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  • Writer's picturesilvanabevan

Let's talk about hypnosis and hypnotherapy

It is useful to go through a few things about hypnotherapy and hypnosis and clarify what it means, so that you understand the process before you agree to engage with it, for the purpose of making therapeutic changes.

And that it the first thing: as the name suggests, this is therapy, not a magical cure or a spell, and not entertainment. We enter a collaborative process, and we work together to alleviate your symptoms and achieve positive changes, at your pace. For some people, it might take just a single session, and for others 2 or 3 sessions, or a few more… there is no right or wrong, there is just you - addressing your issue, in control of the timing - and me, guiding you along the way.

And ‘you being in control’ is in fact true of the whole process. There is a myth that the hypnotherapist takes control of your mind, rummaging inside your head… but that’s not the case; you are and stay in appropriate control of what you do (for example you can open your eyes and walk away in an emergency, and are always able to decide if something goes against your moral beliefs); and you are also in control of what you say (you won’t reveal your deepest secrets). I always ensure that you feel completely safe: you are the driver on this journey, I am just reading the map!

So, what is hypnosis? There isn’t a single answer, but what we see in the media often gives a false perception of it. The word “sleep” is used and recognised by everyone, suggesting an unconscious state, when in fact the word is more of a shortcut for “as if you were falling asleep, when your subconscious mind brings up some thoughts for you to process…”. I like to describe it as a natural state of focused attention, that could be experienced as being similar to a daydream, or a zoning out, and in most cases it feels very nice and relaxing. But it is very subjective, and everyone experiences it differently. There are various levels, from light (just sitting comfortably, aware of your thoughts) to medium (sinking into the chair, muscles very relaxed) and even deep hypnosis trance (with some level of amnesia, hallucinations...)

So, how will you know that you are in hypnosis? Well, we don’t know which level of hypnosis is right for you until we try it; but remember that you don’t have to make anything happen, you just listen to my voice and allow yourself to be open to - and accepting of - the suggestions I make; and to trust the therapeutic process that engages all the parts of your mind needed to enter the state of hypnosis.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis; I guide you and you make the journey to wherever you need to go, without fear of breaking hypnosis just because you heard a noise, or moved a muscle, or scratched an itch… Remembering what needs to be remembered; leaving that state of hypnosis when ready; and continuing to use self-hypnosis after your session to built on any changes made during it.

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