Hypnotherapy is the application of hypnosis in a wide variety of medical and psychological disorders. Practicing hypnosis requires adequate training in psychotherapy as a foundation. Over the years I have discovered that training in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy is a never-ending process but it is something I love to be engaged in.
Hypnosis is a form of highly focused attention or a heightened state of awareness. Believe it or not, we spontaneously go in and out of hypnosis in everyday living. For example, when one becomes absorbed in a good book or movie, engrossed in play or daydreaming. That state of absorption, which utilizes the deeper part of the mind, or the “unconscious” part of the mind, is a hypnotic trance.
When we work clinically with hypnosis, we use that state to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Along with that state of absorption comes a calming physiological state whereby muscle tension lessons, blood pressure decreases, heart rate slows down and respiration slows down as well. This is the relaxation response that most people welcome. But really…all of hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It is YOUR mind and body that is responding to a soothing voice or suggestions for relaxation, etc. So by teaching one self-hypnosis, they may be able to get control of the stress cycle rather then letting it control them.
In this alert, pleasantly relaxed state of mind and body, the mind can encode and imprint things a little differently. Positive suggestions go directly into the unconscious mind, bypassing the critical judgement of the conscious mind. By giving one the right kinds of therapeutic suggestions you are helping to lay down new neurological tracks for healthier thinking and behavior. In this relaxed state the mind has a way of encoding those suggestions that lead to positive shifts in behavior.
Hypnosis also provides an opportunity to tap into existing talents and skills that lie buried in the unconscious mind. I use clinical hypnosis as an adjunctive tool that serves to potentate the psychotherapy by uncovering associations and memories that can enable clients to develop new directions.
To learn more about hypnosis you can go to www.asch.net and click on “for the general public”.