Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy used to create change in a patient while in a state of unconsciousness, known as hypnosis.

The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypnos” which simply means, “sleep.” However, you are not really sleeping... The therapy itself uses guided relaxation techniques from a trained hypnotist that invoke feelings of intense relaxation, concentration, and/or focus to achieve a heightened state of awareness or trance-like state.

Hypnotherapy is commonly used as suggestion therapy.

Suggestion therapy relies on the patient’s ability to respond to suggestions from the hypnotherapist while in this trance-like state.  These suggestions help people make positive changes within themselves.  

This method is commonly used to control or stop unwanted behaviors such as smoking, gambling, nail biting, or over-eating. It has also been shown particularly useful in treating pain, or increasing the instance of positive behavior such as self-motivation or confidence.


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As a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, I and can work with you to use hypnosis as a tool to help you grow, change and transform your life.  

My therapy sessions can be used alone or in addition to a coaching program to help you create a vision of the life you'd like to lead.
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I work with a series of scripts that are proven to help with many types of behavioral issues that people would like to change, but each session includes an interview where we discuss what you are hoping to achieve from the therapy.
Long gone are the days when hypnosis was seen as waving watches and controlling people's minds. 

In a hypnotherapy session you are always in control and you are not made to do anything.  It is generally accepted that all hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis.  A hypnotist merely helps to facilitate your experience - hypnotherapy is not about being made to do things, in fact it is the opposite, it is about empowerment. 
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You can never be suggested to do something that is not congruent to who you are and aligned with your values.

The following four extracts from Dr Hilary Jones' book, "Doctor, What's the Alternative?", provide an accurate and accessible description of what hypnotherapy is, how it works and how hypnotherapy can help you change and grow.

Together we customize the suggestions, visualizations and the positive afirmations and images that you would like to have applied during the therapy portion of our session.
In a hypnotherapy session you are always in control and you are not made to do anything.  It is generally accepted that all hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis.
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Definition of Hypnotherapy

  • Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep.  It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist's voice.  In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed.
  • The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.
  • The practice of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy.  As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy.  Hypnotherapy aims to re-programme patterns of behavior within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome.  As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls.   Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated.

How does it work?

  • Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.  The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken.  Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the patient's behaviour and physical state to alter.
  • For example, a patient who consciously wants to overcome their fear of spiders may try everything they consciously can to do it, but will still fail as long as their subconscious mind retains this terror and prevents the patient from succeeding.  Progress can only be made be reprogramming the subconscious so that deep-seated instincts and beliefs are abolished or altered.

What form might the treatment take?

  • The technique does not involve the patient being put into a deep sleep, and the patient cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do.   They remain fully aware of their surroundings and situation, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the therapist.  The important thing is that the patient wants to change some behavioral habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so.  They have to want the treatment to work and must establish a good clinical rapport with the therapist in order for it to do so……
  • The readiness and ability of patients to be hypnotized varies considerably and hypnotherapy generally requires several sessions in order to achieve meaningful results.  However, the patient can learn the technique of self-hypnosis which can be practiced at home, to reinforce the usefulness of formal sessions with the therapist.  This can help counter distress and anxiety-related conditions.

What problems can be treated by hypnotherapy?

  • Hypnotherapy can be applied to many psychological, emotional and physical disorders.  It is used to relieve pain in surgery and dentistry and has proved to be of benefit in obstetrics.  It can shorten the delivery stage of labour and reduce the need for painkillers.  It can ease the suffering of the disabled and those facing terminal illness, and it has been shown to help people to overcome addictions such as smoking and alcoholism, and to help with bulimia.  Children are generally easy to hypnotise and can be helped with nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) and chronic asthma, whilst teenagers can conquer stammering or blushing problems which can otherwise make their lives miserable.
  • Phobias of all kinds lend themselves well to hypnotherapy, and anyone suffering from panic attacks or obsessional compulsive behaviour, and stress-related problems like insomnia, may benefit.  Conditions exacerbated by tension, such as irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis and eczema, and excessive sweating, respond well, and even tinnitus and clicky jaws (tempero-mandibular joint dysfunction) can be treated by these techniques.
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