Eric Whitfield – Architect – age 54
* I was forced to seek some stress management by my wife – life at home was becoming unbearable for her and my kids because of my moods. Work stress was the cause as 30% of my colleagues were made redundant. I was terrified of losing my job and started to put in ridiculous hours and taking on way too much work.
My home life pretty much disappeared as my work life took over. I didn’t have time for the family at weekends as I was either catching up on work or too tired to go out and do anything enjoyable. My interest in sex evaporated and I didn’t have the desire or energy anymore. Even when my family would complain about my behaviour I was too stressed to acknowledge I had a problem. I just thought my anxiety and irritability were the side-effect of a miserable time at work and there was nothing I could do about it.
Working with Alix helped change all of that. Although I was very hesitant to try this ‘therapy’ stuff at first (my wife made my first appointment for me), Alix made me feel comfortable and initially talked me through what to expect from our sessions together. What I learned was invaluable – that although I couldn’t change external circumstances, I could change how I dealt with them. I became more confident at my job and instead of putting in 200% because of fear. I put my best 100% into the job and started to feel better about myself and my performance.
Learning how to control stress made such a huge difference in my energy levels and I not only regained a home life but my work life became much more efficient and satisfying. I never thought stress could have such a big impact on my family life and felt so much better when I realised that stress management could help me deal with a bad situation more effectively.
Alix’s comments on dealing with Stress.
If stress is not managed, it can have a detrimental effect on the person concerned and those closest to them. In Eric’s case he didn’t even recognise he was experiencing stress which is often the case for people who are working long hours without a break. Because of his anxiety about losing his job, Eric was pushing himself too hard and was losing all perspective. The longer he continued operating this way, the more stressed he was becoming and he was getting close to a state of burnout or a nervous breakdown.
This is where the body shuts down mentally and physically to prevent further damage. Recovery from this state can take a very long time. Hypnotherapy gave Eric time and space to discuss his problems He was able to take a step back and recognise how counter-productive his working habits had become and how they were having a negative impact on his health and family relationships.
Using hypnotherapy he was able to recognise what was causing him to lose sleep and feel so stressed. His father had bullied him as a child and now this present situation was creating a similar stress response.
Over three sessions Eric began to deal with his stress more effectively. He overcame his fear of appearing weak and had a conversation with his boss which he had been avoiding. As a result his workload was adjusted to became more manageable.
The stress counselling and hypnosis helped Eric to adjust his lifestyle, exercising and eating a healthier diet, both essential in managing stress. Eric also learnt to value and respect himself more and although he is still very busy, he now has a bank of useful techniques which he uses regularly. Needless to say, he’s much happier at work and his family relationships have improved significantly.