How solution focused hypnotherapy can help people living with neurodiverse conditions

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Although the focus of my business is around those living with ADHD, I also work with clients who may have other neurodiverse conditions.

For some people, the issues they come to see me about aren’t specifically related to being neurodiverse. Some examples are depression, anxiety, insomnia and problems with eating. These clients find it useful working with someone who understands neurodiversity. As I am neurodiverse myself, I understand that sometimes I need to adapt my techniques to make them work to suit my client’s needs. I try to understand their uniqueness and won’t ever patronise or try to make clients fit into a neurotypical stereotype – think “all you need to do is be more organised”!

I was diagnosed myself with ADHD, ASD and Irlens syndrome in early 2019 and have experienced first hand the results that solution focused hypnotherapy can have on my associated symptoms. 

So here is how solution focused hypnotherapy can help people living with neurodiverse conditions.

Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a common disorder affecting movement and coordination, making daily life a little more challenging.

Symptoms of dyspraxia include:

  • · Problems with coordination, balance and movement
  • · Ability to learn new skills, thinking and remembering information more challenging
  • · Difficulty in daily living skills such as dressing or preparing meals
  • · Difficulty writing, typing, drawing and sometimes grasping objects
  • · Uncomfortable or difficulty during social situations
  • · Hard to deal with emotions
  • · Poor time management, planning and personal organisation

People with dyspraxia may also have other conditions including:

  • · ADHD
  • · Dyslexia
  • · Autism 
  • · Dyscalculia 
  • · Depression 
  • · Anxiety

As with any neurodiverse condition, there is no cure.  BUT there are methods available to help make everyday life that bit easier, whilst managing associated symptoms.  One of these methods being hypnotherapy.

Dyspraxia can have a big effect on everyday life, leading to feelings of stress, overwhelm, anxiety and depression.  In the short-term, we can cope with difficult situations. However, prolonged periods of anxiety and stress can cause a problem and ruin our quality of life.  In addition, stress can make the symptoms of dyspraxia worse. 

Hypnotherapy uses gentle, safe and effective methods to reduce the build up of stress, allowing you to feel more in charge of your life again.

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty causing people trouble learning to read and write.  It’s estimated that 1 in every 10 people in the UK are affected to some degree by dyslexia.  Being a lifelong condition, it can cause daily challenges for those with dyslexia.  

A person with dyslexia may:

  • · Confuse the sequence of letters in words
  • · Read and write slowly
  • · Put letters around the wrong way such as ‘d’ and ‘b’
  • · Be poor spellers
  • · Can understand verbal information but struggle when it’s written down
  • · Find it hard to follow a sequence of directions
  • · Struggle with planning and organisation

People with dyslexia may also have other conditions including:

  • · Dyscalculia (difficulty with maths)
  • · ADHD
  • · Dyspraxia

As with other neurodivergent conditions, there are associated side effects and symptoms that come with having dyslexia, including phobias, panic attacks, problems with concentration, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.  The anxiety experienced by someone with dyslexia can be situational (e.g. when expected to write in front of others), or more generalised (e.g. as a result of the build up of longer term overwhelm and stress). These can have significant effects on a person’s quality of life.

Hypnotherapy can help overcome the anxiety and fear associated with specific situations as well as to reduce generalised anxiety which has built up over months or years.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a behavioural disorder that causes symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.  It can affect people’s emotions, behaviour and the ability to learn new things. ADHD is divided into three different types:

  • · Inattentive
  • · Hyperactive-impulsive
  • · Combination

It is typically thought of as a childhood disorder, however, it can continue into adulthood. 

Symptoms in adult ADHD can include (although doesn’t mean you will have them all):

  • · Carelessness and lack of attention to detail
  • · Starting new tasks before finishing old ones
  • · Poor organisation
  • · Inability to focus or prioritise things
  • · Losing and misplacing things
  • · Forgetfulness
  • · Restlessness
  • · Sometimes finding it difficult to keep quiet 
  • · Mood swings, irritability and a quick temper
  • · Inability to cope with stress
  • · Impatience
  • · Risk taker 

People with ADHD may also have other conditions including:

  • · Personality disorders
  • · Bipolar disorder
  • · Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

There are a number of methods to help with symptoms of ADHD.  Again, it’s not something that will change, however, things like hypnotherapy can help make the quality of your daily life much easier.

During my sessions, I work with you.  You know you better than anyone else. But I can help lead you into finding your unique solutions for the difficulties you face specifically and to become the very best version of yourself.  To start living a better life.  

