“Hypnotherapy has changed my life,” says 18-year-old student Aimee Walsh.
Like many young Australians, Walsh has experienced anxiety brought on by the pressures of high school.
“For a significant portion of my early high school years, I was stressed out and constantly worried,” she says.
“I found that little things really played on my mind, whether it was studying for an upcoming test or just trying to make friends … I had this lingering fear of stuffing up.”
Determined to rid her anxiety for good, the then 13-year-old turned to Rapid Transformational Therapy, a treatment that targets the root cause of negative thoughts by planting empowering suggestions in the subconscious mind using hypnotherapy.
“I was super hesitant at first, but I trusted the process and sure enough, before I knew it, the thought of high school didn’t make me anxious anymore,” Walsh says.
According to Beyond Blue, one in four Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.
Perth-based entertainer and comedy hypnotist Matt Hale says hypnotherapy techniques can be implemented to help people cope with their mental health struggles.
“It’s just a case of breaking a pattern which has automatically been running and there’s certain ways of being able to put a spanner in the works of that pattern so it doesn’t automatically run anymore,” he explains.
Aside from entertaining crowds at his FRINGE Festival shows, Hale runs hypnotherapy sessions for people wanting to quit smoking, sleep better, lose weight, stress less or relieve anxiety.
His advice for people struggling with anxiety: “If there’s a certain situation that always brings on a feeling of anxiety, every day start thinking for two or three minutes: what would that feel like if I went into that situation and it was perfect? How do I want to feel when I go into that situation?
“If you can get your mind around feeling like that, your mind starts to blur the reality and the imagination so that when you get to that situation it feels like you’ve been there before.”
Although hypnotherapy has proved to be effective for many, Aimee Walsh says it’s not a cheap method of anxiety relief.
However she highly recommends the alternative therapy for anyone who has the money to spend and is open-minded.
“You have to trust the process and believe it’ll work, otherwise it’s not worth it,” she says.
According to Hale, all it takes is a little bit of effort.
“We are all going to get thoughts that we don’t like,” he says. “We’re not going to like every thought that comes our way. Even the happiest person has horrible thoughts at times.
“You have to realise that you can have these thoughts, but you don’t have to be a victim of them.
“You can realise that it’s just your brain thinking and then try give more weight to positive ways of thinking.”