What is Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

 

First of all it is certainly not like it is portrayed in spooky movies! Hypnosis is simply a process for inducing a therapeutic form of trance, which is a natural, very relaxed daydream-like state. A form of trance or hypnotic state is also something we all experience daily. For example, while driving you may have experienced the feeling driving on ‘auto-pilot” and arriving somewhere and not remember the journey much at all? Or perhaps you have been so engrossed in something such as reading a book or doing a task, that you notice nothing else, including time going by? These are everyday examples of being in a form of trance i.e. your conscious mind is engaged elsewhere, and your subconscious mind is in control. In fact when you think about, most of what you do in a day you do automatically without conscious thought.

Hypnosis is the process by which you are guided into a relaxed state where focused attention and intense concentration allow them to enter into a trance where their subconscious can be accessed. The person is so focused in this naturally occurring state, that they are undisturbed by things going on around them and can completely focus on the work at hand. Yet while the word hypnosis has its root in the Greek word “Hypnos” which means sleep, this is misleading. While a person under hypnosis may be relaxed, have their eyes closed and appear to be asleep, they are very much awake. In fact, they might be more awake than usual!

People in a hypnotic state are not unconscious. On the contrary, they are completely alert but are able to tune out all of the external stimuli around them and intensely focus on the subconscious parts of the brain where things like habits, limiting beliefs, repressed memories, addictions, fears and phobias reside.

Hypnotherapy is a very powerful, practical way to get results with a wide range of issues – in fact anything with a psychological, emotional or behavioural element. By tapping into the subconscious mind and tuning out the conscious is exactly what happens during hypnosis. The conscious takes a rare backseat to the subconscious, allowing you to access the deepest reaches of the brain. In this state with my help as a professional hypnotherapist work can be done to solve problems deep within.

So, in summary, hypnosis as a key that unlocks the mind. With my help as a skilled, professional hypnotherapist, it allows you to access mental programmes running in the background, the source coding as it were and then edit and change what needs changing for you. That may be something you want to stop doing or start doing or do differently in order to be how you want to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does it feel like to be in a hypnotic trance?

While in a trance you will feel relaxed physically and mentally, nothing bothers you and you may be unaware of your surroundings. It feels like you are in a dream, yet you do not become completely unconscious - you are "wakefully unawake" - and so can respond to instructions and suggestions.  In this relaxed state great changes are possible as your subconscious mind is more able to accept ideas and suggestion that are useful for you.

How many sessions will I need? How long is a session?

The number of times varies depending on the nature of the problem, your needs, the work you do to help yourself in between sessions and the outcomes you are looking for.  My aim is always to help you to change for the better as quickly as possible and for you to sustain and build on the improvements long after our work together is done. Sometimes one session is all that is needed and generally most issues can be treated successfully in 2-3 sessions.

In contrast to most hypnotherapists, in order to get great results more quickly, a session with me is 1.5 hours rather than the standard one hour.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

One of the myths of hypnosis is that it is mind control, with a helpless person in a trance and under the power of a hypnotherapist who can control their every move and get them to do anything. This is completely false! As a hypnotherapist I am only helping a person to access their own subconscious mind, and I cannot get them do anything that is against their will, since that very will exists within the subconscious mind.

While people with extreme forms of mental illness should not undergo hypnosis, for most people however, hypnosis is a safe and effective method for addressing certain issues and studies have repeatedly shown that hypnosis has no negative effects on the brain.

Hypnotherapy is recognised (e.g. by the BMA and BPS) as a safe, proven, and effective method for helping people with everything from breaking a habit, to controlling pain, to overcoming past emotional wounds. The cartoonish, villainous hypnotist with his dangling watch is far from reality!

Can only some people be hypnotized?

No. Most people can be hypnotized although some can take longer than others to relax and go into trance. There are a small group of people who may not respond to hypnosis due to their inability to perceive context and implication, which can be an aspect of Asperger’s syndrome.

Once you experience the state of hypnosis you will understand why this is the case. Hypnosis is simply an engaging and deepening of the brain’s natural ability to focus and imagine. And in this relaxed ‘altered’ state of mind, the critical conscious mind can be bypassed to access your subconscious mind. In doing so, suggestibility increases, such that the suggestions given are accepted as being true and thus effect beliefs, habits, perceptions and behaviours.

Is hypnosis the same as sleep?

No. Hypnosis is not the same as being asleep. While the term hypnosis comes from the Greek word for sleep (Hypnos) you are actually not asleep. You need to be able to listen for hypnosis to work because you need your brain to be processing words and responding to instructions while you relax and are in a hypnotic trance state.

Some studies suggest that the hypnotic state is similar to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep state which is when dreaming occurs (whether you can remember dreams or not!). Others suggest that the hypnotic state is closer to that of Alpha when you have ‘in the zone’ levels of concentration and things just ‘flow’. Alpha is also the relaxed state you enter just before you drop off to sleep.  

When you are hypnotized, you have an experience in parallel with your conscious awareness. You are fully aware of what is happening and where you are while at the same time you have an internally focused awareness.

Does hypnotherapy work instantly?

It really depends on the issue or  issues that need addressing. For example, I can often treat a phobia in a single session but issues such as depression and panic attacks may take 3 or 4 sessions. It is also helpful to reinforce and sustain changes, and so in addition to using the recordings I provide for use at home, sessions are spread over an appropriate period to ensure success.

Do you do online hypnotherapy?

Yes. I have provided online hypnotherapy treatments to clients online since 2017.

Online therapy has been an increasingly popular choice for individuals for some years now, and while online therapy does not work for every client, I find it works well for most people.

So who is online hypnotherapy for and not for?

The following factors can help you to decide if online therapy is right for you.

  •  Online hypnotherapy has been shown to be as effective as face-to-face for many clients, including people suffering from anxiety and depression who may find it difficult to open up in person.

  • You need to have a good broadband connection that can handle video calls + suitable equipment – mainly just a pc/tablet/smartphone with a camera and good audio (earphones or headphones are useful though not essential).

  • You need to have a quiet, calm, private area where you can be comfortable and relax undisturbed for the duration of the session.

  • I am skilled and experienced in delivering therapy online, which includes having an effective contingency plan in place should internet connection be lost during the session. I also provide practical advice to help you prepare well and get most from each online session.

  • Confidentiality, security and privacy is assured.

  • It is more affordable that face-to-face therapy. Online therapists like me may work from home and so avoid paying treatment room hire fees and also save on travel time/costs – and thus can reflect those savings by reducing fees.

  • You save on travel time/costs by having treatment from the comfort of your own home.

  • Honesty is very important in therapy. Whether face to face or online, I cannot help if you hide or omit important details. You need to help me to help you.

For me, whether I see a client face to face or online, what matters is to build rapport, get to the heart of the matter and deliver treatment that enables the client to change for the better – and to do that as quickly as possible.

Any Other Questions?

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about hypnosis and our work together. If you would also like to learn self –hypnosis and what this involves feel free to ask about that too. Just call me on 07976 701223 or mail gerry@envisionhypnotherapy.co.uk