NO. I’m not a stage hypnotist. And even if I were, you choose to walk up onto the stage ready to do what the hypnotist tells you to do. You give your permission by the simple act of walking on stage. And so it is that if you want to pretend to be a duck, you will be a duck. Still, it is a good analogy for clinical hypnosis. If you want to do something, you will. If you want to get well, you will. If you don’t you won’t. Whatever you deeply desire will be enabled by the incredible power of your unique mind.
The term ‘hypnosis” derives from the Greek word hypnos meaning “sleep”. Hypnotherapists employ techniques that cause feelings of profound relaxation and an altered state of consciousness. This state is known as a trance. One who is in such a trance is unusually responsive to an idea or image. However, it is not so that the hypnotist is able to control the mind and free will of the person in the trance. The opposite is true in fact. Hypnosis can give us knowledge about how to master our own states of awareness and if the therapist expertly accesses the subconscious mind, real change can occur. In this way we can affect our own bodily functions and psychological responses. And the deeper we go into hypnosis the more the mind is alert. In fact our mind is more than one hundred per cent more alert in hypnosis than in our normal conscious state. All our five senses are profoundly deepened in hypnosis much more than in the normal conscious state. But just to be clear, you are not asleep, but more alert than you have ever been.
Here is a truth you may not know. There is no such thing as hypnosis. It is self-hypnosis. I am not needed for you to go all by yourself into a peaceful deep state of hypnosis. You can do it on your own. Why you come to me is because you don’t know how to reach the subconscious mind. And yet it’s so simple. If you will allow me, I can take you to enchanting and peaceful places in your mind; unique places special unto you only. And that promotes healing and wellbeing. And more importantly, positive lasting change because of the brain’s phenomenal plasticity which allows such change in fact you are already well versed in self-hypnosis. Think of those times when you’re driving along a quiet road and your mind drifts to some other place as you continue to drive automatically. Or when at a meeting or conference and you’re so bored you find yourself off in that beautiful resort where you spent your holiday last year. It happens spontaneously and is quite a natural phenomenon. It is just that when you try to do it consciously you don’t know how. Let me show you. Let me guide you to a unique place of calm and serenity designed by you, a place you can return to whenever you want to experience peace and relaxation. Look into your subconscious mind where all answers lie.
The Hypnotherapist utilising Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques
As a clinical hypnotherapist using advanced hypnotherapy, part of my work engages NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming comprising neurology (neuro), language (linguistic) and behavioural patterns learned through experience (programming). NLP was first created by Richard Bandler, an expert in linguistics, and John Grinder, having a background of Gestalt therapy. NLP holds that there is a connection between the processes of the neurons; language and patterns of behaviour that are learned by all of us throughout our life experiences from childhood to adulthood. NLP holds that these connections can be modified to allow positive change so that we may reach our desired goals. There are two propositions: that we can never know reality, only our perception of reality and that the processes that take place within us to connect with others and with our environment are systemic and based on self-organizing principles, and naturally seek homeostasis. That is, that those of us who reach success have an internal map of the world that opens up the best choices so that our lives may be enhanced. This is so because the greater number of choices we have, the greater our chance of survival, success and happiness.
The Hypnotist using Hypnotherapy techniques
As a hypnotherapist of many years I use cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy as well as other techniques as necessary in concert with advanced hypnotherapy. Together these strategies forge the powerful tools to achieve wellbeing, long lasting change and healing. We all wonder at times about the mysterious mind and why we behave as we do and so in that sense psychology is as old as the human race. But as a scientific discipline it has been in existence for just over one hundred years. The term psychology derives from two Greek words: psyche, the soul and logos, the study of a subject. The German professor Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) worked toward having the discipline of psychology recognised in its own right and independently from philosophy. William James (1842-1910) became an intellectual giant in the fields of psychology and philosophy. He argued that the conscious mind contained a continuous flow of thoughts which he named “stream of consciousness”. There followed many famed persons as psychology took hold. John Watson came along with Behaviourism. He asserted that we should give up on the study of consciousness and focus only on observable behaviours. He went to the issue of nature versus nurture and held that each of us is made as we are. These days it is generally held that it is both genetic inheritance and the environment that form us. Sigmund Freud brought the unconscious into being focussing on sexual urges being at the bottom of most things, largely discounted now. But he did introduce us to psychoanalysis and the “Talking Cure”. That is, to externalise your inner emotional disturbance is to heal. Carl Jung followed with analytical psychology and today has an enormous following and influence on psychology. Jung focussed on internal images which he called Archetypes and which he held influenced much of our behaviour. He proposed that the entire human race shares a collective unconscious of ancestral memories. There is the personal unconscious housing material not within conscious awareness that is repressed or forgotten and the collective unconscious holding latent memory traces. At a later date we have Skinner questioning free will as behaviourism flourishes. In the fifties along came Carl Roger’s humanistic movement and then Maslow’s Motivation and Personality and so on and that is just a skeletal view of the history of psychology. Suffice to say thousands of people have benefited and are still benefiting from psychology in its various forms. Now with hypnotherapy and psychology integrated we can achieve so much more than ever before because of the mind’s profound potential to create lasting change due to brain plasticity recently found to exist by neuroscience.