How The Thrive Programme is different to other types of Therapy and Interventions

By Cara Ostryn at the Rickmansworth Thrive programme Clinic.

I understand that it can be really quite a minefield when deciding which intervention may work best for you. In fact, most of my clients have already tried other treatments to little or no avail. Below, I describe exactly how The Thrive Programme differs to the other main types of treatment out there so you can make more of an informed choice.

How Thrive is different to Suggestion (mainstream) Hypnotherapy

The appeal of hypnotherapy is entirely understandable. When people feel powerless about resolving their anxiety or symptom, who wouldn’t like the idea of being ‘put out to sleep’ to find that your problems are gone when you wake up! This CAN indeed sometimes be the case when the client has a minor symptom or limiting belief. In this case, suggestion hypnosis may well be all that person needs to get over that blip in their life.

However, ALL our symptoms, whether it’s depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD, insomnia are the direct result of our beliefs and thinking. Therefore, in order to permanently overcome a symptom, the most empowering thing we can do is understand and address the thinking that caused it in the first place. Hypnosis may well change our thinking about a certain issue, but without the substance or foundation to support the new thinking/beliefs we run the risk of quickly undoing the hypnosis suggestions by reverting to old habits and ways of thinking.

The aim of Hypnotherapy is to suggest away symptoms. However, symptoms are only the END RESULT of issues with our core beliefs – whether it’s issues with our self esteem, social anxiety or feeling out of control. Therefore, unless these primary issues are addressed, many positive results of hypnotherapy are unlikely to be permanent. The good news is that it really is quite simple to change the real cause of our symptoms in an empowering and permanent way – which is what The Thrive Programme aims to do in just six sessions.

My aim is to help empower people with an intervention that is predictable, reliable and understandable – and  hypnotherapy does not offer that.


How does Thrive differ from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

Thrive is entirely different to techniques such as NLP or CBT, even if on the surface they may sound similar.

Thrive doesn’t just focus upon giving a person some isolated insights, tools and techniques to cope with a symptom or problem. These approaches are ‘fire-fighting’ – trying to control or reduce the anxiety AFTER it has already created it by our thinking. Often people tire quickly of having to maintain this level of effort of fending of negative thoughts. The Thrive Programme is about Thriving and overcoming symptoms is just a part of that.  It is about creating strong psychological foundations (eg, good self esteem) so that we are not creating anxiety. You don’t need to fire-fight if you are not setting fires in the first place!

The Thrive Programme is a life-changing training course, which provides people with unique self-insights that enables them to develop the beliefs, resources and motivation to build resilience and make positive changes across all areas of their lives. It is of limited value teaching you any sort of ‘positive thinking’ or CBT or NLP techniques unless you understand the component parts of your thinking and beliefs that continue to create the anxiety. If you are not able to understand or alter the driving forces behind your symptoms or anxiety, it can feel as though you are ‘treading water’ trying to fend off negative thoughts.

Thrive is a training programme and not therapy. It is not about someone else doing something to you to cure you, but about YOU taking control of your life. It is so much more empowering to take control of your own problems, rather than to rely on someone else resolving them for you.

How the Thrive Programme is different to counselling?

Yes, completely! Counselling can be beneficial by allowing a client to off-load or talk through a problem. This is particularly useful if that person is unable to talk to friends or family. However, the disadvantage of counselling can be that you may find yourself going over old ground, dredging up past hurts and experiences and bringing those pains to the surface but with no resolution or change of perspective.

I find this is particularly the case with counselling that is focussed on discussing people’s childhoods. Very often, when people feel unhappy with themselves or their lives in the here and now, they feel powerless to change themselves, their behaviour or their circumstances… and hope that by resolving past issues will help their present days problems. However, going back to the past is rarely the answer. You may gain more insight into why you behave as you do….although it doesn’t necessarily mean that you feel empowered enough to overcome problems or change your life now.

With Thrive, the focus is upon your thoughts TODAY. We are looking at the processes by which anxiety and symptoms are created: HOW you think about things, rather than WHAT you are thinking about. This explains why some days people may have their symptom and other days they do not – their lives may not have changed but their thinking has.