When I first meet people and I say I'm a Hypnotherapist you can see their eyes spark with interested. So you help people with weight loss, fear of flying or stop smoking they say, or you relax people and in jest you use a swinging watch!
Although Hypnotherapy has grown and developed in recent years it is still very much a misunderstood therapeutic treatment. Some of my clients come to me as a last resort - they have tried counselling, psychotherapy or CBT (often for months or years) with little or no success. As they begin to research hypnosis they begin to view hypnotherapy as a viable treatment option to create change in their life. They may still be a little unsure. I have been in therapy for years - how can you help me when counselling hasn't.
So I wanted to break down some myths and misconceptions about hypnotherapy so you can see the real potential hypnosis has to offer you in your life, work and relationships.
Hypnosis Myth 1: It's just about relaxation
The use of hypnotherapy is more powerful than simply relaxation. It's not a simple case of coming in, closing your eyes, relaxing and listening to the sound of my voice giving you positive suggestions. This format is called suggestion hypnosis and often doesn't add real impact because it doesn't help resolve the underlying issues and drives which are causing the problem.
There is a powerful therapeutic and personal growth component to hypnosis which supports you to create real changes in your mind, thoughts, builds resources and creates new behavioural patterns.
Hypnosis Myth 2: Hypnotherapy can only help stop smoking or weight loss
Old school hypnosis was mainly used for stop smoking, weight loss, or fear of flying. With the right advanced training hypnotherapy can be used for many of life's complex issues which in the past counsellors or psychotherapists would have dealt with often for months or even years. Hypnotherapy today can successfully treat addictions, sexual dysfunction and emotional challenges.
It's important to note that not all hypnotherapist are trained or experienced to work with complex issues. To work at the level I do, I completed 2 years hypnotherapy training, 2 years counselling and psychotherapy training, as well as training in mind-body connection, mind-sets, sex therapy over the past ten years (just to name a few!).
Hypnosis Myth 3: I will lose control
Thanks to Hollywood films and stage hypnosis some individuals fear they will lose control, forced to say things or act in a certain way during hypnosis. Your mind is very powerful and has its own set of values and morals. If I were to suggest something that was not in alignment with your values and morals (not that I would ever do this - or indeed any professional and experienced hypnotherapist) your mind would simply reject the suggestion.
Hypnosis is not about control - it's about working together in a collaborated way, to communicating and working with your unconscious mind and working together in a way meaningful way to create the changes you seek.
Hypnosis Myth 4: Hypnosis is a one session quick fix
Although hypnosis is a quicker form of treatment than traditional talking therapy most people require more than a "one" session approach. To create real long-lasting change it's essential to work with the mindset and thoughts, body and heart and to embody and embed this within you. I work with most of my clients for 6 weeks. For more extreme situations such a severe trauma or sexual abuse this work is completed in approximately 12 weeks.
Hypnosis Myth 5: Hypnosis takes the same time as traditional talking therapy
Traditional taking therapies such as counselling or psychotherapy tend to focuses on the past without empowering the individual to create core changes in their mind, body and heart in the present time. They have grown as an individual and have a greater self-awareness yet they are still experiencing the issue. As many of my clients said "counselling helped to a small degree but I am still struggling in my life".
The therapeutic application of hypnosis is more focused on the present day, giving you the skills and resources to change your life. There are times of course we need to return back to the past for healing - but we don't stay there session upon session. Hypnosis allows the individual to find the answers they seek and create changes within a much quicker time frame than traditional talking therapies.
Hypnosis Myth 6: Hypnosis only works with the mind
Scientific studies have shown that hypnosis influences the brain (if you wish to research look up Mendelsohn et al.’s study on hypnosis and the work by Psychologist David Oakley (University College London). Hypnosis can also work with the body and heart and create deeper mind-body connections. An example is a man experiencing premature ejaculation - hypnosis strengthens his mind-set, changed the physical and conditioned behaviour pattern (early ejaculation) and teaches the man how to gain ejaculation control and to be more connected to his partner (from the place of his heart) rather than focusing on what his penis is doing.