Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy & Counseling
Non-invasive relief & help for many of the challenges of
The cancer patient, family & friends
I assist individuals diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families, friends and care-givers.
Cancer is a very difficult situation to deal with – on many levels – for the patient and for those who are related closely to the patient.
I provide a variety of highly effective, efficient and caring interventions to help those who are affected.
Regarding the information in the accordions below:
I can help my patients with each issue addressed below – with or without the use of hypnosis.
As a clinical and medical psychologist, I utilize a variety of psycho-therapeutic approaches, interventions and tools including – C.B.T. (cognitive behavioral therapy),counseling, psychotherapy, biofeedback, N.L.P. and others.
Although each issue addressed below can be treated non-hypnotically, I do recommend using hypnosis in treatment (for those who hypnosis is appropriate for)..
The fact that I am an expert in the utilization of hypnosis and self-hypnosis and have a lot of professional experience in the treatment of cancer patients, enables me to offer help that is usually more effective and safer than many standard therapeutic interventions.
Although, of course, I also provide counseling and psycho-therapeutic services which do not utilize hypnosis, because hypnosis can be significantly more helpful, effective, efficient and even enjoyable, I highly recommend to my patients that they consider using hypnosis and self-hypnosis as part of their treatment.
- Reduce or eliminate pain or discomfort – as a result of the cancer
- Reduce or eliminate side-effects of medications
- Reduce or eliminate pain or discomfort from invasive medical procedures – (biopsy, etc.)
- Reduce the need and dosage of pain medication
- Eliminate or reduce addiction to medication
- Reduce or eliminate side effects from medical procedures
- Reduce and or eliminate physiological stress
- Reduce or eliminate fear and anxiety from medical procedures (needles, doctors, etc.)
- Increase compliance with medical and healing requirements (medication, activities, restrictions)
- Reduce need for anesthesia and pain medication for surgery
- Reduce medication and enhance healing after surgery
- Enhance length and comfort of sleep (when necessary) feel more energetic and less fatigue
- Overcome sexual difficulties – enhance sexual response and enjoyment
- Reduce eating difficulties (chewing, swallowing)
- Increase motivation, compliance and enjoyment regarding diet and eating
- Increase effectiveness of the immune system
- Increase motivation, ease and success when certain activities must be stopped (smoking, etc.)
- Enhance rehabilitation compliance and enjoyment
- Avoid and eliminate somatization caused by psycho-emotional dynamics
- Efficiency of medical treatments are increased when the patient is prepared with hypnosis
- Physicians and staff work more effectively and comfortably when patient is prepared with hypnosis
Hypnosis For The Treatment of Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation
Most of the symptoms and difficulties that cancer patients face result from the above invasive treatment strategies. Hypnosis helps the oncology patient by reducing or eliminating these symptoms, and /or by coping with the negative psychological and emotional conditions and difficulties they cause.
Hypnosis & Self-Hypnosis can be helpful for the following side effects experienced from commonly used chemotherapy drugs such as: carboplatin, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and others.
- Pain in the jaw, joints, mouth, headache, abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in ears and hearing loss;
- Decreased appetite
- Taste changes
- Sexual dysfunction
- Fertility impairment
Radiation therapies cause the following side effects, for which hypnosis can be helpful:
- Skin changes (may include dryness, itching, peeling, or blistering),
- Hair loss
- Mouth problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sexual changes
- Trouble swallowing
- Urinary and bladder changes
- Joint problems
- Secondary cancer
It has been clinically proven that hypnosis and self-hypnosis can be effective in pain reduction in cancer patients. Hypnosis has the important advantage of not having the undesirable and often dangerous side effects of pain medication. For more additional information please read the professional articles that I have written on hypnosis for pain management. See the Pain Reduction & Management page on this website.
- Safe (when administered properly)
- Effective (many evidenced based studies have proven hypnosis to be effective for pain reduction, etc.)
