How to move beyond Domestic Abuse Sexual and Physical Abuse Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming for Domestic Physical and Sexual Abuse Psychological Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Suffolk and Essex


Domestic Abuse

Finally it looks as if the legislative bodies are taking seriously Domestic Abuse and are considering putting it on the same footing as sexual and physical abuse – so hopefully the dark days of calling it “a domestic” and staying out of it will be numbered.

A Police Inspector told me of a call from a Woman who was being harassed and physically abused by her ex Husband – every time the Police were called he simply wasn’t there. The Inspector decided to stake out the House after yet another fruitless visit. She didn’t have to wait long – after 15 minutes he came strolling out of the woods and walked into the house – she walked into the house and caught him physically threatening the Woman for calling the Police. She arrested him. He went on a charm offensive which she ignored. She looked in the rear view and mirror and caught what she described as a really evil look.

She said to me: “I am sure that I saved a life that day!”

PTSD Psychological Trauma Sexual and Physical Abuse

There is a great assumption that PTSD is suffered by the Armed Forces and yet it is also present in Police Officers, Medical Staff, Accident victims and victims of Domestic, Sexual and Physical abuse.

Often Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will emerge many years after the initiating event and can have crippling effects on the person. Often a smell or sound can be enough to induce a Panic Attack – and the effects may be devastating. Sometimes people will lash out or self medicate with Alcohol or Drugs and have difficulty with coping with every day Life. There are many triggers can induce Fear and severe Anxiety or Panic.

Many sex abuse physical abuse and domestic abuse will also suffer similarly with PTSD.

The good news is that there are treatments for PTSD – one of which is Hypnotherapy and NLP.

I am qualified in PTSD and Psychological Trauma having taken a Continuing Professional Development course with ex Soldier John Hutchings at the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis in 2010.

Previous to that I worked as a Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner in Harley Street London W1 and have since been working extensively in Suffolk and Essex with many people who have suffered because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Psychological Trauma such as Sexual and / or Physical or Domestic Abuse.

People who suffer Domestic Abuse, Sexual abuse or Physical abuse, often have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and there are many things that can trigger unpleasant memories – we can gently allow you to put those behind you – we cannot change what happened but we can change how you feel about it with Hypnosis and NLP.

There is more here PTSD and Anxiety states HERE

I use gentle methods to help you turn the trauma into a memory – we cannot change what happened but we can change how you feel about it WITHOUT having to experience the traumatic incident/s again – so that you feel that you can move on with your Life and put the past where it belongs.

Talk to me for a FREE no obligation consultation: 07875720623


Special rates for Emergency Services and Armed Forces – if you are wondering whether this works .. my trainer ex Army John Hutchings had PTSD from his time in Bosnia, the first Gulf War and Northern Ireland – and recovered using this approach and I have many satisfied clients that for reasons of confidentiality I cannot name – this is a sample testimonial from a Senior Officer in the Emergency Services:

“When you told me that I had PTSD I scoffed at you – but you were right … and your diagnosis was not only confirmed independently … but also by my collapse. You helped put me back together and gave me my Life back.

I cannot thank you enough.”

There are some related conditions not listed here but you might find on my Hypnotherapy Treatments page – I work Holistically with you to help you resolve your issues


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Talk to me for a FREE no obligation consultation: 07875720623


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Graham Howes ASHPH GHR registered GHSC regulated CNHC Approved Professional Hypnotherapist (Previously in Harley Street) and NLP Practitioner Specialising in Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Advanced Hypnotherapy Hypnoanalysis Timeline Inner Child Therapy Neuro Linguistic Programming ..

Graham Howes Hypnotherapy Hypnoanalysis and NLP for Domestic Abuse, Sexual abuse, Physical abuse, PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks -  Clinics through Colchester, Essex and Hadleigh and Ipswich in Suffolk – Hypnotherapist for Psychological Trauma and PTSD Ipswich or Colchester.

Work Related Stress

NLP and Hypnotherapy: Strategies for Managing Stress and Anxiety


stressed businessman1

Understanding Stress and Anxiety:

Stress is a normal, necessary function of everyday life. There is stress when you must meet a deadline, drive in heavy traffic, or run late for a meeting. Stress is a natural and essential component of human existence, and in moderate doses, stress is healthy and beneficial for mental and physical functioning.

