Hypnosis is an state of inward attention and focused concentration. It is often referred to as trance or as an altered state of consciousness. When the mind is concentrated and focused, people are better able to tap into and utilize their inner resources, to make personal changes, and learn how to better govern their own lives . Because hypnosis and self-hypnosis allow people to use more of their potential, they gain more self-control (it is a myth that people lose control during hypnosis). Everyone has experienced hypnosis or trance, although it may not be referred to by that name. If you’ve ever been absorbed in thought, reading a book or watching TV, and failed to hear someone talking to you—-you were in a trance-like state. Perhaps you have been watching a movie at the theater, and lost track of the fact that there are dozens of people nearby—another hypnotic-like state of mind. These very focused states of attention are, in fact, everyday experiences of what is called hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is different only to the extent that you will be experiencing it with the guidance of your Hypnotherapist, rather than spontaneously.
Today, Clinical Hypnotherapy means using advanced methods of hypnosis and other techniques to treat a variety of medical and psychological challenges. It is estimated that 85% of people will readily respond to clinical hypnotherapy (the remaining % can still be treated using other techniques that can be employed for the success of the client). It may even succeed where other, more conventional methods of treatment have not produced the desired results. Modern Clinical Hypnotherapy is an 'integrative' field of study. This means that the best elements of many other forms of therapy have been integrated into Clinical Hypnotherapy. This includes behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP) as well as the most effective elements from the classical theories proposed by Freud, Jung and Adler, as well as the latest physiological research in terms of how the mind functions.
Analytical and Quantum Hypno-Therapeutic techniques are utilized as required or on request. It is even possible for sessions to be context / content free - whereby you do not need to state the exact nature of the problem at all. Analytical techniques are appropriate where an issue has its roots in the past - but not all issues are rooted in the past and it is not always necessary (or beneficial) to go back to the past to resolve an issue in the present.
Quantum / Humanistic approaches (NLP or hypnotherapy based) are suitable for those with belief systems that do not preclude e.g. the interconnectedness of everything and the concept of Universal Energy. For some people a less esoteric, more direct, logical approach may be more appropriate.
How Clinical Hypnosis is used:
Clinical hypnotherapy can be used in various ways. For one, guided mental imagery is very powerful in a state of mind such as hypnosis. The mind responds to imagery to assist in bringing about personal changes and desired outcomes. A client with an unwanted behavior may be encouraged in hypnosis to vividly imagine acting differently and more appropriately. The unconscious mind then has a tendency to bring about the imagined change. Another client, with a fear of some sort, might be invited to imagine being a supportive advisor to herself, and as a result, find the fearful response no longer troubles her. Athletes, teachers and business people are currently being taught to use hypnotic mental imagery to enhance their performances.
Another basic hypnotic approach that is often used by Hypnotherapists, is to offer hypnotic and post-hypnotic suggestions to the client. Suggestions given while in hypnosis are more likely to be accepted by the client’s unconscious. When hypnotic suggestions are given that encourage beneficial changes , they can dynamically influence the client’s life into the future.
Clinical hypnosis can also be used to better understand underlying motivations for emotional or behavioral difficulties. Hypnosis provides a safe and secure state of mind in which to both examine the roots of problems and explore promising alternatives. The Hypnotherapist can then help the client select from the alternatives and make healthier choices.
Myths About Hypnosis
Many false beliefs about hypnosis are based on what people read in novels, see in the movies or stage hypnosis shows. People are also concerned that being hypnotized means loss of control or that only weak willed people can be hypnotized. This too is a falsehood and, in fact, the opposite is the case. Learning to experience hypnosis and to use self-hypnosis provides more self-control for the client. The idea that people will do out of the ordinary things is perpetuated by stage hypnotism shows. Stage hypnotists select people from the audience who are willing to be responsive, but more importantly, may have exhibitionist tendencies and go along for the show. Novelists and film writers create works of fiction and are also in the entertainment business. Unfortunately, these hypnosis stage shows and entertainment portrayals help create myths about hypnosis which sometimes discourage people from seeking genuine hypnotherapy and the help they need.
Another myth is that people “go under” and experience a loss of consciousness while in hypnosis. As a result, they mistakenly think they will be “knocked out” and won’t remember what happened during their hypnotic session. In fact, hypnosis is state of heightened awareness. However, because there is an inward focus of attention, some extraneous external happenings may not be noticed. Nonetheless, people usually can remember everything that occurs in hypnosis. It is important to note that in everyday living we tend to forget a lot. Just think of how many times two people can argue about what was said within the last few minutes.
Finally, in hypnosis, the client is not under the control of the hypnotist because hypnosis is not something that is imposed on people. The Hypnotherapist merely serves as a facilitator or teacher helping the client discover that hypnosis is a natural, safe and useful state of mind they allow themselves to experience. Modern hypnotherapy is often referred to as a co-active, or collaborative approach. The Hypnotherapist assists the client to discover their own inner resources and path to well-being.
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