How does Hypnotherapy work?

If you are looking for help to manage anxiety or depression, to conquer a phobia or addiction or to improve your business or sports performance, you may be surprised to know how effective hypnotherapy can be as a solution.

Most people’s first point of reference for hypnotherapy may be a stage hypnotist; a dark and enigmatic character who puts people under their spell for the amusement of audiences. Although this idea can intimidate people, it shouldn’t. Stage hypnotism shows the power of trance and suggestion, but think of Hypnotherapy as a distant cousin. We use trance in a relaxing way that the client is completely in control of and the results can be staggering.

The success is a lot to do with a part of the brain called the ‘Conscious Critical Faculty’ – think of like a gateway to the brain. If we have a belief about something then the conscious critical faculty will block out any information that conflicts with it. This is a logical programme our brains have. If we have a belief that a viper is poisonous, our brains will block out any ideas that say otherwise causing us to back away from it and not to pet it!

But what if some of these beliefs are false or damaging? What if we have beliefs that we are worthless? That we cannot achieve our goals? That we will never be happy?… Then our brains can block out any positive information that might conflict. Hypnotherapy bypasses these systems and allows some of these positive messages through without being blocked by a fear of threat or danger.

The hypnotherapist can play with this communication by encouraging the mind away from limitations and negativity and towards positive goals and success.

But changes in our mind-set are only the start. Scientists are now fully aware of the physiology of our bodies and the interconnectedness of all of our systems. The brain and the body are so closely aligned. Negative emotions are often the root cause of physical symptoms. This is why hypnotherapy can have such an impact on a range of physical conditions – tiredness, memory, focus, digestion, fertility, skin conditions, digestion, sleep… the list seems limitless.

Hypnotherapy, in some form or another, is one of the oldest forms of therapeutic repair, dating back to the days of emerging human awareness. Very few therapies have stood the test of time in quite the same way suggesting that it is one of the most effective treatments that people can use to help support them with a range of goals or conditions.

What to expect from a Hypnotherapy session

The first visit to a hypnotherapist can be a daunting affair. You may already be suffering from an anxiety related condition and this unknown element can sometimes add to your stress but there is really nothing to fear.

Often, a client’s only point of reference for hypnotherapy is its close cousin of ‘Stage Hypnotherapy.’ This is where the hypnotist places their subjects into such a deep state of hypnotic trance that they are compelled to walk like a chicken, eat onions like apples and perform an array of demeaning tricks for the amusement of the audience. This is a form of somnambulism and bears little resemblance to what goes on in a clinic. For a start, only 3% of the population can get into such a deep state of trance that they are that susceptible to outrageous suggestions and furthermore, the kind of performances they create are suggestible because, deep down, they want to take part… No one can control your mind better than you can!

Hypnotherapy Crawley
Hypnotherapy Crawley

The first visit my clinic will involve an informal chat about your reasons for coming to see a hypnotherapist and the goals you wish to achieve. We may talk in a little detail about your current circumstances but only as much as you are comfortable with. I am a solution focused hypnotherapist which means that it is more beneficial to talk about your potential positive future rather than the worries that brought you here. I will also explain a little bit about how the brain works and how anxiety, depression, phobias, habits and fears are created. Often, this is the most important part and a lot of my clients pinpoint this as the exact moment that recovery began. If you are happy with me and how hypnotherapy works, we will look to book our first session.

Each session of hypnotherapy is similar. We will discuss you targets for the week (which I can use to tailor your hypnotic experience) and review how the brain works. We then do some hypnotic work on the therapy bed in which we motivate your brain to achieve these goals whilst your mind and body are relaxed. Some people can recall every word or this and some sleep through it, others drift in or out but there is no optimum way to experience it. Most people agree that it is highly relaxing and that 40 minutes can feel like five.

Change happens post hypnotically. In Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy the client may be a little confused at first by the thought of smoking and after a couple of hours is adamantly rejecting the habit. Most depression and anxiety sufferers notice change quickly and the rate of change seems enormous in the first few weeks. I have a special computer program that measures change so you can literally see your progress.

The bottom line with hypnotherapy is that you generally ‘get what you want.’ If you genuinely want to be less anxious you will find that this happens pretty quickly. A hypnotherapist can’t make you feel something you don’t want to feel, rather we work as a team: you have the desire and I help to focus that desire in trance and find the way to get it.  At the time of writing this, the statistical change in my clients over 8 sessions was an amazing 98.17% improvement in perceived positive change.

Paul Milham currently works in London, Crawley and West Sussex to support  clients with a range of targets and goals…

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