What is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

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Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy? Perhaps you’re looking for help or support but not sure exactly what it is all about or how hypnotherapy works.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about hypnosis and hypnotherapy and why many people are choosing hypnotherapy to overcome their emotional and physical struggles for a better enjoyment of life.

What is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

In very simple terms, hypnosis can be described as the act of guiding someone into a hypnotic state of the trance. Whereas hypnotherapy combines hypnosis with talking therapy, (also referred to as psychotherapy). There different kinds of talking therapies, and they all have a common goal, they aim to help you overcome stress or emotional problems. Combining Hypnosis with talking therapy is unique and powerful because it creates positive changes at both the conscious and subconscious levels, which is very different to many forms of traditional counselling, which is why hypnotherapy can be so beneficial, because in a relaxed trance state during hypnosis it allows ideas and solutions discussed to be fully explored and utilised by the brain for positive benefit.

What happens at a hypnotherapy session?

Hypnotherapy sessions usually begin by talking and depending on the specialism of your therapist they will use techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Psychoanalysis, Counselling or Solution Focused therapy. Each of these approaches helps you understand your situation so you can explore new possibilities in a safe and neutral environment without the influence and opinions of those close to you.

Once you’ve finished the talking therapy, your therapist will use hypnosis to guide you into relaxed state of focused attention by asking you to think about or imagine certain things. This hypnotic state of trance helps you calmly look and think about the things that have been discussed during the talking therapy and allows you to make new decisions about your future behaviours so you’ll be able to think more clearly and feel more relaxed and rational after the session has ended.

Sometimes people have misconceptions about hypnotherapy thinking it is something which is done to them by the therapist to magically fix their issue, however, the reality is quite different. It’s important to understand that change happens because you want it to happen and when you’re ready and prepared to take action towards making some changes as you work with the therapist over a number of sessions together.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis or trance can be described as those times when we all experience a natural shift in our conscious awareness. The trance state is essential for us as humans to operate normally and is an integral part of the learning process, in fact we all do it for a few seconds up to 10 times an hour.

Some people have misconceptions about hypnosis, but in reality, the trance used during hypnotherapy is very different from the kind of things that you might have seen on stage or television.

During hypnosis sessions the trance state is brought about by guiding you into a relaxed state by asking you to think about or imagine certain things, as you relax in a comfortable chair or on a therapy couch. In this beneficial trance state, you remain fully in control and listen to positive suggestions and decide whether the information shared is useful, if not, you will simply not accept it.

All suggestions during hypnosis are made to help bring about positive changes by helping you change your thought patterns. You won’t need to talk or reveal anything about yourself, in fact clients often comment about how ‘ordinary’ hypnosis feels, a but like daydreaming. You can often hear everything that’s being said whilst being in a deeply relaxed state.

What can hypnotherapy help with?

Hypnotherapy can help improve many conditions and symptoms that are often caused by or made worse by some level of stress and anxiety and is particularly helpful for habit breaking, stress-related issues and for a range of long-term conditions. Many people are now turning to hypnotherapy because it helps bring about change at a conscious and subconscious level which can create lasting positive change. The most common reasons my clients seek out support is to relive anxiety, stress, symptoms of depression as well as treating sleep problems, chronic pain, IBS and confidence issues. I also help many people overcome fears and phobias.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), which gives guidance to the NHS on effective treatments, published guidance for GPs and consultants saying there was good evidence that hypnotherapy was an effective IBS treatment and that it could be recommended for chronic IBS.

There are different types of hypnotherapy available and my approach is Solution Focused which means rather than trying to analyse the cause of the problem or understand why clients feel the way they do we draw a line under the past and work together to move forward and focus on how they want things to be, because the more we focus on the past the more we focus on our problems and the bigger those problems become and that’s when we can get caught in spiral of negative thinking which holds us back. So, in my solution focused practice, we focus on the positive steps forwards.

What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a combination of solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) with hypnosis, a safe and powerful psychotherapeutic tool which helps with the causes of many issues in a relatively short period of time. The SFBT approach originated from research that showed that whilst that whilst the cause of our problems may have long and complex histories, the solutions to overcome them need not have. This researched showed that by focusing on our own strengths, solutions, and small changes that we could make now and in the near future leads to a happier and healthier life, with less symptoms of poor health. So, working in a solution focused way means that you won’t need to focus on the past or the problem, which is good news for many people wanting to make a positive change.

Solution focused hypnotherapy sessions have a period of hypnosis which encourages positive change. As we’ve already discovered in this article, hypnosis or trance is a natural and normal state that we all go into several times a day, as part of our learning process. Encouraged by guided relaxation, hypnosis does not make you do anything you do not want to do and many of my clients are surprised at how normal they feel during the trance state, relaxed and comfortable. Some clients even describe it as s ‘a bit like daydreaming’.

Solution focused hypnotherapy is also a brain-based therapy. Understanding how our brain works is a powerful tool for clients because it enables them to cope and perform better. Right from the initial consultation, we explore how the brain is working in in any given situation and what we can do to encourage it to work in a more positive way. This helps us to overcome our symptoms and difficulties rather than exacerbating them.

I understand that making the decision to reach out for support or to make an appointment is a big step to take, and that’s one of the reasons I offer a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance for us to talk and get to know each other a little and understand the issues without obligation and ensures that hypnotherapy it is the right solution for you.

Find out how hypnotherapy can help you

Andrew Major is an experienced Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and has helped many clients working online and face to face overcome their issues and regain their passion for life.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a safe and powerful psychotherapeutic tool which helps with the causes of many issues in a relatively short period of time, without the need to analyse problems of the past.

If you’d like to get in touch for a chat to see if Solution Focused Hypnotherapy could be the right approach for you or someone you know, please contact me using the form below.

You can also book your complimentary initial consultation online via Zoom here and we can get started from the comfort of your own home or office wherever you are in the world.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Major is a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and Mindset Specialist. His therapeutic approach combines psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy techniques, based on the latest research from neuroscience. Through one to one sessions, workshops and talks, he helps clients overcome the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression which may have been holding them back, so they can lead more fulfilling lives and careers.

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