The number one criteria to ensure that hypnosis or hypnotherapy works for you is that you need to be ready to change. Now that might sound inconsequential, after all, you are paying money and making time commitments to create a change in your life, whether that is to quit smoking, reduce drinking, lose weight, build confidence, ditch anxiety, overcome depression, release phobias or anything else. However whether or not hypnotherapy works for you is largely up to you.
That is because hypnotherapy is not mind control. It is not dependent on your losing consciousness and behaving like a brainless organism. There are very few people who are that suggestible and that hypnotisable. Most of my clients are not. Relaxed, yes, comatose, no. When I see a client for hypnotherapy I, like many of my peers, also incorporate neuro-linguistic programming or NLP techniques which also engage the imagination but again, do not rely on mind control.
So there are many tools that i use in my clinic – different people are suited best to different techniques and approaches. But for all of these approaches, hypnotherapy works if you are ready to change those old beliefs and behviours and to let go of those old feelings. Otherwise you are only blocking the process.
Hypnotherapy works if you are ready for change
So let’s look at an example of someone who is not ready, so you can see what I mean. Kieran came to see me about his anxiety. At every step of the way he blocked the therapy. Why? Because he found some comfort in being stuck. Change is scary. Better the devil you know and all of that, right? Wrong.
When we did direct suggestion hypnosis, Kieran allowed himself to go with it, for a time. He actually felt himself relax, which was a massive change from his usual manic overthinking and resulting mental confusion, leading to panic attacks. But this relaxation was skin deep, and as soon as I attempted to lead the session into deeper change work, he recommenced his doubts.
“You mean it only takes most people three sessions to see a big shift? Surely that’t can’t be true.” It seems Kieran had already decided it was not going to work for him, at the start.
We moved into some somatic work where I asked Kieran’s unconscious mind to respond by providing a sensation in the body. This technique looks to the unconscious impulses for answers to questions, rather that looking to the conscious mind. This way we know what the unconscious really wants to say, and what it needs to do to resolve issues. By bypassing the thinking brain, we go to the source of the problem. Kieran did receive the impulse responses, which was a great start, and we found the information that we needed to move Kieran away from anxiety through the alternative behaviours he came up with. But after the session was over I received a text message from Kieran telling me that he believes that he made up the answers to the questions I had asked, so he was going to ignore it and not do the new behaviours or activities. He had completely ignored the fact that his body was responding, not his brain, and that we do this technique precisely so we don’t get answers that someone had made up.
Then there was a technique I gave to Kieran to do every time he felt any anxiety. The technique takes three minutes. I asked him how he was going with that and he was evasive. I then asked him if he had been doing that technique and he said he had forgotten about it.
Another text message from Kieran requesting I go off program and do an inner child session with him. This, by the way is not off program. I will incorporate inner child work where I feel it is important, and we would have gotten there with Kieran anyway. But he decided that he would lead the process and direct me. This told me that he did not trust me, despite my experience and basically because he trusts noone; that he believes that his way is best, even though nothing he had done had worked for him so far; and that he was not willing to submit.
Hypnosis Works When You Commit
If a client decides that nothing is going to work for them, then nothing will. In fact the client is already doing a great job of hypnotising themselves to remain stuck. Every time I confronted Kieran about his resistance to the process he denied that he had any, and yet his words and his actions told me otherwise.
Paying for therapy is one level of commitment, but for some people it is not enough. The key is to submit to the therapist. To trust that person to lead the process. That is commitment.
If you are ready for change, get in touch and join the thousands of clients who have benefited. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Sunshine Coast.