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A Quick guide to what hypnotherapy is

Is Hypnotherapy …

A Swinging Watch… a man in a sparkly waistcoat telling you that “you are feeling sleepy…” Or maybe... “Look in to my eyes, not around my eyes, look in to my eyes…” Or even... A man with dark eye make-up clicking his fingers *SNAP* and the world goes black, later you find out you’ve been impersonating Elvis but can’t remember anything! NO!

This is the impression we are often given by TV programmes and films… whilst Hypnosis is an incredibly powerful way of making changes, there isn’t any mind control. You’ll be pleased to know that the therapist won’t dive in to your mind and unveil your darkest secrets or make you do anything that you don’t want to do! In fact, have you ever watched a stage hypnotist ‘live’? If so, you’ll see how their selection process works. Firstly, they begin by identifying who the best person for the job will be. Then, each request gets sillier and sillier. Subsequently, more and more people will begin to “wake up”. Of course, this is because they have been aware of what’s being said but have felt like the hypnotist was in control. However, this time the hypnotist has gone a step too far and it’s not something they want to be a part of, so they immediately come out of the trance. So what is it then? Well there are lots of different types of hypnotherapy and hypnotherapist, but basically it means that the therapist will use Hypnosis as the main approach when working with you.

What is Hypnosis? Well, we often call the state of hypnosis ‘being in trance’. It is a state of intense relaxed concentration- very similar to being in a daydream or completely absorbed in a film. Although the word ‘Hypnosis’ comes from the name of the sleep ‘Hypnos’, It's not really like sleep because the subject is alert the whole time. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought. Most importantly, neuroscience research using brain scans demonstrate the same area in the brain is active during trance, as during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) part of our sleep cycle. In addition, they also found when we’re in REM, our brain is more active than it is at any other time! So, when we’re in REM scientists believe that really important events are happening in the brain. Most importantly, they believe stressful events and memories that we have stored in our emotional brain, are being consolidated and processed to be filed away in the more narrative parts of our mind. What kind of Hypnotherapist are you?

While I have been trained in and am experienced in many ways of working, I generally choose to follow the model of ‘Solution Focused Hypnotherapy’.

What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

“Solution-Focused” is fast becoming a buzz word of the 21st century, but what does it mean? Well, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is based on model of “Solution Focused Brief Therapy” which was first developed in the 1980s by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. This work is evidence-based and very positive! I enjoy working in a Solution Focused way because it is so positive! When we take a quick look at other therapies, we find many talking therapies can be “problem-focused”, they focus on unpicking the issue, re-living the issue, and real-life exposure. This can work well for some people, for many, it can cause more challenges.

Does that mean we won’t talk about my problems at all?

Although we are very much future-focused and solution-focused, we do acknowledge and allow you time to discuss what has been on your mind should you wish to. However, we limit this to a small section of our session so that we can focus on assisting you with moving forwards to achieve your preferred future.

What happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?

The first session will give us a chance to have a chat, I’ll ask you some questions about what brought you to see me and we’ll work together to identify your goals from our time together. I’ll explain a bit about how the brain works and why you might be feeling as you do.

I’ll then give you a FREE Mp3 recording to take away to listen to before the first session. In subsequent sessions we’ll spend some of the time talking – I’ll ask you what positive changes you’ve noticed since the last session, what you’ve done well when you have noticed the ‘problem’ disappearing and what you’ve noticed instead. We’ll discuss your goals and then it will be time to relax!

The ‘hypno’ bit is often the part clients are most apprehensive about when they first come in, but after their first experience, it is their favourite bit! You must remember that you are never out of control (though your mind may drift and dream in a wonderful way!). We use ‘trance’ for two reasons – firstly to help your brain to consolidate and process all our discussion during the first half of our session together. Secondly, we use it to speak more effectively to your subconscious mind. During hypnosis, the hypnotherapist will speak to your subconscious mind using guided imagery, positive affirmations, confidence building and story metaphors that all help towards building a more confident you. So, on top of having a small achievable and solution-focused goal every session, you also get the benefits of consolidating and processing that goal AND building your confidence up so that you’re even more likely to achieve your goal too. Moreover, you even get some good quality relaxation time just for you too! Furthermore, the story metaphors we use are great too. Specifically, the subconscious mind and conscious mind begin to see parallels with the story and what is going in your life. Subsequently, this helps you to move towards letting go of the past and discovering and achieving your preferred future. What can Hypnotherapy help with?

Hypnotherapy can help with a wide range of challenges that we each face in our everyday lives! Over the past few years, I have worked with a wide range of different clients who have each come with their own challenges. If you’d like to find out how Hypnotherapy can help you why not get in touch?

Some of the things Hypnotherapy can help with …

Alcohol dependency Anger management Anxiety Bereavement Blood pressure Confidence Depression Driving test nerves Eczema Emetophobia Fears Gambling GCSE preparation Habits IBS Insomnia Interview preparation Motivation OCD Panic attacks Phobias PTSD Public speaking Self-esteem Social anxiety Smoking cessation Tinnitus Weight management What to look for in a Hypnotherapist…

There are many people offering Hypnotherapy services, sadly some are better than others. When searching for a Hypnotherapist you need to find one who has trained at a reputable school (I trained at Clifton Practice Hypnotherapy Training in Bristol), who has good reviews on Social Media ( and who is a member of a governing body such as the ‘National Council for Hypnotherapy’ (I am!) and is registered with the CNHC a regulatory body set up by the government to ensure high standards across complementary therapies.

When you contact a hypnotherapist make sure you ask them about their training and who they are registered with. They will take the time to explain things to you clearly and to answer any questions you have. How can I find out more?

I look forward to working with you soon!

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