Hypnosis was used by the Celts, Druids and Egyptians. It has existed since the beginning of time and its popularity has changed throughout history. There are many definitions of hypnosis but for clarity I will describe it as an altered state of consciousness, in which brain waves slow to between 8 and 13 cycles per second, and a state of inner absorption and increased concentration occurs. The client’s focus of attention is narrowed and cognitions, behaviour, emotions and perceptions may be influenced because the subconscious mind is more readily accessed and when used as a therapeutic modality, healing suggestions are accepted. Exploration of the subconscious mind allows us to discover the origin of many problems and to resolve some or all of the symptoms. The Greek word Hypnos means sleep, but hypnosis is not sleep and is actually a natural state of mind that we all move in and out of daily, for example when we become totally engrossed in a good book or movie we are in a trance -like state. All hypnosis is self hypnosis and when it is used for therapeutic purposes the therapist is simply a facilitator, who acts as a teacher and a guide. Like all therapies hypnotherapy will not work for everyone however the advantage of hypnotherapy is that within a very short period of time (between 1-6 sessions)clients feel the benefits of the therapy. Extended months and years of therapy costing exorbitant amounts of money are avoided and in addition clients may be taught self hypnosis so that they themselves become empowered.
Hypnotherapy occurs when the therapist uses hypnosis to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious in order to facilitate healing change. The subconscious is that part of us that retains all memory, feelings, thoughts and wishes of which we are unaware. Generally speaking there are two types of hypnotherapy used to create change the first is suggestive and the second exploratory. The former is incredibly relaxing, the client’s body is permitted to relax on a very deep level and his or her mind becomes receptive to healing suggestions. This type of therapy is good for the majority of problems and since hypnotherapy often works with metaphor and uses the power of the imagination clients are able to access their own inner resources and creativity. Most people thoroughly enjoy the process and don’t want the experience to end because it is so relaxing, and in today’s modern society many of us do not have the luxury of simply taking time out for ourselves to rest and reflect. With the second type of hypnosis the client communicates with the therapist, by speaking while remaining in trance, as he or she travels back in time to the origin of the presenting problem and the therapist helps the client to begin the healing process. Initially all clients will experience suggestive hypnotherapy before doing the deeper exploratory work if it is deemed necessary.
The power of the mind is incredible, and hypnotherapy allows us to tap into our own inner resources through accessing the subconscious and to harness that energy for healing and making positive changes in our lives. Our imaginations are limitless and through hypnotherapy you can gain insight, change perceptions and feelings, achieve goals, break harmful habits, ameliorate or eliminate symptoms and gain a greater understanding of yourself. If you think of yourself as an art student, and your mind as an unfinished masterpiece, then the hypnotherapist can be likened to the art teacher who shows you how to complete your masterpiece.
How Clinical Hypnosis Works
Clinical hypnosis involves helping you experience a pleasant state of relaxed concentration during which your conscious mind can relax and the “doorway” to your subconscious mind can be opened with your consent. In this relaxed state, your openness to suggestion and your mental focus may be increased. Your sensitivity to feelings, sensations, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes can be made more or less intense. Also, your imagination can often be more easily used for making helpful suggestions work for you.