How does hypnotherapy work?

Scientific research has found that hypnosis does have a positive effect, however scientists just can’t agree on how it works.  In this blog we will look at some of the facts that we know for sure to be true and also some speculation on how hypnosis works.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a form of verbal communication which is used whilst a person is under hypnosis in order to change their thoughts, behaviour or feelings in order to treat a range of problems including addiction, weight control, confidence issues, phobias, stuttering, incontinence and many more.

Contrary to popular belief hypnosis does not involve you being put to sleep or losing control of your actions at all.  Your hypnotherapist doesn’t have any control over your actions and cannot make you do anything that you don’t want to do whilst you’re being hypnotised.

What happens during a hypnotherapy session?

One thing that is essential for getting good results from hypnotherapy treatment is that the patient must be highly motivated to make the changes in their life.  So if you’re having hypnosis to stop smoking because your mother has bought you a session but you don’t really want to quit then it is unlikely to work, you have to really want it.

Before you are hypnotised your hypnotherapist will discuss with you your goals and the changes that you want to make in your life.

Being hypnotised involves being put into a deep state of relaxation, or a trance-like state.  Quite on the contrary to losing control of what you do or say, you will instead experience an enhanced state of awareness.  When being hypnotised you will remain fully aware of your surroundings and your hypnotist will not be able to make you do anything you wouldn’t do normally.

Whilst you are under hypnosis the hypnotherapist will make statements and give suggestions to your unconscious mind to help you to make the changes that you want in your life.

How does it work?

Although the exact science behind the way that hypnosis works is still in dispute we do have some ideas about how it works.  It is thought that hypnosis alters our state of consciousness so that the left-hand side of our brain gets switched off and the right-hand side is more alert.  The left-hand side of our brain is the analytical side so when this side is switched off and the subconscious mind is awoken it means that information is able to go into our more instinctive subconscious mind.  It is our subconscious mind which needs to change in order for our behaviour to change.

Hypnosis doesn’t always have immediate results.  Each patient’s susceptibility to being hypnotised and readiness to be hypnotised varies so it may take several sessions before you see results.

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