Copyright © Jeff Dunbar 2020
Put simply, Hypnotherapy is the combination of Therapeutic Hypnosis and another Therapy Technique. Hypnosis itself is a completely normal state which people regularly experience in their day to day lives, although of course people may not always be aware that this has happened.
Perhaps the best way of describing Hypnosis is to say that it is in fact a state of HIGHER awareness rather than some sort of “sleep” state; a specific state in which the Conscious and Subconscious mind can function simultaneously.
The most common example of this “state” is experienced when driving our cars along a familiar route and on arrival at our destination wondering how we got there!
What has actually happened, of course, is that we have allowed our Subconscious Mind to handle the driving while we have used our conscious mind to think or deal with some other train of thought. In this state of Hypnosis, we have successfully negotiated two different things at the same time – we have been MORE AWARE!
When we use Hypnosis in the therapeutic environment, for example with Clinical Hypnosis, we take full advantage of this effect to either access inner strengths and resources that all people have to overcome the problem that they wish to solve, or in the case of Analytical Hypnosis, use the power of the subconscious mind to help uncover past experiences that may have contributed to the current problem.
So who can be Hypnotized?
Anybody who is “of sound mind”, average intelligence and is willing to participate in the process CAN experience the Hypnotic State (often you will hear the word “Trance” but I generally do not use this phrase as it has been associated over the years with the idea that you are being “controlled”) and can benefit from the therapies that are used while in the state.
You will certainly NOT be under my “control” and will be able to terminate the experience at any point that you wish. Hypnosis is a “permissive” state that requires “consent” for both parties to be effective. Recent research has shown that the Hypnotic state is a distinctly different state to normal everyday functioning and simply experiencing Hypnosis can have quite a profoundly positive effect on people.
You really have to experience Hypnosis to understand what I mean by this!
How effective is Hypnosis for Change?
Hypnosis and its use in Hypnotherapy is NOT magic and despite claims to the contrary, CANNOT make anybody do anything that they do not WANT to do.
Hypnosis allows the skilled practitioner to help the client “access” either “internal resources” or “trapped emotional experiences” and to then utilize this new knowledge to bring about changes in the behaviour of the client.
It is crucial that the client who wants to solve a particular problem understands that what I do is to HELP them improve themselves by making these changes. If you are not completely, 100% committed to wanting to make the changes, Hypnosis on its own will NOT produce the results that you desire!
On the other hand, for those who do really want to change, then Hypnosis has been shown time after time to be effective for a very wide range of problems and concerns. Many Medical professionals are fully accepting of this fact (with just as many having very negative beliefs about how effective it all is!) and it is easy to find articles all over the Internet that support this view.
What sorts of Problems can be helped with Hypnosis?
For at least 100 years Hypnosis has been helping people to overcome all sorts of problems (longer in fact than the current Medicine based approach to “illness”) and ailments. It is probably best to say that for almost any problem that is the result of a Psychological cause rather than a Physiological cause (A Physiological cause is one that is the result some sort of ACTUAL chemical, Genetic or Biological problem inside the person) that Hypnosis can usually help
The Types of problems that respond well to a course of Hypnosis are problems such as:
Research in the highly regarded “New Scientist” publication showed that the most effective method to Stop Smoking is Hypnotherapy and most people will know somebody who has stopped with Hypnosis.
Weight Managment remains a very popular problem that responds very well to the techniques used in Hypnotherapy, particularly if the person wanting to reduce weight is very well motivated and really wants to become slimmer
For more Chronic problems such as Stress Management, hypnotherapy can be more effective when carried out over a number of sessions rather than just a short course, the same is true in cases of issues of Sadness.
Is Hypnosis safe?
Almost exclusively the answer is a resounding YES, however, there ARE some circumstances
in which Hypnosis may be contra-