Over 30 years ago I tried hypnotherapy and was blown away by how it made me feel. I had suffered from anxiety for so many years and had a lot of issues I needed help with. I had tried counselling and psychotherapy without much success and was feeling deflated and as if I would never be able to get over these issues. Hypnotherapy back then was quite out there and there was not much research or true information to help me fully understand what it was all about. But I was lucky to have found a great therapist; my first session really helped me feel that I could feel different. This was just what I needed to realise if I could feel this way now, how about me learning to feel this way every day. This was one of the many reasons that led me to train in hypnotherapy and then change my career and start practicing, to be honest I haven’t looked back since then and I am very lucky to love my work.
Let’s have a look at hypnotherapy and give you a bit more understanding of it. Hypnotherapy is a heightened state of concentration and focused attention. Guided by a trained hypnotherapist, it allows you to be more open to suggestions to make changes in your perceptions, sensations, emotions, come to terms with painful memories, thoughts or behaviours. So how does it work? This deep state of focus and relaxation that’s achieved with hypnosis, allows your unconscious mind to be quieted. With that extra space in your unconscious mind, you’re able to tap into these parts of your brain to be guided by your hypnotherapist, helping you modify or replace the unconscious thoughts that are driving your current negative behaviour. It can help you come to terms with the past, we all have to accept that we can’t change the past but we can change how we feel about the past. So, in doing that, it helps us to find that positive submission of what we can’t change, enabling us to let go on a deep and profound level.
Even with all these 30 years of additional knowledge and research, we are still carrying some of these negative myths about hypnosis and what having hypnotherapy will do to you. Some people can believe that hypnosis isn’t real, it’s a form of entertainment, a stage act, or some magical act. The reality is Clinical hypnosis is a type of medical therapy that’s often used as part of a treatment plan that includes traditional medical approaches. Having been practising since 1994 in Leicestershire, I have developed lots of professional connections with GPs, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals who refer clients to my practice regularly. Many people can feel really scared that they lose consciousness or have amnesia when they’re hypnotised. Again, this is not the case, most people remember everything that happens during hypnosis. You remain aware of who you are, and where you are, also remembering what happened during a hypnosis session. Also, you can’t be made to do anything against your will or reveal any information that you wished to remain secret or lose control over your behaviour. Finally, people think it’s like sleep but again this isn’t the case, it is like being on the edge of sleep where you are not fully awake but not asleep either. We have these experiences every day just as we are falling asleep and then waking up.
Hypnotherapy is very diverse in how it can help you with stress, anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD and phobias. It’s great for giving up bad habits like stopping smoking, unhealthy eating habits and all other addictions. It can help with sleeping issues, lack of confidence, IBS, past traumas, relationship issues, obsessive thoughts and depression. I have trained in many different disciplines and now in my sessions, I often combine several different treatments within the hypnotherapy session, I feel this can help to enhance the session and also speed up the process of healing and change for people.
You are probably not aware but hypnosis has been used since the 1700s, and it’s becoming a more accepted and recognised form of therapy. There are many more medical professionals incorporating hypnotherapy in their practice and the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of hypnotherapy is growing. Some of these studies show “promising” results or “may be helpful in” conclusions with the strongest evidence supporting the use of hypnotherapy treatments coming from research on hypnosis for treating pain, IBS and PTSD symptoms. More studies are needed to draw meaningful conclusions about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.
Finally, is it right for everyone? The people who will be more likely to benefit are the people who are motivated to overcome an issue. Hypnosis may not be appropriate for people with severe mental health issues, such as psychotic symptoms and split personality.
Hypnotherapy can be used face to face or online, you might be thinking how can it work online?? I thought the same, but Covid was a time that made me explore this. I didn’t just start offering sessions online I decided to do treatment swaps with a colleague in London and was shocked at how well it works. I now have clients all over the world, but it is also great for people who struggle to leave their homes with physical or emotional issues, as they can opt for the online sessions.
If you need to change, why not use hypnosis to help you shift in consciousness by tapping into your core thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and beliefs? Hypnotherapy isn’t for everyone, but it might be helpful for you. It can be a powerful and successful add-on tool to other more traditional forms of mental health or medical therapy. If you aren’t sure whether it is right for you, I offer a free consultation whereby you can chat through your issues, and I can give you more advice on how I might be able to help you. Sara