Final Major Project: Interview With A Clinical Hypnotherapist – 2nd August 2018
Dipti Tait is a clinical hypnotherapist who runs the Cotswold Practice in Stroud. Dipti is the author of Good Grief (ISBN-13: 978-1504350297) and has appeared on numerous television programmes and in various magazines.
Figure 1: (Thecotswoldpractice.com, 2018)
Tait spoke to me about her experiences treating clients affected by social media.
‘Comparitis’ is the name that Tait has given to a modern problem. Social media is affecting our lives in an increasing way. The typical clients that she treats are not just teenagers, as we might assume. More and more she is treating older people.
Tait believes that many teenagers have developed a resilience to the pressures of social media having grown up with it in their lives every day; they appear to know when to stop taking notice of the pressure placed on them digitally. Older people are less resilient to the psychological pressures on social media as they have not developed the skill set to deal with them.
Teenagers are also more likely to discuss their issues and problems, whereas Tait finds that older people tend to suffer in silence, seeing mental health issues as a taboo subject.
Comparitis is the process of comparing yourself to others and believing that everyone else around you is doing better than you in everything they do. But it is a false reality that you compare yourself to. No-one posts online that they have just dropped the shopping all over the kitchen floor or that they are having a bad acne breakout. Instead, we post about the amazing places we have been and use filters to create glamorous selfies to show how beautiful we look.
Many of us know that what we see online isn’t always the truth. But for vulnerable individuals, the virtual reality becomes reality and they believe it to be the truth. Tait says that this can lead to issues of self-harm, self-sabotage, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders etc. Tait is able to help clients with hypnotherapy treatment.
Tait treats one client who is an Instagram model with over 120,000 followers. The client asked Tait to look at her profile and offer some advice. When Tait looked at her profile, the images did not look like the person in real-life. Her face had had filters applied and contoured. Her body had been altered through Photoshop and she was wearing a wig. Tait was shocked. Is this wrong or an extension of method acting and presenting a persona? Tait believes that if you have a good connection with your own identity, then it is ok to present an online identity that is different from your normal day-to-day identity. The problem comes when people link their own identity to their avatars and are unable to differentiate between the two.
This is a problem that Tait believes is not going away. “We need to educate our young people about the dangers of social media and make them aware of the harm it can do”. She went to explain “don’t let social media damage your self-esteem. By all means, use it for fun or business. Be an actor; play a part.
Remember who you are and your self-identity. If you are obsessing about things, make sure you know what they are. Are they positive or negative things? You need to remember that most of what you see on social media isn’t real, it is a fabrication or variation on the truth. Take things at face value and love yourself for who you are.”
After I spoke to Tait, she recorded this live video on Facebook that discussed some of the themes we discussed.
Figure 1: Thecotswoldpractice.com. (2018). Dipti Tait | Hypnotherapist | Author of Good Grief – As seen on BBC, ITV and National Press. [online] Available at: http://thecotswoldpractice.com/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2018].
M.facebook.com. (2018). Dipti Tait. [online] Available at: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156499705999437&id=513379436 [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].