The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC) states the following in regard to hypnosis: “Healing by trance state, or an altered state of awareness, is among the oldest phenomena known to man. It is found, in one form or another, in virtually every culture throughout the world”.
“At our current level of knowledge, the phenomenon of hypnosis cannot be conclusively defined but perhaps a reasonable interim definition might be that: Hypnosis is a state of mind, enhanced by (although not exclusively) mental and physical relaxation, in which our subconscious is able to communicate with our conscious mind. It may be better to define ‘hypnosis’ by what it does rather than what it is and in this regard, it is widely accepted as a most excellent method by which we may access our inner potential. The state of mind referred to may be brought about either by oneself, unaided (self-hypnosis) or with the help of another person. If this other person is a trained professional, who utilises the resultant state of mind to encourage beneficial change to occur, the process is referred to as Hypnotherapy”.
NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming
In the 1970s a cutting-edge theory called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) was developed by Richard Bandler, John Grinder, and their associates. Bandler and Grinder claimed that their theory and practice modelled the skills of various individuals including Milton Erickson. NLP itself is not usually considered a branch of hypnotism, although many hypnotherapists employ its use in order to help themselves communicate more effectively with their clients, and also to help their clients communicate more effectively with themselves.
NLP techniques are used by many large businesses in sales force and customer service training.
During a therapy session a hypnotherapist using NLP will look at your attitude, language and your use of it, your understanding of relationships and how you build a rapport and the physical and emotional states that are best for accomplishing a task. Effective communication and perception of others will be examined so that strategies for improving understanding, motivation, learning and remembering can be formed.
Who can be hypnotised?
According to the GHSC website almost anyone can be hypnotised, however, some people are more susceptible and open to the practice than others. The outcome depends on many factors; trust and confidence in the therapist is paramount and also the self-belief within the client. One important and fundamental question to consider is, does this client ‘want’ hypnotherapy? For example, if a person seeks hypnosis to become a non-smoker, the motivation must come direct from the person and not a partner/spouse who may want them to stop smoking.
This attitude is in complete contrast to what we witness from a stage hypnotist. To the audience the participants are ‘under a spell’ performing as they are told, reacting out of character. Some may say they are willing participants, going along with what is expected of them; that they are compliant in not wanting to disappoint the hypnotist or indeed the audience. A stage hypnotist will seek to find people who are highly suggestible, dismissing others who may take longer to enter a trance like state.
This suggestibility is one basis of hypnosis; whilst in the trance state the therapist will ‘talk’ to the client’s subconscious mind to provide therapeutic interventions for problems ranging from phobias and fears and weight management, to pain management techniques for dental treatments and medical operations.
Find out more about the GHSC Here