During times of stress our brain pumps specific hormones and neurotransmitters, such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These chemicals are associated with the “fight-or-flight” response in our bodies. When these chemicals are released they excite our nervous system, increase our blood pressure, make our heart beat faster and raise blood glucose levels. Our senses sharpen and we receive “a short-term buzz”, explains psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Tan of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City in an article on mental health for MSNBC. Moderate short-term stress is beneficial because the chemicals released help to strengthen our immune system, improve performance and memory and encourage positive mood. In all, stress helps us to accept challenges, take risks and react quickly in an emergency. Our bodies create a burst of energy and “we’re ready to rock.” [8].

Stress on the body and brain is necessary for us to perform appropriately to situations, however, stress becomes unhealthy when the “fight-or-flight” response becomes overactive and inappropriate. The physical and psychological dangers of chronic stress are prevalent and can affect all aspects of daily life. A human body “doesn’t distinguish between physical and psychological threats,” explains Jeanne Segal, PhDin her article published on, Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Effects. For instance, when one is stressed over a busy schedule, argument, traffic jam, or finances “the body reacts just as strongly as if it were facing a life-or-death situation.” [5]. While experiencing high amounts of chronic stress the nervous system continually releases large amounts of hormones. The brain does not get an opportunity to reach a healthy level of homeostasis or mental equilibrium. Thus, the over-activity and excessive stimulation of these hormones, that are supposed to be used for only short-term instances, can kill brain cells and cause many other unhealthy consequences such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, mental and physical exhaustion.

“Chronic stress affects nearly every system in your body,” Segal explains. People who suffer from chronic stress also experience emotional sensitivity and other physiological symptoms such as headache, diarrhea, nausea, restlessness, loss or increase of appetite. Stress can also “suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain leaving a person more vulnerable and susceptible to anxiety and depression.” [5].

Stressed out business woman with hands, one person in the background

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Response to Stress Differs:

One must note that every person responses to stress and experiences stress differently. Certified Hypnotherapist Josie Hadley, author of “Hypnosis For Change: A Practical Hypnotherapy: A Therapeutic Tool for Managing Stress and Anxiety: A Manual of Proven Hypnotic Techniques”, explains how some people can handle high stress quite well and do not let stress become debilitating or distracting. Others are driven by constant stress and perform better. However, there are some who are easily overwhelmed and fall apart upon any stressful instance. Additionally, different experiences trigger stressful responses in some people, but not others.

The way people handle stress differs because of factors such as upbringing, individual life experiences, personality, mental state, health, age and gender.

People’s reaction to stress is often times influenced and learned through upbringing. As we grow up we watch our parents and adults interact with their surroundings and certain behaviors become learned as either acceptable or unacceptable according to what we witness and experience. For instance, if a parent always gets stressed and agitated when paying bills the child may make the association that paying bills causes anxiety and this behavior becomes an appropriate response for such activity.

It is important to note that life is changing and there are new social, economical and environmental factors and pressures that our great grandparents, grandparents and even parents have never experienced or were accustomed to overcoming. We must continually adjust to new and demanding factors that cause stress. The average person is more stressed than ever before and stress levels continue to increase each year. In fact, an APA (American Psychological Association) survey found that 44 percent of American adults feel more stressed this year than the previous. [4].


Psychologists say that much of adults’ stress is in Business situations of work related stress or job-related stress. Dr. Paul J. Rosch, clinical professor of Medicine and Psychiatry of New York Medical College Adjunct and University of Maryland School of Medicine,states that job-related stress is increasing every year upon the American worker and costing the job industry billions. “Job-related stress,” he explains, “has been estimated to cost American industry in excess of $300 billion annually, as assessed by reduced productivity, increased absenteeism and escalating medical insurance and workers’ compensation payments.” [3]

Work related stress in Business can have a huge impact on Productivity

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Chronic Stress in Adults:

Chronic stress is a very serious condition that affects mental and physical processes. Chronic stress-related illnesses are the leading causes of most clinical visits for the average American adult today. Unfortunately, during these clinical visits only the client’s symptoms are addressed while stress management and behavioral modification techniques are overlooked. In 2009 a study on stress in America,conducted by the APA,focused on adult chronic health conditions and efforts to make physician recommended lifestyle changes. The study had interesting results: over two thirds of adults in the U.S. have been told by their healthcare physician that they suffer from one or two chronic illnesses, typically high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These adults were told that they need to make lifestyle and behavioural changes. However, only 35 percent of those adults were given techniques for how to make those changes,and less than 10 percent were referred to see another doctor to help assist with those lifestyle changes. Thus, many Americans are suffering from chronic illness and stress-related illnesses but are not receiving the adequate assistance necessary to make appropriate behavioural changes [4].

