- Uncover what’s holding you back?
- Stuck in patterns that you struggle to undo?
- Held back by ‘old stuff’?
- Find the missing piece of you?
- Find your flow into change
Hypnosis helps you to channel change and create behaviour modification for a particular end result. People often think that the therapist is in charge of the hypnosis but that is not the case. Certainly the therapist creates the right environment that helps you to access a trance state, but you are the one that allows that to happen. Without that, there is no hypnotic state to create change.
What is Hypnosis?
In daily life, hypnotic suggestions are used by many people quite unconsciously and naturally. Terms such as suggestion, relaxation, imagery, visualisation and now mindfulness are familiar to most of us. And unconsciously or deliberately most of us have experienced variations of an altered state.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy as it’s also called, albeit with some differences, goes one step further (than straight talking therapies) and helps the person to create change and understanding at a deeper level of reconstruction. Like moving with the current and allowing yourself to be carried by it rather than being stuck in a rip that short-circuits your efforts, and wears you out getting nowhere.
In hypnosis, you enter into a state of trance and into a different kind of cognitive awareness processing, often bypassing the usual conscious thinking of wakeful life, utilising imagery and other cognitive constructs to extract awareness and meaning about an issue or issues.
This can help to access often forgotten resources in a more obtainable way, and bring them into a conscious awareness more easily than in straight ‘talking’ therapies.
In the same way, it can change behaviours at the time they were formed, and allow you to make fresh meaning of how they occurred and what you can do in a hypnotic state to change them and be free of them.
How can hypnosis work for you?
Hypnosis, is used as a therapeutic technique, to enhance the natural capabilities of clients for the specific purpose of improving and enhancing their physical and emotional health. Hypnosis is used as an approach in working with a range of issues, as in the more commonly associated issues such as ‘stop smoking’, other addictions, phobias, issues of self-esteem, and physical and mental symptoms of anxiety/stress and depression.
- Unexplained Infertility – is often a complex health issue that can result from a mixture of lifestyle issues and relationship concerns. The very act of struggling to conceive over a prolonged period is stressful on many different levels; and hypnosis is particularly effective in exploring issues that may be at the root of the problem to help resolve those issues.
What’s an addiction?
- Addictions are patterns of behaviour that can be both pleasurable and self-harming at the same time, and ultimately control you, in how you respond to situations in your daily life.
- An addiction is characterised by an automatic response to a set of feelings and thoughts triggered by a sense of discomfort.
- The addictive behaviour serves to cover up the discomfort, cajole you that there is no discomfort and to self-soothe you by the repetitive action of the substance and /or behaviour.
The good thing about coming to grips with your addiction(s) is that it is doable in getting over them, and in creating different ways of enjoying a richer life without the dependence of an addiction that keeps you powerless and ‘sucked in‘.
- Smoking – is an example of both responses in that the person perceives it as pleasurable, yet ultimately, it is self-harming. When the behaviour begins to be problematic for you and others are affected by it (e.g. passive smoking, a new baby in the home, severe case of the ‘irrits’ in trying to give up, a health issue, a health goal), then the increasing discomfort that your smoking is causing both you and others dear to you, could provide the right impetus for you to seek some help to give away the addiction.
- Alcohol – is another cause for concern in a lot of people’s lives and a common crutch for getting through the day; and rewarding yourself at the end of it. If this is you?
- Do you find yourself drinking more than you know is good for you?
- Are you too keen for your ‘reward glass of wine’ when you get home?
- If you are willing to change and ready to drink more consciously, then hypnotherapy can help you achieve that refreshed mental and emotional state of positive change.
What’s stopping you from giving up your addiction?
Reasons to hang onto an addiction
It is often preferable to ‘giving it up’ as it can create a sense of loss and self-deprivation; as in – what will I do without it? How can I cope without it? For example, a smoker mostly knows the down and outs of smoking yet conveniently side-steps the reality of their situation, because they do not have anything else to replace it with or there’s nothing else that looks like a better replacement or they really don’t want to give it up. And that’s the crux of the matter. Told to give something up, we all react like demons and resist to the death, which sometimes happens.
How to stop being addicted to smoking, alcohol, work, sex, food, etc is all about discovering that missing part of you that craves a deeper responsiveness of being fed, in the right way that only you can do. Find out how you can do that?
- You might smoke with certain friends and miss losing those friendships or have to stand outside with other smokers, (but feel a secret pleasure in doing so).
- If you stop drinking or aim to reduce your drinking, you worry that you won’t be able to hang out with your friends in the same way that you are used to.
- You really don’t want to change your comfortable addictions, because you love them. Except… they are starting to get you into trouble – in your personal life, your career, social situations…
- You love that ‘wild’ part of you that gets to be socially uninhibited and irresponsible under the influence of your favourite substance. Let that go. Ouch!
How to Give up addictions gracefully – smoking and drinking often go hand in hand, and you might want to give up one but not both! Best to choose the one that’s more destructive.
