How We Can Help
Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis to unlock the capacity of the unconscious mind to bring about therapeutic changes by modifying deeply-held assumptions, fears and misconceptions.
The issues that prompt people to turn to hypnotherapy for assistance include:
- Pain management
- Panic attacks
- Performance enhancement
- Habits – e.g. smoking
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
- Stress management
- Performance anxiety
- Confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness
What Hypnosis Is
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind, enhanced by deep mental and physical relaxation. Without knowing it everyone drifts into and out of mild hypnotic states daily. These periods of time are commonly referred to as “day-dreams” or “running on autopilot”.
Hypnosis has nothing to do with being asleep or unconscious in any way. You are able to hear and remember everything, and will know exactly what’s going on.
People often worry that, under hypnosis, they can be made to do things they would not ordinarily agree to. This is incorrect: you remain in control all the time and cannot be made to do things that you genuinely object to.
Participants in entertainment and stage hypnosis shows are fully aware that they will be asked to act in silly ways, and they implicitly agree to this at some level of their mind.
Hypnotherapy is simply the process of using hypnosis to ‘unlock’ or access the unconscious mind, and to bring about therapeutic changes by modifying deeply-held assumptions, fears and misconceptions within it.
There are two forms of hypnotherapy:
- Suggestion Hypnotherapy or Clinical Hypnotherapy
The hypnotherapist guides the client into a relaxed state and enlists the power of the client’s own imagination using a wide range of techniques from story-telling, metaphor or symbolism to the use of direct suggestions for beneficial change.
- Analytical Hypnotherapy or Hypnoanalysis
This therapy is rather more intense and requires several sessions. It involves an in-depth analysis of the individual’s inner fears, blocked and unresolved feelings and repressed memories and is carried out in a quiet and gentle way allowing the memories and emotion to flow and release anger, fear and hurt of the past.
Hypnoanalysis, which is a combination of psychotherapy and hypnosis, aims to seek out the root cause of the problem, which is often stored in the subconscious mind. By unblocking emotions, enormous change can be evoked, relieving years of frustration and liberating the individual’s feelings, in turn leading to an ability to move forward in life and relieving psychosomatically caused symptoms.
Hypnoanalysis can help with a great many conditions because they are really only ‘symptoms’ of an underlying anxiety e.g. a buried trauma, emotion, shock, bereavement, which was not expressed at the time. Once the core cause of a problem is uncovered and the resulting issues processed, the symptoms progressively disappear, but lastingly.
Hypnoanalysis is therefore effective in helping with deep-seated problems such as anxiety disorders, phobias, social phobias, social anxiety disorders, a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem – these are explained below.
- Anxiety disorders
The feeling of anxiety can be debilitating and have a serious effect on the individual’s life, as commitments, responsibility and way of life have to be altered to fit in around the anxiety problem. This, in addition to depression, sleep disturbance, or psychosomatic conditions, can have further knock-on detrimental effects on committing to relationships, work, sex life, social life or education. Anxiety disorders consist of panic attacks, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and phobias.
A phobia is an irrational fear which has been ‘symbolically attached’ to an object, or situation which causes little or no real danger. Phobias are often caused in childhood where the child experiences a real fear, but the mind manages to repress the feeling of terror, from the situation that caused it. This leaves the mind with a strong fear and nothing to attach it to. The mind rationalises this and will attach this fear to a real object or situation that it does know about, be it a rat, an injection, a lift . . . whatever it may find. Whenever the person now comes into contact with the object or situation (e.g. an injection, a spider) they feel the fear that the subconscious mind has associated with it and they have a ‘phobia’.
Phobias can be divided into several main types including fear relating to:
- Being trapped and unable to get away – flying, lifts, enclosed spaces, driving, bridges and tunnels.
- Medical procedures – blood, injections, operations, dentistry and illness.
- The environment – thunderstorms, heights, the dark, fire and water.
- Living creatures – spiders, insects, snakes, dogs and birds.
- Social Phobia and Social Anxiety Disorder
Social phobia revolves around a fear of how others might see you, a fear of being judged. It includes a fear of: meeting people, going to work, using public toilets, or entertainment situations.
Social anxiety disorder is often due to a lack of self-confidence and low self esteem and includes a fear of: public speaking, giving presentations, driving, being introduced to people, eating and drinking in public.
People with social phobia or social anxiety disorder may go on to develop depressive illnesses or because they avoid social places, agoraphobia. They may use drugs, alcohol or tranquillisers as crutches which may lead to addictions.