So What is Hypnosis?

Being Hypnotised
  • It is a form of deep relaxation, I often compare it to the feelings you have just before you go into sleep, or just as soon as you start to awake, when you're not quite sure where you are, but it feels lovely, safe and comfortable, with little or no awareness of any disharmony. We experience hypnosis on a daily basis, when we are fixed on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, being on 'autopilot'. Arriving at our destination without any recollection of part of the journey, when we are engrossed in a film, when we are listening to a wonderful piece of music. When we watch a youngster playing a video game it soon becomes apparent they are in a hypnotic trance. It is a period of conscious shutdown, where everything still functions normally, with the help of the subconscious mind, but you are not consciously aware of it. This is hypnosis, and those of you who have experienced, meditation or yoga will have experienced this trance like state.
How will Hypnosis affect me?
  • Everyone experiences hypnosis in their own unique way. You are completely aware of what is going on, and you can never be persuaded or encouraged to do anything that would normally be unacceptable to you. Most clients say they seldom experience true relaxation in their hectic lives and find hypnosis a wonderfully calming and relaxing experience.

  • You can open your eyes at any point to interrupt the hypnosis, and in the event of anyone requiring your attention you would be able to function normally. During the session you are always in control and are treated with respect and complete confidentiality.
What is Hypnotherapy?
  • Hypnotherapy is using this altered state of consciousness to change long held beliefs that do not serve you well, to create new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. It can be extremely useful in a number of different presenting conditions, particularly when combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro Linguistic programming. Weight Management and Overcoming Anxiety are just two of those conditions where transformation and lasting change can be achieved with commitment and trust in the process.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on your thinking patterns (cognition) and your behaviour. Much scientific research has been carried out over the last 50 years showing that it is effective for a wide range of issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, and can also be very useful for eating disorders. The premise under-lying the Cognitive behavioural approach is that difficulties in living, relationships, general health, have their origin in both cognitive and behavioural factors. It works by breaking down the problem into smaller components, identifying problematic thoughts and behaviours and by working together, therapist and client can identify new patterns of thinking and behaving that encourage recovery.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP is a system that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing our human experience: neurology, language and programming. Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the basic dynamics between mind (neuro) and how we think, our language & communication (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and subsequently our behaviour (programming). It enable us to alter negative damaging thinking patterns and behaviours, that cause addictions and anxiety states. By reversing the habitual cycles that exist in these conditions and reprogramming them it is possible to change those negative thoughts and behaviours even when they have built up over many years. The results are amazing…but it does require commitment and self discipline.

Evidence — Weight

Weight and Hypnotherapy
  • A review¹ of three, controlled comparative surveys on hypnotherapy in the treatment of obesity stated that a combination of behaviour therapy and hypnotherapy appeared to produce more weight reduction than a mere behaviour therapeutic approach.

  • What has become apparent over recent years is that by combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Hypnosis the results are more consistent and more compelling. In the MINDoverWEIGHT programme we aim to combine the benefits of Hypnosis with both CBT and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and by doing so greatly improve the rate of success.

  • 1 Vanderlinden J, Vandereycken W (1994) The possibilities of hypnotherapy in the treatment of obesity. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 36 (4): 248-257

Some interesting Study Results
  • Other Studies have shown that effective hypnotherapy programmes generally consist of 6 to 8 sessions of group or individual hypnotherapy.  Study participants who scored highest in hypnotisability had the most significant weight reduction results.   In one study comparing behavioural therapy to hypnotherapy, both groups showed the same results at the end of the study. At follow up 8months and again at 2 years, however, only the hypnotherapy group continued to lose weight.

  • Unlike most programmes, which focus only on diet and exercise, hypnotherapy includes suggestions for ego strengthening, decision making, stress management, self-soothing, mental rehearsal and enhanced motivation, all of which are helpful in successful long term weight management.

  • Hypnotherapy can be administered by a therapist or via hypnosis recordings or self-hypnosis; all three methods proved effective. Hypnosis is a pivotal part of the MINDoverWEIGHT programme and is used to encourage relaxation, visualize outcomes and most importantly to access the subconscious mind which is far more open to suggestions that facilitate positive change.

Evidence — Anxiety

Anxiety related conditions and Hypnotherapy
  • Following an extensive review of the existing literature on hypnotherapy, the British Medical Association concluded that hypnotherapy was not only effective but may be 'the treatment of choice' in dealing with anxiety ('psychoneurosis') and stress-related ('psycho-somatic') disorders:. As a treatment, in the opinion of the Subcommittee it has proved its ability to remove symptoms and to alter morbid habits of thought and behaviour. (BMA, 'Medical use of hypnotism’, BMJ, 1955, vol. I, 190-193)

  • When assessing hypnosis and relaxation…'They are also effective for panic disorders and insomnia, particularly when integrated into a package of cognitive therapy,’ 

  • A recent 'Clinical Review' of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: 'There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety', the same report also concluded that hypnosis was proven to be effective in treating panic attacks and phobia. (Vickers & Zollman, ‘Hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349)

  • A study of 20 individuals compared the use of self-hypnosis and relaxation therapy in managing anxiety over 28 days. Both groups were shown to have achieved significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. However, the self-hypnosis group exhibited greater confidence in the positive effects of the treatment, higher expectation of success, and greater degrees of cognitive and physical improvement. (Lucy O'Neill, Amanda Barnier, & Kevin McConkey, 'Treating Anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation', Contemporary Hypnosis, 1999, vol. 16 (2): 68)