Many people who come to see us are worried that under hypnosis they will be told to do things they don’t want to, and that they might lose control. This is partly because of the stage shows which are nothing like hypnotherapy. Here are some questions answered and an explanation of what hypnotherapy involves.
What is hypnosis?
In therapy, hypnosis is a state of mind, an altered awareness, in which a person becomes deeply relaxed while being completely aware and in control at the same time. Guided by the therapist, you will reach a trance-like state, similar to the zoning out you experience while reading, listening to music or watching a film or TV. You can hear everything going on around you, but you are distanced from it as your focus switches from outwards to inwards. While you can hear what the therapist is saying, you might not remember it all afterwards. Some people reach a deep trance and drift away into a dream-like state, other people stay in a light trance and remain alert. It doesn’t make any difference, as the subconscious area of the mind is open and receptive to the suggestions being made, which are specifically relating to the issues that you are seeking help with and looking to take effect.
How does hypnotherapy work?
It is in this heightened state of awareness that a person can have a maximum response to suggested changes in lifestyle or thought pattern. These changes come about by accessing the subconscious, which is where many layers of behaviours and emotions and habits are stored. Some can be deeply rooted and have become automatic over time, which is why it is so hard to change them on the conscious level – however many times you tell yourself not to do it, somehow, the automatic drive takes over. Hypnotherapy can provide access and facilitate change to these issues.
What does the therapist do?
The therapist’s role is to help you to relax and find that altered state of mind which opens this process of healing and change. They will ask you questions about your likes and dislikes, in order to create a pleasant and individually tailored session in which your inner focus is enhanced. Visualizations are often used, as well as imaginary scenes and symbols which appeal to the subconscious mind. You are always in control. They will talk you through the process of relaxation, deepening the relaxed state as much as possible before moving on to the suggestions of change and progress required.
What will the therapist not do?
They will not tell you what to do, or tell you to say anything you don’t want to. They will not ask you to move around or do anything that you would not agree to – this would not work and you would come out of hypnosis and your mind would reject the suggestions.
What things can hypnosis help with?
Because hypnosis works with the subconscious mind, it is known to help with many habits, behaviours and negative emotions, from anxiety, self-confidence, sleep patterns, stress, phobias and much more. Hypnotherapy can be very effective and powerful, working at a deep level but in a gentle
and relaxing way. Most people find it to be a very soothing, reassuring and positive experience. If you are interested, please book an appointment with one of us for an initial session to meet each other and discuss your needs.
Lucy Ferguson and Linda Burley