What is Cognitive Behaviour Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis is a special way of using our psychological and physiological states

Hypnosis can be considered as a way of us using our natural psychological and physiological states to comply, and get on board with a central suggestion. That suggestion may be one that is provided by a hypnotherapist, who is acting as a guide or jockey, or to the person themselves who indulges in self hypnosis.

What do we mean by a physiological state? We refer to the focus on the body and its parts, our senses and the feelings they generate. What do we mean by a Psychological state? We refer to how we think, feel and act, our emotions and behaviours.

Hypnosis is a team effort and needs commitment

The process of hypnosis is one of collaboration, with each party securing and understanding their particular roles in a collaborate effort. The client allows themselves to fully participate and follow the guidance of the therapist, by using their imagination to evoke positive emotions and to develop in rehearsal, behaviour change within themselves. The same process can be done without the therapist in the form of self hypnosis.

Self guided hypnosis or hypnotherapy with a therapist requires the right mindset, commitment and practice. It is best to consider hypnosis in the realms of a learned skill rather that something magically that is done to you by a hypnotist.

In principle any person with the desire to do so, can be hypnotised and be hypnotised because they have that desire, of their own free will. To be hypnotised is not a state of unconsciousness or to be put in a state of sleep. Without your free will and consent to do so, you cannot be hypnotised.

Stage or Comedy Hypnosis

This is in stark contrast to stage hypnosis or comedy hypnosis which has very little to do with clinical hypnotherapy. Thee is allot going on in a stage hypnosis event, including other techniques and strategies of persuasion. There many things that sets this type of hypnosis apart that you begin to see they are quite different domains. Firstly a stage with an audience is not a quite private space of a therapy room. A stag is not a place to work through your inner struggles and other daemons. The pressure to comply on stage to the hypnotists instructions is unfathomably strong.

All is not what it may seem with a grey area between what is the show and what is the hypnosis. There are so many differences that stage hypnosis is really parked in a different domain than clinical hypnotherapy. You are not going to go on stage to seek help with anxiety for example.

The power of hypnotic suggestion and the Cognitive Behavioural approach to therapy

What is hypnotic suggestion? When we are in our place of hypnosis, research tells us we are more suggestible to suggestion. So what does that mean, and why does this matter? If we have a mechanism to be more open to accepting suggestion that is an incredibly powerful thing to draw on in an effort to illicit change within.

Therefore if we have the means of change, it would be logical to assume that if we marry the capability of change with some structured approach in cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to help identify what change is needed, In a nutshell this is the foundation of taking a holistic approach to therapy of combining hypnotherapy, behavioural therapy and cognitive therapy into a solution focus melting pot.

It cannot be stressed enough, for hypnosis to be able to deliver on a positive outcome, the client in the first instance needs to be in an accepting and positive mindset when it comes to responding to the hypnotherapist suggestions. Hypnosis will not make the client do something they do not want to do or do not buy into.

Suggestion vs Instruction

This has more to do with hypnotherapy than self hypnosis, as a client in hypnosis you will often be provided with an interwoven weave of information from the hypnotherapist in the form of both instruction and suggestion. We take our meanings from it through our senses, ideas, believes and cognitive processing. Instructions from the hypnotherapist tend to be in the form of adopting new strategies and suggestion follows to reinforce those strategies, The skill of the hypnotherapist act as the guide will make these transitions as seamless as possible. You as the client simply embrace the journey you are agreeing to embark on.

The core applications of Clinical Hypnotherapy

  • Anxiety and stress management – from work to public speaking to social anxiety and everything inbetween
  • Overcoming sleep disorders
  • The management of pain
  • Treating certain psychosomatic or stress-related illnesses.
  • Relaxation, thinking positively, and help improve your habitual feelings & behaviour.

Stress & Anxiety. For example, panic attacks, social anxiety, phobias, sexual anxiety, work-related stress, low confidence, etc.

Habits. Including mild addictions and bad habits, e.g., smoking, nail-biting, over-eating, etc. Hypnotherapists should not prescribe significant changes to diet or exercise unless they are qualified to do so. Change in the use ofcertain drugs may require specialist advice on withdrawal, etc.

Depressed Mood. A controversy surrounds the use of hypnotherapy to treat clinical depression because of ambiguity in the diagnosis. Severe cases of depression, especially where the disorder is mainly organic (endogenous) or accompanied by self-harm, suicidal ideation, or psychotic symptoms may be considered contra- indicated for hypnotherapy. However, mild cases of (so-called) “neurotic” or “reactive” depression, or sub-clinical “depressed mood” (dysphoria), may be closely-related to anxiety disorders and treatable by hypnotherapy.

Personal Development. For example, public speaking, study skills, sports performance, or creative and spiritual applications, etc.

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