Patients who are dealing with anxiety and stress as a result of life changing diagnoses may be suitable for clinical hypnotherapy which is now being offered through Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust – thanks to training that was funded by its Well Wishers charity.
Dr Shradha Lakhani, Consultant Clinical Psychologist in oncology and palliative care, accessed the Intensive Diploma in Hypnotherapy over a series of sessions towards the end of last year.
Dr Lakhani explained: “For patients who are trying to cope with life changing events such as a medical diagnosis clinical hypnotherapy may be helpful to them and our psychology team felt this was an additional skill that we could acquire so that we are able to offer this support.
“Evidence has shown that clinical hypnotherapy helps patients deal with anxieties and stresses – they may be fearing diagnostic tests such as MRI/CT scans because of claustrophobia as an example.
“Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for cancer and palliative care patients naturally cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Alongside our existing tools of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and relaxation, hypnotherapy is another approach that we can offer patients who may struggle with the focus required for present moment awareness as in mindfulness-based techniques. Clinical hypnotherapy does not specifically focus on present moment awareness and allows a window of opportunity through relaxation to work with the unconscious mind in helping to build strength and resilience in times of adversity.
“We are grateful to Well Wishers for funding this additional training as it is a service above and beyond what the NHS is expected to provide but it will positively impact a number of patients who are in need of additional support.”