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What Are Anxiety Disorders? Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that all share anxiety-related symptoms. Each individual anxiety disorder refers to a subset of anxiety symptoms and specific anxiety triggers. A person with social anxiety for example may experience blushing, increased heart-rate, and a sense of panic and inferiority when around other people. All anxiety disorders share a common symptom, which is an excessive worry about something that most people wouldn’t be that concerned about. Anxiety itself is natural and actually quite helpful when experienced in appropriate contexts and intensities. Someone experiencing panic and anxiety is feeling the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response. Which is our body’s natural response to a perceived danger. When it is activated, hormones are released into the body to enable us to either deal with or escape from the threat. The actual cause of the anxiety itself can often be quite complex and unclear, as it usually arises from a combination of a persons’ psychological history, environmental factors, and genetic pre-disposition. At an underlying neurological and physiological level, the various anxiety disorders function in much the same way. The real difference lies at the level of the thought processes, which are what trigger and maintain the anxiety. This is why psychotherapy, which aims to help a person alter their thought processes, is one of the most effective long-term solution. People suffering from a variety of anxiety symptoms often think it is important to have a name or label for their condition, but this is often hard to achieve, as many people won’t fit neatly into the category of any one single anxiety disorder. There is a large spectrum of symptoms which anxiety sufferers can experience, with the cross over from one disorder to another, sometimes making it difficult to apply a single label to a patient presenting with a broad selection of anxiety-related symptoms. Fortunately a psychotherapist is trained to look beyond these simplistic ways of looking at anxiety, and instead treats the person as a whole, working flexibly with whatever symptoms, thoughts, behaviours and emotions the individual brings to the therapy process without the need to resort to labeling. A List of Common Anxiety Disorders: Panic Disorder Is literally the fear of having a panic attack, and this fear can be so intense that it actually causes a panic attack. It is a good example of the cyclical nature of many anxieties in which the symptoms also become the cause. The panic attack can produce extremely unpleasant physical and mental symptoms with many people believing that they are having a heart attack and/or are going to die or are going insane. Generalised Anxiety Disorder A persistent and excessive anxiety or worry about past, current or future events or activities which may or may not happen. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Can include repetitive behaviours such as cleaning, hand washing, checking, counting, or repeating words silently. The person will experience unwanted obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours. Social Anxiety The experience of fear, anxiety or panic in social situations. People may fear embarrassing themselves or making a fool of themselves in some way. Specific Phobias Are an excessive fear about a specific thing (animals, heights, flying, blood etc.) The object or situation is avoided or provokes extreme anxiety. People with an anxiety disorder can also experience a number of different symptoms as a result of their disorder. Somatoform Disorder Often more commonly referred to as Hypochondria. It is an excessive worry about your health and in particular about having an undiagnosed health issue. Often accompanied by frequent checking of bodily sensations, and doubts relating to medical diagnosis and test results. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) The experience, or witness of, or confrontation with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death, or serious injury, or threat of physical injury of self or others. The major feature of PTSD is the reliving of the event through dreams, nightmares or flashbacks. Commonly treated examples of anxiety People frequently seek help from counsellors and psychotherapists for the following anxieties: •public speaking anxiety •performance anxiety •social anxiety •blushing •interview anxiety •exam nerves •health anxiety •fear of flying •financial and economic worries •driving anxiety •specific phobias What Are Anxiety Disorders? By Nigel Magowan
