What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is really common now. Many people have heard of it or even tried it. If you look on the internet you see that even within hypnotherapy there are all these different types of hypnotherapy and different approaches, which can be really confusing.

So, I’m going to start with the basics. Hypnosis – there is actually no definition that is agreed upon by everyone. People talk about hypnosis as being in a relaxed state, using your imagination, being in a trance – and it is all of these things. But, rather than focus on what it is, I’m going to talk about the 4 main areas in which it is used.

Stage Hypnotism

I get asked about this all the time. The thing people have seen when they are on holiday. When someone is up on stage and they have a mop next to them and they think it’s their partner. Or they are running around the stage clucking like a chicken! That is hypnosis, but the type that is used for entertainment. And it can be funny. Even sales people use hypnotic techniques to get you to buy stuff. This is one end of the spectrum.

We will go on to look at the more clinical applications of hypnosis and hypnotherapy:

Pain Management

We can use hypnosis to control our sensation and our experience of pain. If you go on YouTube, there are videos of people having operations without any anaesthetic. It’s because our mind is the control centre. It interprets the information that is coming in. We can use hypnosis to switch off those control centres or to change our perception of the message that is coming in to change our interpretation of it. It is really effective when used for pain management. People have had operations using hypnosis and no anaesthetic, which is amazing.

Solution-focused Hypnotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Using hypnosis to change somebody’s thoughts or change the way that someone thinks about a certain thing. So, the most common uses or most common thing when people think about that is things like stopping smoking, losing weight. The focus tends to be on the thing that you want to happen. Lots of positive suggestions. Reframing your beliefs and your thinking. That is very useful, and we do use that in Analytical Hypnotherapy as well.

Analytical Hypnotherapy

The difference with Analytical Hypnotherapy, which is the type of Hypnotherapy that I practice, is that we are going to the next level down. So, to try and explain this, I use the metaphor of a garden. So, the mind is like a garden with lots of lovely trees and plants growing in it. Sometimes, there is the odd weed growing, which might be smoking, or drinking or eating too much chocolate or whatever it is that you are doing. With the solution-focused hypnotherapy and CBT, what we are doing is planting a nice flower in its place. That is great. But, a lot of the clients that I see have already tried that and they have read lots of positive affirmations in various self-help books, and it just hasn’t quite had the effect that they wanted it to. Sometimes, that is because we need to go the next level down.

So, using the garden metaphor, we need to go down into the ground, into the earth. Because, if you have earth that doesn’t have the right nutrients, or is not good soil for growing stuff, then you can plant as many flowers and seeds (positive suggestions) as you like but they are simply not going to grow. So, in Analytical Hypnotherapy it is a much more interactive process between the client and their inner mind. The client is exploring their garden, finding the weeds, pulling them up and digging down into the earth and making it rich and abundant again. It is about going down through those levels, and really exploring what is going on for somebody.

We talk about it in terms of psychodynamic and trauma-resolution. Basically, all that means is “psychodynamic” is thinking about the past and all the things that we are maybe not consciously aware of; how they are affecting us in the here and now. How they are affecting our behaviour, feelings, relationships – everything. The “trauma-resolution” part of it is all of the tools and techniques and everything that we use in Analytical Hypnotherapy to help your limbic system, which is the part of your brain that holds onto trauma, to help that part of your brain resolve it. What makes it so powerful and effective is this interactive process. It is about finding your mind’s way of healing itself and your mind does have this innate ability to heal. It is incredible and will be unique for every single person. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. For me, if you are looking at issues that you can feel go deeper, then Analytical Hypnotherapy is one of the best approaches and an amazing process to undergo.

If you have any questions, struggling with something and not sure about the best approach or how Analytical Hypnotherapy could help then email me on kirsty@springhypnotherapy.co.uk or find me on Facebook @KirstyWickHypnotherapy and message me there. You can also find lots more information on the website www.kirstywick.co.uk.

Want to learn more? Check out my weekly Facebook live #thursdaytherapy every Thursday at 1pm here @kirstywickhypnotherapy. Each week I chat about therapy, without the jargon, and look at different techniques, tools, share information and look at specific issues such as anxiety, relationships, self-esteem and confidence. Get in touch with any question you would like answered or an issue you are struggling with.

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