Teenagers suffer from anxiety in much the same way as their parents and other adults, even when living in loving homes and surrounded by supportive family and friends. While the actual concern that brings about the anxiety may be different, many of their emotional and physical symptoms are similar and oftentimes, quite frightening. This is especially true when the anxiety results from a first time experience, such as changing schools, watching parents divorce, losing a loved one or moving to a new town, and she or he has not yet had the opportunity to learn effective coping skills to help them manage.
Hypnosis is one of the best treatments for anxiety; the intervention not only provides suggestions on how to decrease anxiety but also provides a new answer in how to relax at the same time.
The good news is that anxiety is one of the most treatable mental health conditions, and there are even many strengths inherent in the anxiety-prone temperament.
The Long Term Value of Learning How to Manage Anxiety
Learning to manage anxiety in teenage years is an important skill. Developing effective coping techniques can prevent anxiety from continuing into adulthood and manifesting into phobias, physical health problems or in ways that permanently alter the individual’s ability to achieve success, socialize with others, form relationships and reach short and long term goals. One effective strategy for helping a teen to work through anxiety is hypnotherapy.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help
Hypnosis is a popular therapeutic intervention for teenagers because it is both safe and effective. It does not rely on medications that may have the potential to cause adverse side effects and are often only a short term answer. Hypnosis based interventions empower teenagers to develop beneficial coping skills and find their own solutions that can be used throughout a lifetime. This has the powerful effect of allowing them to move forward in life, increase their feelings of hopefulness and realize endless possibilities for themselves.
The exact method used to treat anxiety in teenagers will vary from patient to patient, but most combine both positive imagery and powerful suggestions to replace negativity, doubt, and fear in the subconscious mind. A skilled hypnotherapist guides the client through various suggestions while the client is in a trance-like state and open to different and more helpful ways of thinking and reacting. This helps to release stuck beliefs within the mind and break the cycle of feeling anxious, fearful or lacking self-esteem.
Affirmations – Tools for Life
Part of the hypnotherapy practice involves providing the teenager with tools that they can
take with them long after the sessions are over and use in the future when facing their fears. These often come in the form of affirmations. Affirmations are statements that are repeatedly made while the teen is in a deep state of relaxation. They might include things like “I am cool, calm and collected”, “Let time pass”, “I am brave” or “Accept this moment”. In most cases, the therapist will start by saying several of these phrases slowly during a session and ask the teen to repeat them one at a time. This allows positive, peaceful and calming thoughts to flood the sub-conscious mind and replace negative self-talk that may be at the root of the anxiety.
Teenagers may also be taught to visualize calm and peaceful places to help them relax in the earliest stages of an anxiety-induced panic attack. The image should be one that the client is comfortable in and wants to escape to such as the beach, mountains, a quiet reading nook or a favorite childhood home. Oftentimes, a word is used when the vision is created and while the teen is in a deep hypnotic state. The teenager is then taught that when the word is heard or said during full consciousness, it is a cue to mentally escape to their happy place, breathe deeply, relax and let go of tension. This provides teenagers with a powerful coping mechanism that manifests in both physical and mental ways and can be used anytime anxiety strikes.
Trusting the Hypnotherapist
One of the most important characteristics that improve outcomes during hypnotherapy sessions is trust. If the teenager is comfortable around the therapist, he is more likely to have positive expectations about the outcomes from each session, open up about his feelings and provide information that can help the therapist get to the root of the problem causing anxiety. A therapist can then use that information to target the exact needs of the teenager, bring forward any stuck emotions that the sub-conscious mind may be repressing and create the most effective affirmations, visualizations, and positive suggestions. Teenagers are also more likely to feel relaxed around a therapist they trust, and this can lead to a deeper state of hypnosis and a higher level of success throughout the sessions.
Anxiety in teenagers is a condition that can develop at any time and have a life-altering impact on their physical and mental well being. The good news is that it is treatable. For many, the solution lies in hypnotherapy. If your child is unusually stressed, fearful, isolated or anxious, I am a licensed therapist in San Diego and here to help. Call my office to schedule your teenager’s consultation and begin the path toward hopefulness and healing.
