Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a totally natural procedure and is one which most of us will be familiar with, but in rather different circumstances. We are all familiar with "day dreaming" or "gazing into space" for example, when our conscious mind has wandered from the task in hand to occupy itself with other matters. Many drivers will also recognise the rather unnerving experience of "coming to" on a long and boring motorway journey and wondering how far they have travelled since they were last "conscious" of driving the car. These events can be described as us experiencing alternative states of consciousness. We haven't been asleep and if anything required our attention we would have responded but we just weren't "here" for a time.

The hypnotic state is just such an alternate state which we allow ourselves to enter and is one of profound relaxation. In general terms, to achieve a state of hypnosis we must satisfy three prerequisites: we must want it to happen, expect it to happen and to help it to happen. If we do not want or expect it to happen or resist it in some way then it is virtually impossible to induce the hypnotic state in someone against their will.

The reason that hypnosis is effective in therapy is that while our conscious minds are logical and calculating they are very limited in scope and taken up with dealing with what is happening to us in everyday life. Our unconscious minds, on the other hand, are uncritical, intuitive and very receptive to therapeutic suggestion and capable of working on these suggestions all the time in "the background" while we get on with life. Hypnosis deals with this unconscious aspect of our mind.

F.A.Q.

There are some frequently asked questions which it may be helpful to repeat here:

Will I be able to become hypnotised?

Are there any people who should not try this therapy?
Will I be aware of what is going on while I am hypnotised?
Is it dangerous?
Can I get "stuck" in hypnosis?
Will I be made to do anything against my will while hypnotised
- like you see on the TV shows?
Will I remember unpleasant things from the past or have a "nightmare"?
Will I reveal anything that I would rather keep secret while I am hypnotised?
Can hypnosis help me with physical problems?

Q. Will I be able to become hypnotised?

A. Most people are able to experience this pleasant, relaxing condition to one degree or another, it only requires a very light experience to be effective.

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Q. Are there any people who should not try this therapy?

A. The therapist will have been trained to discuss all relevant matters with you first, if there are any reasons whatsoever why it should not be used he will advise you of this and explain the reasons why. For example, if you have been drinking alcohol immediately beforehand or if there are any medical reasons such as the taking of certain prescribed drugs that might compromise the therapy, he will not proceed.

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Q. Will I be aware of what is going on while I am hypnotised?

A. Normally most people remain totally aware of what is going on at all times in a very relaxed state, you will not normally go to "sleep" or become unconscious. Only when very deep hypnosis is used by agreement with the client can some amnesia occur.

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Q. Is it dangerous?

A. No, it is a perfectly natural technique and the therapist will have been trained not only in inducing the state but also in managing the client during the whole session and afterwards. Check that the therapist has received a professional training.

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Q. Can I get "stuck" in hypnosis?

A. No, it is a perfectly natural state and if, unusually, for any reason you no longer respond to the therapists instructions you will either drift gently into a sleeping state, from which you will awaken normally, or you will of your own volition simply return to your normal state of consciousness.

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Q. Will I be made to do anything against my will while hypnotised - like you see on the TV shows?

A. Most definitely not! The therapist will have been professionally trained and be bound by the Code of Ethics of his professional body which expressly forbid such activities. In addition, the essence of clinical hypnosis is based upon your constant consent and you can withdraw your mental and emotional consent at any time during hypnosis if any suggestion is made which conflicts with your personal wishes, standards or beliefs. Your therapist will be pleased to explain all of these matters in great detail before attempting hypnosis if you would like him to do so.

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Q. Will I remember unpleasant things from the past or have a "nightmare"?

A. No. The therapist will have been trained to recognise any symptoms of anything unplanned occurring during therapy and will ensure that it is either controlled in a therapeutic fashion or that it does not happen. Occasionally, hypnosis is used for regression purposes to take people back into their past, quite deliberately, to find just such events and to cancel out their negative effects in order that everyday life can be made more pleasant.

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Q. Will I reveal anything that I would rather keep secret while I am hypnotised?

A. No, the therapeutic process is designed such that you will only have to "reveal" what you want to in order to help the therapist do his best in helping you. Be assured that in any event, the therapist works, at all times, under strict rules of confidentiality and he will be pleased to explain these to you before any therapy is undertaken.

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Q. Can hypnosis help me with physical problems?

A. Normally a hypnotherapist would expect you to have discussed any such problems with your GP and, if necessary and with your permission, he may wish to talk to your GP himself - but only with your permission. Many physical problems can be caused, or aggravated by, mental turmoil or stress or oppressive negative attitudes, so called psycho-somatic illnesses, and the therapeutic values of hypnosis can be used to reduce symptoms in some instances. Hypnosis is typically very relaxing in itself and utilises the powerful unconscious mind to reduce fears and anxieties. It can be particularly effective with phobias or overcoming unwanted habits.

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It is recommended that you ask the therapist to explain his training to you, his rules of confidentiality and ethical guidelines and to discuss any point about which you are not clear at any time. The key to effective therapy is the relationship of professional trust between the client and the therapist. If for any reason you do not wish to continue with any particular therapist you should say so at once and, if required, the therapist will be pleased to refer you to another practitioner with whom you may establish a more conducive relationship. There is absolutely no embarrassment on the therapist's part in this regard, the therapist will always have your best interests at heart and will be pleased to ensure that those interests are met at all times.

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