Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Targeting the seven basic patterns associated with depression: 3. It's time to do something different

This is the third in a series of seven blog posts to be published over the coming weeks in which I will explain briefly how the symptoms of depression are dealt with using hypnotic suggestion and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). I will post links to the other articles as they become available. The session structures are based on the work of the American psychologist Dr Michael Yapko and the co-founder of the "Human Givens" psychological system, Dr Joe Griffin. This approach provides a gradual lifting of depression symptoms over the seven week programme. It works by targeting the unconscious thought processes that the depressed state is built upon.

1. Dealing with sleep disturbance
2. Looking forward to the future optimistically
(follow the links to my earlier posts)

3. It's time to do something different

Depressed people often describe themselves as being stuck, maybe in a rut or in a loop, or as being helpless (or even hopeless) in the face of their troubles. Typically whatever it is they are doing is not helping them, but they are unable to think of an alternative to their familiar strategy.

We all have ways of coping with life's experiences that have served us well over the years. We come to rely on these strategies and for the most part, and for most people they work. Sometimes, however, something happens that is outside our experience and that seems to demand a new pattern; a new way of thinking. A depression sufferer seems unable to create a new pattern of thinking, and becomes trapped in the loop of constantly reviewing the same thoughts and ideas. As these are the very same thoughts and ideas that have so far consistently failed to solve the problem, the feelings of hopelessness magnify and the depression gets worse. It is, indeed, a very vicious circle.

It is in the third session of the depression therapy programme that we really begin to tackle this self-defeating thought process, and the client is encouraged in the trance process to develop a more flexible approach and to move away from worry and towards problem solving. Hypnosis is vital here. Every depressed person knows consciously and logically that they need to do something different. Hypnosis is the key to unlocking the door to the unconscious (or subconscious) part of the mind which is after all where the problem actually is. Depression is not a conscious choice - no one would choose to be depressed; it is an unconscious choice, so it is in the unconscious mind where the most important work is done. That is why this approach is so much faster than CBT or traditional counselling in achieving relief. Hypnosis accesses the problem area directly.

By the next session, the client is typically beginning to see some changes, and we will move on to discuss a feeling that most sufferers have - that of not being in control of their life. That will be the subject of the next blog post in this series.

Links to the seven stages will be posted here as they become available:
  1. Dealing with sleep disturbance
  2. Looking to the future optimistically
  3. It’s time to do something different
  4. The complex issue of control
  5. Drawing the line
  6. Guilty or not guilty?
  7. Prevention
If you are a depression sufferer and would like a more detailed and specific explanation of how this approach could work for you, please feel free to contact me to organise a free introductory consultation.

021 487 6072