While the idea of entering an altered mental state gives some people goose bumps, as hypnotherapists we know that we all experience this state in our everyday lives. Daydreaming, being deeply engrossed in a book or movie, or driving someplace and having no memory of the journey when you arrive are all examples of the hypnotic, relaxed state (or trance state).
Television and stage entertainment has encouraged many people to have imaginative, but incorrect ideas about hypnosis. Some people think, as a result of stage show antics, that members of the public are put under some sort of ‘spell’ and are under the control of the hypnotist. In fact, the opposite is true. A person in hypnosis is in a relaxed state and still very much aware of what’s going on around them and in control of what they do. Contrary to popular belief, you can't be made to do something that is against your will or ethics while in hypnosis. You can choose to come back to your normal state whenever you wish, and be fully awake, aware, and in control during the experience.
So What is Hypnosis Really About? How Effective is it?
Hypnotherapy is a type of complementary therapy that uses hypnosis, an altered state of consciousness to treat various long-term conditions and for changing or breaking certain habits and behaviours. It’s a talking, relaxing therapy undertaken during a very natural therapeutic state, very much like daydreaming, or gazing out of a window, or being absorbed in reading a book. Some say it can feel similar to that period between waking and sleeping when you are totally relaxed and calm, becoming aware but not quite awake. This behaviour is called a 'relaxed state of awareness' and is among the oldest phenomena known to man.
It is during this relaxed state of hypnosis that the mind is most open and receptive to learning new ways, new possibilities, change, transformation and seeing a different perspective. The individual remains in total control and could stop the session at any time.
All hypnosis, therefore, is effectively self-hypnosis and the hypnotherapist facilitates and guides the client’s thoughts in the direction that the client wishes them to go, to enable their transformation to take place.