Anxiety Phobia and PTSD

horses running in fear
We inherited our fight-or-flight instinct from animal ancestors.

I specialise in helping people overcome anxiety and the related problems of phobia, panic, and PTSD. I have 27 years experience in using hypnosis to address this problem. Hypnosis is effective because it goes directly to reduce the fear itself, rather than endless discussion of the causes. 

We all feel anxious sometimes. In a genuinely risky situation anxiety sharpens our reactions and helps us to keep safe. But it becomes a problem when we feel anxious about everything, or when we don’t know what to do to feel more secure. Our bodies are built to react to extreme
situations like being attacked. This triggers the fight, flight, or freeze reaction. We run away, get violent, or freeze like a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights. Animals fight if they feel there is a good chance of winning, otherwise they run away. If neither fighting nor escape is possible they will freeze, because predators may not see an animal that stays perfectly still.

The problem is that in modern life we face
situations where although we feel threatened, fighting, running away, or
freezing are not helpful. We need to use our brains to handle these situations. But when the fight/flight/freeze reaction has been activated, our brains have gone offline. We can only think very simple thoughts  like “I have to get away!” In some cases we can’t think at all!

A panic attack is the most extreme form of anxiety symptoms. The person not only freezes but also hyperventilates, over-breathing until they feel dizzy, sweaty, cold and clammy, heart palpitating, and even
passing out. A panic attack can feel like you’re going to die or lose control
completely. The good news is that these feelings are illusions. You will not die from a panic disorder, and you are not having a “nervous breakdown”. Even severe anxiety can be relieved quite rapidly using effective self help techniques. Learning to breathe properly is a first step. And no that doesn't mean "taking deep breaths!"

Prolonged anxiety causes stress, the kind of toxic stress which we are not designed to handle. People get to feel boxed in with no way of escape. They are constantly on guard, their senses heightened, which is exhausting and nerve-wracking. Not all stress is bad. If people have good coping skills and confidence, stress can motivate them to great achievements. Signs of stress
aren’t always obvious. High blood pressure for instance doesn’t show on the outside, and isn’t even felt till it gets very extreme.

Lack of sleep is another common result of chronic anxiety. I've had good success in treating this problem, including some clients who have not slept properly for up to 20 years.

 A phobia is extreme fear or anxiety in response to something that is not dangerous, or that is highly unlikely to happen. The names of the most common phobias are well known. For instance arachnophobia = fear of spiders, emetophobia = fear of
vomiting, agoraphobia = fear of open spaces, and claustrophobia = fear of
confined spaces, health related anxiety (hypochondria). However people could
develop a phobia of just about anything. Some people are afraid of buttons! People who have phobias can often be courageous in other situations, even situations that are actually dangerous.

Helping people to overcome phobias is now my main specialty, and I have created a separate website for this topic. You can find it by clicking HERE. 

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is where someone feels that something bad will happen if they do, or do not do, a
certain thing (usually counting, checking, or washing). Sometimes they have a clear idea of what they think would happen, other times it’s just a vague feeling. From a distance they can see this makes no sense, but when they try to stop themselves from doing the compulsive behaviour they get extremely anxious and the threat of bad consequences can feel absolutely real. All of these anxiety related problems generally respond well to hypnotherapy. It's a rapid and effective method for getting control of your emotions and reactions.

Use the contact form below to book your first appointment, or phone me on 01752 829436. Or you can text me from the text button if you're on a mobile. Please give your name and some idea of best days and times for your appointment. I can normally see new clients within one week of first contact. 

Due to the stresses of modern life, many people find it helpful to practice self-help methods as part of their daily routine, to promote positive mental health rather than waiting for something to need therapy. I teach most of my clients a basic two minute technique to relax themselves mentally and physically. Many other methods are now available, such as the Chinese techniques of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. These techniques are taught here in the Southwest by Dave Sowden, who has over 20 years experience in these methods.