Tag Archives: avoidance

Post Traumatic Stress: PTSD-help to recover

Also known as PTSD – just how common is it? 

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Post traumatic stress PTSD

Recovering from PTSD

Can hypnotherapy help you overcome post-traumatic stress: PTSD?

We’ll look at some facts and symptoms of PTSD, How you can help someone you know who is suffering from this debilitating issue.

We include a look at everyday stress and ask if this can result in PTSD type symptoms.

You may be wondering what are the available treatments.

And how hypnotherapy could be a good option.

What’s the best thing to do next?

Some Post Traumatic Stress facts 

According to *patient UK, 3 in 100 people may develop PTSD in their life time, with 2 out of 3 people getting better without treatment.  It’s not unusual for recovery to take several months after the initial incident.

1 out of 3 people experience PTSD symptoms for much longer, and with treatment, they go on to recover and lead a much more fulfilling life.  The response to treatment will differ from person to person.

Post-traumatic stress is very often attributed to events such as being mugged or attacked, experiencing a natural catastrophe or watching a terrible incident.

Not everyone is affected in the same way.

For example, let’s say two people from the emergency services attended the same distressing incident. One of them may end their shift, pick up the family shopping on their way home, and get on with their life. The other may have found the experience so traumatic, that they require time off work and counselling.

Most people differ when it comes to their threshold level of trauma.

When is the right time to seek more intensive therapy?

The UK National Institute for clinical excellence * (NICE) recommends that

“non-trauma-focused interventions such as relaxation do not address traumatic memories, should not routinely be offered to people who present with PTSD symptoms within three months of a traumatic event.”

Patient UK advice’s that

“if your symptoms are prolonged and moderate or severe, (PTSD) treatment can help you to adjust. If you have severe symptoms 2-4 weeks after the incident, you are likely to need treatment.” 

The importance of empathy for suffers from PTSD 

Being told to pull yourself together is not helpful and pretty counter-productive. Understanding even a little about what’s going on in the brain which causes PTSD may be useful, as you work towards getting better

How a friend or family can help someone suffering from PTSD

  1. Are they showing unusual signs of irritability or flashes of anger?
  2. Listen to the person without interrupting as they relate their experience
  3. What to do if their symptoms continue beyond a month:
  4. If things are getting worse, you could try to encourage them to seek further professional help.

What is the emotional arousal doing?

Post traumatic stress PTSD

The natural survival instinct

Whether you’re directly involved or a bystander, witnessing a traumatic event can have a significant effect on the body’s reactions.

The emotional part of the brain (amygdala) alerts the nervous system which produces copious amounts of adrenaline, in preparation for the fight, flight or freeze response.

As the flow of blood is diverted from other areas of the body, its fuels the muscles to quickly react. You may experience an increase in heartbeat, sweating, tummy upset, dry mouth, and trembling

At the peak of a negative experience, the brain takes a snapshot of your emotions and everything in your environment.  It uses this information to protect you from any perceived danger in the future.

This raw information gets stored in the brain’s amygdala. Unfortunately, that can mean a miscalculation of risk when everything is safe.

*  What are the Symptoms of PTSD?

Memories of traumatic occurrences can severely affect people, and specifically those serving in army battle-conditions. These include:

  • ‘flashbacks’ to incidents which can have a significant impact on family life or ability to hold down a job.
  • ‘Flashbacks’ –  of the event can trigger feelings of anxiety and fear.
  • Persistent, recurring thoughts – of the distressing event.
  • Being on high alert – or hyper-arousal means you may experience feelings of anger and irritability – insomnia, nightmares, poor concentration and being easily startled.
  • Avoidance –  staying away from people or places, events or objects that are reminders of the experience.
  • Change in outlook – individuals who have PTSD may only be able to envision a bleak future. They might have less interest in activities they used to enjoy, feel emotionally numb or detached from others.

Can everyday stress develop into PTSD symptoms?

