Another thing I want to do this week is contact Coventry adult education service and offer to run some group workshops in Guided Imagery and Self-hypnosis for relaxation, stuff like that. of course I'm also torn, because I don't want to be away from my kids in the evenings and at weekends, even though they aren't tiny any longer.
At the moment on my course we are learning to combine hypnotherapy with cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). I'm not intending to become a CBT practitioner (the NHS just announced plans to recruit an additional 10,000 of these BTW) because I wouldn't want to be limited to that approach, but it's useful to have a repertoire of approaches that you can choose from on the hoof according to a client's needs.
Supposing a client was suffering from panic attacks, where their heart raced, they thought they were dying, that made them panic more etc. A CBT approach would be to concentrate on the immediate causality of the attack - encourage the client to examine the automatic negative thought processes which they are repeating in the lead-up to an attack, and give them strategies for derailing them. You might give them 'homework' which would be to record every attack during the week and give a percentage likelihood that they were going to die. Using those sort of artificial rational exercises is very successful in treating those kinds of immediately debilitating problems. It is admittedly, and designedly, a quick-fix approach which just works on a limited and defined problem.
Combining that with hypnotherapy or NLP would involve giving them perhaps anchors or triggers which would reinforce this needed 'jump' out of the habitual train of thought. In NLP for instance you might get them to associate a physical movement (like pressing thumb and forefinger together) with a feeling of being in control. The person can then use this method without anyone else noticing, next time they feel overwhelmed by panic. This type of thing isn't part of CBT but you can imagine it helping.
Other longer-term strategies aren't funded (generally) on the NHS. Those would be about looking at the underlying causality, something which CBT deliberately excludes. I like imagery work, where you deal directly with the metaphors and symbols that characterise unconscious processes. However, I understand that the NHS has to concentrate funds on solving the huge number of acute problems which make it hard for people to participate in society as well as they might.