What is Hypnotherapy?
In order to explain what Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy actually are, it's important to first understand how your mind works a little better.
Your mind is divided up into the conscious mind and unconscious mind. The conscious mind makes up roughly 10% and is responsible for willpower, long term memory, and our logical and critical thinking. The subconscious mind on the other hand, makes up 90% and is responsible for our beliefs, emotions, habits, values and our protective reactions.
These beliefs, emotions, habits, values and 'internal programs' are what drives our behaviour. For many of us we already know what we should be doing, or rather what we want to be doing e.g. becoming a non-smoker or not binging on sugar. But it often feels that these reactions and behaviours are beyond are control. It's as if there is something greater controlling your behaviour, and there is, your subconscious.
It makes sense therefore that in order to create a change in behaviour or a change in our reaction to something, we need to somehow communicate with your subconscious. And this is exactly what hypnosis allows us to do.
How does Hypnotherapy work?
Firstly you are guided into a deeply relaxed focused state. Once in this 'trance state', your body and conscious mind are relaxed, whilst your subconscious mind remains awake and receptive to hypnotic suggestion. When given a new suggestion that is within the bounds of your belief system and moral orientation, the subconscious mind accepts it literally as a new reality. The ability to re-program emotional attitudes and reactions is a latent talent within every human being.
Hypnosis is the most functional and reasonable way to build new behaviours, create new patterns and find alternate ways of dealing with situations, thereby enforcing positive changed and restoring wellbeing of mind and body.
Can everyone be hypnotised?
Hypnosis is a trance-like state in which a person has a heightened focus and concentration. Whilst in theory there is no physical reason why everyone cannot be hypnotised, there can be psychological reasons that make some people more resistant to being in an hypnotic state that others.
If a person is resistant to the process it can very hard for that person to relax enough to enter a true hypnotic state. Usually those who believe that they cannot be hypnotised have a deep seated need for control. They think that if they allow themselves to be hypnotised they will be giving up control so will never allow themselves to relax enough to get to the hypnotic state.
It's important to point out that you never give up control of your mind or your body during hypnosis, and you are never unconscious. Your conscious mind is just very deeply relaxed and letting the subconscious mind come to the forefront. From my experience the key is trust in your therapist.
What does it feel like being in 'trance'?
It is different for everyone as it is a personal experience, however is often described as being very deeply relaxed and/or being in a state of 'flow'. A few examples of what this means, is to think about how it feels when you are meditating, or when you are fully engaged in a task and you look up to find an hour has gone by - this could be anything from gardening, painting to reading a good book. It’s the feeling of being totally engrossed in what you are doing and completely focused.
When in a hypnotic trance the amount of information you may remember will vary between person to person. Some clients are very aware during a session and can hear everything that is going on around them. For others, they may drift in and out, only remembering part of what was said.
But you will remember everything regardless of your experience. You will experience what is right and natural for you. All experiences are perfect as the subconscious mind is always listening.
Will I loose control during hypnosis?
No, your mind will not allow you to say or do anything under hypnosis that you would not do or say in your ordinary conscious state. You always have control, and you can always hear what's going on. Hypnosis is nothing but a state of relaxed deep focus. You are fully aware so if anything is said to you that you don't like you can just stand up and walk away.