Hypnosis is achieving and altered state of consciousness for the benefit of therapeutic purposes; it is simply changing or “unlearning” patterns of undesirable behaviour and creating a desired change by learning new and appropriate or more useful patterns of behaviour. It can be very effective in dealing with negative thoughts and ideas, distressing feelings, pain, anxiety and stress, insomnia, and panic attacks. It is also highly appropriate for treating fears, phobias and long-term habits such as smoking and weight problems. It is equally as effective in enhancing and improving areas such as confidence, self-belief and assertiveness. It can also just help you to relax and ‘switch off’.
Clinical hypnotherapy means using advanced and clinically proven methods of hypnotherapy to treat a variety of physical and psychological health issues. Clinical hypnotherapy is very practical and is about using hypnotherapy to ‘change behaviours’ to achieve the desired outcomes and it focuses on the underlying issues of the problem – is just not about alleviating the symptoms.
How does it work?
The best way to think of hypnosis is as a state of deep relaxation and focus, similar to day dreaming. We can experience trance-like states everyday though we may not recognise them as such. Entrenched behaviours can be altered by harnessing this state, to bypass the conscious mind so that suggestions can be absorbed by the subconscious.
The hypnotherapist guides the client to enter a pleasant deeply relaxed state known as ‘Trance’, this is when the conscious mind becomes detached from every day worries and the subconscious part of the mind is more open to suggestion. The Hypnotherapist can then effect changes in long standing thoughts, feelings and behaviour by making beneficial suggestions and using hypnotic techniques directly to the subconscious mind.
The conscious and subconscious mind.
The Conscious Mind helps with our daily decision-making processes. It is proactive, realistic, logical and intelligent. It applies rational thought to enable us to use our experiences to work out how to deal with new situations. However, it is easily overloaded. Essentially, the conscious mind learns how to do things and once learned, then passes it on to the subconscious mind.
The Subconscious Mind is the biggest section of our mind and is hidden from our everyday awareness. The subconscious operates on automatic pilot. It is involved with our emotions, imagination and memories as well as with our autonomic nervous system. This controls all the workings of our body – the beating of our heart, the respiratory system, digestion, the release of our hormones – in fact everything that our bodies do in order to function – none of which is under our conscious control. It is easy to understand therefore, why the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. In reality, the mind and body are inseparable.
The subconscious mind is powerful and can deal with many complex instructions at any one time but is not ‘intelligent’ and can be slow to act. The subconscious mind always has a reason for what it does but the reason may not be easily understood by us and may be outdated or no longer useful to us. It is more powerful than the conscious mind and will win; this is why we find it difficult to give up habits and unwanted behaviours. Hypnotherapy enables us to talk directly to the subconscious, persuading it and enabling it to change preconditioned ways of reacting.
The main methods that I favour are; Solution-focused approaches, hypnosis suggestion and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) and Regression Therapy
Solution focussed helps to make positive changes in your life and move towards your goals. CBH combines CBT and hypnotherapy to work actively on the subconscious mind, helping you to analyse your own thoughts and feelings to give you greater control and achieve rapid change in our behaviours.
If you think it and believe it, hypnosis can help the change to happen.
Hypnosis cannot, and should not, stand alone as the sole medical or psychological intervention in any disorder. Any individual with a medial or psychological problem should first consult a qualified health care provider for diagnosis and professional advice.