The Most Common Questions Answered Here.
What Can Hypnotherapy be used for?
Since hypnotherapy is an adjunct form of therapy, it can be used along with other forms of psychological or holistic treatments. So there are many problems for which it can be used. Here's the most frequent uses:
Self Esteem/Self Image
Coping with Loss/Grief
The number of sessions you will need can vary from just one to several depending on the individual.
Since all hypnosis is in fact self hypnosis, the varying results are reliant upon the full participation of the client.
A hypnotherapist is a guide, trained and qualified to assist you to and most importantly, your inner mind, to solve problems, overcome obstacles and heal old wounds.
HOW DOES HYPNOSIS WORK?
If you can think of the mind like an iceberg in one respect, it can help to explain where the work for hypnosis occurs.
The portion of the iceberg that is visible is not the only piece that exists. In fact the section below the surface is usually much greater than it's counterpart. It even continues to grow little by little.
The human mind is similar in those ways. The conscious mind is the part that we are fully aware of. We use it to make every day decisions and create thoughts.
The subconscious mind is the one where habits and beliefs are created based on what it has learned. In childhood the subconscious is eager to pull in information that will assist the human to survive.
The information is limited to the situations and emotions that care givers provide. In many cases the care givers are parents. Without intention much of your learning is based upon the circumstances your parents were in and how they reacted or coped with events. What you witnessed through sensory perception was stored as vital information. Your own mind interpreted things as a child who to begin with was entirely helpless and completely naive.
This is not to say that parents are entirely responsible for your troubles. There were others who provided additional experiences and information in your formative years. Somewhere around age 8 to 10 years your subconscious mind decided it had enough data and stopped taking in new information.
(In short- a program/app with NO UPDATES.)
The subconscious then went on into adolescence, taking the basis of those thoughts, emotions and habits with it. Regardless of whether the interpretations were correct or not, your mind has created a whole genre of actions and beliefs based on them.
Hypnosis enables you to bypass the conscious mind and create direct communication with the subconscious. With the right techniques and language you can reach back into your mind, identify the inaccuracies and put them right.
WHAT HAPPENS IN HYPNOSIS?
Your hypnotherapist will ask you to sit or lie as you feel most comfortable. They will talk with you about your goals for the session.
Your hypnotherapist may play relaxing background music as they begin to talk you through relaxation and onto the trance state.
The trance often feels like the place between dreaming and awake that is very peaceful. Some people say it feels like floating gently.
Some people say after their session that they think they fell asleep. Only to realize later that they can recall certain elements of the session like dreaming they were in a library.
Even if they do not recall the session itself the subconscious mind, which never switches off, would have heard every word of the therapist that guided them to the area needing an update or solution.
When you wake from a session you often feel rejuvenated and full of energy.
Some people are under the misconception that you can be stuck in trance, or forced to do things against your will. This is not accurate. Hypnotherapy is not "Brainwashing" where entrenchment is employed to impose new thought processes or actions.
What's the "Therapy" Part of Hypno-therapy?
There are 2 main types of hypnotherapy methods, Suggestion Therapy and Regression Therapy.
Suggestion Therapy relies on an individual’s ability to respond to suggestions and guidance from the hypnotherapist while in the trance like state. It's similar to meditation, with it's guided imagery, but addresses specific challenges with specific language.
This method is commonly used for controlling or stopping unwanted or unhealthy behaviors. These can include things like smoking, nail-biting, and excessive eating. It may also be used to encourage positive and healthy behaviors like self-motivation and self-confidence.
With a Qualified Therapist. This method is also used as a tool to uncover the psychological root of a problem or symptom. It is not unusual for an individual to have buried feelings or memories related to trauma. The individual may not even be aware that they have suppressed these. The therapy creates a safe way of dealing with such memories, ensuring that the individual is not in emotional distress.
This form of therapy is used to explore the client's subconscious for events that have created unwanted symptoms, phobias, fears or behaviors. This employs a degree of psychoanalysis and physical observation.
The therapist will guide you back in time and set up a communication method to explore what is happening at the time of a specific event. They may take you back to several and note down or if agreed by you, record your responses to their questions. These kind of sessions are built on trust, and usually take place over several sessions.
If you are offered telephone counselling sessions that include this type of therapy it may be unwise to proceed. A trained therapist will watch for non verbal cues and adjust their suggested directions according to what they can see.
The same applies to prerecorded hypnosis- in some circumstances these are not beneficial. If you are aware of trauma, or suspect some, you may be better working in conjunction with a private therapist.
WHICH THERAPIST SHOULD YOU USE?
Group sessions for hypnosis may be beneficial from a cost perspective, but they do lack the one on one exclusive attention that hypnotherapists hope for to increase success rates. Some Smoking Cessation group hypnosis sessions are very successful as there can be fairly cookie cutter situations that initiated smoking in the first place.
Just consider the following:
If you believe you smoke due to stress- where does the stress come from? The smoking is just a coping mechanism.
If you send your spouse to a group session and it doesn't work, why? The individual may secretly not want to stop.
Why did you start smoking? To belong? To look cool? Maybe the issue is low self esteem or you have no confidence in your own abilities.
It is important to note that although hypnotherapy is considered a complementary or alternative treatment, it is still highly-regulated. It's a legitimate form of psychotherapy and as such your therapist should be trained accordingly.
Initially it's a good rule of thumb to check credentials and the length of time they have been in practice.
Here are some of the associations whose members are fully trained:
Hypnotherapists tend to specialize in niche areas too, so seeking out someone who has a lot of experience in assisting people with similar problems to your own is key.
When choosing a hypnotherapist it's important that you have confidence in their abilities and feel comfortable during personal sessions. Make sure you "like" the therapist too.