Have you ever found yourself
staring into space, so absorbed in your own thoughts that you've missed
several minutes of the TV programme you were watching, or, when
driving, found that you can't remember the last few minutes of your
journey? If so, you've been in a light “trance state”, otherwise known
This is a completely natural
phenomenon, which can be induced using a range of different methods.
Don't expect the “swinging watch” though, I don't know anyone who uses
that these days! The therapist can then deepen the trance to a
dream-like state where they can bypass your conscious mind and
communicate directly with your subconscious mind.
This does not mean that you are
“in their power”, and you cannot be made to do anything that goes
against your principles. Forget what you may have seen in “hypnotic”
shows on stage and TV; that's showbiz, and is only intended for
What happens next depends on the purpose of the session:
- Suggestion Therapy
Can be used to address specific problems or habits such as smoking, moderate weight loss or confidence issues.
Is used to re-visit past events and deal with the emotions attached to
them, and progression can be used to address fears, hopes and dreams
for the future.
- Guided Affective Imagery
A dream-like fantasy, where the therapist sets a scene and allows you
to explore it, giving guidance along the way. The only limit is your
imagination! This can be a lot of fun, but actually has a serious
purpose, giving an insight into your personality and the issues in your
life, and has a variety of therapeutic uses.
Being in hypnosis is not like
being asleep or being under anaesthetic. In most cases you will be
aware of what is happening, you will be able to respond to questions
and suggestions, and afterwards you will remember what happened. In
fact, two-way communication is important so that the therapist can keep
track of what's going on in your mind during the session.
After coming out of hypnosis you
will probably feel drowsy for a short while, and then feel just
pleasantly relaxed. There are no unpleasant side effects, but
suggestions put in place during hypnosis can change the way you react
to certain circumstances, the temptation to have a cigarette for
example, or feelings of anxiety in an exam.
What if I can't be hypnotised?
We are all unique individuals,
and some people are more resistant to hypnosis than others, however,
everyone can be hypnotised if they allow themselves to be. A skilled
therapist will have a variety of ways of dealing with resistance, in
addition to the trust and rapport built with the client.
The issue of safety is also very
important, and for this reason I choose to work from therapy centres
shared with other therapists. As a member of
the General Hypnotherapy Register and the Hypnotherapy Association I am
bound by the codes of ethics of both organisations.I am also a holder
of the Senior Qualification in Hypnotherapy Practice awarded by the
General Hypnotherapy Standards Council.