What is Hypnotherapy and what does it do?
Hypnotherapy is a Talking Therapy using Hypnosis
A Hypnotherapist will spend time talking through your issue confidentially. They will belong to a proper register similar to the General Hypnotherapy Register and be overlooked by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council. This is the Gold Standard which assures that they are properly trained and experienced and also keep skills up to scratch by proper supervision by an experienced colleague and take regular courses for Continuing Professional Development.
After a proper assessment your Therapist will then begin treatment which may be recorded to reinforce the session. The treatment may use a number of techniques to address the issues raised.
None of us are Tinkerbell with a Magic Wand
None of us are Tinkerbell and Hypnosis is not Magic. We have seen shows like “Back in the Room” which give the impression that you are the helpless participant to whom things are done. Be assured that you won’t be “doing the funky chicken” for your therapist. In fact it is unlikely that you would or would want to be so silly – but then you are not competing for a large financial prize!
Rather you want to make the change – and there Hypnotherapy can help. Let’s look at a specific example of Hypnotherapy in action drawing on a real treatment:
Weight Loss with Hypnotherapy
A client comes to see me with Weight Management issues. She is classified as obese (BMI over 28) and the Doctor has indicated that a Gastric Band operation / Bariatric Surgery is the last resort. She has had Counselling and CBT. Neither addressed the issue. She has done all the diets, had all the shakes and pills, tried the slimming clubs – and every time that she “stops dieting” she puts the weight back on and more.
I suggest to her that it has been known since the 1960s that diets are a quick fix and mostly won’t last. When people stop the temporary diet they go back to “normal” eating. They go back to the problems that caused the overeating. I suggest that we have to tackle the WHY of overeating.
We discover that, for her, Boredom, Stress and Anxiety are drivers for overeating and that she is “addicted” to sugary foods. You could substitute many other reasons or problem foods. The bottom line is that many people self medicate or tranquillise with Food or Alcohol. It gives them a sense of comfort.
I suggest that we need strategies for the drivers for overeating. we need to address the Boredom, find out how to handle Stress with Strategies, discover ways to deal with anxiety. We then need to motivate better Weight Management, better eating and perhaps some form of enjoyable exercise.
We formulate a Plan delivered over a Course and we address issues as they arise. Yes it is hard work to overturn many years of unhelpful thinking and doing.We all know that the goal achieved that is initially difficult is always the best and most lasting.
However this lady in the third week said that she realised that her many years of battling with weight were largely a mindset one. She is well on her way to losing weight.
More importantly she is less anxious, more decisive, less stressed. She has stopped procrastinating. She is never bored. She now chooses what she eats and is aware of the consequences of what she eats. She is MINDFUL of her use of food and generally chooses healthy options in small portions.
We utilised in the course: Hypnosis, NLP and Hypnoanalysis allied to Counselling and Common Sense. We monitored progress and adjusted as we worked together.
What is Hypnosis NLP and hypnoanalysis?
Hypnotism or Hypnosis has been around since the fist Native American Shaman or Egyptian or Greek Temple utilised Trance to Teach and Heal. The Egyptians had Dream Temples which were healing spaces where people relaxed and were fed suggestions that enabled them to change the way that they lived and thought about Life.
People think that Hypnosis is removed from their every day experience – but it isn’t!
When Jessica Ennis Hill is part of a race she “Goes into the Zone”, an Actor will talk of being “In the Moment”, a Musician will talk of “Being in the Flow”.Â When you watch a great Sports event or Movie you “Get Lost”. If your Accounts are close to being overdue you really “Concentrate”.
Trance is a “Fixation of Attention” – so in other words when you are in a state of relaxed concentration you are in a form of trance.
So how is that useful?
Hypnosis is a very deep form of relaxation. When you are deeply relaxed you are able to engage your imagination and process alternatives to your habitual way of doing things. You are aware of what is happening and you effectively learn how to hypnotise yourself. The Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist is a facilitator.
It is not Mind Control and you will not do anything that you would not normally do. If you would “do the funky chicken” after a few pints or for a reward of some sort then you might undertake it if it was suggested. However that is not going to happen in a therapy context!
Example: If I suggest to someone who wants to stop smoking for health reasons to imagine sucking smoke into their lungs. I add that it contains 4,000 poisons. These poisons spread through their blood to their other organs. They imagine that journey. They understand more clearly how smoking might impact health. They might consider some of the alternatives that I suggest that satisfy the same needs. If I suggest that there is a better alternative to deal with stress, for instance, then they have another option INSTEAD of smoking.
Neuro Linguistic Programming
NLP was developed by Bandler and Grinder and was based around studying and “modelling” best practice of the most successful Therapists of their time. The idea being that anyone could then take this distilled best practice and use it to help reframe or view differently an issue. As with Hypnotherapy a number of techniques and approaches developed to approach and help change prevailing habits fears or phobias. Previous to NLP Phobias, for instance, were hard to treat. Dr Bandler could eradicate a Phobia in one session.
Hypnoanalysis and Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy and Hypnoanalsis are often used in conjunction with the above approaches. There is also EFT and EMDR .. and many other approaches. At base a skilled therapist will use techniques that they are comfortable using to help you make the change that you want. This may also involve “regression to cause.”
I will give another example which is deliberately simple:
A man came to see me for smoking cessation. I asked him when he smoked and it mainly seemed to be when the doorbell rang and then by association the telephone rang. A regression recovered a memory of the front doorbell ringing and a Policeman told him that a close friend had been killed in an accident.
His default response to stress was to smoke. Whenever the doorbell rang and by extension the phone he ASSUMED it might be bad news – so got into the habit of lighting a cigarette.
We discussed how often it was likely to be bad news in fact? We imagined scenarios of the Amazon Order arriving. A friend calling on the phone or at the door. We asserted that as it was unlikely to be a catastrophe that there was no need for the default habit to be smoking a cigarette. The next week he answered the door and the phone WITHOUT lighting up.
This is simplistic to be sure – but I hope it aids your understanding.
Getting Treatment with Hypnotherapy
There are many Hypnotherapists – but as with Doctors there are ones that you can work with and others who may not suit you or do not have the right skill set for your issues. If you had IBS you would go and see a Specialist rather than a GP wouldn’t you?
I offer wide and deep experience allied to reasonable cost – that is what I can offer for instance – and a passionate commitment to help people using tools that I strongly believe will work where other approaches may have failed.
You can look at the GHR lists for people in your area or you can read web pages like mine. Personally I always talk to people on the phone and give them a FREE confidential assessment. If it is outside my skill set I will recommend someone else.
It costs mainly time to talk to a Qualified Hypnotherapist and you can then assess if you feel it will work for you.