Hypnotherapy is a skill and technique which uses the tool of hypnosis to administer many forms of psychotherapy. Hypnosis itself merely relaxes you so that you are able to communicate with the therapist about your concerns and worries whilst feeling comfortable and confident that your issues and problems are being respectfully addressed. Hypnotherapy does not involve any form of drugs or physical manipulation.
There are two forms of Hypnotherapy, Suggestion Therapy and Analytical
Therapy (Hypnoanalysis). Both forms of therapy are described below.
This form of treatment is ideal for helping to cope with problems and situations such as smoking, exam fears, nail biting, weight control problems
(if there is not an underlying, unresolved issue), stress, lack of self esteem, confidence and many other problems. Suggestion Therapy involves the use
of positively worded suggestions that are accepted by the subconscious and acted upon instinctively. These suggestions may take the form of a Visual Mental Images (VMI) andmetaphors, and are simply put so that they are accepted by the patient. An example could be the “healing cloud” metaphor dealing with anxiety issues.
It is important to know that a negative thought cannot be placed in your
mind when under hypnosis as it will be rejected by you.
For suggestion to be successful as a standalone therapy, it is bestsed when the individual whole heartedly wants the expected outcome. Certain problems which will not give way to suggestion therapy alone include obsessive compulsive disorder, severe trauma, and depression. As a result, for these types of problems, suggestion therapy has been referred to as "bandaid therapy" and alternative therapies may be required such as hypnoanalysis and psychotherapy.
Hypnoanalysis (also known as) Analytical Therapy
Hypnoanalysis is based in the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud and Carl G Jung, and has continued to develop though the decades. It is the most advanced form of hypnotherapy and is used for deep-rooted problems.
Hypnoanalysis focuses on the causes and effects of symptoms, unraveling the underlying original root of physical and emotional symptoms. In many cases, it helps to eliminate or reduce those symptoms. This type of analysis can help such problems as irrational fear, emotional problems, unwanted behaviour, relationship difficulties, psychosexual problems, stuttering/stammering, sleeping difficulties, inferiority complex, fears and phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), lack of confidence, and unhappiness, to name but a few.
Together with a therapist you can explore the nature of your ‘presenting problem’, the thing that stops you living life in the way you would like to.
The subconscious and conscious parts of our mind work independently from each other. Our conscious thoughts and wishes, which are in the present or of “now” and which make us what we are, may easily be at odds with our subconscious processes based on forgotten experiences and deep rooted instincts which could have been learned as a child. Sometimes these instincts were learnt before we were old enough to choose between ideas which are helpful and those which are not. As a result the two parts may be in conflict.
A hypnotherapist helps you to allow the unconscious and conscious to work in unison and harmony, like the cogs in a wheel, working in collaboration rather than in conflict. This is done by allowing the subconscious to recall things which are relevant to our state at the time and find a way to resolve any conflict making it visible to our conscious mind. An example could be a person who has a fear of the dark. Through hypnosis a therapist can solicit the subconscious to reveal the cause and then release/ relearn and resolve the issue. In this case the fear of the dark could have been caused by a child fearing a monster under the bed because a parent had told them that if they got out of bed, the monster would catch them. As an adult, the Client realises that this is nonsense and under hypnosis the fear is released.
A therapist focuses on results and guides the Client to help themselves, by helping them to discover and release the subconscious causes of resistance to change.