Anxiety occurs when a certain stimulation or event causes us to behave apprehensively. It offers a form of self-protection and often triggers our fight or flight response so that we take action when faced with dangerous, unhealthy or unsafe situations.
While anxiety in and of itself is not unhealthy, and can even be beneficial, it can be overbearing and even crippling. This might result in an individual becoming so fearful that they:
Worry excessively about everyday things
Lose sleep because of spinning thoughts
Ruminate that an event will negatively impact their life
Avoid social situations
Experience physical symptoms, illnesses or medical conditions related to the anxiety -Begin to avoid triggers and in effect limit themselves from fully experiencing their potential
Reducing anxiety has many benefits including improving focus, mental clarity, physical health and self-esteem. This can positively impact every aspect of your life, every relationship you experience and your ability to clearly see a future that is bright, hopeful and free.
People often ask me, ‘How will I know that I’m hypnotized?’. The answer is easy- have you ever been driving, aware of your surroundings yet you miss your exit? That’s a hypnotic state.
Many different treatments are available to assist individuals who are dealing with unhealthy levels of anxiety including hypnotherapy. A great amount of research has been conducted showing the benefits of using hypnotherapy to treat anxiety and what methods are most effective.
Evaluating the Client
With hypnotherapy, it is important for the therapist to first learn more about the patient and her perception of the anxiety. The evaluation should include asking questions about what triggers feelings of anxiousness, how the anxiety typically manifests and what coping mechanisms have proven successful in the past. Once the therapist has a better understanding about the individual, it is helpful to explain how hypnosis works and what the potential benefits of treatment include. The client should have opportunities to ask questions so that she gains positive expectations and is fully comfortable both with the therapist and while entering the trance-like state involved in hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis for Anxiety
Once a hypnotherapy session begins, there are many different techniques that a therapist can use to help the client overcome anxiety. For some, simply inducing a state of deep relaxation and providing direct sub-conscious suggestions about moving forward when faced with a stressful situation or remaining hopeful in the earliest stages of anxiety are enough to provide relief. When this is the case, sessions are often repeated several times to provide positive reinforcement and help the client to truly let go of past patterns.
Hypnotically-facilitated systematic desensitization is another effective method for many individuals who are faced with anxiety. Think of this as repeatedly exposing yourself to an uncomfortable situation so that it has less of an impact on your life and is easier to cope with. With this method, clients enter a deep, trance-like state and visualize themselves in a stressful or uncomfortable situation. They are then taught how to take control over the situation, restructure past patterns or actions and make new choices regarding how they will respond to future events. Many clients feel empowered after experiencing systematic desensitization and more in control over their actions and choices.
Strengthening the Ego
Hypnotherapy also provides clients with ego-strengthening tools when poor self-esteem contributes to overbearing feelings of anxiety. By re-framing how they feel about themselves or bringing to the surface negative events or feelings from the past, individuals learn to overcome these barriers and develop new coping techniques that empower them to begin looking at life in a hopeful way. This lends to curiosity about the future, making new discoveries and moving forward without crippling feelings of anxiety, negativity and fearfulness.
Regression Techniques in Hypnotherapy
Sometimes it is difficult for individuals to remember a time when they did not have to cope with these unhealthy feelings. In these situations, therapists often help clients to overcome anxiety using age regression. With hypnosis, it is possible to age regress to a time when anxiety was not such a prominent part of their life. When one can recall their gifts and strengths that allow them to move forward through life there can be remarkable progress. Age regression can provide a mental anchor of how it felt to live without anxiety which can be brought to consciousness during high stress times. Clients who are able to associate their feelings with a life experience also have an easier time understanding why they become anxious, and this can be a first step toward self discovery and healing.
