First Steps into Hypnosis
Why hypnosis? What drives a person to turn to hypnosis? Is it a friend who has a similar problem and now seems to be over it? It could be a last straw when all else has failed. So why is hypnosis now becoming more accepted and seen less as a quack remedy? Why are more people turning to it when modern medicine has advanced so far?
Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body) has long been an accepted model for good mental and physical health. Yet in a world where technology rules and life is often on public show, the private focus that hypnosis offers is a unique perspective that can be matched to anyone.
Although no guaranteed magic wand, a hypnotic solution can be the enticing chance to change behaviour and thought patterns which is potentially life changing. Increasing public awareness of mindfulness is also encouraging individuals to find alternate ways of improving and interpreting the quality of their daily existence.
There are of course times when hypnosis appears to fail and according to the Hypnosis Training Academy:
“There are 5 common reasons hypnosis fails: you haven’t bypassed the doubt, resistance, attachment, lethargy and a pre-existing suggestion”
However while nothing is guaranteed, sufficient research has now been carried out at universities such as Stanford, USA, to show that biochemical changes do occur during hypnosis. Furthermore research indicates that the unconscious mind has a powerful influence that we are only now beginning to appreciate. The increasing numbers of clients as well as hypnotherapists also indicate the attractiveness of hypnotherapy. Clinical trials have taken place in NHS hospitals where hypnobirthing is increasingly offered. Pain clinics are also using hypnotherapeutic suggestions. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE ) has even expressed interest in hypnotherapy. However there is still a huge scepticism in some parts of the medical community about hypnosis. In fact therapists are not allowed to call themselves clinicians or consultants to ensure medical confusion is avoided. Although as yet no official NHS directory of hypnotherapists exists, a private company does list hypnotherapists able to work within the NHS. So we do need to acknowledge the first steps the NHS is making towards recognising hypnotherapy for its impact on both the health of the body and the mind.
But what of the first steps the potential client makes from their initial web search to that moment of contact with a complete stranger? New to hypnotherapy and nervous are they going to trust a stranger with their deepest secrets and most intimate fears? While the internet provides them with information, finding an active listener and an effective practitioner may answer their wishes and spread the word to others of good practice and the effectiveness of hypnotherapy.
To personalise a children’s rhyme:
A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he saw
The less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
As therapists we need to be like that bird!
Reminding the client in their first session that as a registered hypnotherapist bound by the ethical standards of the General Hypnotherapy Council of Great Britain also provides a safe environment for sharing private thoughts, fears and concerns. In a world of “fake news,” the calm confidentiality offered is outside the norm of tweeting and instant messaging .
Even though we cannot be all things to all people, we can be supportive and attentive to our clients. Our first steps should be the professional welcome we extend equally to all, so that the next steps of our clients’ hypnotherapy journey are inspired by their therapist.