The Beneficial Effects of Ecotherapy More recently researchers have begun to understand what lots of people have known on an instinctive level for millennia: that the natural world can be a very beneficial aid to recovery for our psychological health. Healers have actually long made use of a therapeutic connection with nature in order to treat a large selection of mental and physical conditions. These ancient practices are actually now being rediscovered and have been given the collective name ‘Ecotherapy‘. Ecotherapy is a collective term for various nature-based treatments which use an experiential connection with nature. It’s a relatively new field, but one which has numerous ancient roots, drawing its ideas from both modern and ancient practices, including contemporary psychotherapy, counselling, nature-awareness, mindfulness, meditation, clinical hypnotherapy, NLP, shamanism, and bushcraft to name a few. The term Ecotherapy refers to many different nature-based therapies such as wilderness therapy, equine assisted therapy, pet therapy, horticultural therapy, walking therapy, natural awareness therapy. Our forefathers would have seen very little or no difference between the natural world and themselves; making use of nature to recover and sustain, physically, mentally and spiritually. The sad thing is, contemporary society has become more and more detached from nature. For millennia we existed in a close relationship with the natural world, and were intrinsically connected to the rhythms of our natural environment, a lot so that our demand for a relationship with nature need to live in our extremely genes. It would seem that, in spite of our technological innovations, we are still genetically hard-wired to need to be close to nature and living things. Most people are already familiar with the advantageous mental impacts of just being on a beach, paddling in a stream, or walking in woodlands or mountains. When taking our vacations, this might be why we are commonly drawn to locations of natural beauty. Mankind’s use of nature to enhance physical, spiritual and psychological well-being has been around most likely as long as humans have existed. Numerous researchers now think that psychological problems can emerge due to our disconnection from the natural environment. Our in-built need for a relationship with nature has become interfered with, leaving us unbalanced and open to a range of psychological and emotional troubles. It would appear that there is a strong need for us to re-integrate nature back into our lives to redress the balance. Research has actually shown that just being in green spaces can have considerable advantages on psychological well-being. This can be as simple as spending time gardening, sitting in a neighborhood park, or walking in the countryside. Ecotherapy takes this concept of being in green space further by actively developing and using this instinctive connection, and combining it with contemporary psychotherapeutic processes. Compared with many standard talking therapies, Ecotherapy is typically focused on experiential learning. Participants learn by means of engagement and immersing themselves in the environment and tasks, as well as by talking about and sharing their insights and experiences, thus personal growth can frequently occur without the lengthy conversation frequently associated with many talking therapies. More and more research is now showing that Ecotherapy has a powerful effect on many psychological conditions, including, anxiety, stress, anger, obsession, and depression. It can build self-esteem, inspiration, self-confidence, and improve communication and relationship skills. It can help put your life into perspective, establish self-reliance and imagination, and help you to discover that you can achieve things you never thought feasible. Ecotherapy Related Blog Nigel Magowan Presents His Research into the Potential Effectiveness of Ecotherapy as a Treatment for Anxiety, at the UKCP Research Conference at Regents College, London About the Author Nigel Magowan is a Manchester, UK based Ecotherapist, Accredited Psychotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner and Life Coach. With over 11 years’ experience practicing psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy in Manchester and Harley Street. He is one of the first few people in the UK to provide Ecotherapy, which is provided either in weekly sessions, as part of an on-going regular open groups, or as weekend retreats and workshops. Nigel offers outdoor nature-based therapy and coaching for individuals, organizations, and business groups.
All you need is your anxiety and a tennis or juggling ball. Brain scan studies have demonstrated that anxiety only occurs in one hemisphere of the brain. If you force both hemispheres of the brain to communicate with some physical actions that involve both sides of the body then the anxiety state can be quickly diminished. Here’s what you do: 1. Conjure up the state of anxiety (if you are troubled by anxiety you may not need to do much conjuring). 2. Holding your hands out in front of you, elbows bent as if you were holding a tray. Toss the ball back and forth between your hands. The ball must cross in front of you as you catch and throw. As you do this you will find your anxiety level beginning to diminish. 3. After a while stop ‘juggling’ to gauge your level of anxiety. Typically it will be reduced. 4. Continue juggling and checking until the anxiety is reduced to zero. You can use this process when the anxiety arises or imagine an anxiety provoking situation and reduce the anticipated anxiety. Here’s a video explanation and demonstration of this approach by Andy Austin on YouTube. — Reproduced with permission from the author Andrew Austin . If you wish to reproduce this article on your own website or blog, please contact the author. You must include the author details and ensure any web links remain active and unchanged. The copyright remains with the author.
Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. When I first opened the doors of my Manchester Psychotherapy practice to clients 11 years ago, I held brand new professional qualifications in NLP and Clinical Hypnotherapy and had read countless books on both subjects, but it very quickly became apparent to me that I had only just begun the real learning process. There is no substitute for real life practical experience: the day-to-day interaction with people; no two of whom are the same. There is no magic template or technique you can apply as a one size fits all. Every person who walks through my door is unique. Accordingly, the treatment for every client has to be individually tailored and fluid, adjusting from moment to moment within every session. This is one of the main reasons why I threw the standard pre-written hypnotherapy scripts used by many hypnotherapists in the bin in the first few weeks of practicing, and adopted a flexible, tailored and ultimately more effective approach. Over the years many people have asked me why I became a therapist. There are many reasons, but my greatest motivation has always been to help people realise their potential, both personally and professionally. It’s so common to be prevented from achieving your dreams because of treatable conditions like phobias, addictions, anxiety or stress, and once you banish those to the past you can go forward and become the person you want to be. I think what helps me guide others is my own personal experience of anxiety and panic attacks which held me back when I was younger. Having had run-ins myself with these all-too-common limiting conditions gives me a depth of understanding of them, coupled with a strong sense of empathy for the person sitting with me in my consulting room. In eleven years of full-time practice, I have conducted literally thousands of therapy sessions and treated more conditions than I have room to list in this blog entry, but there are certain psychological issues in which I have gained particularly strong expertise, such as generalised anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, fear of public speaking, social anxiety, addictions, OCD, confidence building, relationship issues, and stress. I have gone on to obtain specialist training in other areas and now hold certificates in Stress Management, Anger Management, Working with Shame, Treating Insomnia and Sleep Disorders, Working with Addictions, Treating IBS, Human Development, Psychopathology and Ethical Practice. I also embarked on a formal UKCP accredited training programme in Psychotherapy in 2006, obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy, allowing me to become a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist. This qualification has significantly increased my breadth of knowledge and skills, and my ability to work effectively with difficult and complex cases. I believe strongly that it’s very important to keep learning and progressing, and my professional evolution reflects that, with an expansion in 2010 into a practice in London’s Harley Street, and being taken on by the National phobic organisation Anxiety UK as an approved therapist. More than a decade running my clinic has also given me the time to add many other strings to my bow in terms of additional fields of therapy, so that now I can honestly say I offer a fully integrative approach, which now draws on many therapeutic approaches including Contemporary Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Systemic NLP, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Ericksonian Hypno-Psychotherapy, Self-Relations Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, Counselling, and Family Systems Therapy. Combined I think they help me offer a holistic and individually-tailored approach to each person I work with. It would appear that I have managed to strike the right balance, as a significant number of clients return for treatment of conditions in addition to the one they initially consulted on. I also receive a lot of new clients who have come to me via recommendations from past or current existing clients. There is no doubt that my training and experience has added depth, knowledge, understanding, flexibility and adaptability to my approach, and as I enter my twelfth year of practice, I intend building upon that even more. I am genuinely excited about what the coming year holds for Inner Changes. In addition to my more conventional psychotherapy practice, based in a traditional consulting room, I will be expanding upon my work in Ecotherapy. This relatively new form of therapy moves the client into a natural setting, delivering treatment via workshops, one-to-one sessions, exercises and guided meditations, all of which are conducted in the countryside, utilising Nature itself as part of the healing process. This is a relatively new area of discovery in therapeutic terms, so in many ways, I will actually be contributing to the field as I explore it. This could be daunting for some, but as I often say to my clients, it’s beneficial to keep changing, evolving and moving forward. It’s great looking back today at how far I have come, but it’s equally fantastic to be looking ahead and embracing the challenges of tomorrow. Article: Today the Inner Changes Psychotherapy, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Manchester celebrates its 11th anniversary. By Rachael Magowan Blog researched and written by Rowan Creative Copywriting Service Manchester
