Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy used to create subconscious changes in a person. These changes can be in the form of thoughts, behaviours etc.
Since the 1950s, Dr. John Kappas, a Psychiatrist of repute in the USA, did a lot of research on the methods of Dr. Milton Erickson to determine how he was able to help people heal the conditions of thought, emotion, energy or physical body. Dr. John Kappas helped bring ‘Hypnosis’ to the realm of science, by explaining and simplifying the ‘Hypnosis’ phenomenon, and its use in helping and healing individuals. He indeed helped cure/heal persons.
Definition of a hypnotherapist
Dr. John Kappas, wrote and defined the profession of a hypnotherapist in the Federal Dictionary of Occupational Titles:
“Induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior patterns: Consults with client to determine nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degree of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client, using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client’s problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning.”
Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy), because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds. In addition, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.
Benefits of Hypnosis?
The hypnotic state allows a person to be more open to discussion and suggestion. It can improve the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:
- Phobias, fear and anxiety
- Sleep disorders
- Post trauma anxiety
- Dealing with grief and loss
- Pain management
- Dealing with unwanted habits such as smoking, overeating etc
How does hypnosis work?
During hypnosis, your body relaxes and your thoughts become more focused. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestion. People respond to hypnotic suggestion differently.
Hypnotherapy as a process may involve few or all of the followings:
- Understanding & Reframing the area of concern.
- Relaxation and deep induction(deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist)
- Responding (complying with a hypnotherapist’s suggestions)
- Feeding suggestions
- Returning to usual awareness
- Reflecting on the experience
Is hypnosis safe?
Hypnosis is totally safe, natural, and drug free, and there are no side effects whatsoever. In fact you will be in control at all times. Hypnotherapy has been recognised by the British Medical Association since 1955. The hypnotherapist cannot make you DO or SAY anything you do not want to do. If the fire alarm went off – you would bring yourself out of hypnosis immediately. While in hypnosis you are conscious throughout, feeling totally in control. It is like daydreaming whilst somebody talks to you. The only side effect is that it is highly relaxing!
Hypnotherapy can be used in conjunction with several other therapies namely Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Past Life Regression therapy etc. The use of CBT in conjunction with hypnotherapy may result in greater treatment effectiveness. A meta-analysis of eight different researches revealed “a 70% greater improvement” for patients undergoing an integrated treatment to those using CBT only.
Integrated clinical Hypnotherapy
This integrative approach utilises techniques to help with deeper problems that may not be able to be addressed with hypnotherapy alone (for example trauma or abuse), allowing the therapist to use their training and skills in psychotherapy to provide a supportive and empathetic therapeutic relationship. Special focus is laid on the spiritual side of issues.