How Does Hypnosis Work?
Though scientists cannot agree on precisely how hypnosis works within the brain and its altered state, there are certain things that have been observed as patients fall into hypnosis. It is commonly believed that the state of consciousness is altered in hypnosis so that the left side of the brain -- that side responsible for analysis, judgment, and synthesis -- is shut down, and the right side of the brain -- the non-analytical side -- is made to be more attentive. The subconscious mind is awake and accessible, while the conscious control of the mind is subdued. As the subconscious part of the mind is rooted much deeper, it is more instinctual than the conscious part, yet presents enormous opportunity for the patient to alter his or her physical and behavioral state.
For example, if a person consciously desired to overcome a fear of heights, they may have tried every conscious effort that they can to try to overcome it, and yet still fail because of the terror that remains on the subconscious part of the mind, preventing success. The desired outcome can only be achieved if the subconscious mind is reprogrammed so that the instinctual beliefs, buried deep-down, are removed or changed.
What Is a Hypnosis Treatment Like?
Understanding the way that hypnosis treatment actually works begins by knowing that there are a lot of myths out there that are just that: myths. There is, at no point, a time when the patient is put into a deep sleep where s/he can be forced to do things that s/he wouldn't usually do. In truth, a patient remains fully aware of who and where they are, and can hear the suggestions made by the hypnotherapist.
What is important is that the patient is seeking to alter something, such as an addiction or habit, and that patient must be quite motivated to make this change. The patient must truly want the hypnosis treatment to work, and must have built a good rapport with the hypnotherapist in order for everything to function properly.
The preparedness and aptitude among patients to be hypnotized fluctuates greatly, and hypnotherapy typically necessitates that several hypnotic sessions will be required in order for any meaningful outcomes to be achieved.
It is, however, possible for the patient to learn self-hypnosis, allowing him or her to practice hypnosis at home and strengthen the sessions with the therapist. This is very useful for helping to combat anxiety-related issues.
Hypnosis vs. Hypnotherapy
Many people don't realize that there is a difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy. In fact, many people use these words interchangeably, while there is a definite difference between them.
Hypnosis is an extremely old technique that involves healing in an altered state of awareness, similar to a trance, and is among the oldest healing techniques found in virtually every culture around the world. Technically speaking, hypnosis was the original psychological therapy, and is the basis for many of today's psychological intervention styles.
Though trances and other kinds of altered states have been around for thousands of years, the actual word hypnosis was only used for the first time by Dr. James Braid, a Scottish physician, in 1840.
As far as current scientific understanding reaches, hypnosis cannot yet be accurately and fully defined, however, as an interim definition, it is accepted that hypnosis is an altered state of mind in which the patient experiences enhanced mental and physical relaxation, and where increased communication is possible between the subconscious and the conscious minds.
Hypnosis is also widely accepted as a highly effective method for healing and reaching one's inner potential. The hypnotic state of mind can be brought about either with the help of another person, or it can be brought about by the patient him or herself, completely unaided. When the person aiding in achieving the state of hypnosis is a trained professional, then the process is commonly known as hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is a form of psychological therapy and counseling which treats emotional and psychological disorders as well as fears, unwanted habits, emotional problems, and undesirable feelings. The purpose of hypnotherapy is to help patients to discover effective, meaningful ways to alter their current feelings and behaviors, and to encourage the personal development of patients while unlocking their buried potential.
Hypnotherapy is distinctive among the many types of psychological therapy as it works to access the subconscious mind of the patient. Hypnotherapists will commonly begin with techniques to relax the patient and prepare him or her to work with their own imagination, while using a variety of other techniques that may include such devices as metaphor and symbolism as well as story telling and the use of direct suggestion in order to encourage specific predetermined changes.
Hypnotherapists may also choose to utilize analytical techniques in order to discover deep seeded problems which could be rooted in the past of the patient. Patients may also have their hypnotherapist concentrate on current problems from their life. It is typically thought to be important that the patient be personally motivated to make the alteration that is the goal of the hypnosis instead of relying only on the efforts of the therapist. However, believing in the possibility of change that will be advantageous to the patient may be enough of a jumping off point to get the therapy moving in the right direction.
No matter which techniques are used, it is often believed that the most crucial element to successful hypnotherapy is the patient's ability to feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist. This is particularly important in this specific kind of therapy, as the confidence of the patient in the hypnotist directly impacts the results. Therefore, it is commonly recommended that when the patient is seeking hypnotherapy, only one session should be booked at a time so that they may decide after the first session whether or not they would like to continue with that therapist.
Hypnotherapy, unlike other kinds of psychological therapy, is commonly thought to be a relatively short-term method of seeking beneficial life modifications, and that its advantages should begin to be visible within only a few short sessions.
It should be understood that in hypnotherapy, hypnosis is not the only technique that is used. Therapists will frequently incorporate other suitable counseling techniques in order to assist the patient in the fullest possible way.