We all know what it feels like to be depressed. We are plagued by negative self-talk and self-doubt. We worry about how others view us, or that we won’t be able to live up to expectations. For some of us, these feelings are ongoing and debilitating. We have deep-seated feelings of failure and believe that life will never get better. We may have been feeling this way for months, years, or nearly our entire lives.
When people are depressed, they find it especially difficult to visualize a happy life and to conjure the motivation to make changes that would lead to a better life — and this lack of change contributes to feeling hopeless.
To break this cycle, our therapists use hypnosis to help clients visualize positive outcomes and focus on achieving tangible goals, while also using integrative therapy techniques to resolve underlying feelings of depression. Much of depression is a focus on the past. Our approach helps clients quiet depressive thoughts so they can focus on how they would like to feel and envision a positive and more fulfilling future.
This approach is particularly useful in treating difficulties that both stem from, and perpetuate, depression:
Postpartum blues, depression, and anxiety can be extremely upsetting for new mothers. For some women, this comes as a complete surprise — it’s the first time they’ve experienced debilitating depression or anxiety. Others may have had episodes of anxiety or depression in the past, but these feelings arise suddenly and intensely in a way they didn’t anticipate. It can feel like a negative mood that won’t go away or an unsettling thought loop that seems to be set on repeat. This can leave a new mother feeling helpless, hopeless, and extremely disappointed, particularly when they had envisioned feeling very differently after giving birth.
Our therapists use hypnosis and integrative therapy to help women with postpartum depression and anxiety and the stress associated with the transition into parenthood. We understand the many emotional hurdles that come with this transition and can help women to move past these difficult feelings so they can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Postpartum blues are extremely common, with up to 70% of new mothers experiencing some form in the first few weeks after giving birth. Postpartum Depression, on the other hand, occurs for 1 in 9 new mothers, lasts for an extended amount of time and is much more severe. It can include feelings of worthlessness, fears of being disconnected from your child, worry that you are a bad parent, anger, sadness and crying.
While the exact cause of Postpartum Depression is not clearly defined and can vary from one person to another, we do know there are several factors that contribute to anxiety and depression in the months following the birth of a new child. These include hormonal fluctuations, loss of identity, lack of sleep, conflict with a spouse, frustration and confusion over caring for a new infant, concern about physical changes in the body, lack of freedom and feelings of isolation. By combining hypnosis, mindfulness and therapy, our therapists are able to identify the contributing causes of depression and anxiety, while hypnosis helps clients visualize a more uplifting future and set tangible goals to help end the cycle of distressing thoughts and feelings that accompany postpartum depression.
Research demonstrates a variety of benefits from using hypnosis in conjunction with therapy for treating depression, such as encouraging a sense of empowerment and reducing depressive symptoms (Yapko, 2002). Further, a combined approach of therapy and hypnosis has been shown to alleviate depression to a greater degree than therapy alone, and that this effect is maintained even after therapy has ended (Alladin & Alibhai, 2007).
Read more about hypnosis and integrative therapy for depression:
Hypnosis and Depression (Yapko, 2002)
Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression (Alladin & Alibhai, 2007)
Hypnosis and Treating Depression (2006)
Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach (Lynn & Kirsch, 2006)
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