Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis, which is a powerful and effective tool for self-improvement, in a therapeutic setting. But what is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is…a state of deep relaxation
Hypnosis is…a state of concentration
Hypnosis is…a natural state of mind
Hypnosis is not…sleep
Hypnosis is not…loss of consciousness
Hypnosis is not…surrender of will
Hypnosis is not…loss of self-control
Hypnosis is a natural trance-like state located between sleep and waking consciousness which we all dip in and out of frequently, for example when we are watching a beautiful sunset, or are engrossed in a film or reading a good book and filtering out everything else. We also go into this state every night when we’re just about to drift off to sleep but we’re not asleep and in the morning when we’re just about to wake up but are not awake. In this state we are accessing alpha and theta (even deeper) brain wave states measurable by ECG, and the most powerful part of our creative potential – our imagination – can be tapped. In trance we are deeply relaxed physically, yet mentally many times more alert than in a normal state of awareness.
We are also much more open to suggestion as we have dropped what is known as the critical factor which acts as a barrier between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. To make changes in our lives we need to access our unconscious mind where our memories, behaviours, habits and feelings originate: we are all that the programming in the unconscious mind perceives us to be. In hypnotherapy we help clients to access their unconscious computer and reprogramme it. In the relaxed hypnotic state of mind we can give carefully chosen therapeutic suggestions to enable clients to make changes and move beyond the limitations that they might normally have.
So it is a very powerful technique as well as being a very calming, healing experience. However, it is the client not the therapist who is in control and so it can be said that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Some describe it as a form of guided meditation. So you see, it is a far cry from the idea of it being some sort of mind control as portrayed in Stage Hypnosis and Hollywood. Stage Hypnotists create this illusion because they are very good at spotting suitable volunteers who are keen (consciously or unconsciously) to be exhibitionists and willing to do all sorts of things on stage.
Hypnosis is one of the most fascinating phenomena of the human mind.