By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT
This article is devoted to the benefits of hypnosis over other ways of working in helping you create the life that you love. Whatever your starting point may be, hypnosis can help you get to the next stage and to overcome the current blocks standing in your way.
Many clients who come for hypnosis have spent years in talk based psychotherapy, attending appointments week after week without ultimately feeling any better.
The key point to make here is that talking ‘about’ issues activates the neo cortex- or in other words conscious rational thought. And- perhaps because it was a late development in terms of the history of the human brain, the neocortex is not able to communicate with the subconscious mind.
And when you consider that the subconscious mind makes up somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of our minds, and the conscious mind by all estimates no more than ten, you can see easily why working in the realm of talk alone is highly unlikely to benefit you much.
I am not saying that there isn’t a place for counselling, psychotherapy and coaching. Talking things through with a professional can be helpful if you need or want to share your issue with someone, especially if that professional is supportive and understanding. Sometimes we need a witness to our experience- someone who is not involved with our immediate lives.
In comparison, hypnosis addresses the subconscious mind. By stimulating your imagination, inbuilt self healing capacity and your creativity it helps you create change. That's why hypnosis gets results where other therapies fail and getting results is the biggest of all hypnosis benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of using hypnosis- given you are working with an experienced hypnotist- ideally with someone who does NOT use prepared scripts, but who will interact with you live throughout the entire session, is that hypnosis can get you fast and effective change. Whatever your issues may be, you will likely only require a small number of sessions before you experience substantial relief and see progress.
Regression hypnosis can be very effective and fast. Suggestion hypnosis built into a dynamic hypnosis session can be powerful, it also works really well when done as self hypnosis at home.
If you are working with a hypnotist who uses only scripts (reads out text while you are in trance) and does nothing else with you, you might be as well to purchase a self hypnosis session at a fraction of the price of a one-to-one session and work with that at home.
Working with self hypnosis and suggestion hypnosis on your own is very nurturing for your mind. The rate of change you achieve here will be very individual- having said that it is bound to be faster (and much more economical) than attending talk therapy.
I have already named one of the biggest advantages of using hypnosis- its ability to create change by working directly at the source- your subconscious mind.
I have said already that talk therapy and coaching will activate the neo-cortex and their effectiveness will be limited to that realm unless employing special techniques that can make the bridge to the subconscious- to feelings, emotions, body sensations, desires, memories, creativity and so on.
Hypnosis, by employing techniques like putting you in trance, using confusion, ambiguity, fractionation and other methods, distracts your conscious mind and takes it off guard so that working with the subconscious becomes easy.
And because the subconscious is where your ‘issues’ reside, working at the source will bring better results- simple as that.
Trying to process trauma with talk therapy is virtually impossible if talk therapy tools are all the therapist has at his or her disposal. I went through years of this kind of frustration when using talk therapy tools early on in my career.
The very odd time you will get situations with client when traumatic material emerges spontaneously and presents in a way where it is ready to be processed. But beyond that, most of the time and with most clients my experience was that trying to work with traumatic material through the conscious mind feels as though the traumatic memory you are trying to get at with the client has a magnetic field around it that will repel both of you, and the harder you try to get at it, the stronger that magnetic field will become.
The reason for this is that when you are in an ordinary state of consciousness, your amygdala- your brain’s warning system that constantly scans for dangers, will be very active. And as long as the amygdala is highly active, the ‘guard systems’ in the conscious mind will be fully switched on.
These guard systems, by using mechanisms like prejudice, psychological biases and negative emotions, will prevent the client from engaging with anything new and unfamiliar that questions the mind’s status quo. The conscious mind deems novelty to be a ‘danger’.
In contrast, when working with traumatically encoded issues through hypnosis, by using even a shallow trance, the hypnotist can make your amygdala feel safe and take those guards offline for the duration of the session. Trauma can then be processed safely, and without a sense of overwhelm. This makes hypnosis a safe tool for processing any trauma big or small.
When you work with a hypnotist who uses regression hypnosis or works in dynamic and content free ways that don’t rely primarily on prepared scripts, you can be sure you will achieve permanent change that will stand by you and will help you to change your life for the better.
With hypnotherapy, you can achieve change in any area you want: you can quit smoking, lose weight, heal your body and emotions, improve your mental health and later program yourself for success and for living the life of your dreams.
If you are working with self hypnosis at home, you will have to keep up your practice regularly in order to achieve and then maintain the changes you make, but this is a good thing to do anyway in terms of having a daily practice that keeps you steady and helps your personal development.
Last but not least hypnosis sessions are now commonly provided online so that you can experience the benefits of hypnosis from the comfort of your own home. This facility is much more common in the hypnosis world than it is in the talk therapy world which is still largely relying on face to face appointments.
Working online, in my experience, works equally as well with hypnotherapy as working face to face. I see the future of therapy, coaching and hypnosis as being primarily online. Working online saves time and saves travel expenses- all important factors to consider in a fast moving world.
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