- Set flexible boundaries with a set-point that you want to stick to and know that you can. For example: Two drinks when out with a third maximum, and check your ride home is arranged to reduce any conflict with partners or others.
- Know your triggers and aim to stay away from them where possible.
- When triggered, aim to stop and investigate what is happening for you? What is your emotional state right now. Are you annoyed with someone, or yourself. Sad, disappointed that something didn’t come off. These emotional states can easily trigger off a desire to cover them up with your favourite substance, to not feel the pain! Pay attention and be in your feeling state and feel the feelings. Your pain will not kill you or make you a worse person. In fact, you will learn to appreciate what they are telling you and how to survive, appreciate them and become emotionally stronger and bounce back.
- Seek support from a friend or partner and let them know what kind of support you would appreciate. This can be tricky. The support you need is not to have a policeman / friend on your case but there as backup in a non-judgemental way.
- Seek the right kind of help.
- At the end of the day, getting rid of addictions that keep you from living the life that you really want to live, is the reason that drives you to change – for a better you.
Hypnosis is particularly effective in correcting these self-harming patterns, that ultimately rob you of your potential to be your real self without artifice and an addictive crutch.
- What do you want from your relationship with your intimate other and not getting?
- What do you need for you to be happy in your relationship?
- What do you need for you to be happy for you?
- How can you do that?
Maintaining a loving relationship takes work and commitment. Speed-bumps are a natural occurrence of being with someone, and generally cause havoc and chaos in any relationship. Speed-bumps throw out a challenge to the relationship to make it better. If no positive change occurs, then the relationship is probably headed for a bumpy ride that may cause casualties!
How do you handle conflict?
Essentially there are different ways in how we handle conflict.
- Do you front up to conflict and accept your part in where, how and why it went wrong?
- Or do you set up road-blocks to prevent accepting any blame whatsoever?
- Or perhaps you hammer the other person first and persist with it to shut the other person down?
- Or are you the one who locks up, withdraws from any argument and sucks in the resentment and the hurt?
Maybe you move around the conflict circle depending on the issue or who the conflict is with?
However you do it, our styles of conflict management have been largely learnt from watching our parents do it at home. Their styles of effective and ineffective conflict will form the basis of how we do it too. So when we enter into intimate relationships with another person, we start to remodel our parents relationship to some extent, as will our partner with their parents style of conflict and communication. So… that can be the start of how you handle conflict unless you want to learn to handle it more effectively and ultimately, more productively. No-one wants to feel the debilitating effects of yet again, another argument that has gone nowhere, and left both of you feeling done – with each other! Again.
Noting when you are doing your Mum or Dad?
- You may notice, with some alarm, similarities in whether you model after your mother or father’s style. After the first time it becomes easier to recognise it and to note it out loud, – Oh oh! I’m doing my mum or my dad!
- The noting helps to stop you in your fighting pattern, and give you pause for thought if not too far gone in fighting mode, to check yourself and ask, ‘do you really want to do this, this way? Or is there another way?’
When you get to notice the patterns of a perhaps dysfunctional style of communication that leads to conflict, or being in a dysfunctional conflict style that does nothing to resolve issues satisfactorily, you can consider what might help to resolve those issues differently. Repeating dysfunctional patterns is tiring and detrimental to any relationship. Learning how to be better at them is easier to do when you seek help to make a difference.
How does Hypnosis improve your conflict approach?
- Firstly – you need to know what you are fighting for?
- Is it to be right, to be dominant, to not give in and so on in that direction… of disharmony
- Do you struggle to be heard and listened to? Are you triggered by this need to argue needlessly?
- What’s really going on between the two of you that conflict ends so badly?
In a hypnotic trance, you safely accesses those old parts of you where conflict never ended well, and through gentle restructuring, you learn a better model for handling conflict well, for now and the future.
Does it work?
Yes. Hypnosis is very effective and works for thousands of people every day, no matter what the issue is. It is safe, simple and scientifically proven.
Will I be asleep?
No. You are in a relaxed and aware state and in control of your experience. Hypnosis is ultimately self-hypnosis, albeit with direction and skilful guidance of your attending therapist.
How will I feel during and after the session?
During the session, you will feel relaxed and comfortable within yourself. Hypnosis is a natural state that we all experience at different times so it will be familiar to you.
Afterwards, you may feel excited to go out and be this new self, or more careful to take your time in adapting to this new self. However you feel, you will discover a more liberated and empowered you.
What if I can’t be hypnotised?
There is a myth that some people can’t be hypnotised and some therapists can describe these people as ‘resistant’ to hypnosis. Everyone can experience hypnosis as long as you choose to.
Am I assured of confidentiality?
Yes. Your records are confidential. They are not shown to anyone without your explicit permission. In the case you may choose to see a medical practitioner you may need access to your records.
How many sessions will I need?
You may need one to two sessions or more depending on your issue or issues. Hypnosis goes to the heart of the matter and accesses memories when decisions that were age appropriate were made. Observing yourself ‘back then’ helps to step aside from your younger self and make more adult decisions to live the kind of life that you want.
