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Hypnotherapy - How does it work? 

Most people are familiar with self imposed limitation. We might decide that we are unhappy in our job and want to find a new one. If we have a healthy level of confidence, then that might sound like a good idea. All too often though, the immediate response from our mind will be something like "It might be worse if you go somewhere else to work......better the devil you know.....you'll have to accept less money....it's just the same wherever you go anyway!" Since there is a desire to change jobs then all of these statements are negative programmes....blocks to change. Some blocks we can easily overcome, but sometimes the negative emotional response to change can be overwhelming.

When there is a struggle for power between the will of the conscious mind and the situation as perceived by the subconscious mind, the subconscious invariably wins. This is because the subconscious mind is concerned with protecting the organism, and where safety is concerned, instinct always overrides the intellect. We know also that when danger is perceived, then the subconscious mind necessarily sees (forecasts) the worst in any given situation. If there is a problem with change therefore, where change is required or desired, it will be because the subconscious believes the outcome will be damaging to the organism in some way, even if this damage is purely emotional (i.e I’ll be humiliated). Ordinarily, almost no amount of kicking and screaming from our conscious mind (our ordinary "will") can convince the subconscious that the outcome will be any less disastrous than the subconscious clearly believes it will be, and if our subconscious mistakenly believes that there is danger where there is not, then we start to get problems. The subconscious mind will engineer an “avoidance” mechanism which makes sure that we do not enter the potentially dangerous situation again. This will range from making us feel uncomfortable about entering a situation, which we might experience as a sense of uncertainty and lack of confidence, right through to making it downright impossible for us to do so……usually taking the form of phobias, panic syndrome, anger, anxiety, depression, and in some cases serious physical debilitation. The subconscious can produce very severe symptoms as an avoidance mechanism.

Most of the time the subconscious does a wonderful job of keeping us safe and well, but by its very nature, and certainly with the best intentions, it sometimes does more harm than good. This is particularly true where wires are crossed as often is the case with phobic responses to harmless everyday objects. Its purpose and intention however is to be our friend and protector and it will oblige in helping us enormously when it understands what we would like it to do for us. Hypnotherapy aims to re-discover the limiting or symptom-causing belief system and re-frame it so that the subconscious mind understands that the presenting symptom or limitation is neither relevant nor necessary, and we can go further to show it what we would like to achieve in place of that limitation.

With hypnosis we are able to bypass the usual instinctive distrust of the situation in question by using relaxation and focus to show the subconscious that the organism is safe and that there is another way to view the situation. In other words, a skilled hypnotherapist is trained to access the clients' subconscious belief system and re-write negative beliefs with new, more positive and productive programmes. We know that the language of the subconscious is imagination; or put another way, we know that those things we imagine happening a certain way will conform to our expectations emotionally and ultimately, as a result…in actuality. So we achieve positive change by literally re-imagining the outcomes and issues attached to any given circumstance. Emotive metaphor and suggestion is used to create a new understanding of self at a conscious and subconscious level. This process is not to be underestimated. It IS actually how we live our lives. Our reality is dictated by our belief systems at both a conscious and subconscious level. The absolute beauty of this therapy is that not only can we alleviate painful or limiting symptoms, we can also aid with improving performance and enjoyment in almost all walks of life. 

 

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