Which is best for you? Hypnotherapy or Counselling?

Hypnotherapy or counselling for anxiety and depression you may be wondering. Maybe you are someone who has had an issue your whole life or maybe an issue has cropped up for you more recently and are you now considering getting help. Maybe you know you don’t ‘feel right’or you’ve had a trauma at some stage in your life and you feel like you need some help with your emotions.

It can be hard to know which therapy to explore as a solution to emotional issues, especially with the internet creaking with offers of counselling for anxiety and depression. I thought today I would write from a position of a therapist who has trained in hypnotherapy and counselling skills and who has also had both hypnosis and counselling as a client.

Your mind is both simple and complex at the same time, like a computer (but the most amazing computer in the world!). It can be perfectly fine even in challenging times or go a bit squiffy at something seemingly harmless.

You can feel a bit anxious, low or depressed without an obvious root cause. And this can make life a bit of a struggle. It can be hard to work through this on your own and maybe that is what brought you here today.

Finding and removing the root cause of emotional issues

Most issues have a root cause and this root cause may not be known or obvious to you right now. It may be a specific issue like a fear of something like flying, snakes, spiders, heights, public speaking, driving, dating…

Quite often these specific issues are due to experiences that have taken place during your life which you may or may not be aware of. A seemingly small incident when you are a small child can bury it’s emotions away all the way until you need to do that speach at work and then present itself at anxiety.

Or it might that you are considering counselling for anxiety and depression for a broader issue where issues created by experiences or emotions during your life have taken some of your happy away. This has affected your confidence and self-esteem and now you behave in ways that don’t make you feel good.

Seperate to that we have weight loss, smoking and other addictions which can be a combination of habits, addiction and root causes combined. Low self esteem is usually hanging around these issues too.

You know you need help with your issues

So you feel like you need some help but how do you know who to go to?

You might go and see your doctor. Some doctors are sympathetic about emotional matters and others less so. Your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants or ‘time to talk’ therapy which is available on the NHS. If the problem persists, they may put you on a waiting list for counselling or CBT for which the waiting list at the moment is about 8 weeks long in  West Sussex.

I’m lucky enough to know some holistically minded doctors who know that I specialise in issues related to anxiety and depression and refer patients to me for hypnotherapy, if they feel that is appropriate.

Other things you may try to help with anxiety and depression:

  • You might open up to friends or family and they might know someone who can help or have a friend who knows someone who can help.
  • You might buy a self help book. 561,969 and counting currently on Amazon. But how will you know which one is right for you and will really make a difference to how you feel?
  • Or you might Google something like ‘help with depression Worthing  or ‘help for anxiety near me‘and see what comes up (mostly counselling services).

The rapport with your therapist is important

I don’t know about you but I don’t like to air my dirty laundry to everyone! I like to have rapport and trust with someone I’m going to talk to about my problems. My advice when choosing a therapist is to call them up or email them and ask for chat, to see if they are the right person to help you. Do the ‘chemistry’ test.

Are they the person that you will choose to help you? You don’t want to be a someone that is just another name on their list. You want someone to listen and care about what you have to say and what you are feeling. And most importantly,  you want someone with skills, experience and intention to actually change how you are feeling. That’s why you are there right?

So what are the differences between Hypnotherapy and Counselling counselling for anxiety and depression?

