Hypnotherapy, an evidence-based therapy, with over 70,000 research references worldwide, is becoming ever more popular and is being seen as a positive alternative for healthcare needs, especially as GPs in the UK become stretched almost to breaking point.
Two recent news reports show that there is a place for hypnotherapy. One, in the Mail on Sunday, said there has been an increase in the number of children being seen by hypnotherapists for stress and anxiety related issues.
Another report, by the BBC, said 1 in 10 teachers were being prescribed anti-depressant drugs to help them cope with the pressures of their jobs with 7% of teachers using or increasing their use of prescribed drugs.
The BBC also highlighted 14% had undergone counseling, adding that 79% of teachers responding to a NASUWT survey had experienced work-related anxiety and 5% have been admitted to hospital.
When looking at both of these articles in conjunction it shows school has become a stressful environment for both teacher and student alike.
Clinical hypnotherapy has a proven track record for treating stress and anxiety and that may be why it is becoming the treatment of choice for a new generation of parents and adults.
National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) Marketing Director Richard Lepper said: “It could be that pharmaceuticals were used in a lot of cases as the primary response for GPs. This could be exasperated in the future due to the time and financial constraints being placed on the NHS and doctors in general by the Government. In the past hypnotherapy would have been a ‘last chance saloon’ for sufferers.
“However, due to the reputation and success of well-trained hypnotherapists, hypnotherapy is moving into the mainstream and becoming a first point of call, rather than the last bastion of hope.”
In 2014, The Pharmaceutical Journal published an article headlined: GPs can lighten their workload by employing pharmacists while also gaining valuable clinical support.
The magazine, published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “Pharmacists forming part of the clinical team within GP surgeries could do much to address the workload issues being faced by GPs. Royal College of General Practitioners chairman Maureen Baker has described a desperate shortage of GPs in many parts of the UK, with general practice ‘teetering on the brink of collapse’.”
Lepper also said: “The vast majority of parents are reluctant to start on a course of prescribed drugs for their children as a first start and so are looking for positive alternatives.
“The reputation and success of trained hypnotherapists, along with an NHS that cannot offer the time and resources it would like to offer, could well be why NCH therapists are seeing an increase in parents seeking our help for their children.
“Our research shows those who treat children are extremely well trained and those who don’t treat children refer on to a known expert in the field. All our training schools have guidelines on the treatment of children so we have been ahead of the game for some time.”
Confirming this, NCH chairman Graham Russell said: “The main purpose of the National Council for Hypnotherapy is to set required standard of training for our registered hypnotherapists to achieve along with a code of conduct and ethics, and a complaints process.
“All our registered therapists are required to be insured for public indemnity.”
The Mail on Sunday report warned against seeking treatment from non-qualified people and Russell commented: “While it is true that hypnotherapy is not a protected name this is true for most professions both in and outside the medical world.
“For example, anyone can call themselves a therapist, a psychotherapist or a counsellor. The public should be wary of engaging with any therapist who does not meet NCH requirements.”
The NHS describes hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy that uses hypnosis, which is an altered state of consciousness and says hypnosis is widely promoted as a treatment for various long-term conditions and for breaking certain habits.
The NCH is the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association, representing over 1800 professional hypnotherapists. It adds that hypnotherapy can be helpful for many symptoms and behavioural conditions such as IBS, weight management, smoking cessation, anxiety, skin conditions and of course help during pregnancy and childbirth. One of the first places any individual seeking help should go to is to the NCH register of practitioners.