WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
HYPNOSIS is a normal, natural state of mind, a state of deep relaxation. Although you are unaware of it, you are in a state of hypnosis every day of your life, just before you go to sleep at night and just as you wake up in the morning. Whenever your mind wanders, daydreams or is focussed on something such as reading a book, driving a familiar route, watching the television or a film, you are in a state of self-hypnosis. There is a change of brainwave pattern, a state of altered consciousness. You hear everything that is said to you and you are aware of anything going on around you, but you are relaxed.
WHAT IS HYPNOTHERAPY?
HYPNOTHERAPY is using the state of altered consciousness, which is all hypnosis is, so that we can access the subconscious mind and change negative thought and behaviour patterns. It is used to treat many different medical and psychological problems and the benefits are usually long lasting and often permanent.
IS IT DANGEROUS?
It is completely safe, harmless and non-addictive. It is a natural process which you experience daily throughout your life. No drugs of any kind are used.
CAN I GET ‘STUCK’ IN HYPNOSIS?
As it is a totally natural process, you cannot get ‘stuck’. The worst that can happen is that you become too relaxed and fall asleep! If you fall asleep, then, as normal, you eventually wake up. After hypnosis, you will simply feel relaxed and able to go about your life in the normal way.
WILL YOU BE CONTROLLING MY MIND?
Under hypnosis, you cannot be made to do anything you do not want to do. You are always in control and can open your eyes at any time. No changes to your thoughts or behaviour can be made unless they are the changes which you want to happen for yourself.
ARE THERE SOME PEOPLE WHO CANNOT BE HYPNOTISED?
No, although the degree varies from person to person. Some people only ever achieve a light state of relaxation, but some people go into a deep, trance-like state. Either way, you will be sufficiently relaxed for positive suggestions to be put into your sub-conscious and for thoughts and behaviour to be changed.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A HYPNOTHERAPIST?
A hypnotherapist should be registered with an independent Professional Body, like the Association of Hypnotherapy and Stress Management (AHSM), whose members have been fully trained and who are covered by comprehensive professional and public liability insurance.
The CNHC (The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) was set up by the Department of Health in 2010. It is recommended that you choose a hypnotherapist who is registered with the CNHC.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN HYPNOSIS BE USED TO TREAT?
Hypnosis can be used to help treat a wide variety of different conditions. The list is extensive. It may also be used to help to manage pain, improve performance both at work and in sport and assist with birth and pregnancy outcomes.
IS HYPNOSIS THE ONLY THERAPY USED?
No, a number of other techniques may be used, depending on the therapist you choose and the issues you have. Other techniques may include psychotherapy (at a fully conscious level) which could ascertain the causes or reasons for the problems you may be experiencing. Further techniques used may be Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), to name but a few.
HOW IS STRESS CONNECTED TO HYPNOTHERAPY?
The Association of Hypnotherapy and Stress Management defines stress as ‘The reaction people have to an imbalance between the demands they perceive to be placed upon them and the resources they have to cope’. So Hypnotherapy and other ‘conscious’ therapies help to improve balance in their lives.
ARE THE SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
Total confidentiality is guaranteed.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
That will depend on the type of problem and you as an individual. We are all different! It varies with the individual and cannot be estimated in advance.
AS A THERAPIST, WHY WOULD I SEEK TO JOIN AHSM RATHER THAN ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION?
We are a very professional, friendly, supportive group. There is always a Fellow member available to offer advice or assistance on the phone or by email should this be required. You are never in isolation, whether still in training or in full practice.
Membership includes the use of the designating letters LAHSM, MAHSM or FAHSM, depending on your membership grade at entry.
We hold National meetings for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which provide the opportunity for informal discussion and exchange of information. A CPD Certificate is issued after each meeting which you attend.
We produce our own annual Journal of Hypnotherapy & Stress Management which is made available to all members online.
In order to maintain your own personal mental health and well being, all our members are required to undergo regular six-monthly stress checks. A face to face check is required every two years, but the remaining checks may be carried out on the phone. These are carried out by Fellows of AHSM and are totally confidential between the Member and the Fellow. No notes are taken and nothing is discussed with anyone else.
You are never just a name. We keep in touch with each other on a regular basis and provide support to each other whenever it is needed.