- Side-effect free (almost never has any dangerous side effects when used properly)
- Non-iatrogenic (treatment does not produce negative consequences or side-effects)
- Reduces dangers and side effects of other procedures and medications
- Expeditious – therapeutic goals are reached more quickly
- Reduces patient’s pain, anxiety, fear and stress
- Aids in the success of healing treatment and recovery (deep relaxation, better sleep, confidence…)
- Inexpensive – (often costs less than other treatments are for a given medical or therapeutic goal)
- Can be administered anywhere and anytime
- Can be used in conjunction with other concurrent treatments
- Patients’ general compliance and cooperation is increased
- Pleasant (people report that hypnosis can provide the most relaxing and pleasurable experience in life)
- Increases patient safety & health (by reducing the need of dangerous medications)
- Works well as a complimentary treatment with standard medical procedures (enhances effectiveness)
- Provides a good alternative (when other interventions fail or cannot be utilized – e.g. anesthesia).
- Promotes physiological, cognitive, and emotional states of well-being
- Empowers – increases self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, self-love
- Depression can be avoided, reduced or eliminated
- Positive attitudes, beliefs, and habits are created and/or enhanced
- Motivation is increased – to comply with various aspects of treatment, to live, to be positive
- Hypnotherapy is proven effective in pain reduction, for pediatric, adult,and geriatric oncology patients
- Saves the patient and the health system money
- Medical condition (pain, symptoms, side-effects)
- Medical treatments (pain, swelling, physiological stress, gagging, etc.)
- Medication issues and side-effects (reducing pain medication, reducing psycho-active drugs..)
- Psychological-Emotional Difficulties & Goals
- Social Challenges
- Spiritual & Existential Questions, Issues & Goals
- Recovery & Rehabilitation
- Re-adjustments to life
- Treatment and recovery are enhanced
- Can be utilized upon need – no overdosing
- Reduces discomfort from side effects of treatments & medications
- Increases calm, relaxation, positive mind-body-emotion states
- Preparation for medical appointment and procedures – calm, relaxed, positive
- Medications for pain as well as psycho-active drugs are decreased and/or eliminated
- Side-effect free (no negative side-effects; many positive side-effects)
- Medical staff can work more effectively, efficiently, and pleasantly when the patient is in a positive state
- Pro-active participation is engaged – this makes the patient a partner and not an object
- Independence is enjoyed
- Reduced need for medical intervention and office appointments (increased self-regulation)
- Convenience – self-hypnosis can be done anywhere, anytime, and does not require any assistance
- Self-control and self-mastery are increased
- Helplessness and dependency are decreased
- Self-esteem and confidence are increased
- Aids in creating positive self-image
- Increases self-confidence and self-esteem
- No cost what-so-ever (except learning how to use self-hypnosis)
Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, Psychotherapy & Counseling help cancer patients get relief from a variety of psychological & emotional challenges, including:
- Identity and roles changes
- Aloneness & alienation
- Conversion reaction (physical pain and discomfort caused by psychological dynamics)
- Decreased appetite and enjoyment of food
- Decreased confidence – decreased self-esteem – self-worth
- Embarrassment from side effects (e.g. Hair loss, disfigurement, etc.)
- Fatigue (psycho-emotional)
- Fear of being abandoned
- Fear of being further disabled and fear of recurrence
- Fear of secondary malignancies (recurrence after recovery)
- Fear of death.
- Fear of pain, medical interventions, needles, surgery, anesthesia, doctors
- Financial worries
- Intimacy – fears, embarrassment, performance
- Life style changes – less time, fewer activities
- Loss – of control, self, health, identity,
- Negative consequences due to secondary gain motivations
- Night terrors
- Obsessive negative thoughts
- Pain from being constantly “on guard,” or from hyper-alertness to pain sensations,
- Performance anxiety
- Poor sleep
- Psychogenic symptoms related to relationships with family, work, or friends
- Psychosomatic symptoms caused by unhealthy beliefs and attitudes, religious issues
- Relationship difficulties
- Self-esteem, self-respect & self-love issues
- Sexual issues and difficulty functioning
- Side effects from medications (psycho-emotional)
- Suicidal & other self-destructive thoughts & psycho-emotional breakdown
- Psychological addiction to medication
Cancer patients sometimes lose the ability to function in a normal sexual way. Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis can be used to create alternative ways of enjoying sexual intimacy and pleasure.
