Explore your mind
Hypnosis is an altered state of perception; a conscious dreaming on a journey through the landscapes of a huge inner world. Guided to the realms of the unconscious, you become an explorer seeking out truth: perhaps why you’re here, where you came from and where you’ll go next. Just as ‘Tron’ and ‘The Matrix’ are stories from inside a program, your unconscious holds the clues to the conditions that shaped you, from social programming to traits, and beliefs from the past, passed through centuries of ancestral DNA. You will face your fears as you face yourself in an underworld of thought and experience, as you delve into suppressed emotions and repressed parts of the self; parts that you were unaware of lingering below the surface, or far deeper, in the core of your existence itself. Then, as gently as unveiling an artwork beneath grime, or brushing the earth from an archaeological find, the real you will be slowly revealed through awareness, like a light that is shone in the dark. Shadows are shapes that mirror an object, following it closely, forever attached. In the same way, the past that shaped you will tail you, forever present, though outside your grasp. In hypnosis, suggestions are made: requests to reform the beliefs that your unconscious holds dear. Because not everything that we believe in is true, wholesome or helpful, or serves a purpose in the greater good of humankind. On the contrary, due to social conditioning, we may be further removed from our true selves than we would ever have thought possible or believed. But the symptoms are there, as a testament to trauma, to the unkind remarks we experienced in youth, to the physical pain, grief, fear and uncertainties, and the inherent lack of trust that we carry with us each day.
Being a Hypnotherapist is an accepted profession these days, and it’s common to hear of people who’ve experienced relief through hypnosis for the issues they’ve faced. Particularly with the rise in poor mental health, more and more people are intuitively drawn to alternative and more holistic approaches. Training as a Clinical Hypnotherapist on an accredited course takes a number of months, followed by two years of supervision and ongoing training. There is also a Hypnotherapy Register and Council to maintain standards, so it is a recognised, professional practice.
Treatment typically begins with a look at medical history and asking the client what they would like to change (note that the therapist may not work with someone with serious addiction, epilepsy, etc., because of the risk factors involved). The Hypnotherapist may then delve deeper, to get to the heart of a problem and uncover any secondary benefits that the issue might hold (gaining attention, for example), which make a mindset more difficult to change. So, clients can expect to explore their issues with the therapist before being guided into hypnosis where deeper work can take place. Then, at the same time as the therapist makes positive suggestions for change, the client may experience thoughts, colours or visualisations, as though in another time or place, although precisely where the mind needed to go. As the unconscious is ‘opened up’, beliefs, habits, worries, etc., can then be explored, from the safety of the therapy chair. Often, this is done by dissociating the client from an experience, as they sit back and observe a memory from a place of objectivity, or it is played out in a less difficult way (for phobias, for example). In the mind’s eye, intuition will take over, so that greater awareness is accompanied by solutions or acceptance, which allows the client to heal and move on.
In this way, Hypnotherapy can treat the symptoms and various forms of fear, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, tension, pain and addiction, as well as energy imbalances, childbirth and relationship issues. It can also be used in complement to other remedial techniques, including anchoring, tapping and meditation.
Because the part of the mind that is responsible for automatic functions, such as breathing and digestion, as well as the storage of memory, is around 20 times bigger than the logical, conscious mind, it works away in the background like a computer program, without our even thinking at all. To reprogram the unconscious entails planting new sets of ideas, but also that the client then acts upon them in their own time. If, however, after an hour with the therapist, the client spends 23 in the same behaviours or environment, then the work will undoubtedly wear off.
It’s important to note that a Hypnotherapist is not a magician nor a mystic, but a guide to help people get back on track within a clinical framework. In the trance state, the visualisation of an improved situation can be invoked and/or the hidden reasons for a problem brought up for clearing. The process is gentle, but can feel a bit strange, although in a thought-provoking and interesting way. Through this guided state of relaxation, the client stays completely aware and in control (unless sleep is induced, which is rare). So, at no time are they led to do something against their wishes, unlike stage hypnosis, which isn’t therapy, but organised fun. In the days, weeks and months following the session, the suggestions may continue to embed, with emotional release as they do so. And as the mind comes to realisations, leading to changes or transformation, it may feel so spontaneous and natural that they will think it was all down to them… which it was.
In the end, as long as the client is guided to a new level of understanding, which helps them to restructure their unwanted thoughts or behaviours, then the objective for the hypnosis can be said to have been achieved.
Free your flow.