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What is hypnotherapy?

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Experienced hypnotist Elise De Viell tells us all about this style of therapy.

Hypnotherapy is a mixture of both talking therapy and the use of hypnosis, or trance. When we are in hypnosis, we are in a state focused attention, not relaxation as is commonly thought, although many clients find hypnosis relaxing. Our minds are actually very active during hypnosis, even more so than in a usual waking state at times.

Types of hypnotherapy

There are so many different types of hypnotherapy, and many different schools of thought on how to help clients to be at their very best. I use mainly solution focused coaching to support clients to work out where they want to be in life, and the use of hypnosis and trance helps to cement all of that in. Specialist techniques for trauma, and fears and phobias, a little bit of NLP and positive psychology are also often incorporated into sessions depending on who is sitting in front of me.

So why do people choose hypnotherapy over other therapies on offer?

The way I work is mainly based in the here and now, and immediate future, that’s not to say I am 'past phobic' if there are things that we need to talk through we do, often recognising a person’s strengths and resources becomes evident through this. Most of the time we are building a picture if how we want things to be. Our minds are fantastic when given the right direction of travel. If we start to tell ourselves the things that we want, rather than focusing on those that we don’t, you'd be surprised at how much of a difference that switch in focus makes. The hypnosis part of the session allows our wonderful minds go into a fantastic processing state, very similar to REM (rapid eye movement - our dream sleep) so that it starts to work on finding was to make it possible.

When we look at EEG scans of the brain when an individual is in hypnosis, you can literally see the prefrontal cortex (-the logical, rational, creative part of the brain) light up! There is also decreased activity in the more primitive areas if the brain (the emotional, fight or flight area). During trance there is also an increase in theta brain wave activity, where our mind is at it’s most creative.

The fact that our minds cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, is also utilised in hypnosis. You can imagine that you are the most confident, vibrant, calm and in control person whilst using hypnosis, doing all the things that you want to do, in exactly the way the we you want to do it…..and guess what? your mind starts to think -YES! I CAN do this!

Who can benefit from hypnotherapy?

Around 90% of my clients come to see for anxiety and/or depression related conditions, which may affect their general wellbeing, sleep, ability to carry out everyday tasks, and unwanted thoughts and behaviours amongst other things.

We work on creating positive change, in whatever areas of their lives that they want to address. Since the pandemic I have noticed increased numbers in wanting support in addressing needle phobias, health anxiety, and driving relating anxiety.

How to choose a hypnotherapist

Hypnotist is unfortunately not a protected title so it's important to ask about a practitioners qualifications. It is possible to do a cheap hypnotherapy course online and call yourself a hypnotist. A good hypnotist will have qualifications like a psychology degree and a hypnotherapy diploma (which I hold to level 5, accredited by the NCFE).

You can also ask if they are registered with the NHC (complimentary & natural healthcare council) which was set up with government support to protect the public by providing a UK voluntary register of health practitioners. Or the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), which is the leading UK Hypnotherapy Professional Association. This second one is the home of qualified, insured and ethical hypnotherapists and university validated hypnotherapy training.

For more information you can contact Elise through her website

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