What is hypnotherapy? Why train in it?
To understand why hypnotherapy is such an effective tool for therapists, let's look at how it works.
We'll start with the assumption that the human mind works on two levels. It's often suggested that thinking about an iceberg can help you to understand this concept.
"Above the water level", where it can be seen, is your conscious mind. This is the thinking you're aware of and it's generally quite rational and logical. It's responsible for taking your routine, day-to-day decisions.
"Under the water", not so obvious and also much larger, is the unconscious (or subconscious) mind. This is responsible for all your other mental functions: emotions, dreaming, imagination, automatic physical functions like heartbeat, and automatic behaviour such as habits. It also contains a 'data bank' of memories and beliefs which influence our conscious actions and decisions.
As long as the conscious and unconscious minds agree on a subject, life is pretty good. But if what the conscious mind wants to do isn't consistent with what the unconscious mind has stored, we have a problem.
For example, some behaviours, such as chewing your finger-nails or over-eating when stressed, get repeated so often they develop into habits. Logically (consciously) the client wants to stop, but they can't because the automatic (unconscious) behaviour keeps kicking in.
Or information in the unconscious could be out of context, causing an emotional 'feedback loop' which your client wishes to prevent. For example, someone with a phobia of spiders may consciously know they are harmless but still get a strong unconscious feeling of panic when they see one.
It's fair to say that there are quite a few ideas around about how and why these unwanted habits and mistaken beliefs end up in the unconscious. We explore some of them on the course. But it's clear that what is needed by your client is a way (or ways) of changing them. And that is where hypnosis comes in. Being in trance makes it easier to access the unconscious part of your client's mind, and helps them to rapidly resolve their problems, change their unconscious beliefs and achieve their goals. When it's used this way hypnosis is called hypnotherapy, or sometimes clinical hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy is a fast and effective way of helping people.
On our foundation courses, you will look at building a good relationship with clients, how to hypnotise people and the principles behind using hypnosis to help them. We'll apply this knowledge to motivation and stress to show how it can be used in a therapeutic setting.
If you continue on to practitioner level, you will also study in-depth the development and psychological mechanisms behind the most popular reasons that clients seek out a hypnotherapist: weight loss, smoking, confidence etc. But each client is an individual and you cannot have a 'one size fits all' approach even for common problems. You'll be taught to respond creatively to their situation, to find the best and most appropriate course of therapy for them.
- a wide variety of methods of hypnotising your clients
- knowing how to choose the right method of hypnosis for the client you're working with
- knowing how to help your client identify the underlying belief or habit that's causing their problem
- knowing how to select and use the best approach to help this client