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Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis

What then is or isn't  hypnosis?

  • Hypnosis is NOT sleep, trance, unconsciousness or any other strange state of mind. It is a perfectly normal state of mind that we experience many times a day.
  • You will NOT lose your awareness.
  • You will NOT be in someone else's power.
  • You will NOT be out of control.
  • You will NOT be in a trance.
  • You CANNOT be made to do or say anything you don't want to.

Most people believe that hypnosis is something that the hypnotist 'does' to the client or subject. This is not the case.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis (see below) and the hypnotist's work is to help people get there and remain in that mind-state for a period of time.

You have experienced hypnosis on a daily basis except you would not think to call it that. People go into light hypnosis every day of their lives -

  • Unless you are one of those people who leap out of bed instantly wide-awake then you will experience this hypnosis state of mind in that dreamy drifty place as you are waking up. That's what snooze buttons are for, so you go through it every time you wake up.
  • Students are very good at it in lectures all lying around as though they are asleep and yet at the end of the lecture they are all up and gone, because they're not actually asleep. They are fully aware the lecture has ended.
  • Another time you experience it is at work, team meetings, staff meetings, sitting there, same old stuff, just before dozing off and then coming back with a sudden jerk-start. Am I snoring? Did someone notice? Did someone speak to me, am I drooling? That moment when everything seems to drift off into the distance.
  • Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming and not been aware of things happening around you?
  • Have you ever been so absorbed in a book or watching a film or TV that you haven't realised an hour or two has gone by?
  • Children are very good at this because another aspect of the hypnosis state of mind is a very focused attention. Put them in front of the telly with their favourite programme on and they will get totally absorbed into the program. If you say anything to them you are unlikely to get a response. What happens is that their attention becomes very focused and so peripheral things around the outside tend to disappear.
    You may well have experienced this with your partner or a friend who's watching their favourite programme on telly. You may come in the room and ask them if they want a drink or something, you will be lucky if you get a more than a grunt in reply.
  • Ever been on the bus and missed your bus stop? You are fully aware that you are on the bus and all the physical experience of sitting there but your mind is away somewhere else and you become unaware of time or distance passing. You've gone into hypnosis and your imagination is away doing other things..
  • Drivers do it all the time. You leave home and drive to a familiar destination - what happened in between? Don't know, can't remember - and yet you were driving with absolute safety and would have responded to any emergency situation that arose.
    One part of your brain was driving you safely whilst another part of your brain was away with the fairies somewhere.
    Just so in the hypnotherapy session - one part of your brain is in absolute control (just like driving the car) of the session and yourself. It is the other part of your brain that we are working with (that part which is usually thinking about all sorts of other stuff while you are driving) using your creative imagination to create new ways of being for yourself.

These are all experiences of hypnosis. The main difference between these experiences and purposeful hypnosis is the specific motivations and suggestions towards a desired goal and being creative rather than having random daydreams about your life events.

Hypnotherapy encourages the mind to achieve some desired result like pain or stress relief, positive self-image, freedom from a phobia, positive self-control (as in stopping smoking) etc. The day-dreamy state is so familiar that it is common for people to disbelieve that they have been in hypnosis at the end of the first session. 

Will I lose control without knowing it?
Hypnotherapists do not possess the power to control other people's minds. They guide you into deep relaxation so that positive suggestions can be made to the subconscious mind using creative imagination. If you don't want to reveal things that are private, you won't. You are in control of everything you say and do.

Can I be made to do some thing against my will?
What about those performers on TV and stage?

NO. Pub and Club shows where people run around like chickens or dance with brooms thinking they are dancing with someone beautiful or eat an onion as though it were an apple create a misunderstanding of what is really happening. The guinea-pigs in those situations could actually choose not to behave like that but they just don't know that due to the general public ignorance about these things. This is fully explained in your first session so that you have clear understanding of what is happening.

The stage hypnotist has contributed to the image of hypnosis as a 'trance' or 'out-of -this-world' state. In fact the opposite is true: in hypnosis all your five senses are heightened and you will feel fully 'wide awake' and in control.

Any suggestions made which are contrary to your inner convictions will either be ignored by you or you will come out of the hypnotic state.

Can I be stuck in a hypnotic state?
No, since it is the person being hypnotised who actually induces him/herself through self-hypnosis. Just as anyone cannot be hypnotised against their own will, they can bring themselves out in a split second.

Will I be aware of what is happening?
Yes. The predominant feeling for some people is - "It didn't work for me - I never went under". Until they discover that they think and insist the session lasted only 5 - 10 minutes when actually it was an hour or more.

How does hypnotherapy work?
In hypnosis all outside distractions are eliminated and your attention is focused on the hypnotherapist's voice. It is this profound concentration that permits the creative suggestions being made to get into the brain and into the subconscious in a way which your normal critical-defensive conscious mind won't allow and you are guided to adopt new, desired and beneficial ways of being.