Teens and Stress:

Stress and stress-related illnesses are not just affecting adults but are also affecting teenagers and children. According to a 2009 survey conducted by APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal PhD, health psychologist Helen Coons PhD and Barbara Roth, national director for youth and family programs at the YMCA of the USA, stress is a top health concern for U.S.high school students today. Teens must deal with increasing pressures from peers, school, home-life, finances and other responsibilities. The APA survey explains that many parents do not realize the increased stress children and teens are experiencing. Nearly 45 percent of teens from ages 13 –17 said that they worried more this year, but only 28 percent of parents think their teen’s stress increased. The survey suggests that parents are ‘out of sync’ with what stresses their teens today. For instance, unbeknownst to parents, 30 percent of teens are more likely to be concerned about family finances, but only 18 percent of parents believed this to be a cause of their teens’ stress. [4].

Teens and young children are also dealing with unrealistic ideals and expectations from the media. The media, aiming at young teen consumers, often portrays unrealistic ideal body types, social circles and lifestyles. These ideals are difficult to obtain or vastly exaggerated, leading teens to have poor self-esteem, a negative self-image, and experience higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Furthermore, psychologists say that teens often do not learn healthy ways to manage their stress which can lead to serious long-term health implications. [4]

Stress Response Differs in the Genders:

Research shows that the genders experience and respond to stress differently because of differences in genes, hormonal changes and differing evolutionary instinctual responses. It is important that men and women understand these differences and approach stress management according to individual needs. Therapists must also be sensitive to the differing stress responses of the genders in order to adequately treat patients.

In the United States,“[w]omen have twice the rate of depression and anxiety disorders compared to men”, notes J.J. Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Neurology who conducted a 2007 study on the neural responses to psychological stress [9]. Hormonal fluctuations in women may be a possible cause for this high rate. Women experience many hormonal and physical changes throughout their lifetime such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. These female hormones can create chemical vulnerability to stress and depression.

Another important difference to be noted is that men’s and women’s brain activity differs when experiencing stressful activities. Dr. Wang’s study shows that during times of stress Men’s neural activity is higher in the areas of the brain responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response. The ‘fight-or-flight’ response causes higher rates of cortisol and aggression encouraging a mental and physical drive to overcome, flee or fight stressful encounters. Whereas,when women experience stress, women have higher rates of brain activity found in the limbic system, the area of the brain associated with emotion and long-term memory. This neurological response during times of stress is called the “tend-and-befriend” response.

Through evolutionary selection women were typically nurturers and child rearers. Women experience a stronger emotional response to stress and have a desire to reach out to others in search of support.

Dr. Wang’s research also found that when men and women performed psychologically stressful activities their brain activity continued long after that task was complete. However, “the lasting response in the female brain was stronger.” [9]. Women’s brains over-activate the stress response for longer more intensive durations than men’s brains. This strong brain activity in response to stress makes women more prone to stress-related illness, anxiety and depression.

Women are also more likely to suffer from a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than men. Researcher David Tolin, Ph.D., director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn., states that women and men experience traumatic events differently as well. According to 290 studies conducted between 1980 and 2005 “women had a twofold higher risk of being diagnosed with PTSD compared to men.”[6]. Interestingly, the study concluded that men were 23 percent more likely to experience a traumatizing event than women. Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted, while men are more likely to be involved in serious accidents or experience physical assaults. Nevertheless, even when men and women experienced the same kind of traumatic events, there is still a higher rate in women than in men.

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Understanding Anxiety:

Anxiety can be defined as a relatively permanent state of worry and nervousness. It is unpleasant feelings of apprehension, uneasiness, or dread causing various physical, emotional, or cognitive symptoms. Anxiety interferes with daily activity making it difficult to function normally and comfortably in surroundings. Approximately 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in America. Typically, individuals with one disorder will also have a supplementary disorder. [1].

