What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy employs hypnosis, which is a form of focused thinking where the conscious and unconscious minds are brought together in a trance state, with the express intention of effecting beneficial changes. Hypnosis is easy to contrive – we ordinarily engage in this form of trance many times a day, often without being aware of it. For instance, we apparently daydream for 15-50% of the day; or we may drift off whilst listening to music or watching television; or we lose track of our environment whilst driving. This state, where we are particularly open to positive suggestions and in touch with the wisdom of our unconscious minds, can be reproduced in the therapy room through guided relaxation and dynamic imagery.
In Solution Focused Hypnotherapy we strategically employ hypnosis to access our unconscious minds to come up with solutions to problems, and to develop positive forms of behaviour and thinking, which will then become our automatic responses.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can make a beneficial difference to the way you react and feel by changing old patterns of behaviour and thoughts to new more positive ones, thus enabling you to cope so much better with life’s challenges. The therapy focuses on your strengths and resources, enabling you to imagine and look forward to a better, happier future where you are more in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Significantly, this approach focuses on the present and future. However, if you have experienced unpleasant events in the past which adversely impact on your life, we shall of course, if appropriate and if you wish, acknowledge they happened, and then enable you to ‘put things to bed’ on your terms, so that you can regain control and move forward. Crucially, please be reassured that you will never relive any trauma: that would be completely counterproductive. Once these issues have been resolved sufficiently, we shall then work on getting you from where you are to where you want to be.
With Clinical Hypnosis, I teach clients various techniques to allow them to work on, for instance, chronic pain or their immune systems, again by communicating with and taking direction from their unconscious minds. These techniques are easy to learn and, used intensively, produce valuable and welcome rewards.
What it is not
First of all, you will not be made to cluck like a chicken, or bark like a dog! This is the stuff of stage hypnotism, and bears no relation to hypnotherapy. Moreover, many people believe that hypnotherapy is something that is done to them, that they explain their issue to the therapist who then simply hypnotises their problem away, as if by magic. This is not the case.
Rather, hypnotherapy is a much more collaborative process, and it is crucial to understand that change happens because you want it to and because you are prepared to work with me and take the necessary steps to allow it to happen.
Furthermore, contrary to the image commonly portrayed in films, books and the media, hypnosis does not involve the therapist taking control of your mind. You cannot be hypnotised against your will. You will always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on, and you will not do, say or think anything you do not want to: your unconscious mind will always operate in your best interests and reject anything that is not right or beneficial for you.
How long does it take?
Hypnotherapy generally works comparatively quickly because we focus on solutions and future change, unlike Psychotherapy and other talking therapies which tend to spend time analysing problems. Length of treatment depends on the issues you want to address, and your commitment to effecting change. However, there are two exceptions:
Stopping smoking takes two 90 minute sessions; and phobias take the initial consultation followed by three 60 minute sessions.
Please note that hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy, and thereby does not replace medical intervention. Your GP should always be your first port of call.