During the first main lockdown around March 2020 it became almost fashionable to be sharing sources of information about psychology. Self help has always been a ‘thing’ but Covid accentuated our need to provide mutual aid and support at work or to our family and friends. Social media gives us that ability to share good quality, properly sourced material about mental health and wellbeing.
Extended lockdown has seen continued stress placed on our daily lives manifested in sleeping difficulties caused by feelings of anxiety. Like many people I have experienced disturbed sleep patterns. The positivity of self help is fine but recently I felt like I needed something more. There are times when a leaflet or a self help book just will not cut it. I wanted to find out what other options in terms of therapeutic approaches were open to me because I do not mind admitting to feeling like I have been drowning at times and very much in need of a lifeline.
I decided to consult a therapist to ask some questions about what kind of help might benefit me. Already in my mind I was starting to think about preconceptions about ‘stage’ hypnosis and other ‘party tricks’ before I even started the conversation. I was pleasantly surprised when I started talking . Gillian Burtwell Mindset is based in the Highlands of Scotland and unsurprisingly all her contact with clients is by Zoom chat.
DA : Many people are finding it difficult to cope with life at the moment, particularly with Covid19, which has changed our lives so dramatically. How can you help?
GB :Most of us will know what a snow globe is and what happens when we shake one, it disturbs the snow contained inside. Our minds can be like a snow globe, unsettled with lots of different thoughts floating around, pulling us out of shape. Another way to look at it is this: ‘Mind’ is the projector and it projects onto consciousness or awareness, the screen. Thought is the movie. ‘Mind’ doesn’t care which movie it plays.Thoughts produce feelings, which in turn creates action that goes onto produce an outcome.
DA : I have heard about NLP (neuro linguistic programming) how does it work in the context of coping with covid?
GB : It all starts with thoughts. When we think the same thoughts over and over again, we produce new neuro pathways or short cuts. For example, a piece of music might remind you of something and you can be transported back to a place in your mind reliving that memory.Not all thoughts and the memories associated with them are necessarily good ones. NLP removes the memories that are not serving you well, just like uninstalling an App from your phone that you no longer need.
We can’t change the past, however, we can change how we feel about it.We are not born with phobias or fears or as alcoholics; or smokers we learn these behaviours. However, with NLP and Hypnosis, you can be reset back to before you had these behaviours. Its a process we can teach.
DA :What about problems with sleeping?
GB : Anxiety is a huge issue now. Do you find yourself saying “What if….?” and the conversation you are having with yourself is keeping you awake. This is what is called anxiety.
A large number of people are finding it very hard to sleep at the moment. There are two types of insomnia, Type 1 where you find you have difficulty falling asleep and Type 2 insomnia is where you find you can fall asleep but a few hours later you ping wide awake and have trouble getting back to sleep. NLP is used to help with type 1 insomnia and Hypnotherapy is used to help with Type 2 insomnia.
For those of us who suffer from chronic pain, hypnotherapy can help by dialing down the pain. The pain is there for a reason, to alert the body that something is wrong and should not be ignored or completely taken away. However, it can be managed and turned down to a more acceptable level.
Back in the 1950’s hypnosis was approved by BOTH the British Medical Association and American Medical Association. Hypnotherapy is becoming more and more popular as a tool in therapy. Hypnosis is a pure state of focus, nothing more, nothing less.
DA : Do these therapies interfere with your memories?
GB: No, NLP and Hypnotherapy will not take away good memories. Your mind won’t let that happen.
When sadness outweighs happiness, either through depression, living in the past and replaying old or sad memories or through anxiety, worrying about what may or may not happen, NLP and Hypnotherapy can help you get your balance back.
Very interesting. I think the ‘movies’ my mind has been playing have all really been keeping me up recently. I think I definitely have Type 1 insomnia.This has given me some insight into therapies that I will consider if I continue having sleep issues.
Hopefully more on this over the next few weeks. In the meantime goodnight and rest well.
‘You can’t go back and change the beginning , but you can start where you are and change the ending ‘C.S.Lewis
Gillian Burtwell Mindset is based in the Highlands of Scotland. MA (Psychology); Post Graduate Human Resource Management; Qualified and Trained in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnotherapy.Member of The Complementary Medical Association.