Hypnotherapy comes from the Greek word “hypnos” which means sleep and the Greek word “therapeia” which means to give a service. The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders defines it as a combination of hypnosis and therapeutic intervention. Its main purpose is to coax the client’s inhibiting factors into opening up to a more positive direction. Since these inhibiting factors are rooted deeply into the client’s subconscious, there is a need to put the client in a more accepting state that can only be reached through hypnosis.
The application of hypnosis as a form of therapy is numerous. People going through emotional pain, having anxiety attacks or debilitating fears can benefit greatly from it. This would range from having difficulty in coping with death or loss of a loved one, to fears of going to the dentist, job interviews or of flying. It can also be used to help people deal with obsessions or addictions such as smoking, gambling and weight-related issues. Seemingly mundane problems such as nail biting or hair pulling can also be covered.
While it does sound promising, seeking a hypnotherapist should be done with careful consideration. Clients must be aware that certificates or training alone may not be sufficient basis in choosing the suitable therapist for them. Solid experience and, if possible, recommendations from their own physicians or their trusted mental health professional must be given more consideration in their selection. Otherwise, if they fall prey to amateurs or shady therapists, they may not be able to attain the full benefits of hypnosis or worse, may even complicate their existing disorders.
Once the qualified therapist is chosen, a client can expect to be attending a number of sessions in him or her personally or, in some cases, through the telephone. They would first be discussing the particular issues of the client and the latter should also use this time to understand the process, share expectations and ask questions if necessary.
Thereafter, the therapist can then apply hypnosis to the client for him or her to enter a state of calm and focus, albeit without loss of awareness as often misunderstood. Upon reaching that point, the therapist can then proceed to make positive suggestions to encourage the client to incorporate these into their subconscious mind. It is at this stage that the client is most receptive to the suggestions.
There would be subsequent sessions so the progress of the client can be monitored well. Hypnotherapy, if properly applied and conducted, often results to significant and positive changes in the client.
From Rachel Ford – Clinical Hypnotherapist & Personal Change Coach