What is hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is a real phenomenon and it is proving increasingly useful to psychologists and neuroscientists, granting new insights into mental processes and medically unexplained neurological disorders. (British Psychological Society, 2013*)
Hypnosis is a psychological state with physiological attributes that resemble sleep and marked by an individual’s level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state. It can be thought of as a state of physical relaxation accompanied by mental concentration.
A person under hypnosis will have heightened focus and concentration with the ability to concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction. Hypnosis is induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as hypnotherapy, while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as stage hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. Modern hypnotherapy as pioneered by the likes of Milton Erikson, Dave Elman and Gil Boyne can been used in a variety of forms including:
- Age regression
- Eliminating fears and phobias
- Addictions e.g. stop smoking
- Habit control/change
- Pain management
- Psychological therapy
- Skin disease
- Dissociative disorders
- Soothing anxious surgical patients
- Sports performance
- Weight loss
- Stress management
It is not the hypnotic trance itself that is therapeutic, but specific suggestions and images fed to your clients in a trance that can profoundly alter their behavior. As they rehearse the new ways they want to think and feel laying the groundwork for changes in their future actions. This is why combining techniques from the fields of NLP and hypnotherapy create a synergy for greater success compared to the results that might be achieved if only one or the other discipline were used in isolation.