Stress is a common experience for most people.

  • Good Stress, for example, is those feeling which pushes us by energising a creative drive.
  • Survival stress, for instance, can happen when someone faces a real tangible danger. It helps to protect us by giving us the ability to escape or save lives.
  • Modern stress could mean dealing with issues at work, in social relationships, limiting self-beliefs, public speaking, or self-expectations. Some people find specific experiences far more stressful than others.
  • Chronic Inescapable Stress is where the problem that causes stress cannot be resolved by the person quickly. The problem seems never-ending and therefore persists on a daily basis. There is a feeling of no control.

Traumatic Stress can be indicated when the symptoms are apparent in your daily life.

Visiting your General Practitioner

Medical professionals can prescribe medication. They often do this, as the first line of treatment, for anxiety attacks and depression.

The sufferer may feel more able to cope.

For a person to achieve long-term success, the underlying thoughts and triggers need to be resolved.

Choice of therapies can range from Eye Movement Integration (EMI, IEMT, EMDR), or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Other forms of talking therapies may also be advised, for example, counselling.


Not all hypnotherapists work the same.  It’s advisable to have an initial conversation with the therapist, to find out how they work, and what they can offer you.

If it isn’t possible to come to terms with the initial traumatic event, it is possible to remove or ignore the triggers which increase the risk for ‘flashbacks’.

The aim of hypnosis will be to focus on removing the panic and anxious feelings, related to the original event; thus, helping the client to change the inappropriate responses

Quest trained Cognitive Hypnotherapists (QCH)

The approach used by Cognitive Hypnotherapists is evidence based. Drawing upon modern discoveries within hypnotic language, Cognitive theory, NLP, Evolutionary Psychology and Positive Psychology.

As a practitioner, I have trained in the area of Eye Movement Desensitisation (EMI, IEMT) and the REWIND technique.

The approach used by QCH trained hypnotherapists is unique.

If you have a problem with Stress, anxiety or PTSD and would like help to resolve your issue, you may like to think of hypnotherapy as a possible option.

I hope this article helps, even in a small way, to get out there an understanding of this condition. And for anybody suffering from associated symptoms to know that they should not feel shame or guilt because it’s not their fault and they are not alone.

Post traumatic stress PTSD

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

If you’re curious about how Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help you contact me directly for an initial no obligation phone conversation.

Reference Sources:

UK Online Patient.info

UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence

Quest Institute Cognitive Hypnotherapy and therapy finder for your area.

Confidence…the power to change

“If you were out in the future doing what you want to do, what would you need to believe that you don’t believe now?”

The power to change

One step at a time

Plenty of people who are affected by ‘lack of confidence’ get the help they need to conquer their issue through hypnotherapy, You too can find relief from that feeling,  by seeking to gain more understanding and by learning techniques to create change.  By contacting me at my East London practice we can work together to help you turn things around.  You could get back the control to reduce those old feelings and use your liberated confidence as a vehicle to drive your aspirations by making them real.

What is confidence to you?

It’s said that confidence is how we view our own capacity to do something. Low confidence is when we view our abilities to accomplish or create skills as being minimal. When we lose the ability to feel that sense of self-assurance we can find it hard to move forward with our lives.

Interestingly, self confidence is similar but not the same as self respect which relates to our view of ourselves.  Some clients with low self-confidence report that the core of their problem is a sense of ‘not being good enough’.  So when it comes to ‘going for it’  they remain stuck because they feel that by stepping out of their comfort zone the risk to their self-esteem is too high.  Does that sound familiar?

*** Tips that help people feel more confident coming up soon…

Everybody is different and the reasons for a lack of confidence  can be really simple or fairly complex.

Now nobody is 100% confident all of the time, but all of us are stronger than we think we are, it can be the mind that gets in the way of the expression of our strength.

Cognitive hypnotherapy is an effective way to find the root cause of your confidence issues and help you to deal with them efficiently.

