PTSD in horse riders

Posted on May 2, 2019 by Categories: News

Riders put themselves under such pressure to do well, even when the pressure manifests as fear and PTSD.

  1. What is PTSD? PTSD takes make forms and is often quite individualised, two people who experienced the same traumatic event(s) may not have the same symptoms. The mind often packages information away that is highly traumatic, however, these repressed memories have not been in any way erased or dealt with. One of the prime directives of the unconscious mind (i.e., the subconscious) is to repress memories and then present them for resolution. The mind is actually seeking a means of understanding and learning from the memories, but its presentation to our awareness is brutal. A person may feel intense emotions or, conversely may feel numb. PTSD is characterised by:
  • Very vivid flashbacks, with or without triggers to initiate them. The flashbacks appear real and like they are happening now.
  • Nightmare re-runs and disturbed sleep
  • Intense distress, panic, upset, anger, anxiety, sadness and guilt and/or with feelings of being emotionally numb
  • Feelings of needing to stay alert, which distract us form being able to concentrate on anything else
  • Often sudden intrusive thoughts
  • Ideas, beliefs and thoughts that all trust of others is gone
  • Feeling detached from other people and everyday things
  • Self-destructive behaviours may manifest

2. Can hypnosis work for PTSD? Can anyone be hypnotised? All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis! If you have ever been in a daydream? Have you ever been driving and wondered how you came to be where you are? Have you ever been engrossed in a film or book? These are all common examples of being in trance. Hypnosis feels the same. You’re in total control – you can awaken whenever you like. Being is trance is not like being asleep or having no awareness, it’s actually a very relaxing state, where you are still alert. ‘Trance’ is sometimes associated with the stage hypnotists who are a breed apart from trained hypnotherapists, during a hypnotherapy session, you will enter into a relaxation and you can accept or reject whatever a hypnotherapist says, just as in the waking state. All, in all, hypnosis is a very natural and pleasant state to be in! Have look at some more FAQs concerning hypnosis here.

3. Can other mind techniques work too? If you have reservations about hypnosis and prefer not to be hypnotised, then there are other options such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and Time Line Therapy™. Both use the waking state to enter into the unconscious (subconscious) mind. In fact, Time Line Therapy™ is the method of choice for all trauma, because it’s gentle yet very effective. For example, in Time Line Therapy™, there is a double dissociation, that means you feel like an observer during the process, making this the most gentle technique for trauma and PTSD. Click here for more about Time Line Therapy™.

4. What should you ask a hypnotherapist before booking a session? Ask the hypnotherapist for their qualifications and board certifications/memberships. Then email the board and check that they are qualified. Ask the hypnotherapist for experience in dealing with PTSD or other conditions. Make sure the hypnotherapist asks you questions, you want an individualised hypnosis tailored to your issues, not an off-the-shelf generic hypnosis. Click here for more information.

5. What techniques do I use for riders? Hypnosis, NLP and Time Line Therapy™ are incredibly powerful for riders. Besides self-doubt and limiting beliefs, riders also have a range of what-if scenarios running through their minds. These techniques actually alter their neurology, the pathway of the thought processes to bring about a new way of thinking. What’s more, most of the techniques are simple and fast and can be practiced easily.

6. Can PTSD, phobias and fears really be overcome? Phobias and fears can be overcome. When we have a fear of something, it is either rational and acceptable or irrational and out of proportion. In the latter case, the conscious and unconscious minds are not working together, there’s a disconnect and the client needs to be brought back to a more integrated way of thinking. This is facilitated by communication with the unconscious mind, the part of the mind that stores the emotions, habits and memories. The unconscious mind is not logical, thoughts are not necessary linear and the unconscious requires specialised language or visualisation to understand fully what it is you want. You cannot talk yourself fearless easily. By speaking the language of the mind and using specific visual techniques, you can break down a fear.

My favourite success story is of a dressage rider who had previously had a bad injury, to the extent that she had a fear of mounting that extended to all horses at halt or walk. She chose to have one session of Time Line Therapy™ and one personalised hypnosis recording within 2 days was exercising her horses – over jumps!

7. What are my qualifications? I’m an accredited Trainer and Master Coach of NLP, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis. I run trainings at practitioner and master practitioner level, as well as running workshops, clinics and private sessions. I used to be a research scientists and university lecturer, then I became a teacher. I first delved into NLP as a means of overcoming competition nerves and I did my practitioner training. I was completely astounded that it worked – and that it worked for me. There was a skeptical part of me that said it was all very interesting, but could it ever help me? And it did! I was so blown away with the speed and ease of NLP, Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnosis, I decided to become a professional practitioner and later, a master practitioner and now I’m a trainer. I love this work; it gives me great joy to see riders reach for what they want and overcome fears, anxiety, doubts and limiting beliefs. I feel privileged to share those light-bulb moments with clients and students and the point where I ask, “So what do you think about that old fear?” and they look puzzled, search in their minds for it, only to find that it’s gone and the burden has been lifted!

See the link below for Faye Harlequin’s blog about PTSD, fears and phobias in riders: