Everything you need to know about hypnotherapy
What comes to your mind when you think of hypnosis? Do TV personalities like Derren Brown playing mind tricks on unsuspecting members of the British public spring to mind? Or do you think of strange and mysterious sideshows involving faith healers getting people to behave in highly abnormal ways? Whatever it is, most of us have some type of preconceived idea about what we think hypnosis is, however this often owes more to fiction than reality. This often creates anxiety and apprehension about hypnotherapy and prevents people from discovering its true wonders.
The common misconceptions about hypnotherapy
What is hypnotherapy?
In short, hypnotherapy is a process of deep relaxation that opens the door to the unconscious mind where the deepest change can take place. Unlike other therapeutic methods, hypnotherapy bypasses the conscious mind, helping people to go to the root of the issue that they are experiencing which is often hidden in their subconscious mind.
Hypnotherapy for better words is the experience of an ‘altered state’ of consciousness or a different kind of cognitive processing, which gives people a different kind of awareness from normal waking life.
What if it doesn't work on me?
Invariably some individuals are simply unable to detach themselves from sensory inputs and immediate real environment and immerse themselves in an inner world of imagination. And this is fine. Hypnotherapy isn’t for everyone. Some people slip into hypnotherapy instantly, and with others, it may take a little longer. Everyone has their own process of going within, but it’s important to put aside expectations of what you think it should be and open yourself to the possibility of what it could be.
How can hypnosis help me?
When people often think of how hypnotherapy can help them they often think of phobias, quitting smoking, or losing weight, however, hypnotherapy is not limited to the treatment of these issues alone. Hypnotherapy can be used to improve your general functioning - to make you feel better mentally or physically. Hypnotherapy can also help improve sleep patterns, reduce stress and anxiety, overcome depression, increase your self-esteem and motivation, enhance your creativity and help you to live a life that fulfils you on all levels.
What is the experience of hypnosis like?
In the process of hypnosis, you will experience your everyday cognitive logic and secondary process thinking. During the session, you might commit to an alternative reality described by the therapist or you might prefer to use your own imagination and memory.
If you would like to heal some type of emotional, cognitive trauma, hypnotherapy allows you to go back into the past to re-experience, rather than recall, a childhood event in the form in which it was originally experienced.
What if I don't like it?
Hypnosis is not about getting you to do something shocking or out of character. If you feel uncomfortable with being hypnotised you can always stop it. You are under no obligation to continue if you feel it’s not for you. If you feel slightly uneasy about being hypnotised, remember that you are always in control of the process. Yes, you are being hypnotised by a therapist, but you also take an active role in this process.
Hypnotherapy is not a passive experience of just being hypnotised during each session you will take an active role in communicating your own personal needs, and selecting a corresponding self-hypnosis treatment that connects with you
What does it feel like to get hypnotised?
There is a lot of superstition that surrounds hypnotherapy but the truth is you have probably experienced it thousands of times in your life before - and you probably didn’t notice it because it seemed like a natural state of mind. Hypnotic states and experiences often happen in everyday life without recognition.
But what does it feel like to be in a hypnotic state? Well, have you ever had the experience of going on autopilot? Have you ever had a moment of going inwards, exploring the richness of your inner world? Or have you ever had the experience of daydreaming, or felt absent-minded? Well, this is what you can liken the experience of hypnotherapy to!
How can it change my life in the long run?
Some people think that hypnotherapy works like magic, miraculously curing them of some type of phobia, but the biggest change happens through your own effort. People often come to therapy hoping to find solutions to some type of issue that they are grappling with, but during the therapeutic process, you will most likely find that you already have the answers within.
Hypnotherapy allows you to connect the subconscious aspect of your life with your conscious mind. This enables people to develop an expanded awareness of themselves which in many cases inspires people to set a new path for themselves.
And whilst it is probably best to not have any fixed expectations about what you’ll get out of hypnotherapy if you fully commit to the therapeutic process it does have the potential to make a dramatic difference in your lifestyle, and to your general well-being.