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Hypnoanalysis - Sometimes also known as

Analytical Hypnotherapy.

 

Commonly thought of as regression therapy. We use hypnosis to locate the root cause of problems, release the carried emotional burden, re-frame the event accurately, and reconfigure the limiting beliefs that were taken on at that time. 

Often, in life, we will have had experiences which will have proven too much to cope with at the time when they occurred, particularly as children when we didn’t have the necessary resources or understanding to emotionally process the event or situation. Though we may feel we have dealt with those issues intellectually, it is commonly the case that the emotional impact of those experiences remains unresolved. Unresolved emotion can be held in the psyche, manifesting as ongoing tension, fear, or defensiveness. It can have a powerful effect on our present day lives. It can be that a single event in the past has caused a symptom we are experiencing in the present, but more often than not it is an accumulation of a number of tiny traumas which are causing difficulties. One way of changing what you feel today is to re-view and re-write the experiences that started you feeling things in that way. Analytical hypnotherapy uses regressional techniques (not past life...just this life) to allow the clients’ subconscious mind to wander freely to locate those memories which contain unresolved material (emotion/negative beliefs etc). Feelings have roots at one level, and by following feelings back to their roots we can access the moment or period of the creation of a belief/feeling. When we successfully locate a repressed emotion under hypnosis we often make contact with that emotion in a very real way, and it is literally “released”. This release can be profound….a real weight off the shoulders. With the repressed emotion now freed from the psyche, it is possible to re-frame the situation with the understanding we possess as an adult. If we are lacking that understanding then that's the role of the therapist to help clarify an accurate picture. Re-framing forms a substantial part of the analytical process, and even the most traumatic of events can be dealt with using effective modern techniques designed to emotionally de-sensitise us from traumatic memories. It's not always a trauma that creates a problem though. Sometimes it can be something very innocent which was simply misunderstood or taken too literally. Often it's a case of righting wrongs (which we do by re-viewing and re-framing the situation at its creation point) at the mental and emotional level, thus creating a new root from which a stronger today can feed. We cannot change the past but we can change our perception of what the past means to us and how it affects what we do, think, feel, and say today. Memory is fluid, meaning the way we remember things is not set in stone. The story we tell ourselves about ourselves is often a story told only from one perspective. Our subconscious minds can be amazingly helpful in this process and can show us a very rounded picture of our lives, allowing us to learn new perspectives on old assumptions about ourselves, other people, and the world around us.

Hypno-analysis is quite different from other forms of analysis where you go and you "talk" about your "issues" and "analyse" why things are the way they are. These therapies take place at the intellectual and analytical logical level and are usually focused on understanding the "why" of things. Though this can be helpful, it can also become counter productive, since knowing "why" doesn't always change the way we feel and often just focuses us on problems. It's extremely common for people to say to me "I understand my difficulty intellectually inside out. I know WHY I have the problem....I just don't know how to heal it". "Why" is really not so important. What's important is releasing the stuck emotion (something "just" understanding an issue rarely does) and then re-framing the event in a new light which then feeds into all future perception from the root rather than as a purely intellectual concept. This helps bring about a conscious rejection of limiting ideas or beliefs about ourselves since they are no longer being "driven" by a limiting subconscious belief system or avoidance mechanism. With the emotional charge now released and a new understanding of the situation in place at the moment of its creation, you are free to think and feel more flexibly.

