The technical bits
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a general term that is used to describe the process of treating psychological disorders and mental distress. During this process, a trained and qualified psychotherapist helps the client tackle a specific or general problem.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is one of a number of tools utilised by psychotherapists that use the state of hypnosis to help treat a variety of problems. When carried out by a trained and qualified hypnotherapist the benefits could be long lasting.
What is Hypnosis?
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the client is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotherapist's voice.
It may be surprising to learn that we experience trance states often during the course of our daily lives, driving home and wondering how you got there, losing yourself in a book without really taking it in are all forms of mild trance. Even passing into ordinary sleep involves a kind of trance state.
The experience of hypnosis is similar: neither asleep nor awake and a little like daydreaming, with a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation behind it all.
Hypnosis allows you to naturally enter into a different state of consciousness (trance) so that, for therapeutic purposes (hypnotherapy), beneficial corrections may be given directly to your subconscious mind.
In this way, hypnosis is an effective way of making contact with our inner (subconscious) self, which is both a reservoir of unrecognised potential and knowledge as well as being the unwitting source of many of our problems.
Altered states of awareness have been recognised for thousands of years and hypnosis is widely accepted as a beneficial therapy to access our inner potential.
Techniques can be used to reveal issues from an individual’s past that may be causing them distress, or the approach can be focused more on their present problems.
What does it involve?
Hypnosis involves the person experiencing a sense of deep relaxation with their attention narrowed down, and focused on appropriate suggestions made by the therapist. These suggestions help clients make positive changes within themselves, hypnotherapy is not about being made to do things, in fact it is the opposite, it is about empowerment.
How does it work?
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken. Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the patient's behaviour and physical state to alter.
For example, a patient who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but may still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this fear and prevents the patient from succeeding.
The most important thing to consider regarding hypnotherapy is that you have to really want to change some behavioural habit or issue within you and that you are highly motivated and committed to do so, it doesn’t matter if you have tried other methods that have failed or that you cannot find a way to solve your current situation, the most important thing is that you want to make the change to work. Why is this so important?
Simple – contrary to popular belief, whilst under hypnosis you cannot be made to do anything you don’t want to, you have to be motivated and committed to make the change and you also have to be prepared to put effort into achieving your goal.
Please note that no therapy including hypnotherapy can claim to be 100% effective.