One in 5 Britons has had therapy and the number of qualified counsellors has tripled in the last 10 years to keep up with demand, but does therapy work in the long term?
Hypnotherapy is often used to help obese clients and those with eating disorders, obsessive disorders or generally unhealthy habits such as smoking. This aims to change bad habits for good ones.
With the help of the therapist, a trance-like state alters the state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert and receptive. The brain is inhibited from using any conscious processes and the subconscious mind is more directly accessible than prior to the hypnotherapy.
During this time under the trance, the therapist can start to suggest ideas and concepts and can add healthier more beneficial adaptations to the client’s lifestyle directly into the long term memory.
The advantage over traditional types of therapy is that hypnotherapy achieves results much faster and avoids the need to explain your life story to the therapist, opening up to them and working backwards to understand what went wrong and how and why.
Traditional therapy attempts to fully understand the conscious mind and delves into deep rooted issues of the past, to shape a new and brighter future. This can be slow and arduous and at times ineffectual as the conscious mind has many barriers. The therapist has to work through various emotions and analyse insights to desensitise the client to making progress.
NLP aims to improve one’s your life by installing positive attitudes to life and uses goal setting. Unlike other approaches to therapy, NLP is a how to technology that tells you how to be what you want to be. Widely used to achieve personal success, it helps you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and enables you to take responsibility for your actions in all areas of your life.
Behavioural therapy aims to change any behaviours that are harmful or not helpful. Various techniques are used such as avoidance and exposure. Using deep breathing techniques the therapist helps you cope and control the anxiety when a feared situation arises.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a mixture of cognitive and behavioural therapies. They are often combined because how we behave often reflects how we think about certain things or situations. Depending on the condition being treated, the particular emphasis on cognitive or behavioural aspects of therapy can vary,
Cognitive therapy can be very useful in dealing with depression, but behavioural therapy is useful where repetitive compulsive actions take place such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
One of the disadvantages of therapy is a feeling of dependency. It may be the first time you have someone to talk to who actually listens without judgment. Finding someone to take over this role once the therapy ceases can be tough but necessary, as long term therapy can actually inhibit a career or lifestyle change.
Long-term psychotherapy may encourage self-absorption and narcissism. Two qualities that make relationships at work and at home very difficult.
There is the possibility that therapy may also rationalize inaction and encourage procrastination. Certain therapists also encourage inaction by resisting giving advice, whether this is due to a conflict of interest or a general unwillingness to be blunt with the client.
Although therapy may bring a new insight into why you do what you do, is your life any better? Has it enabled you to blame your past for your actions and give you a reason to be the way you are today?
Perhaps instead you should try tough love, a method widely used in military forces throughout the world. You may think you need sympathy and support, but in fact being shown that your problems are not life threatening, may actually be relatively insignificant in the complex web of life and being told to “man up” may work much better for certain individuals.
If you are still unsure, ask yourself, are you holding yourself back from achieving your goal? Are you blaming others for your failures? Whether that be your parents, partner or boss, do you find a barrier to changes?
We don’t need to see a therapist to tell us to focus on the positive in life. Mother Teresa always said she was not Anti War, she was Pro Peace, she preferred to focus on the positive rather than the negative, an attitude which stood her in good stead and for which she will be well remembered.
Try writing down your goals in life and in business. Each night take a moment to write down 3 things that you have done during the day to work towards your goals.
When a stressful decision arises, ask yourself which action would be most beneficial to achieving your goal and go do it.
You may just find this approach quite liberating, making you more productive and helping you develop a more positive attitude about yourself and your life.
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