What I find even more fascinating than this notion is that this miraculous transformation can actually take place but that my client is fully responsible for, and fully conscious of it. The mind is a powerful thing. All I do, as a hypnotherapist, is suggest that thoughts and imagination are directed in a particular way and in a particular direction, while the client is feeling very relaxed.
So I thought I’d share with you just a few of the basic techniques I have at my disposal, to use with my clients whatever issue they may come to see me with:
- Relaxation – although you don’t have to be fully relaxed in order for change to take place it is more easily accomplished if you are feeling calm. When you are in this state, your breathing and heart rate tend to regulate and you allow yourself to become more open to things which might be suggested to you.
- Having a focussed awareness - Hypnosis utilises a focussed awareness to allow you to concentrate on what is going on in your thoughts at any particular moment.
- Visualisation - if you can see yourself doing something, in your mind’s eye, you will be more likely to actually do it. I ask my clients to visualise themselves at some time in the future, making this as real an experience as it can be. I ask them to use all of their senses, not just their visual sense, to make this feel really real.
- Imagination – it is often said that imagination is the language of the subconscious mind. And it is often in the subconscious mind where deep-seated issues are rooted. It follows that it is in the subconscious mind where the answers lie. I often ask my clients to imagine what a particular part of their mind might look like. And, even though it might sound a bit strange, we hold a conversation with this particular part. Talking to the subconscious in this way (while being fully conscious of what is going on) can lead to amazing insights.
- Allowing yourself to be open to success. Some people think you have to believe in hypnosis in order for it to work. I prefer to say that you just need to allow yourself to be open to the possibility. There are a huge number of different techniques within the realm of hypnotherapy that may be utilised for any one presenting issue – some of them seem incredibly simple. And yet are incredibly effective, often giving rise to change at a quite profound level.
- Anchoring – you know how evocative smells are? Well smells are a sensory anchor. They are sensory experiences which act as a reminder of past emotions and previous times in your life, and enables you to bring all of the feelings associated with that time back to the present. While they are under hypnosis, I’ll often ask my clients to install a new physical anchor, for example, squeezing their thumb and forefinger together while feeling really confident and positive. With practise, all they will need to do in order to feel those confident feelings again is squeeze their thumb and forefinger together. The mind and body working in harmony.
- Repetition – like so many other things, we become good at things we do over and over again. This helps to set up new neural pathways in our brain. So, if you want to be able to respond to situations in life in a calmer way then it’s a good idea to take time out for moments of relaxation a number of times every day. I very often give recordings of my hypnotherapy sessions to my clients and ask them to listen to them once or twice a day. This helps to install those new neural pathways and make them strong.
- Seeing things as they really are – all too often our minds get clouded with judgements, worries, self-limiting beliefs, and lack of confidence. Hypnosis can enable you to see the true picture more clearly with all the different options that might be available to you when you are able to simply let go of this self-sabotage.
- Compassion – no matter what you’re experiencing at this point in time, you (like everyone else) are simply doing the best you can to live life. Very rarely do we give ourselves credit for this. And we should!
- Breathing – our breathing is like a bridge between our minds and bodies. When we become aware of our breathing, and perhaps what it’s trying to tell us, we put ourselves in a better position in order to deal with what’s going on. When we’re feeling stressed our breathing will tell us by becoming quicker and more shallow. When we notice this we can choose to alter our breathing so that it’s slower and deeper. After a while, this sends a message to our brain that our body is feeling calmer now so there is no need to worry. Again, it’s that mind/body connection working in harmony.
So, as you can see, some of the techniques that are used in hypnotherapy are really very simple and yet are so incredibly powerful. It takes teamwork to achieve results – the hypnotherapist guiding and suggesting new thought processes and courses of action; the client motivated and open to changes taking place, and willing to play their part in things too.
You can try any of these techniques for yourself (this page will help you get started) and see the benefits that they bring but to benefit fully it’s a good idea to be guided by a fully qualified hypnotherapist such as myself.