Hypnotherapy is an adjunct therapy used to put you into a state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility. During hypnotherapy sessions, your therapist guides you into a hypnotic state, while gently directing you to explore the issues we are addressing together in therapy. During this process, you will focus your attention inward and tap into your own inner wisdom for guidance and clarity. It might sound like a very foreign experience, but even skeptics often find that it’s quite normal-feeling, and there’s really no need to be intimidated or afraid.
Frequently used in conjunction with psychotherapy or counseling interventions, hypnotherapy can be a very effective treatment for behavior modification, supporting overall mental health and well-being, improving relationships, and addressing childhood and past trauma.
For many individuals, hypnosis has proven to be an effective intervention in treating anxiety, depression, grief, substance use and addiction, unhealthy relationship patterns, work stress, phobias, emotional dysregulation, lack of confidence or self-worth, lack of motivation, burnout and overwhelm, as well as many other spontaneous patterns or unwanted behaviors.
Hypnosis is a heightened state of focused concentration and relaxation. Sometimes it is referred to as being “in a trance.” Trance states are something that we access continually throughout the day. If you have ever found yourself lost in a daydream, if you have ever let your mind wander during a meeting—missing every word your boss said—then you have experienced a trance state.
Hypnosis is not a type of therapy, per se, but it’s a tool we use to help you focus your attention inward, to help you access information that may not be available to you in a waking or fully conscious state.
Just like when you get lost in a daydream, you are in complete control of how deep you go while under hypnosis. If you feel uncomfortable or overly anxious, you can pull yourself out of it at any time because you are in complete control of the process.
When you are hypnotized, you are not asleep or unconscious. You are fully aware of everything that is taking place around you. You are aware of your surroundings, yet your attention is focused somewhere else. The conscious part of your mind is distracted or hyper-focused, allowing you to explore the subconscious mind deeply.
The purpose of hypnotherapy is to help you explore your unconscious thoughts, triggers, and motivations. By the time you choose to engage in therapy, you have likely already thought a great deal about your challenges, and likely analyzed them extensively, maybe even for years!
When this is the case, many people find that they are stuck in an endless loop of the same information. Often, this is information that replays in their minds, over and over again. While this information may be true and valid, the constant analytical loops aren’t helping break through or make the desired changes.
Hypnotherapy is a way to tap into the subconscious or unconscious mind and discover what is happening below the surface. This is where you have the potential to uncover memories, negative thought patterns, and limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck in unwanted patterns of behavior or negative mental or emotional states.
In conjunction with psychotherapy, this awareness of the information stored in your subconscious or unconscious mind allows you to begin to shift long-held perceptions of yourself and your concerns. This awareness also allows us to introduce new behaviors that will support your progress, and this awareness ultimately allows you to heal.
Hypnotherapy results vary quite a lot from individual to individual. The outcomes depend on you, how you respond to the therapy, and the goals you are hoping to achieve.
Some people notice a considerable shift after just a couple of sessions, while others may require more time to work through the issues they would like to address. Keep in mind that hypnotherapy is not a magical or an instant solution. Your commitment to the process and your determination to achieve your goals will have a significant influence on your results.
At Anchor Light Therapy, our experience tells us that hypnotherapy is best applied in conjunction with psychotherapy. As with psychotherapy, the length of treatment and the number of sessions required varies. Results depend largely on the willingness of clients to overcome their situation and the complexity of the problem itself.