How does it work?

Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.  The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken.  Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the client’s behaviour and physical state to alter.
For example, a client who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror and prevents the client from succeeding.  Progress can only be made be reprogramming the subconscious so that deep-seated instincts and beliefs are abolished or altered.

What form might the treatment take?

Firstly, any misconceptions a potential client may have about hypnosis should be dispelled.  The technique does not involve the client being put into a deep sleep, and the client cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do.   They remain fully aware of their surroundings and situation, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the therapist.  The important thing is that the client wants to change some behavioural habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so.  They have to want the treatment to work and must establish a good clinical rapport with the therapist in order for it to do so……
The readiness and ability of client’s to be hypnotised varies considerably and hypnotherapy generally requires several sessions in order to achieve meaningful results.  However the client can learn the technique of self-hypnosis which can be practiced at home, to reinforce the usefulness of formal sessions with the therapist.  This can help counter distress and anxiety-related conditions.

What Can Be Changed With Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy and NLP can be applied to many psychological, emotional and physical disorders.   It can shorten the delivery stage of labour and reduce the need for painkillers. Listed below are some of the conditions I’ve helped client with in recent years:

  • Smoking cessation
  • To relieve dental pain and anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • To aid weight loss
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Bed wetting (Enuresis)
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Migraine /tension headache
  • Confidence building
  • Anxiety
  • Removing self-limiting beliefs

Related articles:
How Hypnosis Works – articles on how hypnosis works for all sorts of problems
Hypnotherapy works for bowel pain – BBC news article on hypnosis for IBS
Dr Hilary Jones, “Doctor, What’s the Alternative?” Hodder and Stoughton: London (1988)

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