ICU Nurses help us create new sessions to support care worker mental health

by Clementine Team, 15th April 2020

With the help of amazing NHS nurses from the ICU, we’ve designed a set of hypnotherapy sessions to help support everyone in the medical and caring professions. They are all free in our app or available on YouTube in the links below for anyone who needs them.

Why have we made these sessions?
Before the lockdown we had been chatting about how Clementine might be able support other groups of busy stressed workers – those who might need a little leg up with coping with the grind of everyday life. Nurses were at the top of our list. But it was something we were going to focus on later in the year.

Then literally overnight our world changed. It became abundantly clear that we should find a way to support the health & social care workers who are on the frontline. Those putting their lives at risk every day to support us. We have been offering support to women for the past 3 years to cope with life, work and all of the demands they throw at them. So, it feels even more right that we step forward and offer our support to those that need it most, right now.

What have we created for the frontline health care workers?

We held interviews with ICU nurses who spoke very honestly about the intense environment on the wards; the restriction of movement as soon as they put on their PPE gear, meaning they are not free to go to the toilet, get fresh air or to get a drink of water; the intense sweating, discomfort and bruising they get from wearing PPE; the panic and mix of emotions they have dealing with the sickest of patients; an inability to switch-off when they finally return home; problems sleeping and then an anxiety about returning to work. The list goes on.

Listening to the nurses helped us to understand where we could support them the most – helping them to stay strong. We created three new sessions that support their working shifts:

  1. Start the Shift Strong aims to empower listeners as they get ready for work, or as they are perhaps travelling on their commute. It is there to help manage worries or anxieties health workers may have before their shift starts.
  2. Five minute reset for a Better Break is a short listen, encouraging people to regroup, refresh, create space and take a moment just for them, to get the most out of the limited relaxation time they have on shift.
  3. Shake off the Shift, helps listeners to wind down from work, to clear their minds, to choose how they want to feel and connect to their home around them, encouraging relaxation and better sleep.”

How do people access these sessions?

We’ve made these sessions super easy to access via downloading the Clementine app or for those who are using an Android phone we have setup a youtube channel with these sessions too.

Who wrote & recorded these sessions?

 We work with Hazel Gale, a published author, world champion boxer and master practitioner of cognitive hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming.

So how does hypnotherapy work? (for all the newbies and skeptics)

I know that so many people are still sceptical about how it works and what can be achieved with hypnotherapy.  I’m going to debunk some of those myths about hypnotherapy because I believe that for people who have busy, frazzled and tired minds – hypnotherapy allows you to not only rest and relax but it helps you to re-train your brain into a more positive mindset.

1. Don’t worry you won’t lose control

The most common fear people have about hypnotherapy is that they will lose control. Part of this fear stems from seeing ‘hypnotists’ on TV where people from the audience are asked to perform tasks that they wouldn’t normally do and that this ‘lack of control’ will carry on without them being conscious of this.

This fear is misplaced because the objective or goal of hypnotherapy is “to empower the client with self-awareness and put them back in charge of their own behaviour, rather than to perform some kind of miracle.

2. I don’t want to go into some deep trance state

No doubt when you think of hypnosis you think of someone being in a deep trance. Being in a "trance" is not a special, otherworldly state into which we must be “put” by someone else. Rather, it is a natural, everyday occurrence and a standard function of the human mind.

Interestingly, we’re moving between different levels of trance all the time. In fact, 100% consciousness is the rarity (if, indeed, it is possible at all). Any 'auto-drive' moment can be considered a hypnotic state. It’s when the subconscious rather than conscious mind is calling the shots."

An example of an effective trance would be the state of mind an experienced chef goes into while making a beautiful dinner. They can keep multiple pots boiling at once, they stir, add salt, and stick effortlessly to the correct timings because these behaviours are automated and handled by the subconscious mind, which has a far greater capacity than the conscious.

If they were to try and control the process consciously, something would almost certainly get burned.

Other forms of the hypnotic state, however, will be undesirable. "Imagine someone with a terrible habit of procrastination. Every time they try to sit down at their desk to do some work, they find themselves mindlessly tidying up, turning on the TV or playing Solitaire on the computer. These avoidant behaviours are not conscious choices. They’re in a 'procrastination trance.'

3. There is no scientific evidence that hypnotherapy works for treating anxiety.

This is somewhat true because there are lots of different types of hypnotherapy. However, with Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy (QCH) which is significantly different from the traditional schools of Hypnotherapy – draws on ideas from Evolutionary Psychology, Positive Psychology, Cognitive theory and NLP & incorporates them into a modern idea of hypnosis. They don’t advocate one single approach. The therapist will draw from many different approaches and create a framework that suits the client’s individual needs.

CBT is the current leading NHS treatment for these problems in the UK, with a success rate of 42% over the course of about 12 sessions. However, using the QCH approach a recent study showed Cog Hyp to have a success rate of 71% over 6 sessions, so very promising. The study was published in the Mental Health Review Journal in 2015.**

4. But aren’t meditation and hypnotherapy the same?

There are some similarities but also major differences in how these two practices work.  The real purpose of mindfulness is to train the skills of noticing and letting go. This is achieved by turning one’s awareness inwards, giving the mind a simple task like counting breaths, and then practicing the ability to notice the thoughts that distract from that task before returning to it by letting those thoughts go.

Whereas hypnotherapy has a much broader consideration than mindfulness meditation – it’s a form of talking therapy involving two people, rather than an individual practice, and it can be used in many different ways in order to achieve a desired result – feeling more calm, more confident, less stressed, sleeping better, losing weight, doing a presentation at work. Hypnotherapy accesses the subconscious mind and therefore allows you to more readily respond to imagery, metaphors, and emotion.

Download Clementine app here

Youtube sessions here


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