Although current attitudes toward disorders that affect one’s mental health, cognitive and emotional balance are gradually shifting, and almost in spite of more progressive attitudes toward psychotherapy in general, several misconceptions still persist among Australians. For one thing, many otherwise tolerant and understanding people seem to be under the impression that hypnotherapy is more akin to witchcraft or circus performances than to science. For another, as technology becomes more pervasive and easily accessible, it goes without saying that it, too, can and will create various issues. One such issue is that of the addiction to social media – most often manifest through a compulsion to check one’s Facebook account as often as possible during the course of one day. A recent news report tells the anecdotal tale of one such sufferer, as well as recounting her path toward restoring balance.

For starters, however, it’s worth mentioning that Australia is one of the world’s countries with the savviest Internet subscribers and online mobile service users. According to a recent research poll released by St. George’s Bank, Australian citizens are 65 per cent more  likely than the British to check their banking status via mobile phone – and it goes without saying that those mobile phones are online-ready. If this is the case with such sensitive information as bank data, then accessing Facebook from a mobile device is clearly no big deal in Australia.

In cold facts and figures, almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 25 admit to checking their Facebook News Feed as often as fifty times per day, with over 50% admitting they thought they might have an addiction to the social networking site (source: This, too, was the case of 22 year-old woman who decided to do something about it, when she realized her problem was spiraling out of control, and causing her to malfunction ‘in real life’. For the sufferer in question, all the trouble started taking place after a recent break-up. Gradually, she turned into a cyber-stalker of her former boyfriend, constantly online to check his activity and becoming alarmed whenever she’d see a picture of him with an unknown female companion.

Natalie, the young woman in question, was on the verge of despair, imagining nothing could be done to help her solve her issue. However, a friend told her about their experience with quitting smoking with hypnotherapy. This proof convinced Natalie that something  be done in her case, too, and determined her to seek out the help of a trained clinical hypnotherapist. Throughout her healing process, she first got accustomed to using Facebook on a much rarer basis, to the point where she completely deleted her profile. She admits this was not easy to accomplish and hopes to one day resume her Facebook activity – when she’ll be able to keep it in check and not go overboard. For now, however, she understands she’s much better off without it.

Adam Szmerling, a trained psychotherapist with a focus on hypnosis techniques, says Facebook or Internet addictions should not be treated any differently from any other type of addiction. Excessive, reckless behavioral patterns can emerge in connection with any type of behavior, be it smoking, abuse of recreational drugs or other substances, alcohol intoxication, gambling, or pornography. Szmerling says hypnotherapy is able to help, and it’s also an effective technique, in the sense that it gets the afflicted person involved in their own recovery and healing. Healing through hypnosis also provides relaxation benefits, which makes it especially useful for people whose conditions are associated with anxiety or depression.