Hypnosis is a special way of using various naturally-occurring psychological and physiological states. It’s a collaborative process in which you allow yourself to follow the guidance of the therapist, by using your imagination to evoke positive emotions and rehearse behaviour change. Everyone can, in principle, be hypnotised. It has been shown to help if you relax, think positively, and imagine the things being suggested. Hypnotic “trance”, so-called, is an increased ability to respond to positive suggestions, usually accompanied simply by relaxed attention to the ideas being suggested. Hypnosis is definitely not a state of sleep or unconsciousness. Roughly 90% of people report being aware of everything that happens, and relaxation helps but is not essential to hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a completely natural state which we experience on a regular basis. I am sure there has been many times in your life you have found yourself day dreaming, like when you are staring out of window and you find your mind just drifting off, that’s hypnosis. Have you ever just drifted off midway during a conversation whilst talking with a friend or colleague and completely lost your train of thought?, then you have experienced hypnosis. I remember being bored in the classroom at school and finding myself drifting off and the teacher’s voice disappearing in to the back ground and then suddenly, I would hear him calling my name and jump a little and feel myself coming back to the present moment.
Hypnosis, in a clinical setting, is a state of mind in which your body feels completely relaxed. Some people feel heavy. Others may feel as if they’re floating away on a cloud. Some feel beautifully warm whilst others feel soothingly cool. No matter how it affects you, you may feel as if your body has drifted away; leaving your mind free to focus on the issue which concerns you. This is when I am able to direct his or her suggestions at the very heart of your mind, the unconscious mind. Whilst your body feels so very relaxed you will find it almost impossible to focus your mind upon the strains and stresses of everyday life. Your mind will be open to considering and resolving, at a very profound level, the issues which concern you. You may well find, upon leaving the hypnotic state, that you feel refreshed, relaxed and fully able to tackle the problems which brought you to hypnotherapy in the first place.
Can everyone be hypnotised?
The answer is YES, If you wish to be hypnotised and allow yourself to be hypnotised then you will enter a hypnotic state of mind. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you remain in control at all times. As I said above, we all enter hypnosis on a regular basis. We all know, therefore, how to become hypnotised. If you simply allow yourself to “go with the flow” of the hypnotherapist’s words, you will find yourself in a wonderfully relaxing hypnotic state.
Hypnotherapy, in a clinical setting, has nothing at all to do with the kind of “hypnosis” we see on TV. The people we see on TV, acting as chickens and the like, have been carefully chosen and manipulated into behaving in a certain way. They choose to obey the “hypnotist’s” instructions due to the social pressure of being in front of a camera and because of other psychological tricks which stage hypnotists employ.
Clinical hypnotherapists use hypnosis to cure and to heal, not to entertain. You will be in control at all times. If a hypnotherapist were to tell you to behave in a way which you found inappropriate, you would be able to refuse, stand up and leave. Hypnotherapy exists to help people, it cannot be used to humiliate or harm.