You’ve Got Questions. I’ve Got Answers

About Hypnosis

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis can simply be defined as a state of heightened receptivity in which you’re able to refocus your mind and body for success. It’s an integrative process of rebuilding habits and behaviors, as well as emotions, beliefs, and feelings.

Have you ever found yourself completely absorbed in an activity to the exclusion of everything else? That is a natural trance-like state. Common examples of this are while watching a movie or reading a book, and becoming entranced with the story. Or you’ve been driving the car and can’t remember actually driving there.

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state you’ve already experienced thousands of times. It is not manipulation, mind control, or magic. It simply is a tool that will allow you to tap into the power of your mind and take control of your life.

What’s the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Think of hypnosis as a tool and hypnotherapy as the use of a tool. The definition of hypnotherapy is clear from the word itself. Hypnotherapy is the practice of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. Rather like Art is used as a way to help people with Art Therapy.

This means that as a therapist, I use the tool of hypnosis to deliver a therapeutic message to the non-conscious part of your brain. Think of your brain like a computer system. In the relaxed, hyper-focused state of hypnosis — under the guidance of a hypnotherapist — your computer files can choose to re-wire new neural pathways. And because this is happening direct to the hard drive, the conscious part of your brain can’t interrupt with a ‘yes – but’ reason for it not to work. It drops beneath the rational part of the brain.

In Australia, to be called a Hypnotherapist, a practitioner must have completed their training with a Registered Training Organisation which is Government Accredited and uses the AQF (Australian Quality Framework). This means that the qualification is recognised by employers, insurers, associations and other training providers.

The American Psychological Association concludes, “Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders.”

The British Psychological Society commissioned a working group to survey the evidence and write a formal report on hypnotherapy in 2001. They found, “Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.”

Cutting-edge brain imaging technology now gives us a window into the physical manifestations of hypnotherapy. When they scanned the brains of 57 individuals undergoing hypnosis, Stanford researchers reported that sections of the brain associated with insight and change showed “altered activity and connectivity.”

Will I lose control?

No. Hypnosis is a state of mind that requires consent. You will be aware of what I am saying during the session and cannot be made to do against your own morals. You cannot be made to tell secrets while experiencing hypnosis.

A common misconception of hypnosis involves a potential client thinking that they may be “too strong-willed” to be hypnotized. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The stronger your ability to focus and concentrate, the faster and easier you will go into hypnosis.

Will I be asleep?

No. Hypnosis is actually a heightened state of awareness. The hypnotized subject is cognizant of their surroundings. You will hear cars outside or even voices from the room next door – confirming you are alert and in control the entire time.

What does it feel like?

By definition, hypnosis is NOT a state of relaxation, but as many issues are related to stress or anxiety, we often create a profoundly relaxed state to assist in making the changes. Most people report feeling very relaxed or pleasantly lethargic. Many clients are surprised at how “normal” the experience feels, as many have been conditioned by movies or television to think there is a “magic feeling” that suddenly washes over you.

Your mind will be alert and perceptive of the suggestions it is receiving. Your focus will be directly on your experience or the words of the suggestions you are receiving.

How long does it take?

Rapid change is possible with hypnosis. Most of my clients are scheduled for a brief series of sessions, as my goal is to provide you with the most effective hypnotic process in the most efficient use of your time. This model allows for an effective series of sessions with continued reinforcement, self-hypnosis training, and proper customization for your unique set of needs.

Most people begin to experience benefits from the very first session, though hypnosis is a process.

Can I claim on my health fund?

Yes, some health funds will give you rebates for hypnotherapy sessions. Please check with your provider. Please be aware that whilst a health fund may indicate that they provide a rebate for hypnotherapy, this rebate may only be claimable if you have the appropriate level of health cover with that fund and have not exceeded any limits on how much you are eligible to claim back over a certain period of time.

Some private health funds that do cover hypnotherapy are: CBHS Health Fund; CUA Health Fund; Grand United Health; HBF (WA); Health Care Insurance Limited (only for Quit Smoking and Weight Loss programs; Health.com.au; Health Partners; Navy Health Fund; NRMA Health Insurances (East Coast & Tasmania); Phoenix Health Fund; Queensland Country Health; tHealth Fund (Formerly Railway and Transport Health Fund Ltd); Reserve Bank Health Society; Teachers Federation Health; SGIC Health Insurance (SA and NT); SGIO Health Insurance (WA).

If your health fund does not cover hypnotherapy, I encourage you to pass on your comments and complaints to your Health Fund, so that the Funds will get an appreciation of what it is you, as members, want.

How long does it take?

Sessions go for approximately 1 hour. I recommend a package of three sessions as a minimum. Hypnotherapy is not a long term treatment and usually most issues can be resolved on average in three to six sessions. In some cases people will require extra sessions or booster sessions if there are other issues involved. In our initial session we will discuss my proposed treatment plan and how many sessions that may require.

What is Strategic Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a generic label for a large and growing number of interventions, which share certain and defining characteristics, such as being intended to be therapeutic, being based on psychological principles and their derivative treatment methods, and being delivered by trained professionals. From: International Review of Neurobiology, 2018

Strategic psychotherapy is a term coined by Jay Hayley who was one of the founding figures of brief and family therapy in general, and of the strategic model of psychotherapy.

Strategic Therapy is any type of therapy where the therapist initiates what happens during therapy and designs a particular approach for each problem. As Haley wrote in Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques Of Milton H. Erickson MD: “Strategic therapy isn’t a particular approach or theory, but a name for the types of therapy where the therapist takes responsibility for directly influencing people” (p. 17).[7]

About Coaching

What is Coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. It is a collaborative, solution focused and result-orientated process facilitated by the coach.

There is a multitude of scientific research on neuroscience and hypnosis. You can research many of them on Google Scholar. Check out some of those studies here.