What will the session involve?
During the first session, my job is to learn about how your problem works. I want to really understand how this issue is experienced by you and the effect that it has in your life. The session will begin with a chat, where we will discuss your situation in detail and look at what you want to achieve as a result of sessions with me. Extensive assessment results in a clear and goal-orientated plan for therapy, based on what you want to achieve and enables me to put together techniques and hypnotherapy personalised to your needs as an individual.
Together, we will decide upon treatment goals and a way forward for our sessions.
I may teach you some Cognitive Behavioural exercises which might calm your body and mind or enable you to stop thinking certain thoughts.
We can then begin the hypnotherapy. As you sit in the chair, I will ask you to close your eyes. I will begin to talk you into a hypnotic state using several different techniques. The hypnotic state is different for everyone, but it is often likened to the state just before you fall asleep. You are aware of all that is going on, and are completely in control of the situation, but you are very relaxed and your conscious mind takes a back seat to allow your subconscious mind to come to the fore. If at any point you feel at all uncomfortable, all you have to do is open your eyes and you will be fully back in consciousness.
When the hypnotherapy has finished, I will talk you gently back to your conscious state. Most people feel very calm and relaxed after a session. After a session you will be able to drive and go about your normal day.
Much of the public impression of hypnosis has been influenced by stage hypnosis entertainment acts shown on television or seen in live performance. The reality of hypnotherapy is very different from the misleading use of 'hypnosis' for entertainment which is a blend of magician's stage-craft, misdirection, showmanship and play-acting.
If you would like to talk through concerns about any aspect of this process, or your specific issue, please either drop me an email or give me a call.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is simply a very relaxed state of mind.
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the conscious part of the brain is turned off, allowing the subconscious brain to become more alert. The subconscious brain holds much of our instinctive thoughts, which often influence us without our awareness. When we are able to change the beliefs of this part of the brain, it means thoughts in our everyday lives change, which leads to feelings changing and behaviour change.
An example of this might be someone with a deep fear of flying. They may try everything they consciously can to stop this fear, but the deep fear is held in the subconscious mind, and until the subconscious mind is reprogrammed they will not be successful in ridding themselves of these deeply held beliefs.
Once under the hypnotic state, your subconscious mind is much more open to suggestion. It is then that I can suggest all the positive things that you want to achieve within our sessions. Working together, we will be able to start breaking down some of those old beliefs held in your subconscious mind which don’t serve you and are impacting your everyday life’.
Does hypnotherapy work?
YES. For a number of sub-clinical issues, including anxiety, hypnotherapy is the most effective, and fastest, therapeutic approach.
95% to 98% of all our behaviours, thoughts and emotions are driven from the subconscious mind. Therefore in order to re-set some of the less helpful responses, we need to work at the level of the subconscious. Hypnotherapy allows us to do this by taking people into a relaxed hypnotic state. It is during this altered state of consciousness that we can then make powerful suggestions and use hypnotic language, metaphor and story to form new neural pathways in the brain, changing how we think, feel and behave.
No. Whilst you are in a deep altered state of consciousness, you always remain in control. If you want to break out of the hypnotic state at any time all you need to do is open your eyes and you will be brought back to your fully conscious state.
Do I lose control in hypnosis?
Yes. Everyone can be hypnotised. Entering into hypnosis is as easy as daydreaming. If you can daydream or relax your mind then you can be hypnotised.
When we have a narrowed focus of attention, we all drift into a hypnotic state. An example of this might be when reading a book, listening to music, being locked in conversation or simply day dreaming. Hypnosis is just like this, except the therapist ‘guides’ a client into a deep state of relaxation using images and hypnotic language to allow the individuals conscious mind to switch off and the subconscious mind to be receptive to powerful and supportive suggestions.
Can I be hypnotised?
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that looks at :
How you think about yourself, the world and other people
How what you do affects your feelings and thoughts
How the way you think and feel affects the way you act
Thoughts feelings and behaviours are all linked, so if I think upsetting thoughts, then I will feel upset and then I am likely to do something that will increase the thoughts and strengthen the feelings. A vicious cycle. We can break this vicious cycle by changing the way we think and act.
By making links between what we do, think and feel, CBT can help us make changes in the way we think ("Cognitive") and the way we act ("Behaviour)". Making changes in what we think will affect what you do and feel, and changing what we do, affects the way we think and feel. Making these changes then can help us feel better.
Whilst it is is helpful to discuss the past and understand how our pasts have influenced our lives and how the problems have come about, CBT mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing now and making positive steps for the future.
CBT says that it's not the event which causes our emotions, but how we interpret that event - what we think or what meaning we give that event or situation.
No - just as you cannot get stuck in a daydream, in your imagination or in your meditation. Hypnosis is a temporary state of mind.
Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
What can hypnotherapy be used for?
The list of areas hypnotherapy can be used for includes:
Stress, anxiety, panic, phobias, unwanted habits and addictions (e.g. smoking, overeating, alcoholism, nail biting), insomnia, lack of confidence and low self-esteem, low mood, study skills (i.e. exam stress) and public speaking, allergies and skin disorders, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), performance coaching and pain management.
Yes. When you open your eyes you will feel refreshed, as if you had just had an afternoon nap. You can then continue with your day doing any activities as normal.
Will I be able to drive after hypnotherapy?
This is entirely dependent on the issue we are working on, how long you have had the issue and what you are looking to achieve from our sessions. I will always be honest and open about the number of sessions needed once I have had an opportunity to speak to you to establish the extent of the issue (I am usually able to give an indication after the free 15 minute phone consultation I offer clients). I have a high success rate in overcoming issues quickly, so as a guide 2 – 4 sessions are usually required.