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WHAT IS HYPNOSIS? 
Hypnosis means different things to different people. 
 

Hypnosis is rather a state of profound physical and mental relaxation during which you become inwardly focussed – aware of your immediate reality but with a comfortable sense of detachment from it – a wonderful calm and relaxed state. You are fully awake and alert whilst experiencing hypnosis and not under anyone’s power or influence except your own, regardless of what you have seen on television …hypnosis is something you do or, more correctly, two people do. It is a trance like state just as if you have been day dreaming or watching tv unaware that someone has been trying to catch your attention for the past few moments. 
 
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hypnosis as ‘ the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Origin Greek : hypnos – sleep.’ This is not perhaps the most reassuring of definitions. In my own experience the very first question a prospective client asks is ‘ what are you going to do to me ‘ closely followed by their concern that I may ‘ make them do something they don’t want to do ’ or ‘ that I will find out something about them that they do not want me to know.’ 
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hypnosis as ‘ the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Origin Greek : hypnos – sleep.’ This is not perhaps the most reassuring of definitions. In my own experience the very first question a prospective client asks is ‘ what are you going to do to me ‘ closely followed by their concern that I may ‘ make them do something they don’t want to do ’ or ‘ that I will find out something about them that they do not want me to know.’ Hypnosis is rather a state of profound physical and mental relaxation during which you become inwardly focussed – aware of your immediate reality but with a comfortable sense of detachment from it – a wonderful calm and relaxed state. You are fully awake and alert whilst experiencing hypnosis and not under anyone’s power or influence except your own, regardless of what you have seen on television …hypnosis is something you do or, more correctly, two people do. It is a trance like state just as if you have been day dreaming or watching tv unaware that someone has been trying to catch your attention for the past few moments. 
 
In 1892 The British Medical Journal ( BMA ) unanimously endorsed the therapeutic use of hypnosis and in 1955 the BMA approved use of hypnosis for psychoneuroses and for hypnoanaesthesia where it was accepted as beneficial for pain management in surgery and childbirth. The BMA advised that all physicians and medical students were to receive fundamental training in hypnosis. The Wall Street Journal ( 7th October 2003 ) under a heading of ‘Altered States : Hypnosis Goes Mainstream ‘ indicated that 
 
‘ major hospitals are now using hypnosis for fractures, cancer, burns, pain relief, gastrointestinal disorders, childbirth, treatment of haemophilia and treatment of phobias and that many hospitals now have staff hypnotists. ‘ 
 
THE BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY 
In addition the British Psychological Society ( BPS ) recently stated ( June 6th 2011 ) 
 
‘ Hypnotherapy should be used more frequently as treatment, with it being particularly useful for pain relief ’ 
 
according to Dr Peter Naish, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University and President elect of the Hypnosis Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, who also stated that it works as more than a placebo effect. He was speaking on the Today programme on radio 4 on 6th June 2011 and explained that cancer nurses could become trained in hypnotherapy thus saving the NHS money and showing it to the general public as a ‘normal’ treatment. John Castleton ( Chartered Counselling Psychologies ) added that 
 
‘Hypnosis has been an area of public and professional interest for centuries and, as the BPS said in 2001, Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium. When used appropriately, hypnotherapy is a useful addition to a practitioners ‘ tool kit ’ and brings together a range of psychotherapeutic techniques that can assist with personal development, emotional difficulties and research has shown some health conditions.’ – ( 14th June 2011 ). 
 
 
THE BENEFITS OF THERAPEUTIC HYPNOSIS 
Therapeutic hypnosis relies on trust and good rapport between client and therapist. Only a light trance is needed although deep trance is fine also and the therapist teaches and affords control to the client. It is not a ‘show’ ( like stage hypnotism ). The client has called the therapist with a problem and the therapy is provided for the benefit and self-empowerment of the client. 
 
