What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy comes from Hypno, the Greek Hypnos, which means to sleep, and therapeuein - to minister to medically. This raises the question; Is hypnosis sleep? No, hypnosis is not sleep. It is akin to the gap between sleep and wakefulness. It is not magic either, it is simply a different level of awareness during which time you experience an absolute focus of attention. It is a natural state; we encounter it most days. Imagine for a moment you are reading a book, you are concentrating on nothing else but the book; to the exclusion of everything else. Someone speaks to you and you hear it as if from a distance and feel somehow not really there; not fully present. Or when you are driving and you arrive at your destination and cannot remember how you got there - your autopilot has taken control. That is an altered state of consciousness; like hypnosis. Not that we drive around unaware of what we are doing, of course not, imagine the accidents! It is when your unconscious mind takes control, funnels out the bombardment of information received by your conscious mind and simply does what it knows needs to be done; complete focussed attention.
Add a therapeutic technique such as Solution Focussed, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) Psychodynamic approach etc. to this altered state, then you have hypnotherapy. It is a way to speak directly to your inner mind without the interference of your immediate thoughts, and overload of information. By distracting the conscious part of your mind, we can reach your inner, deeper mind on a therapeutic level. That in a nutshell is what hypnotherapy is. Next is the extra, the added value!
Our inner mind- unconscious mind holds information that our conscious mind is not even aware of. Along with the unconscious body functions, breathing, heart beating, knowing where we are in relation to our environment, it also holds our beliefs, reactions and sensations. For example, how we have learned to think about ourselves, and how worthy we feel is not a conscious thing, until of course we actually think about it. Rather like you know thinking about how your back feels against that chair. Your unconscious mind knew even before your conscious mind had thought about it! Whatever behaviour your unconscious mind generates has at some point been in your best interest, although it may now have outlived its usefulness. Your unconscious always had your best interests in mind.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy allows a conversation to take place if you will, between the therapist and your unconscious, This means that you yourself are your own agent of change, you have the answers. It is my role as a Hypnotherapist, to teach you how to speak to yourself in meaningful ways, and to assist you in using your own imagination and inner mind to bring about the changes you desire. Reaching your inner potential or healing yourself by tapping into your own reserves via an altered state of awareness. This may seem simplistic, fanciful even, however hypnosis has existed in all likelihood since man began to walk the earth. Certainly, it has been used for hundreds of years. It’s not magic, it’s not quackery, it is a recognised, empirically sound therapy modality. It has, in many instances, been used for pain control in surgery, and dentistry, and is regularly used during labour. it is, in fact, the original anaesthetic used (in many cases) long before pharmacological inductions became the accepted approach.
As a Talking therapy, Hypnotherapy is comparatively short in duration. Sessions will be dependent upon the presenting problem. Therefore it is essential that a thorough assessment is performed in order that a treatment plan can be devised. This therapy begins with the relationship between patient and therapist, whilst no absolute guarantee of efficacy can be offered (as in any treatment), what can, however, be guaranteed is my commitment and effort to work with you to effect the change you seek.
It is important to note that you will be fully in control, throughout the sessions, and would never act in ways counter to your accepted behavioural code. Hypnotherapy is not mind-control. The locus of control will be entirely your own. It's rather like mind management, to keep it functioning well, it may often need guidance and support.