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Stress / Anxiety / Panic attacks. 

Related symptoms – blurred vision, headaches, salivation, increased heart rate, shaking, blushing, aches and pains, feeling clammy, IBS, sugar cravings, sleep problems, tightening of chest , tension across scalp, knot in the stomach, fear of heart attack or stroke, dizziness. 
I have said several times throughout my website that I very much like reading, telling and writing stories which is one of the reasons why I became and remain fascinated by hypnotherapy. Most people of any age enjoy stories and the line ‘ Once upon a time... ’ captures most people’s attention – whether they stay to listen is up to the Story teller. 
I am going to present for you here a fictitious case study and if any part of it is of interest to you please give me a call. It is a way of illustrating how I work and is only a single example – not all of it may work for you however I hope it gives some insight into my operating style.  
Should you wish to come and see me we will discuss what we both feel will work for you – every session is different because every individual is unique. 
I hope you find it useful or at least an interesting read. 


Tom called me mid-morning and said that his GP had given him my number and asked if he could book an appointment to come and see me. I said that there would be no problem at all however was he able to spare about 10-15minutes now to give me some background information ( I have a pad and pen on my desk at all times so was able to take notes relating to specific information, presenting condition, Tom’s primary modality, does he predominantly process information by seeing – visual / hearing – auditory / feeling – kinaesthetic / smell – olfactory / taste – gustatory, his tone, pace, mood and if it changed and why and anything else I thought may be relevant for planning therapy sessions should Tom book them ). I assured Tom that anything he said would be treated confidentially and at the end of the conversation if he chose to book an appointment that would be fine however there was no obligation at all. 
He said he was happy to do that and I asked who his GP was ( professional information for myself ) and why they had recommended my services ( if Tom booked a session I may then ask his permission to contact his GP for background information should Tom be happy for me to do so). Tom said that he had been at work in a meeting a few weeks ago which he was finding particularly stressful and 
‘ his heart started beating like crazy, he felt dizzy and he thought he was having a heart attack.’ 
SESSION 1 OF 3 – 6.30 – 8pm. 
Preparation - Tom had returned his registration forms in the post together with his signed consent form. I would run through his answers with him in the session. I wanted to try and establish the causes of Tom’s anxiety so had downloaded the Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory for use in the session so that we could look at it in more detail in order to understand more clearly his presenting symptoms – anxiety / panic attacks. Once Tom understood his symptom better we could work on alleviating it more effectively. I also wanted to share the physiology of stress / a panic attack with Tom so that he understood exactly what was happening, anchor him a safe place so that he was better prepared to handle them when he left my office than when he entered it and to give him some self hypnosis and relaxation exercises to practise at home ( not at work whilst driving the train or operating machinery ). I had anticipated giving him a thought record chart to complete as homework however when I received his forms back his writing was not very good, he had several spelling mistakes and it seemed as if he had written as little as possible on the intake form. 
I did not want to damage the therapy/ rapport with a request for him to complete another more detailed form – that he may be resistant to – that required seven columns to be filled in to track a thought. However if it turned out that he felt he would like to do it then that would be fine – I would keep it as an option once I had met Tom in person. 
SESSION 2 OF 3 - FRIDAY 2.30 - 4pm 
Preparation - I wanted to work with Tom’s self-esteem and self-confidence today and continue to bring his locus of control from predominantly external to a more helpful internal position. In that way he would hopefully become more confident within himself in meetings as well as social situations generally and be less affected by what others may be thinking / what he perceives they ‘mean’ by comments etc. I wanted to look at the structure of beliefs and show Tom that they can be shaken up and updated or even replaced for his benefit. I also wanted to introduce him to the voices in his mind, that were not him ! I intended to use Neuro Linguistic Programming ( NLP ) to look at the strategies Tom’s brain uses to store information and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT ) to look at Tom’s thoughts and ways to generate thoughts that were more helpful to him. I wanted to continue the theme of hands since he liked DIY and used his hands to control a train at work and his primary modality was kinaesthetic so had printed off an exercise to do. I was conscious that any conclusions / changes made Tom made ‘by himself’ rather than me ‘ telling ’ him what to do etc. I could only nudge him in a direction that I thought professionally he may find of interest – it was all about Tom’s journey through Tom 
The Session – Tom arrived on time smartly dressed in his work clothes again but did not apologise this time. He was much less awkward with himself and confidently informed me that he had been using the ‘fist thing and I was right – it got better as he did it more often.’ He had had a few anxious moments however after a few times of using the clenched fist technique he had become aware that when he got anxious the next time his right hand tingled – which he found quite amusing and a bit bizarre however ‘ it worked – clever stuff this hypnosis thing.’ 
Preparation – Now that we had addressed the old part of the brain that was very immature/ young I wanted to introduce Tom to the voices in his head. Both exercises would reset his locus of control to a more healthy internal position where he could begin to rely and trust himself as opposed to an external one that relied on external influences that he had little or no control over for support. 
I also wanted to help Tom’s confidence regarding group participation in both meetings and social environments in general. 
The Session – Tom arrived for the session in smart casual clothes for a change and was much more relaxed. He said he had had a good week and had actually booked himself a holiday to Egypt– it was nice for the first time to be able to book himself into a nice hotel because his promotion had meant he now earned more money. He was pleased to say that he was still using the clenched fist technique and often found himself squeezing his hand several times to ‘ re-charge ’ the positive feelings in his right hand. He was sleeping better and was enjoying using self-hypnosis. Tom was finding time to walk his dog again ( his mum had been helping out whilst he got himself settled in his new job and shift patterns ) and the walks were getting longer as he liked the feeling that he was using endorphins to mop up any excess adrenalin. 
I hope that you have enjoyed reading Tom’s story and if anything is of interest to you or you think any part of it will work for you please give me a call and we can discuss it. Therapy is different for everyone. I use the personal information that you chose to share with me to tailor make a treatment programme that is unique to you. 
Fiona : 07968 106113 
We will work together to find out where you are today and take you to where you want to be. 
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