Hypnosis for Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is a common problem among both amateur and professional performers.

It occurs much more often among those who already tend to be anxious, and can best be understood as a kind of social phobia.

While some form of tension is important for a dynamic live performance, negative self talk and a sense of panic or impending disaster can spoil the experience for the performer and the audience.

A study of students an an American University School of music found that 21% reported “Marked distress”, while another 40% experienced “Moderate distress”.

Reported symptoms included flushing, quavering voice, nausea and dizziness.

Several studies have shown that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment.

A 1993 study using a two session hypnotherapy procedure that combined success imagery with rational-emotional therapy, (removing beliefs such as the notion that anything short of perfection is unacceptable), resulted in a marked reduciton, in most cases elimination of symptoms.

performance-anxiety-300x291A follow up study paired music students according to their scores on a performance anxiety questionaire and assigned one of each pair to hypnotherapy and the other to a control group.

Two sessions one week apart were used, involving pleasant visual imagery and verbal suggestions that linked these images to increased mental control.

The hypnotherapy group showed a significant reduction in performance anxiety when evaluated immediately after treatment and again six months after treatment, indicating that the benefits are long lasting.

Other studies have shown similar results in the fields of sports and public speaking.

If you suffer from performance anxiety but are concerned that medication may take the edge off your performance then you might like to try hypnotherapy, as it is a proven effective treatment with zero side effects.



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Hypnotherapy for Hair Pulling

Recent research in Israel confirms that hypnotherapy is a highly effective, side effect free way of helping the sufferer to stop the behavior.

You can read here a recent paper that describes three case studies where trichotillomania was effectively treated with hypnosis.

At my practice in Highgate Hill in Brisbane I often see young people struggling with the stresses of growing up in today’s challenging world, who find themselves pulling their hair.

I’ve found that Hypnotherapy consistently achieves lasting success.

In addition, I use hypnosis to address the underlying causes and teach clients stress management techniques to eliminate the need for hair pulling.

If you would like to know more, you can contact me here. I will be happy to answer your question, of course, with no obligation.

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The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

“A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,”William James asserted in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings. Two generations later, Rilke wrote in a beautiful letter of advice to a young woman: “I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.” And yet in the century since, we’ve made little progress on making sense — much less making use — of the inextricable dialogue between the physical body and the psychoemotional interior landscape we shorthand as “soul.”

So begins an excellent article by Maria Popova and published on Brainpickings.

One doesn’t have to experience to war to become traumatized; Sexual abuse or domestic violence create the same mind and body responses.

Maria talks about the work of Boston-based Dutch psychiatrist and pioneering PTSD researcher Bessel van der Kolk, and his book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

You can the read article Here


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Hypnosis for hair Pulling – Trichotillomania

Here is an excerpt from an article published in ACTA Paediatrica

Hypnotherapy: an effective treatment modality for trichotillomania*

This study describes a non-pharmacological treatment modality for children with trichotillomania. Three children with trichotillomania were treated using a hypnotherapy technique. All patients were observed in the outpatient clinic for 8 consecutive weeks and subsequently followed for 12–18 months. All children were cooperative in performing the hypnotherapy technique (relaxation/ mental imagery). Two patients reported complete resolution of their complaints after 7–8 weeks and 1 patient after 16 weeks. The latter, reporting recurrence of the complaint after 4 weeks due to stressful school problems, was resolved after successful retreatment over 3 weeks. During a mean follow-up period of 16 months, there were no recurrences. In conclusion, hypnotherapy may be considered as a primary treatment modality for trichotillomania in children without associated emotional disorders.

This is consistent with my experience, as in the more than twenty five years that I’ve been a Clinical Hypnotherapist, of the dozens of cases I’ve treated, from young children through to adults, I have never encountered a case of Hair Pulling that did not respond very well to Hypnotherapy.

  • Cohen, H., Barzilai, A. and Lahat, E. (1999), Hypnotherapy: an effective treatment modality for trichotillomania. Acta Paediatrica, 88: 407–410. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1999.tb01131.x
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Hypnosis and Surgery

Following is an abstract of a paper describing research into the effectiveness of Hypnosis in reducing anxiety and discomfort associated with surgery.

Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus stress reducing strategies: a prospective randomized study*

Stress reducing strategies are useful in patients undergoing surgery. Hypnosis is also known to alleviate acute and chronic pain. We therefore compared the effectiveness of these two psychological approaches for reducing perioperative discomfort during conscious sedation for plastic surgery. Sixty patients scheduled for elective plastic surgery under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (midazolam and alfentanil upon request) were included in the study after providing informed consent. They were randomly allocated to either stress reducing strategies (control: CONT) or hypnosis (HYP) during the entire surgical procedure. Both techniques were performed by the same anesthesiologist (MEF). Patient behavior was noted during surgery by a psychologist, the patient noted anxiety, pain, perceived control before, during and after surgery, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Patient satisfaction and surgical conditions were also recorded. Peri- and postoperative anxiety and pain were significantly lower in the HYP group. This reduction in anxiety and pain were achieved despite a significant reduction in intraoperative requirements for midazolam and alfentanil in the HYP group (alfentanil: 8.7±0.9 μg kg−1/h−1 vs. 19.4±2 μg kg−1/h−1,P<0.001; midazolam: 0.04±0.003 mg kg−1/h−1 vs. 0.09±0.01 mg kg−1/h−1, P<0.001). Patients in the HYP group reported an impression of more intraoperative control than those in the CONT group (P<0.01). PONV were significantly reduced in the HYP group (6.5% vs. 30.8%, P<0.001). Surgical conditions were better in the HYP group. Less signs of patient discomfort and pain were observed by the psychologist in the HYP group (P<0.001). Vital signs were significantly more stable in the HYP group. Patient satisfaction score was significantly higher in the HYP group (P<0.004). This study suggests that hypnosis provides better perioperative pain and anxiety relief, allows for significant reductions in alfentanil and midazolam requirements, and improves patient satisfaction and surgical conditions as compared with conventional stress reducing strategies support in patients receiving conscious sedation for plastic surgery.

* Psychological approaches during conscious sedation. Hypnosis versus stress reducing strategies: a prospective randomized study

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Hypnosis for Stress

Stress is an essential part of everyday life that sometimes can be extremely taxing for us.

When out of control, it can harm our health, our relationships, our performance at work and our happiness.stress

Whether it comes as the result of a devastating event or just the constant ‘stuff’ that makes life difficult sometimes, stress is always there, challenging us, prompting us to excel, but sometimes hurting us.

Mostly, we just pass stress symptoms off as a temporary thing that will go away with time, and usually it does.

The problem is that this ignores the effect that stress can have on the human body when endured over long periods of time and in excess. Stress has been linked to a whole host of physical ailments, including many different types of cancer.

Contrary to the popular saying, stress won’t just make you lose your hair. It could cause you to lose your life.

Stress is generally built up over time. It doesn’t discriminate, either. Stress problems can afflict students as they prepare for exams or complete work; it can bother people who are having financial or legal problems. Even the wealthy are not immune because as far as the subconscious is concerned, having a great deal to lose can be just as stressful as not being able to pay the bills.

One of the most effective way to deal with out of control stress is through hypnosis.

As a hypnotherapist, I see many clients who want to find a way out from under the burden of stress. Sometimes this involves working with the subconscious to work through past experiences that might be making relatively mundane events disproportionately stressful, for example, making cold calls, or speaking to a group. Often, the client simply needs the period of peace which I provide using hypnosis coupled with a few easily taught, self help techniques.

Whatever the cause of stress symptoms, hypnosis is an invaluable tool in relearning how to manage the underlying issue/s effectively so you can regain a peaceful, fulfilling life. If you are under the constant cloud of stress that won’t allow you to live the quality of life you would like, then I can help.

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Hypnosis and Acute Stress Disorder

A paper entitled, “The Additive Benefit of Hypnosis and Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy in Treating Acute Stress Disorder“* describes the first controlled treatment study of hypnosis and cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) of acute stress disorder (ASD).

Civilian trauma survivors (N . 87) who met criteria for ASD were randomly allocated to 6 sessions of CBT, CBT combined with hypnosis (CBT–hypnosis), or supportive counseling (SC). CBT comprised exposure, cognitive restructuring, and anxiety management.

CBT–hypnosis comprised the CBT components with each imaginal exposure preceded by a hypnotic induction and suggestions to engage fully in the exposure. In terms of treatment completers (n . 69), fewer participants in the CBT and CBT–hypnosis groups met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder at posttreatment and 6-month follow-up than those in the SC group. CBT–hypnosis resulted in greater reduction in reexperiencing symptoms at posttreatment than CBT.

These findings suggest that hypnosis may have use in facilitating the treatment effects of CBT for post traumatic stress.

The paper concludes that, “Although the mechanisms that potentially mediate hypnosis in the context of CBT are unclear, the clinical gains that may be achieved through combining hypnosis and CBT justify systematic study of the effects of combining hypnosis with the full range of CBT techniques to alleviate post traumatic stress.”


