There are so many people suffering with one form or another of a group of disorders that don’t fit neatly into any category and for which there is no one current effective treatment.
Relatively little is known about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and the range of Eating Disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia.” More is known about the eating disorders but still they persist as a real problem for many people”.
Just lately I’ve noticed an increase in the number of people asking him to help them with one of these conditions. Any of these can cause major disruption to the life of the sufferer, and that’s just what they do…suffer. Some people find help with drug treatments or with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) but these approaches do not work for everyone. I got into this profession to help people, and so I have spent many long hours studying and searching out all that is known about these conditions and their treatments. I have been working with a young man with severe Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and found the therapy to be helping him to gradually strip away his feelings of being ‘ugly’ and ‘disgusting to look at’ and to form a new image of himself. It’s early days yet, but so far results in all the above mentioned conditions are very encouraging.
BDD – Body dysmorphic disorder – is a term used to describe a condition which involves feeling bad about some aspect of the body, the way it looks, smells or sounds, BDD gives rise to, for example, ‘my ears are too big’, my nose is too small’, my skin is too spotty’, I sweat too much’, ‘my voice sounds silly’ I just don’t like the way I look, etc.
These ‘bad feelings’ generated by BDD can be very exaggerated and tend to give rise to a large range of coping mechanisms and ‘safety behaviours’, depending upon the intensity of the feelings.
For example, people with BDD will repeatedly check the way they look in the mirror or reflective surfaces such as shop windows, apply excessive makeup, or attempt to mask their appearance, constantly asking for reassurance from family, friends and sometimes even lesser known acquaintances.
To Stop the BDD, four basic techniques are used during treatment.
Firstly people who have suffered from body dysmorphic disorder are taught to relax and distress. This helps more than most people imagine. They are gently introduced to hypnosis and to the many therapeutic techniques that can be effectively employed to help them.
Secondly, a brief look at the feelings and emotions causing this challenge for a person are softened in a symbolic and non-threatening way (a bit like a pre-wash cycle on a washing machine)..
Third, people are taught how to get out of those obsessive loops of thought which have given rise to the feelings which have in turn given rise to the behaviours. This involves literally re-training the conscious mind how to think differently. And the Subconscious mind how to set up new, alternative, or better thought patterns. we use a range of hypnotherapeutic models to re-pattern the behaviours at a deeper unconscious level.
Fourth, people are helped to project themselves and their new positive and confident self image into the future.
The estimated number of sessions for the treatment of BDD is 6 – 10, and theses sessions will be weekly for sessions 1 – 4. Further sessions will normally be scheduled at two weekly intervals. The first session is 120 minutes and all following sessions are normally 60 – 90 minutes.
Alan is very happy to provide free consultations to anyone interested in finding out about his work and how this form of Clinical Hypnosis might help them. They can then make an informed discussion after perhaps checking back with their GP or consultant. Any Clinical Hypnotherapists not conversant with these conditions can also contact Alan for an update about his methods.