What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a theraputic modality that is based on the premise that the mind and body do not work in isolation.
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed. The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and life style adaptations to the client, the seeds of which become firmly planted in the subconscious mind.
Hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy. It aims to re-program patterns of behavior within the mind, enabling, irrational fears, phobias, negative through and suppressed emotions to be overcome.
There are many forms of psychological therapy but Hypnotherapy is distinctive in that it attempts to address the client’s subconscious mind. In practice, the Hypnotherapist often (but not exclusively) requires the client to be in a relaxed state, frequently enlists the power of the client’s own imagination and may utilise a wide range of techniques from story telling, metaphor or symbolism (judged to be meaningful to the individual client) to the use of direct suggestions for beneficial change.
Analytical techniques may also be employed in an attempt to uncover problems deemed to lie in a client’s past or therapy may concentrate more on a client’s current life and presenting problems. It is generally considered helpful if the client is personally motivated to change (rather than relying solely on the therapist's efforts) although a belief in the possibility of beneficial change may be a sufficient starting point.
Regardless of the techniques employed, perhaps the most important thing is that a client should expect to feel comfortable and at ease with their therapist. This is of particular importance in Hypnotherapy, in which the value of the treatment is greatly enhanced when there is confidence in the practitioner. For this reason it is recommended that a single session only is initially booked, leaving the client subsequently free to decide if they wish to proceed with more.
Unlike many other psychological therapies, Hypnotherapy is generally considered to be a fairly short-term approach in which beneficial change, if it is to occur, should become apparent within a relatively few sessions.
N.B. In actual practice, most Hypnotherapists will combine hypnotic procedures with other appropriate counselling and therapeutic techniques. Should there be any doubt about the combination of skills utilised in individual cases, the therapist should be asked directly for a further explanation of their preferred methodology
Types of Hypnotherapy
Suggestion hypnotherapy involves the hypnotherapist giving an individuals unconscious mind a series of ‘suggestions’. These suggestions can help an individual to find it easier to do something they want to do (e.g. public speaking) or easier to stop doing something they don’t want to do (e.g. smoking).
Suggestion Hypnotherapy is often used when there is no root cause that needs to be dealt with, or when there are time constraints (such as an individual wanting to deal with a fear of flying). Suggestion hypnotherapy is often considered a short-term therapy compared with other types of therapy, and if changes occur, they can so so within the first few sessions.
Analytical Hypnotherapy (also called hypnoanalysis) can be effective in dealing with deeper issues and involves psychotherapy using hypnosis. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to find the root cause of a problem, and deal with the issue. For example, a phobia may be 'masked' using suggestion therapy, however the root cause will still exist. Analytical hypnotherapy seeks to identify the root cause and deal with it; the root cause then becomes powerless.
Analytical hypnotherapy is a very involving process and usually requires much more commitment than suggestion therapy. However, once the root cause has been identified and dealt with, the results can be life changing. Where as suggestion therapy manages a problem, analytical hypnotherapy aims to resolve it.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a modern, scientifc approach to therapy that is significantly different from the traditional schools of Hypnotherapy. Cognitive Hypnotherapy draws its influence from a number of other validated theories, such as Positive Psychology, Neuroscience, Evolutionary Psychology and NLP and combines these in a way that fits the client's personal goals, values and personality. Drawing from a range of techniques from different disciplines means that a tailored approach for each client can be created - there's no "one size fits all" model here.
Cognitive Hypnotherapists attempt to get into the mindset of the client to work through any presenting issues, using techniques and language based on the client's unique model of the world. Cognitive Hypnotherapy also uses an analytical approach to clearing away unwanted thoughts and behaviours from the past, but then uses techniques that retrain the brain in the present to ensure that the changes that clients would like to make are fully realised.