Hypnosis is, perhaps, one of the most misunderstood and controversial methods of psychological treatment. The myths and misconceptions that surround hypnotherapy mostly stem from people’s ideas about stage hypnosis. Hypnosis is a genuine psychological phenomenon that has valid uses. Simply put, hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention or concentration, often associated with relaxation, and heightened suggestibility. While under hypnosis (i.e., in a hypnotic trance), it seems many people are much more open to helpful suggestions than they usually are. The positive suggestions that people are given while hypnotised are referred to as “post hypnotic suggestions” because they are intended to take effect after the person emerges from the trance and is no longer hypnotised.
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Cognitive hypnotherapy - incorporates hypnosis to help ‘update’ the subconscious in line with the conscious and its understanding of reality.
The technique draws influence from a range of theories and combines them so that they fall in line with the client’s personal goals, values and needs.
Ericksonian hypnotherapy - Milton Erickson was a psychiatrist who specialised in family therapy and medical hypnosis. Ericksonian hypnotherapy uses indirect suggestion and storytelling to alter behaviour.
Hypnoanalysis - Drawing on concepts from analytical psychotherapy, hypnoanalysis looks to identify a ‘cause’ or ‘trigger event’ that has led to the current problem you’re facing. By identifying the root cause, the hypnotherapist helps to reduce negative associations and resolve resulting issues. The process often takes a number of sessions, allowing you and your therapist to build a relationship and work together in a safe, trusting environment.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy - This form of hypnotherapy focuses on the here and now, looking at your current situation and how you would like your future to look. Goal setting is key and questioning techniques are often used to help you uncover the solution to whatever challenge you’re facing. The core belief is that you have inner strength and resources to draw upon to help yourself, with the hypnotherapist acting as a facilitator.
Suggestion hypnotherapy - Suggestion techniques are employed within most types of hypnotherapy. The premise behind hypnosis is that when we are in a hypnotic state, our subconscious is more open to suggestion.
Suggestions are offered by the hypnotherapist during this state to help alter thought patterns. This technique is ideal for changing habits, overcoming anxiety and reducing stress.
Time Line Therapy - Deriving from NLP, Time Line Therapy™ is based on the premise that our memories are stored in a linear pattern (i.e. a timeline). Timeline therapists use different techniques to help you release limiting beliefs and negative emotions linked to past experiences.
While this approach can be used for a variety of concerns, it is thought to be especially useful for those struggling with depression, anxiety and stress.
Past life regression - Practitioners of this technique believe we all have past lives and use hypnosis to help recover these memories. It is hoped that these memories can reveal why you are struggling with a certain issue in this life and explain who you are now. This therapy is holistic and works with body, mind, emotions and spirit. Past life regression may be useful if you feel you are stuck on a certain issue or find something keeps coming back into your life.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) - Not a type of hypnotherapy, but another technique that hypnotherapists often employ within their practice. NLP is a learning model devised by Dr Richard Bandler and John Grinder and looks to help people help themselves reach a state of ‘excellence, happiness and state of mind’.
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