Hypnosis is a dreamlike state of consciousness, that has been used for centuries to promote healing. It is best explained as a state of extreme physical and mental relaxation, whereby the patient experiences a sense of detachment from reality and a heightened suggestibility.
Hypnotherapy has been effective with helping to treat anxiety, phobias, stress, pain relief and as a tool for dealing with addictions.
Hypnotherapists consider that the workings of the mind have a direct effect on the body and aim to stimulate subconscious problem-solving and healing mechanisms to affect mental and physical processes. Hypnotherapy is increasingly accepted as a legitimate form of therapy.
Consulting a therapist
Most hypnotherapists agree that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist's role is to guide you into a trance. The technique used to induce a trance vary from practioner to practitioner but are basically the same.
You cannot be hypnotised against your will and you can rouse yourself from a trance whenever you really wish to do so. Nor can you be made to do anything under hypnosis that you find offensive.
The techniques used to induce a trance vary from one practitioner to another, but the basic principles are the same.
A course of hypnotherapy will usually begin with a full consultation. The therapist will ask you for details of your medical history and discuss any current physical or psychological problems. They will also explain what will happen during hypnosis, and the number of sessions that are likely to be required. This will vary according to the nature of problem being treated.