What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a form of complementary therapy that utilises the power of relaxation and positive suggestions to bring about sought after changes in the way we think, feel, react and behave.
Hypnotherapy can be used to make positive changes to almost any part of your life that you would like to improve.
A hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to subtly alter your 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 then make suggestions to the subconscious mind with a view to positively influencing thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
How does hypnosis work?
It is widely believed that the average person uses only about 12% of their brain power. This can be referred to as the conscious mind. It is the critical, analytical part of the brain that thinks and decides what we do each day.The remaining 88% of our brain power can be referred to as the subconscious mind which is the part of the brain that automatically controls motor functions of the body and unconscious patterns of behaviour. It is also the part of the mind that, when engaged, is most amenable to desired positive suggestions.
When you are relaxed in hypnosis, your conscious mind - the busy, analytical part of the mind – is not as active. Hypnosis then allows us to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious mind and make positive changes to thought patterns, habits, or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact on you, whether mentally, emotionally or even physically. The hypnotic state enables your whole mind to be more accepting of appropriate suggestions and for you to act and think more logically and clearly, and to adopt a more positive approach to life in general.
What does hypnosis feel like?
The feeling when in hypnosis is of being physically and mentally relaxed. It has been likened to the feelings we experience just before waking completely from sleep or just as we drift off to sleep. Some people say it feels like daydreaming. When in hypnosis, you experience an enjoyable state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation. The suggestions and visualisation techniques used in hypnotherapy help build your confidence and self-belief, and enable you to develop new healthy and positive ways of thinking, doing and being.
Will I be controlled by the hypnotherapist, or do or say silly things?
Many people have the misconception that under hypnosis they will be fully controlled by the therapist. This comes from misrepresentational TV programmes since the 1990s when “stage hypnotists” appeared to be able to manipulate people to carry out bizarre acts for the entertainment of the audience. Hypnotherapy is nothing like this! It is a professional therapy whose purpose is to enhance your life and wellbeing.
Will I know what is going on and will I remember the session?
You should be able to remember everything that is said. You are not “asleep” in hypnosis and you don’t lose control. Hypnosis is just a nice comfortable state of relaxation, a familiar state you will have experienced many times in your life already, probably without even realising it.
Costa records most sessions so that you can play them back to yourself every day between sessions in order to reinforce the therapy.
What will happen in a hypnotherapy session with Costa?
Costa offers an initial consultation, generally lasting around 40 minutes involving:
- A discussion about your requirements and goals.
- Gathering personal information such as stress factors, lifestyle information, medical symptoms and medication, any treatments involving other healthcare providers.
- An explanation of how the hypnotherapeutic process works.
- Practical details such as cost, cancellation policy, how many sessions might be needed and which ones would best fit your needs.
In your next session with Costa, the practical application of hypnotherapy can then begin.
- You will have a catch up to find out how you are doing.
- Costa prepares you fully for the session so that you know what to expect, and discusses, tailors and agrees with you the relaxation and therapy components of the session.
- You relax on a comfortable reclining chair and Costa then leads you into a state of physical and mental relaxation.
- Once you are nicely relaxed, Costa then utilises the previously agreed suggestion and visualisation techniques to help you towards your goals.
- Once this therapy part of the session is complete, Costa will begin your transition to wakefulness, in which you are brought out of your deeply relaxed state. Afterwards you will continue to feel calm and relaxed.
- There will then be time for your feedback and any questions you may have.
- The recorded session is usually then emailed to your smartphone or recorded onto CD for your personal use so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits and changes on a daily basis.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
Don’t worry, the only people who can’t be hypnotised are those who don't want to be. Everyone else can be hypnotised, but the depths and response levels do differ from person to person. The depth of hypnosis doesn’t, however, affect your success in therapy as only a light degree of trance is required for most changes to take effect.
How regularly will I need to see Costa?
How regularly you see Costa will be something you decide on together. Initially, you may decide you wish to meet on a weekly basis, but this may vary depending on practical considerations, specific therapies or conditions, and how frequently a session may have to be experienced before moving on to the next recommended session.
How many sessions of hypnotherapy will I need?
The duration of therapy will really depend on your circumstances and the reason for which you are seeking hypnotherapy. Costa will let you know from experience how many sessions he feels you might need when you start therapy, but will be flexible when it comes to decreasing or extending the number of sessions to correlate with your progress or change in circumstances. For example, as a guideline, most lifelong phobias can be resolved in just 2 - 3 sessions.
Is my session confidential?
Your session with Costa will be completely confidential. Costa is bound by the strict code of conduct, standards and ethics of the Hypnotherapy Association and of the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
Much like a visit to your GP, the only circumstances in which Costa would be legally bound to break your confidentiality is if your or somebody else’s welfare or life are at risk.
Can I have an appointment in the evening or on a weekend?
Costa is available to meet with clients Monday – Friday from 11.30 am to 9 pm. Some Saturday appointments are also available if Costa is not training.