Cancer can affect many aspects of a person’s life.
Therefore, help is provided in the following areas:
Although the cancer patient is the focus of treatment, others are also affected and need help and support. Those who need support, and often treatment, include:
- The person who has cancer
- The patient’s family, loved ones, friends, co-workers
- The patient’s support system
- The health professionals who are treating the patient
Sometimes the patient’s unhealthy psychological response to the cancer experience causes medical, psychological and emotional complications
Such responses can:
- Create, increase or maintain pain
- Interfere with medical treatment
- Keep the patient from being proactive in healing, which could make his condition worse or even fatal
- Develop into psychological disorders, such as clinical depression
Hypnotherapy can be utilized prevent and treat such reactions in a number of ways:
- Discover and treat cognitive, emotional, and behavioral disorders, triggers & root causes which cause, contribute and/or maintain symptoms
- Discover, examine, and correct unhealthy and destructive beliefs, thought patterns, and past conditioning
- Create and reinforce positive and healthy beliefs and thought patterns, as well as positive emotional states, and behavior patterns
- Access, release and treat repressed experiences which interfere with proper functioning
- Learn and reinforce new healthy defense mechanisms and patterns
- Heal trauma
- Help patients to healthfully cope with conditions that seem to be unable to be changed
Dealing with serious illness often presents the patient and others with difficult existential and spiritual questions and issues.
Appropriate counseling can help individuals, couples, families, and friends better deal with these challenging issues, including:
- Existential meaning of life questions
- Spiritual questions, difficulties or crisis
- Values clarification
- Identifying end-of-life goals
- Identification and dealing with unfinished business (self, family, friends)
- Setting priorities
- Preparation for dying and death
- Saying good bye to loved ones, family, friends, co-workers
Contra-Indications for the use of hypnosis
At times hypnosis is not recommended or appropriate for a particular patient. Whether hypnosis is utilized in the treatment of my patients is determined after consultation and evaluation of the patient, including the patient’s medical history, specific issues, goals and preferences.
Hypnosis is often contraindicated for individuals who suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, such as psychoses and schizophrenia.
Also, proper diagnosis needs to precede hypnotic pain management, (for example, in cases such as headache pain, to rule out the presence of a tumor).
A proper diagnosis and evaluation of each patient must be made before hypnosis is utilized.
It is only with my evaluation and approval, and written consent by the patient, that hypnosis will be utilized in treatment.
Often I consult with other physicians treating the client/patient as part of creating the proper treatment strategies and to ensure that there is harmony, coordination and consistency among treating health professionals.
Unexpected responses and consequences when using hypnosis.
Occasionally, during hypnosis the patient may feel physical or emotional discomfort; the hypnotherapist can guide the patient to correct this. Sometimes the hypnotic experience can yield unexpected results, including spontaneous regression, dissociation, abreaction, and the discovery of psychological and emotional difficulties the patient may be experiencing on an unconscious level, such as low self-esteem, fear, rage, etc.
Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are effective in helping the oncology patient in many ways, from pain reduction to increasing quality of life. Research and clinical experience show that the increased use of hypnosis and self-hypnosis in cancer treatment can reduce risks and negative side effects, enhance and accelerate treatment goals, and save money for the patient and the health system.
“My oncologist on a recent visit, stated that had I not both the physical and emotional strength that I now do, I would possibly not be here now. I know that the emotional strength that I now have is in a great part thanks to the support of Simcha.”
All endorsements and testimonials reflect the experiences of those who wrote them.
Some couples just need a “tune up”, better communication, more passion, etc.
Other couples need a way of getting out of depression, anger, disappointment or hell and want to find joy, love, partnership, and intimate friendship in their lives again.