What is hypnotherapy/hypnosis
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that professionals use to help clients make positive permanent change. Hypnosis is a completely natural state & individuals enter this type of state on a daily basis. For example the altered state used in hypnotherapy can be compared to someone who is day dreaming, someone who has driven somewhere and has forgotten part of their journey or someone engrossed in a good book. It is about leaving the present just for a little while and focussing your attention in this scenario on what the hypnotherapist is saying.
When clients reach this altered state it allows the hypnotherapist to access the subconscious and alter past negative thought patterns, feelings and behaviours. These old negative thoughts, feelings & behaviours are then replaced with new more life enhancing information which begins to form as a habit and becomes a permanent fixture. For example just like when you learned to walk or drive, once learnt your subconscious mind takes over freeing up your conscious mind to do other things. However if you tried to alter these thoughts, feelings & behaviour at a conscious level it will not compute with what is stored at a subconscious level. Therefore the new information would be filtered out as untrue. This is why making changes at a subconscious level is so important.
'The way people behave & react on the outside will be a representation of their internal world' (Chrysalis, 2010).
It is also important to be aware that our subconscious mind takes up ten-elevenths of our total mind, and will nearly always win over our conscious mind. However this is not a bad thing as our subconscious mind works only in our favour & its primary goal is to ensure our survival. Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious cannot be critical of suggestion so 'it will wield all its power in favour of its best perceived action' Chrysalis (2010) to ensure our survival & reduce anxieties. This here offers an explanation to why we may react to certain situations the way we do. The subconscious aims to protect us so if it believes we are under threat it will respond accordingly even whether the threat is real or not.
How does it work
In order for hypnotherapy to work, the client must firstly allow themselves to relax. Once the client is relaxed enough and the hypnotherapist is able to identify that their client is experiencing hypnosis then and only then can the work begin. The aim of the hypnotherapist is to ensure that the client is deeply relaxed & focussed on what the hypnotherapist is saying. This is vital to hypnosis in order to ensure that the client has established the necessary brain wave patterns to allow access to the subconscious (there is more information about establishing the correct brain wave patterns below in 'the science section') . To begin with the hypnotherapist is likely to start by breaking down your old outdated information and replace it with new more life enhancing information. Eventually you will begin to notice these changes on a conscious level identifying & recognising the difference in how you think, feel & act.
We have four types of brain waves that vary in frequency & we enter & leave these four types of brain waves throughout the day depending on what we are doing. The ones hypnotherapist are interested in are known as Alpha waves, Theta waves & Delta waves. Alpha waves represent a less aroused state in an individual & are present during light hypnosis. Theta waves represent a slowing down of these waves. They are present in sleep when we are dreaming and they represent calm. These waves can be found in medium to deep states of hypnosis and this type of brain wave is directly linked to the subconscious. Delta waves are the slowest form of brain waves (1-4 cycles per second). These types of brain wave represents a detached awareness & sleep and 'may be visible in very deep states of hypnosis'. (Chrysalis, 2010)
The conscious critical faculty
This is located between the conscious & subconscious. It acts as a filter and distinguishes what to do with the information we receive. It will compare new information with previously stored information and then decide whether to filter this information out as untrue. Here is a simple explanation of this, if I said to you look at how lovely the sky is today, its bright green. This information would quickly be assessed & filtered out as untrue. Because we have being taught that the sky is blue. However this fact as we might say is simply based on the English language not on science. 'It is a fact based on visual perception' (Chrysalis, 2010). During hypnosis the conscious critical faculty is bypassed enabling new information to be stored in the subconscious.
What is Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy & counselling both come under the same umbrella (talking therapies). Although some websites may try and differentiate between the two by stating that psychotherapists deal with more in depth emotional/psychological problems or that counselling is more likely to be short term. The truth of the matter is that it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish between the two (Chrysalis, 2014). For example the BACP (2010) suggest that counselling/psychotherapy are both equal and valid. Chrysalis (2014) also supports these ideas and highlights the fact that counsellors also work with deep issues over longer periods of time.
Can hypnotherapy/psychotherapy help me
Hypnotherapy/psychotherapy combined can help most people & most people can be hypnotised. However there are a few people that hypnotherapy would not be effective for, these include those with learning difficulties, those intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, those with severe dementia and those who do not want to be hypnotised. It is also important to be aware that hypnosis is not mind control & that a hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything that you don't want to. It is completely safe and you are completely free to enter & leave a hypnotic state at any time.
Services & costs
For further information on the services I provide, the areas in which I work with and the cost of my services please click on the services tab located at the top of this page. I also provide a service for victims/survivors of domestic abuse (you will find this tab linked to the services tab at the top of the page)
For further information about me & my training please click the about me tab located at the top of the page.