Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist & Motivational Speaker
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Hypnosis is a state of trance, which is often described as a state of focused and relaxed awareness anywhere between being awake and asleep. When a Hypnotherapist assists you into a state of Hypnosis and then presents you with verbal suggestions and visualisations designed to help you in achieving any desired goal, or making any positive change; then that process is called Hypnotherapy.
There are many situations, issues and conditions that may be directly or indirectly improved by a competent Hypnotherapist and a client who is willing to accept change.
Generally your first contact will be by telephone, probably most likely either after a referral from a friend, or by choosing one from a list or directory of Hypnotherapists or Hypnotherapy clinics. It is important you speak with the actual Hypnotherapist who you intend to work with. The initial feeling you have for this therapist and that attitudes you share, can have an enormous impact on the results you will achieve. You must like and trust the Hypnotherapist in order to reap the best benefits from the therapy. So take the time to find one whose manner and qualifications help put you at ease. (Qualifications will vary from state to state and from country to country.) Ask the Hypnotherapist about his/her training and experience - and only book your first Hypnotherapy session when you're totally comfortable in sharing your personal information with that therapist.
You should expect to be treated with respect and dignity as with any health professional. You will likely be asked to complete a questionnaire about your reason(s) for the Hypnotherapy consultation, a few personal details and some medical history. Most Hypnotherapists will only see you concerning any serious medical issue after referral from your doctor or specialist. While every therapist will have different procedures and methods of beginning the consultation, it is important that you feel safe and comfortable at all times and that you and the Hypnotherapist gain a rapport together that will later assist during the therapeutic evaluation and intervention.
Some therapists may seek
"permission to touch" but will generally restrict
any such touching to hands, arms, shoulders or head.
Nowadays, most professional Hypnotherapists (especially
those who trained with Hypnosis New Zealand)
will choose absolutely no physical contact with you,
other than a handshake at the start and finish of
your Hypnotherapy consultation. Remember, you always
have a choice about any touching and if you have
every right to decline any request from your
Hypnotherapist - and that should have little or no
effect on the outcome of your treatment.
It will usually be a very relaxed, almost lethargic feeling, but you can also experience lightness or floating sensations. During Hypnotherapy, you are not asleep! But then, you're not awake either. A light state of trance is closer to being awake, whereas a deeper level of trance is more like being in a dream. A medium level of Hypnotic trance is best described as: "like being awake and asleep at the same time". Indeed, during deeper trance, you may actually lose some conscious awareness. That's actually quite OK, because your relaxed consciousness is always still just hovering below the surface in case of any threat to your well-being. During Hypnotherapy you cannot be made to do things against your morals, ethics or physical or mental capabilities.
There are two main styles of Hypnotherapy: Suggestive Hypnotherapy and Analytical Hypnotherapy. Many Hypnotherapists have developed their own individual combinations and variations on these styles - and offer excellent therapy for either a broad range, or specialized fields within their Hypnotherapy practice.
a) Suggestive Hypnotherapy
This generally involves gathering information from you about your problems and the ways you want to improve them. The Hypnotherapist will ask you questions about causes, effects and expectations, induce a light to medium trance state and then present your subconscious with deliberately constructed suggestions to assist you to make progress. There may be no need for you to speak during this style of Hypnotherapy. Generally you will be sitting or lying in a relaxed state listening to the Hypnotherapist speak about you overcoming your obstacles. You will probably be relatively aware of everything being spoken to you as you enjoy the relaxed feelings.
b) Analytical Hypnotherapy
This style of Hypnotherapy usually involves the use of a procedure referred to as "regression". Put simply, regression is "remembering past events that are locked in your subconscious". Sometimes an event in your past that has been long "forgotten" can still have an impact on your present, and by accessing your "memory banks" the Hypnotherapist (with your help) can often modify that memory, so it has less negative effects on your present and future. The depth of trance for this procedure is often (but not essentially) somewhat deeper and the levels of awareness may fluctuate as you "relive" certain memories. Regressive Hypnotherapy will usually involve conversation between you and the Hypnotherapist.
Important note: "Memories" recovered during regressive techniques, may be fact, but they may also be fantasy - with little or no way of distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes the recollections may be a mixture of the two - influenced by attitudes, thoughts and other experiences. Rarely are they absolute memories and provable. So, if you are seeking analytical therapy to uncover past abuses, with a view to prosecution, then you should consult a very experienced Hypnotherapist.
You should be feeling wide awake - either bursting with energy, or quite mellow and relaxed. Which, will depend on a multitude of factors such as the style of Hypnotherapy used, length and depth of trance, etc. Because being in a trance is so beneficial for our mind and body, afterwards we may feel either refreshed and rejuvenated or very settled and relieved. The Hypnotherapist may give you a recording as support and arrange follow-up sessions with you.
Many Hypnotherapists may be able to assist you in just one or two sessions, whereas some will insist on multiple sessions. Some Hypnotherapists will offer you a fixed number of sessions for a specific issue when you initially contact them, or suggest a number that you may require. Soon after your trance, the Hypnotherapist's suggestions may still have some effect, so if in any doubt as to the necessity for extra or multiple sessions, then this is not the time to discuss them. Take the time afterwards to decide how much assistance you've already gotten from Hypnotherapy and how much better it could be with more visits.