Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis
What then is or isn't hypnosis?
Most people believe that hypnosis is something that the hypnotist 'does' to the client or subject. This is not the case. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis (see below) and the hypnotist's work is to help people get there and remain in that mind-state for a period of time.
You have experienced hypnosis on a daily basis except you would not think to call it that. People go into light hypnosis every day of their lives -
These are all experiences of hypnosis. The main difference between these experiences and purposeful hypnosis is the specific motivations and suggestions towards a desired goal and being creative rather than having random daydreams about your life events.
Hypnotherapy encourages the mind to achieve some desired result like pain or stress relief, positive self-image, freedom from a phobia, positive self-control (as in stopping smoking) etc. The day-dreamy state is so familiar that it is common for people to disbelieve that they have been in hypnosis at the end of the first session.
Will I lose control without
Can I be made to do some
thing against my will?
NO. Pub and Club shows where people run around like chickens or dance with brooms thinking they are dancing with someone beautiful or eat an onion as though it were an apple create a misunderstanding of what is really happening. The guinea-pigs in those situations could actually choose not to behave like that but they just don't know that due to the general public ignorance about these things. This is fully explained in your first session so that you have clear understanding of what is happening.
The stage hypnotist has contributed to the image of hypnosis as a 'trance' or 'out-of -this-world' state. In fact the opposite is true: in hypnosis all your five senses are heightened and you will feel fully 'wide awake' and in control.
Any suggestions made which are contrary to your inner convictions will either be ignored by you or you will come out of the hypnotic state.
Can I be stuck in a hypnotic
Will I be
aware of what is happening?
Who can be
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and no one can be hypnotised against their will. You allow yourself to be guided into hypnosis and you remain in control at all times. You always know what is happening and you are in full awareness at all times. You can stop the session at any time just by opening your eyes and saying, "I don't want to do this anymore."
Types of Hypnotherapy
There are two types of
'Therapy' which can be used by Hypnotherapists:
Suggestion Therapy or Hypnoanalysis
Suggestion Therapy - suggestions are made to the client in hypnosis. For example: If you are a nail-biter then the suggestion made may be that the next time you go to bite your nails you won't, you'll scratch your nose instead and you will get the same sense of satisfaction from that as if you had bitten your nails. Your conscious thought might find this difficult to believe but in hypnosis the subconscious mind is far more likely to take this on board as a matter of fact and so to begin with, and maybe for a while, that is what happens - you scratch your nose instead.
While many hypnotherapists use Suggestion Therapy it does however have a tendency to "wear off" as it does nothing to reveal or deal with the root cause of a problem. If you are a nail-biter as a way of dealing with stress and then suddenly you are placed in a highly stressful situation this may overwhelm the suggestions which have been made previously. You are back where you started.
Often we cannot think of a reason for why we behave in the way we do and no amount of thinking and talking about it seems to solve the problem. In hypnosis it is much easier to recall long forgotten memories which then brings some sense of reason to our problem. Once recalled, revealed, understood and resolved, the symptoms will usually permanently disappear. Instead of the 'problem' being in control of your life you will be back in control.
In the example of nail-biting that I have mentioned a lady called Shona came to see me. She had had what we determined to be suggestion therapy elsewhere but - "It didn't work, well at least it did for a bit", she said. In the course of the age regression and hypnoanalysis that I carried out it was revealed that a family row when she was about 3 years old was the root cause. Her father was quite loud but on this particular day he was really shouting angrily at her mother. They were downstairs and she was in her bedroom. She wanted it to stop as it was frightening her but she knew if she made a sound her father was likely to come and shout at her as well. The only thing she could think of doing to stop herself crying and making a sound was to stuff her hands into her mouth - and from there it was not a huge step into nail-biting to deal with stress. She began to bite her nails whenever she was under some barrage or pressured feeling. Coupled with it was also a feeling of disempowerment which answered why she often had a low opinion of herself. In normal conscious awareness she had been unable to recall any memories at all from her early childhood so this was a revelation to her.
As a result she understood why she often had such a low opinion of herself, low self-esteem in the jargon, and knew she no longer had to hold that belief about herself - that she could be in control of her life now in a way that the 3 year old wasn't. Her life changed dramatically and the nail-biting just disappeared never to return. Six weeks later she treated herself to a manicure at a beauty therapist in celebration.
To give an insight into the difference between the two therapy techniques some people use the metaphor of a cracked wall: Suggestion Therapy merely 'papers over the cracks', whereas Analytical Therapy checks to see why the wall cracked in the first place to help the 'householder' put it right - sort the foundations out and stop it cracking again.
Suggestion therapy I call the "Sticking Plaster Technique" and there is not a lot of point in it as the wound has to be cleaned out properly first. I almost always use Hypnoanalysis in the work that I do. It is much more effective and creates permanent change.
Some people are worried about "opening a can of worms", stirring up the past better left where it is. This doesn't happen. A problem to a child's mind may be enormous but to the adult it is no big deal. In adult life, in an effort to understand themselves, many people go back and have a look at their old primary school and find that it is much smaller than they remember. Similar sort of thing happens emotionally as well.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." - An old saying but it is NOT TRUE.
The damage from sticks and stones will heal physically but the psychological and emotional damage caused by words can last a life-time. Hypnoanalysis can get to those long-lost memories and bring healing to those old scars and damage enabling you to lead a fuller, better quality of life now.
© Neil Robinson 2013
The contents of this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or medical treatment.