Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to bring about therapeutic benefits and positive change. It is a natural state of relaxation which you allow yourself to enter. The sensation experienced during hypnosis is similar to that of daydreaming or meditation. Under hypnosis, the mind can release unwanted feelings, thoughts and behavioural patterns. Hypnotherapy can help with many issues including anxiety, poor memory, fear of public speaking and stopping smoking. Hypnotic techniques are a rapid and effective tool for personal change.
It is as Hypnotherapy that hypnosis is most astonishingly effective. As well as facilitating the effects of other forms of psychotherapy including CBT, Hypnotherapy is rightly perceived as a therapy in its own right.
Hypnotherapy is astonishingly effective. A recent comparative study quoted in a guide to alternative therapies found that:
“After 600 sessions of psychoanalysis, 38% of the patients reported recovery from their conditions; those receiving behaviour therapy improved in 72% of the cases after twenty two sessions; while Hypnotherapy produced a 93% success rate after only six sessions.”
(Burton Goldberg Group, 1994)
More specifically Hypnotherapy can be incredibly effective in the treatment of emotional conditions. These, amongst others, include stress and anxiety, low self confidence and self worth, anger and frustration, worry and fear.
It is important to recognize that the hypnotic state or trance is not unique to therapy. A light state of hypnosis often occurs in our every day lives:
“Hypnotic states and experiences are, in fact, common place in ordinary life and often occur without recognition.”
(Karle, 1987: p8)
Examples of these are daydreaming, going into ‘automatic pilot’ and getting ‘lost’ in a book or film. We are all already very familiar and comfortable with the state of hypnosis. It is by no means strange or difficult to enter in to it or indeed to be in it. Hypnotherapy is simply the usage of this every day trance for therapeutic purposes.
What Will We Do?
Before the actual process of Hypnotherapy can begin I will encourage you to talk about the problem(s) you are experiencing (during this part of the treatment I adopt a neutral and supportive role based on the Person Centred approach). My aim is to develop clarity and an understanding of the issue, the depth and breadth of the feelings involved and the expectations you may have of the therapy.
I will explain what hypnosis is, how hypnotherapy works, what you can expect and answer any questions you may have. I will then ask you to close your eyes and we will begin the hypnotic induction. This involves a unique process of deep physical and mental relaxation. It is designed to facilitate the process whereby you gently begin to detach yourself from your ordinary every day thoughts and feelings. In time you will feel yourself becoming absorbed in my suggestions and your own imagination or memory.
As hypnosis is induced your subjective state begins to change in quality. At this point there is a noticeable deepening and slowing down of your breathing and often a change in the movement of your eyes. Once this has occurred I use a range of therapeutic techniques to increase the depth of relaxation. These include direct suggestion, counting and breathing and the use of imagery.
You will experience what is called an ‘altered state of consciousnesses’. This means that you are conscious, but you are also deeply relaxed. You can still hear what I am saying, understand what I am saying, you can move, talk and open your eyes should you wish to. You control the depth of relaxation and you can stop the process at any point should you want to. Some clients have described the experience as a similar to the feelings of meditation or a day dream. All clients have found the relaxing state of hypnosis to be an enjoyable experience.
Once you are under hypnosis I will make the appropriate hypnotic suggestions. These will have been discussed and agreed upon before hand. The suggestions are based around your wants, needs and desires.
Rather importantly when under hypnosis you are more open to suggestion then in the conscious waking state. You are more likely to accept the suggestions I give to you without reservation and without necessarily having any logical reasons to do so.
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy can be astonishing.