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Question
Posted by: Anonymous | 2011-11-03

Hypnosis

Hi Doc,

Please advice, I have been advised by a friend to go to a hypnotherapist due to the lack of confidence I have. I had a terrible teenage life and even though I am now 30 years I still think about the things that happened to me and even don''t have good relations with people in general.
I am insecure in everything... I have seen a shrink when I was younger but the process to me took so long and I don''t think the he understood me at all.

Would it be advisable to go see a hypnotherapist instead and if so, can you recommend a good one in the Pretoria east area. Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

DON'T DO IT. I very strongly recommend against ever going to a "hypnotherapist". Hypnotherapy is FAR less useful than people imagine, and wise to use ONLY when given by a fully trained mental health professional, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and as PART of a plan of treatment using other methods, too, after making a competent expert diagnosis according to internationally recognized criteria.
"Hypnotherapy" is not a properly recognized professional method, there is no officially acredited training or qualifications, and no good evidence that it works well for the many things for which its practitioners like to claim success. SOme people have had some serious training in the method, usually people already properly qualified mental health professionals ( this is necessary so they can recognize and deal with complications, problems, and other possible diagnoses) ; others have qualified themselves, and some American and other "societies" or "Academies" of hypnosis are so sloppy, a colleague of mine managed to get his cat fully qualified and certified as a member of more than one of those organizations.
There is much better, good scientific evidence that modern and well-researched methods like Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) provided by a good psychologist, can be highly effective in the sort of situation you describe, which may be a form of Social Anxiety Disorder, and other components of your concerns. Trying to magic them away with hypnosis is not the way to go.
Any good local psychologist should be able to first do a proper assessment and discuss the nature of these problems, and then either provide or refer you to someone who can, CBT or some similar form of psychotherapy. What you would want to avoid ( and maybe that's what happened in your earlier unsatisfactory experience )is someone using old-fashioned and still unproven "analytic" methods that involve endless talking and digging into the past. CBT is business-like, clarifies the current habits of thought and unhelpful assumptions that are the root of your problems, and helps you to learn better and alternative ways of unlearning the problems you have been carrying with you. It usually doesn't take long, and teaches you methods you can then remember and apply to any other such problems which might arrive later in life.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-11-03

DON'T DO IT. I very strongly recommend against ever going to a "hypnotherapist". Hypnotherapy is FAR less useful than people imagine, and wise to use ONLY when given by a fully trained mental health professional, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and as PART of a plan of treatment using other methods, too, after making a competent expert diagnosis according to internationally recognized criteria.
"Hypnotherapy" is not a properly recognized professional method, there is no officially acredited training or qualifications, and no good evidence that it works well for the many things for which its practitioners like to claim success. SOme people have had some serious training in the method, usually people already properly qualified mental health professionals ( this is necessary so they can recognize and deal with complications, problems, and other possible diagnoses) ; others have qualified themselves, and some American and other "societies" or "Academies" of hypnosis are so sloppy, a colleague of mine managed to get his cat fully qualified and certified as a member of more than one of those organizations.
There is much better, good scientific evidence that modern and well-researched methods like Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) provided by a good psychologist, can be highly effective in the sort of situation you describe, which may be a form of Social Anxiety Disorder, and other components of your concerns. Trying to magic them away with hypnosis is not the way to go.
Any good local psychologist should be able to first do a proper assessment and discuss the nature of these problems, and then either provide or refer you to someone who can, CBT or some similar form of psychotherapy. What you would want to avoid ( and maybe that's what happened in your earlier unsatisfactory experience )is someone using old-fashioned and still unproven "analytic" methods that involve endless talking and digging into the past. CBT is business-like, clarifies the current habits of thought and unhelpful assumptions that are the root of your problems, and helps you to learn better and alternative ways of unlearning the problems you have been carrying with you. It usually doesn't take long, and teaches you methods you can then remember and apply to any other such problems which might arrive later in life.

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