November-December 2012 | HOLIDAY BLUES




Coastal Hypnotherapy’s Nancy Rothner may just have the cure for what ails you this holiday season

Written By: Nick Brandi

For millions of Americans, the holiday season represents the most joyous time of year. Yet, this is not true for everyone. Instead, many see the holidays as a sad time, a time in which unresolved issues involving the memory of lost loved ones, failed dreams, dashed hopes or disappointed expectations rise to the surface. For others, the holidays represent the most stressful time of year. As we get bombarded with messages inducing us to spend more hard-earned money than at any other time, we simultaneously find ourselves going to events and entertaining more often, fighting traffic, crowded stores, long lines and, too often, bad attitudes. Still others experience the dysphoria that can accompany seasonal change as a result of psychophysiology; specifically, the effect of diminishing levels of light on one’s mood. Commonly known as known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), researchers now estimate this condition affects about five percent of adults, with as much as 20 percent exhibiting symptoms that are similar to SAD but below the clinical criteria for a diagnosis.
The good news, however, comes from an encouraging statistic released by the National Institute of Mental Health, which asserts that approximately 80 percent of those with depression, seasonal or otherwise, can minimize or even eliminate it with the proper treatment. Efficacious modalities range from antidepressants, cognitive therapy, light therapy and ionized-air administration to carefully timed hormone supplementation and hypnotherapy. In fact, the last of these, hypnotherapy, has been shown to stimulate the release of the key neurotransmitter serotonin, which is regarded as the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Nancy Rothner, of Coastal Hypnotherapy in Lewes, has treated a number of clients with this affliction and has seen extremely encouraging results. results.
“I worked with one 60-year-old woman who came to me feeling a certain loss of purpose, was experiencing no joy or happiness and feared that this feeling would last for the rest of her life,” said Rothner, who has dealt with just about every form of dysfunction in her 12 years of practice. “Constantly fixated on negative thoughts, she felt utterlyhelpless. We worked to slow down and limit the negative internal dialogue and began exploring methods of alleviating a heavily depressed state of mind.
“By the second appointment, Rothner continued, “the client had reported several days of improvement. Though some of the same negative thoughts and feelings persisted, the frequency and intensity of them had lessened. She had experienced continued improvement through the third session, with new, positive habits beginning to supplant the earlier, negative ones. By the fourth and final appointment, the client had established new and constructive ways to process thoughts and feelings and, as a result, no longer felt depressed.”
Though Rothner said that such results are typical of her process, she emphasized that she customizes the structure 
of her sessions in accordance with each client’s specific needs. Typically, three or four treatment sessions are all that’s required, though some clients feel so encouraged and empowered by the results that they decide to continue the protocol. An added bonus is that a three-session package costs just $225, making hypnotherapy significantly more 
affordable than many alternative treatment strategies.
But no matter which approach someone may select for tackling the holiday blues, Rothner emphasizes that the 
individual has taken the first and perhaps most important step to recovery with no one’s help but their own.
“Ironically, many people who are depressed become even more so because they convince themselves they are somehow weak people or worse people for being that way,” Rothner explained, “but the truth is that they are just the 
opposite. They are, in fact, mentally healthier and much more stable than many because they: a) had the clarity and presence of mind to recognize that they were experiencing some sort of negative process or dysfunction; b) had the strength and determination to take concrete steps to ameliorate and even eliminate the problem.
“Anybody can get caught up in a pattern of negative thoughts and feelings,” Rothner said, “no matter how 
perfect their lives may look from the outside. But the reality is that no one should have to dread the holidays, and there are effective, time-tested methods that can help return the joy of the season to your life.”

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