Hypnotherapy: Dispelling the Myths

If I had a euro for every time I’d been asked whether I could make someone ‘cluck like a chicken’ I would be a very rich woman.  If I had a euro for explaining that I really have no desire to do that, I’d be even richer! So, in an attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions about hypnotherapy, here is what hypnotherapy is and how it works.

Stage Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Television and stage hypnosis acts have planted the seed, within the minds of many, that entering into hypnosis is paramount to handing over complete control of all your faculties to a virtual stranger and, perhaps naively, trusting them with your dignity, self respect and in the minds of some, your life.

What I would like to make very clear is that committing to a course of hypnotherapy is not the same as joining in a stage hypnosis performance.

When you decide to make a positive change in your life by seeking help from a qualified professional hypnotherapist you are not in it for the entertainment value. It takes a great deal of courage to take the first step in overcoming your problem, often the hardest decision you will make is to actually pick up the telephone and call someone for help. Sometimes it takes years to take that first step. However, once you have made the decision to do something about that thing that has been looming over you, controlling you, holding you back, the subsequent steps are easy.

Hypnosis is perfectly natural

Have you ever found yourself getting into your car, and then arriving at your destination almost without any memory of the journey? This is just one of the many forms of spontaneous hypnosis that we enter into. Driving, daydreaming, being engrossed in a novel or film – these are all forms of hypnosis. We all move in and out of hypnosis many times a day without being aware of it. It is both natural and safe.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is an extremely effective and speedy technique of psychotherapy using the natural state of hypnosis to get to the origin of our problems. The cause of our problem is often situated deep within our subconscious mind, hidden away out of conscious awareness.

A hypnotherapist utilises the natural state of hypnosis to help you bring about beneficial changes for yourself. Hypnotherapy is effective, because, relaxed in hypnosis, we are ready to accept positive statements and suggestions towards our sense of well being.

Most of the problematic, emotional and habitual patterns that trouble us: ie the fear of flying, snakes, rats, the anxiety we feel when faced with certain situations, the need we feel to eat when we aren’t hungry, all those things that cause our difficulties, are rooted deep in our very powerful, primitive subconscious minds, out of reach of our much weaker conscious minds.

When we are relaxed into hypnosis, the door to our subconscious mind is opened up, allowing us access to subconscious awareness and all past relevant memories. When this happens the deeply rooted, problem feelings, that are causing the difficulties can be accessed, understood consciously, put in context, and then allowed to dissipate. This removes the programme from our subconscious mind and with it any destructive emotional impact that it may have had. Problematic feelings are dealt with and we are then able to carry on with our lives, no longer hindered by out dated emotional feelings that may have been holding us back.

Hypnotherapy is a fast, relaxing, comfortable and highly effective therapy. You are always in control of the process and you will remember everything that happens during the sessions. Hypnosis actually gives you more clarity and therefore more control. Hypnotists who perform on stage make it appear that they are able to take control of their subjects. This is not the case. Hypnotherapists only work in a relaxed atmosphere of total consent with their clients.

During Hypnosis Your Integrity Is Fully Protected

When in hypnosis you will never do or say anything you do not wish to. You will not reveal your innermost secrets, however deeply relaxed you become, and you will be fully aware of what you are saying at all times. If the problem you are experiencing is one that you would prefer not to discuss with your hypnotherapist the therapy will work equally as well, you can simply do the work that is needed without talking about the content. There is never any need to disclose anything you do not wish to.

Insight Into Your Problem Doesn’t Necessarily Solve It

Practitioners in certain therapies try to overcome problems by talking through issues with their clients, trying to provide insight into their difficulties, hoping that this will enable them to make a ‘conscious’ effort to overcome their fears using willpower.

The difficulty is that most problems, or the symptoms that they present, are not consciously understood by most of us. If they were we could simply use our willpower to override the uncomfortable feelings. The problems we experience are often rooted at the very powerful, primitive subconscious level of our beings, out of reach of our conscious awareness. Hypnotherapy – using comfortable, controlled relaxation – can allow us to be directed towards the root of our problem at the subconscious level. Once we are able to understand at an emotional level where the problem first started, we are able to look back at it from a perspective of greater maturity, understand why it has become established, put it in context, and then allow it to go.

What Happens During Hypnotherapy?

During hypnotherapy you allow yourself to become relaxed by choosing to respond to the suggestions of the hypnotherapist. In this relaxed state you are in contact with your subconscious mind, the seat of all emotional and behavioural problems.
It is now widely recognised by the medical profession as well as therapists that mind and body are inextricably linked together, and that disease or tension in the mind can lead to disease and tension in the body, and vice versa. Using hypnotherapy you can be directly in touch with your subconscious mind, and so can deal directly with the cause of your problem rather than dealing simply with the symptom.

You and the therapist need to work in a relaxed atmosphere of mutual respect and consent for the therapy to be successful. Without trust and rapport hypnosis will not be achieved, and you will not respond to the suggestions. You will only take on board the suggestions that are appropriate for you.

Who Can Hypnotherapy Help?

In the current climate of enthusiasm for drug-free, holistic therapies, which complement conventional medicine, Advanced Hypnotherapy techniques are being used successfully to treat a wide range of psychological, emotional and physical problems. Indeed hypnotherapy does not just have to be about problems. It is about effortless change and helping you to improve your quality of life.

Hypnotherapy can help us all to deal and cope effectively with the stresses of modern work and living, and give us control of our lives – instead of, perhaps, letting life control us.

Areas in which hypnotherapy might be broadly said to be most effective can be listed as follows:-

  1. Habits – long standing habits that need to be changed such as smoking, over-eating, insomnia, nail biting, bed wetting, blushing etc.
  2. Physical problems – skin disorders, rashes, migraine, irritable bowel, etc.
  3. Social difficulties – lack of confidence, examination nerves, poor memory, phobias, panic, public speaking etc.

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