• Jane Snookes

Jack's Anxiety Case Study

With Anxiety issues affecting one in every four of us in the UK, most of us will have had some experience of it. Hypnotherapy is now sited as one treatment of stress and anxiety. With this in mind I thought I would share with you the story of a young man, Jack (we’ll call him that though it’s not his real name) who I saw recently in my practice to show you the processes we took to help him overcome his growing anxiety. It is shared with his consent in the hope if he can help one other person he'll feel a positive achievement.

Jack is a twenty-four-year old smiley, seemingly self-assured man. He told me his life had always been quite straight forward with a secure, loving family, satisfactory academic success and good friends. Recently, he’d started a new job. It was a great opportunity for someone of his age and everyone was proud of him. He was keen to live up to all the expectations and had felt confident he would.

Trouble was, it was not going to plan. He had made an embarrassing error on his first day and now he was worrying about every action he took. For everything he did he would over-think it, paranoid he looked would look stupid again. It would now take him hours to re-write and check reports. He was starting to avoid answering calls, sleep had gone out the window and recently he had even experienced a panic attack. Silly thing was, he said, the initial error was not something that would usually bother him, and that bothered him.

Jack had been sent to me via a friend and who felt sure that if I could help him get over this first day bodge; all would be fine. When asked if there were any other events in his life, he mentioned he had split with his long-term girlfriend but it was alright, their relationship had been a bit rocky for a while.

We began our sessions by teaching Jack how breathing can help calm him in the moments of panic and reduce stress overall and showed him how to achieve this at home.

The following week, he reported he’d felt much calmer, had been able to answer the phone like he used to and was now sleeping. He had not had an actual panic attack but was at times still feeling very nervous, his heart pounded and his head hurt. We identified these specifically as when he got in his car to drive home. I explained this is not unusual when there is an underlying cause to the anxiety.

The next stage was to begin build up Jack’s battered confidence to allow him to feel whole again, constantly calmer and more in control. It was only after this that that we used the trance state to address the initial cause. While Jack was anticipating revisiting the first day at work, instead his unconscious brought forward an image of his ex-girlfriend. Immediately, he felt emotional and there were tears. He had not realised how sad the break-up had made him, how it had knocked him for six, despite knowing it was coming. We worked through these emotions with a lot of healing and letting go.

After the session, Jack was very tired and that week reported having strange dreams but his tension was gone, his mind was clearer and the job was going really well with compliments from his boss. He had even been able to laugh with a colleague about his first day screw up though he still cringed inwardly. He’d seen his ex-girlfriend with a new man and surprised himself but having no feelings about her at all. In fact, they’d had a comfortable enough chat and he’d gone on his merry way.

For our last session we worked on changing the way Jack perceived his first day and little bit of desensitisation. We followed this with a metaphorical story about moving forward to a wonderful life and being able to cope with life’s challenges better than ever. Jack said he felt empowered and excited now by his life and was even starting to look for a house of his own.

Jack’s story is not usual. Left unchecked his panic attacks could have become life limiting preventing him enjoying his job and moving on. That incident on the first day only got to him because he was already feeling vulnerable from his breakup. He had not realised he needed to allow himself time to grieve.

I have successfully worked with so many clients with similar stories. The initial cause of stress and anxieties are not always obvious but keep feeding stress until it begins to affect our health. Hypnotherapy is so wonderfully good at calming the system and changing perspectives to stop these events continually causing issues. Please call or message to find out more.

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