Phobias: How I Beat My Fear Of Butterflies

Phobias: How I Beat My Fear Of Butterflies

Story Image CBT sessions helped Tina overcome her phobia

MORE than two million Britons suffer from phobias. Although they can seem insignificant to others, the condition can dominate lives. Adrian Lee talks to one woman about how she overcame her anxiety.

WHEN Tina Crawford was making plans for her wedding, there was one overriding fear. She was terrified that her big day would be ruined by a butterfly or moth fluttering into  the church as she walked down  the aisle. If that happened she  knew that within a few seconds she’d be frozen to the spot, begin hyperventilating and could faint.

More than two million Britons suffer from phobias and although often trivialised or ridiculed, they can dominate lives.

Celebrities suffer from them too. Earlier this month Kylie Minogue revealed her own bizarre phobia. The singer is terrified of coat hangers, she hates the sight and sound of them and has even designed a special wardrobe to display her outfits.

In Tina’s case, the 38-year-old was compelled to arrange her wedding in the depths of winter when she knew the chances of an encounter with a moth or butterfly were negligible.

“People don’t appreciate how a phobia can disable you in so many ways,” says Tina, a former television researcher from Croydon, south London, who is now a full-time mum to Toby, two. “I kept the windows shut in summer and was frightened to go out of the house.

“Even the thought of a butterfly or a picture of one in a book could be enough to make me sick. We even arranged holidays to cold places where there was less chance of coming across them.”

Her phobia began […]

By |June 1st, 2010|Anxiety, CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Celebrity & Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Phobias|Comments Off on Phobias: How I Beat My Fear Of Butterflies

Hypnotherapy Helps Homecoming Heroes

Homecoming Heroes

Hypnotherapy Helps Homecoming Heroes

As I write this Remembrance Day is fast approaching and the United Kingdom’s ongoing involvement in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan (& Now Libya Added 23/03/11 and now Syria, Somalia and South Sudan 28/09/2015) always in headlines, the troubles homecoming heroes have in adapting to their return to civilian life is often overlooked.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has pioneered a programme which allows our members to offer homecoming servicemen and women a free consultation/session to help cope with their return to civilian life after the stresses of warfare.

Such sessions, says the NCH chairman Paul White, will help with relaxation, removing anxiety, dealing with depression, processing traumatic events, dealing with loss, re-adjustment and building self-esteem.

Many returning servicemen and women have shown a high rate of stress.

Sessions, says the NCH chairman Paul White, will help with relaxation, removing anxiety, dealing with depression, processing traumatic events, dealing with loss, re-adjustment and building self-esteem. Everyone reacts to stress in different ways and to different degrees. Some people have more stress than others. Some people handle stressful situations better than others. Each person is triggered by different stressful situations, depending on their own make-up.

“Stress is one of the biggest threats to people’s health, happiness, and well being,” says White.

“Stress may cause confused thinking, depression, over-eating, excessive drinking, reckless driving, high blood pressure, heart problems, and a myriad of other health problems. The symptoms of stress are sometimes insidious and undetectable, until one day you feel overwhelmed with life. Everything bothers you, from your work to your favourite pet at home. You may even start […]

Hypnosis may help anxious teens

Anxious teens

Hypnosis may help anxious teens

Self hypnosis could be useful in aiding treatment for children suffering from anxiety, research has suggested.
A small study found that hypnotherapy helped psychological treatment in reducing anxiety and feelings of helplessness in students.

effects of hypnotherapy were found to be greater than those of more traditional relaxation techniques.

The research, conducted at Hampshire Hypnotherapy Centre, was revealed to the British Psychological Society.

David Byron, a senior specialist educational psychologist for Hampshire County Council studied 10 pupils, aged 11 to 16, being treated at the centre for emotional behavioural difficulties related to anxiety.

The students received psychological treatment in sessions with their parents during which they set things they wanted to change about their lives. They were then taught how to self-hypnotise and work towards these targets.

Mr Byron said the hypnotherapy acted as a useful vehicle for the psychological treatment, and he found it produced greater effects than were seen in students using more traditional relaxation techniques.

He said hypnotherapy could be used to influence the treatment process and could be used by psychologists as “an adjunct” to their professional training.

He said: “It seems to empower the students to change their lives and it’s not me doing it, it’s them.”

Mr Byron said hypnotherapy could also be useful to help with a number of other treatments, and that he would like to see the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services nationwide employing people to offer a hypnotherapy service to patients.

He said: “There is no doubt it has a tremendous amount to offer.”

Anxiety common

Ian Goodyer, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge said anxiety is a significant problem in children aged 11-15. He said: “Children may have […]

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT or Cognitive Behavioural therapy, it stresses the importance of belief systems and thinking in determining behaviour and feelings. The focus of CBT is on understanding distorted beliefs and using techniques to change maladaptive thinking while also incorporating affective and behavioral methods. In the therapeutic process, attention is paid to thoughts that individuals may be unaware of and to important belief systems.

