Hypnotherapy is the process of being led by a trained hypnotherapist into a relaxed trance-like state, which is one that you naturally go in and out of all the time. The best way to describe the feeling of having hypnosis is that it is like being in a deep state of mental and physical relaxation, similar to being deeply engrossed in reading a book or listening to music, absorbed in your own thoughts, or carrying out an activity whilst feeling you are on automatic pilot. In this natural state of relaxation, your senses become heightened and you can access and build inner resources to enable you to create the change you want. You are in complete control throughout the whole process and, contrary to popular belief, can talk and move around when you are in a state of hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is based on research into how the brain functions, with findings suggesting that our minds are made up of two different elements. The conscious part, which governs the rational and logical processes of the mind and can only hold a small amount of information at one time, is used about 10% of the time. The unconscious part is used 90% of the time, has a vast storage capacity and is completely irrational. It holds everything that has ever happened to us and contains many thoughts, emotions and memories of which we are not consciously aware. What we know from studies is that what we think, feel and remember at an unconscious level greatly influences our behaviour, the decisions we make, how successful we are, our self-esteem and the way we react to other people – all without us even being aware of it!
These two parts of the mind are in constant communication with each other, passing information back and forth without us even being aware that it’s happening. As you can imagine, if the unconscious part of our mind is not working with the conscious mind, then change can be a real struggle and we normally find ourselves reverting to old ways in a very short space of time, despite the best of intentions. Through hypnosis you can access the unconscious part of your mind to bring about positive and permanent change to the way in which you think, feel, act and react to situations.