Hypnotherapy is not a magic wand! Or is it??
Hypnotherapy” is a talking therapy that specifically utilises hypnosis to help clients resolve psychological issues to improve the experience of living and getting the best out of life.
But, what is hypnosis?
Ask 100 hypnotists and you will possibly get 100 different answers!
Most people have an idea of what hypnosis does, or what it looks like.
Anyone who has witnessed or participated in a good stage show will be fairly persuaded of it being an actual demonstrable phenomenon because they have witnessed people bark like a dog. forget their name or eat an onion believing it is the sweetest strawberry.
These are direct and very compelling examples of the brain body connection. However, some people are naturally predisposed to being able to tap into hypnosis quickly and easily. But for the majority of us, as with many skills, we have to learn first and then practice! In the stage show, you will see the hypnotist go through a process of identifying audience members who already have this amazing ability. They do not pick totally random people to come up onto the stage. Then once on the stage the people struggling to go with the suggestions quickly are swiftly invited to sit back down again. Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a criticism, stage hypnotists are great at what they do and I have enjoyed stage shows in the post. But I am a hypnotherapist, and even though I use some of the same techniques and processes, my aims are very different. We both exist but you need to be aware before starting your therapeutic journey that stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy are different.
I will work with everyone who comes through my door, whether you are skilled at whizzing in and out of trance, or need a little more time and practice to utilise this lovely state where so much can be achieved and changed.
Mythology and mysticism around the subject has led hypnosis to be simultaneously feared and rejected by the cynics and further embraced and sought out by those open to alternative health and wellbeing pathways.
Is it the magical one-session change for life anecdotally reported? Certainly, it can be. But many of my clients make the changes they seek through a therapeutic journey rather than a one-off session. This can be down to many factors, not solely the hypnosis. Often people discover that the initial reason they came to therapy changes, or opens up new areas that they want to work on.
Knitting with Scotch mist!
Whilst there are thousands of books on the subject, no absolute definition of what hypnosis is has been pinned down. Despite the tangible presence of hypnosis in the history of medicine, psychotherapy, and yes, entertainment.
Hypnosis involves working with the mind and the imagination. Whilst the brain can be pinned down biologically and scientifically, the mind is less accommodating.
No wonder it is difficult to describe an effect on the mind when a concept of the mind itself is open to interpretation.
There can be no "control" group!
Whilst we humans can be defined by our similarities, the totality of each and every one of us, is completely unique.
Unique in our experiences and unique in our response to experience.
It makes any scientific measuring rather tricky!
The National Council for Hypnotherapy provides a more contained response than I give. Hypnosis for me is this, and perhaps so much more.
Call it "Guiding Narrative".
If the chaps in white coats cannot agree with what it is, or whether it even exists, who am I to spout an absolute definition?
What I can say is that I have been privileged enough to see the transformational effects of hypnotherapy time and again. Enduring change results for reasons that do not fall neatly into one prescribed explanation.
And I am comfortable with that.
What I know from experience.
My clients find hypnosis or a “guiding narrative” within therapy to be helpful in making insights about their own psychological make up and that can be life-changing.
I believe hypnosis enhances talking therapy and can dramatically speed up the process of change. It is what I see in my work. I work well with hypnosis and hypnosis works well with my clients.
A natural phenomenon.
It is enough for me to know that hypnosis within therapy profoundly assists clients in finding the relief they seek. Of course, I continue to keep abreast of the research and allow my views to evolve.
My clients find hypnosis within therapy to be life-changing.
For me hypnosis is the harnessing of a natural phenomenon that we are all very familiar with; you can call it the trance state or state of altered focus.
Have you ever reflected on a disagreement with a friend or partner and found yourself mind rehearsing what you are going to say to them when you next see them?
If so, you have experienced your imagination transporting you away from the world perceived by your senses to another world within you.
You have also naturally accessed a technique used in hypnosis “future rehearsal”. Our brain does not distinguish fact from fiction quite as precisely as you might think. But I digress…
Two Worlds Collide.
This ‘other’ world is real enough to your mind that you may even mouth the words, mime the gestures and pull the faces. (Then, your conscious mind suddenly alerts you to the fact that someone has come into the room and is watching you. So you smile awkwardly, clear your throat and pretend you were singing a song).
In that sudden moment of embarrassed self-awareness you have just come back from a state similar to that called hypnosis.
To immerse yourself in a favourite piece of music and lose all sense of self and your surroundings is a form of self-hypnosis.
Consider the experience of getting into the car and driving a familiar route. When you arrive at your destination you realise you can remember checking the mirror as you pulled off your drive but you have no conscious memory of any subsequent part of the journey. It feels almost like you teleported. This is because your body went on automatic drive allowing your mind to wander elsewhere.
Amazingly your brain allowed you to do this whilst simultaneously it was hyper-vigilant of other cars, hazards, traffic lights, etc. You just were not consciously aware.
If you recognise any of these examples or similar, you know trance phenomena.
Unaware, we dance in and out of hypnosis all the time, daydreaming, zoning out, meditating, praying, and being in the flow.
So, for me, hypnosis is where one person purposefully encourages another to access a similar state through words and suggestion.
A guiding narrative.
Clients learn to intentionally access this changed state of focus to access internal creative resources. Because the physiological brain does not differentiate between the real and imagined, we can create a reconstruction of alternative experience and emotional response.
In therapy, I help you access the subconscious mind or that limitless part of you that is not constricted by how you think you must behave or respond.
Opening the door to infinite possibility.
As a therapeutic tool it helps you achieve goals by working directly with your creative mind and your subconscious automated programming. Working with the creative mind produces results much faster than by willpower alone and we all want to be a little more time-efficient, right?
Whether that is to rid yourself of a phobia, defeat free-floating sadness, get motivated, banish anxiety, lose weight, rid yourself of chronic pain, achieve a specific goal, or turn around any life-limiting belief that is stopping you from being the very best version of you, hypnosis can help.
Start exploring your creative mind because that is where you can create an alternative future to that likely to happen.
How exciting is that?
It is my joy and privilege to be co-creator of an alternative future with and for my clients.
Why Symantha's Talking Therapy?
This work can be great fun but I take my client’s goals, hopes, fears, pains and ambitions very seriously.
I make a deep commitment to my private clients to help them as much as I can and genuinely want to see great results as quickly as possible.
Part of my job is to tune into you from the onset, ensuring that you feel as safe and free as possible to do some really empowering and life-changing work.
Prepare to get comfortably uncomfortable!
There may be tears and discomfort, and likely some laughter but the journey will always be kept on track, moving consistently toward the goal that you seek as quickly as possible.
Which means that there will be homework set and bespoke hypnosis recordings provided. Therefore, you can continue the work between sessions and long after our contract has ended.
What's On Offer.
I offer a completely tailored service. No two people are the same, nor any two sessions the same.
The work is guided by me but led by you. I work creatively with whatever you bring to our sessions.
I have total belief in your innate ability to radically transform your life. We work together to banish unwanted habits, thoughts and behaviours. I am totally results focused.
There are no guarantees with regard to the outcome because sometimes the goals change but you are guaranteed to have my undivided attention and support during our journey. If you are ready and prepared to commit to the work that we do, then we have a brilliant chance of it being successful.
My section on the stages of therapy will give you an idea of how the workflow generally progresses. But as I say, no two sessions are the same.