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WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?
Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis to interact with the subconscious mind in an open-reflective process to create positive change in your life. There are many techniques and many styles and many applications of hypnotherapy. They all have several things in common:
WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is simply a state of relaxed focus. It is a natural state. In fact, each of us enters such a state - sometimes called a trance state - at least twice a day: once when we are falling asleep, and once when we are waking up. That kind of fuzzy, timeless state between dreaming and awake is a trance state. When a nine-minute snooze-button seems to give you enough time to have an-hour long dream, that's a trance state.
There are many other times that people enter a natural state of trance. Driving, watching TV, listening to music, working on a favourite hobby or activity in the "flow" state. These are all "altered states of consciousness," and all are various levels of trance. Trance is normal, natural and common.
Some people leave their first hypnotherapy session saying, "I wasn't hypnotised - I knew what was going on the whole time!" Well of course you did! Hypnosis is not a state of amnesia or of no awareness. Just the opposite is true, in fact. Hypnosis is a state of very heightened awareness and focus.
Hollywood has perpetrated many myths about hypnosis, and not remembering anything from the hypnosis session is one of those myths. Only under special circumstances would a person forget everything from a session.
Much more can be accomplished when the person undergoing hypnosis remembers everything.
WHAT CAN'T BE TREATED WITH HYPNOTHERAPY?
Serious psychiatric or mental health problems are referred to a qualified psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Serious medical problems with the physical body must always be treated by a doctor first.
Drug addiction, family dynamics disorders, clinical depression and other such problems need to be treated by doctors and psychiatrists, who can, at their discretion, prescribe hypnotherapy as a supplementary treatment.
WILL I BARK LIKE A DOG OR CLUCK LIKE A CHICKEN?
Let me guess... You've seen a stage show where a hypnotist made people do all these crazy things. Perhaps you have ideas from films and TV. The stage hypnotist often carefully selects his subjects (watch how many volunteers he has sit down), and chooses people he knows WILL bark like a dog. They will because somewhere inside them is a part that loves to entertain. They will do it because, deep down inside, they don't believe there is anything wrong with barking like a dog and it is something they are happy to do. I can do it if you really want me to but I don't usually include it in the consulting room environment!
Hypnosis cannot make you do something that is against your morals or ethics. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, in truth, and no hypnotist can make you do something that you really don't want to do. That's why some people can be hypnotised to stop smoking and yet they still smoke. You have to want the change, agree with the change, and then hypnosis is an instrument for helping make that change better, faster, more effective and permanent.
WILL I BE OUT OF CONTROL, OR EVEN "UNDER YOUR POWER"?
This is another Hollywood myth. You always have control, and you can always hear what's going on. Hypnosis is nothing but a state of relaxed deep focus. It is a natural state that you enter at least twice a day (while waking up and while falling asleep!), and probably much more often than that. If at any time you are in trance and you wish to be fully awake, you can if you need to be...
WHY WAS MY FRIEND UNSUCCESSFUL WHEN THEY TRIED TO QUIT SMOKING?
There is more to changing a serious habit like smoking than just a few hypnotic suggestions, I'm afraid. In the simplest terms, the person must want the change, and they must have a desire to become a non-smoker again for their own benefit, not because someone else said it would be a good idea.
Hypnosis can be used to help flip the subconscious over to the new, healthy habits.
While sitting in a room with 50 other people in a seminar, or listening to a stop-smoking CD can work, it is usually much more effective to have a personalised session with a hypnotherapist, who can customise the approach, language and replacement suggestions to match your lifestyle and circumstances.
WHY SHOULD I LEARN SELF-HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a powerful life skill for the modern person. There is a great deal of stress to be handled in today's work environment, schools, and society in general. Self-hypnosis, at the most basic level, is wonderful for de-stressing, calming, and restoring a healthful energy to your body. It gives a sense of control and connection to your mind and body that supports confidence and success.
After becoming more skilled in self-hypnosis, you'll find that it can help you maintain motivation and peak performance, as well as health and vigour. It can help you make clear decisions. It is incredibly powerful to be able to discover what your subconscious beliefs and patterns are and be able to change them at will. You can literally design your life! Cope with almost any problem. Remain more calm and centred in day to day life. You can design your patterns and beliefs to propel you to your highest goals and to your vision of success.
ISN'T HYPNOTHERAPY DANGEROUS?
Myths about hypnosis, perpetuated by Hollywood movies, urban myths and fiction books lead people to think all kinds of things about hypnosis, including that it is somehow dangerous. Some people have heard that you can go into trance and not wake up. Or that the hypnotist can make you do things you don't want to do. These things are untrue. You are always in control, always able to "come back" to full waking state at anytime if you wanted or needed to. The number one job of the subconscious mind is to protect you, and it is always on the job.
Hypnosis is a safe and beneficial procedure when facilitated by an ethical and trained professional.
Do always keep in mind that hypnosis is not a treatment or cure for mental illness, and people suffering from psychosis, suicidal depression, or that are on medications for psychological stability should only be hypnotised by their doctors or psychiatrists, if at all.
IS HYPNOSIS RIGHT FOR ME?
My best suggestion is that you need to come along for an initial free consultation, clear in your objectives of what you want to achieve and a want and willingness to engage in the hypnotherapy process. I truly believe that the hypnotherapy works and that you can change your mind!