The brain is incredibly powerful. We are capable of achieving anything we put our minds to but can often get bogged down by negative self-talk and unhelpful cycles of behavior.
Hypnotherapy is a means of harnessing your brain’s power to facilitate changes that you want to see in yourself.
How does it work?
Hypnotherapy works by harnessing the mind’s power to focus inwardly to address behaviours, thoughts or emotions that you would like to change.
In order to address changes we want to see in ourselves, it is helpful to distinguish between:
- emotions & bodily sensations;
- actions (behaviour);
- thoughts; and
Through making the above distinctions, we are able to identify certain cycles within ourselves. Subsequently, through an induced, attuned, and internalised focus, we are then able to address these cycles and break them.
You would have likely heard of the subconscious and conscious mind. According to Sigmund Freud, the conscious mind consists of everything inside of our awareness – our thoughts, sensations, perceptions, fantasies etc. Our subconscious mind includes things that we are not thinking of in the moment but which we can easily draw into our conscious mind. It also includes things we have repressed – potentially traumatic memories or ideas such as “I don’t deserve love” or “I am a failure”.
Hypnotherapy works by the power of suggestion – we are social beings and live to form connections. By addressing the subconscious mind directly through “trance”, clients are able to adopt changes they want to see in themselves through this power of suggestion. We are less critical in trance and open to adopting such changes.
The Placebo Analogy
The brain’s power is exemplified by the placebo. Consider the following example.
There are stories within the medical industry about how wounded soldiers didn’t have enough medical supplies to help deal with their pain. A doctor was anxious about not having anything to alleviate one particular soldier’s discomfort, who had been yelling out in agony. Without any hesitation, a nurse took saline solution and injected it into the wounded solider. He calmed down within seconds, with the expectation that he had been injected with anesthetic.
The placebo effect demonstrates the power of the mind by demonstrating how significantly expectation can influence our brain’s perception.
Clinical Hypnotherapy harnesses the above principles.
Your Clinical Hypnotherapist facilitates the positive changes that you want to see in yourself by inducing you into a state of internal focus. Here, you are able to more openly and uncritically adopt changes. If you are open to it, this state can be incredibly relaxing. If you aren’t open to it, then hypnotherapy won’t work – it’s as simple as that. Hypnotherapy is not mind control. It is a consensual process.
If you have a mindfulness practice incorporated into your everyday life, then you may conceive of a hypnotic state as similar to a meditative state. Internalised focus and openness produces outcomes.
My Personal Experience
When I am in a “hypnotised” state, I feel as if I am watching a dream unfold within my mind. I visualise things unfold before me. Through watching these visualisations unfurl, I am better able to comprehend how I am feeling internally and what obstacles lay ahead of me that I may need to address. Through this process, I have been able to take control of my emotions and surpass certain mental obstacles to address anxious thoughts and feelings of helplessness. I endeavour to share this experience with my clients. Hypnotherapy is a truly incredible modality and continues to empower those who are open to its effects.