What is hypnotherapy?

I am currently working towards completing my training in clinical hypnotherapy. The most common question asked me is simply: what is hypnotherapy?

There are widely accepted to be  three main aspects to the process of hypnosis. These are relaxation, imagination and enactment. When someone enters hypnosis their conscious rationalising processes are reduced or quietened to allow access to their subconscious mind. This altered state of awareness is achieved when everything apart from what you hear fades into insignificance. This is similar to being engrossed in a television programme when everything else just falls into unimportance.

Whilst experiencing hypnotherapy the subconscious part of the mind continues to hear all that can be heard but is not subject to the same degree of rational conscious processing. You can hear everything that is said but you are not over thinking or analysing what is said. This allows therapeutic change to take place. During hypnotherapy you are not asleep or unconscious. 

The process of hypnotherapy includes deepening the state to enable the constant chatter of your mind to be quietened still further. The process is sensed as a deeper feeling of relaxation. Most people feel that hypnotherapy is wonderfully relaxing and calming. Some people may feel their body becoming heavy or alternatively quite light and floaty. When under hypnosis you are still able to move if you need to, for example to change position if you become uncomfortable.

Many people worry that they loose some of their control when going into hypnosis. This is not the case. A therapist cannot force a client to enter hypnosis but instead is only instrumental in helping the client to use an inability that we all possess.  Hypnosis can only be achieved with the co-operation of the client.

Another worry commonly expressed is that you are at the mercy of the hypnotherapist whilst hypnotised. This has largely been strengthened by stage hypnosis which often shows people performing ridiculous acts. A hypnotherapist cannot force someone to do something against their will. The people who participate in stage shows volunteer because they want to take part and they want to be entertaining. They are happy to be hypnotised to entertain the audience. If you chose to stay in your seat and not take part the hypnotist could not hypnotise you to get up onto the stage.  

Your conscious mind is quietened during hypnosis but it is not removed. If you received a suggestion that black was white it would intervene to ensure the correct perception was formed.  You are always protected by your rational and analytical conscious mind. 

Hypnotherapy sessions conclude with a reorientation to conscious awareness. This often takes the form of a count from one to five. People report feeling relaxed but alert and wide awake after hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is largely experienced as a calming pleasurable therapy which can have very profound results. The application of this therapy is wide ranging. Hypnotherapy has been used sucessfully for things from phobias to an anaesthetic for dental surgery. Even as a therapist experienced in hypnotherapy I was still amazed to see the open university video of a women having tooth extraction and replacment teeth pegs drilled and positioned with hypnotherapy and no anaesthetic.

I am excited to be completing my training in clinical hypnotherapy and keen to offer the service to my clients. I am consolidating my skills and will be offering hypnotherapy in kidderminster later in 2015. Hypnotherapy and reflexology have been combined by some therapsits and this will also be something Im excited to explore.

Posted on November 21, 2014 and filed under hypnotherapy.