I am looking out of my office window and it looks like I live in Narnia. It’s actually a small town called Guisborough in Teesside, but you get the idea. Right now there’s not a lot going on in Guisborough other than snow and weather reports of more snow. The local schools are shut and my kids are happily engaged with their friends on various social media set ups that I pretend to understand but don’t.
I try to remind them that there are lots of pretend people out there who will tell them lies about who they are. My kids look at me scornfully…they are 14 years old and 18 years old…they know everything. I don’t need to worry they tell me – they can spot a weirdo really quickly.
Wow. What a skill to have! As a child who managed to get through the 1970s unscathed I couldn’t help but think how naïve I was back then about people. ‘Stranger danger’ was old men in dark coats running after you down the street, or so I thought when I was younger. Now it’s key board odd balls manipulating vulnerable children and adults to do awful things.
This brings me to my point really about hypnotherapy and mind control. I get a lot of questions about whether I will ‘take over someone’s brain’ or ‘get them to say stuff they don’t want to’.
The answer is with hypnotherapy you are full in control of the session – I don’t need you to close your eyes in order to work with you! In fact I have done many a successful trance session where people stared at the wall; really it’s more like team work.
Once a client said she was worried I might ‘get inside her head’ I helpfully told her I had enough trouble living inside of my own head without getting inside of someone else’s head …
How does hypnotherapy work then if you are not in my head?
In 1961 two influential Australian psychologists A G Hammer and J P Sutcliffe focused on what they believed was the distinctive essence of hypnotherapy writing in the Encyclopaedia Britannica entry in 1974 they proposed that Hypnosis is…’a collaborative enterprise in which the inner experience of the subject can be dramatically altered’. This very much focussed on the relationship between the hypnotist and the subject; it was they believed the subject’s interpretation of what the hypnotist had said and the ‘mechanism (of delivery) by which ‘mere words’ lead to convincing alterations in experience’.
Today’s hypnotherapists have at their fingertips research papers on many different aspects of hypnotherapy and the research is still on- going – in Australian research the emphasis is very much upon the hypnotised individual or client seen as an ‘active participant’ (McConkey 1991) I personally subscribe to this position – I am a guide for my client’s unconscious mind, I create a safe space physically and mentally for the ‘snow storm in their mind to settle’ and for clarity to be restored.
With hypnotherapy it is the ‘therapy’ that is different from the ‘stage acts’ you may have seen. There’s nothing therapeutic about pretending to be naked in front of an audience…I don’t think.
The work that I do with clients tends to be about creating a space for them to clear their mind, relax their mind and take some valuable time in sorting out the ‘stuff’ that might be holding them back from taking steps or making important decisions. Sometimes it’s phobia clearance and other clients need guidance to work through things that may have been ‘hanging around’ for some time. The lovely thing about the work that I do is that it is very different from some counselling I have encountered which involved endlessly talking around the problem or picking over and over old ground; with hypnotherapy this is not necessary. I don’t need to know the details – you don’t need to tell me anything other than the very basics (age, name, next of kin, any major medical issues I should know about like epilepsy) other than that, I will just work with your powerful unconscious to help resolve the issues and you will feel better after just 90 minutes.
In fact the most successful therapeutic treatments are from sessions where the therapist has a good connection with their client. Research from Psychology Today quote: *”Decades of research indicate that the provision of therapy is an interpersonal process in which a main curative component is the nature of the therapeutic relationship. Clinicians must remember that this is the foundation of our efforts to help others”
So if you are thinking of having a session please do get in touch first and have a chat with me about what you would like out of your session. The only mind control happening is when you decide to take control and give your mind a chance to sort out that stuff.
I love hypnotherapy for the metaphor stories I can create to help my clients: we use images of relaxing on a beach, or walking through the woods on a sunny day to watching the snowstorm settle in Narnia if that’s what you like – anything to help support your powerful unconscious to resolve those things that you want to get sorted. Personally I like Narnia – feels kind of magical, like anything could happen!
If you’re curious about how I could help you lower your stress and/or anxiety – get in touch here:https://www.juliephillips-therapeutic-coaching.co.uk/contact/
If you would like some Free Resources including my Guided meditation Audio click here https://www.juliephillips-therapeutic-coaching.co.uk/free-resources/
* Lambert, M. J., & Barley, D. E. (2001). Research summary on the therapeutic relationship and psychotherapy outcome. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 38(4), 357-361.