Some issues are quick to deal with, as your understanding and willingness to change make it so. Others such as anxiety and depression can be more multilayered and take longer. You can expect to feel much better after the first session.
What if I uncover something that I don’t want to share?
Your experience is yours to share or not too. Sometimes, a memory or experience will come up that you are unsure about, and need to process it in your own way. This in no way affects the outcome of your hypnosis session.
Do you do regression?
Yes. Regression (taking a person back to an earlier time in their life) is an important part of hypnosis to help discover the origin of an issue. To overcome most issues, it is important to go back to the source, and to repair it from that place to effect a difference in the present.
What ages do you work with?
From 8 years to onwards. Children younger than 8 are generally easy to work with and are very receptive to hypnosis. However a parent needs to be present for a child under 14 years of age. And the child’s need has to be ascertained first, as in what serves the child best for them.
Collaborate with your brain
- Your brain always does what it thinks you want it to do
- It tries to move you away from pain towards pleasure
- It only responds to the pictures in your head and the thoughts you say
- Your brain likes to stay in what is familiar
Your brain always does what it thinks you want it do.
- By all means, grumble about those 2 am feeds with your newborn and again at 4 am, and instead of saying, ‘this baby is killing me’, say something different. Change your tune and turn the pain of that wakefulness when you’d rather be sleeping, into ‘I’m up with my beautiful baby right now. Sure it sucks, but it’s okay. It won’t always be like this and right now this is a beautiful experience for the two of us.’
- Say no to sugar and the things that make you fat and unhealthy, and make unfamiliar familiar.
- Avoiding a client that you ‘can’t stand’, or a friend who ‘sucks the life out of you,’ or a party because you can’t cope with the pressure, causes conflict in your brain. Is it pleasurable or painful. Tell your brain what you really want and stand up to the challenge. Maybe the client isn’t so much painful, as needy. Maybe you need some help or skills with managing this client or friend and this conflict is actually useful for you to learn something new. Make unfamiliar familiar and upgrade your skills and be proud of yourself, instead of ‘down’ on yourself.
- Tell your mind what you really want. Take out all of the stuff of, ‘ I can’t stand this, this is killing me, I’m hopeless, I’m stressed out, I’m at my max. I can’t take it anymore, etc. Look at what is really going on with you.
- Tell your mind that you want to appreciate your life right now, and how you are going to do that.
- Praise yourself and make that familiar. Make criticism unfamiliar.
It tries to move you away from pain towards pleasure
- Link pleasure to what you are doing, even if it’s hard. Say to yourself, ‘I have great concentration skills.’ ‘I love what I’m doing.’ ‘I’m doing an amazing job.’ Keep doing this and remember to make what’s positive and unfamiliar, familiar.
- Make what’s negative and familiar unfamiliar by linking pleasure to positive and familiar.
- You can choose to do this and the more you do, you will change the linking of your brain to the positive and familiar to make your life successful in the way you want it to be. It moves you towards pleasure to end your pain but if you are coding in the wrong messages, you will always stay stuck in reactive mode. Change the channel.
It only responds to the pictures in your head and the thoughts you say
- The way you feel about everything comes down to the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself.
- If you say over and over, ‘I’m so hopeless, stupid, idiot, etc. What meaning do you think your brain makes about you? Einstein.
- Learn to reframe and turn around those painful things you say about yourself and the painful images you imagine into pleasurable ones.
- Make unfamiliar familiar.
- Become clever by saying truly clever things about yourself and imagining yourself being clever.
Your brain likes to stay in what is familiar
- So learn to link pleasure to what you are doing, even though it seems unfamiliar or not true.
- People who want to succeed choose to link pleasure to working long hours on their new job, new business, new goal, etc.
- People who say that their new job, new baby, new partner, etc is killing them, will get results that they may not want. Their brain will interpret these words over and over, and do something to save you from ‘killing yourself’. What that might be could be different to what you intended. Get sick, sabotage yourself, have accidental accidents!
- Far better to rise to the challenge of going to the gym, albeit with grumbles and getting that rush of ‘feel-good’ endorphins during and after your session. Reminding yourself how satisfying it feels to work-out and turn pain of effort into pleasurable.
- Praise yourself and make that familiar. Make criticism unfamiliar.
Practising these skills will turn your life around and give you enormous pleasure in being you. Hypnosis is an effective and safe method to firstly access these initial beliefs and thoughts and change them from painful thoughts into pleasurable ones.
- Early Parenting
- Stress Management
- Confidence/Intimacy issues
- Relationship/Confidence issues
- Anxiety & Depression
- Life’s Transitions
- Women’s Health
- Addictions / Phobias
Free 10-15 minute consultations to talk more about your concerns and individual needs
Duration of sessions – 90 minutes
Cost of Therapeutic Sessions- $165 for first session and ongoing
Claire Cleaver is a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist and has many years experience working with clients and their families.