Clinical Hypnotherapy

What is clinical hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, perception or consciousness

Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention. It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully. Because hypnosis allows people to use more of their potential, learning self-hypnosis is the ultimate act of self-control.

Recent research supports the view that hypnotic communication and suggestions effectively changes aspects of the persons physiological and neurological functions

You will not become unconscious and you will be aware of everything at all times. Your will is not weakened in any way. You are in control and cannot be made to do anything against your will. You will not begin to reveal information you wish to keep secret. Hypnosis is not sleep.

One common misconception is that a hypnotized person loses their will and is partially or completely under the command of the hypnotist. Nothing could be further from the truth. This unfortunate belief is reinforced by many stage hypnotists. You are in control of yourself, and cannot be made to do anything that is against your will.

Hypnosis, particularly the deeper forms, can appear to be like sleep because the person’s body is typically very still and quiet. There is usually a great deal of mental activity, and measurements of brain activity during hypnosis show a significant level of neurological activity.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Our bodies experience what are known as Ultradian Rhythms. These Ultradian Rhythms are the basis of what is known as a common, everyday trance or hypnotic state in which we may find ourselves daydreaming or just taking a break.

For example:

  • Have you ever had the experience of driving home while thinking about an issue that preoccupied you and suddenly realised that, although you have arrived safely at your destination, you can’t recall having driven past familiar landmarks? You avoided collisions, stopped at red lights – it is as if you had somehow been travelling on automatic pilot.
  • Have you ever been unsure whether you did something or just though about having to do it – for example, not knowing whether you either mailed a certain letter or just thought about mailing it?
  • Have you ever been able to block out sounds from your mind so that they were no longer important to you? Or so that they seemed very far away? Or so that you no longer understood them? Or so that you did not hear them at all?
  • Have you ever been staring off into space, actually thinking of nothing and been unaware of the passage of time?
  • Have you ever had the experience of recollecting a past experience in your life with such clarity and vitality that it was almost like living it again?
  • Have you ever had the experience of reading a novel (or watching a play) and, while doing so, actually forgotten yourself and your surroundings and lived the story with such reality and vividness that it became temporarily real to you?
  • Have you ever been lulled into a dreamy state or put to sleep by a lecture or a concert, even though you were not fatigued or tired?

If you’ve experienced any one of these altered states of awareness… you’ve experienced hypnosis on one level or another.

What is a Clinical Hypnotherapist?

A Clinical Hypnotherapist is really a specialist in hypnosis, who uses the healing state of hypnosis to work with issues or conditions with the intention to improve.

What happens in hypnosis?

A Clinical Hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enable the client to achieve a state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation.

When in hypnosis, the conscious mind (that busybody, critical, analytical part of the mind) takes a rest.

Hypnosis allows people to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious (sometimes referred to as the unconscious) mind and make positive changes to thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.

What does hypnosis feel like?

The feeling when in hypnosis is of being physically and mentally relaxed. It has been likened to the feelings we experience just before waking completely from sleep or just as we drift off to sleep.

Some say it feels like daydreaming. When in hypnosis, people experience a state of complete mental, physical and emotional relaxation.  This in itself, this is a very healing state. Dr Milton Erickson, the leading American hypnotherapist, described the process of clinical hypnosis as “a free period in which individuality can flourish”.

How does hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis offers the ability to reprogram emotional attitudes and reactions which are latent talent within every human being.

Hypnosis is the most functional and reasonable way to train life-long attitudes, rather than suffer a lifetime of emotional incidents which the conscious mind is unable to change.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

Virtually anyone can be hypnotised – some more easily than others.

Like anything else in life, the more people practice self-hypnosis, the more easily they can slip into that wonderful relaxed state. The depth that people reach in hypnosis varies between individuals. It is not necessary to achieve a very deep level of hypnosis to bring about change to habits or conditions that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.

Is hypnosis the same as meditation or sleep?

There have been scans taken of people in a hypnotic state which show that the brain activation during hypnosis is quite different from when the brain is  sleeping or in meditation, although it appears to look similar when meditating or in light sleep.

