Hypnosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon in human experience. Add to hypnosis the therapeutic aspects, provided by the skills of the practitioner, and we have a viable understanding of the term hypnotherapy.
This varies from person to person but some common descriptions include ‘a state of altered awareness’, ‘day dreaming’, ‘going off somewhere else with thoughts’, ‘becoming very relaxed’. Hypnosis can involve the use of relaxation, however, it does not rely on relaxation alone in order to effect therapeutic change. When it is accompanied by relaxation, the person becomes inwardly focused, with a detached sense of the immediate reality which is comfortable and enjoyable. Above all, hypnosis is a pleasant experience.
It is used for the purpose of gaining greater access to the unconscious mind, than is ordinarily available when we are consciously aware. The unconscious mind is literal, childlike, (compared to the conscious mind), and is the creative part of the individual’s ability to create changes across behaviours, emotions and cognitions.
Include daydreaming, losing track of time, losing track of location e.g. travelling a familiar journey. Reading, listening to music, and watching television also come into the criteria of what we call ‘altered states’ of awareness.
When hypnosis is used in a therapeutic setting, is a far removed experience to that displayed for purposes of entertainment such as stage hypnosis. Used in a therapeutic setting hypnotherapy is enjoyable, easy to use and gets easier with a little practice. Many practitioners teach self hypnosis to their clients so that they can become empowered and autonomous in their own progress. Many practitioners also incorporate a number of other skills within the hypnotherapeutic remit, and those experienced practitioners who also happen to be engaged with their own continuing professional development, are at the cutting edge of changes within our constantly evolving profession.
Hypnosis is an experience based upon consent. Anyone can experience and enjoy hypnosis unless they are unwilling to do so or are incapable of any degree of concentration whatsoever (either too young or are mentally incapable).
The ethical practitioner has no ‘special powers’, nor do they profess to have, they cannot ‘control’ the client in any way that is foreign to the nature of the client, the ethics of the client or the will of the client. The ethical practitioner makes no claims to be the ‘right’ therapist to work with you, nor does s/he market themselves as ‘the best’ practitioner for this, or that. Making such claims either verbally or in writing/ print is an indication to avoid this sort of practitioner altogether.
It is quite impossible to become ‘trapped’ in hypnosis. Those in trance can come away from trance to attend to any emergency, respond is ways that s/he would expect in the natural course of events. Hypnosis is a natural and normal way of using the mind for the benefit of change.
Neither is the case although if a client is physically tired, dropping into sleep is easier when coming from an experience of hypnosis. If this were to happen however, this would be totally unethical on the part of the practitioner to let the client sleep through a session, unless that client is coming to resolve difficulties sleeping or insomnia.
The use of the word unconscious mind, does not literally mean the client becomes unconscious because of hypnosis. However, clients do consistently make mention of having little memory for the details of what has been said in the experience of trance. But they do have awareness of having heard the voice of the practitioner throughout.
Yes, for some conditions the use of hypnotherapy is contra-indicated for those with a history of : – epilepsy, heart disease, psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, hospitalisation for severe depression. Practitioners will check these with you when you go for your Consultation.