I know that when someone suggested Hypnotherapy to me for anxiety attacks years ago, I just thought of the stage shows I’d seen as a youngster where some poor member of the public stood up and saluted when he heard the National Anthem or squatted and pretended to lay an egg.
Clinical Hypnotherapy (Hypno coming from the Greek word “to sleep”) is an altogether different creature and I’d like to dispel some of those questions we all have. The first one being “can everyone be hypnotised?” well yes, but that is almost like saying “does everyone allow themselves to be relaxed?” because the trance state that you’re in whilst in therapy, is a state that you’re in every day of your life, it’s that nearly waking up state as the alarm goes off but you so, so want to just stay in that lovely dream that you’re in. Or when you go to sleep at night you’re just drifting off but you hear a noise so you decide to investigate. And whilst in this “trance” state, that’s when the therapist (because that’s what we are), tap into your subconscious where all your learned behaviours are.
If you think about it, (and this is your conscious mind thinking!) 85% of your day, your subconscious is doing it’s work, of repetition that it knows, how to drive, how to walk, when you walk out the house and have to go back to check that you’ve locked the door when your subconscious has done that for you because your conscious mind was on something else, so these are all already familiar patterns to everyone.
It’s when your subconscious has locked in behaviours (addictions/habits/negative thought patterns), anxiety, depression that hypnotherapy can help. You see, your subconscious is like your hard drive, it locks in these things and you’ve probably learned them from repetition so in Hypnotherapy we aim to unlock those and replace them with more positive learnings.
How can this help you? As a therapist I aim to empower my clients, allow them to learn new ways of thinking of being so that they are able to help themselves in the future. We (therapists) cannot make anyone do anything they don’t want to do – I’ve turned away clients who have told me “my wife sent me here to give up smoking” don’t waste your money, I cannot change your mindset if you do not want to change your self.
I’ve worked with many issues from improving a golf swing, driving test nerves, alcohol, drug, food and nicotine addiction to fear of flying, fear of buttons, fear of life. Weight loss, nail biting, exam nerves and public speaking. No-one leaves me a “different” person but more relaxed and in control of their mind and their body.
I use metaphors, NLP, relaxation and meditative techniques. I’ve spoken to groups of carers dealing with partners with Parkinsons.
Many people are anxious about returning to work or getting back into the swing of a new “normality”, they’ve comfort eaten and lost confidence and this can affect businesses. Hypnotherapy can be done on a 1:1 or group therapy and maybe group therapy is something businesses could consider for their staff.
A wonderful therapy that all the client needs to do to engage is to be willing and enjoy a relaxing hour.