What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a way of using our natural psychological and physiological processes to bring about positive changes in emotion and behaviour. It is a simple, down-to-earth, common sense form of therapy. I use hypnosis along with psychotherapy to help bring about the changes you are looking for.
Hypnosis is not a state of sleep or unconsciousness; it is a state of focussed relaxation, like certain forms of meditation, where the mind can be better able to respond to suggestions. It is a focused concentration of the mind that uses one's own thoughts and abilities for healthy change. We all enter a state of hypnosis many times throughout the day, for example when driving the car, staring into space, daydreaming, or being absorbed in a television programme. In some ways this focused state of attention is a bit like how it feels to get totally engrossed in a film or book – when you're so absorbed that you're not paying attention to what is going on around you. You do, however, remain aware and in control throughout.
Hypnosis in therapy is not at all like what we see done by stage hypnotists.
In Hypnotherapy, suggestions are given as a way to experience helpful ideas at a profound level. Psychological and emotional problems can often be understood as the result of negative thinking patterns and learned habits. Hypnotherapy involves relaxing, thinking positively and picturing your goals and is a way of "reconditioning your nervous system" to progressively improve your habitual feelings and behaviours.
If you relax and think positively then you can be hypnotised.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy has become the first-line treatment option for nearly all mental health related issues. This is mainly because of extensive evidence supporting its effectiveness. It is a therapy that focusses on the here-and-now and looks to the future; there is very little digging into the past looking for where the problem might have begun. It recognises the link between our thoughts, our feelings and our actions, and uses a wide range of techniques to bring about positive change within this system. It has been shown to be effective in helping with a whole array of disorders and problems.
It is a common-sense, collaborative, educational approach adopted, deliberately designed to make you feel informed, in control and learn skills to take away.
During therapy you will learn a variety of techniques which will help you understand and overcome the issue you are facing and to take with you to use in future situations.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or "Hypno-CBT" combines the use of many cognitive-behavioural techniques with hypnosis to bring about rapid positive change.
Many issues may be considered a combination of excessive tension and unhelpful thinking patterns causing negative emotions and unhelpful, unwanted, ineffective behaviours and outcomes. Both Hypnosis and CBT are recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and evidence suggests that adding hypnosis to CBT is a powerful combination. It can bring about relief from a vast array of problems by employing a systematic approach to changing emotions, thoughts and behaviours. It is enjoyable and rewarding as it teaches skills which can be used again in the future to retain the balance achieved over the course of the therapy sessions.
I will work with you to find the most effective strategies for you, tailored to your situation and centered on reaching the goals you have in site.
So, what is Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy?
What if I am not hypnotisable?
In principle, everyone can be hypnotised, to varying degrees. If you are able to relax and go along with the suggestions, imagining your goals, then this has been shown to help. The majority of people therefore can benefit from hypnotherapy.
Will I be able to remember what happened during hypnosis?
Yes you will recall most things but not all - just as in listening to a talk you may not recall every detail. The memory works the same in hypnosis.
Can I be made to do something I don’t want to do during hypnosis?
No, I will not have any power to make you do something against your will. You will likewise not reveal anything about yourself that you do not chose to share. You retain control in hypnosis.
How many sessions am I likely to need?
Effective therapy takes 4 to 6 sessions on average. It depends somewhat on the nature of the problem. Smoking cessation is dealt with in one longer session; IBS make take more sessions.
Do I have to do any work in between therapy sessions?
We will agree practice and assignments to be carried out between sessions. Completing these will speed up success in overcoming the problem. Hypno-CBT is collaborative; it will work when you want to achieve and requires some commitment both during sessions and in between them.
Isn’t it all just positive thinking?
Positive thinking alone isn't enough to get us through tough problems, often because we can't even begin to think positively when we are struggling. Evidence has shown that Cognitive-behavioural therapy can help to bring about change in unhelpful thinking, emotions and behaviours, and combining this treatment with hypnosis brings even greater positive outcomes.
Is hypnosis like I’ve seen on stage?
No, clinical hypnosis is a world away from any stage show you may have seen or heard about, although have some methods in common. The stage hypnotists are likely to have a background in stage magic and may use sleight of hand and illusion which are never used by responsible clinical hypnotherapists. Their goal is entertainment; ours is enhancing quality of life.
Where did hypnosis come from?
Hypnosis has a long and complex history, and centuries of mystery and myth surround the practice. It was in the 1880s that it first perhaps came into widespread use. In the 1950s it was approved by the British Medical Association to treat certain conditions, and since that time more and more research has been undertaken, with the evidence building to support effectiveness in a number of conditions.
CBT sounds technical – will I be able to understand it?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is the psychotherapy with the strongest evidence base in treating a wide number of conditions, especially those related to anxiety and depression. It is easily understood and makes sense. It is collaborative so we will work together using the CBT model to find ways forward to get better control of your situation. It will give you skills to take away for life.
I haven’t got an illness, just a problem; do I really need therapy?
Hypno-CBT helps with a wide range of issues, from significant clinical illness right through to unwanted habits or upsetting emotions. For example it can be very effective in overcoming social anxiety or simple phobias. If you're uncertain then I am happy to discuss your issue with you and let you know if I believe I can help.