What REALLY happens in a hypnotherapy session?
Hypnosis is often shrouded in mystery thanks to the way it is portrayed in public culture. I wonder what you know about it beyond the images of swinging watches, mind control and hypnosis stage shows?
It's a shame there are so many misconceptions, because in a therapeutic setting, hypnosis provides one of the easiest, fastest and most enjoyable routes to personal change. In fact, I sometimes seem to be able to help people when nothing else has proved effective for them.
So what can you expect from a hypnotherapy session?
Hypnotherapy does not require me to know your entire life history. Usually all I need is an overview of the problem, how it impacts your life and what your beliefs are about that problem. Then I focus on HOW you want to feel, look or sound - how you want to show up in the world once this is no longer a problem for you.
To start, we usually play a few imagination games, as this allows you to see how your imagination is key to creating powerful change through hypnosis. Most people leave their first session with a new sense of awe at their own power, and a real optimism that they can use it to create a better life for themselves.
Sometimes I will do some 'eyes open' hypnosis, which is usually quite interactive and fun. We learn best when things are fun - just look at any child at play and you will see them soaking up information like a little sponge. As adults we often let our inhibitions or fear of being judged get in the way - yet when you engage your mind with a sense of childlike playfulness it becomes possible to make great leaps in unconscious learnings. My role is to help you learn how to move from problem state to solution state - so it’s much more enjoyable and effective to do that by bringing some fun into the equation. These aren’t stuffy, boring or emotionally draining sessions where you will be forced to relive your past traumas. That's not helpful to anyone!
I often teach techniques to alleviate anxiety or other unwanted feelings. These might include 'tapping' - also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) - breathwork or anchoring, and my sessions all include elements of NLP (Neuro-Lingusitic Programming) and coaching.
Finally, sessions always finish with me guiding you into a deep and profound hypnotic trance. You can think of it a little bit like a guided visualisation, except that you are fully active in creating this experience - hypnosis never means you are 'asleep' . This is the moment when real and lasting change can be installed - just like installing new software on a computer. The new programs have been written and are there, ready to be accessed whenever you need them.
Most people find hypnosis to be a deeply restorative and enjoyable experience - reflected in the fact that the most common word I hear at the end of a session is - “Wow!” My support doesn't stop there though. When clients leave my therapy room they have my continued support at all times. I'm with them every step of their way to success.
Has this made you curious? I invite you to book a free of charge Discovery Session with me to find out more about how hypnosis can help you overcome your problems.
This article first appeared in the New Stour & Avon magazine on 8 April 2022