Hypnotherapy is often associated with quirky hypnotists and magicians using a swinging watch to mystify their participants. It is not, however, commonly known as an effective form of therapy and there are a lot of question marks around this approach.
How does Hypnotherapy work?
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind is awoken.
Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilizes the power of positive suggestions to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
The process itself aims to alter our state of consciousness in a way that relaxes the conscious part of the mind while simultaneously stimulating and focusing the subconscious part. This heightened state of awareness – reached using skilled relaxation techniques – allows the therapist to then make appropriate suggestions.
Suggestion therapy involves the hypnotherapist giving a series of ‘suggestions’ to help an individual to do something they want to do (e.g. public speaking) or make it easier to stop doing something they don’t want to do (e.g. smoking). It is often used when there is no root cause that needs to be dealt with, or when there are time constraints (such as an individual wanting to deal with a fear of flying). It is often considered a short-term therapy compared with other types of therapy, and changes can occur within the first 1-3 sessions.
What will happen in a hypnotherapy session?
- A discussion about your requirements and goals.
- Gathering personal information such as sleeping patterns, lifestyle information, medical symptoms or medication, any treatments involving other healthcare providers.
- An explanation of how the hypnotherapy process will work..
- A welcome chat to encourage comfort and relaxation
- Induction – the hypnotherapist will then lead you into a state of deep physical and mental relaxation.
- Once deeply relaxed, the hypnotherapist can then begin ‘change work’ using techniques and approaches discussed and agreed to help you towards your goals.
- Once the ‘change work’ is complete, the hypnotherapist will begin the transition to wakefulness, in which you are gradually brought out of your trance.
- Time for any questions you may have and a summary of the session and any progress made thus far.
How successful is Hypnotherapy?
Practitioners and researchers claim success rates of 90% and higher for professionally conducted hypnotherapy, that is followed up with a treatment plan and self-hypnosis tapes. A research project in the UK found that 92% of those who had attended a hypnotherapist would recommend the experience to others. The Irish Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy claim an 80% success rate in treating clients for smoking.
Who is it for?
Cooperation is an essential element of effective hypnosis. If an individual is uncooperative or hostile, hypnosis may not be the best treatment option.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, meaning that the hypnotherapist is only a guide or catalyst to elicit the trance experience in the client. The power of hypnosis resides in the client, not in the hypnotherapist.
Hypnosis has the capacity to work for the majority of individuals but some are more susceptible to suggestions than others. The most important thing to remember is that you must be fully committed to the process and feel that you can place your trust in your hypnotherapist. It’s also important to keep an open mind, as any scepticism may subconsciously dampen your susceptibility.
What issues is Hypnotherapy suitable for treating?
- Fears and Phobias ( flying, public speaking etc.)
- Weight Loss
- Comfort Eating
- Anxiety disorders, Panic Attacks
- Insomnia and Sleeplessness
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Mild Depression
- Habitual Behaviour (smoking, stammering, snoring, teeth grinding, sleepwalking, nail-biting)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Pain Management
- Sexual Problems
- Confidence Issues
Why should I choose Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a tool that can help you, just like it has helped millions of other people, to take back control of their lives. Hypnosis is an extremely efficient, scientifically proven, state of mind often referred to by artists and athletes as ‘the zone.
The naturally relaxed state of hypnosis allows individuals to make rapid enhancements to their lives through a process of learning appropriate new beliefs, breaking unwanted habits, changing negative behaviour patterns, overcoming learned limitations and removing the root cause of their symptoms.
Additionally, hypnosis has been shown to augment the client’s resilience when dealing with stressful situations and decrease avoidance behaviour.