” anxiety also involves “rewiring” the nervous system so that it can re-learn how to relax and let go. Relaxation and breathing strategies are key skills to achieve this, and can be embedded in the hypnosis experience.
However, anxiety can also be the result of a past event (viewed at the time as really scary or dangerous). This is particularly true of phobias.
In this instance the client may need to revisit (or “rewind”) key moments from their past in a way that can free them from the crippling conclusion that they are powerless or helpless to deal with specific triggers, or with life’s challenges in general.
I use a combination of NLP techniques and hypnosis to achieve this powerful shift in self-belief, with its accompanying emotional release. My clients can then move forward to lead normal, full lives.