Hypnotherapy is really a form of counselling and 'guided day-dreaming with a goal of self-improvement'. Hypnotherapy is all about using the language of the subconscious mind; images, metaphors and emotions to bridge the gap between conscious and subconscious and make the personal shifts you desire.
The subconscious part of our mind is where we store all the information that is required to survive and thrive in this world. Acting like an infinitely large hard-drive of a computer, it stores our beliefs, attitudes, our emotional responses and ultimately the programs by which we perceive and interact with our environment.
When we have a firm grasp of our own subconscious language we are no longer victims of our thinking patterns and life circumstances but the creators of our ideal reality. If you have ever experienced guided meditation or have found yourself daydreaming, you have already experienced a form of hypnosis (self-hypnosis).
Hypnotherapy incorporates Life-Coaching, NLP, forms of Psychology including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, as all of these fields stem from similar origins.
Hypnotherapy has become well-known and effective in helping with; phobias, addictions, traumas, limiting behaviours and beliefs, insomnia, peak performance, reframing, goal-setting, self-confidence, chronic health including pain and weight management.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does hypnotherapy work?
The subconscious is difficult to access with the conscious mind active. Most counselling deals solely with the conscious mind, thus ignoring the source of many of the beliefs and behaviours that in reality are located in the subconscious. Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to access this subconscious part of the mind quickly and easily in order to alter unhelpful subconscious processes and bring about positive change in the client.
What is hypnosis and what does it feel like?
Hypnosis can be difficult to define as its applications are so varied and everybody has a different expectation and idea of what it is and what it should feel like. The hypnosis most commonly used in hypnotherapy is the attainment of a state of deep relaxation. During hypnosis, the conscious mind is allowed to relax so that the subconscious can begin to come to the surface. From this relaxed state, the hidden processes of the subconscious can be accessed and then altered to bring about positive change in the client.
The hypnotherapist will usually make sure you are seated comfortably before guiding you into this relaxed state through various techniques of meditation and visualisation. In this state you may experience sensations of peacefulness, heightened awareness, clarity of thought, lowered heart rate, lowered blood-pressure and heightened memory.
It is important to note that while under hypnosis, you remain fully aware of yourself, your surroundings and your beliefs: at no point do you lose any control over your actions or thoughts. Indeed, hypnosis can often best be defined as a state of heightened awareness. It is this heightened awareness, achieved through a deeply relaxed state of mind that allows the hypnotherapist to work with the client to alter their subconscious processes and beliefs, and of course these changes have been completley agreed upon with the client in the counselling session previously before they hypnosis takes place.
What is the role of the therapist in hypnotherapy?
The hypnotherapist is a guide and facilitator of positive change whose skills and expertise will assist you through the therapy and help you to bring about whatever change you are ready to undergo. The hypnotherapist will guide you into a state of hypnosis, during which he or she will use vocal suggestion to address the issues that you wish to address, or any others that become apparent during the session. When the desired change has occurred, the hypnotherapist will bring you back out of trance and help you to process and reflect upon the changes that have taken place.
What can hypnotherapy fix?
There is no limit to the mind's ability to heal, repair, rebuild and create. Hypnotherapy is an invaluable tool no matter what the desired change. Whether you want to kick an unhelpful habit, free yourself from a phobia, improve overall health and wellbeing, let go of unwanted emotional baggage, or experience something out of the ordinary, the list is literally endless and the only limit is your imagination.
Am I in control or can the therapist make me say and do things I don't want them to?
The hypnotherapist is there to positively guide you through the changes that you wish to make. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you remain completely aware and in control at all times. The hypnotherapist works through suggestions to help you navigate through the pathways of your mind. However, these suggestions only work with the full consent and compliance of the person being hypnotised. You may bring yourself back out of hypnosis at any time.
Is hypnotherapy dangerous?
No. As stated above, hypnosis is a completely natural state of mind that many engage in daily without even knowing it. A person under hypnosis remains in full control at all times and only engages in thoughts or behaviours suggested by the hypnotherapist with full consent. Hypnosis is usually carried out when brain wave functions drop into alpha and theta waves, instead of the waking beta stage. We go into these stages every time we go to sleep and wakeup, when day dreaming, reading, meditating and even when driving. These are normal states that you enter many times every single day.
Can I get stuck in trance permanently?
No. The hypnotherapist will monitor the depth of trance during the session to maintain an ideal state of hypnosis. The only thing that could happen is that you could fall asleep and the hypnotherapist would gently wake you by raising their tone of voice.
Am I able to bring a friend into the session?
Of course if it makes you feel more comfortable, however in many cases this may not be desirable, especially if the session brings up emotions that may be helpful for you to release but hurtful to the person present, or that you are not fully comfortable talking about in front of that person. Hypnotherapists have found that clients speak more freely when they are alone. This is particularly so of teenagers and young adults.