So what is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a natural, effective way of making contact with the inner (unconscious) self, which holds the answers to many of our issues, as well as a tremendous reservoir of unrecognised potential, strength and knowledge.
Hypnotherapy treats or relieves a variety of somatic and psychological symptoms. As a Hypnotherapist, my role is to guide you to a deep level of relaxation where your mind is in an altered state (trance) in order that your unconscious mind can be communicated with and a change made. The experience is individual to everyone and many people say that they feel really relaxed and find it a very enjoyable experience; but the most important thing to remember is that you are always in control – you can chose to exit the trance at any time. During hypnosis people usually say that they are still aware of what is going on around them but it doesn’t seem to matter; it goes into the background. We all experience trance states many times in our everyday lives, when we are absorbed in a book maybe or some music, a film, a daydream or a sporting activity we really enjoy; we know that things are going on around us but everything else is forgotten.
People are sometimes apprehensive of hypnotherapy due to a concern that their mind may be taken over! Remember you are always in control; you cannot be made to reveal anything you would not want to reveal or do anything that you would not want to do. At any time you will be able to open your eyes and end the session of hypnosis. There is no way you can ‘get stuck’ in hypnosis.
This clip below shows a client discussing her experience of Hypnotherapy: What happened, how she felt and how it works
Conscious and Subconscious Mind
It is sometimes helpful to have some understanding of the way in which our conscious and sub-conscious mind operate.
You could think of the conscious mind as being the tip of an iceberg – rather like the interface with the outer world. The conscious mind is critical and judgemental and can be seen as goal directed and goal perceiving. Conscious thinking may solve problems and protect us from unwanted consequences by weighing up information, and deciding on a course of action.
The subconscious mind is infinitely larger than the conscious mind, accounting for about 90% of our total mind power, so you might like to think of this as the part of the iceberg below water level. It controls most of our brain functions quite automatically and it has far greater influence and can accomplish much more than the conscious mind. Do you ever do something so automatically that you wonder how you did it without thinking about it? Drivers often experience this when they realise they have arrived somewhere without even thinking about driving there. Another example of how the subconscious operates is when we use a knife and fork to eat our food, or lift a cup to take a sip. Our conscious mind makes the decision to eat the food or swallow the drink but we don’t think about the very complicated set of muscle movements required to carry out the action.
Our memories, emotions and feelings are all stored in our subconscious when we are not consciously thinking them. Everything we have ever experienced in our life is stored in our subconscious. Therefore, our subconscious mind is very powerful and it is the subconscious mind that we talk to when entering into a hypnotic trance.
Whilst there are never any guarantees given, evidence has shown that hypnotherapy can be successful in treating many different somatic and psychological symptoms and is completely natural and safe with no harmful side effects.