What is hypnotherapy...really?
Simply put, hypnosis is 'a learning state' and hypnotherapy is the effective use of this state to allow desired changes to occur.
Hypnosis could also be called a 'programming state' because it's a state where the mind learns faster. Just like a computer or smart phone regularly updates its programmes, the mind consolidates the information contained within and it's options of how it can best respond to various life scenarios and situations. Every person on the planet goes in and out of this learning state every day many, many times. Only we usually aren't aware we're doing it and so might not often utilise it for positive benefit. We daydream and imagine various scenarios of 'what if': "What if they say this to me?...Oh well then I will tell them this...", "what if this happens?...Well then I might panic and react like this...it might be awful!". Part of our mind uses our present knowledge from life and in trying to keep us safe, scans ahead and flags up potential scenarios for our review.
We drift and wonder in our thoughts, usually with no positive guidance towards wanted outcomes, but as the mind scans it's options of possible responses to various situations, it programmes in what it sees fit to be your best options. Hypnotherapy allows your mind to visit new, better options. It allows the mind to explore, consider, rehearse and choose from a better selection of responses.
Children, especially below the age of four, are in a different brainwave state to an adult. We know this because we know how children are more open and quick to learn at this age. After all, how does a four year old pick up several languages so easily and naturally if exposed to them, compared to the arduous process an adult would have to go through later to learn a single new language. It's because at this age the brain is in a hypnotic state; a super learning state. The brain is open to forming perceptions, understandings and beliefs much faster.
A child's ability to learn like this is of course a wonderful thing and yet at the same time it can be the source of many, great problems in later life. The child does not have the discretion of an adult. Their conscious thinking mind has not yet developed. Therefore their young, fast, receptive mind can often make poor conclusions of events. Where an adult would be able to compartmentalise a negative event as just a one off experience amongst a range of "things that can happen", a child may label it as "what happens" as if permanently, every time. Their mind programmes in responses that stay in place forever or until they are changed and the only way they can be changed is by taking the person back into that same learning state in which they were first learned, for re-consideration. A child may unknowingly learn a range of negative responses, leading them to feel unnecessarily anxious, nervous and fearful in response to a range of things and situations.
We develop limiting beliefs about life and about ourselves with our young brain. Hypnotherapy effectively utilises that same learning state, so that a more mature mind can reconsider what was once wrongly learned and unlearn it and in its place, give the mind new options of belief, perception and response.
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About James Brannan
James Brannan is a hypnotherapist based in Ealing and serving West London areas. He offers hypnotherapy for a range of issues and performance enhancement.