I believe hypnosis denotes an interaction between two people in which one of them, the hypnotist, by means of verbal communication, encourages the other, the client, to focus their attention away from their immediate realities and concerns and on to their inner experiences such as thoughts, feelings and imagery. The hypnotist further creates permissive alterations in the clients sensations, perceptions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour by directing them to imagine various events or situations that, were they to occur in reality, would evoke the intended changes. One dimension of the experience of hypnosis for which the term trance may be apposite is the extent to which clients are absorbed in the suggested experiences to the exclusion of their immediate surroundings and concerns…. The role of the hypnotic induction can be construed either as encouraging this internal absorption or increasing responsiveness to suggestions by enhancing motivation, commitment and expectancy. 
 
I will teach you self hypnosis methods to enable you to re-charge and maintain for yourself the change we have started whilst working together. 
 
The main advantage of hypnosis lies in its ability to use the many extra ordinary resources of the unconscious mind. You may have already tried to consciously change ( by yourself ) and have not been able to which is why you are reading this now. The conscious mind is not where your strength is nor is it where your needs and desires can be met most efficiently. Rather it is in the unconscious mind where you will find your motivations, assumptions about life and people, weaknesses and strengths. Hypnosis simply permits greater access to the unconscious mind’s resources that can be used to assist you in making a desired change. 
 
So, what is meant by the unconscious and conscious mind ? 
Consciousness is almost certainly unique to the human species – the conscious mind allows awareness of things, it allows you to analyze, reason, make judgements and consider right and wrong etc however the conscious mind can only pay attention to a few things at a time and it prioritises when necessary. 
 
Selective attention is therefore a characteristic of hypnosis in that the client focuses on the therapist’s communications and information is therefore managed through the conscious or unconscious selection of focal points.  
 
For example, when a therapist occupies ( gains the attention of ) a clients conscious mind that forms the ‘induction ( beginning )’ part of the hypnosis. The unconscious mind is where all of your experiences of life are stored, specifically learning, drives, motivations, needs and automatic functioning behaviours eg. riding a bike. It is not rigid or analytical and responds to experiential communications. It is capable of symbolic interpretation and tends to be global in view. 
Hypnosis disengages the critical conscious mind and connects with the much more open unconscious mind. 
 
Hypnosis could therefore be explained as a state more aligned with your unconscious mind where suggestions are more likely to be considered and pondered – rather than being pre-rejected by the conscious logic of deep self –beliefs. A place where you can connect with that which generates your feelings much more than that which generates your thoughts. 
 
However, what if you do not ‘ buy in ’ to the idea of a conscious / unconscious mind ? It may be clearer to consider that there are two major hemispheres that comprise the brain – the left and the right. The left hemisphere, sometimes called the verbal / logical hemisphere, is responsible for speech, reasoning, analysis and intellectual functions. 
 
 
 
 
It can be described as seeing the trees not the forest. The right hemisphere of the brain, often referred to as the silent/ intuitive hemisphere contains your intuition, your creativity, your world view and self image hence it sees the forest not the trees. The process of hypnosis in the left brain / right brain scheme of things is characterised as distracting and occupying your left hemisphere while utilizing the resources of your right hemisphere. Language that is sensory based, descriptive and emotional ( which hypnotic language generally is ) is more appealing to the right brain and as Paul Watzalwick states it is the language of Change. The left brain is considered the ‘conscious ‘ part and the right brain ‘ unconscious.’ 
 
Therefore for real change to occur through the use of hypnosis I listen to and utilise as much of the personal experiences and information that you chose to share with me as part of our change work in the hypnotherapy scripts that I write individually for you. Whilst I often use tried and tested scripts written by accomplished practitioners I always modify them using personal information you have shared with me to increase the effectiveness of the change or desired outcome we are looking to achieve. 
Hypnosis is not so much about restructuring your mental process, it’s about giving you a more complete view. 
 
Hypnosis is not going to ‘do’ anything to you. It could rather be described as progressive relaxation or guided fantasy, guided meditation, deep relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation and so on and whatever variation is used as long as a focussed state of attention is narrowed to suggestions offered and influence occurs, hypnosis is present. Hypnosis could also be described as a method of transmitting a message in a minimal noise environment. If the signal to noise ratio is reduced, the message is clearly received. 
 
