Hypnosis focuses the mind’s attention resulting in an altered state of consciousness. It results in deep relaxation of the body and slowing of the brainwaves. Hypnosis is thought to allow the critical and analytical part of the mind to relax, allowing the subconscious mind to be receptive to positive suggestion. A hypnotic state can be achieved by anyone and is a natural state of mind that we all go in and out of each day without realizing it. Have you ever daydreamed or “got lost” in a book or TV program?
Yes, anyone who is willing to follow the hypnotherapist’s suggestion can be hypnotized. Even if you feel anxious you can achieve a hypnotic state.
You are always in control when having hypnotherapy. Your conscious mind will not accept any suggestion that conflicts with your inner values.
There are still myths around hypnotherapy, however it is now becoming a more accepted and recognized therapy.
Hypnotherapy cannot be used by the therapist to gain control of a person’s mind or make them do something they don’t want to. In contrast, hypnotherapy can help people to gain greater control over their own mind and behaviour.
Through the use of counselling and hypnosis, the hypnotherapist facilitates a change in beliefs and habits that have become automatic and are no longer helpful or wanted by the client. The therapist does this by relaxing and calming the mind, allowing the subconscious to accept positive suggestions for change. It is thought that our subconscious mind contains our beliefs, habits and attitudes programmed through childhood and life experience. They can become our default setting or “automatic pilot”. If these beliefs, habits and attitudes are unhelpful, negative or not wanted by the client, they can be reprogramed to more positive, helpful and beneficial ones, creating new neural pathways.
Recent research into neuroplasticity of the brain suggests the brain can change and create new neural pathways no matter what age we are. Change really is possible with hypnotherapy.
Everyone experiences hypnosis differently. Most people feel very relaxed and calm. Body temperature can drop so a blanket is usually placed on the client for comfort. Some people can’t remember any of their hypnotherapy session, however most people hear everything the hypnotherapist says and go into a hypnotic state. You do not need to be in a deep trance to have effective therapy. During hypnosis, you may have the ability to recall past events, have a feeling of wellbeing and be able to accept new ideas or positive suggestions that do not conflict with your own values.
Your perception of time may be distorted, your body may feel heavy and relaxed and you may feel drowsy for the few minutes when coming out of hypnosis. This is all normal.
Hypnotherapy is very safe and effective when delivered by a qualified clinical hypnotherapist. Your hypnotherapist should be a member of a professional association such as the Australian Association of Clinical Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists ( AACHP). This ensures your therapist is well qualified and completes the necessary ongoing professional development and clinical supervision required for ongoing membership.
Hypnosis and counselling form part of the hypnotherapy session.
Typically a first session would last for an hour and a half and include time to get to know you and the issue you would like to change. This may involve taking a medical/health history, asking questions about how the presenting issue is impacting on your life and how you would like to experience life differently.
The hypnosis part of the session may take 20-30 minutes where you are comfortably sitting in a recliner chair.
Subsequent sessions may be an hour to an hour and a half depending on your circumstances.
You may set some goals for yourself during the counselling part of the session, practice mindfulness and have support to link into services/resources to help you achieve those goals. I practice holistically and work together with other professionals if necessary to ensure you receive the best service.
Most issues can be effectively treated with hypnotherapy with only a few sessions making it a cost effective option.