DOES HYPNOTHERAPY HELP WITH DEPRESSION?
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
“While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health”. (Beyond Blue)
HOW DOES DEPRESSION AFFECT US?
Those that are dealing with debilitating depression will know the dark cloud that they live under. It may feel to many that life in general is just too hard, life becomes overwhelming and motivation decreases. These feelings cause many to feel useless or unworthy which in turn creates more negativity. There are many debilitating symptoms of depression and if you know someone who is dealing with depression the best thing you can do for them is just to be there for them…and keep being there for them. It may seem to you that “they just need to get over it”, but to them it is far more challenging than ‘just getting over it’.
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT?
Our body releases cortisol during stressful events, too much cortisol causes chemical imbalances. The impact of long term coritsol exposure has been shown to effect several parts of the brains physical structure including the hippocampus (memory problems, a decrease in neuron production), prefrontal cortex (decision making, hormone regulation, memory formation) and amygdala (disturb sleep & activity patterns, irregular hormone production). It appears that cortisol is always high in people with depression. This is just one aspect of the science behind depression. There are many other factors that can come into play such as genetics, lifestyle choices & personality. Even with all scientific knowledge available to us today there is still more to know about the causes (and treatments) of depression.
HOW DOES HYPNOSIS HELP?
Hypnotherapy can help depression by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the part responsible for creating a sense of well being). This down regulates the body and allows our mind and body the opportunity of relaxing, soothing our active mind along with calming respiration and heart rate.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for accessing the unconscious mind. Some say that hypnotherapy is about effective communication. When we are in an altered state of consciousness our subconscious mind is far more amenable to communication. During hypnotherapy positive suggestions are offered that are in alignment with a clients desires and needs. Positive changes are more readily accepted by the subconscious because as humans we are more receptive to new perspectives, healing or beneficial programming when in a hypnotic state. It is worthwhile noting that as humans we all come with an in built instinct to be well,
Dr Lisa Edwards states there is documented evidence that hypnotherapy compares very favourably with the most popular forms of therapy (1).
Her comments are supported by Dr Alfred A Barrios, who has reported the following success rates:
Hypnotherapy 93% recovery after 6 sessions (about 1.5 months). Behaviour Therapy 72% recovery
after 22 sessions (about 6 months). Psychotherapy 38% recovery after 600 sessions (about 11.5 months). (2)
WHAT HAPPENS IN A HYPNOTHERAPY SESSION FOR DEPRESSION?
As a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist I am trained to work from the perspective of the client, to see the world through the clients eyes. This helps gain an appreciation of how they live in the world thus enabling me to help facilitate healing. It is worthwhile noting here that all humans have an innate instinct to be well and balanced (homeostatis). Because of this internal compass, the fundamental belief is that every person has the resources and potential to heal and be well, through their own efforts. It is my job to help that process.
Many people often wonder if they will be able to be hypnotized, the short answer is yes! Everyone is capable of being hypnotized. The hypnotic state is a very natural state and one that all of us go in and out of many times a day without possibility even being aware of it.
One Hypnotherapy client describes her hypnotherapy sessions as like ‘pressing the reset button’, ‘it helps to clear my head of negativity’ and ‘helps me feel refreshed/renewed’.
I am a female clinical hypnotist working from a quiet private hypnotherapy clinic in The Gap, Brisbane. I service The Gap, Ashgrove, Bardon, Red Hill, Toowong and Keperra
Free 15 min no obligation phone consultation.
(1) Edwards L. (MD); ‘What is depression?’ DepressioNet: www.depresionet.com.au, cited Sept.7, 2006
(2) (12) Barrios, A.A. (MD) Psychotherapy, 7(1) (the psychotherapy journal of the American Psychiatric Association)