Hypnotherapy is a guided process of natural relaxation within the body and increased awareness within the mind. It allows your mind to focus inwards and concentrate, stepping over your conscious mind to access your subconscious. You are less aware of the outside world and more concentrated on inner thoughts and emotions, and the mind is more receptive to positive suggestion.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis as part the therapy process to facilitate change, achieve the goals we agree at the beginning of the session and support the resolving of underlying issues. So, positive ideas are suggested which lead to personal change and improvement.
It’s a collaborative process where you are aware throughout the process and allow yourself to follow the guidance of the therapist by using your imagination to focus your mind to evoke positive emotions and rehearse behaviour change to make powerful and profound changes. Despite what is suggested on TV or stage, you cannot be made to do or think anything against your will or against your moral beliefs and everyone can, in principle, be hypnotised.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help You
Hypnotherapy can help with an enormous range of issues. These include:
- Anxiety and stress management
- Pain management
- Overcoming sleep disorders
- Treating certain psychosomatic or stress-related illnesses
- Managing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Among many other areas, hypnotherapy is also used for:
- Weight management
- Conquering habits such as nail-biting and smoking
- Skin disorders and allergies
- Managing migraines
- Overcoming phobias such as heights, flying, insects or animals
- Enhancing personal development, such as sports performance, public speaking, increasing motivation, achieving goals
- Changing negative thinking, beliefs or emotions to more useful or positive ones
- Increasing self-esteem, self belief and confidence
- Enhancing creativity
- To enhance meditation or spiritual growth
How long does treatment last?
Hypnotherapy can be a standalone treatment or included as part of psychotherapy, counselling or coaching. On its own, hypnotherapy is probably one of the briefest forms of psychological therapy as it concentrates on defined, specific issues and outcomes and depending upon these, the average number of sessions is between four to six.
What is the evidence for hypnotherapy?
Thousands of positive research studies on hypnotherapy have been published. It was recognised as an effective treatment by the British Medical Association and American Medical Association in the 1950s and more recently, by the American Psychological Association (for obesity) and NICE guidance (for IBS) used by the NHS.
Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)
Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) combines cognitive and behavioural therapies with hypnotherapy. We use mental imagery, habit reversal, problem solving techniques and mentally rehearsing new behaviours as hypnotherapy allows thoughts, behaviours and perceptions to be more flexible.