Clinical Hypnotherapy (Hypnosis)
You’ve likely heard about clinical hypnotherapy, or hypnosis, but do you really know what it is, how it works and how it might be of benefit in making changes you’re seeking in your life?
While associated by many with public entertainment, in fact, the technique has been shown to be clinically effective in supporting the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and weight loss, among others.
Read on to find out how this technique really works.
Hypnosis is a state of deep, calm, relaxed consciousness. During hypnosis, attention is highly focused, while peripheral awareness is correspondingly decreased. In this state, the subject is receptive to suggestion, yet able to be aware of danger. Used for therapy, hypnosis is referred to as clinical hypnotherapy.
The hypnotic state is similar to daydreaming or to being so engrossed in a task that you lose track of time passing. Most people drift in and out of hypnotic states all day. Have you ever been driving and suddenly thought: “Oh, I’m here already”? That’s an example of a hypnotic state.
What hypnosis is not.
Entering and being in a hypnotic state is generally guided by another person. This leads people to believe mistakenly that the hypnotist has control over the subject. In fact, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Under hypnosis, you are always in control of your actions and cannot be made to do what you genuinely, deep down do not want to do.
I can hear you saying: “But what about those people on the stage with a hypnotist?” Well, think about it—if some part of you didn’t want to “perform” and do foolish things, would you be the one to volunteer to go on stage in the first place?
Having said that, being guided by a person you trust and who has a calming, soothing voice can facilitate you quickly and easily gaining a desired deep state of relaxation; following the voice and suggestions of another person helps us all to remain focused.
How hypnosis works.
Hypnosis bypasses the conscious brain and accesses the subconscious mind.
The conscious brain is our critical or thinking and learning brain.
The subconscious brain governs your autonomic body functions and survival instincts; it is the seat of emotions, sexuality and pleasure responses.
The subconscious brain is thought by scientists to be responsible for more than 80% of our reactions and behaviours. It is also where all memories and early beliefs you formed about yourself are stored. The subconscious is, however, unable to be critical or selective of the information stored there. If ever there is a “conflict” betweeny our subconscious beliefs and your conscious desires, our subconscious will always win.
By being able, in the deeply receptive hypnotic state, to bypass the conscious beliefs you may hold from early in your life, you are more readily able to accept new beliefs that serve you more positively.
Be assured, you can never be made to do anything you don’t want to do when undergoing hypnotherapy.
You can find further explanation of the roles of our conscious and subconscious brains in the article, “Our Three Brains”.
When is hypnosis most helpful?
Hypnosis has been shown to be helpful in overcoming habitual, self-sabotaging beliefs and in increasing self-esteem. Many people have found clinical hypnotherapy useful in recovering;
- stress reduction tool
- from addictions,
- quitting smoking,
- overcoming phobias
- losing weight.
So how do I personally use Hypnosis?
I initially trained in clinical hypnotherapy in 1984. Since that time, I have learnt many other mindset change techniques, such as neuro-emotional technique and transformational coaching, which I use daily to create rapid emotional /mindset shifts. I primarily now use hypnotherapy as an additional tool, as required, to consolidate the outcomes of other techniques.
Some clients, however, do choose to use hypnosis alone to create personal change. In particular in the areas of building self-esteem, overcoming anxiety and long-term weight loss goals.
I also frequently create recordings for my clients to use at home for stress relief or to reinforce new visions and beliefs they wish to embrace.
Clinical hypnotherapy is incorporated only with a client’s permission and generally is used as part of a broader wellbeing program.