As promised, I’ll be discrediting the misconceptions around hypnotherapy today. By doing so you will also find out what the methods used for hypnotherapy are, their applications and positive outcomes.
Misconception: Somebody else is controlling you
Reality: You are always consciously aware and in control during hypnosis
Hypnosis is all about consent, thus you can never be hypnotised against your will. If you have ever seen a stage hypnosis performance you will notice that the hypnotist asks for volunteers who WANT to be hypnotised to come up on stage to be hypnotised. A Hypnotic Test is then conducted by the hypnotist to see how susceptible to hypnosis or suggestive the audience member is. This could be something like the hand-lock test where the hypnotist asks the volunteers to hold their hands out in front of them, grip their hands together and imagine they are glued and/or welded together. He will give these suggestion for a few minutes. When the hypnotist asks them to try to separate their hands those who are incapable of separating them are those who are most suggestible. So the hypnotist then selects those volunteers to hypnotise. Throughout all of this example, if a hypnotist ever made an inappropriate suggestion then the audience member(s) can refuse at any time. It is impossible for the hypnotist to make somebody do something against their will, morals, religious beliefs or good judgement.
Misconception: A ticking watch on a gold chain is held in front of you and moved back and forth until you are hypnotised
Reality: There are so many different methods used by different hypnotherapists to hypnotise a client
All the different forms of inducing hypnosis is a topic for another blog post, another day. But what I will tell you today is what happened to me when I had my first hypnotherapy session with Adrian Sonnex.
I was PETRIFIED.
This man was going to control my mind, make me do weird things that I would never usually do but then somehow I would be magically cured and become this perfect human being I had always wanted to be.
None of these things actually happened.
First, we sat down, talked about what I was there for (other than being a guinea pig for you guys I had to scan my brain to find something!). We talked about this at great length until I felt he knew everything he needed to know about me before getting up close and personal with my unconscious mind. He explained to me that I would always be in control and could wake up from my altered state of consciousness whenever I wanted to, or in the case of an emergency. Adrian Sonnex then suggested I lay back on the couch, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. He made other suggestions to increase my state of relaxation until I was in a light hypnotic state (it’s just an altered state of consciousness that feels similar to zoning out from your surroundings when exercising or being so into a book that you forget where you are).
He then made all the positive suggestions appropriate to help me. What he says depends on what you are there to see him for. Say you are there to stop smoking, he would say something along the lines of “you are a non-smoker and will remain so for the rest of your life, you will never smoke”. What this does is it releases the negative habits you had ingrained in your subconscious so it is no longer a habit you have buried in your unconscious mind. It remains a habit ingrained in your conscious mind only, therefore you have the power to get rid of it.
Once he had finished that part he slowly guided me to redirect my consciousness back to the room and wake up again.
Misconception: Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy therefore it is only useful for people with mental illnesses
Reality: The applications of hypnotherapy are much further and wider than solely mental health issues
Hypnotherapy is fantastic for identifying and treating the underlying problems which cause the conscious, noticeable side effects to mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression. But it can be used for a wide variety of problems I had no idea about before starting this journey!
People who have a fear of anything in particular, be it animals, inanimate objects, a certain word or action can be rid of their phobia through hypnotherapy.
Those with addictions or habits they are not happy with can finally find a solution to their problem – smoking, drinking, biting nails, picking their nose – you name it, the list is endless!
Those who believe they have low self-esteem and no longer want to feel that way but cultivate within themselves an environment of self-love can benefit from hypnotherapy immeasurably. Past traumas can be un-suppressed and unrepressed in order to process them in the correct way so it no longer has a hold over the individual’s life and they are free from the conscious or subconscious effects the traumatic event had on them.
Performance enhancement is also a great application of hypnotherapy. It can be used on athletes, to improve people’s performance in their careers, to cure presentation anxiety, interview and exam anxiety. It is also exceptional for helping individuals speak up at staff meetings, deal well with confrontation in the workplace and become the best version they envision themselves to be. Adrian has worked with tennis players, golfers, triathletes, martial artists and boxers to improve their technique, confidence and performance. For career performance improvement he has worked with lawyers, people in middle management positions, CEOs, business owners and teachers, to name a few.