What is Hypnotherapy?

What is Hypnosis?

woman closing eyes during a hypnotherapy sessionThe word hypnosis comes from the Greek work for ‘sleep,’ and is reported to be one of the oldest healing techniques in the world. From the sleep temples of Egypt, through the histories of ancient Greece and Rome, forms of hypnosis have often been used.

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon and is often referred to as a trance-like state. We experience this relaxed state many times a day, sometimes just for a fleeting moment as we daydream or for longer if we are engrossed in a good book or film!

In the early part of the 20th Century, hypnosis was almost exclusively used by stage hypnotists, which unfortunately had a detrimental effect on its reputation. However in 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education and it has since become a valued addition to conventional medical and psychotherapeutic treatment.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy sees the mind as having two distinct parts, the conscious mind and the subconscious (unconscious) mind. The conscious mind is the thinking, analytical part of the mind, responsible for our literacy, numeracy and rational thinking.

The subconscious mind which governs our creativity, imagination, emotions, memories, behaviour and attitudes. This is the part of the mind experienced when we are daydreaming. Hypnotherapy uses this relaxed, yet highly focused state to gain access to the subconscious mind, where suggestions are more powerfully acted upon. As this is where our habits, emotions and memories are held, this is the best place to make those required changes.

Another advantage of using the relaxed state for therapy is that often we feel dissociated (distanced) from what we are experiencing, so there is less chance of feeling re-traumatised by memories or experiencing absolute terror when dealing with a phobia. This is one of the reasons why despite training to use other techniques I often find myself favouring hypnotherapy.

Can I be hypnotised?

Yes most people can be hypnotised, but for everyone the experience will be different. Some people can achieve a very deep trance quickly, whilst others only achieve a light trance.

This does not mean that therapy is any less effective, but practice does seem to be the key! Most sessions begin with a lesson in self-hypnosis, a powerful tool which can be used by clients at home to reinforce therapy (and practice relaxation).

What does it feel like to be hypnotised?

Although the experience will differ from person to person and even session to session, most people report feeling very relaxed, tranquil and calm. Time seems to pass by very quickly and even after waking the feeling of relaxation can often last for a few hours (or even days in some cases!).

Will I be aware of what is being said by the therapist and can I be made to do anything against my will?

In most cases you will be able to hear what is being said by the therapist. Occasionally you may drift away into your own thoughts, but your attention will come and go. Just as if you were engrossed in a good book and someone shouted FIRE, your attention would immediately come back into the room when needed. Hypnotherapy is very different to stage hypnosis. Therapy is a partnership and the client and therapist work together to achieve a positive outcome. Clients will only respond to suggestions that are appropriate to them and all good therapists will be registered with a professional body such as the CNHC, BSCH or GHR who ensure that therapists work to a strict code of ethics.

Is hypnotherapy dangerous?

Hypnosis is a natural state so there are no side effects. Most clients leave the therapy room feeling more positive and optimistic.

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Hypnotherapy & Psychotheraphy for:

Anger Management
Anxiety and stress
Fears and Phobias
Life coaching
Panic attacks
Performance anxiety
Weight control

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