5 surprising reasons to make hypnotherapy your first choice
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
In this article we'll be looking deeper into this versatile therapy and why there may be more to hypnosis than meets the eye.
Most people immediately associate hypnosis with tackling fears, phobias and weight loss, and it can achieve excellent and often rapid results in all of those areas. However, when it comes to anxiety disorders, depression and trauma, for example, people often think they should turn to more traditional therapies. However, there are a number of very good reasons why you should give hypnotherapy a closer look.
1 - Hypnotherapy isn't that different from 'traditional' approaches
In many ways a hypnotherapy session is like a standard counselling session. Part of the session is about history taking, looking at medications and wider circumstances, particularly stress factors in your life. A hypnotherapy session is also about education. Not just education about hypnosis and what to expect, but advice on clear, practical steps you can and should take to help yourself. All very familiar.
Importantly an initial hypnotherapy session is also about about setting clear goals and outcomes. In order for any therapy to be useful you need to be clear about what you want and how you will know you have achieved your outcomes. In hypnosis the goals are very much about how you want to feel, behave and experience life in clear measurable steps. It is seldom enough to say "I want to be happier' and have 'better relationships', statements like this are more a wish-list than clear goals. During a hypnotherapy session it would be usual to ask specifically how clients will think, feel and experience life if they are happier? What will they do and say, how will they behave? What will they wear, where will they go? Where in their body will they experience happiness? When do they or have they felt the experience of real happiness now or in the past? Can they imagine now how it will feel? and so on. Not only does this help to set meaningful objectives and outcomes but it begins the vital process of focusing on what they want and NOT what they don't want.
2 - Hypnotherapy is often used alongside traditional techniques
I use a number of familiar approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in my hypnotherapy practice. Why? Because they have been found to be very effective with certain conditions such as trauma, anxiety and depression. Also, part of any effective therapy programme is building skills to effectively help clients understand and overcome their problems or condition and prevent relapse. CBT is very good for example at helping clients identify ways of thinking that are unhelpful or 'distorted', recognising them and developing better thinking styles and strategies. This is powerful and useful with or without the added benefits of hypnosis.
Similarly EMDR is a proven technique for the effective treatment of trauma and increasingly is being used in other areas such as depression and compulsions. EMDR also has some excellent tools for what is called 'installing' positive cognitions or beliefs about yourself rather than the negative cognitions that you current think and believe. If it works, I use it!
3 - Hypnosis can help traditional approaches be more effective
So, if other approaches such as CBT and EMDR are so effective, why use hypnosis? Simply because it can help increase the impact of other techniques. I use hypnosis to amplify the effectiveness of these approaches. Hypnosis is very useful for helping clients to vividly focus, associate with or imagine the feelings, behaviours, responses and experiences they want to achieve.
Hypnosis can usefully be described as 'believed-in imagination'. We use our imaginations all of the time to project our feelings and perceptions onto real life and experiences. Whether life is 'miserable, hard and tedious' or 'joyful and fulfilling' can be as much about how we choose to imagine, perceive or project our internal state onto reality, as the actual experiences we have. We all know peopole who are relentlessly happy despite what life throws at them. It is positive imagination and projection. Hypnosis can really help clients to imagine and experience in a real, physiologically way, the beliefs, experiences, feelings and achievements they actually want and believe that they can have it.
If you can imagine it, you can have it.
4 - Hypnotherapy can be content free and avoid retraumetisation in therapy
Whilst often difficult subject matter may arise during therapy hypnosis does not require you to talk in detail about the why, what and when, but rather on the current experience or the physiology of the emotions and on changing that. This can be immensely reassuring for clients needing to address difficult and painful experiences. In addition if clients do need to re-visit certain experiences, hypnosis has some very effective tools for controlling the degree of association and emotional response to those experiences.
Through the use of 'association' and 'dissociation' or getting closer to and further away from the experience hypnotherapy introduces a gentle and controlled way of dealing with painful memories or trauma. in this way clients can be assisted through the process of moving from memories triggering highly emotional responses to removing the emotional content from those memories. In this way, and because the focus during hypnosis always returns to what you want to feel and experience hypnosis is a very positive, empowering and relaxing experience.
5 - Hypnosis is not all its made out to be!
Often the common myths and stereotypes about hypnosis prevent us from seeking it out as a serious alternative. So what are they and what is really the case?
Well, no, hypnosis cannot be used as 'mind control' to make you do anything you do not want to do or that is not fundamentally good for you. More importantly, no professional therapeutic hypnotherapist would attempt to do this. Hypnosis is about healing and positive change, and you are always in charge. Hypnotherapy is NOT about entertainment or chickens!
Hypnosis is NOT a state of sleep. You will be aware, focused and deeply engaged with the process though sometimes deeply relaxed also.
Hypnosis is not magic, wacky or quackery. Hypnosis is the oldest form of what is now called psychotherapy, is one of the most rigorously researched therapies, is profoundly safe and proven as an effective treatment for many conditions.
So, what to do next?
If you'd like to explore the benefits of hypnosis for yourself please give us a call and set-up a complementary, no obligation consultation now. During this session I will gather basic information about you and what you'd like support with and give you an honest appraisal of whether hypnosis would help, whether it is the right time to seek help or whether there are other better things to do at this time.
This is completely free, there is no obligation and it is entirely confidential.