What is Hypnotherapy ?
Hypnotherapy is a form of relaxation that allows individuals to access the very thoughts that interfere with their therapeutic goals. Have you ever given yourself a list of "must do's" only to lose track of time and forget to follow through with your goals? Much of modern day scientific research has shown that we only actively use a very tiny portion of our minds. In hypnotherapy we call the active part of the mind the "conscious" state. The rest of the mind, which is significantly larger, is called the
" unconscious state". The ratio is thought to be approximately 5-10% to 90-95%. The unconscious state runs a major part of our every day lives and it contains the memories that form our habits; childhood beliefs, thoughts, fears, dreams, creative passions, and so on.
Can anybody get hypnothized?
Reseearch estimates that approximately 85 percent of the population can get hypnothized. So, far I haven't come across a person that hasn't been able to be hypnothized. That said it is said that it is more difficult for those on heavy medication, going through mania, psychosis or heavily influenced by drugs and alcohol.
How do we sabotage our goals?
When we are stressed or tired it is very easy to become less aware and slip into our unconscious mind. During this process our fears and doubts can interfere with our intentions. Ever find "inappropriate words" slip out of your mouth when under duress? This is because your unconscious mind simply took over and voiced your fears and anxieties.
What does the process look like?
The client is awake for the entire process. If the client does fall asleep , its the hynotherapist's responsibility to nudge (with the prior permission ) the client on the shoulder. The actual process of hypnotherapy invites the individual into a meditative or relaxed state allowing his/her body functions e.g. heart, and breath to slow down thereby inviting the mind's chatter to slow down and allow a deeper access to one's intuition. Each individual has a different relationship with their six senses (sense of sight, touch, smell, hearing, feeling, intuition), so it’s the therapist's job to learn how to personalize the hypnotherapy session. Considering that we spend almost one third of our lives asleep, it is quite a natural process to be able to tap into some of our dreams and / or unconscious thoughts and feelings. Hypnotherapy allows the client to access this deeper "unconscious" state which can be very empowering for the client to explore his or her own wisdom and advice.
During this relaxed state the client is alert and awake, yet more open to suggestions and can receive more validating affirmations and visualizations from the therapist. This state could be compared to the way children are so open and accepting of ideas. This process acts like a bridge channeling information from the dream state to the awake state thereby allowing us to access some of the rich inspiration and dreams that we often forget immediately after we awake. It is no surprise that most clients report a more active dream life once they start this process. These dreams quite often empower clients to access their own personal power and understand their unconscious patterns. Hypnotherapy can essentially help us unlock our passions and dreams and allow them to flow more easily into our conscious state.
How is it different from regular psychotherapy or therapy?
Hypnotherapy can be really helpful with shifting habits, phobias, obsessive behaviors; the very thought patterns that get us locked in a bind. It's successful with these areas because a lot of our thought patterns form crystalline structures because of the chemicals they produce that become rigid over time. The deepening process helps to loosen up the thought structure so that the client isn't so identified by their emotional stories.We are after all creatures of habit, and some people really need to hold on to their habits to feel safe. By loosening the thought process with invited ease and meditation, an allowance for creative exploration can occur. Hypnotherapy isn't just deepening into the unconscious , there is an art in the way the hypnotherapist helps the client tap into their strengths be them visual, somatic, sensing, smelling, auditory.
The reason that we need to go so deep into the unconscious is that quite often we discover that we have unconscious patterns that contradict the conscious mind. This conflict needs to be addressed before any kind of alternative thought patterns is suggested to the client. For example a client can chose to eat excessively because they don't want to be in an intimate relationship. If their conscious mind is to lose weight, this won't happen until the conflict is addressed.When the unconscious has a clear motivation only then can it accept positive healing affirmations while in a trance. Sometimes these conflicts emerge while clients are in a trance, and the hypnotherapist can guide them through the process.
Clients often report feeling very relaxed, and alert after hypnotherapy sessions and start to notice shifts in their behaviors, thoughts, and dreams within days or hours of their sessions.
Past life Regression
One doesn't have to believe that we have had past lives to do this process.Quite often when we watch movies, we don't know the actors, never have been to the location, and never experienced the plot, yet we cry, feel and emote.Only in this case the character is an imaginary person in a different time of life. Clients can find this work to be very powerful and the learnings can have transformative experiences.
The process involves guiding the client around an issue that is stressing them , or a dream that haunts them. Sometimes, peoples' stresses can't be explained by their current family or relationship circumstances.
Present Life Regression
With the hypnotherapist's guidance the client is well resourced in order to explore his or her sixth sensual experience of their past trauma or stress. The client can at any point return to their safe place and a communications channel is available through out the process with the therapist.This allows the client to really see what it was like for them during the scene of the incident that caused them pain. They can learn to monitor their tolerance for the memory and become empowered with their wisdom and hope.
Hypnotherapy can be helpful for a number of issues such as:
* Anxiety and stress (including performance anxiety and test anxiety).
* Despression and grief
* Relationship and career blocks
* Panic attacks and phobias (e.g. fear of flying, spiders etc.).
* Low self-esteem and critical self-judgment.
* Insomnia and rumination (obsessive looping thoughts).
* Obsessive habits e.g. nail biting, over eating.
* Diet changes e.g gluten free/dairy free/food allergies.
* Pain management and preparation for surgery.
* Trauma (physical, emotional and spiritual )
* Hyperactivity and loss of impulse control and/or concentration
Clodagh O' Herlihy, MFT, CHT
Phone number : 503-327-6440
2279 NW Irving street,
Portland, Oregon 97210