There are a lot of misconceptions about hypnotherapy – most people’s only awareness of it comes from seeing stage hypnotists persuading people to run around stages clucking like chickens! But stage hypnotists are performers who are excellent at reading people, they seek out extroverts and suggestible people who will put on a good show. This is totally different to a therapeutic version of hypnotherapy. Whilst this is funny for entertainment it is disappointing that many people don’t realise how useful it can be as a serious therapy and what a positive impact it can have on their lives.

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What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?

The aim of hypnotherapy is to create positive change in an individual, while they are in a heightened state of focused awareness. Hypnosis comes from the Greek word ‘Hypnos’ which means sleep, this is misleading because the client is not actually asleep during a session but instead in a hypnogogic state. Hypnotherapy is used to create a state of focused attention that increases suggestibility for those who are looking for help tackling a habitual action or behaviour. A hypnotherapist using hypnosis is communicating directly with the subconscious part of the client’s mind.

The subconscious mind takes everything literally, it doesn’t analyse like the conscious mind, it also doesn’t criticise. It totally accepts almost anything that is said to it, remembers it and then recalls it when it matters. A clinical hypnotherapist also incorporates other skills such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Reframing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and teaches you self hypnosis techniques and affirmations to reinforce the effect of the sessions.

Clinical Hypnotherapy is not mind control and it does not allow a therapist to take over your actions removing you from all responsibility for your own actions. Instead it is an empowering therapy that allows a chance for a therapist and you to create and strengthen new neural pathways in your brain and weaken the habitual ones meaning you will stop performing automatic responses in certain situations and allowing you to form new and healthier behaviours and thought patterns.

Hypnotherapy will put you in a highly relaxed mental state, which allows us to bypass the critical mind, making the mind more susceptible and pliable to suggestions and guidance that you will take on board. We can challenge automatic thoughts that you’ve been conditioned to accept, these would have built up during negative experiences from your life. We will update this old way of thinking with new suggestions that can have a dramatic effect on your actions, beliefs and ability to relax.

Clinical Hypnotherapy can be used to achieve specific tasks such as quitting smoking or beating phobias, or we can use it in a more general way to increase wellbeing, self confidence and help you to make more positive choices.

Many people doubt the effectiveness of hypnotherapy – they feel that words and ‘sleeping’ can’t change anything. This wrong assumption is formed because many people have never questioned how their brain works, they have never questioned how human beings can learn unusual skills like walking on tightropes or learning to drive and how the subconscious takes over these functions so that people don’t even think about complex tasks such as changing gear in the car, it just becomes an automatic process.

The mind works by learning consciously and processing thoughts, these then get programmed into the subconscious. Your subconscious assimilates everything that’s fed into it, just like a computer or a robot. Hypnotherapy works by feeding ourselves the right data, and this then guides us into things like thinking positively and believing in our own willpower. Training the subconscious mind creates new patterns of thinking and behaviour and it can be life changing.

Many people believe that they can’t be hypnotised, there is even an (incorrect) myth which says that intelligent people can’t be hypnotised. But the truth of the matter is that most people can be hypnotised to a certain degree. Some people go deeper than others, but ninety percent of people can be hypnotised, in fact we all go into hypnotic states up to 20 times a day.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, we self-hypnotise ourselves every day when we learn new things; when we drive and forget that we have gone past a certain bridge or even when we are scrolling through Facebook and then half an hour has flown by. A hypnotherapist will facilitate you into taking yourself into a self-hypnotic state, which most of us can experience.

Clinical hypnotherapy cannot be used for people suffering from psychosis or certain types of personality disorders and it also can’t be used for children under the age of 5 due to language issues.

If you attend a Clinical Hypnotherapy session with me the first thing we will do is a consultation. This will allow me to understand your concerns, the way you think about them as well as knowing what you’re idea of successfully overcoming them is. During the first session we will then practice going into a relaxed hypnotic state so you can experience the control that you still have and get used to the process.

Whilst under hypnosis, most people usually feel calm and relaxed, this in turn allows you to be more open to suggestions. Subsequent sessions will build on this and use verbal repetition and mental images that become embedded in your subconscious. This will allow you to change and develop your feelings, memories and responses to life. I will give you self hypnosis exercises to perform between sessions to really embed your new thought patterns.

Clinical Hypnotherapy can help almost anything from phobias to depression and addictions to weight loss and much more. It is not mind control and it does not provide a silver bullet to instantly solve issues, however usually 3 or 4 sessions along with regular self hypnosis has the power to be transformational. Some deep rooted problems may demand more sessions and very occasionally reinforcement sessions. But generally the process is self reinforcing, once you believe and start acting in a certain way your default behaviour starts to become conditioned to this new way of life.

Clinical Hypnotherapy wasn’t considered as a mainstream therapy in the UK as it was hard to prove its effectiveness but now, due to recent innovations in brain imaging techniques its effectiveness is becoming empirically visible to scientists. Recent studies from Stanford University identified positive neural changes associated in the brain due to hypnosis.

Modern researchers have further explored how hypnosis can be used to treat certain conditions and how effective it can be compared to other treatments such as relaxation, coping skills and exploring past experiences. This has shown that clinical hypnotherapy is great for chronic pain conditions, dementia, nausea and vomiting related to cancer treatment, dental procedures, skin conditions and many other conditions. It is so powerful it has even been used medically to perform operations without anaesthesia.

More and more studies are being undertaken and there is a growing body of scientific research behind the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. Clinical Hypnotherapy may provide a wide range of benefits for a multitude of psychological, physical and behavioural issues and conditions. It will empower you to change and update your subconscious beliefs, reframe your mind and update embedded beliefs about yourself and others.

Clinical Hypnotherapy doesn’t cause you to lose control, you will remain fully in control during a session, it is not possible for anything or anyone to force you to do anything against your will. You will always be in charge of your actions, behaviours and statements. Hypnotherapy cannot control or manipulate people, people can’t be made to do anything they do not want to do, clients will only accept suggestions that conform to their own attitudes and belief’s.

Clinical Hypnotherapy isn’t a dangerous procedure, it isn’t mind control or brain washing, a therapist can’t make a person do something embarrassing or that the person doesn’t want to do. It is important to note that any suggestions that the client doesn’t feel is in their best interests within the hypnotherapy will be rejected by the client. The magic of hypnotherapy comes from the power of the mind. The client is able to break the hypnotherapy trance at any time and they will if a suggestion is made which doesn’t align with their ambition.

Make sure that whichever therapist you choose, they are registered. The General Register of Hypnotherapists has a searchable database to ensure that your hypnotherapist is insured and has undertaken the correct training to keep you safe.

 

If you keep questioning why you fall into the same patterns of thought, or the same unhealthy behaviours then you are already trying to reframe your mind. Clinical Hypnotherapy can provide you with the pathway you need to reset your thoughts and train your mind so that your default behaviours become positive and affirmative, like a chain reaction this positivity will spread through all aspects of your life.

Clinical Hypnotherapy can be seen as brain training, it will allow you to overcome your self criticism and doubts and believe in your own ability to succeed. With my expertise, your willingness and your commitment to do everything asked of you, you can improve your life. If you live in Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor or anywhere local I will be able to see you in my treatment room in Colwyn Bay, but even if you live further away in North Wales or Chester I could still offer you online sessions. Whatever you decide I look forward to working with you and being the catalyst that creates the change you want.

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