What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is safe, and it may not be exactly what you think it is. It is not a way for me to get you to do something you do not want to do; although if you agree that what I am saying is right for you, your unconscious might go along anyway. It is a way to align your conscious and unconscious minds so that you are able to make rapid changes in your life – in simple terms it’s like an altered state of consciousness. It is important to know that your unconscious mind is there to protect and serve you.
Hypnosis is a little like daydreaming, and a lot like when you are focused on something like a good movie or book and someone calls your name but you are so engrossed in the movie or book you don’t hear them at first, but they persist and you finally hear them and respond.
The mind is powerful, and you have more control than you think
Your conscious mind is the part of your mind that is responsible for logic and reasoning and controls all the actions that you decide to take. It communicates to the outside world through speech, pictures, writing, physical movement, and thought.
The conscious mind is also known to be the gate-keeper for the mind. If someone tried to present you with a belief that does not match your belief system, your conscious mind will filter that belief and discard it so that it won’t stay in your mind.
Your unconscious mind stores of all memories and past experiences, even those you may have consciously forgotten and are no longer important to you. It’s from these memories and experiences that your beliefs, habits, and behaviors are formed. It communicates through feelings, emotions, imagination, sensations, and dreams.
So your conscious mind is a bit like the captain of a ship standing on the bridge giving out orders. In reality it’s the crew in the engine room below deck (the unconscious mind) that carry out the orders. The captain may be in charge of the ship and give the orders but its the crew that actually guides the ship, all according to what training they had been given over the years to best do so.
Positive things can happen with Hypnosis, and throughout our session I will be making some positive suggestions to begin to help you bring change in the way you want it to. These changes can take time as your sub-consciousness adapts to a new way of doing things.
Hypnotherapy can also be very relaxing and most likely you will hear everything that I say, or you may not remember everything but that is ok. You may be distracted by noises outside of the room, its perfectly ok to let your mind wander, as your unconscious mind will pick up what it needs to.
It’s hard to find a field that hasn’t used hypnosis successfully, everything from quitting smoking to IBS.
Hypnotherapy is a different approach to counselling, and it can help with a number of different symptoms – here are just a few.
- Depression relief (under support and guidance of your GP
- Bad habits (nail biting, smoking)
- Compulsive behaviour
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Eating disorders
- Weight loss
- Stopping smoking
*Please note that results vary from person to person.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to see a hypnotherapist more than once?
Another frequently asked question about hypnosis is “how many sessions will I need?” You most likely will need more than one session with a hypnotherapist to solve your problem, depending on what it is. Most people see noticeable results after just one session so you might not need extensive hypnosis or months of treatment in order to eliminate your problem, but it will almost always take more than one session for you to see any kind of noticeable results for psychological problems.
Will I still be in control of myself?
This is what most people are afraid of. They are terrified that if they really submit to the relaxation of hypnosis and go fully into a trance like state that they will no longer be in control of themselves and can be easily controlled by the person that is hypnotising them. But be assured that you are still fully in control of yourself when you are hypnotised. You are still conscious, but your conscious mind is extremely relaxed. No one can take control of you and make you do stupid things while you’re hypnotised unless you allow it.
How many sessions will I need?
I’m always guided by my clients and their needs and for this reason don’t like to specify an exact number of sessions, I usually give a rough guide of 3 sessions to begin with but it will depend on the presenting problem as we will work closely to establish your needs. Regular review and feedback ensures we remain on track and ensure that you are making progress at your pace – I am totally guided by you and your needs, therapy should take as long as it needs to as everyone is unique.
As mentioned earlier, you are given “homework” after sessions which require you to do in your own time so your progress really does depend upon your commitment and willingness to do the techniques you are given during the time away from therapy sessions.
Sessions typically last between 60-90 minutes, I believe in taking my time with you to ensure you get the best possible outcome from our sessions together.
What happens if I can’t come out of hypnosis?
