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Hypnosis and Hypno-Psychotherapy
Hypnosis has a history of over 200 years, and was used by Victorian medics such as Dr Mesmer as a technique of suggestion to help alleviate emotional distress in his patients. Such then is the derivative word to be ‘mesmerised’. Famous 20th century psychiatrists/psychoanalysts as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung increased our knowledge of hypnosis and psychotherapy by linking physical and psychological disorders to underlying emotional ones. This holistic approach has grown in the 21st century, and we now have an even better understanding of how the body and mind relate to each other. In 1997 the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) formally endorsed the new term hypno-psychotherapy as a branch of psychotherapy that uses hypnosis. This endorsement has allowed hypnosis to be successfully combined with other approaches and techniques such as counselling.
What is Hypnosis, and what is Hypno-Psychotherapy?
Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness that allows access to the subconscious mind. Hypnosis customarily creates a deeply relaxed state in which mental stress and bodily tension is reduced, and in this state the mind is more open to the process of change. A therapist will begin by offering relaxing suggestions to enable a client to enter into this hypnotic state. Once this state is achieved, therapeutic suggestions are given to help the client bring about positive changes.
Hypno-psychotherapy looks more at the reasons why a problem has arisen in the first place, and different techniques can be used alongside of hypnosis to help identify the source. Psychotherapy recognises that there are many ways of looking at how the mind works, some believe that thoughts and actions are mainly affected by the way that we look at the world and how it treats us. Others believe that we are mostly driven by our subconscious mind, which is a store of all our past experiences and emotions. Whatever theory of the mind is applied, hypnosis can be integrated with appropriate psychotherapeutic approaches to help alleviate personal problems.
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What sort of problems can be helped by hypnosis?
Problems such as anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties can be helped, as can dependencies and habits as smoking, eating disorders, nail biting. It can help relieve stress in disorders as phobias, panic attacks, insomnia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and personal crisis as accident, bereavement, redundancy, divorce, coping with illness are known to respond well to hypnosis. On a non-medical level, hypnosis can achieve personal growth in respect of career advancement and sporting performance enhanced.
Can anyone by hypnotised?
Almost anyone that wishes to by hypnotised can achieve a level of relaxation sufficient to allow therapy to take place. There are however a few medical conditions that contra-indicate the use of hypnosis, and that is why a consultation is important prior to treatment.
Will the hypnotherapist have control of my mind?
Absolutely NOT. Hypnosis is neither sleep nor anaesthesia, and a client in hypnosis is generally aware of their surroundings throughout a hypnotherapy session. A client can choose to come out of hypnosis at any time during their session, for they are not controlled in any way. The therapist is purely the facilitator helping to see a problem more clearly. A hypnotherapist cannot hypnotise anybody against their will, and those individuals that participate in hypnosis for stage entertainment, do so because they choose to. But it is unfortunate that hypnosis has been abused and misused in entertainment, and for financial gain, as it detracts from the benefits of therapeutic practice. Hypnosis for entertainment is against the recommendations of any respectable hypnotherapy register, and therefore for safe practice, it is important to find a registered practitioner.
What else do I need to know ?
Post hypnotic suggestions are often given. This means that any positive suggestions, or release of problems during a session, will continue to have a beneficial effect even after the therapy has finished. Unfortunately a therapist cannot predict how long it will take to resolve a clients problem, and thus how many sessions will be needed. But the number of sessions required to resolve a problem is not always related to the length of time that a problem has existed.
Generally a session will last for up to 1 hour, and after therapy one is quite safe to drive and continue normal daily activities.
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