According to Medical, a website dedicated to informing and educating the public on current medical news and issues, “[a]nxiety disorders affect how people feel and behave and can manifest real physical symptoms ranging from mild to severe.” [14]. They can be debilitating and if left untreated, can lead to serious health and life complications.

There are many different types of anxiety disorders and effect each person differently. The most common disorders are: General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, social anxiety or social phobias, specific phobias, Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Anxiety Disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

is when one suffers from excessive, irrational fears about daily life issues: money, family, health, safety, etc. People who suffer from GAD experience worry that is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. [2]. Eventually the person cannot live a normal life because their fear is getting in the way of relationships, goals, activities, career and other daily activities.

Panic Disorder / Anogrophobia

is an anxiety disorder in which there is a sudden rush of fear. The individual suffers from physical and cognitive symptoms typically associated with the body’s ‘flight or fight’ response. Panic attacks occur without logical reason or can be triggered by situations, locations, thoughts, or the actual dread itself of having a panic attack. People who suffer from panic disorders often develop anogrophobia. Anogrophobia is the fear of being in certain places or situations in which help, comfort, or escape may be difficult to achieve upon the onset of a panic attack. [1].

Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia

is similar to the symptoms of anogrophobia where there is a fear of being in a social situation. Specific phobias are irrational fears and avoidance of specific objects, places, or situations.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder / OCD

is a disorder in which recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions) need to be preformed or carried out in order to reduce anxiety. Not performing the various task or ‘ritual’ will increase anxiety. [1].

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/ PTSD

is an anxiety disorder often caused by exposure to a traumatic experience that caused physical or emotional harm. PTSD triggers symptoms of fear, dread, persistent unpleasant thoughts or memories, detachment, physical numbness, or sleep problems. [1].

Hypnotherapy is Therapeutic Tool which has been used throughout Human History:

Hypnotherapy is a tool that can be used to help clients overcome and manage their stress and anxiety. Hypnotherapy is known to have been used throughout human history dating back to 3000 BC in ancient Egypt. Hypnosis was used by ancient shamans, priests,and healers to access the spiritual world and induce spiritual and physical healing on the body and mind. [18][19].

Hypnotherapy has gone through many transformations throughout history. Modern clinical hypnotherapy was first introduced and practiced by 18th Century Austrian Anton Mesmer. Mesmer utilized and studied the hypnotic trance for clinical healing purposes and eventually gained the nickname, “Father of Hypnosis”. His name is also the root for the term ‘mesmerism’. [19].

Later in France a ‘fixed-gaze method’ was used to ease the pain of surgery and soon became more popular as a form of pain management.James Braid, a 19thCentury Scottish surgeon also studied the healing properties of hypnosis and coined the terms ‘hypnotism’ and ‘hypnosis’. His research led Dr. James Esdaile, a colleague of Braid, to only use hypnosis as an anesthetic for operations. Together, they studied the scientific healing powers of hypnosis.

Twentieth century French pharmacist, Eduard Coue made real headway in the study of clinical hypnosis. He discovered the use of ‘suggestions’ and ‘suggestibility’ during hypnotherapy. He developed the ‘Laws of Suggestion’ that explain how during hypnosis suggestions must be accepted by the client’s mind in order for mental and physical modification to take place. His famous suggestibility formula was, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” [20]. Soon, hypnotherapy was being used more frequently in medicine. It was also used during and after war time for soldiers suffering from shellshock, pain, stress and anxiety and mental disorders.

Understanding Hypnotherapy of Today:

Hypnotherapy today is used to assist in modifying a client’s behavior, perceptions, emotions and attitudes. By using verbal suggestions,the hypnotherapist helps to reinforce positive thinking, addresses conflicts and encourages mental rewiring. This rewiring helps clients to manage and modify conditions including dysfunctional habits, anxiety, stress-related illness, pain management and personal development. Hypnotherapy is a tool designed for the client’s needs.

Hypnosis should not be confused or compared to sleep. Hypnosis comes from the Greek word ‘hypnosis’ which means to ‘sleep’;however, hypnosis only imitates the actions of sleep. Hypnosis differs from sleep by the level of Alpha waves in the brain. [16]. During sleep, Alpha brain waves are very low, but when under a state of hypnosis the alpha waves are extremely high. These alpha brain waves help the client to become very focused, creative and imaginative and open to new ideas.

