In your first hypnotherapy session, one of the first things you will learn about is how your brain works. We find out more from our new hypnotherapist Orla Kirby, as she explains what hypnotherapy can do for you, and what it involves
As a trainee hypnotherapist, one of the questions I get asked the most is ‘What actually happens in a hypnotherapy session?’
Your first session
People often have at least an idea of what makes up a counselling session, for example, but can be a bit less clear on what actually goes on in hypnotherapy.
In Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy, there is a very strong basis in neuroscience, with the first session primarily concerned with learning about the human brain. This involves a detailed explanation of what is going on chemically and physically in the brain during depression, anxiety, stress, fear and other challenging states. You will also be given a practical outline of how to take steps, using the process of hypnotherapy, to allow your brain to function in the most mentally healthy way possible. By the end of this session, you would understand exactly why hypnotherapy works so well for such a wide range of issues.
What can hypnotherapy help with?
Hypnotherapy is highly effective in helping people to move out of and away from:
- low mood
- fears and phobias
- weight and eating issues
- ongoing stress and worries
- low self-esteem.
It is also excellent for assisting with certain physical issues such as chronic pain, IBS, and sleeping issues or insomnia, and anything else associated in any way with stress levels.
The reason hypnotherapy can help in this way is because it is focused on moving people away from being overly active in the primitive brain — the amygdala, the hippocampus and the hypothalamus. It is here that experiences such as anxiety, stress, depression and fear are all rooted and to a certain extent created. Instead, hypnotherapy moves people up into being more active in the intellectual brain, or cortex.
This intellectual part of the brain, stretching right across the very top of your head, is the part that is connected with confidence, creativity and strong decision-making. It is the part that comes up with ideas and solutions, which is generally quite positive and forward looking, and which connects us to all of our own natural powers, instincts and resources. This is why hypnotherapy can also be used to improve and enhance performance in terms of sporting achievement, public speaking, and a wide range of professional situations. It is also way it can help to enrich and deepen creative or artistic experiences.
Each subsequent session after your first appointment, which focuses primarily on the neuroscience, is then divided into two:
- the talking element
- the hypnosis element.
The first part is a ‘talking’ process, using techniques drawn from NLP, CBT, Solution-Focused-Brief Therapy, and Positive Psychology to get you active in an entirely different and new way within your own brain. This is the part where you will learn strategies and methods for managing your own thoughts and emotions, for getting you active in that intellectual part of your brain, and also for positively visualising the future and identifying your own unique skills and resources. You will be building, developing and establishing new, more beneficial neural networks.
The second part of each session is where the client lies down on the couch, closes their eyes and breathes deeply, while the hypnotherapist reads a hypnosis script that has been specifically designed to encourage a state of deep relaxation. You will be given a recording of this script to listen to at home. It is very enjoyable and easy to enter into. You need not worry if you have previously had difficulties engaging with yoga or meditation, for example, or if you struggle to focus, as part of the work of hypnotherapy involves learning how to focus in this way. The hypnosis part of the work acts positively on your life as a whole, putting you generally into a calmer, more confident state, and also creates the psychological space necessary for the ‘talking’ part of the work to be effective.
Come and try it for yourself….
So, come and enjoy deep relaxation, learn more about your own brain, and discover how to best work towards your most positive and effective future, whatever it is that you want to let go of, whatever it is that you want to achieve!