Hypnotherapy is a valuable therapy with which to release past trauma and decondition established habits. Even though our personal unconscious only ever seeks to promote our well-being it can often be the seat of inconsistent learning from our childhood, leading to feelings of low self-esteem, under achievement and sometimes worse. Often it attempts to protect us by raising our fears and anxieties to phobic levels to keep us from a particular activity or stimulus it sees as dangerous. Utilizing hypnosis in therapy often facilitates an unconscious relearning process.
What is Hypnosis?
You may be surprised to know that it is a very common state which everybody automatically drifts in an out of from time to time.
You know how it is when you get thoroughly lost in a beautiful piece of music, a good book or a daydream. Your attention is completely captured and everyday reality fades into the background as your mind carries you away to a different world of the imagination.
In fact we all go through a similar phase just before we go to sleep at night and that ‘lie-in’ feeling you have in the mornings.
When you are being hypnotised, you are guided by the hypnotist into this same state somewhere between being asleep and being awake, this is called a hypnotic trance. It is a very pleasant feeling of calmness and deep relaxation.
Contrary to popular belief when you are hypnotised you are not asleep or unconscious. You will normally have your eyes closed but you can still hear and feel and even speak. Indeed your concentration and awareness actually become heightened.
What is Clinical Hypnosis?
Clinical hypnosis is a procedure in which a qualified professional or therapist (the “hypnotist”) gives a client carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping the patient enter a state of deep relaxation.
In this hypnotic state, the client is aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, becomes increasingly absorbed in using his/her imagination as directed by the practitioner.
The practitioner uses carefully worded language to help the client enter a highly focused suggestible in which the client is able to clear away mental blocks/protection mechanisms and focus on his/her concern and find solutions.
Practitioners employ a range of techniques to help their client.
The practitioner gives the client suggestions to experience change in behaviors, emotions, understandings and beliefs.
Instructions typically include imagining or thinking about pleasant experiences.
People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some people report that they were NOT asleep, but instead, felt very relaxed and could hear everything the therapist said.
Some people describe hypnosis as a state of focused attention, in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Others describe the experience as being one in which they feel detached and deeply inwardly focused. Still others describe the experience as one in which their sensations and perceptions feel heightened and more vivid.
Hypnosis is a safe procedure when it is employed by a qualified, licensed, responsible and experienced professional.
Practitioners use clinical hypnosis in three main ways.
- To encourage the use of the imagination.
- To give direct suggestion for therapeutic change.
- To conduct subconscious exploration.