One of the major preventable causes of heart disease is smoking. It also causes an increased risk of all types of cancer. Passive smoking has be shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart and lung disease in non-smokers who live with smokers. Pick a day to stop. Choose a day, or ideally several days, when you know you will be relatively stress-free, and then stop smoking on that day. Remove all smoking-related items. Commit fully to quitting smoking by throwing out all smoking-related items such as cigarette packets, ashtrays, and lighters from your house, car etc. While you are at it, spring clean the house and your car to remove all cigarette smells and any evidence of being a smoker. By doing so, you will have less things to remind you of smoking. Also, by removing easy access to cigarettes you save yourself from moments of weakness. Take it one day at a time. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on getting through one day at a time, and before you realise it you’ll be a non-smoker. Try to understand your smoking habit and plan in advance. People often think of smoking as one big habit, but really it is a whole series of smaller habits that are triggered in response to different situations, different emotions and at different times of the day. Once you’ve identified your smoking triggers, think about what else you could do, or how you could think differently in each of those situations. Plan in advance how you’ll cope with those different situations like at the pub, with friends, in the car, after meals or at work. Keep yourself busy. One thing smokers often overlook is that they will gain on average an extra 1 hour and 20 minutes of free time each day. Therefore now is a really great time to start new hobbies and find new activities and interests to fill that extra time. The more you can keep yourself occupied, the easier you will find it to remain a non-smoker. Practice Relaxation. We can feel physically and mentally tense when we attempt to change habits or overcome addictions. This can build up inside us like steam in a pressure cooker and explode outwards in unhelpful ways such as anger, sarcasm and restlessness. Learning to physically and mentally relax is a good way to release this tension in a healthy and beneficial way. Some good ways to relax include meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and physical exercise such as walking or running. For best results try to perform deep relaxation for 15 to 30 minutes at least once each day, particularly during the first few days after you stop smoking. You can download my self-hypnosis relaxation and stress relief mp3 here: http://www.manchester-psychotherapy.co.uk/downloads/free-self-hypnosis-mp3-downloads.htm Create a list of all the reasons for becoming a non-smoker. Focus on all the positive things you’ll gain by becoming a non-smoker and the good feelings that come from being free from the addiction. Also list all the things you dislike about smoking and the associated unpleasant feelings. Read your list daily and re-imagine those feelings. If you have a craving or thoughts about smoking, vividly remind yourself of this list and all the reasons you have for remaining a non-smoker. Change your routines. The habitual aspect of smoking is very much tied up with your routines. Therefore making small adjustments to your routines for a while can loosen up the smoking habit and make it much easier to change. So for example if you’ve always smoked while you have a cup of coffee, try fruit juice instead for a while. Deal with your emotions. Some of the cigarettes you smoke are probably being smoked for emotional reasons. Do you smoke more when stressed, or when you feel like a reward, or when you are bored? If so, then the urge to smoke those particular cigarettes is triggered by your minds desire to shift your emotional states. Find something else that gives the same emotional benefit and substitute it for the cigarette. For example, if you smoke to de-stress, ask yourself what else can you do that will help you unwind to the same degree. Going for a walk to get out of the office, simple breathing exercises, having a chat with colleagues, making a cup of tea are all simple alternative examples. If you are dealing with serious emotional problems, then it may be worth working with a qualified therapist to help you manage those emotions first. You’ll then find it easier to quit smoking if you no longer need the emotional crutch. Manage Your cravings. The more you focus on your cravings, the more intense and longer they can seem to be. Instead, first briefly acknowledge and accept the feeling of the craving, take a few long slow deep breaths, then remind yourself of all the reasons why you are going to remain a non-smoker. Focus particularly on the feelings associated with your reasons. Finally, find some other thought or activity to fully occupy your attention. You will find that the craving quickly fades if you can keep your attention occupied elsewhere. This is why it is a good idea to find new hobbies and alternative activities to keep yourself busy. The intensity of any subsequent cravings will tend to diminish and fade each time you successfully distract yourself. Don’t bother with patches or artificial cigarettes. Using these type of products only prolongs the physical addiction and habits that your are attempting to overcome. Your body actually adapts relatively quickly to being without nicotine, usually 3-4 days of not smoking is