Hypnotherapy explained

Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy which uses positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change.

It aims to alter our state of consciousness by relaxing the conscious part of the mind, while stimulating and focussing the subconscious part. This heightened state of awareness - reached using relaxation techniques - allows the therapist to then make appropriate suggestions. These can help treat psychological conditions and change unwanted habits, fears, thoughts and behaviours.

Hypnotherapy explained makes it sound a bit odd, but once you experience hypnotherapy, it all falls in to place.

Hypnotic trance

This 'altered state of consciousness' can be described as somewhere between fully awake and deeply asleep.

Think of some steps: awake is at the top, asleep is at the bottom, and the state that hypnotherapists called 'trance' is on the flight of steps between the two. It's in this relaxed state that our conscious mind can drift off - daydream if you like - and we become more open to suggestions for positive change.

We go in to trance all the time quite naturally. You know when you're going to sleep or waking up - there's always a time when you're neither awake nor asleep but in a wonderful state somewhere in between. That's a hypnotic trance. Driving a familiar road and not quite knowing how you arrived - losing yourself in a film or book - laughter - all are natural examples of being in a trance.

The client remains in charge

Much as I'd like to make some overblown claim that hypnotherapy can solve all your problems in one easy fell swoop with no effort on your part, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) would soon be beating a path to my door if I did. The truth is - hypnotherapy can help many people to change habits, behaviours and thoughts, but success is affected hugely by a client's own commitment and determination to change.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis

The biggest hypnotic secret is that the power is in the client and not the hypnotherapist. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and while a hypnotherapist facilitates deep relaxation and then offers relevant suggestions, the person who is guided into hypnosis is the person in charge. As Charles Tebbetts - a proponent of client-centred hypnotherapy - explained, and who became a legend in his own lifetime - put it way back in 1985:

"The hypnotherapist (or hypnotist) is simply a guide facilitating the client's inborn ability to change as desired, because all the power is already in the mind of the person experiencing hypnosis."

Regulation

Many trade bodies regulate and represent hypnotherapists. One of these trade bodies in the UK is the National Hypnotherapy Society, of which I am a registered member.

set yourself free

Testimonial: anxiety

Despite my initial prejudice against any form of alternative medicine, I have to admit that I have benefitted enormously from our sessions at the clinic as well as from using the discs that you provided for use at home. The relaxation therapy that you practice not only helped me to recover from the viral infection, that I believe I had, but also has provided me with some useful tools for avoiding any occurrence of similar symptoms in the future. Very much a long-term gain!

March 2018. Gentleman with anxiety and associated unnecessary habits

This is an extract from the longer version, which is available on the Testimonials page.