One of the most frequent responses from friends when we are talking about hypnosis is that they think they can’t be hypnotised because of their varying preconceptions. However, trance like states are an everyday phenomena which are essential to living in a normal and healthy way. If a person cannot focus his/her attention, remember, imagine, behave in automatic ways and demonstrate other trance phenomena (s)he simply could not survive. 
PHYSIOLOGY 
Physiology : In the context of ‘what is going to happen ( to me )’ it may be reassuring to list some physiological factors. For example, any ( or all ) of the following may occur whilst you are experiencing hypnosis – 
 
1. Your breathing may slow and deepen 
2. Your heart rate may decrease 
3. Your body and facial muscles may relax. 
4. You may retain a fixed pose 
 
You may experience eye fixation, eye closure, your blinking movements may slow, your eyes may redden, your pallor/ colour may change. 
You may swallow and/ or have reduced awareness to external sounds, have delayed motor reaction, spontaneous rapid eye movement and you may experience body temperature changes. 
 
However, you are not unconscious or asleep. You will not necessarily be unable to recall anything that I say to you and if you do not want to be hypnotised then it will not be possible for me to hypnotise you. You cannot be made to do anything against your will, you will not reveal your deepest secrets, you cannot get stuck in a trance. 
 

HOW DOES HYPONOSIS WORK? 

So, how does hypnosis work ? 
 
Hypnosis is a result of a focussed and meaningful interaction between the therapist and the client. Therefore for me to be successful, I must be and will be responsive to your needs and must ( and will ) tailor my approach to those needs if you are going to be at all responsive to the possibilities for the change that I will make available. Our therapeutic relationship will be one of mutual interdependence with us each following the other’s leads while, paradoxically, at the same time allowing me to gently lead. I endeavour to look beyond your presenting symptom and search - where appropriate and with your permission - for deeper conflicts ( causes ) within you by using all the techniques available to me including hypnosis. I aim to provide you with tools and understanding that enables you to achieve your desired outcome and lasting change. For example, I could tell you to lose weight ( or whatever your presenting symptom may be ) or instead we could find out the meaning behind your weight, understand it and by understanding it give you the unique, individual, internal power to set a goal, achieve it and provide lasting change. 
 
‘ Power arises from meaning. It has to do with motive and it has to do with principle. Power is associated with that which supports the significance of life itself. It appeals to that part of human nature that we call ‘ noble ’ in contrast to force. Power appeals to what uplifts, dignifies and enobles. Force must always be justified, whereas power requires no justification. Force is associated with the partial, power the whole. ( David Hawkins : Power v Force 2002 ). 
 
In summary, hypnosis is very powerful indeed because you – the client - become empowered : you will find your own unique meaning in experiences with the aid of the various therapies offered by me and we can then restructure and reframe those experiences for the purpose of change. 
 
Hypnosis gives suggestions for desired changes on many different levels – changes in perception, feelings, thinking and behaviour. Hypnosis uses suggestions and guided imagery techniques to explore possible problems and conflicts that underlie any presenting complaints. 
 
I will set you tasks from time to time which are relevant to your treatment programme and homework to do outside of our sessions and I will show you how to use the various tools I use including hypnosis ( self-hypnosis ) so that you are able to use them yourself whenever you feel the need. 
 
‘ Hypnosis is a state of intense internal focus where deep reflection and understanding can occur without the constant distractions of the external world we live in. Hypnosis is relaxing and good for the cells in your body – the body responds to what you hold in your mind – so, if you are holding good thoughts ( or no thoughts ) in mind then the body can truly begin to relax and that is good for you at a cellular level. Hypnosis could be explained as 'the wrong word to use, the right word to use, a scary thing, a wonderful thing, a point of view'  
- John Glanville. 
 

ARE YOU INTERESTED? 

If you would like to work with me please give me a call - there will be no obligation to book an appointment and I will not rush you off the telephone. If we can find a way of working together that suits us then real lasting change can occur. 
 
Contact : Fiona 07968 106113 
 
 
 
 
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