What abilities if any, are enhanced during hypnosis?

The ability to IMAGINE

People in hypnosis respond extremely well to the use of imagery techniques, which have powerful benefits for change. Brain scans taken of people in hypnosis show increased activity during hypnosis, particularly in the motor and sensory area relating to heightened mental imagery. Under hypnosis the powerful benefits of imagery can be used to treat numerous ailments.

The ability to REMEMBER

It is noted that when in hypnosis there is an experience of a heightened sense of recall. For example, in some instances, hypnosis has been used by the police to assist  witnesses to recall certain information.

The enhancement of the ability to remember in hypnosis enables the client and therapist to explore the origin or cause of the symptoms that may be causing a distress and enable an appropriate course of action to be taken.

The ability to BE CREATIVE

By having access to increased creativity in hypnosis, people are able to allow themselves to be much more creative in their thinking thus enabling them to more readily explore options and solutions to issues that are troubling them. People can also utilise the benefits of self-hypnosis in all areas of their lives that involve creativity, such as painting, writing, music, etc.

The ability to RESPOND POSITIVELY to positive suggestion

After initial discussions, its agreed what areas are to be worked on by both parties, and a level of trust between the client  and therapist enables the client to respond positively.  Thus the therapist can reinforce the changes the client desires  to make. This reinforcing under hypnosis is at the subconscious (or unconscious) level which is extremely powerful and can be readily accepted quicker than making the suggestions to the conscious mind.

Would I be asked to do something against my will?

This is one of the common misunderstandings associated with hypnosis. This is probably tied in with another misconception that the hypnotherapist has control over the client.

This is not the case. People will not do or say anything under hypnosis that they would not do when not in hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis – you cannot be hypnotised against your will.

When I’m hypnotised, am I unconscious?

You are not unconscious when you are in hypnosis.

The conscious mind takes a rest. Hypnosis allows you and your therapist  to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious (or unconscious mind) and makes positive changes to thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically.

What is self-hypnosis?

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The Clinical Hypnotherapist facilitates the process using a range of techniques, which may change depending on the individual client.

When one learns how  to use self-hypnosis , you then give yourself the gift of a lifelong tool to help manage all and any situation you may find yourself in.

Is a Doctor’s Referral required?

A referral is usually not necessary.

A medical check is advisable before therapy in cases where the problem may have a predominantly physical cause. As it is important to work with your Doctor as many problems can best be overcome by a joint effort

Will I change who I am?

Hypnotherapy only will bring out the best in you!

This means that you will change by leaving behind any habits or baggage you no longer need or want and therefore become a stronger and happier person.

Hypnosis opens you up to unlock your true potential. Uncovering your strong and good qualities, which are intrinsically there; however you may not even have been aware of them.

How safe is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a normal, naturally occurring, healthy state of mind.  The best thing about it is, its totally DRUG FREE.

There has never been a single documented case of harm resulting from the use of hypnosis.

Some reference to hypnosis documented over the course of its history outline how safe it is, such as Dr David Cheek, MD, who has vast experience in the field, writes, “We can do more harm with ignorance of hypnotism than we can ever do by intelligently using hypnosis and suggestion constructively”.

Dr Julius Grinker states, “The so-called dangers from hypnosis are imaginery. Although I have hypnotised many hundreds of patients, I have never seen any ill effects from its use”.

Psychologist, Rafael Rhodes, in his book “Therapy Through Hypnosis”, writes: “Hypnotism is absolutely safe. There is no known case on record of harmful results from its therapeutic use”.

Dr Louie P Thorpe, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California, in his book “The Psychology of Mental Health”, writes: “Hypnotism is a natural phenomenon, and there are no known deleterious effects from its use”.

Well known Clinical hypnotherapist, and now deceased,  Gil Boyne, states, “In almost forty years of practice and more than 40,000 hours of hypnotherapy, I have never seen or heard of any harm resulting from hypnosis”.


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