Hypnosis is a wonderful amazing thing, it really is... It seems very simple ( more about that later) but can be so very powerful. After so many years as a clinical hypnotherapist is surprises me sometimes that there are still so many myths and misconceptions about something, every single one of us experiences on a daily basis. From the process of falling asleep, to day dreaming, driving and even just concentrating, we all experience light trance states (and sometimes deeper ones) many times every day. The power of our minds is strong and can help us or hinder us, depending upon the circumstances in which we find ourselfs, our current "state of mind" and our past experience. Fear of hypnosis, is really fear of losing control, but like most fears -its a false fear,as hypnosis is about empowerment. Hypnosis itself is actually very simple, however, what needs to be done while someone is in it can be complicated, a good therapist makes it look simple! On a daily basis I come across many misconceptions of what people think hypnosis is, how it works and why it might not work for them, so here are a few of those misconceptions and the reality.
I have a strong mind, you can't put me under..... Of course you have a strong mind, that's how you've ended up here. But having a strong mind is very useful to a persons therapy, going into hypnosis isn't a test of how strong your mind is, it's about going into a state of mind where you can make changes, that must be easier with a strong mind. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, but like anything, having an expert to guide you makes it quicker and easier, not to mention its what's done within it that matters.
I've read loads of self help books so I know all about this stuff...... I once read a book about sky diving but I am not about to leap out of a plane! I really don't mean to sound rude but a good hypnotherapist will have spent many years training, passed lots of exams, had thousands of hours practice, spent a lot of time observing, refining and developing their style and technique. Reading lots of self help books will help you to understand yourself much better, certainly give you insight, but it does not give you the experience a trained, practiced hypnotherapist has.... Sorry but it doesn't. Even therapists have therapists because we all need a bit of help sometimes.
I think what I am feeling isn't real, it's just all in my head...... Hmmm just what makes you think that the pain, anxiety, perception etc you have isn't real? A pain in the chest whether caused by a blow to the chest, or an anxiety attack is still pain, you still feel it, it still takes your breath away, it's hurts! Psychosomatic means starts in the mind, it doesn't mean not real! Nor is a psychsomatic illness any less valid than one a doctor can find a cause for..... Years of bottling stuff up, living on your nerves or internalising can cause so many dysfunctions in the body.. Chest pain, IBS, anxiety, skin rashes and unexplained chronic pain to name just a few.
A stage hypnotist tried to put me under but couldn't .......... Hypnosis and hypnotisability is situationally dependant, you will only go into hypnosis if you want to. Not everyone is up for doing silly things on a stage being watched by other people, in that situation you won't go into hypnosis, but if you then go into a clinical setting because you have pain, you want to control the pain so it's likely you will go into hypnosis. Also I have people visit my office that have taken part in clinical trials of hypnosis, the were deemed to be not very hypnotisable, but went happily into hypnosis in my office- I think hypnotisability is situational and purpose driven, as a clinical subject there was no purpose to the hypnosis, in my office there was, makes complete sense when you think about it- it can be measured but will be different in different settings for each individual.
I cannot clear my mind..... Buddhist monks spend a life time working towards that goal, you don't need to clear your mind, that internal chatter is your conscious mind.... The one we are working with is your unconscious mind.... Let your conscious mind chatter away, let it do its thing, if you get your unconscious mind on side, your conscious one will get a whole lot more positive anyway.
I don't want someone messing with my head.... Too right you don't, frankly neither would I, but helping you mend your mind is quite a different thing. Learning to deal with something a new way, learning how to control your reactions, not being scared, having more confidence, ridding yourself of your hang ups and worries, is mending not messing. Just make sure you get a qualified professional to help you- we really are not in the habit of poking around in people's minds for fun, it's our job to help you.
Can you help me stop eating...... No you would die! But I could help you make better choices.
I know that I can do X, Y, Z, but when it comes to the crunch, and I find I'm unable to do it. .......That simply because, what you know what you believe is not the same thing. And when what you know what you believe Is not the same thing, what you believe always wins! That's because, what you believe is controlled by the unconscious mind on what you know by the conscious . The unconscious mind is far more powerful than the conscious mind and that's why the conflict takes place. So the key to helping you to do XY and Z is simply to bring the two Minds together so what you know and what you believe are the same thing.
My wife, husband, son, daughter, girlfriend, etc. needs your help to do XY and Z....... But in reality your wife husband son or daughter or whoever it is, actually needs to want to make those changes themselves. As as much as you want to help them to make a change, they actually need to want to change,it's really that simple.
Are you going to use the swinging watch with me? .... Well I could, but I tend to find other methods to work better, this has always been synonymous with a hypnotist, but It is something this hardly used these days.
Are you going to make me dance like a chicken? Well, I've never found that to be therapeutically necessary.
In Hypnosis will I tell you all of my secrets? Hypnosis is not the truth serum, otherwise it would be used by the military, police forces etc. Hypnosis is about a trusting, working relationship between therapist and client, so you'll tell me just what you want to tell me and if you wanted to lie to me, or to keep something from me, then you are able to do that in Hypnosis just as you are in a normal wakeful state.
The last time I was in Hypnosis I didn't feel relaxed at all. Is important to point out here, that hypnosis and hypnotherapy Is not relaxa-therapy, often when people are using hypnosis or are working with Hypnosis they're dealing with the clients innermost fears, worries and most anxiety provoking moments. Really it makes sense that sometimes during this process, relaxation is not an obvious part of the process at all.
When I was in Hypnosis I could hear everything going on around me? Of course you could, we don't become deaf when we go into Hypnosis,just as we don't become deaf when we go to sleep. Things out of the ordinary often wake people in the deepest of sleeps, people often find when they're in Hypnosis however, that they become less bothered by the noises that they have around them and they become more and more focused on the therapists voice and the feelings of Calm and comforts within the body.
So hopefully, I have managed to debunk some of the myths that surround hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Happy world Hypnosis Day 2015 everyone, in my world Hypnosis rocks.