Hypnotherapy may be used on its own, as simple relaxation therapy, or it may be integrated with any of the great schools of psychological thought. This integrative approach, termed hypno-psychotherapy, has very wide therapeutic applications. If only simple relaxation therapy is required, then someone with a basic hypnotherapy training should be able to help. However, more complex emotional, psychological or physical problems require the help of a fully qualified hypno- psychotherapist who will have the skills to recognise and treat a wide range of disorders and conditions.
It should be emphasized that the methods and strategies used in Hypno-Psychotherapy, though powerful and often speedy in effect, also respect and are attuned to the qualities and characteristics of the individual client involved. They seek to utilize and enhance the resources and capabilities that reside in all people, and do not by any means require the client to respond to any standardised technique or to fit into any standardised pattern.
While flexibility is paramount, the working relationship in Hypno-Psychotherapy strives for equality between client and therapist, in providing a safe and supportive environment, where the client can explore and clarify relevant personal matters. In encouraging agreed modification of the client’s beliefs, emotional responses and behaviour, the problem may require the therapist to assume a more active or directive role. In shorter term engagements, it can be used to inculcate skills and overcome limiting habits or personal and social inhibitions. During longer-term therapy, the working relationship may present a dynamic context for the client to examine and work through important self-protection issues, including the reframing and resolution of challenging early experiences and liberation from previous blocks to personal development.
Hypnotherapy attempts to address an individual subconscious mind, using the power of suggestion for beneficial change. A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to give relevant, positive beneficial suggestions to help an individual bring about the change they desire. Although hypnotherapy is not the same as sleep (the individual will still have awareness and control), hypnotherapists often require the individual to be in a deeply relaxed state to enable them to use their imagination fully. For this reason, it’s imperative that the individual feels completely comfortable with their hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is a different state of consciousness from being awake or asleep, and many people compare the deep, relaxed state of hypnosis to daydreaming.
Altered states of awareness have been recognised for thousands of years and hypnosis is widely accepted as a beneficial psychological therapy to access our inner potential. Techniques can be used to reveal issues from an individuals past that may be causing them distress, or the approach can be focused more on their present problems. Hypnotherapy can generally help with most emotional problems an individual is finding hard to cope with, and some physical problems can also be effectively treated with hypnosis too, such as IBS and insomnia. However, it’s important for an individual to consult their GP before approaching a hypnotherapist if they suffer from clinical depression, epilepsy or schizophrenia.
It is important to recognise that it is not possible to hypnotise an individual against their will, and even if an individual is hypnotised, they can reject any suggestion that is not beneficial to them. Hypnotherapy is therefore natural and safe, with no harmful side effects.