Here is the big picture.
I believe that our individual and separate experience of life takes place within a larger reality which appears to be intelligent, or at least self organising. In traditional Chinese philosophy this would be called the ‘Dao’. Hypnosis is grounded in this bigger picture of how life is, and allows us to influence our perception and experience of life.
Much of our individual personality, habits and behaviours have been constructed and conditioned out of conscious awareness and we mistake how we feel, think and respond as being permanent and our ‘selves’.
Hypnosis is a set of skills that employ the ordinary psychological processes which we all have, in order to make deliberate changes in what happened by default. For instance, when we meet the world, as we all do every day, we find many things stressful. With hypnosis we can see how we may have been responding to the world through thoughts and feelings which themselves contributed to our experience of stress (or even were themselves our experience of stress). We can learn to respond differently and recognise more clearly what is in us and what is in the world, which in turn will enable us to recognise what opportunity exists to make changes in the external circumstances if needed.
Hypnosis is one of the tools that allows us to remove our blinkers and see more of the bigger picture, the Dao in a situation, and so have more of the creative potential available to us than our limited, habitual learned responses.
How does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis is a set of tools and skills that can be developed and deployed to improve our lives. It is a means of accessing and influencing habitual learned patterns that typically happen without our conscious approval or permission. When I feel anxious, it just seems to happen on its own. If I get stressed it looks like the world is causing me to feel that way. When I see that lovely piece of cake it calls to me in a way that ignores my conscious intention to diet!
Hypnosis is a collaborative process that works at this level of automatic behaviour, feeling and thought and influences it in your chosen direction. We feel less anxious and stressed even though the external world does not change, we encourage ourselves with positive thoughts and feelings to pass up the cake without feeling deprived!
What is hypnosis good for?
If you look at any hypnotherapist’s website you will typically see the same things. Smoking cessation, weight reduction, stress and anxiety management, exam nerves, and similar. These are all end applications of the same psychological processes rather than hypnosis or hypnotherapy itself.
Hypnosis is good for those areas in life where we are bumping against the hard edges. I particularly work with people experiencing work related stress as that is an area of personal interest to me. I also work more widely because the way we experience problems tends to be the same psychological processes across various contexts.
Really, there is only one problem, and that is being so caught up in our (completely normal) psychological illusions that we argue with Reality.
We lose – but only every time.
Of course that all sounds very grand and very philosophical.
But it’s really not. It’s normal people experiencing normal problems – the binge eating and drinking, the fear of giving a presentation, the awful sinking feeling as Sunday wears into Monday, the instant depression or anger when you see that person…
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Change begins with imagining something differently. It is a collaborative process rather than The Hypnotist pulling down lightening bolts from the gods and changing you from the outside. Hypnosis utilises normal psychological processes and you engaging positively with the process, encouraging yourself and practising the skills you learn, all contributes to a better outcome for you.
I look at how you are encountering the area of your life you have chosen to work with. I assess what you are bringing to the table that is helpful or actually maintaining the situation. I appraise what thoughts, beliefs and feelings are getting in your way of changing – what feels so real to you that you do not question its reality.
Then I work with you to develop and deploy the hypnotic skills to wake up.
Ironically, hypnosis is about waking up rather than going to sleep. There is a ‘Dao’ for every situation, a way that things are / the bigger picture is, and sometimes Life itself will do the heavy lifting if we get out of our own way long enough. Other times we need to deliberately practice new cognitive skills and take enough action on the foundation of our new skills to get from ‘here’ to ‘there’.
Working with hypnosis is an unfolding rather than applying a recipe book technique. I work with you, not your problem’s label.
My structure is quite simple, you book an initial series of three sessions. If you have achieved your aims by the end of those three sessions, fantastic, your finished! If there is value in further sessions for you, that is always an option. All sessions must be paid for when booked.
Before you book a session contact me for a chat. There are many strange ideas about hypnosis going around and we need to make sure that working together will be a good fit for us both.