My work consists of an array of therapeutic practices taken from elements of the Cognitive theory, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. This practice is specifically referred to as Cognitive Hypnotherapy.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy – the use of ‘hypnosis’ or ‘hypnotic-states’ as a therapeutic tool.
Despite what it is occasionally depicted as on TV and in the media, Hypnosis is by no means a special state of unconsciousness in which you have no control. It is actually the opposite. In a state of Hypnosis you have a heightened level of awareness which enables you to accept ideas about thoughts and behaviours that you would have otherwise had no control over. Many people hold strong beliefs about their limitations such as “I’ll never lose weight” or “I’ll always be unconfident”. The use of hypnosis can help you fundamentally change this.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy vs. Traditional Hypnotherapy
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a framework that draws upon the affective approaches offered across a wide range of psychological therapy types. These approaches are included into the treatment program based on their relevance and application to your issue(s). This means that although we operate within a framework, what happens in it will be entirely based on your specific circumstances. Everything from our question types to use of language will be different from person to person. Believe it or not, standard treatment formats are very common within traditional hypnotherapy which means that often people are paying for a 1 suit fits all approach, this is where Cognitive Hypnotherapy differs.
Given that the use of hypnotic states are a therapeutic tool to Cognitive Hypnotherapists, we use them in a number of ways which don’t always conform to the stereotype of being ‘hypnotised’. This means that some of our techniques are conversational and involve teaching you practical skills to use outside of the session. We don’t believe that the depth of someone’s ‘trance’ is in any way linked to the effectiveness of a technique. It is the suitability of the technique which makes the difference.
The Role of the Conscious and Unconscious Mind
The mind has a conscious and an unconscious element. To put it simply, there are thoughts, responses and instinctive reactions that exist in your mind of which some you are aware of and some you are not.
There are events in your everyday life that you are consciously aware of such as, when someone calls your name amongst a crowd of people or adding up the total cost of shopping in your basket. These are things that cross our awareness threshold and do so based on how relevant they are to us at any moment in time. One of the disadvantages of our conscious mind is that it takes time... too much time in fact which is why we have an unconscious mind to react quicker and more instinctively. The behaviour of the unconscious mind acts without question, concern or even control. Think about how you would instinctively cover your eyes at splashing water or how you feel that churning sensation in your stomach when you step off a curb you weren't expecting to be there. That feeling is adrenaline being dumped into your system to prepare you for the pain of falling over... an instruction sent by your unconscious mind.
These automatic responses are like programs. Some of them were written before you were born as a product of evolution (like our natural ability to grasp something if we think we are falling) but the majority of our instinctive behaviours are the result of lessons we learn in life. Many of our problems are rooted in these lessons through the way we interpret experiences which is why a lot of Cognitive Hypnotherapy is aimed at helping you ‘unlearn’ habits and ways of being so you can finally redefine your ideal version of you.