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So what exactly is hypnotherapy, and what isn’t it?

One of the questions I often get from people is “What is hypnotherapy?” People from all walks of life, including life coaches and some psychotherapists that I know have said things to me about hypnotherapy that shows there is still a lot of misconception.

Here are some of the concerns or positive misbeliefs I hear from people:

  1. It’s what those illusionists on TV do
  2. I’m not letting anyone into my mind to control me
  3. I’ll lose control and won’t know what I’m doing
  4. I‘ll end up doing things I don’t want to do, like eat raw onions or bark like a dog
  5. You’ll put me “under”
  6. I’ll get stuck in Ancient Egypt or some other past life
  7. I won’t remember anything you do or anything I feel
  8. It’s not safe
  9. You can fix me
  10. You can bring my ex-lover back to me
  11. You can erase all my memories about my cheating ex
  12. I’ll only need one session to be “cured”
  13. I can’t be hypnotised
  14. It won’t work for me
  15. Etc, etc

Let’s start with what it isn’t?

The work I do as a cognitive behaviour hypnotherapist and emotional and spiritual clinical hypnotherapist is NOT the same as the work done by the illusionists/mentalists that we see on TV. There is a lot of debate as to what makes up stage hypnosis and those elaborate TV shows, and it would seem that the only thing stage hypnosis has in common with the work done in a therapy clinic is the use of the basics of hypnosis, which any hypnotist can do with training (if you want to read more about stage hypnosis, suggest you Google it as its too long to go into here).

Whatever hypnosis session you decide to have, you can’t get stuck in it (so you will come back from Ancient Egypt or a past life). Also, you are in control the whole time. There is no such thing as “putting you under”. The most you will do is go into a deep Theta (brain wave) state of relaxation. Some people fall asleep, but most are hyper aware. If anything, hypnosis heightens awareness. And if you do fall asleep, the therapist’s role is to bring you back to awareness. Hypnotherapy ONLY works if you allow yourself to accept what is being suggested to you. All the research shows that the client’s MOTIVATION is the key factor to the success or not of hypnosis.

So what is hypnotherapy?

You will feel completely safe and in control, and you will be able to stop at any time. A hypnotherapist won’t be able to wipe your memory EVER, because you will be awake and actively aware. And Finally, ANYONE can be hypnotised. It is true that some people are more easily open to suggestions, but there is ample research to show that a good therapist can teach a client how to respond better. And the better you respond, the more suggestible you become. Motivation is the key to this. Your motivation to change your life.

So are you ready to try hypnosis? Here is a very simple self-hypnosis exercise. Read this, then try it yourself:

  1. Close your eyes, and take a few breaths and just relax.
  2. Start counting yourself down from 5 to 0, and with each count allow yourself to go deeper into hypnotic sleep (when I say “sleep”, it’s not the same as your night’s sleep). So repeat to yourself, “At five going deeper, and at 4 going deeper, etc. When I used this on myself, I imagine I am going down a short 5-step staircase, and I repeat the words “5 getting deeper, 4 getting deeper, etc” as I sense myself go down the staircase).
  3. Now follow along with these words, say them to yourself, say them with vigour, say them with conviction, say them so that you believe them, and more than anything feel in yourself that you WANT to believe them (MOTIVATION IS KEY): “I now feel calm, relaxed, and positive about life”.
  4. You know you are in hypnosis when you really feel you are starting to accept the words you are saying to yourself (and you accept them because you want to, etc – MOTIVATION IS  KEY). So your body may feel heavy, or you may feel happ(ier), or you may feel calm, etc, and it will be noticeable.
  5. Keep repeating these words (or anything positive that you prefer, in the present tense), feeling yourself believe them more and more each time you say them. Repeat for about 5 minutes. Set an alarm. Better than counting the number of repetitions. You need to focus on this one thing, not on counting how many times you say it.
  6. When your timer has gone off, start counting yourself up from 1 to 5. And with each count you will yourself coming back into conscious present. So at 1 start wiggling your toes, at 2 start becoming more aware of your room, at 3 start moving your legs and arms, at 4 start opening your eyes, and at 5, open your eyes and feel yourself right back in your room, feeling great and very refreshed.

In summary, modern hypnosis really boils down to this:

You close your eyes, you focus on a positive suggestion, you really want to believe it, you feel yourself believing it, change starts happening! And you practise it over and over. That is it!

Not so scary after all is it?

Want to talk to me about working together? Drop me a line.