What is hypnosis?
Lets start of with looking into the history of hypnosis first.
Hypnosis is derived from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ and dates back thousands of years in some shape or form. First thought to have been used in the healing temples in ancient Egypt. Through the years it has changed guise and began to gain popularity or even notoriety in the Victorian age. Hypnotherapy is effectively, therapeutic intervention within the state of hypnosis (an altered state of mind). It was still rather taboo in certain circles, especially the medical area, one particular surgeon, James Braid, who held a keen interest in hypnotism within surgery, didn’t always see eye to eye with his medical governing body and they controversially rejected a number of his research papers.
Even Sigmund Freud used hypnosis at some point in his life as the grandfather of psychotherapy, however, his use of hypnosis was short lived. In the 1950’s an amazing hypnotist called Dave Ellman, began teaching hypnosis to dentists and doctors, so they could better understand their patients and help them to get over mental health problems. He is noted for his quick induction (a way of entering hypnosis), which took just a few minutes. Many other hypnotists would spend up to twenty minutes getting a client into hypnosis, which meant less time working with the client within hypnosis.
Also in the 1950’s, Milton Erickson became noted for his unusual approach to hypnosis, using metaphor and a conversational style which some of his peers disputed was hypnosis at all.
It hasn’t changed too much over the last 50 years and many hypnotherapists adopt and adapt to their own style but using the very same techniques as the original pioneers in hypnosis.
So when I use hypnosis as part of the therapy, I induce a trance like state of mind, this is a little similar to daydreaming. The body becomes very relaxed and we can begin to address the issues brought to the session by identifying negative thoughts and behaviours and then attempt to alter these thoughts and behavioural patterns by using a multitude of hypnotic techniques such as direct suggestion, visualisation and working with the actual feelings of the client.
However, I don’t just use hypnotherapy in a session. Everyone is different and has different needs, so I have to adapt to the person sat in front of me and not just read something written of a piece of paper. I really don’t subscribe to a blanket approach as a ‘one size fits all’.
It really is all about you! You are the most important person in the room and during the initial consultation I will work out a way of helping you with your problem that fits your needs and not mine.
Psychotherapy is a term used in talk therapies and is either a singular or a combination of therapeutic interventions that helps the client return to a proper state of mental functioning. This is done by addressing the individuals thoughts, feeling and behaviours so that the client becomes aware of negative patterns so that they can be altered or reprogrammed. there are many styles of psychotherapy such as Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Counselling, Gestalt, Transactional analysis, humanistic approach, person centred, behaviourism and psycho analysis (developed by Freud).
As an Hypno-psychotherapist, I class myself as an integrative therapist, which means I don’t stick to one kind of approach unless I feel it is the best way forward for the client. I use what I know works, but even then, there may be a client that doesn’t do so well using one type of therapy, so we switch it, giving you the best options and choices. Generally, I use a ‘Cognitive Hypnotherapy’ approach, but I don’t stick to it. Sometimes I don’t even use hypnosis in a session. I may simply work with the client on changing thinking styles and behaviours in a pure CBT style. It’s really about being as flexible as possible.
Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net