My hypnotherapy journey and the attributes of hypnosis
“It is really amazing what people can do. Only they don’t know what they can do.” - Milton Erickson
I have a background in pharmaceuticals/pharmacy Industries, I loved the attitude within my first company to continually improve; it was here that I discovered NLP, positive psychology, and how the brain functions including the conscious and unconscious mind affect our behaviours, thoughts, and feelings. I found out things that rocked my world, information that made me reconsider my core beliefs and challenge myself.
During this time, my personal and professional development seemed on track and going well… until life dealt me a very painful curveball with the ‘out of the blue’ trauma of my father’s sudden death. In trying to deal with his loss, I took the path of traditional trauma/grief counselling closely followed by hypnotherapy, as my normal coping methods and mechanisms were unable to stem the pain or emotions.
No amount of planning, determination or visualising could get me through this uncontrollable event. Luckily, I was guided to seek professional help and ended up within a traditional counselling environment which helped however I needed to change my mindset in a way that was not so painful, drawn out and dealt with behaviours I completed but did not know why? At this point I started to research hypnotherapy which worked fantastically in conjunction with the counselling. I was amazed when after the first session I left feeling relaxed, calm and had a sense of inner peace, I was not in tears. At this point you may ask, what is hypnosis? As I did.
What is hypnosis?
Magic or mystery? Hypnosis has been studied for many years and is a method used to uncover your own amazing reservoir of untapped potential, power, and resources. Hypnosis can be used to tap into this power allowing access to your subconscious mind as a key, allowing the therapist to work on your troubles you may be facing in your daily life.
What is your subconscious mind I hear you say? I certainly asked this question at the start of my own therapy. Well, stored here is everything you have learnt which becomes automatic; like a filing cabinet of life. A great example of a learnt skill is riding a bike; once learnt and the stabilisers have been removed the memory is stored in your subconscious mind, ready to jump into action at any time. When you’re riding your bike, your conscious mind is freed; this allows your subconscious mind to become active, therefore you may arrive at the wrong destination or take a wrong turn as you are completing the task automatically with no conscious input.
Your conscious mind only returns to help if a hazard enters your path... Maybe therefore when a skill is learnt we say “It’s like riding a bike” once a skill has been learnt it is never forgotten. We all have many automatic skills which allow us to drift off into a daydream, taking a bath, jogging, driving, or cooking. This is the first stage of alter awareness or trance where the skills we are accessing are in our subconscious mind stored as memories.
Our conscious mind keeps us safe and allows us to start learning new skills; In Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, the conscious mind consists of everything inside of our awareness.
Therapists use hypnosis to heighten the trance state giving the conscious mind a rest or take a tea break so we can make some changes to troublesome areas of your life together by accessing the subconscious mind and altering the automatic feelings, memories, habits, and anchors. This can be a relaxed experience within a safe supportive environment to work; this is what really worked for me.
In the hypnotic trance state most people’s suggestibility is increased, so opening you up to ideas of behavioural change. This is a result of by-passing the gate keeper called the ‘conscious critical faculty’. Therefore, allowing suggestions to be accepted by the non-critical, non-logical, subconscious mind and once accepted, you can act upon them embracing the positive changes in your everyday life.
This is maybe why so many people, including me, describe hypnosis as life changing; changing habits formed over many years when many of us did not even realise we were forming beliefs, behaviours and learning to overcome hurdles. Some say this happens before we are eight years old and if not challenged or changed, we use the coping skills into our adulthood even when maybe the actions we take are seen as not acceptable within our complex society.
There are many uses for hypnosis such as weight loss, stopping smoking, fertility, guilt, chronic conditions such as IBS, migraine, and phobias to name a few. However, one area we all face to different degrees is stress, anxiety, trauma, and uncontrollable life events.
Hypnosis for stress
The brain has an automatic response to keep us safe, called “The fight, flight or freeze responses”. This is useful to keep us alive however in this modern society it is not always useful and can lead to a heightened state of anxiety, stress, or panic. This is when we can seek self-sabotaging behaviours to try to free us from the pain or suffering we feel or for reward.
Hypnosis can help to rebalance and start the relaxation response so that the stress does not become chronic in nature. It is this deep nature of relaxation during hypnosis that aids calmness and wellbeing. This can help to control other stress related conditions such as anxiety, IBS and stress headaches resulting is restoration of balance.
This is what changed my life forever and why I found myself studying to become a hypnotherapist with the wonderful team at Life Clinics (Faversham) who were so supportive that it gave me chance to work through issues that came up for myself – the desire to help others helped me to discover the wonders of hypnosis.
So, if you are ready to embrace yourself and be whatever you desire you have come to the right place to find a therapist that can help you on your own hypnotherapy journey. The therapist can offer a supportive safe environment where you are in control and able to face painful memories or heighten emotions you are experiencing.
NLP and TFT
Another great attribute is that hypnotherapy can be coupled with many other powerful techniques. These can include NLP techniques that when coupled alongside hypnosis to make the behavioral changes even stronger giving you new tools to reach your life goals big or small.
TFT Tapping, is Thought Field Therapy which is the practice of tapping different acupuncture points on the body in a set sequence. You do this whilst focusing on the problem you would like to modify. It is a simple technique offering many clients relief and in many situations a resolution, coupled with hypnosis, this can create a powerful resolution for many problems. It was developed by Dr Roger Callahan over 20 years ago; Dr Callahan was a doctor within the psychology field. Dr Callahan developed tapping sequences which can be used to treat many problems. He believes that disturbances in the body’s flow of energy causes psychological problems.
The long and short is that hypnosis is shown to aid relaxation, calmness, wellbeing and reduce treatment lengths whilst lowering blood pressure. The hypnotic state allows people to explore thoughts, feelings, habits, and memories that can be very painful and could be hidden from their conscious mind.
I truly hope that this article has given you some insight into the attributes of hypnosis and help with the start of yours. Change will happen in life and many situations are out of our control however we can all have a toolbox to help us deal with the everyday, Covid–19 is a perfect example.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ― Viktor E. Frankl.