Everyone has experienced this hypnotic trance before. William Ray, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Penn State explains, “If you’ve ever been totally engrossed in a book, movie or song and lost all track of time or didn’t hear someone calling your name, you were experiencing a hypnotic trance.” [17]. The creative senses are keenly focused on the task at hand while other senses are dulled or ignored. Thus, nearly everyone can be hypnotized. Anyone who can comprehend verbal direction can be hypnotized. Some people are more hypnotisable than others especially clients “who […] score high in imaginative activities. […]. [T]he best clients are those who are highly independent, intelligent and creative, not those who are malleable and submissive.” [16].
A session typically starts with the client being asked to close their eyes and relax. Closing the eyes helps to minimize distractions allowing the client to concentrate on the words of the hypnotherapist. Then the client may be asked to relax their body from head to toe while imagining themselves somewhere else, somewhere soothing and calm. The client begins to relax by taking the suggestions of the hypnotherapist. These suggestions take them further down into a hypnotic state maneuvering past the analytical filter of the conscious mind. The goal of the hypnotherapist is to access the subconscious mind in order to modify behavior and emotions according to the client’s needs.

When the client enters the ‘trance’ of hypnosis the subconscious mind is open for suggestion without the filters and the blockades of the conscious mind. Their attention is highly focused and the client becomes more responsive to suggestions for their subconscious mind to accept.

Levels of Consciousness:

The mind has two levels of consciousness: the conscious mind and the unconscious;the filter between the two is referred to as the ‘subconscious’ mind. Cognitive neuroscientists have uncovered that “we are conscious of only about five percent of our cognitive activity, so Hypnotherapy: A Therapeutic Tool for Managing Stress and Anxiety most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the ninety-five percent of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness.” [15]. Another way to explain this 5 to 95 ratio of the brain’s activity is to visualize the iceberg metaphor.

The small tip of the iceberg represents the conscious mind, the 5 percent above the surface of the water that we and others can see and experience. The conscious mind is the mental activity that experiences our sense of awareness, our feeling of being awake. Or in other words, “anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness.” [15]. This state of consciousness is what we use to put on our shoes, what we feel when we step out into the rain, respond to questions in class, or think about our day and make plans for the evening. Our conscious mind is our most familiar state of awareness. The conscious mind also contains our analytical thoughts and is highly critical of the information it receives. It judges experiences to form opinions.

In terms of the iceberg metaphor,just below the waterline represents the subconscious, the state of consciousness that rests between the conscious and the unconscious. The subconscious can be thought as the ‘secretary’ that organizes our thoughts and memories and places them within reach of the conscious mind or places them securely into the depths of the unconscious mind.

Finally, the large mass of iceberg hidden beneath of the depths of the ocean represents our unconscious mind. The unconscious is a mental process that takes place without mental awareness. This is the dynamic and sometimes irrational place where we store all of our repressed memories, feelings, emotions and instincts. It influences our conscious mind’s decisions without us knowing it. The unconscious mind is responsible for making snap decisions, feeling apprehensive about something without knowing the reason, mysterious memories and emotions that may arise in dreams. The unconscious is our “thinking without thinking”. [15].

The unconscious brain activity can be in fact traced through neurological activity in the brain. Any action or thought is created by neurons firing in our brain. This firing of electrical signals connects to other neurons creating what is called neural pathways. One can imagine this action as lightning bolts stretching, streaking and branching across a night sky during a storm. This systematic firing of neurons traveling down a specific pathway creates a neurological code. A neurological code is like connecting the dots, one point connecting to another causing people to react or respond is certain ways.

Suppose an adult man has an irrational phobia of dogs. He does not know where this fear originated. However, his unconscious mind holds a repressed memory of when he was a toddler and was bitten by a dog. When he was bitten new neurological pathways fired, connecting with neurons in his brain associated with fear and anxiety. Now as an adult, he has no conscious recollection of this experience but when he sees a dog the same neural pathway fires and he experiences fear and anxiety.

Understanding how the unconscious determines our decisions can be alarming. In his book,Blink, Journalist Malcolm Gladwell discusses the neuroscience of the unconscious mind and states, “[t]he realization that our actions may not be the pristine results of our high-level reasoning can shake our faith in the strength of such cherished values as free will, a capacity to choose and a sense of responsibility over those choices.” [15]. However, it is important to understand that neurological pathways can be changed. Gladwell writes that “our snap judgments and first impressions can be educated and controlled” through rewiring of our unconscious by changing the neural firing pathways. This rewiring and modification of unhealthy thoughts, mental disorders, behaviors and emotions can occur by the help of hypnotherapy.

Importance of Communication and Building Rapport during Hypnotherapy:

In order for hypnotherapy to achieve the best results, communication and rapport must be built between hypnotherapist and client. Hypnotherapy is just like any other form of therapy in the fact that it is an inmate interaction between two people who are working together toward common goals. Building rapport and having effective communication during any form of therapy makes successful treatment possible.

A lead physician and innovator in the field of psychosomatic medicines, Dr. William Saul Kroger, stresses the importance of rapport between client and hypnotherapist in his book, Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis 2ndEdition. Kroger explains how building rapport in hypnotherapy is also termed the ‘therapeutic alliance’;it is the quality of the positive interrelationship between client and hypnotherapist. (xxxiv). According to Kroger, the hypnotherapist must supply clear details about how they can help the client and how they will be guiding the client through hypnotherapy to reach their goals. It is important that the hypnotherapist“sets the stage” for problem resolution. This stage is essential for providing clear focus, objectives and demeanor of the session. [10].

When effective, trusting communication is established the hypnotherapist and the client will have a clear picture of what the client needs and wants to achieve. Building a trusting relationship creates positive reinforcement that the therapy will be successful.

It is important that the client is not fearful. Some people believe that hypnotherapy is a form of mind control. They fear they will be in such a deep state that they cannot control what they do, thus acting in a way that would otherwise be unacceptable. However, clients are fully capable of making decisions in a hypnotic state and cannot be persuaded to do anything that is against their values or beliefs. Moreover, a client can choose to dehypnotise themselves at any time and will often ‘come out’ of the hypnotic state when the hypnotherapist leaves the room.

Suggestibility Explained:

Suggestion, according to Kroger, can be defined as the uncritical acceptance of an idea. The hypnotist attempts to influence the client’s perceptions, feelings and behavior by asking them to concentrate on ideas and images that may evoke intended effects. The hypnotherapist’s verbal communication is called ‘suggestions’.[11]. When the client follows through with the suggestions offered this is termed the client’s ‘suggestibility’.

Throughout the process of hypnosis the hypnotherapist will continue to encourage the client’s suggestibility, openness and trust in their suggestions. People believe that their actions are produced by the ‘power’ of the therapist, quite the contrary. It is the client who acts because the action suggested by the hypnotherapist is acceptable and appropriate according to their personal beliefs, values and attitudes.

Every action or thought carried out builds upon the latter and the more suggestible the client will become to the hypnotherapist’s advice. For instance, the hypnotherapist will suggest to the client, ‘Close your eyes because you are feeling relaxed and your eyes are getting heavy.’ The client closes their eyes because it is an acceptable, safe and appropriate suggestion. Next the therapist tells the client, ‘You are feeling calm and are dropping deeper into a relaxed state.’ Each safe suggestion onward will become more important and essential in the hypnotherapy process. Much like a domino effect, one suggestion after another is accepted and suggestibility grows, this is often referred to ‘hypnotic induction’. Through this process, there is a building of rapport between the client and the hypnotherapist. The suggestions acted upon will help the client become more relaxed, will open the subconscious mind, helping the client become more creative, imaginative and centered on the words and ideas suggested.

It is important to note that suggestibility in no way means persuasion and does not imply that one is inherently gullible. As previously mentioned, the best clients for hypnosis are those who are independent, intelligent and creative.

Hypnotherapy: Proactive Management for Stress and Anxiety:

Stress and anxiety are rapidly growing medical concerns and anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are some of the most prescribed drugs in the United States.

Anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs supply the brain with chemicals such as serotonin, in an attempt to correct chemical reactions in the brain. However, these drugs can come with adverse side effects such as suicidal thoughts, withdrawal, nausea, weight-gain, drowsiness, aches and pains. Moreover, research suggests that some of these medications have not proved to be much more effective than a placebo and people still run the risk of remission and relapse of their conditions. [20]. A study released by the government in 2006 showed that fewer than 50 percent ofpeople become symptom-free on antidepressants, even after trying two different medications. [22]. In addition, nearly 30 percent of clients experience remission of their anxiety and depression even when on the medication. [21]. The risk-to-benefit ratio is sometimes in question when taking medication to treat mental disorders especially in cases involving children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with additional medical conditions.

Hypnotherapy can provide a safe alternative approach for managing stress and anxiety. The benefit of hypnotherapy is that it requires no medication and has no dangerous side effects. Hypnotherapy does not artificially supply or block chemicals in the brain but works to naturally modify the brain’s neural responses to stress and anxiety. It is a therapeutic tool that requires and encourages focus, relaxation and behavioral modification. By accessing the subconscious and moving past the analytical fears and critical self-judgments of the conscious mind, clients are able to rewire neural pathways in their brain changing their thoughts and behaviors.

Hypnotherapy focuses on the fascinating mental and physical power of the brain and its connection to the body. The brain is the body’s powerhouse, monitoring and regulating mental actions and reactions. The brain receives sensory input like vision, hearing and taste and it analyzes data and output. It allows us to walk and talk and tells us when we are angry or stressed, cold or hot or hungry. The brain controls our heart, our breathing and all other unconscious independent process like the release of essential hormones that affect mental and physical functions. Hypnotherapy uses the power of the brain to change mental and physical processes.

Another benefit of hypnotherapy for stress and anxiety management is that hypnotherapists focus on the desired results and positive rethinking by offering mental and physical strategies for managing symptoms. Each session is specifically designed to positively address the client’s needs and promote rapport between client and hypnotherapist. Hypnotherapy does not place blame or points fingers;rather it provides proactive solutions for behavioral modification.

Hypnotherapy imbeds positive rethinking in our subconscious and unconscious mind. How we respond to stress and stressful situations can be altered by the change of our mental thoughts. Neural pathways, that at one time led to the center of the brain responsible for anxiety and stress, are reverted to different pathways resulting in a feeling of ease and control.

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For Treatment for Personal Stress Anxiety Depression and PTSD:

For Treatment for Corporate Business, Work related Stress or Job Related Stress and Anxiety:

My Thanks to Alicia Cramer and Jessica L. Engman for this very clear article – all copyright acknowledged – credits below:

For more information on this article please see resources below:

Hypnotherapy: A Therapeutic Tool for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Acknowledgments: Hypnotherapy: A Therapeutic Tool for Stress and Anxiety Management was researched and written by writer/editor Jessica L. Engman.

This article was written under the supportive direction and supervision of Certified Hypnotherapist, Business Coach and Mindset Strategist, Alicia Cramer M.Mcs., C.Ht.


Kroger, William S., M.D. Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis: Revised Second Edition. Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2008.
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[4] “APA Stress Survey: Children are More Stressed Than Parents Realize.” Practice Centeral. Nov. 2009.<>.
[5] Segal, Jeanne, Ph.D. Smith, MelindaM.A., Jaffe, Ellen. “Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects.” Help Guide. July 2009. <>.
[6] University of Rochester Medical Center. “Women Have Higher Rates of Post-Traumatic Stress.” Feb 2007. <>.
[7] Sohn, Emily. “Women Feel More Pain Than Men.” Discovery News. August 2010. <>.
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[10] “The Nature of Hypnosis.” The British Psychological Society. Mar. 2001. <>.
[11] American College of Chest Physicians. “Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation Sees Strong Results.” Science Daily.Oct. 2007. <>.
[12] Chura, Lindsay. “Can Hypnosis Snuff Out a Smoker’s Cigarette Habit?” News & World Report.<>.Hypnotherapy: A Therapeutic Tool for Managing Stress and Anxiety Page 12
[13] Williams, John and Hall, David. Additive Behaviors. Vol 13.2, 1988. Pages 205 –208. <>.
[14] Crosta, Peter. “What is Anxiety? Anxiety Symptoms and Causes.” Medical News Today. <>.
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Alicia D. Cramer, C.Ht.Business Coach | Mindset Strategist

Graham Howes Hypnotherapist for Work Related Stress in Ipswich Suffolk and Colchester Essex