Solution focused Hypnotherapy and Psychosis

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is when people lose some contact with reality. This might involve seeing or hearing things that other people cannot see or hear (hallucinations) and believing things that are not actually true (delusions). 

There are two main symptoms, Hallucinations, where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that do not exist outside their mind but can feel very real to the person affected by them; a common hallucination is hearing voices. And Delusions, where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others; a common delusion is someone believing there's a conspiracy to harm them. The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour. Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.

It's sometimes possible to identify the cause of psychosis as a specific mental health condition, schizophrenia, a condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions, bipolar disorder, a mental health condition that affects mood, a person with bipolar disorder can have episodes of low mood and highs and Severe depression, some people with depression also have symptoms of psychosis when they're very depressed.

Psychosis can also be triggered. Trauma, Stress, anxiety, addictions and sometimes brain tumours can cause a psychotic episode. If we as Solution Focused Therapists witness a client who is experiencing a Psychotic episode, we should immediately seek assistance from the client’s medical practitioner.

If it is identified at the initial Consultation that a client is or has been diagnosed with a mental illness, whether currently taking medication or has previously taken it, then at these times we should contact their GP and our supervisor for advice. We should get clarification that what we can do for the client, will do no harm.

Talking therapies can help reduce anxiety levels in those who suffer, CBT is often prescribed alongside medications. If underlying anxiety can be reduced, this helps the medication be more effective in helping to prevent Psychotic episodes. Therefore, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy could assist in anxiety reduction and potentially reducing or stopping any addictions that the client may have.

I strongly believe that if the Solution Focused Hypnotherapist has even the slightest reservation regarding dealing with a client with a diagnosed Mental Illness, they should refer to a colleague with the experience to give the level of support the client needs. We should always work within our limits of experience to give the best possible care.

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