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is sometimes referred to as ‘maths dyslexia’ where people who have dyscalculia struggle to learn and understand numbers, how to manipulate numbers or perform mathematical calculations.  

There are two different types of dyscalculia: developmental dyscalculia, which is a learning disability and acquired dyscalculia, which is usually as a result of a brain injury or stroke.

Typical symptoms include:

  • · Difficulty counting backwards
  • · Difficulty remembering ‘basic’ facts
  • · Slow to perform calculations
  • · Weak mental arithmetic skills
  • · A poor sense of numbers and estimation
  • · Difficulty understanding place value
  • · Addition is often the default way of processing
  • · High levels of mathematics anxiety

Just like with dyslexia, people with dyscalculia can sometimes develop anxiety, panic attacks and a fear of numbers as a result of their condition.  Equally the build up of months or even years, of stress and overwhelm can lead to the symptoms of generalised anxiety. Hypnotherapy helps to gently and safely reduce anxiety and retrain the part of your mind that responds to stress, to encourage it to respond more appropriately.  

My approach to fears and phobias is tailored to each individual client’s needs.  How one person suffers will be very different to another. Our primitive subconscious mind responds when it feels threatened by someone or something.  Its response is to react in a way to keep us safe. But sometimes the subconscious mind will bypass the part of the brain that makes decisions, making an instant call on how we should react, based on past experiences.  This is the part of the mind that we need to change through hypnotherapy.

Autistic Spectrum

Someone who is autistic can sometimes act a little different to other people.  Autistic people can sometimes find it hard to communicate and interact with others, have difficulty understanding how other people think and feel, become overwhelmed by bright lights or noises, get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events, take longer to understand things and think of the same things over and over.  

As with ADHD, not all autistic people will have all of these signs and symptoms.  Nobody knows what causes autism, or even if there is an actual cause. However, it can affect people in the same family so is assumed that it can pass between parents and children. 

Those who are autistic may also have other conditions including:

  • · ADHD
  • · Dyslexia
  • · Anxiety
  • · Depression
  • · Epilepsy

Some commonly recognised signs of autism can include:

  • · Avoiding eye contact
  • · Delayed speech and communication skills
  • · Reliance on rules and routines
  • · Feeling upset by what appear to be minor changes
  • · Unexpected reactions to sounds, tastes, touch, smells and sights
  • · Difficulty understanding other people’s emotions and reactions
  • · Focusing on or becoming obsessed by a small range of interests
  • · Repetitive behaviour such as flapping hands, arms or rocking

Many autistic people work very hard to hide their autistic traits, called “masking”.  This is a way of fitting into a neurotypical world, but it can be very draining and have huge impacts on an autistic person’s wellbeing.  

Being autistic myself, I can relate to some of the challenges that autistic people face on a daily basis.  But it doesn’t mean that life has to stop and that people with autism can’t lead happy and fulfilled lives.  

My methods can be modified to individual client needs.  Using this approach, I can tailor sessions to work with clients on a particular struggle they may be facing.  As well as looking at ways of helping autistic people to relax and combat some of the anxious feelings they are holding onto.  Sessions tend to follow a predictable structure and yet guided by what is important to the person I am working with. So it can suit people who are autistic incredibly well. 

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary movements and sounds called tics.  People with Tourette can sometimes have both physical and vocal tics.  

Physical tics can include:

  • · Blinking
  • · Eye rolling
  • · Grimacing
  • · Shrugging shoulders
  • · Jerking or limbs
  • · Jumping and twirling
  • · Touching objects and other people

Vocal tics can include:

  • · Grunting
  • · Clearing throat
  • · Whistling
  • · Coughing
  • · Tongue clicking
  • · Animal sounds
  • · Saying random words and phrases
  • · Repeating the same sound, word or phrase
  • · Swearing

Tics aren’t harmful to a person’s overall health, although jerking of the head can cause some pain and discomfort.  They can, however, become increasingly worse when people become stressed, anxious or tired.

In addition, the verbal and motor tics that are experienced by the person with Tourettes can lead to social anxiety, fears, and embarrassment. 

There are medications to try and reduce the severity of tics, but as with any medication, there can be unwanted side effects.  It’s not curable but there are therapies, including hypnotherapy, which can look at reducing the frequency and intensity of tics and to overcome phobias, fears and anxiety, so that you can feel confident and enjoy life more again. 

If you want to find out more about how I can help with your neurodiverse condition, why not get in touch here.  Or if you want to take action today, book in for an assessment consultation here.