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What is hypnosis?
" a state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness. during which a person is said to have heightened concentration and an increased response to suggestions."source: wikipedia
Hypnosis is actually a very natural state which we all, to varying degrees, experience daily.
Examples of this include that fuzzy time between sleep and waking, when that six minute snooze button seems to give you an hour's dream; driving a familiar route on autopilot but not remembering details of the journey; or just having a good old daydream, lost in your imagination until you eventually become aware of the "real world" again.
These are common, everyday situations where your attention has become focused elsewhere, where you drift off into a bit of a trance- all are various levels of hypnosis.
How do I become hypnotised?
I would start by saying that hypnosis doesn't always have to be something one person does to another. Self hypnosis can be taught, and can be a useful tool to have in your life.
However, in clinical hypnosis I will gently guide you into a hypnotic state, a state of deep relaxation, by using voice techniques, hypnotic language and multisensory imagery . No ticking clocks!
No. You always retain control, and you can always hear what's going on. Remember, hypnosis is nothing but a state of relaxed, deep focus. You are awake, you are aware and you are "you"! Hypnosis can't make you do something against your wishes, morals or ethics.
So, in a session, you will hear my words ( although specific details may be hard to remember afterwards, much as details of a film or book are) and you will respond if necessary, but you will be in total control of your thoughts, decisions and responses. At any time, you could stop the session. You would react to a fire alarm going off. If I told you to rob a bank, you wouldn't, any more than if I had asked you to rob a bank before the session started.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Yes, if you want to be. If you actively resist the process then it won't be a success.
However hypnosis is not recommended for some conditions including epilepsy, psychosis (e.g. schizophrenia), and for people who suffer from certain learning difficulties.
What exactly is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is quite simply the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool, to cure or to make better or stronger. It has been used as such by many cultures and in many countries for well over 6000 years.
How does hypnotherapy work?
Hypnotherapy differs from many other forms of talking therapies because it works with the client's subconscious mind, helping to create meaningful alternatives to the current way of feeling, behaving or thinking.
Conscious resolve just doesn't work for many people . Today is so often going to be "the last day"for something and tomorrow is so often going to be "a fresh start". Yet a conscious decision or a determined mind is often never enough.
Hypnotherapy addresses this by resolving issues at a different level . A skilled therapist can use hypnosis to achieve desired changes and goals by tapping into your subconscious mind and working with you to change negative thought patterns, or faulty beliefs. Hypnotherapy can also be an effective way to process unpleasant memories of events that may be causing ongoing negative emotions, fears or phobias.
To demystify the process , it is important to stress once again that hypnosis is not a state of amnesia or reduced awareness but a state of very heightened awareness and focus. The difference is that it is the unconscious mind that is opening up, becoming more receptive, while the logical, thinking mind takes a back seat.
Solution focused therapy ( SFT) is a very practical and goal orientated technique, involving a collaborative approach between therapist and client, and now used widely by many professionals in health, education and psychotherapy. The ethos behind SFT comes from the psychologist Abraham Maslows's belief that studying the causes and effects of emotional and behavioural problems was not the best way to create resolutions to those problems.
As its name suggests, SFT focuses on solutions rather being problem centred. Unlike many other therapies, SFT does not focus on the past, nor does it require the client to give a detailed history of their lives and what is going wrong, nor to graphically revisit traumatic events. Instead, it moves the client towards the preferred future and desired changes, identifying the client's relevant strengths and resources which will help enable the process of change.
What can hypnotherapy be used for?
Hypnotherapy can be effective in the treatment of many issues and is currently recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)) for a range of conditions.
stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, skin conditions, IBS, chronic pain,
fears and phobias, smoking, emotional eating, nail biting and other unwanted habits
increased confidence and self esteem, sports performance, time management, achieving goals
public speaking, driving test , sports competitions, exams
We will spend the first half of a session just chatting, so that I can establish what your needs are, and what you want to achieve out of our time together. I will be asking you a few solution focused questions. It's worth reminding you now that solution focused work doesn't require you to chat endlessly about your issues and your past ,and doesn't require you to relive terrible moments. Instead it focuses on the preferred future, how you would prefer things to be. That's not to say that this pre chat won't be emotional, deep or soul searching. Solution focused questioning can really take people on an emotional journey and prove surprisingly revealing. This first half of the session will also allow me to explain and educate as necessary. My experience with clients is that people love to know exactly what's going on in their mind and body so if I can help you in your understanding of that then I will.
The second half of the session will be devoted to the hypnotic induction. I will use words and imagery to relax you and gently guide you into a hypnotic state, using different hypnotic techniques to provide you with a session tailored to your needs.
At the end of the session I will gently bring you back from your hypnotic state, allow you time to readjust and start to enjoy the benefits of the session.
Solution focused therapy is known for its rapid results. However, the number of sessions required can vary depending on the nature of your issue. On average, most clients will be successfully treated within 4 sessions. Phobias, using the highly regarded Rewind Technique, can be treated in as little as one session. However, it is possible that , when working with a client on one issue, we can discover that there is a different underlying issue which has to be tackled. For instance, it is not possible to treat someone with day to day anxiety or depression if they have been traumatized by one specific event. First we have to clear the memory of that event. Then we can move on.
Solution focused therapy is a collaborative process so we will discuss and agree goals or outcomes in our first meeting, and discuss improvements and monitor progress as we go along.
I want to help you and empower you, then send you on your way a changed and happier person. Ultimately it is you who will know that you have reached your goal.