Hypnotherapy combines trance (hypno…) with therapeutic discussions (…therapy). It can help people overcome a variety of emotional, nervous and psychological problems that affect their daily lives. It can also support people to realise goals in sport, their professional life or their personal studies.
“I love to lose myself in a book. I feel I have escaped to another world and my worries and concerns have drifted away for a short while”.
Do you know that feeling? Perhaps for you it is a film or time to daydream while you are walking. These are states of deep concentration, focused thought or in other words a waking trance state.
While in hypnosis, you are very relaxed, fully conscious, hear everything that is said and never do anything you do not want to do.
You might be surprised to know that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I am trained to guide you into this relaxed state of mind, yet you are actually the one with all of the control.
How Hypnotherapy Works
During hypnotherapy a trance state is created using physical relaxation and visualisation techniques. This relaxed but focused state is similar to meditation. It is a natural, yet altered state where the lower regions of our brain, typically associated with anxiety, anger and certain types of less helpful behaviour patterns, are ‘quietened’ mainly by the deep physical relaxation. The unconscious is then open to beneficial thoughts and ideas from the creative and intellectual parts of the brain and the suggestions given by the therapist. This can help change old unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving and give more control over unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
The unconscious mind is like a computer; once it is programmed with a certain idea or belief, it will operate out of that idea as if it were a reality unless it is reprogrammed. Hypnotherapy is a way to re-programme the mind.
This is much more than pure relaxation – the hypnotic trance is very similar to the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle of sleep which has been shown to be essential for psychological health.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and NLP
Why do many therapists offer both techniques?
They are similar because:
- Both therapies require an understanding of how the brain works, in particular, the relationship between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind.
- Both therapies focus on moving ahead in one’s life and focusing on future goals and happiness using a range of techniques. Unlike other therapeutic approaches, little attention is given to a detailed analysis of the past. Many people find this positive and helpful.
- Both therapies can work with a customer, ‘content-free’. Some of the problems customers have are difficult to talk about. Content-free therapy enables us to work together with a minimum of factual information being shared. This can be very liberating and works well for young people.
They are different because:
- During hypnosis, the customer is physically passive and the therapist does most of the work while the conscious brain is relaxed and quiet.
- With NLP, the client is actively engaged in doing activities to re-programme their brain while their conscious mind is still very active.
In the same way that two heads are better than one; many therapists have found that two different approaches combined are more effective than each taken separately.