* The Additive Benefit of Hypnosis and Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy in Treating Acute Stress Disorder Richard A. Bryant, Michelle L. Moulds, Rachel M. Guthrie, and Reginald D. V. Nixon University of New South Wales

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2005, Vol. 73, No. 2, 334–340



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Hypnosis and stress

stressThe physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can be quite detrimental to one’s health. Unfortunately, many people may be so stressed that they do not realize the extent of it or the impact the stress and anxiety is having on their health. In some cases, the more stress or anxiety an individual experiences the less able they are to recognize it. Quite frequently in these situations the individual may have even become so accustomed to their level of stress, and the physical symptoms it produces, that they feel it is normal. Due to the fact that some people may not be aware of their emotional response to stress and anxiety they may need to rely on physical manifestations to identify it. This makes taking the time to learn about the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety an important step. Tuning into the symptoms of stress and anxiety can help you to identify potential triggers in your life and in turn help you to better manage them and alleviate the stress and anxiety in your life.

It is important to be aware that the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can vary from one person to the next. Some symptoms may be more serious than others and can even be life threatening. It should be noted that one symptom on its own may not necessarily indicate the presence of stress or anxiety; however, where there are multiple symptoms this is a strong indication there is stress or anxiety present. Some symptoms you experience may be short-term while others may be long-term symptoms. Short-term symptoms include the following:

• Cold hands and feet

• Dry mouth

• Rapid breathing

• Increased heart beat

• Increased sweating

• Nausea

• Diarrhea

Generally these short term side effects appear when the body is responding to a perceived threat. This is the body’s way of helping you prepare to either stay and fight the threatening situation or flee from it; a response commonly known as fight or flight. While this rush of adrenaline and emotions can be helpful in a truly threatening situation, it can have negative impacts during times when there is no immediate danger.

Over time these physical symptoms can damage your self-confidence, disrupt the quality of your life and reduce the pleasure you get from your work. In addition, when the body is exposed to these physical symptoms over a long period of time your health can actually start to decline. Long term side effects of stress and anxiety include:

• Sexual disorders

• Changes in appetite

• Insomnia

• Frequent illness

• Back pain

• Asthma

• Headaches

• Digestive problems

• Lethargy

• Restlessness

• Depression

• Irritability

Hypnosis has a long tradition of being one of the most effective tools in combating stress.

Certain events may cause high levels of stress in conjunction with past experiences. A skilled hypnotherapist, using hypnosis, can work at the subconscious level to deal with underlying past experience/s that may be inducing high levels of stress when dealing with otherwise innocuous events.

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Hypnotherapy and Fertility

Doctors and scientists from all over the world are proving the effectiveness of hypnosis for fertility and other reproductive challenges.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) –Women who are hypnotized before undergoing the
transfer of an embryo by in-vitro fertilization (IVF), may be more likely to become pregnant, Israeli researchers report. Dr. Eliahu Levitas of Soroka University Medical Center in Beer Sheva and colleagues found that nearly 60 percent of a group of women who used hypnosis during the procedure became pregnant.ivf_2342241b

This compared to about 30 percent of a group of women who didn’t use hypnosis.

Many fertility experts see the transfer of an embryo to a woman’s uterus as a key event that determines whether IVF will succeed, the researchers report in the journal Fertility and Sterility. Women may be stressed during embryo transfer from fear that the treatment will fail, they explain, or that the transfer will be painful…

Click here to read the complete report.

If you are undergoing IVF and are considering hypnotherapy to help you to remain calm during this challenging and stressful process, you’re most welcome to give me a no obligation call.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.


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Hypnotherapy, EFT and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


A hundred years ago, actually not even as far back as that, a great many soldiers who suddenly found themselves completely unable to go on fighting, or even functioning, were shot for cowardice.

We’ve come a long way since then.

We’ve begun to understand the condition we now know of as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope.(1)

In recent years, an exciting and highly effective new tool in treating PTSD, (and a range of other conditions), has appeared. It’s called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

EFT is a surprisingly simple procedure involving a series of simple body movements that can easily be learned and applied away from the therapist’s office. The principles behind the effectiveness of EFT are related to the Meridian/Energy theory underlying acupuncture and much of Oriental medicine.

Sometimes EFT is used on its own, especially in minor situations, but, for more serious cases a skilled therapist will use EFT in conjunction with another modality, often Hypnotherapy or Psychotherapy.

The fact is that each of us reacts to a situation differently and to varying degrees. The reasons for this often lie in our past experiences, often from childhood.

We may not even remember an experience that is profoundly affecting the way we are responding to a particular situation. But, although we don’t remember something, the subconscious does. It never forgets.

Our subconscious always acts to protect us, and so, based on our experiences, it decides how we should deal with a threatening situation, and how we should behave in the future so as to avoid such a situation again.

This is what leads to serious anxiety conditions, PTSD and also certain phobias.

Addressing the problem logically is useless because our subconscious doesn’t operate at the logical level.

This is why a combination of approaches such as hypnotherapy working at the subconscious level to guide the subconscious to develop more helpful protective strategies, coupled with EFT to bring often immediate relief is so successful. Continue reading →

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