How can hypnotherapy help me?
Happy new year! We hear that greeting so many times at the beginning of the year and we return it with feelings of goodwill to others. How much thought do we actually give to the deeper meaning behind it I wonder? Perhaps a happy new year brings with it hope for change in our life. Many of us begin January with new year resolutions that will make our life more satisfying and fulfilled. We might decide that this year we are going to lose weight and eat healthily or become fitter by exercising on a regular basis. Most of us recognise these common aspirations and statistics show how gym membership rises steeply at this time of year.
Perhaps our hopes for this new year are more nuanced and the goals we want to achieve have a less obvious pathway to reach them. If, for example, you are someone who lacks confidence and is held back either socially or at work because of an inability to grasp opportunities then what can you do? How do you become more confident so that you can try for a new job or take up a new leisure activity? What do you do if fear prevents you from driving or flying or perhaps stops you from simply chatting to people in a relaxed way? Is there something we can do that can bring about changes in us and meet these types of goals?
Of course the answer is a resounding Yes. Hypnotherapy!
Sangha House offers hypnotherapy to its members because it is fundamentally concerned with mental well-being. Just as meditation through exercise is designed to promote physical and spiritual health, hypnotherapy can provide long term mental well being. The therapy focuses on finding positive solutions to the problems affecting people. What does that actually mean you might ask? Let me give you an example… A client may be suffering from anxiety and stress which is affecting her quality of life at home, her relationships and/or her work performance. A solution focused approach would start to look for ways to improve self esteem, time management, leisure pursuits, understanding of different personalities, exercise and many other areas of life. Most importantly this positive approach would use the client’s own ideas and preferences for solutions – each person has the right solution within him or her and the therapist helps to draw those solutions out.
Within a therapy session time is always made for encouraging the client to think about how the future might be different and better. Creating a ‘preferred future’ is a way of enabling the subconscious mind to consider a more positive approach to living and behaving. It might be that the client imagines how much more relaxed home life would be if he didn’t get cross with the kids. Perhaps the imagined change would be to plan and prioritise more at work so as to reduce stress. Our imagination helps us to conceive of a better situation which we can then focus on and move gently towards.
Focusing on change brings us to the role of hypnosis as part of the therapy. Trance work, as it is called, is above all relaxing and enjoyable. It is the chance to feel both deeply relaxed and yet still perfectly in control. Hypnotic trance is actually something we all experience everyday but we call it something different…. day dreaming. When we are focused on a good film or a book, when we drive somewhere without consciously thinking about driving then we are in an hypnotic trance. This natural state is achieved during therapy by relaxation techniques and visualisation. The therapist can then gently put forward positive ideas to the receptive subconscious mind to help promote change. It is a powerful tool that effectively enhances the progress made with the talking therapy.
Last but certainly not least is the role of neuroscience within hypnotherapy. People might be surprised to find that understanding how the brain works is also an important part of each session. Why? When we suffer with anxiety, depression, OCD, addictions or any other mental health issues, it is enormously reassuring to understand why we are suffering. It puts our problems into perspective and as we make progress our knowledge of what is going on inside our mind becomes an invaluable tool for change. An understanding that can keep us on track for the rest of our life.
The job of the hypnotherapist is to help people towards developing long term resilience and mental well being. These in turn create a firm foundation for withstanding and making the most of whatever life might have in store for them. It also means that those new year aspirations and resolutions really can come true!
By Victoria Droy