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How can hypnotherapy help

Postby marciaro on Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:44 am

I've been thinking of trying hypnotherapy or eft to help stop thoughts that cause boom & bust to try & prevent inevitable relapses. Have a habit of pushing through, thinking I can do more & going too long between rests when well. Wondering how it can help? Can it help with pacing & illness management?

This clinic is really helpful. Thank you
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Re: How can hypnotherapy help

Postby Adam Eason on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:17 am

I can only comment on the applications of hypnosis and hypnotherapy and not EFT. I assume you refer to CFS/ME and how hypnotherapy can help with that?

Within the Fibromyalgia section of this clinic, I have discussed already the ways in which hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help with pain relief, which has a fairly strong evidence base to support it. If your query extends to FM, then please do track down those threads.

As far as CFS/ME are concerned, hypnotherapy is not recommended as a curative measure and certainly not as a full-blown alternative to other recommended medical treatments. It is best used as an adjunct and as an aid to ongoing treatments.

Hypnosis is essentially a cognitive skill, comprising of a set of attitudes, focus, expectancies and so on. It is a learnable skill; a verb. There are a number of applications that can directly help with some of the symptoms of CFS/ME - in particular depressive mood symptoms. Though with co-morbid depression, there is often a lethargy and a lack of inclination to persist with the practice that will help advance the results attained with hypnotherapy treatment.

Combined with mindfulness protocols, it can certainly help you to become more aware of the boundaries to which you exert yourself in order to avoid too severe relapses.

Many of my own patients have found hypnotic relaxation to offer up real restorative sensation, along with a clarity of thought and focus that is often lost during CFS/ME. Though this is purely anecdotal and there is very little RCT to support those claims.

Good hypnotherapy should equip you with a set of skills that you employ at home to develop and work on. In particular learning some of the psychosomatic self-hypnosis skills helps boost self-efficacy and advance your belief in your ability to be in control of your physiology, something often lacking in sufferers of CFS/ME, especially those long-term sufferers.

It is tough to place the entire field of hypnotherapy into a media-friendly soundbite, however, if you have any further, more specific questions or queries, please do ask and I can do my best to offer up something less generic and more laser beam. :D

I would encourage you and/or anyone reading this to ensure that any clinical hypnotherapy practitioner you are considering working with, employs evidence based protocols within their work, teaches ongoing skills, and not some who refers to hypnosis in any kind of mystical or pseudoscientific fashion where you'll likely be getting a rather expensive placebo.

With my best wishes, Adam
Adam Eason
Clinical & Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/experts/adam_eason.php
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Re: How can hypnotherapy help

Postby marciaro on Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:38 pm

I already use mindfulness techniques.

Would hypnotherapy help in the following to 2 situations.

I have periods of 6-10 weeks when I feel extremely well & believe I'm recovering so push, doing much more & going much longer between rests. Boom & bust that then results in relapse. Can hypnotherapy help stop these behaviours & thinking?

Then always during a relapse I believe I can't manage the illness especially as I seem incapable of pacing. Triggers stress & anxiety. Can hypnotherapy help me let go of the thoughts?

Thank you
marciaro
 
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Re: How can hypnotherapy help

Postby Adam Eason on Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:59 pm

Hello again, I'll run through your points in turn:

marciaro wrote:I already use mindfulness techniques.


Great, do you use mindfulness in a self-directed fashion to help you be aware of your appropriate and healthy exertion levels? If not, I'd suggest that this is a valuable application of those skills. Any experience will enhance your abilities with hypnotherapy too, in particular the ability to focus and concentrate.

marciaro wrote:I have periods of 6-10 weeks when I feel extremely well & believe I'm recovering so push, doing much more & going much longer between rests. Boom & bust that then results in relapse. Can hypnotherapy help stop these behaviours & thinking?


Rather than simply stopping the unwanted behaviours and thinking, good, evidence based hypnotherapy will help you to replace the behaviours and thought patterns with better, more progressive ones.

Cognitive restructuring is the result and is a central part of a good hypnotherapists armamentarium.

marciaro wrote:Then always during a relapse I believe I can't manage the illness especially as I seem incapable of pacing. Triggers stress & anxiety. Can hypnotherapy help me let go of the thoughts?


Firstly, one of the most impressive applications of hypnotherapy is in the treatment of anxiety and stress. Not just for the effect it has upon advancing relaxation skills, but when combined with other empirically supported treatments, such as CBT, in dealing with these issues. There is a strong body of evidence that shows hypnosis advances the efficacy of cognitive therapy interventions with primarily work on thoughts. Likewise, other cognitions such as beliefs, self-judgments, internal dialogue are all very much a focus of evidence based approaches to hypnotherapy.

Again, you should then be taught skills to use in conjunction with self-hypnosis (as well as mental imagery processes, cognitive strategies et al.) that will advance the efficacy of all that you do within the session with the hypnotherapist.

marciaro wrote:Thank you


My absolute pleasure :D

Best wishes, Adam.
Adam Eason
Clinical & Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/experts/adam_eason.php
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Re: How can hypnotherapy help

Postby marciaro on Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:12 pm

Hi,

I underwent an 8 week mbct course about 4 years ago and find the techniques very helpful although I do still struggle to let go of negative, anxious and stressful thoughts.

I also use the breathing space and can tune into bodily sensations.

Can I ask how I can use mindfulness to help me be aware of my appropriate and healthy exertion levels please.

Many thanks
marciaro
 
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Re: How can hypnotherapy help

Postby Adam Eason on Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:48 am

Hello again,

On Monday, when I am back in the office, I'll post a blog entry here to show a way of using self-hypnosis for unwanted thought disputation and cognitive restructuring which I think will help you with the negative thoughts you cite, though I'd recommend professional assistance first and foremost.

marciaro wrote:Can I ask how I can use mindfulness to help me be aware of my appropriate and healthy exertion levels please.


One way to begin practicing becoming more aware of your physiology is to tune in to yourself at regular intervals throughout your day. For example, as far back as the early 1950s, the book Gestalt Therapy (1951), shared a number of ”awareness experiments” designed to help build mindfulness and often used as a precursor to more advanced mindfulness techniques.

The most basic of these Gestalt awareness experiments was entitled the “ABC” of Gestalt by Fritz Perls. It was as simple as this;

“Try for a few minutes to make up sentences stating what you are at this moment aware of. Begin each sentence with the words “now” or “at this moment” or “here and now.” (Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman, 1951 p.31)

It is incredibly simple, but encourages the individual to start tuning in and being aware of their ongoing experience.

There are many, many techniques and strategies used by therapists of different backgrounds, designed to help individuals tune into how they are.

For example, "shuttling" your awareness between where you are currently and another place (a favourite place, for example) in order for the comparison to give you a heightened awareness of how you currently are.

This ongoing tuning in, helps you to develop a more accurate sense of how you are at that time. Then you use that to have a gauge of how much you can subsequently exert yourself safely. If you have had ME/CFS for a lengthy period of time, you are likely to be better at self-informing.

With you having benefited from some mindfulness training in the past, in addition to the inherent benefits it presents in and of itself, you can use the mindfulness in combination with your own insight, and intelligent reasoning to build upon the basic processes I have written about here - the mindfulness informs you and gives you a good sense of how you currently are, so that you can subsequently gauge what your healthiest levels of exertion are thereafter.

Best wishes, Adam.
Adam Eason
Clinical & Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/experts/adam_eason.php
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