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Kim Hopson

Kim Hopson

Suite 15,1st Floor
287 Military Rd
Cremorne NSW 2090

Servicing area: Cremorne, New South Wales

Kim Hopson Psychology - Services - General

Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Depression or anxiety can manifest during times of extreme stress or change. While it’s okay to experience these feelings, it’s not normal to have them impact your life in a way that leaves you feeling out of control.

Common signs of stress, anxiety and depression

Living with constant anxiety can be terrifying and can negatively affect other parts of your life. Likewise, extreme sadness or depression not only impacts you but those around you.

Here are some common signs that your stress, depression or anxiety may need assistance:

  • if you have trouble sleeping and you can’t stop focusing on minor negative thoughts or experiences
  • if you no longer find activities you used to love enjoyable – they may now even seem like a burden or chore
  • if you’re spending most of your time thinking about work or responsibilities, with no “light at the end of the tunnel”
  • being exhausted by even the idea of new projects or commitments
  • finding yourself snapping at the people you are closest to
  • feeling overwhelmed by the smallest things.

How counselling and therapy can help with your stress, anxiety and depression

Tools and techniques
Initially we will explore your symptoms and create tools for dealing with the symptoms. We’ll work out some techniques and strategies to help you function well again.

You’ll learn to identify the onset of symptoms in the future before they become debilitating, as well as ways to control or reduce the symptoms through practising the techniques I’ll give you.

Some people feel empowered just by having some techniques and can break the cycle and move forward, because they are less fearful.

The underlying causes
With psychotherapy we aim to understand the source of your anxiety or depression. It can be due to heredity, biochemical, stress, or personality traits. Sometimes the cause is obvious, sometimes more deeply seated or hidden and requires time to become fully understood. Once identified, we can then work towards addressing those underlying causes.

Traumatic and distressing events

Trauma is a deeply personal experience and can affect us in many ways, physically, mentally and emotionally. How one person responds to a stressful or life-threatening event depends very much on their own psychological resources and coping skills, as well as any previous experience of trauma or extreme stress.

Trauma can result from either a catastrophic event or less distressing events such as a car accident. Equally, there can be cumulative stress or trauma over time if a person has lived through abusive, neglectful or bullying situations.

If have you experienced

  • a car or workplace accident
  • a natural disaster such as flood, fire or earthquake
  • an act of violence such as a physical attack, armed robbery, war
  • rape or abuse as a child
  • suicide of a friend or family member
  • bullying as a child or adult in the workplace.

… Then you may benefit from psychological counselling and therapy.

When should you make an appointment?

It’s best to seek professional assistance if the symptoms resulting from a traumatic or distressing event are too overwhelming or last for more than a couple of weeks.

Warning signs may include:

  • being unable to handle the intense feelings or physical sensations
  • continuing to have physical symptoms of being tense, agitated and on edge
  • continuing to have disturbed sleep and / or nightmares
  • feeling numb and empty
  • continuing to experience strong distressing emotions
  • having relationship problems with friends, family and colleagues
  • having no-one to support you and with whom you can share your feelings and emotions
  • increasing your use of alcohol or drugs.

The Richards Trauma Process

My approach

I use a number of focused psychological therapies, including hypnosis, to help stressed, anxious or traumatised people. We’ll work out the best approach for you.

A therapy I have found to be very helpful is the Richards Trauma Process (TRTP), in which I am an accredited practitioner.

The Richards Trauma Process

TRTP was designed by Judith Richards as a result of her own journey of healing from severe trauma.

It is an elegant step-by-step process designed to resolve not only extreme trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but the trauma-related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress, fears, phobias, OCD, addictions, and so on.

In summary: TRTP is an initial three to five session hypnosis process that aims to move the person into the future trauma-free, without re-traumatising them.

This is achieved by:

  • changing the underlying unconscious core beliefs
  • taking the emotional charge out of the event/s
  • and moving the person out of the fight-or-flight freeze position, which is what keeps the person feeling unsafe and unable to function in the world.

Further sessions may be needed to integrate the changes fully into your life.

Is the Richards Trauma Process for you?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, and you are looking for a drug-free solution, please take a moment to watch this video. It explains the process and how it could help you.

An important understanding in trauma therapy is that in order to move into the future trauma-free, the person needs to know “It’s over and I’m safe.”

The TRTP hypnosis approach is best described as being in a trance-like state, as you will be actively engaged in the process throughout.

Please contact me to find out more and discuss if this therapy could help you.

Work-related issues

For many people work gives a sense of identity, purpose, meaning and achievement and it’s important that work and the workplace is experienced as satisfying and fulfilling. However, the workplace and environment can become stressful – and this can lead to significant issues.

