Hypnosis, hypnotherapy, hypnotist & hypnotherapist: what do they all mean?
People have been entering hypnotic–type trances for thousands and thousands of years. But the scientific concept of hypnotism wasn’t born until the late 1700s. The father of modern hypnotism is Franz Mesmer, an Austrian physician. Hypnosis was formerly known as mesmerism, after Mesmer, and we still use its derivative,’ mesmerise today.
Hypnosis is a trance state. It can be compared to drifting off and being in a daydream or being fully absorbed in a movie or book. It is where we concentrate and fixate our whole attention on one thing and in doing so, tune out all other stimuli. It is very much a relaxed state that can be likened to the in-between state of being nearly asleep but not asleep. In this trance state, the subconscious mind is susceptible to suggestion. On its own, the subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real and imagined. As an example, when we watch a movie, we can feel happy excited and scared even though it is just a movie. While watching the movie, we can be so absorbed in the film that we can forget we are in the cinema.
Hypnotic states occur naturally and spontaneously.
Everyday examples include:
• Being absorbed in a pleasant task and losing track of time
• Doing a mundane task (such as washing the dishes) while thinking about something else, to the degree that you can’t remember performing the task
• Getting lulled into a dreamy state by boredom, for example, when listening to a dull speech.
Clinical hypnosis deliberately induces this kind of relaxed state of awareness. Once the mind is in a relaxed state, any therapeutic suggestions can have a great effect on attitudes, perceptions and behaviours. The way that this occurs isn’t fully understood. Some researchers believe that hypnosis promotes particular brain wave activity that allows the mind to take in and adopt new ideas. In contrast, others suggest that hypnosis accesses the ‘unconscious mind’, which is more open to new ideas than the rational ‘conscious mind’.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilises the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
The process itself aims to alter our state of consciousness in a way that relaxes the conscious part of the mind while simultaneously stimulating and focussing the subconscious part. This heightened state of awareness – reached using skilled relaxation techniques – allows the therapist to make appropriate suggestions then.
Different types of hypnotherapy?
Traditional/suggestion hypnotherapy involves the therapist imparting a series of ‘suggestions’ to the subconscious mind to influence thoughts, feelings and behaviours positively. This form of hypnotherapy is often used in situations where there is no cause that needs addressing.
TimeLine Therapy- is a hypnotic approach that derives from NLP. It is based on the concept that our unconscious mind stores memories in a linear pattern – like a timeline – which is essentially a mental photo album of our life. TimeLine therapists use a variety of techniques to unconsciously help clients release negative emotions and limiting beliefs linked to past experiences to facilitate long-term transformation and better mind-body health. TimeLine Therapy is considered particularly useful for helping people to overcome symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety, and tends to achieve quick results.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy looks at what the client would like to achieve. It focuses on the present and the future instead of the past.
Hypnotherapy and NLP
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) explores the relationship between language, behaviour and excellence. It is essentially a model used to identify and analyse the linguistic techniques used subconsciously by successful people, to produce a recipe for excellence.
An NLP practitioner 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 and ourselves will also be key focuses, and all will be examined so that strategies for improving understanding, motivation, learning and remembering can be formed.
Many hypnotherapists train in NLP to help themselves communicate more effectively with their clients, and also to help their clients communicate more effectively with themselves.
A hypnotist is a person who carries out hypnosis, either for therapeutic, medical reasons or entertainment.
I hope the above descriptions help you to make a clear distinction between the different Hypno’s
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