What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to enhance the results of therapeutic intervention. Think of it as therapy with a booster. This is because, hypnosis works by allowing you to access deeper, powerful and usually unknown subconscious resources of your mind, that are not always easily accessible in our everyday waking life. It uses relaxation, extreme concentration, and intense attention to achieve a heightened state of consciousness that allows cognitive change and improvement of wellbeing. The aim of hypnotherapy is to create a positive change in an individual, while he/she is in hypnosis.
What is hypnosis?
There is no single definition for hypnosis, but it is argued that it is an altered state of relaxation or heightened focus that increases an individual’s openness to suggestions. Hypnosis is a very subjective experience because it relies on the individual’s past experiences, preferences and learning styles. While one person may experience hypnosis as a calming, relaxing and almost dreamlike experience, another person may experience it as a vivid, alert and interactive event. Either way, hypnotherapy provides the means to change behaviours, limiting beliefs and is usually a very pleasurable and enlightening experience.
How does hypnotherapy works?
During hypnosis, your critical mind is distracted allowing suggestions to go directly to the unconscious mind. The suggestions usually highlight flexible thinking, unexplored possibilities and focus on bringing powerful internal resources to the surface so they can be utilised to help reduce or alleviate a variety of issues.
If you are asking yourself if there is such a thing as an unconscious mind, think about trying to control the growth of your hair or nails! Yes, that’s right, you can’t. It is done through unconscious processes deep within our brains. These unconscious processes in our brains also control our limbic system which is responsible for our primal needs and once a habit we created becomes unconscious it can be a lot harder to change it. That is why sometimes it feels impossible to control an irrational fear, an impulse or a habit (i.e. nail biting). The good news is that these behaviours and impulses are usually created by you and therefore CAN be changed by you with the help of techniques and an effective therapist.
Another approach used in hypnotherapy is analysis of past experiences that causes current problems such as in cases of phobias and traumas. In this case the root cause of the problem is explored, allowing the perception of the event to be updated, releasing emotions and preventing you from experiencing the event over and over again.
Research has shown that hypnotherapy is effective not only with psychological but also physical issues such as pain management. This is because hypnotherapy can help you control the interference and even intensity of pain. Research has also shown that it is effective as analgesia during surgery and dental treatment, providing individual with intolerance for analgesia with an effective alternative.
What kind of issues can hypnotherapy help with?
Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of:
- Phobias, fears and anxiety
- Sleep Disorders
- Grief and loss
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Weight management
- Addictions (smoking/drinking/ gambling)