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Discuss the Relationship between Stress, Anxiety, Habits and Phobias and Describe How You Would Treat these Issues with Hypnotherapy

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________________ Discuss the Relationship between Stress, Anxiety, Habits and Phobias and Describe How You Would Treat these Issues with Hypnotherapy In this essay I shall seek to define stress, anxiety, habits and phobias. I shall explore their individual attributes and symptoms and how they may be related. I will also explain methods of treatment for such neurotic conditions, as I have seen fit and the ethical issues that I believe would need to be considered. Stress and anxiety are often coined together, almost into one phrase; where there is one, you will find the other. However there is a distinction between the two and as a therapist it is crucial that one is aware of this. Stress is a response to an external stimulant, resulting in feelings of frustration, anger and/or indeed, anxiety. Stress is in fact a biological reaction to outside pressures. These pressures can vary from work, family, or social changes, to simple changes in one?s environment, to major life changes. All these situations stimulate the age old ?fight or flight? response, thereby pumping the body with adrenaline and heightening the senses in preparation to respond. Of course this is not such a negative reaction, indeed in evolutionary terms it would have been this very reaction that has allowed the human race to continue to exist and flourish, however, there is a point at which this ceases to be healthy and begins to have negative consequences. ...read more.


This is when a person is under a great deal of stress in one aspect of their life but it manifests as a phobia in another cause. For example a person who is highly stressed at work may develop a phobia of a bridge they have to pass on their way to work, thereby ?displacing? their stress from work, to the bridge. A phobia may also be caused by a series of negative personal experiences that strengthen each other. For example a person may have been pushed under water in the bath tub by a mischievous sibling as a child, they may then have had an experience of not managing to stay afloat at their first swimming lesson on another occasion they may have watched a movie depicting a danger in the water and thus have over time developed a fear of being in water. Similar to anxieties, phobias too can be learned or even inherited. If a person has grown up witnessing their mother scream and panic at the sight of a spider, the likelihood is they too will develop this fear of spiders. A phobia may also be the result of a severe past trauma. If a person has a strongly emotional experience, this may create an unreasonable fear of that circumstance. (Hadley and Staudacher) Finally, there are habits. Habits are those behaviours people commit without giving them any thought. The brain is a complex organ that is required to deal consciously with an infinite number of stimuli, therefore it relegates some actions to ...read more.


Prior to practising any of these techniques though, it would be of the utmost importance that the client is well relaxed, especially when considering Wolpe?s work and his perfectly logical and well established assertion that anxiety and tension cannot co-exist with relaxation and peace of mind. If the process of arousing anxiety and then repressing it by relaxation can be repeated then this will reduce overall anxiety. In fact Karle and Boy state, ?If this cycle is repeated frequently enough, the anxiety produced in reaction to the original stimulus, even if biologically appropriate, will be extinguished.? As has been mentioned, most of these behaviours are as a result of learned beliefs, therefore reframing would also be a crucial tool. Someone with a bad habit can be made to focus on all the benefits of abandoning their habit. In addition to this they can be encouraged to allow their powerful subconscious minds to find an alternative, healthier means to seeking out the objective they believed they were achieving when engaging in the negative habit. In conclusion, it is evident from the essay that while each of the conditions has distinct characteristics, there are many overlaps and much potential for one condition to lead to another and to perpetuate a degenerative cycle of negative behaviours for the client. Individual cases need individual care and concern, in particular with regards to surmising what the root cause of the behaviour is. Each case also requires individual tailoring of therapy, but there are general techniques and strategies that may be applied across the conditions. ...read more.

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