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Category: Manage stress with hypnosis

  1. What Therapy is Prince Harry doing on the new Oprah Winfrey Documentary where he strokes his arms and moves his eyes?

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    What Therapy is Prince Harry doing on the new Oprah Winfrey Documentary where he strokes his arms and moves his eyes?

     Prince Harry uses EMDR for Trauma in Oprah Winfrey TV show

    In the new series Harry can be seen working on some of the trauma in his life using a technique called EMDR. The show is called The Me You Can’t  See. The TV show first airs on Apple TV+ on May 21st 2021. In the show he can been seen with his arms crossed and tapping whilst focussing on some bad memories from the past whilst noticing what feelings and memories come up for him. Lots of other famous people have also had EMDR in the past and talked about their experiences including Mel B from the Spice Girls, Kate Garraway and Jameela Jamil. 

    What is EMDR?

    It stands for eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing and therapists such as myself use it to help treat unresolved anxiety and problematic memories. Price Harry is seen using it to help with issues stemming from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, when he was 12.

    Speaking about how it felt for him Prince Harry said.

     'EMDR is always something that I've wanted to try and that was one of the varieties of different forms of healing or curing that I was willing to experiment with. 

    'And I never would have been open to that had I not put in the work and the therapy that I've done over the years.' 

     Where did EMDR come from?

    Back in the 1980s EMDR was developed by a US psychologist, Francine Shapiro, a Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. 

    Out one day and while walking in a park, Francine Shapiro suspected that her eye movements were lessening the distress of her own traumatic memories. She tested the approach on others and over time built up a standardised psychological therapy for treating people with traumatic memories. It is now used worldwide by many practitioners alongside other psychological interventions

    Is EMDR like Prince Harry is having used by many people?

    Yes, in fact EMDR therapy is recommended by  the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the World Health Organization for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and it is used for a variety of problems brought on by past trauma.

     My own experience of helping people by using EMDR....

    In my experience it is used to help people who still have an emotional attachment to a memory that has happened. It is something that we can often see when people find it hard to talk about or remember.  Sometime people will have a single distressing event in their past that resurfaces through intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, causing fear, anxiety and sometimes an urge to avoid situations that trigger the memory. Other times there may be a number of events and we can use EMDR to work through them and help break that attachment and teach them to let go of that anxiety.

    In his own experience of having this intervention as part of his therapy Prince Harry describes flying into London as being a “trigger” for his own anxieties and sense of feeling “hunted”.

    How do you do EMDR on someone? Can you do EMDR on yourself? 

    Although I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist this is one technique that I can use to help people which in fact involves keeping your eyes open and then while focused on a particular experience or event,  anyone undergoing EMDR receives what is called “bilateral stimulation”.

    In Prince Harry’s case, he crossed his arms and tapped his chest alternately on the left and right side to provide the stimulation. There is no hypnosis involved: people are fully conscious during the therapy.

     

    You can read more about EMDR here: EMDR More information

    So, How does EMDR process your memories for you?

    'Memories are processed according to previous experience and assumption and then assimilated,' explains chartered clinical psychologist and former president of the EMDR Association in UK and Ireland, Dr Robin Logie. We learn from memory: hot items aren't picked up, certain foods avoided. These are all filed away and, on the whole, memories from long ago are vague. But if you have a bad experience, that negative memory is frozen in time. Your brain can't process it and the memory returns in dreams and flashbacks, often with a physical response such as feeling sick or actual pain. Rather than fading, it stays as vivid as the day on which it occurred. It hasn't been correctly processed.'

    If you would like to find out more about how EMDR could help you then do feel free to drop me an email and tell me a little about what you are looking for help with via this link [email protected] .

     If you are not local and do not want to work on SKype with me then here's some advice. 

    If you are looking for someone local to you who could help you, my advice would be to check what other training and qualifications they have alongside EMDR so that they have the widest available methods to really help you to get what you want.

  2. Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness working together to help deal with stress and anxiety.

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    Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness working together to help deal with stress and anxiety.

     blonde lady sleeping cognitive shuffle

    A new study on treatment for stress combining mindfulness with hypnotherapy has shown positive results in a Baylor University pilot study.

    What is  "mindful hypnotherapy." ? 

    This latest study was conducted at Baylor University. Researcher Gary Elkins, Ph.D., director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory at Baylor University said: "Hypnosis involves focusing attention.. it includes mental imagery, relaxation and suggestions for symptom reduction. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that involves focusing attention on present moment awareness. It can help people cope with stress, but can require months of practice and training,"

    The study is published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

     

    Working as a practitioner who already uses a combination of techniques, including mindfulness, hypnosis and meditation I already explain to my clients how this combination can help people achieve results faster and easier for them.

    The study's basic premise is that using hypnosis to deliver mindfulness goals could have many advantages, Elkins said.

    "Combining mindfulness and hypnotherapy in a single session is a novel intervention that may be equal to or better than existing treatments, with the advantage of being more time-effective, less daunting and easier to use. This could be a valuable option for treating anxiety and stress reduction."

    Elkins noted that while mindfulness by itself can be an effective treatment for stress and anxiety for some people, it typically is provided in eight weekly sessions that last two hours or more each week and include an all-day retreat of eight or more hours. That amount of time -- more than 24 therapy hours -- may be a burden in cost and time for some people. Also, research has not shown that mindfulness-based treatments are consistently superior to standard cognitive behavioural therapy, he said.

    What happened in the study on Mindfulness and Hypnotherapy working together?

    For the study of mindfulness and hypnotherapy, the Baylor research team recruited 42 individuals with self-reported high stress. Half took part in an intervention of one-hour weekly individual sessions that included hypnosis inductions and suggestions for greater mindfulness. Participants also were given self-hypnosis audio recordings lasting about 20 minutes, each with suggestions for a hypnotic induction, relaxation and greater mindfulness. The second group did not take part in the intervention.

    At study's end, the intervention group reported a large decrease in stress and a significant increase in mindfulness. Most were highly satisfied with the number of sessions, the ease of home practice and the clarity of content, Elkins said. The average participant practiced almost every day, and overall satisfaction with the intervention was 8.9 on a scale of 10.

    In comparison, those who did not participate in the intervention reported no significant difference between pre- and post-study stress level.

    A limitation of the study was its small sample size, Elkins said. Future studies of a larger number of people could be of value, as well as testing mindful hypnotherapy for such concerns as anxiety, depression or chronic pain, he said.

    The good news from this study is that it is helping show that it doesn’t take a huge amount of work to help start to change the way that we think and feel.

    I often talk to people about how well these interventions work and when I do this, one of the most important points is about how much people want there to be a change. If you really want to change something then there is really no reason why you should not be able to do that.

    You can try a short mindfulness meditation and hypnosis for yourself right here: