About Hypnotherapy / Clinical Hypnosis
Clinical Hypnosis is a treatment modality utilized by a professional, typically in the mental health or medical healthcare fields, for the benefit and wellbeing of the person being hypnotized; as opposed to stage hypnosis, which is utilized for entertainment. Stage hypnosis, which is not what we are interested in here, is a form of hypnosis whereby a hypnotist interacts with a willing subject and facilitates that individual’s desire to go into trance and perform in front of an audience. The individual would not do anything in trance that they would not do out of trance; therefore, the individual is ultimately participating in the stage act and would do so willingly anyway.Stage hypnosis IS NOT Clinical Hypnosis.
Clinical hypnosis has been referred to as a trance state where ones attention may shift to a more inward focused, contemplative state, where during this heightened sense of awareness one is able to tap into already existing resources within that can facilitate adaptations or changes in one’s life, according to the individual’s own intentions. Humans go in and out of trance all day long.
If you have ever noticed that frequently, throughout the day, one may stop what they’re doing just for a moment, drift off, possibly looking into the distance (sometimes referred to as daydreaming), and then refocuses again on the task at hand, after a short period of non-attention. Humans shift in an out of trance in a cyclical pattern about every 90-120 minutes and this is referred to as one’s own ultradian rhythm, which happens during the course of each and every 24hour day (circadian rhythm). In fact, clinical hypnosis is simply a state where one has utilized this natural rhythm, has focused attention on something in particular, has simply let go and relaxed, or has possibly shifted focus to absolutely nothing at all; or an interspersed combination of all three.
Hypnotherapy utilizes clinical hypnosis in order to set up and provide fertile ground for possible adjustment and/or change in one’s life, recalibration, the clearing of problematic, intrusive thoughts, the modification of undesirable behaviors, and offers a variety of other uses. Hypnotherapy provides an opportunity to clarify one’s intentions that are to ultimately be put on the table for consideration by the unconscious.
In clinical hypnosis it can be possible to bypass the critical filtering of the conscious mind, thus permitting direct communication with the unconscious, where the block or problematic issue may lie. The individual is always in control and can stop the session at any time. It matters not how quickly or how slowly one drops into trance, and it matters not how deeply or lightly one drops in either. It is about the individual’s own personal experience. The integrity and character of each client is maintained during clinical hypnosis and the individual is free to process the experience in whatever way they choose; that is to say, they may choose to discuss their own experiences during the hypnosis session, or to allow their experiences to remain confidential and keep it to themselves. The individual is not bombarded with intrusive questions nor put on the spot without time to consider the consequences of any answer that might be forthcoming. Clinical hypnosis is utilized in a compassionate and respectful manner with the client’s wishes in mind and is not utilized to dredge up things from the past which the client chooses not to reinvestigate. The session is all about the individual finding themselves at ease and comfortable, as ready as they feel they want to be to implement change.
Clinical hypnosis provides a time for the unconscious mind to pick up on any intentions that an individual may have on the table for implementing into their own lives. Whereas each person naturally, through their own ultratian rhythms, can pick up on their own conscious intentions; clinical hypnosis can draw clearer and more focused attention to them, thus providing an exponentially greater propensity towards the unconscious picking up on the intentions at hand. Guided imagery as well as the individual’s own imagination and openness to suggestion can contribute to the process.
Examples and/or practical uses for clinical hypnosis could be: smoking cessation, weight loss or adjustment, reduction of chronic pain, abstinence from alcohol or drugs, improved public speaking, reduction of test anxiety, discontinuance of nail biting, migraine headaches, gastrointestinal problems, clearing of traumatic events (war, rape, sexual abuse), improvement of depressed mood, stabilization of mood fluctuations, reduction of anxiety, improvement of sleep problems, improved concentration, improvement of sexual dysfunctions, behavior modification, help with internet addictions, improved performance in sports or the workplace, along with all sorts of other uses. Clinical hypnosis is utilized by professionals in various fields as a treatment modality to improve the health and wellbeing of the individual client. In collaboration, the healthcare professional and client utilize this wonderful and effective tool to move closer to the individual’s goals.
About two to five percent of what we say and do every day is conscious, which means that ninety-five to ninety-eight percent is going on at the level of the unconscious. The way one thinks, feels, acts, communicates, relates to others, observes, or responds, etc., is mostly done at the level of the unconscious; and as scary as it may be to think about, those individuals that we experience on a daily basis during the course of our lives are existing in the same way. So we all, as humans, exist and interact with others using primarily the unconscious mind to govern what does or doesn’t happen.
When the conscious and unconscious are not on the same page about something, unfortunately, the unconscious typically wins out and this is expressed in thoughts, actions and feelings. Whereas an undesirable behavior can become problematic and the individual is consciously aware of the undesirable behavior, and knowingly hasn’t been able to change it, when clinical hypnosis is utilized, and the individuals own resources are tapped into, the behavior can, in many cases, be changed or stopped completely. During therapy sessions the topics of the day are discussed, possibly reframed, outlined, and placed more or less on the table as an offering for the unconscious to consider implementing.
Then, through the use of clinical hypnosis, a time of clear mindedness, stillness, heightened awareness, and an openness to change is facilitated, whereby the individual can take that precise opportunity to access their own resources and integrate the intentions for the day with the already existing resources deep within the unconscious, and move forward on a potential path to achieving the goals outlined. Over time, in ways that one may never predict, these intentions, these goals, may begin to manifest, to unfold in positive ways, all for the benefit of the individual. The question then, “Could clinical hypnosis possibly be useful during the course of therapy?” would produce an answer of, “Yes”. Although individual results and responses vary, it can be said that it is absolutely possible clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help in many cases.