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Panic Attacks in Salisbury

It is a fact that about 13 out of every 100 men and 32 out of every 100 women suffer from panic attacks.

Karen Stanley is a qualified hypnotherapy practitioners and have had a great deal of experience with patients looking to cope with panic attacks or generalised or specific anxieties.

They practice from Amesbury and for a confidential discussion or an appointment

phone 01980 591691 or click on Karen Stanley.

Typical symptoms of a panic attack may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Choking sensations
  • Palpitations and an accelerated heart rate
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Depersonalisation or derealisation
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Flushes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • A fear of having a heart attack or stroke
  • A fear that the person is 'out of control'.
From the above, it will be obvious that before any hypno-theraputic intervention takes place a patient must consult their GP to ensure that there is no organic cause of the symptoms. In fact, I insist that before commencing treatment a patient must have been diagnosed by their GP as suffering from panic attacks/panic disorder (panic disorder is defined as: the presence of recurrent unexpected panic attacks, followed by at least one month of concern about having another attack ).
Panic escalation:
Panic escalation usually exhibits four distinct phases
•  The person makes unrealistic self-statements that keep them in a state of constant alarm and their body becomes tense due to the 'fight or flight' response.
•  The person begins to fear the fear itself. As the nerves and body become more sensitised the person begins to anticipate the panic attack, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
•  The person begins to reject their own rational feelings and thoughts as the fear escalates. This is known as recursive anxiety.
•  The person begins to avoid any situation where they perceive that they may experience feelings of panic. If they do enter an avoided situation then a panic attack occurs and the self-fulfilling prophesy is fulfilled.
Typically over three sessions, lasting approximately one hour each. The cost of each session is £75. The patient must be prepared to practice breathing techniques taught in the sessions and to gradually expose themselves to situations in which, in the past, they have experienced feelings of anxiety. This is fully discussed before the patient puts themselves in a previously anxiety-inducing situation and is an important part of the therapy.

Session 1 :
Establishes what the patient wishes to gain from therapy. Discussion/explanation of symptoms. Case history (when did the first attack occur, what was happening in the patients life at the time). Breathing techniques to prevent hyperventilation. The patient is introduced to the idea of a 'favourite place of relaxation' ~ a technique for calming irrational fears. In trance, the patient is invited to 'see themselves in the future' reacting to a previously stress-inducing situation in a calmer, more relaxed way.
A contract for action. The patient agrees to use the breathing techniques if they find themselves in a stress-inducing situation.
Session 2:
Discussion about the patient's practicing of breathing techniques and (if agreed) their reaction to a situation where in the past they had suffered a mild degree of anxiety. Use is made of hypno-behavioural techniques ~ becoming aware of what is happening externally rather than internally. As an alternative therapy, the use of EMDR (eye movement de-sensitising and reprocessing) may be suitable for some patients.
Session 3:
A discussion about the event which initially produced the panic attack. With the patients agreement (and if I feel it appropriate) a possible regression to that first, 'seeding event' so that the patient can imagine themselves reacting in a different, calmer more rational way, to that event. It is important to note that the patient does not actually re-experience the 'seeding event' as that might serve to re-traumatise them. Rather, they view the event as if watching a video or film, seeing themselves reacting differently. The patient is taught self-hypnosis, both in and out of trance. A self-hypnosis tutorial on CD/tape is given to the patient for self-study.
It should be appreciated that the above is only a guide outline. The actual contents of each session may vary according to patient's needs.





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