What can I expect in Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is sometimes surrounded by myth and misinformation.

The truth is, hypnosis is simply a deep state of relaxation which allows the therapist access to the subconscious mind.

A client recently described her first experience of hypnosis in a very clever way. She said it was like reading a good book while on a train.

She knows she is on a train surrounded by strangers but in her head her imagination has created a different world as the plot of the book plays out, and that is the world she is concentrating on. Even though her imagination is keeping her in this world she knows she can come back to reality whenever she needs to so she wonʹt miss her stop.

The hypnotic trance is very like this experience; on one level you know you are sitting in a hypnotists chair but on another level your mind is being stimulated to create a completely different experience. When you experience hypnosis you learn that you have the ability to break the trance yourself if you need or want to.

When I meet people socially and they learn that I am a hypnotherapist they very often ask “are you hypnotising me now?” Or, “can you make me do things without me knowing?” Or my favourite “will I be clucking like a chicken?” No.

Only people who want to be hypnotised will go into trance and a person cannot be made do things against their will. Personally I suspect that in my office and without an audience no amount of hypnotic suggestion would make anyone cluck like a chicken. But then again, why would I suggest it in the first place? I am a therapist not an entertainer.

Therapy under Hypnosis can take one of two forms.

Suggestion Therapy
This method is the one that people are most familiar with.

In Hypnosis the therapist makes a series of suggestions aimed at creating a fundamental shift in the subconscious mind to change how you think. The aim being to change how you think, feel and behave.

In many cases a process of hypno-analysis is recommended. This is a model devised by the Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy (ICHP) that is unique to ICHP trained therapists.

This program is aimed at uncovering and removing the underlying cause of stressful symptoms, beliefs or behaviour. For example, a person may be overweight because of over eating. Suggestion therapy can change the habit of over eating but what if the over eating is actually “comfort eating”? Taking away the desire for food does not take away the emotional cause of the problem. It is vital that the original deep routed cause of the need for “comfort eating” be uncovered and resolved, otherwise a process of “symptom substitution” can occur.

During a course of hypno-analysis sessions will vary depending on the client, the symptom, the goals and the strategy and style of therapy that best suits the individual.