“Until you make the subconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”Carl Jung
Imagine your brain is this iceberg…
The top part, that you can see above water, is your conscious mind. This about 10% of your brain’s capacity. This is where willpower, short term memory, and logical/critical thinking take place. The conscious mind uses willpower to attempt to control habits, beliefs and behaviors, but fails when up against the greater influence of the subconscious mind.
The lower part, that is submerged in water, is your subconscious mind. This is about 90% of your brain’s capacity. This is where emotions, beliefs, creativity, developmental stages, imagination, intuition, long-term memory, habits and addictions, and protective reactions occur. Clinical hypnosis uses this part of your brain for new learning and change.
Simply stated, clinical hypnosis is a state of inward attention and focused concentration, known as trance. When your mind is focused and concentrated, you are better able to access and use your inner resources to make changes and learn how to be more effective in life.
Because you’re better able to use your potential, you gain more self-control – a fact which busts the common myth that you are weak-willed or lose control during hypnosis.
You (like everyone) have experienced hypnosis or trance, even if you’re unaware of it.
If you’ve ever been absorbed in a book or television show, and didn’t hear someone speaking to you –you were in a trance-like state. Or, perhaps you remember getting in your car to drive home and you remember getting there, but aren’t quite sure how, it seemed automatic.
These focused states of attention are everyday experiences of hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is experienced with a hypnotherapist.
How is Clinical Hypnosis Used?
Clinical hypnotherapy can be used in countless ways. Some mental health applications may include:
- stress management
- post-traumatic stress
- sports performance
- smoking cessation
- obesity and weight management
- sleep disorders
- sexual dysfunctions
- test anxiety
- interpersonal communication
- marriage and family issues
- undesirable behaviors and habits
Hypnosis and guided imagery are often used by actors, athletes, teachers and business people for performance enhancement.
Guided mental imagery is very powerful in a trance or hypnotic state. The brain uses imagery to help bring about change. If you have an unwanted behavior you may be encouraged, while hypnotized, to vividly imagine behaving differently and more effectively. The subconscious mind will then bring about that imagined change.
If you have a fear or phobia, you may be guided to imagine being a source of strength or encouragement to yourself, and as a result, find that the fear no longer bothers you.
Your hypnotherapist might also use hypnotic or post-hypnotic suggestion while you’re in trance. These suggestions are more likely to reach your unconscious mind that can encourage helpful changes and radically influence your life in the future.
Clinical hypnosis can help you understand many underlying causes of behavioral or emotional difficulties. It is a safe and secure state to root out problems and find alternative solutions to them.
How Can Hypnotherapy Help Me?
A properly trained clinical hypnotherapist will be able to utilize hypnosis as a specialty or sub-specialty to treat almost any issue.
Some clients seem to have higher responsiveness to hypnotherapy, initially, while others may need additional sessions to train them to reach useful levels of hypnosis. However, Milton H. Erickson, M.D., who is a world-renowned authority on hypnosis, believes that everyone is hypnotizable and can experience benefits from hypnotherapy.
As with other therapy modalities, hypnosis is most effective when you are ready to change. Clients more motivated to change will reap more benefits.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, you should carefully assess their qualifications. They should be licensed in their field by their state and certified to perform clinical hypnotherapy by a board, such as The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Busting More Hypnosis Myths
Many false beliefs about hypnosis are based on what people read in books, see in the movies (think about the hit movie “Get Out”) or in Vegas shows. These works of fiction for entertainment purposes can generate myths about clinical hypnosis, discouraging people from seeking a clinician who can provide them the help they need.
Myth: People will behave uncharacteristically while hypnotized.
Fact: This comes from stage hypnotists. They choose audience members who are willing to respond, or may already have exhibitionist tendencies and will go along with it.
Myth: People “go under” or are “knocked out” and experience a loss of consciousness while in hypnosis. They won’t remember what happened in their session.
Fact: Hypnosis is state of heightened awareness and since there’s a focus inward, some external things may go unnoticed. Regardless, people will usually recall everything that occurs during hypnosis.
Myth: The hypnotherapist controls the client.
Fact: The client isn’t controlled by the hypnotherapist, because hypnosis isn’t imposed – it’s the client’s choice.
Hypnotherapists serve as the facilitator to assist the client in becoming aware that hypnosis is a safe, natural state of mind. It, like traditional therapy, is a collaborative effort. The therapist helps them discover inner resources and their own path to wellness.
Call Suzanne at Parkside Psychotherapy today to make an appointment for clinical hypnotherapy!