Working collaboratively with clients, therapists take an educational role, helping clients understand distorted beliefs and suggesting methods for changing these beliefs. In doing so, the therapists may give clients assignments to test out new alternatives to their old ways of solving their problems. As the therapist gathers data to determine therapeutic strategies, clients may be asked to record dysfunctional thoughts and to assess their problems through brief questionnaires developed for a variety of different psychological disorders. In their approach to treatment, cognitive therapists have outlined types of maladaptive thinking and specific treatment strategies for many psychological disturbances, including depression and anxiety disorders.

By |April 23rd, 2008|CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Hypnotherapy|Comments Off on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

More funds for talking therapies

Talking therapies

More funds for talking therapies

The government is to spend millions more on “talking treatments” for depression and anxiety in England.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said by 2010, £170m a year would be spent – allowing 900,000 more people to be treated using psychological therapies.

These are just as effective as drugs, says the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.

The plan will pay for itself as people return to work and stop needing benefits, an expert said.

As many as six million working age adults suffer from depression or anxiety at any one time, resulting in a estimated 91 million working days being lost every year.

The problem is estimated to cost the economy £12bn a year.

Currently, treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are in short supply – on average, patients wait 18 months to start treatment.

The new plan aims to reduce that wait to just a fortnight, in line with improvements in outpatient waiting times in other parts of the NHS.

The Department of Health said that all GP surgeries would have access to the treatments as the programme “rolled out” across the country. It is planned to recruit an extra 3,600 therapists.

Currently, approximately £5m is spent on these therapies per year, and the government plans to spend £30m next year, £100m the year after, finally reaching £170m per year from 2010/11.

Mr Johnson said: “More than one in six people suffer from mental health problems at any one time.

“For many people prescribing medication is a successful treatment but we know that psychological therapies work equally well.

“Improving access to psychological therapies will give people with mental health problems a real choice of treatment.”

Benefit savings

Researchers say that this will effectively cost the […]

By |March 4th, 2008|Anxiety, CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Latest News, Talking Therapy|Comments Off on More funds for talking therapies

Therapy maze

Therapy maze

A guide to the therapy maze

How can you recognise which therapies are safe and who are the reputable practitioners? Here we guide you through the therapy maze.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

What is it?

Practical techniques are used to turn negative thoughts and actions into more positive ones.

How does it work?

The CBT therapist is a bit like a personal mental trainer – they set goals and give the client clear guidelines about how to achieve the changes they want.

The Claims

Clinical trials have shown it is very effective in treating phobias, anxiety, depression and compulsive disorders such as severe over-eating or obsessive cleanliness. Businesses swear by it for stress management. The Department of Health gives it their seal of approval.

The Pain

All therapy can bring unpleasant buried emotions to the surface and CBT is no exception. It is also very goal-oriented and some people may feel that it puts too much pressure on them to achieve results.

Who should do it

Particularly suitable for people with anxiety, phobias and depression. But if you are looking for an in-depth understanding of your relationships, this may not be the therapy for you.

Our expert says:

‘Research has shown that this therapy is very effective in helping people tackle their problems, be they phobias, stress, depression or compulsive behaviour. It is very problem-solving and can produce remarkable results.

‘The downside is that if you really don’t want to face your fears, the therapy itself might increase your anxieties.’ SP


What is it?

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, you are not unconscious during hypnosis – but your conscious awareness operates at a different, deeper level.

How does it work?

Before clients enter the hypnotic state, they […]

By |February 18th, 2008|CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Resources, Reviews|Comments Off on Therapy maze

Ease bowel illness

Ease bowel illness

Hypnosis ‘can ease bowel illness’

Hypnosis could ease symptoms. Hypnotherapy could help people with severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers say. Doctors should consider using this and other “psychological” treatments such as antidepressants to help sufferers, King’s London experts say in the British Medical Journal. However, a shortage of therapists could hinder this, they add.

Experts said there was growing evidence that IBS cases have psychological as well as biological elements.

Other therapies

IBS is a common and painful medical condition that has a wide range of symptoms, including regular abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation. Conventional medicines prescribed for IBS often ease symptoms partially, or not at all. Using a psychological treatment does not mean that the disease is ‘all in the mind’ Dr Ian Forgacs, Kings College London

Many scientists now believe that the cause in many cases is a combination of mental and physical factors, and that the drugs commonly used to tackle it may be aiming at the wrong target. Patients with IBS are more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

Dr Ian Forgacs, a consultant gastroenterologist from Kings College, says that doctors are often reluctant to prescribe anti-depressants, especially in patients who, apart from their IBS, show no outward signs of being depressed.

He urged them to consider other forms of psychological therapy, including hypnotherapy, as an alternative in some cases.

“Patients with irritable bowel syndrome should be made aware of the existence of these treatments so that they can make informed choices,” he said.

“Specifically, they should be made aware that using a psychological treatment does not mean that the disease is ‘all in the mind’.”

He found that one of the most effective treatments for IBS in research studies were so-called […]

By |February 18th, 2008|Anxiety, Digestive Disorders, IBS - Irritable bowel Syndrome, Stress|Comments Off on Ease bowel illness