It’s physically impossible for that to happen, because you are not unconscious at any point during the hypnosis. You will be in a deeply relaxed state but fully conscious and you can come out of that state at any time that you want to. You can also come out of that state when given a verbal cue by the hypnotherapist. Sometimes when you get the verbal cue to come out of your hypnosis you may not want to because the relaxed state you are in feels so good. When that happens it may take you a few minutes to return to your normal awareness but that is only because you want to stay in the relaxed state, not because you are being forced to stay in it or because you can’t come out of it on your own. You are always in control, even when you are deep in a hypnotic state.
Is hypnosis safe?
Hypnosis is perfectly safe. You are always in control of the situation and you are never unconscious. Unlike drug therapies hypnosis has no possible side effects and in most people hypnosis always works unlike drugs which may work or may not work depending on your body’s chemistry and what the disorder is. Hypnosis can safely treat the physical and mental aspects of common problems like addictions safely and can help you break your physical and emotional dependence on overeating, smoking, drinking, drama, anger, or any other destructive addition that you might have.
Can I hypnotise myself?
Yes you can hypnotise yourself, it could even be argued that all hypnosis is self hypnosis as you are in control of what you are doing. You will need to learn the proper way to do it but once you’ve had some instruction it’s possible to hypnotise yourself. Some people prefer self-hypnosis because they can relax easier on their own and in familiar surroundings. You can also hypnotise yourself between sessions with a hypnotherapist if you feel you need a little extra relaxation or a boost in your therapy. When you’re using self-hypnosis though you aren’t getting the expertise and therapeutic help that you would be getting from a trained therapist so if you’re using hypnosis to help you deal with Anxiety, Depression, or psychological issues then you should probably see a professional therapist instead of relying on self- hypnosis.
Am I surrendering my free will if I get hypnotised?
Absolutely not. When you are in a hypnotic state you are more aware and more focused on yourself then you are in a normal state. You are not giving up your free will or allowing anyone to turn you into a “zombie” or a chicken. Despite what you’ve seen in films hypnosis doesn’t make you the slave of the person hypnotising you. The person hypnotising you also can’t make you fall in love or out of love with someone else, make you change any essential part of who you are, or do anything that you don’t want to do. You are in full possession of all your faculties throughout the hypnosis session and you are not under a “spell” or in anyway under the direction of someone else. The things that you’ve seen on the tele or in stage shows where people get “hypnotised” and run around acting like chickens or saying silly words on command is not real hypnosis. You will never do anything while you are hypnotised that you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances.
Can I be hypnotised without my consent?
One of the most common frequently asked questions about hypnosis is “can I be hypnotised without my consent?”. It is an area of concern for a lot of people that don’t know a lot about hypnosis. But don’t worry, no one can hypnotise you without your consent. Hypnosis isn’t magic, it’s just a state of very deep relaxation. If you don’t want to be hypnotized then you won’t be able to relax and you won’t enter a hypnotic state. The process of entering a hypnotic state takes some time because it will take time for your body and mind to reach the deep relaxation that is necessary for hypnosis. You can stop the hypnosis session at any time during that process if you’re not comfortable or if you don’t want to be hypnotised. You’ve probably seen hypnosis done in films or on TV where the person doing the hypnotising snaps their fingers and the other person immediately falls into a trance and is incapable of doing anything but what they are told. That’s not how hypnosis works.
How many problems can I cure at once using hypnosis?
Hypnosis isn’t a magic cure that will get rid of all of your problems at once. You will still need to address your medical and psychological problems one at a time, and over the course of several treatments, in order to see results. It’s possible that symptoms of one disorder that mimic symptoms of another disorder might go away with the symptoms of the other disorder but in general you will need to tackle one problem at a time when you’re using hypnosis as a treatment.
Is hypnosis real?
Lots of people are sceptical about hypnosis at first, but usually that’s because they don’t have a good understanding of how hypnosis is used for medical and psychological treatments. Hypnosis is not some crazy New Age therapy. It’s a legitimate therapeutic technique that has been used with proven success to treat medical and psychological disorders in millions of people. Anyone can be treated with hypnosis, and in most cases hypnosis is a very effective form of treatment for many different disorders. Hypnosis has a long history of being used to treat illness; it’s not a new or untested therapy.