There are many false beliefs around hypnosis and there is a vast difference between a stage hypnotist and a hypnotist who works therapeutically as a hypnotherapist. When you see an NCH hypnotherapist you can be assured that you will be working with a trained and trustworthy professional who has your wellbeing at the core of your therapy.
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state that we all experience at various times and in various depths throughout the day. The experience of hypnosis has been described in many ways but is often explained as a streamlined state of focused attention. Many people describe hypnosis as feeling similar to daydreaming, when they are neither fully alert, nor asleep. Everyone’s experiences and therefore descriptions of hypnosis will vary because all trance states feel different to different people. Hypnosis is usually associated with a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation and this can be part of the therapy, however not all hypnosis nor Hypnotherapy involves relaxation in the traditional sense.
The Hypnotherapist will use a combination of hypnosis and talking therapy to bring about changes in the client’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours at a deeper than conscious level; the subconscious level, where we automatically respond. The beliefs we all hold about ourselves (positive or negative) are stored within our subconscious mind, as are many of our behaviours, patterns and habits. These behaviours can be protective and useful, but where they are unhelpful, a client might want to work with a hypnotherapist because they want to change their deep-rooted, automatic responses and cannot access these alone.
During hypnosis insight can be gained through a new perspective and adjustments can be made to limiting beliefs that have influenced or directed the client’s life, sometimes resulting in radical change or gentle differences that increase positively over time.
Therapeutic techniques applied during hypnosis are usually quicker than the traditional forms of psychotherapy or counselling due to accessing the subconscious, consequently hypnotherapy is becoming increasingly popular.
No. Hypnosis is a streamlined state of focused attention, similar to when you are absorbed in a book, a film a sport or a craft. You have the ability to emerge from hypnosis at any time if you wish. Your hypnotherapist could be described as a guide taking you on a journey; they are the facilitator but any change can only be made by you. Realising that you are in control and can make changes yourself can be very empowering.
The more often you choose to go into hypnosis the easier it is to relax into the process, secure in the knowledge that you remain in control and can end a session of hypnosis at any point should you wish to. As most people find hypnosis deeply relaxing and a very pleasant experience they rarely choose to do this, but they are aware that they could if they so chose.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind similar to daydreaming. People are often surprised that they can hear what is being said and can move or speak if they want to. Everybody’s experience of it is different and how an individual feels may vary each time they go into hypnosis. Some people describe hearing every word the therapist says, while others find their mind wanders; many people lose track of time when they are in hypnosis. How aware or unaware you are during the process is unimportant and does not affect the efficacy of the session. Relaxation isn’t essential to hypnosis, but most people describe being very relaxed during and after the session and more enjoyable than they expected.
- Anxiety and stress
- Behavioural problems
- Chronic pain
- Fears and phobias
- Physical conditions such as IBS
- Unwanted habits
- Skin conditions and migraines
- Panic attacks
- Poor sleep
- Lack of confidence
- Performance anxiety
- Self-esteem issues
- Trauma and complex trauma
As hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy it is generally not advised for:
- Depressive illness
- Psychosis (e.g. schizophrenia)
- Psychiatric Disorders
The therapist will ask what has brought you to therapy and what you would like to see or feel at the end of your sessions. They will explain what hypnotherapy is, their method of working and what you can expect from the sessions. After the consultation the therapist will guide you into hypnosis using the method which they believe is most appropriate for you. After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and most likely, very relaxed. As your hypnotherapist will be working with your subconscious mind, change is often very subtle, so you may just notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling.
A hypnotherapist should be registered with an independent professional body, which welcomes hypnotherapists with the right level of training from a range of range of different schools. The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNCH) was set up by the Department of Health in 2010. The Department of Health recommends that you choose a hypnotherapist registered with the CNHC. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) is one of the largest not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional associations in the UK and all our members have the option to join the CNHC.
Many therapists offer a free consultation on the phone or face-to-face prior to booking a first session.