“Hypnosis is not only a tool to make wonderful changes in your life. It’s a way to de-stress. Your pulse slows. Your blood pressure comes down. When that happens, you see things more clearly. You’re primed for making changes”.
I am trained in the Ericksonian hypnotherapy modality. This particular hypnosis style was created and used by the psychiatrist, Milton Erickson. He is deemed by various scholars as ‘the father of modern hypnotherapy’.
I am aware of the negative pre-conceived notions surrounding the word ‘hypnosis’ whereby people think of shows or performances where one person controls another and makes them do acts against their will. This is not at all what I do. I thus prefer the term ‘hypnotherapy’. This is ultimately a deepened state of relaxation and similar to that of a guided meditation experience or an imaginative journey. This state of deepened relaxation allows the body and mind to slow down and enables an easier access point to the subconscious mind. At all times the client is in control and aware. At most I have had some clients become so relaxed that they fall asleep. This still allows the technique to work and it is able to effectively target the subconscious mind. The hypnotherapy content is based on the client’s individual therapeutic needs.
This form of hypnotherapy is a passive process whereby the client sits or lies comfortably and listens to my voice and background relaxation music for the full session. No communication is required from the client. Their only task is to listen and try to relax. My first step is to relax the body; this helps teach the client to de-stress. Research shows that this lowers anxiety levels by lowering blood pressure and slowing one’s breathing and heart rate. These body relaxation techniques can then be used during stressful or anxiety provoking situations by the client as a coping mechanism. Once the body is relaxed, the second step is to relax the mind and plant helpful seeds in the client’s subconscious mind to help them overcome their challenges. This is largely through using indirect suggestions, metaphors, storytelling and imaginative journeys to tackle entrenched symptoms or alter ineffective behaviours. Verbal reassurances are created throughout the hypnotherapy session that the client is safe and in control.
This form of hypnotherapy is flexible and tailored to each client’s specific needs and challenges that they may be facing. The idea is that this deepened state of relaxation allows for the unconscious mind to be listening more actively which helps result in therapeutic change within the client.