One popular form of therapy thought to be effective for a wide range of conditions is hypnotherapy. It uses hypnosis to evoke a state of hyper-suggestibility in the individual, and this state can then be used to address the underlying assumptions which contribute to the specific issue. Hypnosis can be effective for problems such as phobias, stress, anxiety, depression, addiction and low self-esteem. The theory is that hypnosis allows communication with the subconscious mind, which allows the therapist to infuse the brain with alternative perspectives while it’s in a suggestible state. Although hypnosis works with most people, it does slightly depend on your willingness to be hypnotised.
The subconscious mind is thought to be the larger portion of the brain, but we can have no conscious knowledge of it. It stores information, memories and beliefs throughout our life and influences how we behave. The inherent actions of the subconscious mind are designed to protect us and guarantee our well-being, but new learned associations can have an impact on how we behave. It is these learned subconscious behaviours that a counsellor can use hypnotherapy to address and alter.
Phobias provide a good method of understanding the impact of our subconscious mind. People have fears of things which cannot hurt them, such as moths or small spiders. These attitudes don’t make sense from an evolutionary perspective, because the subjects of the phobias don’t pose a threat to our survival. The reasons people develop phobias can differ, but it is generally a result of the behaviour of the individual’s parents when they were younger or a traumatic experience. When the individual is confronted with the stimulus again, this new learned response takes the place of the natural curiosity with which we are supposed to greet the world. A therapist can address these learned subconscious behaviours and teach alternatives to combat phobias.
Hypnotherapy is useful because the subconscious, by definition, is not within the jurisdiction of our conscious thought. The exact process of hypnosis is not fully understood, but it can be defined as an especially relaxed state of mind in which the conscious brain can communicate with its subconscious counterpart. This state can be achieved without assistance from a professional, but a trained therapist can make the process easier and also incorporate established psychotherapy techniques to institute changes in thoughts, feelings or behaviours more effectively. Simply put, hypnosis provides a direct route to the otherwise inaccessible portion of the brain which drives many aspects of behaviour.
Some people may be generally concerned by the concept of hypnotherapy because of exploitative TV hypnotists convincing seemingly unwilling subjects to respond in horror to the sound of an ice cream van or something equally harmless. There is a general perception that you will lose control of yourself if hypnotised, but this is not the case. Realistically, people who do not believe in hypnosis cannot be hypnotised, because it relies on some degree of co-operation from the individual. In the same sense, although they are made more suggestible they still have ultimate control over their own behaviour. Additionally, a counsellor has a specific goal for hypnotherapy, and this is agreed with the client before they proceed.
If you or your loved one is considering hypnotherapy, it’s important to have an understanding of the surrounding issues. Some people don’t respond to hypnosis, but generally speaking, if they’re open to the idea of being hypnotised it should work. If you’re unsure of the best course of action for you or your loved one’s condition, we can help you find the right treatment. We’ll listen to your circumstances and suggest the best options to you. Psychotherapy, whether using hypnosis or not, is the only way to address deep-seated psychological issues, so finding treatment is essential. Our advice is completely free and there is no obligation, so get in touch today and see how we can help you!