Being under the control of someone else? Being asleep and not aware of what is actually happening? Being made to 'cluck like a chicken' or 'bark like a dog' at the click of a finger? Or how about being convinced that a raw onion actually does taste like the juiciest peach ever? Sorry, none of the above! Let's leave that to the stage entertainers eh?
Many people have had some sort of experience of Hypnosis through seeing a stage or television show. These shows may be great entertainment but they are not hypnotherapy. Yes, volunteers are in a state of hypnosis but what they are experiencing is not therapeutic intervention. They have given their permission to the stage hypnotist to make suggestions to them to make them behave in a certain way, simply by going onto the stage in the first place. These suggestions are not long lasting and tend to wear off in a very short space of time.
Let's dispel some of the 'mythconceptions' about hypnotherapy. There is no 'looking into my eyes', there is no 'loss of control', there is no being 'under the influence of' quite the contrary in fact. Hypnotherapy is a very effective complementary therapy that can be carried out safely alongside more conventional therapeutic and medical methods.
We are all in and out of a state of hypnosis to one degree or another every day of our lives. Let me give you some examples that you will be able to relate to. Do you ever daydream? Have you ever driven a car for some distance and then not been able to remember part of the journey or missed a turning? What about reading a book that is so engaging that you have not noticed someone walk into the room?
Hypnosis dates back to the ancient Greeks and probably beyond, in fact 'Hypnos' is the Greek word for sleep but was only adopted in the 19th Century. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness where the therapist is able to communicate with the sub-conscious mind and it is in this state that a trained hypnotherapist can help you to make the changes that you desire.
So, the sub-conscious mind, sounds a bit spooky doesn't it? However, consider a few facts; do you think about making your heart beat? How about breathing in and out? No, of course you don't. This is because these functions are dealt with automatically in the sub-conscious. Now consider when you first learnt to ride a bicycle. Remember how difficult it was to master the pedaling? Then the steering…then even worse, the steering and pedaling together, let alone having to balance! Then, one day just as if by magic, off you went and it all fell into place.
Now, even if you have not ridden a bicycle for many years, you would probably be able to get on one and ride away without much thought. That is because the whole process has been automated and placed in your sub-conscious mind to leave your conscious mind to attend to more pressing requirements.
Riding a bicycle is a learned skill, just like being fearful of spiders or of water. By definition, anything that is learned can be unlearned too. That is how some hypnotherapy interventions operate, by accessing the sub-conscious mind to alter the leanings that you want to alter.
Hypnotherapy can assist in creating a greater awareness of the self and at the same time promote personal development and potential. This can be achieved by a variety of methods depending on your requirements ranging from imaginative narration to direct suggestions. What is imperative in all cases is your willingness and motivation to change, without this, Hypnotherapy is less likely to work.
Many situations or problems can be dealt with by hypnotherapy, including addictions such as alcohol and tobacco, phobias, stress, allergies, confidence, relationship difficulties, sports performance and much more. Consultations or therapeutic interventions tend to be short term as many situations can be resolved within a few sessions. You can expect to have your initial consultation (20-30 minutes) free of charge, this will be an opportunity for you to decide how effective hypnotherapy is going to be for your personal situation and also for your therapist to decide on the best therapy for you. After this, when you decide to proceed, you will be charged a consultation fee, the amount varies from area to area and therapist to therapist.
It would be advisable before consulting a hypnotherapist to contact one of the regulatory bodies such as the General Hypnotherapy Register or the National Council for Hypnotherapist's to confirm the therapist's credentials and that they are fully insured and qualified. This will also ensure that your chosen therapist will be following a set of nationally agreed codes of conduct and have pledged to maintain their standards of hypnotherapy by continuous professional development.
By Glen Gormon
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