Although he was less than half my age there wasn’t much Tom* didn’t seem to have done – bungee jumping, white water rafting, tandem skydiving. So it was as much a surprise to him as to me that he was sat in front of me because his travelling had come to an abrupt halt. Tom had come to see me for hypnotherapy for travel sickness.
Greg* was a very fed-up young man. “I just feel that I’ve made a stupid decision. If I could I’d go back in time and change things. Is that something you can help me to do?”. I work in a therapy room not a Tardis, so time travel is out. But therapy does enable people to make changes, so I asked Greg to tell me more.
Hypnotherapy for fainting – a case study
Tess* was a little
hesitant when she rang me. “I don’t know
if you’ll be able to help me, but this has been part of my life so long. Can you help with hypnotherapy for fainting?
Only it rules everything I do.”
fainting all the time isn’t healthy or normal, and I’d be sending anyone to see
their GP urgently rather than seeing them.
What came out about Tess though was a bit more nuanced than that.
“I fainted a lot as a
little girl, and sometimes my mum would find me in my room or I’d come round and
find myself on the floor. At first they
thought it might be epilepsy but it turned out to be something else
entirely. They realised that the
sensation of brushing my hair excited my nerves and caused me to faint.”
As strange as that may
sound it’s more common than people realise.
Called syncope, or sometimes ‘fainting and falling’, it’s a recognised
medical condition. But I wanted to find
out more about why it was still affecting Tess’ life so much.
“My mum became very
protective. She made me have a pixie
crop so I didn’t have to brush my hair, and kept telling me I had to be really
careful. I never had my hair washed at
the hairdressers, but that didn’t seem enough for her. She wouldn’t let me go on sleep-overs, and I
lived at home still when I went to uni.
I’m terrified of fainting again, and I’m wondering if you can teach me
how not to faint?”
I asked Tess when the
last time was that she had fainted.
“Eight or nine years ago” was the answer. “I don’t need to teach you how not to faint,”
I told her, “I need to teach you to forget to be afraid.”
Like so many […]
Kim* was very on edge when she came to see me. “My anxiety’s 9 out of 10 if you’re asking” she told me, “and I’m terrified you’ve got some needles in the room somewhere, ready to show me.” Kim was phobic about injections, and it had taken her a lot to come and see someone.
Marianne* asked me if it would be okay if she brought her husband Robert* with her when she came to see me. “The thing is”, she told me, “I’ve got no idea what it is I’m doing because I’m asleep through the whole thing. It’s Robert really who’s there for it”.
“I don’t even think that I should be here if I’m honest” Barry* told me. “My wife said that I should see you about my thoughts, but to be honest I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them.”
“I’ve been meaning to come and see you for ages” Jackie* told me, “but…” “But life gets in the way?” I asked. “No, I just keep putting it off”. Which was exactly what Jackie wanted to see me about -procrastinating.
Joe* came to see me with the same sort of thoughts that a lot of people have – that he was wrong to feel anxious or depressed. Like them he didn’t simply struggle with his feelings, but beat himself up about being anxious or depressed, and end up feeling twice as bad. And just like them, Joe felt that whilst other people might be different, for him it was definitely wrong.
“Do you do hypnotherapy for checking things too much? I need to check things for work, but I think it’s got a bit silly lately”. That’s how Jason* introduced himself – and, as he’d say later “with a bit of an understatement”.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been having very similar conversations with quite a few different people. They’re parents, and it’s normally, but not always, mum instead of dad that I speak to. It’s about their son or daughter, normally at university but sometimes at college, but always the effect that their perfectionism is having on them.