Hypnotherapy is the name given to therapeutic interventions involving an induced state of trance or Hypnosis.
In order to protect itself from outside interference, the mind develops a series of ‘guards’ around itself. When a person is in a state of Hypnosis (trance) these barriers weaken. This allows the Hypnotherapist to make suggestions that allow the client to change in a variety of constructive and beneficial ways. Hypnosis is the process that is used to get beyond these guards in order to make the necessary changes in values, attitudes or behaviour.
There are many and varied definitions of Hypnosis and the trance state, hut basically it is a mental state that is different to the one normally experienced. It is a state where attention is turned inwards and in which conscious awareness of the “real” world changes. It is in this state, with the conscious awareness distracted, that the deeper levels of the mind can he accessed and motivated to change in a way that is perfectly natural to the subject.
Hypnosis is a natural phenomenon, and as such the experience is familiar to most people. (Even if it does not exactly match their preconceptions of hypnosis). Everyone does in fact go into a natural trance state several times a day. It is the mind’s way of taking time out to process experience and learning.
Many people ask “What does it feel like”. Well, you can ask twenty good hypnotic subjects what they experience in trance and you will probably get eighteen different answers! Each person has to experience it for him/herself. It can generally be experienced as being rather like day dreaming. Awake but not awake. Aware but not aware.
A skilled Hypnotherapist tailors the induction process to suit the individual client’s needs and beliefs. It might be a lengthy process utilising the client’s imagination, a direct or authoritarian approach that demands compliance with the Hypnotherapist’s wishes or more likely a gentle permissive set of requests that match the client’s expectations. Sometimes no actual words are used and sometimes touching the client’s body non invasively. In the latter case the Hypnotherapist will explain the need to touch and ask permission for so doing.
All in all it is usually a very enjoyable experience with no side effects other than the resolution of undesirable personal issues.
Questions about Hypnosis
In as much as the subject allows him/herself to go into a trance, the Hypnotist does guide the subject’s thoughts and actions, but even then, only as much as the subject is prepared to allow it to happen.
No. If used ethically and expertly, it is completely safe.
In Queensland, the Health Rights Commission, which is the Government body charged with handling all complaints against Health Care Practitioners, including Hypnotherapists, reports that since its inception in 1992 there have been no substantiated complaints involving the use of hypnotherapy as provided by Complementary Health Care Practitioners.
However, to ensure the continuing professional use of Hypnotherapy we recommend that people seeking help should only consult properly trained Practitioners, and ones who belongs to a recognised Professional Association such as AAPHAN.
Intending Practitioners should study with trainers who are also dedicated and recognised practitioners with years of practical experience behind them. AAPHAN provides a list of Registered Training Schools that it recognises as providing appropriate practitioner training.
We also recommend that you belong to an organisation such as AAPHAN, where you can rely on continuing support and help.
Yes, but it takes longer to induce trance in some people, and some people go into trance deeper than others.
change unacceptable habits
improve personal performance
lead a healthier life
train the client in relaxation techniques
remove fears anxieties and phobias
reduce stress etc
In everyday life people can only gain true experience by doing things, and then retaining memories of the actual experience of ‘doing’. Thus we learn by experiencing.
We recall the original event by remembering how we experienced it with our senses. The Hypnotherapist is an expert in communication at all levels, who uses his/her skills to help the client recall or create a specific sensory experience and use it to maximum advantage.
The process requires active participation by the client. The past cannot he changed, but the way people react and respond to memories of it can be. Thus the influence of the past can be reshaped or changed, and the future made more desirable and attractive.