Hypnotherapy is the clinical application of hypnosis to help clients overcome problem areas. Hypnosis is a state of natural, deep relaxation and concentration. The experience of being in a hypnotic or trance state is comparable to the complete relaxation you feel during meditation or before falling asleep. Whilst clients may look like they are asleep, this is far from true. Neuro imaging techniques show that the brain wave patterns of hypnotised clients are awake, more alert and responsive.
Trance allows clients to access their subconscious mind and facilitates the engagement of focused attention. This enables them to use the power of their mind along with their creative imagination to discover previously unknown ways of dealing with problems, to respond to agreeable suggestions and to alter unwanted patterns of behaviour.
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is a great example of the evolution within psychotherapy from an emphasis on mental illness to mental health. This approach focuses on client strengths and resiliencies, enabling clients to explore their own way of solving problems. The emphasis is on increasing desired behaviour rather than decreasing problems.
What I love about SFT is that traditional psychotherapy and 'problem centred' therapies traditionally want to get to the underlying cause of a problem, examine it, talk about it and give it undue attention. The real strength of SFT is the recognition that although the cause may be complex, the solution need not necessarily be. One of the principle assumptions of SFT is that the client is the expert, they know what is best for them and, with a little coaching, how to effectively get there.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy (SFH) is a hybrid of the two modalities I have found to be the most effective throughout my studies in psychology, counselling and hypnotherapy. SFH is fast working, client centred, gentle but effective and it will give you resources and tools that you can use in the future..
Positive change tends to occur much faster with hypnotherapy than psychotherapy and psychology. This is likely because we can bypass the conscious critical filters that we use every day to process information by communicating directly with the subconscious.
The number of sessions recommended depends largely on the complexity of the problem area. Typically positive results will occur after 2 or 3 sessions. For more complex cases 3-6 sessions may be recommended.
The first 20 minutes of the initial session is obligation free and during this time we can discuss a programme. If you are happy to go ahead, that’s fantastic! We can start right away in the first session. If for some reason you do not think hypnotherapy is for you then you can chose not to continue. What have you got to lose?
Perspective can change everything...
The short answer is yes, almost everybody can be hypnotised. One misconception of hypnosis is that only the weak of mind can be hypnotised but in fact the opposite is true - entering into trance takes requires concentration and focused attention. For this reason people with mental health problems may find it a little more difficult. Whilst some people may find it more difficult to enter a trance state than others, eventually trance is almost always achieved.
No! Another common misconception of hypnosis is that you lose control. Stage hypnosis shows have a lot to answer for on this front. Stage hypnotists rely on their subjects' heightened suggestibility, coupled with picking the types who don't mind getting up on stage, drawing a little attention and reducing their inhibitions. This is not what clinical hypnosis is about,. It is an ethical, therapeutic practice.
Hypnotherapists can include an 'amnesia' suggestion so that clients will not spend too much time consciously critiquing what was said. I don't do this in practice myself as I believe from an ethical point of view asking somebody to forget something is unnecessary.
Being ready and committed to making some positive changes will increase your rate of success tremendously. You're already making a move in the right direction by doing some research, reading this information and considering your options.
I would advise you to think about what you would like to achieve before your first session so that you can begin to formulate a goal.