February 16, 2023

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy helps to access the subconscious and enables deep change and healing.

Written by

Nicole Biggs

As a hypnotherapist I am very aware that people can be a bit wary of hypnotherapy.  We have all seen the stage hypnosis shows where the ‘willing volunteer’ is made to do strange things. We think that someone will take over us, and we won’t know what is happening. I therefore want to let you know that there is nothing to be worried about with hypnotherapy. It is totally different to stage hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is a very effective tool in my toolkit of methods and approaches. It enables deep change and healing for clients.

Hypnotherapy is, basically, therapy that takes place whilst the client is in a state of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a completely natural state that everyone enters by themselves each day when they act on ‘automatic pilot’. For example, when we drive home but are planning what to cook that night, and so we drive automatically as our mind is busy working out if there is enough carrots. At this time our subconscious is doing the driving whilst our conscious is busy thinking.

During hypnotherapy the client is in full control and is aware of everything that is being said. It is called a ‘hypnotic trance’ but this is a left over from the stage hypnotist’s. Being in a state of hypnosis for hypnotherapy is like when you are lying in bed and are hearing, but totally ignoring, the alarm clock. This is the stage where your conscious mind is just about to fall asleep, and so your sub conscious is nearest to the surface. The state between awake and asleep. Really comfortable and relaxed.

Hypnotherapy targets a client’s subconscious. This is where your beliefs, memories and habits are all stored. It is the part of the mind that does all of the automatic stuff, freeing our conscious mind to think about something else. For example, we do not need to think about breathing in and out, we just do it automatically every minute of every day for the whole of our lives.  Our subconscious is also always awake, it is only our conscious mind that sleeps. By accessing the subconscious directly, going to the source, huge changes can take place in a short period of time. 

Visualisations are often used during hypnotherapy, harnessing the incredible power of the client’s imagination to visualise what they want to achieve or change. This helps to make ideas, thoughts and changes real and effective. This then makes them easier to implement and keep for the client. Therefore, giving them a clear picture of their goal, how they are going to achieve it, and how they are going to maintain it in their lives. It can also help with pain and recovery after illness or operations by visualising the healing of the body, and pain leaving the body or being turned down. The subconscious loves imagery, symbols and metaphors, after all our dreams come from our subconscious whilst our conscious is asleep.

People are more ‘suggestible’ when they are in a state of hypnosis, this is why it is used on stage to make people cluck like a chicken or similar behaviour. In this state your ‘conscious filters’ are also not in place. This means that information goes into our minds directly rather than being filtered by our beliefs. Therefore, even though you may not believe that you can climb Ben Nevis now, the idea that you can do it will not be bounced off by your filters whilst you are in hypnotherapy. The absence of these filters is what makes the client ‘suggestible’ whilst in hypnosis. Your conscious mind is not able to doubt yourself and therefore reject the suggestion. A hypnotherapist uses this suggestibility to change thoughts and behaviours in the client by direct and indirect suggestion.

Please be assured however that a hypnotherapist cannot make you do something that you do not want to do. This is why sometimes stop smoking hypnotherapy is not effective, as the client does not truly want to change their behaviour. You are also always in control during a hypnotherapy session and are aware of everything that is going on.

Hypnotherapy is therefore not something to be wary of. It is a fantastic tool which harnesses the awesome power of our subconscious.

For more information, or just a chat, please contact me on 07742 209312 or nicole@greenoaktherapies.co.uk

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