We provide hypnotherapy besides other therapy modalities. For those who want to engage with that kind of therapy it is important to understand the concept of hypnosis as there are many misconceptions.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that allows exploration between our conscious (aware) and subconscious (unaware) self.
Being of 2 Minds –
The Conscious and the Subconscious Mind
The conscious part of our mind is primarily responsible for deduction, reasoning, logic, short-term memory and a notion of time and space. It is the part of our mind that provides us with the ability to focus and pay attention to information around us, and to either accept or reject that information.
Our goals and dreams start in the conscious levels of our mind. In other words, we first think about what we want and then decide to go for it e.g. ‘I want to stop smoking’, ‘I want to change my eating habits’, ‘I wish I could …’, ‘I could, if I just wanted to…’. However, our results, how well we do, and what we actually do to achieve our outcomes, do not necessarily take place at the conscious levels of our mind.
It is most people’s experience that sometimes we do not get what we desire, we do not achieve our goals, or that we are unable to create that different lifestyle or healthier body. Quite often we are unaware as to why we have not been able to achieve these outcomes or results.
The discrepancy between our anticipated dreams and goals, and the actual results or outcomes can often be attributed to our subconscious perceptual filters not fully supporting us in what we have consciously set out to achieve. Subconscious perceptual filters are often well hidden from our conscious mind and heavily influence, or even change, the information we notice in our internal and external worlds.
The subconscious part of our mind therefore has considerable impact on how we interact with the world around us. This impact is even more significant if we consider that our subconscious is widely believed to be responsible for our emotions, thoughts, ideas, habits, outlooks, beliefs and how we chose to make some kind of sense or give meaning to our experiences in life.
Hypnosis provides the means to explore the differences of information between the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind, and to identify what needs to be changed in order to align the subconscious with the conscious mind.
How Deep do I need to go?
The level or depth of hypnosis required to identify and facilitate change can vary from person to person – some people only require a light level of hypnosis, some a medium level, whilst others require a very deep level of hypnosis to bring about effective and useful changes. For the majority of people though, a light to medium level of hypnosis is usually sufficient for hypnotic suggestions to take their full effect.
What does Hypnosis feel like?
Being in an altered state of consciousness or in a hypnotic trance is not something to be nervous or anxious about, as hypnosis is a very pleasant feeling of complete physical and mental relaxation.
In fact, being in a hypnotic state or trance is something you have most likely already experienced many times in your life but maybe, have not previously been aware of, e.g. We regularly experience a light to medium level of hypnosisor something familiar to this, whenever we daydream and forget about what is happening around us and our awareness/attention becomes more internally focused or, when we are in the ‘trance state’ before we fall asleep each night and before we fully awake in the morning.
Medium to deeper levels of hypnosis can occur, and are perhaps best be compared to, when we have feelings of being somewhat slightly removed from what is happening, i.e. observing oneself rather than ‘being’ part of what is happening.
Regardless of whichever level of hypnosis is appropriate for your circumstance, it is important to remember that YOU ARE NOT ASLEEP WHILE UNDER HYPNOSIS! Even when the word ‘sleep’ (close your eyes) is used to bring about a hypnotic trance,you are still actively involved in the therapeutic process on all levels, and are thus able to accept or resist suggestions and information. You will find your mind to be very active and you will be able to hear, remember, and experience everything that is going on around you if you wish to do so.
The Critical Mind
It is quite common during the initial stages or sessions of hypnosis, for a person’s internal critic to want to interfere with the process of change. Thoughts such as – Is this really going to work?, Do I really want to change?, I don’t want to look foolish!, Am I really hypnotized right now? and many other messages will come to mind – this is quite normal and you will find that these thoughts start to tune out after a short while.
Nevertheless, these thoughts can be quite helpful in the therapeutic process, as they initiate an internal dialogue that is often beneficial in that person’s resolve to work for the best possible outcome.
Common Misconceptions about Hypnosis
YOU are the most important, and influencing, factor on how effective hypnosis will be to your situation. Your willingness to be hypnotized, to trust the hypnotic process and to work with the hypnotherapist is of utmost importance to achieving the changes you desire.