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The mind power of Virtual Reality

When you see the words ‘virtual reality’, your first thoughts are probably that we’re talking about video and computer games, and other forms of entertainment. While virtual reality (VR) headsets have been the ultimate gaming accessory for a while now; more recently VR designers have joined forces with therapists and other medical professionals to utilise the software as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of certain mental disorders. Virtual reality technology has proven itself valuable in treating everything from phobias, to anxiety, depression and even addictions.

Similar to exposure therapy, virtual reality technology helps patients confront their fears or phobias and learn new ways to manage them. Several studies have found virtual reality to be effective in the treatment of fears such as fear of heights, flying, public speaking and even spiders. The technology is also being harnessed in fields such as pain management, physical rehabilitation and post-traumatic stress.

You might be wondering how VR rates as an alternative to traditional exposure therapy where the patient is encouraged to visualise the object of their fear before slowly being introduced to it in real life. While VR is very similar to exposure therapy, it does have the advantage of being cheaper and easier to control. For the patient it is also less intimidating. The thought of having to come in direct contact with what frightens you or causes you any form of pain or discomfort is not very appealing to most patients, even if they know it can benefit them. This is where VR has the upper hand.

Virtual reality uses simulations – using a computer-generated world and headset, consciously the patient knows there is no direct threat. This makes them feel comfortable enough to interact with their given fear or phobia in a controlled, virtual environment. Think about it; if you had a phobia of spiders, would you feel more comfortable facing a real or a virtual spider?

If you’ve never had to deal with a phobia yourself, you might be questioning the effectiveness of a simulation over confronting the real thing. The truth is people suffering from a phobia only need the presence of a spider’s leg or the view from the top of a tall building to trigger a strong emotional response. Simulations are the perfect way to do this, and are therefore sufficient at initiating the process to help a patient manage or gain control over their fear.

If you want to find out how virtual reality therapy could help you, contact us for a free initial consultation today.

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How hypnosis can help your child

Did you know that children are the perfect candidates for hypnosis? The suggestibility of their mind makes them particularly receptive to hypnosis, significantly more than adults. They don’t have the years of conditioning and resistance that adults have. It is through their vivid imaginations that children can be successfully placed in a hypnotic trance through the use of storytelling, which can bring about effective results very quickly.

Children are more receptive to suggestions of change. They are not as likely to question the process, making them easy for a hypnotherapist to work with. Adults in comparison are often reluctant and tend to resist being hypnotised, and therefore can be harder to treat.

Recognised as an effective form of therapy for young people, hypnosis can help treat a number of problems, issues and disorders in children. Common problems include:

  • School-related anxieties;
  • Attention deficits;
  • Stuttering;
  • Fears and phobias; and
  • Sleep-related issues including nightmares and bed wetting.

At Brand New Mindset one area we focus on is sleep hypnosis for children; in particular a technique called the Goulding SleepTalk® method. This process teaches parents to work one-on-one with their child while the child is sleeping to help them develop a more positive mindset. The 2-minute process is suitable for children up to the age of 16 years and is an auto-suggestion technique that has parents speaking to their child’s subconscious mind while they sleep.

The Goulding SleepTalk® process isn’t a cure for illnesses, but a gentle way to enhance a child’s self-esteem and make their lives more positive.

Most parents would agree that it is difficult for children to confidently deal with issues in their life if they are anxious, fearful, and unhappy. Children trying to cope with bed-wetting, anger or fear for example, can be anxious, sad, and lack self-confidence. Through positive suggestion, therapists can guide a child’s behaviours towards effective changes that will help them to achieve better results in school, boost their confidence and overall enjoy a more joyful childhood.

If you would like to find out more about hypnosis for children, contact us today and book an initial consultation.

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Fear, phobia or anxiety – what’s the difference?

As humans we are biologically wired to be scared of certain things. These are normally things that will cause us grievous bodily harm, think snakes and spiders. Fear serves to protect us by signalling danger and kicking our ‘fight or flight’ response into gear.

We are all scared of different things and experience fear at different levels of intensity – for some people seeing a snake will make them cautious and move slowly away whereas someone else may be paralysed with fear. So, how do you tell the difference between a fear and a phobia, and for that matter, anxiety?

A Fear

Fear is a natural, emotional response to the threat of real danger. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat to one’s safety.

Anxiety

Fear should not be confused with anxiety, which is very similar to fear but usually occurs without any external threat. With anxiety you anticipate a future danger. Anxiety can be mild, such as being slightly nervous before and exam; or intense. Mild anxiety can motivate you to act, for example by studying for your exam. Intense anxiety, however, can cause you to avoid a specific situation. Sometimes anxiety can be out of proportion.

A Phobia

Phobias are best described as an intense or irrational reaction to something or a given situation. The sufferer often experiences feelings completely out of their control. Once made aware, a sufferer will actively ensure that they never find themselves in any situation that could trigger a phobic reaction.

While phobias vary in severity from person to person, some people can experience panic attacks which can be incapacitating. Most people know that their feat is irrational, but they feel powerless to stop it.

Treatments such as hypnotherapy are very effective in treating phobias as they can help change perceptions of what it is that scares us. Along with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Hypnotherapy can help to gradually desensitise the person to the fear producing object. Relaxation and visualisation techniques usually accompany hypnotherapy and help to form new emotional habits such as being calmer and more relaxed; helping to neutralise the impact of fears and phobias.

If you find yourself being limited by a fear or phobia, you might like to consider an effective, non-invasive form of treatment such as hypnosis. If you’d like to find out more about hypnotherapy, contact us today.

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Do you have a fear of change?

Most of us associate fear or feelings of anxiety with some kind of danger. But fear or anxiety can also be a reaction to something that simply pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and more often than not you can have these feelings without anything bad having happened. We’re talking about a fear of change.

Change, really? Why be afraid of change? Well in fact there is some sense to it. From early on in our lives routine and structure make us feel safe, confident and in control of what’s going on in our lives. When a change comes along – positive or negative, big or small, it disturbs the norm. The fear of the unknown can cause anxiety and while we can’t stop change from happening, there are things you can do to help how you respond to it:

  • Get organised – The more organised you feel, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with change.
  • Get familiar – Be prepared. We tend to fear that which we don’t know so why not tackle the fear by building your knowledge and familiarity with those things that make you nervous. Taking on a new position at work? Why not reach out to a friend or a family member who has been through a promotion recently and ask about how they managed the change.
  • Get excited! Embrace it! – As mentioned earlier, we can’t stop change from happening so instead of hesitating or feeling nervous by it simple embrace it. It will help you adjust better and settle in quicker to the change.
  • Get out – While facing our fears and anxieties is one of the best ways to overcome them, sometimes it is necessary to leave or remove ourselves from the source of our stress or anxiety. It can be just as effective to take a step back and take care of ourselves.

If your fear of change is limiting your life or causing you stress, contact a member of the Brand New Mindset team today.