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

Hypnotherapy

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 draw up a detailed plan with their therapist outlining their goals. When you are in this trance-like state, the hypnotist can speak directly to areas of your mind which are closed off during every day life. During ‘regression’ hypnosis, the therapist takes the patient back to their childhood or to the scene of a trauma.

The Claims

As anyone who has watched a performance by a stage hypnotist like Paul McKenna can attest, hypnotism is a powerful tool. It reaches parts that other therapies can’t reach – and can be very effective in tackling buried fears and phobias.

The Pain

Hypnotherapy is dangerous precisely because it is so powerful. An unscrupulous or unqualified practitioner could damage the delicate fabric of the mind. People in trance states can be made to do things they do not consciously want to do – so clear boundaries must be set.

Who should do it

If you’ve tried everything to give up smoking and just can’t, this could be for you. Also suitable for breaking other forms of routine behaviour, such as over-eating, and for stress management. Those with weak hearts or epilepsy and those with a fear of losing control should avoid it.

Our expert says:

‘Hynpotherapy has been used for over a century with good results. After World War I, it was used for treating victims of shellshock. If it’s done properly, it can be used to break bad habits.

by NATASHA NARAYAN, Daily Mail – Last updated at 12:17pm on 4th March 2002
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/womenfamily.html?in_article_id=103064&in_page_id=1799