Think hypnotherapy involves someone waving a pocket watch in your face, and using a weird voice to lull you into a helpless reverie?
Hypnotherapy combines hypnosis (deep relaxation) with therapy, and is a safe, professional, and effective intervention for mental health issues.
When you are 'hypnotised' a therapist helps you enter a very relaxed state called a 'trance state'. You are aware of what is going on, and feel very open to suggestions. But your thoughts, which usually feel so sharp and urgent, feel soft and less important.
Hypnotherapy relaxes your conscious mind so you can access what is known as your ‘unconscious’ - the memories and thoughts that usually operate in the background.
Hypnotherapy doesn't make you lose mental control. You are still aware, and can stop the experience at will. In fact you can be ‘hypnotised’ even if your eyes are open.
You will actually remember the experience after, too.
Hypnotherapy can be useful for the following mental health issues:
Anxiety is a fear-based thinking pattern that obsesses on possible futures. Hypnotherapy can help you access the unconscious negative beliefs driving your anxiety. It can then implant less fearful ways of seeing your life ahead instead.
Depression is a negativity-based way of seeing yourself and your life. You feel that you are unworthy and that your life has been pointless. This is often driven by difficult experiences that lowered your self-worth, memories of which your brain has fragmented in an effort to ‘protect’ you.
Hypnotherapy uses ‘regression’, where you are guided into your hidden memories of your past. You can then realise what really happened to cause you to feel so terrible, freeing you to start processing it and move forward. You might even discover positive things about these periods of your life that your conscious mind had ‘forgotten’.
Hypnotherapy is not a miracle. You can’t expect it to instantly fix years of anxiety and depression, or mean you never have to try talk therapy.
But it is effective, especially if used in combination with talk therapy. Hypnotherapy, for example, could help you remember a bad experience with a school bully that you’d ‘forgotten’. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could then help you process and change the negative beliefs that experience gave you.
Working with your unconscious mind is a powerful process. So it's very important to work with a hypnotherapist you can trust.
Unfortunately, there is not enough regulation right now around who can and can't work as a hypnotherapist. So it's up to you to make sure the practitioner you find has the relevant experience and training.
You can find out more about hypnotherapy in this guide.
We take the work out of finding a hypnotherapist by vetting them for you. Use our easy booking tool now to find an experienced, properly trained practitioner who offers hypnotherapy for anxiety and depression, as well as other issues.