What is Hypnotherapy & Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
Hypnotherapy is the use of therapeutic suggestion or technique whilst the client is in the hypnotic state, encouraging the client to use his/her own resources and life experiences more positively or to change a specific behaviour.
Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state of mind in which the client experiences a heightened state of awareness and deep relaxation. Techniques such as regression may be employed in this state to identify and clear an event of the past which may be causing specific symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. Such symptoms can obviously seriously affect the quality and enjoyment of life. – Liz Stilwell
Neuro Linguistic Programming
NLP was developed in the United States in the 1970’s as groups of people began to be observed and studied by Richard Bandler & John Grinder.
These days Hypnotherapy and NLP are used hand in glove to treat a wide variety of issues. For many clients issues, I use NLP to make the changes and Hypnotherapy to compound these changes.
NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes). NLP is commonly used these days in such contexts as business, sales, sports, personal change and in education.
NLP gives us a variety of techniques that can really assist us to break down old patterns and create new behaviours that serve us more effectively.
- People often come for clinical hypnosis when despite other interventions, the problem remains.
- Sometimes a client will express an interest in resolving an issue this way in preference to taking an anti-depressant to alleviate the symptoms. To alter or change perception of a situation, a common one being a fear or phobia, where a certain situation or happening arouses a state of fear to the extent that it affects life enjoyment, eg. wanting to take a holiday overseas but fear of flying is too inhibiting, or a fear of heights affecting a person in their trade or job, a fear of needles affecting the school child or pregnant woman.
What does it feel like? Will I lose control?
You’ll understand that this type of thinking relates to any new experience. I always ensure the client is comfortable and understands the process before we begin.
It feels like a very pleasant relaxed drifting feeling, as if one is gently coming and going with awareness, hearing my voice then perhaps drifting a little. The client is always in control, but relaxed. As the therapist, I am not in control of you. I am simply working with you towards the goal we have discussed when we began.
Stage hypnosis implies that the client is being controlled by the hypnotist and unfortunately for therapists, this can lead to scepticism or fear of loss of control.
Hypnosis is not the treatment. It is simply the state of mind the person is in while the therapy is being conducted.
Clients are sometimes surprised to hear everything that is going on during the session, as if they expected to be ‘missing’.
When someone is hypnotised, what is happening to them?
In the Alpha state, the brain wave patterns slowdown to approx 8 – 13 cycles per second, similar to the process of beginning to drift off to sleep. However sleep is not hypnosis and hypnosis is not sleep. The aim is simply to relax mind and body, and in this state the mind is very open to suggestion.
From time to time we all need a little help but sometimes all we need is a tool to help ourselves
“Hypnosis is a well researched method of enabling people to make physical and emotional changes. Hypnosis is largely a question of your willingness to be receptive and responsive to ideas, and to allow these ideas to act upon you without interference. These ideas we call suggestions.” – Weitzenhoffer & Hilgard
Hypnotherapy is well known for its use as a tool to effectively quit smoking
“A state of intensified attention and receptiveness and an increased responsiveness to an idea or a set of ideas.” – Milton H. Erickson