Cognitive Hypnotherapy

COGNITIVE HYPNOTHERAPY

Milton Keynes

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What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy?

Cognitive hypnotherapy is a branch of hypnotherapy that utilises a particular range of techniques and disciplines to create a tailored approach to meet a client’s needs. In simple terms, that means it combines therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) with hypnosis (hypnotherapy) in order to benefit from the strengths of all disciplines.

Cognitive hypnotherapy is based on three principles:

  1. We naturally fall into a trance at times – Traditional hypnosis and hypnotherapy relies upon a therapist conducting a session whereby a trance state is induced. Cognitive hypnotherapy, however, considers hypnotic states that occur naturally every day to also be of value because they are trance-like too, e.g. daydreams, or getting lost in thoughts.
  2. All behaviour has a positive intention – The best way to explain this is through an example. Say someone has a fear of lifts. Whilst they know that going into a lift is safe, really, the fear is there to protect them from disaster. Cognitive hypnotherapy helps them inform their subconscious, via the conscious mind, that the fear is outweighing the benefit of using lifts unnecessarily.
  3. Each person is unique – So a generic approach to hypnotherapy is less likely to work than the focused tailored approach that cognitive hypnotherapy offers. An individual’s problems are unique and require a personal plan.

How does cognitive hypnotherapy work?

This treatment is designed to enable a cognitive hypnotherapist and their client to work together towards an agreed goal. The objective is to facilitate the client in building up the necessary understanding and strategies needed to control their own feelings, thoughts, and responses.

As stated earlier, part of the ethos behind cognitive hypnotherapy is that your subconscious is trying to keep you safe. So when you’re in a natural trance-like state during the day, e.g. daydreaming, cognitive hypnotherapy considers each instance to be an opportunity for your mind to reinforce its self-preservation assumptions; you’re effectively hypnotising yourself to reinforce a particular way of thinking. The problem is, a strategy that was appropriate for a child, for example, may no longer apply in adulthood. So, through hypnosis, a therapist can seek to de-hypnotise the subconscious and enable a client to regain control over their reaction to a certain situation. Put simply, it updates the subconscious to respond appropriately for one’s situation now, not before. It adjusts one’s frame of reference so you can adjust your response to a situation.

Is cognitive hypnotherapy right for you?

If someone’s mind is holding them back in some way… cognitive hypnotherapy can help. Many people worry that one loses control when hypnotised, but with cognitive hypnotherapy that’s really not the case. The therapist doesn’t have control of your mind, and you can’t inadvertently be left in a hypnotised state. So how do you work out if it’s right for you?

Everybody is unique, and the beauty of cognitive hypnotherapy is that part of its ethos is to work specifically on unique situations, and not generic clinical problems. Therefore, if you’re suffering from anxiety, for example, because each session is specifically tailored to you, your challenges, your subconscious, and your needs, just a small number of sessions might be all you require to straighten things out. The therapist is simply acting as a conduit for you to learn how to solve these things for yourself.

And in case you’re wondering… most people can be hypnotised if they want to be. It’s a myth that only certain types are affected. However, having said that, it’s true that those who gain most from it are often those with an open mind and a willingness to learn about themselves and make changes.

A typical cognitive hypnotherapy session

Sessions will tend to start with a discussion between the client and the therapist. Your therapist needs to understand what’s troubling you, how it manifests, the problems that’s causing you, and what you’d like the outcome to be. It’s about looking at an issue, discussing it, understanding it, and then agreeing a treatment programme tailored specifically to your issue at hand.

Even during the first session… a therapist will start working on your problem.

During further sessions, they’ll then continue to explore the beliefs and responses that are limiting you, and seek to de-hypnotise you and release your subconscious from those troubling principles. That means your cognitive hypnotherapist will guide you into a trance (hypnotised) state and then begin the process of making hypnotic suggestions to your subconscious. You will be aware of what’s going on all the time. This isn’t something that can be done to you without you knowing. Your therapist is a trained guide and facilitator.

Don’t forget, you’ll often be given tasks to carry out at home between sessions to help the process. These could include keeping a diary, listening to recordings, and making a note of your thoughts and development.

How many sessions will you need? 

That’s impossible to say without discussing things with your therapist first. However, often no more than 6 sessions are required for a client to experience and enjoy the benefit of a real change.

If you’d like to find out more about cognitive hypnotherapy, please do call 01908 265410. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss how it could work for you and make the difference to your life you’re looking for.

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