What is hypnosis and what does it do?
Hypnosis is a totally natural state we all enter when we focus our attention on a particular activity, such as reading or watching television, over which we have complete personal control at all times. All that the ‘hypno’ bit of hypnotherapy actually does is create a relaxed state of mental focus that allows the ‘therapy’ bit to do its work, because the mind becomes more receptive to beneficial suggestions and more willing to let go of the limiting beliefs and negative experiences that have contributed to the problem the individual wants to overcome.
I’m a bit worried about its reputation as a form of ‘mind control’.
Rest assured that it’s you who’d be doing the controlling! I have no way of making anyone do, say or think anything they don’t want to, and as a responsible therapist using hypnosis in a clinical setting, I have no interest whatsoever in getting people to cluck like chickens, impersonate Elvis Presley or perform any of the other antics you may have heard about or seen!
What does hypnosis in a session feel like?
Experiences vary from person to person – some say that they or parts of their body feel heavy; others that they feel light, as if they’re floating, but a very common description is that it’s a very relaxed and calm state, often with that cosy, dozy feeling we get when we’re not fully awake, but not quite asleep either. You’re aware of yourself and your surroundings throughout the experience, but with that sense of being somehow distanced from things, as you’d feel if you were deep in thought or daydreaming.
Can anyone be hypnotised?
With the exception of those whose mental faculties are impaired in some way, for example by illness, age, alcohol or drugs, anyone who wants to be hypnotised can be hypnotised.
How many sessions would I need?
This depends on a number of things, such as the nature and complexity of your problem and how you respond to the therapy, but the majority of the people I see resolve their difficulties in three or four sessions. If you wanted help with IBS you’d need five sessions.
Is there anything I’d need to do?
Come with an open mind, a clear idea of what you want to achieve and a readiness to believe you can achieve it! You’d probably be asked to do a bit of ‘homework’ between sessions to enhance and reinforce the other work being done and give you some ‘tools’ to help yourself, so you’d also need to be willing to commit to doing this in order to get the best from the therapy.