enough. People usually have more problems with the habitual or emotional aspect of stopping smoking. Consider taking vitamins. According to the NHS Healthy Heart web page, vitamin C can help you get rid of nicotine more quickly. Vitamin B complex can help calm the frazzled nerves often associated with the smoking cessation. Stick to your normal diet. If you feel hungrier between meals, stick to healthy options like fruit or vegetables. Usually these urges will pass the more you settle into your new non-smoking habits. Congratulate yourself on your successes. Every day that you are a non-smoker, and every time you avoid a craving, take some time to congratulate yourself. Plan a reward for yourself. Save up the money you would have spent on smoking and give yourself either a small weekly treat, or save up long term for something bigger like a holiday. Stay Stopped. Do not be tempted to smoke even a single cigarette, no matter how in control you feel you are. It can very quickly lead you back to the full smoking habit again. Still Struggling? If you feel you still need further assistance to quit smoking, then hypnotherapy, NLP and psychotherapy are all well regarded methods for helping people change habits like smoking. The New Scientist published research that stated that ‘Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking’.(New Scientist Vol. 136 issue 1845-31 Oct 92) If you live in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Cheshire area then give me a call on 0161 881 4333 to find out how I can help. Nigel Magowan is a qualified and experienced Integrative Psychotherapist, Advanced Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, and NLP Master Practitioner. He has for many years helped people stop smoking, manage their eating habits, and deal with anxiety and stress-related issues. Read more about his Stop Smoking Programme in Manchester.
Inner Changes – near Fallowfield Advanced Hypnotherapy, NLP, Psychotherapy, Life Coaching, and Stress Management If you would like help to do any of the following… Overcome Anxiety and Panic Attacks Control Your Weight and Eating Habits in a natural healthy way Relax and manage your stress levels Rid yourself of a Fear or Phobia Improve your confidence and self esteem Treat your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Stop Smoking Change a habit Solve emotional problems Make positive changes in your life Resolve unwanted issues Deal with relationship issues Manage and control pain Overcome depression Enhance your memory and study habits Enhance a skill you already possess more… …then I may be able to help you. Click Here to bookmark this site Just how much is your health and well-being worth to you? I specialise in anxiety and panic attacks, weight control, stress management, smoking cessation, changing habits, removing fears and phobias, overcoming depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), relationship issues, memory and study habits, and improving confidence and self esteem. if you don’t see what you are looking for, then do get in touch to discuss your requirements. My years of experience and extensive training has given me the knowledge and flexibility to help you deal with most psychological issues. As a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life coach, my services can more effectively treat many of the things that you might consider visiting a counsellor for, and a lot more besides. It is also my aim to help you resolve your issues as quickly as possible and by using the incredible power of your own mind, enable you to achieve the life you want. Many specific issues can be very quickly dealt with in around 4 to 8 sessions, for more deep rooted or complex issues, more sessions will be required. However as we are all unique individuals, you decide when you have reached resolution. I am a full-time professional, qualified and experienced Manchester Hypnotherapist, Solution-Focused Integrative Psychotherapist, Life Coach and a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner. I have trained with some of the best psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and NLP trainers, including Paul McKenna, and by Dr Richard Bandler – the creator of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I have received training in both Ericksonian and traditional hypnotherapy, and combine all my skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your exact needs. So that together we can work to help you to change in the quickest and most effortless ways possible. By using a solution focused approach, results can be achieved in a much shorter time than when using traditional counselling or psychoanalysis. I offer an 60 minute Initial Consultation/Assessment Session which gives us the chance to begin to explore your issues further. I will give you honest answers to any questions you might have and give you a realistic estimate of the number of sessions you may require. I practice from a consulting room in my home, located in Chorlton in South Manchester, near Fallowfield, close to junction 7 & 8 of the M60 and the end of the M56. My services can be combined and tailored to your individual or company needs, and range from one to one private therapy or coaching sessions through to group training and workshops. When you are committed to making the inner changes you need, to achieve the life you want, simply phone me on 0161 881 4333 or to make an appointment now.
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