Read my article in the Depression Alliance magazine.

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Well the title says it all really! Back in 2013 was asked to write an article for the Depression Alliance magazine. I was sorting through some old paperwork this weekend and found it!

It’s still really relevant (trends may change but the way our mind works doesn’t!), and so I thought it might be nice to add it here!

Spring 2013 issue of the Depression Alliance's magazine, Single Step. The Depression Alliance is a leading charity supporting and campaigning for people suffering with depression. The magazine is a really interesting read, and is available free to it's members.

You can find out more about Depression Alliance at www.depressionalliance.org.

By building on our strengths we can create a positive future where we are back in control!

Solution focused therapy is a modern therapeutic technique which, when combined with hypnosis, creates effective and lasting change. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) can be particularly effective in relieving the many symptoms that have their roots in anxiety and stress.  It can help by changing how we react to situations and enable us to cope better with whatever life brings our way.

As SFH focuses on solutions, we do not dwell on the problems of the past.  Instead we assess where we are currently, identify where we wish to be, and then we use hypnotherapy to achieve our goals.

 A vicious cycle…

Each time our brain responds to real or perceived threat, the level of the stress hormone cortisol rises.  When cortisol levels are raised over a long period of time, our levels of serotonin are reduced.  A good flow of serotonin makes us feel happy, motivated, positive and able to cope.  Without it, we become less interested in things we once enjoyed, become less social, take less exercise and in general think more negatively.  The vicious cycle that is created is hard to break, since positive thought, interaction and exercise are the very things which keep serotonin flowing.

 Hypnosis can help to get your serotonin flowing again…

Hypnosis is a natural state of trance which we all experience many times each day.  Have you ever been driving and suddenly realised you have missed your turning? Or reading a book, and had to re-read the page as you had not taken any of the words in? In both of these situations you may well have been in a natural trance state. Scientists tell us that during this state, despite feeling like we have switched off; our brains are working hard, using more energy than when taking a maths exam! 

During this time the brain is processing information and finding solutions to problems. It is important to understand that the hypnosis used in hypnotherapy isn't something which is "done to you" to make you do something you don't want to. You don’t explain your issue to the therapist who then simply hypnotises the problem away, as if by magic. On the contrary, it is used as a collaborative process, and will only work when it is used to make changes which you wish to make.

Many people are often surprised at how "ordinary" hypnosis feels, but during this state, the skilled hypnotherapist has access to the subconscious mind, and it is therefore incredibly powerful for changing seemingly "unchangeable" behaviours and habits. It is important to understand that change happens because you want it to and because you are prepared to take the necessary steps to allow it to happen.

Many people have heard that hypnotherapy is useful when you want to lose weight or stop smoking, or want to deal with a fear or phobia.  However Solution focused hypnotherapy can also help with stress and anxiety, depression (including post-natal), insomnia, panic attacks, and OCD.  It offers a safe and natural way to work on your issues and claim back your life.

Sessions will involve much more than hypnosis. Using specially designed questioning techniques, the therapist will help you to focus on the achievements you have already made, as well as visualise the changes you wish to make. You will then be guided into a relaxed state of hypnosis, which will consolidate those changes, and allow the subconscious mind to accept them and use its natural learning and solution capabilities to figure out how to make the imagined alternative future a reality.  This means that each session is uniquely tailored to you and your needs.

A good hypnotherapist will offer a consultation free of charge in order to assess what you want to achieve, how hypnotherapy can help you and how many sessions you are likely to need.

You can find a reputable Solution Focused Hypnotherapist in your area by visiting: www.afsfh.co.uk

Leah Bevan (HPD) is a qualified hypnotherapist and psychotherapist, and is a member of the Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and the National Council of Hypnotherapy.  She runs her busy private clinic in Plymouth, Devon.  You can find out more at: www.hypnotherapyplymouth.com

I have a long history of depression.  I cannot describe how helpful hypnotherapy has been. I am finally starting to really enjoy LIVING again.  I am excited about the future and actually feel happy!
— Lesley K, Plymouth.

Links: National Council of Hypnotherapy www.hypnotherapists.org.uk

Recommended reading: How to lift depression…Fast, Joe Griffin and Mark Tyrell