Hypnoanalysis can definitely change the way you feel. Hypno-analysis uses the "feeling" body, not the "analytical mind". Hypnosis, being a way of screening out internal/external chatter, is a powerful tool for being able to really tune in to the feeling body and give it our full attention. Often we are able to bring a level of attention to these feelings (through hypnosis) that allows us to fully explore them in a way that is not ordinarily available. Many people report the recall and connection with their "self" to be of "incredible clarity". The changes that can then take place happen at quite a visceral level. People undergoing analytical therapy are often very surprised by the clarity of memory and the authentic emotional release that can take place when we work at this level. I have worked with people who could hardly breathe because they had accumulated so much tension in their chest who have walked out after a single session visibly relaxed smiling and able to breathe easily again. This isn't how it unfolds for everyone on every occasion, but if the time is right a sizeable chunk of accumulated lifetime tension can be released in moments. It's a beautiful thing when that happens. It should be noted then that analytical hypnotherapy can be emotional work but it can also be very beautiful work. Much of the time we can positively process and heal the material that arises in a session right there and then. Sometimes it takes a little time to filter through your system. We may experience some residual grief, or residual anger, but since the way I work is focused so strongly on being kind to oneself, and teaching my clients the same, then this is usually a relatively gentle and cleansing experience that doesn't last very long. More often it simply takes a little time to adjust to feeling differently. If you've spent a lifetime "engineering" around your problem and suddenly you don't have to any more, as positive as that is, it still requires some adjustment. This is process, and it's ultimately a good thing. This is what deep change feels like. Something that arises sometimes following this kind of work is that the client will grieve a little for lost time. This is not regret that they did the work of healing but regret that they hadn't done it sooner, that is, regret that they'd carried a weight, unnecessarily, for so long. So, yes, it can be emotional, but if practiced with proper understanding it is ultimately a very positive experience. 

You will find that many hypnotherapists (particularly here in Bristol) will focus exclusively on Solution Focused Therapy and do not offer hypnoanalysis. That's largely because hypnoanalysis can be emotionally arousing work (though it isn't always) and solution focused therapy is generally focused solely on reducing current emotional arousal by solving current problems. As a result of this thinking many solution focused therapists have written off analytical intervention as a therapy of questionable value. I have practiced both approaches for almost a decade with a completely open mind and I can steadfastly report that as sound as this logic seems at face value it has been found to be incorrect in my experience. Analytical Hypnotherapy may be emotionally arousing work but the deep healing which often results far outweighs any cost the momentary arousal could be said to have. In fact then it is not a case of either/or. Both approaches have their rightful place and both have strengths in different areas. For many difficulties the solution focused approach will be quite adequate. Indeed I will often use a solely solution focused approach myself. There are some problems however which will benefit hugely from a deeper intervention. In practice these wounds are often focused around negative beliefs about ourselves such as "I'm not good enough". With the correct intervention, most people can quickly learn to feel and know that in fact they are good enough. This isn't merely an intellectual understanding that is known but not felt. The goal here is to create change at the core belief level. If "the prover proves what the believer believes" then this is pretty fundamental stuff to wellbeing. If wellbeing is to be felt it needs to be believed emotionally as well as intellectually. I argue that we can sort out all the problems in our lives until the cows come home but if we're going through life feeling that we're fundamentally not good enough then true wellbeing remains out of reach. I am passionate about this work. Again and again I see people dealing with wounds in a way that they wouldn't have dared to believe was possible. It's not actually that difficult, and in most cases it doesn't take very long.... when you know how. 

When I trained I was trained in both disciplines - solution focused and analytical. Over the years it has become clear to me that both have their place and I have found that analytical techniques can sometimes create massive therapeutic gains in a single session. Some people say to me that they specifically want to look at their past. So long as they understand that there are a few solution focused principles that we need to keep in focus at the same time, then I'm happy to use a past focused therapy, providing it's relevant to the problem. Other people don't want to touch on the past at all. Well that's fine...we simply stay in solution focused mode! It depends what the difficulty is too. Sometimes it's obvious that a problem is rooted in the past. Then I might suggest that we work on it analytically, but we don't have to. There's more than one way to solve a difficulty.

Analytical therapy is best suited to those problems which are clearly located in the past or of an unknown origin and analysis often leads to clients gaining a much greater understanding of their personal history. The process of re-viewing and re-framing early events through the eyes of an adult can be profoundly transformative. If you're okay with that and can see the benefit of allowing those emotions to move through you (and out of your system ultimately) then you'll be comfortable with hypnoanalysis. If not, then it won't be for you, and you're more suited to solution focused hypnotherapy.

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