An Introduction to Hypnotherapy - Part One
Hypnotherapy: What is it?
Hypnotherapy is the science of helping people to regain conscious control of their behavior. Behaviors can include a broad spectrum of being such as things we do, the things we think about, things we feel and our reactions to the behavior of others.
At one time or another you’ve probably heard someone say, "We only use 10% of our brain power." There’s more truth to that than you realize but it would be more accurate to say that we only have ten to twelve percent of conscious access to our minds. The other 88 to 90% of our minds function as a sort of automatic pilot. This is the part of the mind that a hypnotherapist helps you to reprogram. We call it the unconscious mind.
Every behavior that we use on a regular basis was helpful to us at one point or another in our lives. It may no longer be helpful or even desired but it persists because a positive association was formed that is still functioning in our unconscious minds. Sometimes we desperately want to make a mid-course correction to that automatic pilot of ours but can’t seem to manage it. Unwanted behaviors persist or temporarily disappear only to reappear unbidden later on. An important function of the mind called the critical mind is responsible for this resistance to change.
The critical mind varies in strength from individual to individual. Some people are easily swayed by the latest thing and others are so rigid as to appear to be living in the past or in a world of their own. Most of us are somewhere in between. The critical mind serves several very important functions. It serves to create a persistent personality that is relatively predictable. Persons lacking in predictability can be very vexing to deal with since we never quite know what to expect from them. It also serves as both a direct and indirect connection between the conscious and unconscious minds. When we encounter a situation or idea, either familiar or novel, the critical mind relays the proper unconscious association that is stored in our unconscious mind to the conscious mind. This happens very quickly and directly. It also relays emotional information indirectly from the unconscious mind to clusters of neurons located primarily in the-mid torso or gut. That information may or may not ever make it to the conscious mind but it will always have some physical effect on the body systems. In the science of hypnotherapy we refer to these as body syndromes.
The great paradox of hypnotherapy is that those persons with the strongest critical minds and the most stable personalities are the very ones most likely to be stuck with an obsolete unconscious association that results in behaviors that are highly resistant to conscious change. That is the type of person hypnotherapy is most appropriate for: stable, predictable people without a diagnosable mental illness who are stuck with counter productive behaviors that they would like to change but can’t quite manage to.
Hypnotherapy opens up pathways through the critical mind and allow changes in associations that are in accordance with our conscious desires. Prior to the start of any hypnotherapy session your and your therapist will discuss what your desired conscious changes are and once into hypnosis those changes can easily occur in your sub-conscious associations.