How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Many people have unanswered questions about hypnosis – this Hypnotherapy FAQ should help. Some people think of hypnosis as an alternative therapy, but hypnosis is completely natural, making use of a natural state of being. Some people believe that they are under the control of the hypnotist when in truth, the client is the one who decides whether or not they will allow suggestions to take hold (Yapko PhD., 2015, The Essentials of Hypnosis). Hypnosis is about developing your focus in helpful directions, rather than unhelpful directions. It guides you to work with what’s possible, rather than getting stuck in how things used to be. This way you can enhance your experience of life physically, emotionally and mentally. What is important, in order for you to allow these changes, is that the suggestions I make truly resonate with you. Hypnosis requires an individual approach and I use NLP in finding the right pathway to your problem.
Everyone enters into some level of hypnosis on a regular basis, whether it be by ‘going into automatic’ when driving a car, and realizing you were somewhere else for the past five minutes of the journey or getting ‘lost’ in a book or a film. These states represent times when your conscious mind switches off and your unconscious mind is allowed to safely take over for a short while. The unconscious mind will always put your safety as a priority. In hypnosis, you will never do anything that you don’t want to. If you come to see me it’s because you have decided to change, and I want to help you.
The unconscious mind is child-like in its patterns and there is always some reasoning that lies behind the problem behavior, even if that reasoning is not what you might consider, rational. Often the underlying reason was created in the past, sometimes the very distant past and your unconscious mind now needs to be updated and shown better and more useful ways of functioning. Sometimes the problem behavior is new, such as in a more recent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) event. Take a look at the Research section of this site for some references about how hypnosis has been used to successfully treat PTSD and other conditions.
What Do You Need to Do?
Now for Part 2 in our Hypnotherapy FAQ – what do you need to do in a hypnotherapy session? Hypnotherapy is not mind control. It may sound funny, but some people think that it is. Hypnotherapy is a collaborative therapy where you, the client, need to ‘come to the party’ and be actively involved. Some people think that Hypnotherapy happens TO you – you open your eyes and you are magically reprogrammed. That is not how it works. Hypnotherapy involves the conscious and the unconscious minds and the process aims to arrive at a new mindset via the communication between these two. On stage, when you see people being turned into chickens, there is a lot you don’t see, such as the hypnotist’s assistant, vetting the audience for unusually high ‘hypnotisability’, a small percentage of the population. Yes, hypnotherapy can sometimes happen TO these very few people. But these results will unlikely be lasting unless the conscious mind has also agreed to change. So, when you consider hypnosis for re-setting your habits or thought patterns, be prepared to take an active part in the process. Be prepared to change. Be prepared to set yourself free in a safe, guided environment with me 😊
How does NLP work?
Lastly, for Part 3 of the Hypnotherapy FAQ – let’s talk about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). I use NLP methods to understand how the problem behaviour is playing out, and how your unconscious mind is making sense of it. As a result when we come to do hypnosis, I know that we are addressing the issue in a way that is most relevant to you.
I use a range of NLP processes to work with your problem. As well as helping me to understand what I’m working with before starting the hypnosis, NLP is a potent method which sets a more useful way for you to think and behave. It is a great agent of change, and a truly valuable set of tools or life skills that you can keep using.
Through NLP I can recognise your current behavioural patterns and replace them with better patterns. NLP works on many levels but briefly, it can:
Get rid of unhelpful mind processes that underlie a particular pattern, emotion or habit;
Promote clearer communication;
Improve negotiation skills and performance.
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