So what is a problem behaviour? At the NCH we define it as an unwanted habit or addiction; something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about.
Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common, but there are many other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.
If you have an unwanted habit or behaviour, it may often feel as if you are out of control, that there is someone else or something inside of you that is making you do this. A “little voice” that always tells you to do something when you don’t want to do it. But that little voice is part of you and is part of your protection system.
As a species we evolved to survive and thrive so our subconscious, the heart of our being, is always creating mechanisms that support this. However, sometimes things get distorted and what your subconscious thinks is a protection mechanism becomes an unwanted habit that causes you upset rather than allowing you to survive and thrive.
The good news is that you are in control, you can change how you react to certain situations, and you can protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can.
The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently.
Just a few examples of bad habits that can be worked on with hypnosis are:
- Over eating, poor relationship with food and weight gain
- Biting nails
- Teeth grinding
- Recreational drug use
- Sexual performance
Overeating and Weight loss
If you come to see a hypnotherapist for overeating, you may find you are nourishing yourself with food, rather than love. Of course, we all need nourishment, we just need to discover the healthiest and happiest way to nourish ourselves.
When you see a hypnotherapist for weight loss they will ask you lots of questions about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits and avoid doing exercise.
They will then put together a programme of treatment that will motivate you to exercise more and eat less. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.
If you come to a hypnotherapist to stop smoking, the hypnotherapist may find that you started within a peer group situation. Often this stems from our desire to blend in, to become part of a group, and of course in evolutionary terms we need to be accepted by a group as our protection comes from being within groups – that is how we evolved and survived.
Did you know that your physical addiction to cigarettes can be over after just one week? And research shows that by quitting smoking with hypnosis you are three times more likely to give up than if you used nicotine patches.
Imagine how your different your life would be if you stopped smoking, what you would gain. It is important to understand your motivation for giving up in order to give up.
How many sessions will I need?
This will vary according to the habit the hypnotherapist is working with you on. For something like smoking it may only be a one session treatment as smoking is a habit that you can give up for good, so the therapist may use what is known as aversion techniques which will put you off having another cigarette.
This type of therapy does not work so well with overeating, for example, where the work will be about redeveloping your relationship with food and exercise. Food is a big part of our lives and is essential to our survival (unlike smoking) so sometimes we need to relearn to connect with food in a healthy way, which takes longer.
What will I expect from a session?
Depending on what you are seeing the therapist for, they will assess your habit and write a treatment plan for you based on a range of different techniques. Each hypnotherapist will work with you differently.
Your hypnotherapist will then assess your commitment to the treatment, as the desire to stop the behaviour or change the behaviour must come from you. If you want to give up smoking for someone else, it is unlikely to work.
How do I find a hypnotherapist?
Have a look in our hypnotherapy directory to find a hypnotherapist near you. If you are working longer term with a hypnotherapist, it is worth meeting a few, or having a chat on the phone. It is of utmost importance that you feel comfortable and are able to relax and open up to your hypnotherapist. Take advantage of any free first session or discussion with a hypnotherapist to assess how you feel when talking with them.