What is Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis is actually a natural state. In fact, everyone drifts into a hypnotic state regularly although they may not be aware of this. For example, daydreaming. In therapeutic hypnosis the therapist uses this hypnotic state to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious enabling the subject to make changes to thoughts and behaviours that are unhelpful or damaging.
History of Hypnosis
There is a long history of trance like states being used for religious purposes. Many shamanic rituals involve trance states and this can also occur in some parts of catholic exorcism. The first real instance of hypnotic trances being used for therapeutic purpose was with Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). While his theories of energy transfer between animate and inanimate objects have been discredited, he used a form of hypnosis in some of his treatments. The Scottish surgeon James Braid (1795-1860) discarded Mesmer’s theories but saw useful possibilities in using hypnosis therapeutically. He is often regarded as the father of modernhypnosis. The use of hypnosis grew slowly from this until it became more accepted from the 1950’s onwards. Mainly due to the work of Milton Erickson (1901-1980). It was until recently generally seen as an ‘alternative medicine’ but has now become more mainstream with many GP surgeries having a hypnotherapist attached and recognition by the NHS.
What to Expect in a Hypnotherapy Session
A session will normally last for an hour. It will begin with the therapist taking a brief personal and medical history (the more we know about you, the more we are likely to be able to help you). We will then discuss whatever problem or aim you would like us to help you with, establishing exactly what you want to achieve and how we will try to help. The therapist will then explain the hypnotic process and answer any questions that you may have. We want you to be relaxed and at ease with everything. When you are ready, we will start the hypnosis. Generally, all that you will need to do is relax and enjoy it. The actual hypnosis generally takes about 20-25 minutes. When we emerge you from the hypnotic state there will be a brief chat about the experience and this will also allow time to completely recover. (subjects sometimes feel a little woozy for a couple of minutes) You will then be OK to leave. Our aim is always to make the experience as relaxed and calm as possible.