NY LICENSED PSYCHOTHERAPIST
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness in which our perception, memory,
physical sensations, orientation in space and time, attention, emotions, and thinking
all change. In trance states certain experiences - unavailable for normal states of consciousness - become more readily accessible.
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic discipline that makes purposeful and instrumental
use of the potentials of various trance states.
However, hypnosis is a natural phenomenon and, in and of itself, has no curative
effect whatsoever. Rather, it is the therapeutic interventions and processes taking
place under hypnosis that can bring about changes in a person's life.
Lasting therapeutic changes always require the active participation of the client.
Contrary to common belief, the person under hypnosis is not unconscious, does not become vulnerable, and cannot be lured into anything that contradicts his/her moral values.
Hypnosis cannot be forced on anyone against their own will since it is always the
subject who takes himself or herself into a hypnotic trance.
During the therapeutic interactions in hypnosis, patients are always aware of themselves, of everything they feel, see and say while they respond to the therapist’s facilitating questions.
Thus, the term hypnotherapy is practically an umbrella term. It refers to all methods
that rely on hypnosis or other altered states of consciousness for therapeutic
exploration and processing.
The three main types of hypnotherapy
In case of relaxational hypnosis, the patient generally sits back comfortably with their eyes closed while staying in active communication with the therapist.
In active-alert hypnosis, the client is pedaling on a stationary bicycle (ergometer) while the therapeutic interventions – generally using spontaneous and guided imagery – are taking place.
A relatively well-known umbrella term for the third large area of hypnotherapy is Ericksonian hypnosis.
Milton Erickson was a brilliant, charismatic psychiatrist whose sharp observations and uniquely creative interventions have become the foundation for dozens and dozens of psychotherapy and coaching techniques using altered states of consciousness (inlcuding NLP).
One of the most important hallmarks of Ericksonian hypnosis is the therapist using a normal conversational situation in such a way that the client does not realize that s/he
is already in an altered state of consciousness.
In other words, Ericksonian hypnosis puts away with all the external rituals and formal inductions of relaxational or active-alert hypnosis, and uses words, images, metaphors, the client's memory and imagination, and all other elements of an average conversational interaction to activate the client's unconscious and to effect changes - often totally unnoticeably - in the client's mind.
Other forms of hypnotherapy
Other forms of hypnotherapy include hypnoanalytic therapy, brief solution-focused hypnotherapy, CBT and hypnotherapy, Ericksonian hypnosis, thematic hypnotherapies (e.g. weight loss, smoking cessation, sexual dysfunctions, pain reduction, etc.).
Naturally, altered states of consciousness can also be induced in a number of other
ways as well, e.g. through rhythm, music, movement, dancing, drumming, various breathing techniques etc.
What really matters is not the type of induction but what happens during this inner “journey”, and what experiences the individual creates while exploring and communicating with deeper layers of Self.
Hypnotherapy in my praxis
brief solution-focused hypnotherapies
pain (acute and chronic)
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