What is Clinical Hypnosis and what is it not?

To immediately clear up any misunderstanding Clinical Hypnosis bears no resemblance to the folly antics of stage hypnosis. People performing on stage are willing exhibitionists cooperating from choice and their performance never exceeds their own moral standards and ethos. Should the stage hypnotist request a person to do something that they considered unsavory they would instantly refuse and break trance. Stage hypnosis, in my opinion, is a gross misuse of a potent tool in the arsenal of life.

Clinical Hypnosis is drug free treatment. It is inconceivable that any harm could become a person through Clinical Hypnosis. Hypnosis is not the cure of any illness, rather it can encourage the mind to regenerate health and well-being from seeking inner equilibrium. Hypnosis is particularly adept at altering habit and convention. It is also an excellent tool for uncovering suppressed events, which are generating negative outcomes for the client. Clinical Hypnosis is not suitable for the mentally challenged, delusional or psychotic.

Clinical Hypnosis is renowned with deep relaxation and a feeling of well-being. Often a client will wonder if they were actually hypnotized because they can remember every word spoken to them. The reason is simple, while in hypnosis they are bodily relaxed, yet mentally receptive and hyper attentive. Personally, I have experienced a client snoring so loud that I was forced to raise my voice. Yet afterwards, they were able to relate in detail an incoming message on the answering machine in the next room. I never heard the phone ring! Clinical Hypnosis is therefore a passive phenomena coupled with a heightened state of awareness.

In layman’s terms what occurs is that the conscious minds goes into a standby mode and the subconscious mind energizes by a similar proportion to compensate. Perhaps it might help to imagine the subconscious mind as the automated part of the brain. The part of your brain that controls your breathing, senses and emotions. The part that circumvents logical assessment to grasp the mood of a situation. For example, we have all drove or walked a frequent route only to discover that we cannot remember a particular stretch of the journey. Were we inattentive? No of course not. We are simply on automatic. In other words our subconscious mind was in control. Other examples are when you might feel uneasy for no obvious reason. Like a fireman who rushes from a building that seconds later is engulfed in a blowback. His subconscious has recognized environmental peculiarities that his conscious mind preoccupied with extinguishing the fire had missed. Other examples are reading a book or watching at film where your attention is so focused that you filter out all surrounding interferences. Crying during a movie is a prime example of an engrossed and emotionally caring person. To give a most potent example of the power of the subconscious mind, consider this? The subconscious mind simply will not allow a person to suffocate themselves by holding their breath.

The subconscious, it can be said is the silent guardian who monitors every breath and function of the body. It also houses a person's memory and ethos. Clinical Hypnosis in the simplest way I can describe it, is a mechanism that trips the conscious into standby mode and the subconscious into fully active mode. You may often have heard that the right side of the brain is the subconscious (automated) and the left side is the conscious (logic). Indeed, modern science by monitoring the brains electrometric activity lends some credence to this belief.

Bypassing the conscious allows the subconscious to become infinitely more receptive to positive suggestion. However, there is an inbuilt safety mechanism in the subconscious. Because morals and ethos are inherent human qualities they will never be bypassed. Indeed, they reside in the subconscious and actually become heightened during hypnosis. This in part explains why medical practitioners don’t widely avail of hypnosis. Each person is unique and it takes time, expertise and skill to induce positive suggestions that are acceptable to each individual client. Doctors, perhaps with a waiting room full of patients, can seldom afford such individual time or analysis. However, Clinical Hypnosis remains a treatment, albeit specialized, which is suitable for a wide array of stress induced and habit formed complaints.

To sum up, hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. It can be induced through a variety of methods. Most frequently hypnosis is induced through the actions of an operator, the hypnotist, who engages the attention of a client and assigns certain tasks while offering repetitive commands; such as verbal instructions, muscle relaxation, eye fixation, and arm levitation. Hypnosis can also be self-induced, by trained concentration and ritualistic actions as can be observed in many religious systems, i.e. the chanting of monastery monks, the controlled breathing of yoga, the meditation of Buddhism and the directional genuflecting homage of Islam, to mention a few.

Clinical Hypnosis is a two-way suggestive therapy where the trained hypnotherapist amplifies the client’s willingness to succeed. Think of it like a car’s battery struggling on a frosty morning. A small push or jump-start and the engine is running again and the battery is recharging. During the course of life everybody needs an occasional push start. The intellectually minded person recognizes these moments and seeks help, while others may spiral needlessly into the depths of despair for extended periods.

There are two distinct types of therapy conducted under Clinical Hypnosis. They are Suggestive Therapy and Analytical Therapy. Suggestive Therapy is self-explanatory and is extensively used for smoking, slimming, confidence boosting, relaxation, disruptive habits such as hair pulling, nail biting and in recent times for sports performance. Suggestive Therapy seldom exceeds 3 one-hour sessions and a cassette tape to listen to at home between these sessions to reinforce the desired effect.

A one-hour session is available for specific events, i.e. pre-exam nerves, public speaking commitments, holiday flight etc.. But for a prolonged benefit 2 one-hour sessions is considered desirable.

Analytical Therapy is used to identify and resolve the root cause of emotional and psychologically generated conditions, which although suppressed deep in the mind (memory banks) manifest themselves in secondary symptoms that impede a person’s advancement in life. Exploration is necessary and this is achieved through Free Association while in the state of hypnosis. Free Association is simply speaking whatever thoughts come into your head. This process relives stress and in a relatively quick time can uncover the root problem. Analytical Therapy as a rule of thumb can take up to twelve visits but frequently eight to twelve proves sufficient.

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