Taking Charge of Your Health

Hello. I’m Dr Emma Gray, and I’m a psychologist
and hypnotherapist. And, today, we’re going to be doing a hypnosis
for depression. Okay.
How are you feeling? Okay. Okay, so, maybe, if I tell you a little bit
about hypnosis and this particular hypnosis, that will help you to feel comfortable and
relaxed. It’s very important that you enjoy this experience—and that will hopefully
enable you to do that. Okay, so, hypnosis is a very important technique
in the treatment of various emotional and behavioural problems that we experience. But,
it’s not a standalone treatment—it does need to be used alongside other treatments.
It is, however, a wonderful compliment for therapies like talking therapies, for example,
that are particularly effective for depression. I would always suggest that if you are having
a hypnosis for your depression, you’re also considering some type of talking therapies,
ideally, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, which is currently the most effective
therapy or treatment for depression. But, hypnosis is useful because what it allows
us to do is to talk to our subconscious mind, which is the part of our mind that is much
more open to new ideas and suggestions. So, if we want to make changes to how we feel,
it’s really important to be able to access this part of our mind. And the other thing
is that if we can use the ASMR whispering technique, we’re priming our mind for new
information and learning, which is going to boost the hypnotic suggestions.
How does that sound? Okay. Do you have any questions or worries?
Okay. It’s quite normal to feel a little apprehensive
about hypnosis, particularly if you have watched any hypnosis on the telly and on entertainment
shows. Keep in mind that you are completely in control at all times. All you need to do
if you want to stop is to open your eyes, and you will immediately come back into the
real world and be fully aware. Okay, but, as I said, this is an opportunity,
not only to take on board some new ideas and suggestions as to how to deal with depression,
but it’s also a chance to experience a deep state of relaxation, which is basically what
hypnosis is. Okay, shall we begin?
Okay, so, if you want to get comfortable in your seat, maybe placing both feet flat on
the ground and resting your hands in your lap. Okay.
Now, take a few deep breaths in and out. And we’re going to begin with a relaxation exercise—this
will prepare you for the hypnosis. All you need to do is listen to the instructions
that I give you, which will be very simple, and follow them as closely as you can. Okay.
So, we’re going to begin with you following my finger as it moves slowly from side to
side. I want you to make sure that your entire attention is focused on the movement of my
finger. And this movement is soothing, it’s calming, as if you are being gently rocked.
Now, you are completely aware of everything else around you, of all other sounds, but,
as you focus on my finger, you become less concerned with these other things, as if my
finger is the only thing in the world to pay attention to.
Now, you will notice that your eyes are starting to feel tired, your eyelids heavy. And I’m
going to count backwards from three to one. And when I get to one, I want you to close
your eyes. Three… Two… One… Close your eyes.
Okay, now, take a few deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth. And,
with each breath, you will feel more relaxed and calm.
Now, I want you to imagine that you’re on a beach, sitting on the sand. The tide is
moving in and out, just slightly beyond your toes.
Now, stretch out your legs, so that as the waves roll up the sand, they touch the soles
of your feet and the tips of your toes. The water is pleasantly warm. As the waves break
on the sand, the foam gently rolls up and over your feet, and, as it retreats, it takes
with it any tension in your muscles. The next wave breaks, this time at your ankles.
The foam of the water is soft and warm. As the wave retreats, it draws out of you any
stress that you feel. The next wave breaks at your knees, and again,
as it retreats, it takes with it any discomfort caused by residual tension in your body.
This next wave gently rolls up to your waist, the water is warm, and it calms you, relaxes
you. It retreats back down the beach, taking with it any last sensations of anxiety, stress,
or worry—leaving your body deeply calm, deeply relaxed, your mind open and still.
Now, allow yourself to lie back on the warm sand, allow it to fully support your body.
Feel the warmth of the sun on your face as the waves continue to roll, gently up and
down your body, rising now, no higher than your knees. Feel your body and mind drifting
away to a place of deep relaxation and peace. Your body feels warm and heavy.
Now, take a few deep breaths, in and out, to deepen this relaxation, this feeling of
contentment and peace. Now, let us focus on the source of your sadness,
your low mood, and your feelings of depression. There is a train of thought, a voice inside
your head that whispers to you, negatively evaluating what you do, criticising your actions,
comparing you unfavourably to others, it undermines you, predicts failure and rejection—nothing
is ever good enough for this part of your mind. It is this self-critical voice that
is responsible for your low mood, your feelings of depression.
But, it is not an accurate voice. It is not an objective observer. It is a voice from
the past—a parent, teacher, or another person, who for their own reasons were unable
to see your value, your potential. They did not appreciate you as you should have been
appreciated, and now you carry that person’s voice with you, as if it were your own, but
it is not. There is another voice available to you, another
train of thought that sees the goodness of your heart, your potential to be whatever
you want to be. It understands that you are not perfect, because you are human, and humans
are not perfect. But it knows that you and what you do is always good enough. It supports
you, encourages you, loves you, just as you are. There is no need to change or improve,
for this part of you accepts you without conditions or caveats. This part of your mind, this voice,
is your healthy adult. Now, let’s cast out your self-critical voice.
Imagine it as separate from you, give it a form that allows you to create some distance
from it—whatever feels appropriate. Maybe it takes the form of the person it actually
belongs to, or maybe another creature that symbolises its toxicity—a gremlin perhaps,
or some other kind of tormented otherworldly creature.
Now, give your healthy adult voice a form. It is larger and stronger than your self-critical
voice, and it stands between the two of you, protecting you and shielding you.
Whenever you feel sad, or low, or depressed, these two images will come into your mind,
allowing you to cast out your self-critical voice—the source of your sadness—allowing
you to step back from the criticism, and hear more clearly the words of your healthy adult
voice—your healthy adult that stands strong, protecting you, supporting you, and loving
you unconditionally. Each time these images are conjured into your mind, your self-critical
voice weakens—it becomes smaller and quieter. You believe its judgements, its predictions,
less and less, and your healthy adult draws strength, it grows taller and louder, and
your connection with it increases until, eventually, it is the only voice that you hear.
As your self-critical voice fades, so too will your depression. No longer will you be
weighed down by the negativity, self-criticism, and the fear of failure and rejection. Instead,
you will feel supported, loved, and always good enough.
Now, it is time to slowly return to this world, bringing with you what you have learned in
this hypnosis. I’m going to count slowly backwards from ten, and with each count, you will feel
more and more aware of your body in this room, on the chair, in this moment.
Ten… Nine… Becoming more aware… Eight… Seven… Feeling supported by your chair…
Six… Five… Aware of your feet on the floor… Four… Three… Taking a deep breath in and
out… Two… And one… Open your eyes.
Okay, good. Just take a moment. Focus on your breathing, be aware of your feet on the floor,
your bottom on the chair. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
Okay, how did you find that? Okay.
Okay, you did very well. Now, it’s quite normal to feel a little lightheaded
after hypnosis simply because your body has been so deeply relaxed, like when you first
wake up in the morning and you’re not quite ready to.
So, take it easy for the next hour or so. And I will see you at the same time next week.

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