Does Hypnotherapy Help with Depression? I Believe It Can.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, I provide support to lots of people experiencing depression. Depression can be such a challenging experience that I’m always keen to help people get past it, or sometimes just help them get into a better frame of mind to cope with it and hold space with them until they are in a better place.
Because sometimes depression is the result of what’s going on in someone’s life, the talking element of our sessions can provide a valuable outlet. Sometimes the main trigger may be grief or relationship problems, and depression is a natural response. We focus on thoughts and feelings about the situation. This may be sufficient to lift a person’s mood, but in other cases, we uncover a pattern of thinking that is unhealthy and leads to depression. We call this pattern of thinking “rumination” – going over past relevant experiences, running them like a set of slides, and then judging the present and future based on them. Breaking this pattern can be very helpful and therapeutic.
So, let’s look at depression and how hypnotherapy might help.
Depression is a condition that leaves people feeling drained and washed out. They experience a low mood that persists for a time, making it difficult to get on with everyday activities. This debilitating condition can impact all areas of your life, from relationships to self-esteem and the ability to focus on a task. The extent to which your life is impacted is related to the severity, or depth, of the depression.
Sadly, depression is very common – in fact, it is believed to be the world’s most common mental health problem, followed by anxiety.
Possible symptoms of depression include:
Different people will experience different symptoms. Some of us are more susceptible to depression for reasons of genetics, life experiences, trauma, or illness. People taking some medications may experience depression as a side effect. Women may experience depression after childbirth, during menopause, or as part of the menstrual cycle. Couples may experience depression due to fertility issues, and men during the andropause. Unfortunately, nobody is immune.
Many people will be prescribed medication for depression, and this can be very helpful. In the past, there has been a stigma associated with taking antidepressants, but we are hopefully moving past this as mental health is talked about. Talking about our feelings and our moods is important, and the more we do it, the more we encourage and empower others to do the same.
Hypnotherapy can help with anxiety in a number of ways, with the two main aims being to provide alternative ways of thinking, developing a more positive mindset, and to increase the client’s ability to relax and cope with their feelings.
Hypnotherapy for depression works on a subconscious level, using techniques to focus on and address the root causes while offering positive suggestions to break negative thinking patterns. Instead of just treating the symptoms of depression, hypnotherapy aims to support the client to identify and change their thought patterns, find and notice what triggers them, and find ways to notice when this is happening and be prepared for it. Working with the client to enhance their ability to use relaxation and various cognitive techniques to cope better and become more resilient to get through the depression.
As a hypnotherapist, I use suggestions, relaxation, and a range of psychotherapeutic techniques to support my clients. I cannot treat underlying medical conditions, genetic predispositions or difficult life situation. But providing support with improved sleep, feelings of self worth and confidence. I can also help a client to address trauma or to reframe past experiences and move on.