Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis as a remedy for mental and physical disorders, but also for sports performance improvement. The patient is brought into a trance by the hypnotherapist, but keeps control over himself.
Hypnotherapy assumes that the human mind has the ability to activate the body’s recovery and healing mechanisms. The hypnotherapist can reach the subconscious by bringing a person into a trance. This trance can be light, moderate or deep. The session starts with relaxation. There are several ways to reach a state of total relaxation. The most common is by using imagination.
Hypnotherapy is used for:
- Dealing with tensions and solving mental problems (nervousness, fears and phobias).
- Processing traumas and unlearning undesirable behaviour (such as addictions).
- Solving sleep problems (insomnia, bad dreams).
- Fear of failure (such as exam fear).
- Solving psychosomatic symptoms (hyperventilation, gastrointestinal disorders).
- Solving sexual problems.
- Healing or relieving various physical symptoms.
- Reinforcing and accelerating healing processes.
- Eliminating or relieving pain (arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, etc.).
- Improving concentration and memory (study, work, sports performance).
- Training physical and social skills.
- Gaining insight into your own personality and possibilities.
A hypnotherapy session starts with establishing hypnosis, under the direction of the therapist. This is often done by focusing attention, for example by looking concentrated at something or making a physical exercise. There is also a high degree of relaxation achieved and images are evoked, for example, from a relaxing garden or a meadow landscape.
When the trance has been reached, the patient feels calm and satisfied. The therapist asks the patient to hold onto these feelings, even when attention is focused on the patient’s symptoms. Then the patient receives some suggestions from the therapist. These suggestions aim to reduce the patient’s problem. An example of such a therapeutic suggestion is to examine in the peace of hypnosis how a painful situation might be experienced in another way. After a hypnotherapy session, the patient often receives a sound recording of the hypnosis, which can be practiced at home in the form of self-hypnosis.
Depending on the symptom and the therapy, some sessions may already be sufficient. In some cases, hypnotherapy can take several months to even years. A session lasts an average of one to two hours.
It is quite possible that hypnotherapy appears to be successful, but that there are still symptoms left. In addition, it’s often unfortunately the case that not all symptoms can be resolved and the patient will have to accept a part of it.
- A hypnotherapist cannot hypnotize anyone involuntarily. Hypnosis can only arise from a voluntary cooperation.
- Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and concentration, which has more in common with yoga and meditation. The patient gains extra control over himself, instead of losing control.