Hypnotherapy for dummies
Hypnotherapy is generally defined as the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique. It is a type of alternative and complimentary medical aid that involves using the mind to attempt to help with a variety of problems, involving, but not restricted to, breaking up bad habits, dealing with divorce/separation, coping with stress, losing weight, etc.
Types of hypnotherapy include:
- Traditional Hypnotherapy - this is the type of hypnotherapy in practice for the most part of the Victorian Era. This form of hypnotherapy mainly involved suggestions of symptoms removal with application of some therapeutic relaxation.
- Ericksonian Hypnotherapy - this was developed in the 1950's by Milton H. Erickson as a radically different approach to hypnotism and involved use of an informal conversational approach.
- Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) - this is an integrated psychological therapy involving clinical hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The combination of both methods produces greater results than using just one of them.
What hypnotherapy is not
When you think of hypnotherapy, it is possible that your mind pictures a pocket watch swinging before a befuddled individual, or a confounded member of an audience acting out a weird or funny scene on stage in the name of entertainment. This isn't hypnotherapy and should not be linked with hypnotherapy.
What hypnotherapy does
In simple terms, hypnotherapy helps an individual get out of a situation by means of teaching or instructing the mind on how to think its way out of that situation (usually an addiction, a hurt or stress).
This is done while the individual is in a state of hypnotic trance. In this state, the mind is fully alert and professionals can instruct the mind on what or how to think.
Effectiveness of hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is very much effective in that it instructs the mind to get the individual out of a particular pickle and when performed professionally, the results are usually longer lasting.
Also, due to latest brain imaging technology, it is a lot easier to gauge the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Brain scans have proven that people are more susceptible to hypnotised suggestions and in a study, hypnotised subjects were given hypnotic suggestions to "see in colour".
The brain scans from the study showed that areas of the brain associated with perceiving colour were activated, irrespective of the fact that the pictures they were shown were in black and white.
In the UK, the Department for Education and Skills developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy in 2002 based on the National Qualifications Framework under the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority at the time. Currently, AIM Awards offers a Level 3 Certificate in Hypnotherapy and Consulting Skills at Level 3 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework.