What is Hypnotherapy?

By Paul Holcroft, an International Credited Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner

 

There are many external and internal forces that cause stress within our bodies and these stresses throw our lives out of balance. Hypnotherapy healing is based on the concept of making whole… it is holistic in nature and is about removing stress and emotional blockages and bringing about harmony and balance within.

 

Hypnotherapy is similar in many ways to counselling except a hypnotherapist works on a deeper level… the unconscious mind and, can involve several different methodologies within the session including; Erickson Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy and Body Wisdom.

 

The outcomes and powerful results that can be achieved through hypnotherapy are many and varied and can include personal, professional, emotional and health benefits at extraordinary levels.

 

Many people have a fear or are sceptical of hypnosis. This is due to television and stage performances which portray people being put under hypnosis against their will. The reality is hypnosis is not something that is done to you. The hypnotherapist, utilizing different deep mindful techniques, is merely the guide that leads you to a state of deep relaxation and a state of heightened mental awareness.

 

Once in this state of deep relaxation and heightened awareness you are able to communicate with the unconscious part of your mind where you can uncover any unconscious patterns you may be running that are controlling your life… and many times you are not even consciously aware that these patterns even existed.

 

Hypnotherapy empowers you with tools that you can use to adjust and tweak these unconscious patterns to better serve you and the goals you have for your life. Hypnotherapy allows you to transform yourself… and the transformation happens from the inside out… it comes from within. The transformation comes from the insights you discover inside (the unconscious mind)… not from the external information you receive (conscious mind).

 

Did you know that many famous people from all walks of life including sports stars, business executives, professional speakers, singers, stage actors and movie stars use hypnotherapy on a regular basis to remove stage fright, emotional stress, self-confidence and self-esteem issues as well as keeping themselves positively on track with their life goals. Hypnotherapy is one of the most powerful methods for getting permanent results. You only need to Google this to discover more.

 

You see there’s nothing strange or mysterious about hypnotherapy. It’s just a profession like any other profession. Hypnotherapists are trained professionals just like a psychologist or a solicitor or an architect… except in our case we are a profession that leads the way for business goal setting, getting the right mindset, creating abundance, tackling self-confidence and self-esteem issues, dealing with stress, anxiety and panic attacks, phobias, pain management, quitting cigarettes, weight-loss, sports performance enhancement and many, many other issues people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. And it all has to do with the power of the unconscious mind.

 

You may have heard people describe the mind in many different ways but let’s look at the structures of the mind – the conscious part of the mind and the unconscious part of the mind. The conscious mind being what we are consciously aware of at any point in time in the present moment. The conscious mind is where we do all the analysing an evaluating. It is where we make all the day-to-day decisions.

 

The unconscious mind is where everything else is stored, everything we have ever seen, heard, felt, smelt or experienced… good and bad… much of which, we may no longer be even consciously aware of. Your unconscious mind is also responsible for all of the body’s automatic functions. It makes your eyes blink, your heart beat, makes you breath faster or slower when you need to.  It digests your food and controls your hormones.

 

What I am saying, metaphorically speaking is to look at your unconscious mind as your automatic pilot. Your unconscious mind runs your life for you.

 

Every event and experience you have ever witnessed is all stored in the subconscious mind. All learning, all behaviour, all change is in fact programmed into your unconscious mind. And you have been programming things you learn, beliefs, values, morals, habits (good and bad) and all sorts of other things into your unconscious mind since the day you were born. These habits and beliefs then create neurological patterns.

 

When we learn things, we store them in the unconscious mind and they become automatic.  You see, everything you do automatically, without thinking, is an unconscious habit. Even you’re breathing… it just happens for you.

 

If you run and your body needs more oxygen pumped to the cells in your muscles, you don’t need to think about it, you automatically breathe faster and heavier and your heart rate increases to pump that extra oxygen around your body quickly to get it to where it is needed. Your unconscious mind takes care of all of the body’s autonomic functions for you.

 

When you need to think about something to do it – it is a conscious process. For example when you first learnt to read, you really had to think about every letter – every sound – and just take in small pieces of information at a time – because that is all the conscious mind can handle.

 

When you learnt to drive a car – it was think, think, think … gears … blinkers … brake … check mirrors ….  And so on. It was difficult concentrating on so many things at once. That’s because the tiny conscious part of the mind gets overloaded very easily.

 

So what happens is that when we practice something over and over again, the conscious mind downloads that information to the powerful unconscious mind which then handles all those sorts of things and they become automatic – an easy habitual behaviour.

 

So you learn something, you practice it, you relegate it to the unconscious mind, the unconscious takes over that function for you – and then you get access to it on automatic pilot. So you see, when you no longer need to think about something … when you do it automatically, it is unconscious.

 

It has been programmed into the unconscious mind which then takes it on board as an automatic behaviour or habit.  Now some of these habits and learning are useful – like driving a car or reading and writing.  But some habits and learning are not useful – such as smoking or overeating … or phobias or panic attacks.

 

Whatever we program into the unconscious mind will become an automatic function that is no longer under our conscious control.

 

You may have tried previously to change unhealthy habits or unwanted programmed responses with conscious willpower but how hard is that?  You see, the reality is we come hardwired to actually protect those old habits because it’s the job of the unconscious mind hold onto them.

 

It doesn’t forget or let go of them. It holds onto them to protect us and keep us alive. You don’t unlearn something that you have programmed in. And remember… the unconscious mind does not analyse whether it is a good or bad habit or response or program… it simply accepts what you have programmed into it, runs that program and holds onto to it to protect us.

 

Take for instance; driving a car, you wouldn’t all of a sudden forget what you have to do. The unconscious mind holds onto everything so we don’t have to relearn them all over again… it is our survival mechanism. The unconscious mind protects the body by protecting the habits and learning that you have formed and programmed into the subconscious mind.

 

That’s right!  The unconscious mind never forgets. That’s why when you consciously try to break a bad habit, the unconscious mind holds onto it… to protect you… and it feels like there’s a battle going on inside. This is because that is exactly what is happening. There is an inner conflict between the conscious and the unconscious mind.

 

So whenever you try to stop smoking or lose weight, or break any of those unwanted habits or responses, the conscious mind may be trying to release it – but the unconscious mind hold on to it because it thinks it is protecting you..

 

So it naturally follows that when you want to make changes to these programmed patterns and behaviours the changes must be made at an unconscious level… and this is what is achieved through hypnotherapy.  Hypnotherapy, simply stated, bypasses the conscious mind and speaks directly to and reprograms the unconscious mind.

 

By using hypnotherapy we can bypass all that difficult practice/relearning stage… the hard way… and then changing unwanted habits and behaviours becomes easy… an automatic process.

 

It is a method of controlling or breaking a habit in a quick, easy and effortless way and regaining control of our lives.  And when hypnotherapy is done correctly, that’s exactly what happens.

 

So where do habits come from?  Let’s look at smoking. Many people tried smoking in their younger days because it was ‘cool’ or for some other ‘feel good’ reason. They did it consciously and battled through the coughing and spluttering – the awful taste – and then they kept repeating this behaviour until the unconscious mind said okay… I’ve got it… I’ll make this an automatic habit for you.

 

And the unconscious mind programmed it in as a ‘feel good’ habit because at the time, that’s what it was… it was “cool” or you felt part of a group, or you believed it relaxed you. And from that moment onwards you became a smoker.

 

Now you can tell yourself consciously “I will not smoke, I will not smoke, I will not smoke” but you find yourself desperately wanting to reach out for a cigarette because the conscious mind is the thinking part of the mind but the unconscious mind is the feeling emotional part of the mind… and it runs the show.

 

The unconscious mind is much larger, much stronger and far more powerful… it’s your survival mechanism. And your feelings (emotions) will always over-ride your conscious thoughts unless you elicit tremendous will-power.

 

Therefore, it is a simple fact that when you try making changes consciously, it is difficult because the unconscious mind holds the power and it will keep running the programmed behaviour – in this case, smoking because it is programmed in as a “feel good” habit.

 

The reason hypnotherapy is so powerful in changing unconscious habits and behaviours, is because you do not have to consciously try over and over again to think a certain way or to behave a certain way. Hypnotherapy speaks directly to the unconscious mind so the change is instantaneous – automatic. It makes it easy and effortless… and it makes it permanent.

 

So now that we know that hypnotherapy is a totally normal and natural everyday occurring state where you’re totally safe and in totally in control, the question is, does hypnotherapy really work? The answer is a definite yes.

 

So as you can now see, during a therapeutic hypnotherapy session, you and the hypnotherapist are working together toward the same positive outcome. This is the reason we tailor our programs so carefully for each individual and the reason we maintain such a high level of success.

 

What makes our practice so unique is the advanced processes and innovative techniques we use to address the individual requirements of each client. We conduct a free first session to talk about your particular challenge and see if we are indeed able to help and, if not, we will gladly refer you to the appropriate professional.

 

Many studies, conducted over long periods of time, have proven the success of hypnotherapy and, modern technology is now actually scientifically able to monitor its effectiveness. So it certainly works and not only that, we have, over time, actually improved it. Our advanced hypnotherapy techniques are achieving phenomenal success in many different areas… and normally in just one session.