As a professional hypnotherapist, I can help you to identify the root of your anxiety and establish concise goals and expectations for your sessions. Throughout therapy, some or all of the techniques mentioned above may be used to help you delve into your sub-conscious mind, get unstuck, reorganize your thoughts, strengthen existing coping techniques and learn new techniques to replace previously unsuccessful ones. After therapy, you can expect to feel more relaxed when faced with challenging situations and ready to tackle your anxiety with a new level of clarity and focus.
When you make the decision to lose weight, you probably think about cutting calories, reducing fat or carbohydrates and increasing your daily exercise. While these are all excellent strategies for getting rid of those excess pounds and many doctors recommend them, we continue to be a country plagued by obesity and the health problems that are associated with it. This leads us to the conclusion that diet and exercise alone are often not enough. This is where CBT for weight loss can help.
While a lot of people who begin a diet are intensely focused on watching calories, many forget to consider the underlying issues that may be causing them to overeat or lack energy and motivation in the first place. They also forget to focus on modifying unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that often stand in the way as they attempt to eat better or exercise more. While they may be successful in the short term, their bad habits tend to creep back in over time, and this often results in a rebound effect that once again increases inches and pounds.
Summer is right around the corner! Weight loss has many benefits, and CBT can help you learn the tools for long-term change
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly recommended therapeutic practice that focuses on changing self-perceptions, actions and behaviors. It is very effective for a wide range of problems and has helped many individuals to make permanent lifestyle changes and lose those last few pounds or overcome obesity.
To understand why cognitive behavioral therapy helps people to lose weight, it is first important to understand the strategies a therapist will use when including it in a treatment plan.
Setting Goals for Weight Loss
The first step in losing weight is to learn how to set goals. While this might seem simple, goals involve more than just stating that you would like to lose 20 pounds or lower your blood pressure. They should include both short-term and long-term ambitions and be clear, concise and easily obtainable. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the psychotherapist asks you what you hope to gain from treatment and from your weight loss plan and helps you to design goals that are specific and attainable. The therapist also checks in with you during sessions to gather important feedback about your progress and help you to make any necessary modifications that will result in improved outcomes.
Increasing Positive Expectations
After you have set clear and concise goals, it is next important to boost self-belief. For weight loss to be effective, you will learn believe that your weight loss plan will work and understand the skills you already have to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you to realize that unhelpful thoughts exist and replace them with more useful ones. It also provides you with strategies that can be used when your mind begins to wander back to negativity and mental exercises to practice every day that help you to stay positive. Changing how you think naturally lends to increased hopefulness about the future, and it causes many clients to begin to believe that they are capable of moving forward toward a new level of health, making it easier for them to ultimately reach their weight loss goals.
Changing How You Act and React
In addition to changing how you think about yourself and your ability to lose weight, CBT also helps you to focus on altering the behaviors that have previously sabotaged your diet and exercise plans. This involves self-monitoring your own individual experiences and recognizing barriers, physical cues that you are heading toward a setback and challenges that have been standing in the way of your success. Your therapist may recommend that you keep a food and exercise log or journal about daily thoughts and feelings. This information is then shared during sessions, helping you to recognize the barriers you are faced with and think through ways in which you can change your behaviors and cause different, more positive outcomes.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Feedback and Your Ability to Lose Weight
Cognitive behavioral therapy for weight loss is typically short term, and many clients only attend sessions for a few months before seeing results. During this time, your therapist acts as an external measuring stick by providing you with feedback about your progress, thoughts, actions and goals. This type of support is quite motivating and helps many to maintain expectations that are both ambitious and realistic.
Losing weight involves more than just mindlessly following a plan that cuts calories and increases exercise. It involves making a conscious choice to change your lifestyle, setting realistic goals and believing in yourself enough to accomplish them. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a beneficial tool that helps individuals to alter their mindset and address negative behaviors that are sabotaging their weight loss efforts. If you are struggling to lose weight, constantly finding yourself rebounding from diet after diet or facing dire health consequences because of extra pound, CBT for weight loss may be the solution you have been searching for. As a licensed psychotherapist in San Diego, I have helped many to enjoy the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, reach their weight loss goals and enjoy a happier, healthier life. To learn more, contact me and schedule a consultation.