Who can be Hypnotised?
Nearly everyone but it requires co-operation by the client with the therapist. This does make it more difficult with some people and they usually fall into the following groups or categories:
   People with a low IQ and normally require learning support or supported living.
   People who have a mental illness.
   People with epilepsy have to be treated with caution as an epileptic episode can be triggered.
   People who have been drinking recently or are drunk. It is therefore advisable not to have been drinking for at least 24 hours before an appointment.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and no one can be hypnotised against their will. You allow yourself to be guided into hypnosis and you remain in control at all times. You always know what is happening and you are in full awareness at all times. You can stop the session at any time just by opening your eyes and saying, "I don't want to do this anymore."

Types of Hypnotherapy

There are two types of 'Therapy' which can be used by Hypnotherapists: Suggestion Therapy or Hypnoanalysis

Suggestion Therapy -  suggestions are made to the client in hypnosis. For example: If you are a nail-biter then the suggestion made may be that the next time you go to bite your nails you won't, you'll scratch your nose instead and you will get the same sense of satisfaction from that as if you had bitten your nails. Your conscious thought might find this difficult to believe but in hypnosis the subconscious mind is far more likely to take this on board as a matter of fact and so to begin with, and maybe for a while, that is what happens - you scratch your nose instead.

While many hypnotherapists use Suggestion Therapy it does however have a tendency to "wear off" as it does nothing to reveal or deal with the root cause of a problem. If you are a nail-biter as a way of dealing with stress and then suddenly you are placed in a highly stressful situation this may overwhelm the suggestions which have been made previously. You are back where you started.

Hypnoanalysis, also known as Regression Therapy or Analytical Therapy, is used to discover the original cause of psychological and emotional problems. It is a means to get to the root cause of the problem. (Hypnotherapists on other websites who use this method sometimes refer to themselves as being 'Advanced Hypnotherapists' or qualified in 'Advanced Hypnotherapy'. There is a newish kid on the block which calls itself "Pure Hypnotherapy" which is the same thing)

Often we cannot think of a reason for why we behave in the way we do and no amount of thinking and talking about it seems to solve the problem. In hypnosis it is much easier to recall long forgotten memories which then brings some sense of reason to our problem. Once recalled, revealed, understood and resolved, the symptoms will usually permanently disappear. Instead of the 'problem' being in control of your life you will be back in control.

In the example of nail-biting that I have mentioned a lady called Shona came to see me. She had had what we determined to be suggestion therapy elsewhere but - "It didn't work, well at least it did for a bit", she said. In the course of the age regression and hypnoanalysis that I carried out it was revealed that a family row when she was about 3 years old was the root cause. Her father was quite loud but on this particular day he was really shouting angrily at her mother. They were downstairs and she was in her bedroom. She wanted it to stop as it was frightening her but she knew if she made a sound her father was likely to come and shout at her as well. The only thing she could think of doing to stop herself crying and making a sound was to stuff her hands into her mouth - and from there it was not a huge step into nail-biting to deal with stress. She began to bite her nails whenever she was under some barrage or pressured feeling. Coupled with it was also a feeling of disempowerment which answered why she often had a low opinion of herself. In normal conscious awareness she had been unable to recall any memories at all from her early childhood so this was a revelation to her.

As a result she understood why she often had such a low opinion of herself, low self-esteem in the jargon, and knew she no longer had to hold that belief about herself - that she could be in control of her life now in a way that the 3 year old wasn't. Her life changed dramatically and the nail-biting just disappeared never to return. Six weeks later she treated herself to a manicure at a beauty therapist in celebration.

To give an insight into the difference between the two therapy techniques sometimes people use the metaphor of a cracked wall: Suggestion Therapy merely 'papers over the cracks', whereas Analytical Therapy checks to see why the wall cracked in the first place to help the 'householder' put it right - sort the foundations out and stop it cracking again.

With the method I use, which has been developed over nearly 40 years of experience, the Suggestion therapy is very effective provided the client takes on the responsibility of being involved in the process and 'doing their bit'. We learn something new and then we have to secure that in the mind by repetition (driving lessons come to mind). The Hypnotherapy helps the new information get into the mind/brain of the client - that's my job/responsibility. The client then has to do their 'homework' and listen to the provided CD (or download) every day until their second appointment about a week or so later - that is the client's job/responsibility.

I cannot, with a snap of my fingers, "Put you under", fix everything for you. If I could do that I would be very rich and you would find it a terrifying experience because you wouldn't know who you are anymore.  "Put you under" - a ghastly, but a common and misunderstood term that has no real meaning or truth about it.

Many first-time clients want to know how they became the way they were (which would involve analytical hypnotherapy). The suggestion therapy that I do, and the homework done by the client is so effective that 99.9% of my clients are not the slightest bit interested any more in dragging up their history. They have moved on already, creating a new reality for themselves.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."   An old saying but it is NOT TRUE.

The damage from sticks and stones will heal physically but the psychological and emotional damage caused by words can last a life-time. Hypnoanalysis can get to those long-lost memories and bring healing to those old scars and damage enabling you to lead a fuller, better quality of life now.







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  ©  Neil Robinson 2017

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