What is a hypnotherapy session like?
Hypnotherapy is the combination of traditional hypnosis with suggestion, imagery and psychotherapeutic techniques to help achieve change, but what does this really mean? In this blog we are going to look at the structure of a hypnotherapy session in detail so you know what to expect.
What happens in a hypnotherapy session?
Traditionally a hypnotherapy breaks down in to 5 sections
- Talk – It doesn’t matter if you are on your first session or fifth the hypnotherapist is going to take a little time to chat. This will normally be about the condition you have come to work on so the hypnotherapist can get a clearer picture to aid in the hypnotherapy Don’t be surprised if you find you are discussing your work and leisure interests, such information can be very helpful to the hypnotherapist.
- Induction & deepening of hypnosis – Getting into hypnosis for hypnotherapy reasons is usually achieved through relaxation or focusing exercises. Several exercises may be presented to allow you to access the right level of trance for you. The hypnotic trance itself will usually leave you aware of your surroundings.
- The therapy – Once you are comfortable in the trance the formal therapy begins, this could be:
- Visualisation – An exercise which uses the imagination to convey ideas to the unconscious mind. A good example is imagining a warm colour to help relax muscles.
- Suggestions – These are simple direct ideas which the hypnotherapist ‘suggests’ to the unconscious mind, for example “you have no desire to smoke”. Suggestions are the most direct tool most hypnotherapists employ, and yet there is still a lot more skill to crafting a suggestion than most people would believe.
- Psychotherapy – hypnotherapy uses knowledge from many ‘schools’ of psychotherapy including Behavioural psychology, Psychodynamics, Cognitive psychology, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness based approaches. The hypnotherapist will select approaches based on what they think will fit with your personal psychology and condition.
- Awakening – You will be brought back to full waking consciousness so that you are fully orientated to the present.
- Homework – Hypnotherapy is usually accompanied by some form or task or action. This could be as simple as throwing all your cigarettes away, but is most commonly a relaxation or self-hypnosis exercise.
Hopefully this understanding makes it a little more comfortable to go for hypnotherapy.
Matt is a hypnotherapists in Birmingham with over 16 years experience. He has taught hypnotherapy around the world in universities and medical school and specialises in the treatment of anxiety conditions. He is currently conducting research into the treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with hypnosis.