Why people need to be self assured?

So many aspects of our lives are impacted by self confidence. It has an effect on how we manage speaking in public or even just how we talk to friends or colleagues one to one.

We need this ability to allow us to take possibilities we may otherwise disregard.We need to feel competent and able to progress in everyday life.

If you find yourself suffering from low confidence you may experience shyness in public, you might find yourself feeling self conscious and self aware socially. You may be turning down job offers because of a resounding belief you are not able to do the job.

Exactly why do people have confidence issues?

Low self confidence can be generated by one particular trauma that influenced how you view your talents. Maybe it came from a childhood full of difficulty and negativity from your peers. In some cases people can discover their confidence is damaged having not realised it was a problem.

A few negative events can really affect us significantly – maybe a redundancy has left you more tormented by rejected job applications than you formerly would’ve been.

Sometimes its easy to overlook how much events have affected us negatively and how those effects may be preventing us from moving forward. Sometimes, the reason is far less traumatic and simply a case of the person not recognising their skills and abilities or not knowing how to apply these skills and capabilities effectively.

Some signs you could have low self confidence are:

Constant self doubt, avoidance of certain situations for fear of feeling uncomfortable, difficulties speaking confidently, dismissing your own needs or not identifying what they are or disregarding or avoiding beneficial opportunities you would like to seize, but find something is blocking you.

Can it be helped?

It most definitely can. The first step is finding out what created your low self confidence in the beginning. Because in Cognitive Hypnotherapy we look at the issues that have triggered your problem yet focus much more on those steps that effectively move you forward towards your solution.

Using hypnosis and other therapeutic tools tailored to your needs, you will be supported as you move towards those changes you want in the way you are thinking, feeling or behaving.

There are lots of options for those living with low confidence, and it’s upsetting to think that its only your mind blocking you from personal growth in life. But you can get help and by identifying this now, and by doing something now,  it could prove very empowering!

When its only your own mind that is the obstacle, you have a chance to turn that around and move forward, changing into the person you would like to be.

Tips that help us feel more confident:

“We need a sense of self-confidence to drive our aspirations and make them real…”

1. Keeping up with the Jones?

Self-confident people don’t have to be like everybody else – they recognise that  it can be exhausting trying to be seen ‘as-like’ other people around them. In fact confidence means feeling more comfortable with being who you are.

By learning to accept your own uniqueness – relaxing with your own way of being and recognising that being different doesn’t mean you have to doubt your decisions, you can begin to discover your personal strengths.

2. Recognising your personal strengths and confidence

Speaking of which – focusing on your personal strengths regularly, no matter how big or small, is a great way to remind yourself that you have positive attributes. One client was admired by her family and colleges because of her home made chocolate brownies, another could play any string instrument.  Or it could be the ability to drive, ride a bike, swim, roller skate, make people laugh, be methodical, or show empathy  – whatever it may be there will be something you can do which others maybe even millions of other people can’t do.

3. Emotional intelligence and confidence

Handling uncertainty – None of us can know for sure that something will go well, by taking the stance  ‘Whatever happens I’ll be okay!’ we grow an emotional intelligence which is bigger than limiting ourselves through a categorisation of just either success or failure.

4. Prepare to fail and stay on-top

Being self-confident means being able to relax comfortably with the certainty that you can handle uncertainty  AND even if this means that we sometimes fail, seeing this as a learning process we can utilise when we try again later.

Did you know that Edison failed 10,000 times before he was successful at producing a working light bulb? Thankfully he didn’t stop after his first attempt!   Quote: “I’ve not failed I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!”  Moral?  Never doubt – self confident people can smile a little and not take themselves too seriously by learning to manage less successful attempts and not damage their self-esteem.

If you really want to get to grips with your specific issue please contact me for an initial chat and to set up and appointment – you know “you deserve to be the best you can be.”

To your good health,