What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a branch of therapy that aims to alter your state of consciousness, through the use of hypnosis and positive suggestion, to help change aspects of yourself such as your behaviour and feelings.

It can be a particularly effective treatment for fears and phobias, addictions, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, stress-related problems such as insomnia, and pain management including during surgery and childbirth.

Hypnosis is widely thought of as an aid to other therapies (such as psychotherapy), as most of the issues dealt with by placing a patient into a hypnotic trance are of a psychological nature.

There are several different types of hypnotherapy and is something you should consider when planning to go for therapy. Hypnosis can be used in two ways, as suggestion therapy or for patient analysis:

Suggestion therapy: This is the most common and general type of hypnotherapy. During traditional therapy, the hypnotherapist projects new, more positive thoughts and feelings into the receptive, subconscious mind of the patient allowing them to focus completely, without any inside interference.

Analysis: Analytical hypnotherapy invokes methods and ideas from psychotherapy to help target deep-rooted issues with the patient, instead of merely tackling the symptoms. When compared to traditional hypnotherapy, analytical therapy treatment usually lasts considerably longer and requires more input from the patient.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): this combines the use of hypnosis, cognitive therapy and other therapies which gives both the therapist and patient a large ‘database’ to consult with and create a unique, personal programme to the patients needs and wants. See our separate section on CBT.

Sam Fores, Cognitive Hypnotherapist explains …

How does hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy can have a positive effect for people who are struggling with emotional problems or anxiety. In many cases it also helps to aid those suffering from depression and stress-related illness. Hypnotherapy can also help with issues like stopping smoking or losing weight.

Hypnotherapy for smokers focuses on the negative aspects of smoking. It helps to break you out of a routine you may have gotten into, as well as helping to change your perspective on cigarettes so that they become less desirable.

When it comes to weight-loss, therapy helps the patient to achieve a new relationship with both healthy food and exercise. If you struggle to stick to a diet or go through phases of “yo-yo dieting”, you can benefit from hypnotherapy to help overcome the issues which prevent you from losing weight.

Hypnotherapy for anxiety is a very successful treatment. During the time you’re in a heightened state through hypnosis, you’ll be able to focus on the root cause of your anxiety and train your mind to view the source of your anxiety in a different way. This is possible with an intensive session, however it usually requires a few sessions with your hypnotherapist.

What can you expect from a session?

During your first session of hypnotherapy, the hypnotherapist will ask you specific questions about your lifestyle and overall health in order for you both to decide on what your goals will be during the therapy.

While under hypnosis, a patient will exhibit enhanced awareness and responsiveness, which allows the therapist to bypass the rational part of the brain to the more receptive subconscious and introduce new, positive thoughts and perspectives. You will also be more open to suggestion, so that together we can help you change behaviour.

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