HypnotherapyCounselling
Waiting listAround 2 weeksAround 8 weeks in West Sussex for an NHS referral
Price per sessionBetween £90 and £150 an hourBetween £50 and £70 an hour
Length of a session1 – 2 hours1 hour
Number of hours required1-2  hours for phobias and stop smoking. 4 hours for weight loss or issues where anxiety or depression are a feature4  hours upwards (can carry on for months or years)
Where does it take placeFace to face or onlineFace to face, group, email, phone, online
How does it workHypnosis accesses the unconcious mind to heal,  make deep lasting changes and increase self esteemCounselling is a talking therapy which focuses on reflecting on your experiences and understanding how they impacted you.
What happens in a session/hypnosis/Your hypnotherapist will explain how hypnosis works and show you how go into hypnosis (not scary, usually pleasant). You will be able to heal your past, make changes and feel much better and more in controlYour counsellor will ask you questions to help you open up and discuss issues that are affecting you. Your councellor will ask lots of ‘open’ questions to help you reflect and understand things
Who is it suitable forNearly everyone but usually not schizophrenics, Psychotics or people on Lithium or HalperidolEveryone
Is it safeYes with a qualified professionalYes with a qualified professional
Is it confidentialYesYes
Is it available on NHSNot yet but it should be!Yes
Is there follow up careI offer an aftercare serviceNo
Does it change your lifeYes. If you have anxiety and depression it can really affect every area of your life.  After hypnotherapy  you can feel happier and more in control.It can make positive change on how someone feels.
Is it suitable for children?Age 5+ but use a hypnotherapist who has special training to work with childrenYes, lots of schools use counselling
Who should choose what and why?Anxiety – quick lasting changes to how you feel and how you cope.

Phobias – can be removed quickly and easily

Stop smoking – in 2 hours for good

Weight loss – not a diet but addressing the root cause of your eating habits and making positive changes

Depression – release yourself from depression and feel happier

Stress – switch off like never before, relieve stress and learn self-hypnosis for a calmer life

I think there are some matters that are very deep and personal. They need expertise and time.

Couples – relationship counselling can really help

Rape – highly sensitive

Alcoholism – expertise required

Bereavement – talking can really help (although Reiki is great for grief)

Bulimia and Anorexia – need expertise in most cases

Suicidal thoughts – call the Samaritans

Attitudes to therapy (taken from NHS website)

In 2014 the BACP carried out some research to find out more about people’s attitudes towards counselling and psychotherapy. Some of the key findings included:

  • 28% of people have sought counselling for anxiety and depression(up from 21% in 2010)
  • 54% of respondents said that they, a family member, friend or work colleague have consulted a counsellor or psychotherapist
  • 69% of people think the world would be a better place if people talked about their feelings more

Read more about the key findings of the BACP research (PDF, 134kb).

Charities and voluntary organisations

There are some wonderful charities and voluntary organisations really helping people with their counselling services. These organisations usually specialise in a particular area, such as couples counselling, bereavement, or family guidance.

Charities that may offer counselling include:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care – provides bereavement advice and support
  • Relate – offers relationship advice and counselling
  • Rape Crisis – for women and girls who’ve been raped or sexually abused
  • Victim Support – provides victims and witnesses of crime with help and support

You may also be able to access support groups through your local community, church, or social services.

There is something for everyone

Group of people around a dinner table who might at some point consider hypnotherapy or counselling

The important thing is that there are so many ways for people to get help with their mental health now. It’s not taboo to talk about it anymore. People want the longest, best lives they can possibly have and we are more willing to invest in ourselves so our mental and physical health is better.

I see a lot of people that are using hypnotherapy as a last resort. They’ve had counselling for anxiety and depression, CBT, psychotherapy, medication, you name it. But they want to feel significantly different. They don’t want to talk about what’s been and gone over and over, they want to move on and replace those feelings with something else. They want a brighter future and a better life.

Come and try hypnotherapy with me

The two phrases my clients use the most are ‘that was amazing’ and ‘I wish I had come sooner’. Often they have used a lot of time,  money and energy trying to ‘fix’ themselves and really could have sorted things out much sooner.

If you want help and think hypnosis could be the answer, please do book a free chat and let’s talk about your brighter future 🙂

This blog has been refreshed to include the lastest information since it was originally posted in 2016.

Honey

Honey Lansdowne is a successful Hypnotherapist in Worthing. She uses Hypnosis, NLP and 20 years coaching experience to help people overcome anxiety and depression in person and online.

  • […] You can see your doctor and you might be given some counceling or CBT. Now this may well work for some people but what counceling and CBT do is get you to talk about panic attacks repeatedly. What that does is help your brain use that neural pathway (like rewatching a movie or advert time and time again) so you are reminding it how to do a panic attack! Read my blog about the difference between counceling and Hypnotherapy here. […]

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