.....The common mis-conceptions of hypnotherapy.
Yesterday I spent my first day based in Harley Street and completely enjoyed the new experience of being in central London- Not only being there but doing what I love there.
And naturally I experienced new and different patients, from different fields and different areas but one thing I noticed was, that although we are different in what we do and how we see the world, we can all still carry the same fears about what we know very little about.
And again, the common fears of the power of hypnosis came up- No matter what walk of life we are from, these fears of the unknown can all be quite similar.
Will I be asleep?
It is not uncommon to associate sleep with hypnosis, as sleep is also a deep trance state. I do believe that if my patient goes to sleep then I am not doing my job properly! The aim of any hypnosis is to create a deep, relaxed physical state, however the mind is totally alert and energised to hear what is being said; hypnosis can just as easily occur with the eyes open, however, when the eyes are closed the imagination can create more sophisticated images and these can help to relax the mind even deeper.
So although you may appear asleep- eyes closed, breathing deeply and looking relaxed, you are far from sleep- you are engaged and active in your own world of imagination.
Will I be able to be hypnotised?
As I mentioned in my previous post, we are all suggestible, all hypnotisable; the amount can vary. We can all go into a deep state of relaxation- If we allow ourselves to. This is why trusting your hypnotherapist can be so very important. If you are in a session and you feel safe, secure and that your therapist understands and wants the best for you, there can be little reason to block yourself from hypnosis.
When I work with my patients, I know that I want the best for them; that every part of me wants them to shine and be successful and I know that that 'love' for someone is contagious, because I too know that when someone is rooting for me, I mean really supporting me, I feel that I can achieve ANYTHING! And of course, having someone listening and on your side is great therapy in itself, and once you truly feel safe, and in a space where you can open up and trust, then work can be done.
What are the side effects?
There are amazing side effects with hypnosis- things that you don't expect; people can come for therapy for weight loss and suddenly find themselves saying "No" to all sorts of things; not just chocolate. People can come for confidence and discover that they are tidier at home, or that they begin jogging, phoning friends they haven't spoken to for ages; all sorts. There are loads of side effects with hypnosis that are unexpected.
However the predictable, side effects, such as, "Will I be able to drive afterwards?".... It all depends if you were able to drive before... (bad pun). Yes (and the same goes for operating heavy machinery).
Yes, because in a trance hypnosis you are using your brain and energising new parts of the brain, you can drive as well as and maybe better than you did before. You will just simply feel refreshed.
Will I divulge my inner secrets?
This is a most important fear. NO, no you will not. The secrets you keep are yours and yours alone. They will always be as safe and undisturbed as you keep them.
We have a great fear that we may be discovered to be something horrific because we had a thought fifteen years ago that scared us and because we would never dream of acting out that thought- we are horrified. Sometimes it is worth remembering that we are ALL able to think things - whether voluntarily or involuntarily- and sometimes (I liken it to burping) Our mind 'burps' out a thought, and as quickly as it comes, it goes, but because we are shocked we thought that, it 'sticks' because we are shocked at ourselves. Thoughts can just be exactly that, a thought, whether we act out the 'burped' thoughts is a whole different matter. If we want to keep them as secrets, or things we have done as secrets we can, any good hypnotherapist will know that what is yours is yours.
The same goes for our unconscious- we all have capabilities that we have no idea of- this is true for most, if not all of us. If you want to go there and discover new things, we can give it a go, and if you don't, we won't. You will ALWAYS be in control.
Will I forget everything that is being said?
The aim is that you remember the work we have done together. You may forget the bits that are boring, although within the hour you are unlikely to be bored.
It is a common misconception that we don't remember- thanks to episodes of Columbo and Murder she wrote- and the ever popular stage hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is different; it is not a source of entertainment but a power house for changing something that causes you pain- so you will not only want to remember the change, you will not want to forget it.
Will I lose control?
(AKA: WILL I STRIP NAKED AND BEHAVE LIKE A CHICKEN?)
No. You will ALWAYS have control. IF you could lose control to the ever powerful hypnotist the world would be instantly cured of all it's ailments.
This one question is what makes Hypnotherapy complex; if I said to you, "You will NEVER eat chocolate again." And you never ate chocolate again, you have given me that control- Hypnotherapy doesn't happen like that; for you, eating chocolate (aside from it's chemical stimulants) could be the only way you take a break from the busy life you lead, eating chocolate could comfort you or stuff down feelings of anger- for you, your defence mechanism, (in this case chocolate) but it could just as easily be small spaces, not going out, smoking - anything, your defence mechanism can do a myriad of things to keep you SAFE, and YOUR subconscious would NOT trust a stranger to just drop in and 'whip' it away.
Until you are ready, and you have put other safety mechanisms in place, or have built enough trust in yourself that you KNOW things will be alright, as you are equipped with alternative ways of protection, YOU would not trust someone, just anyone to remove those old protections.
However when you are ready to change and this preparation is as much a part of hypnotherapy as the hypnosis, change can happen under hypnosis- easily.
But you are ALWAYS, ALWAYS in control.
Finally, If you want to strip naked and behave like a chicken, be my guest, but you will need to find a different kind of hypnotist....
However, if you want to be slimmer and wear a bikini on holiday- Give me a shout.