Police plan mental health hypnotherapy scheme roll out

Police plan to roll out a new mental health plan after hypnotherapy proved successful in a pilot trial.

The trial helped Northumbria Police staff suffering from anxiety and depression recover, with 80 per cent losing all symptoms.

The planner used Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy, SFH, which uses the best parts from a range of therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, and neuro-linguistic therapy, NLP, to help their patients.

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A report on the experience was written by Dr Emma Trippi who worked with police personnel and Dr Emily Barney, a clinical psychologist who has worked with the NHS and in mental health services for nearly 20 years.

According to the report, by the end of the trial, everyone who completed the treatment reported improvement, and nearly 80 percent no longer showed symptoms such as disturbed sleep, hypervigilance, self-medicating, and anger issues.

Over 80 percent showed an increase in their wellness score and over 90 percent improved sleep.

Those who participated in the trial also no longer showed symptoms of PTSD, but the majority were unaware that they were suffering from PTSD despite its impact on their health and ability to function.

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In addition, the following treatment staff said they could maintain better perspective, deal with challenges, be calmer and have improved sleep and found improvements in their professional lives and in their personal lives.

This shows promise for the future of mental health care in police staff if the pilot moves to a full program as mental health affects about 70 percent of police officers and more than half require some form of treatment, according to a survey.

And as the charity for veteran and experienced police officers and staff, Police Care, found that many were not getting help because of fear of feeling vulnerable or being seen as vulnerable, and that perception could lead to job harm.

“Working in the emergency service is a rewarding and invaluable role, but undeniably challenging,” said Gary Johannes, a Peterborough clinical hypnotherapist and lecturer from Inspired to Change, who sponsored the scheme.

The challenging nature is undoubtedly attributed to officers’ frequent exposure to traumatic events from road traffic accidents to homicides, and a greater likelihood of experiencing PTSD compared to people who work other jobs.

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“While we cannot remove the stresses and traumas they face on a regular basis, SFH can provide them with the tools to manage them effectively and for the long term.”

Helen Murphy, People Involved in Partnership and Wellbeing at Northumbria Police, said: “We saw a marked positive change in those who took part in the pilot, as a result of the sessions.

“They were more comfortable talking about their mental health, said they had better relationships and were more effective at work.”

SFH is seen as a potentially stronger alternative to psychotherapy.

This is due to the fact that while psychological therapies may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, more than 50 percent of clients do not actually respond to this type of treatment according to several studies.

However, according to this report from data collected from clients of police employees, SFH has a high turnout and good results.

For this reason, there are plans to roll out the treatment to other police forces and emergency services in the country.

SFH also has the ability to support staff, while cutting costs by millions of pounds at the same time.

By improving the mental health care available to the police, less money is used for illness, absenteeism, and a lack of productivity related to mental health issues among staff.

Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy was developed by Clifton Hypnotherapy practitioner and founder of the Clifton School of Hypnotherapy Training, David Newton.

Training schools now exist internationally and many therapists have contributed outcome data collected from more than 7,500 clients and more than 40,000 clinical hours which also indicates that SFH could be a promising treatment modality for anxiety and depression.

Plus one that focuses on reducing symptoms and improving wellness and flexibility.

For more information about the report, visit:


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