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1) "You said you've tried hypnosis/ hypnotherapy, how was it?"
YES. I have. As I've mentioned before, my psychiatrist is really great at suggesting holistic methods instead of jumping straight to medicine(s). He referred me to someone in particular but unfortunately it was a couple of cities away and was hard for me to travel to during the work week. I went online and simply searched "hypnotherapy for anxiety". After doing some research, I chose to reach out to one lady whose website and reviews drew me in. I met with her and she was clearly very spiritual and focused a lot of her hypnotherapy off of spiritual aspects (not religion per say but more like spirit guides, etc.) I don't really have a strong opinion on that kind of stuff either side, but she was super calming and engaging so I didn't mind trying a route I normally wouldn't have tried! In fact, she did ask me about my religious or spiritual beliefs to make sure she wasn't stepping on my toes. We spent the first session chatting about all of my issues. I can't remember what this is called... but she had me do something very interesting where I sat in three different places on the couch and spoke as "different versions of me." So first, I sat in the middle of the couch, explained my current predicament, then I moved to the left of the couch which represented my super negative and anxious side and spoke as that person, finally, I moved to the right of the couch and spoke as a really happy and outgoing version of myself. Very interesting! Most of our sessions started this way then went into a guided hypnosis or a "trance" as she called it. She would tailor the hypnosis based on what I told her I wanted to work on. Essentially, she would have me lay on her couch, lights off, close my eyes, and with her angelic voice she would guide me through a meditation. It wasn't what you would think of when you think of hypnosis, I was fully conscious and aware of what was happening / she stayed in her own chair the whole time and didn't move my body or do anything weird..
What was awesome was that she allowed me to record the audio of her meditation so I can and still do listen to it on my phone from time to time!
I wouldn't say that it helped immensely but it definitely was a great addition to my tool box of helpful anxiety mediation. It was a nice experience and I'm really happy with the recordings I have forever.
You should note that most people that show up when you Google hypnotherapists aren't medical professionals. This particular women had gone through hypnotherapy certifications and education; make sure you are researching the background on your hypnotherapist to make sure they are legitimate!