Some of the issues that can occur

  • performance anxiety
  • burn-out or overload
  • frustration/ irritability
  • intolerance with self and/or with others
  • relationships with people are no longer satisfying
  • believing your career is in tatters
  • lacking balance between work and personal life
  • feeling intimidated or bullied
  • lacking confidence and self esteem
  • avoiding awkward situations, such as approaching your boss or a difficult colleague.

Physically you may suffer from headaches, body aches and pains, muscles seizing up, not sleeping or eating well, nauseousness.

Emotionally you may be feeling depressed, anxious, angry, no longer in control, impotent.

Psychologically your confidence and self esteem may have diminished; you don’t like yourself and all you have are negative thoughts; you may feel powerless to effect change either at work or within yourself; you may have become immobilised and do nothing; you may have become a workaholic as a way to avoid relationships.

If left untreated, or in extreme circumstances, you may experience a range of endocrine and immune system problems, as well as

  • digestive problems
  • high blood pressure
  • not wanting to go to work
  • having difficulty getting out of bed
  • not wanting to get involved in your life
  • abusing alcohol and/or drugs.

How counselling and therapy can help with work-related issues

Firstly we’ll define and analyse the problem. Some people aren’t sure what the cause of the problem is. Perhaps it’s directly work-related, or maybe it’s personal and that is impacting your job performance.

Depending on the issue, counselling will enable you to regain your confidence. I will help you develop the skills to manage your unique situation and work with you to develop healthy coping techniques.

In some cases, such as bullying, difficult decisions may have to be made. For example: the circumstances for resolving the work-related issue might include invoking formal steps as defined by your specific workplace procedures, or maybe resigning.

I will help you make the decision that is right for you and support you through the process.

Difficult life transitions

Life is a dynamic process with many stages

We are in a constant state of growing and changing. Some of the changes have positive outcomes for us, some negative. Some changes we look forward to, others we may be apprehensive about.

Many people find it difficult to adjust to altered situations.

Who am I now? … How will I cope? …Why did life do this to me? … Will I ever be happy again?

How major life transitions may impact us

  • Going from school to the adult world
  • Marriage
  • Having children
  • Children leaving home
  • Separation and divorce
  • Retirement
  • Grief and loss

How counselling and therapy can help you move through difficult times

First of all, counselling and therapy will help you understand and start to come to terms with the sometimes dramatic changes in your life circumstances that inevitably follow a significant life transition.

Many of these changes are not anticipated and occur without warning, such as an accident, death, divorce or illness. Even the events that are planned for, such as marriage, having a baby or retiring, also bring a level of stress and anxiety.

How these events are viewed – as being either positive or negative – will impact the degree of stress, anxiety or depression you might experience.

Therapy will assist you to navigate events as you are called on to make changes. This often required a different response than you might have made before. I will help you learn new ways of coping to suit your situation.

Grief and loss

Grief is a normal response to loss and throughout our lives we experience much loss, some of us more than others. Loss can be experienced in many situations, not just relationships.

Some common situations include:

  • the death of someone you love
  • the end of a relationship with a partner
  • losing your job, or retirement
  • when the children leave home
  • moving or migration to a new location
  • change in physical or mental health.

We all respond differently to our life’s challenges and grief is no different.

It’s often said that we grieve the way we live – some people are very expressive and articulate and need to talk, while others will keep their feelings to themselves. And the grieving process takes as long as it takes, there’s no right or predictable time frame.

Grief can take time to work through and how much loss a person has previously experienced can also impact the healing process.

How counselling and therapy can help grief and loss

Following the death of a loved one the bereaved person is often very much alone, as many people don’t know how to manage grief themselves. It’s not uncommon for friends and family to avoid contact as they don’t know what to say or do.

Depending on the nature of the loss, the bereaved person may experience anything from a sense of helplessness, to assuming fault, to despair, and everything in between. It can often feel like a roller coaster of emotion. Therapy will help you through this time to learn ways to cope when you’re on your own.

Other losses such as loss of a job or relationship through separation or divorce, often leave people confused, angry and losing confidence and self-esteem. Therapy will help you find understanding and strategies to manage this time.

I use a number of different modalities to facilitate the healing process: talking, art therapy and journaling, to name a few. I work with you, and together we decide what the most comfortable approach is for you. Some people are more comfortable talking, while others prefer to use creative non-verbal approaches.

Sometimes, depending on the complexity of the loss or losses, only a few sessions are necessary in order for you to move through your grief and feel clear enough to go on with your life.

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