What is clinical hypnosis? In the hypnotic state, the individual becomes extremely relaxed and has an increased ability to concentrate and focus which, in turn, can allow him/her to become more receptive to, and respond more positively to, therapy.
Hypnosis, per se, is not a therapy, but, rather, a tool that can increase the effectiveness of therapies administered to the individual whilst that individual is in hypnosis.
When hypnosis is used in this way (as a medium through which other therapies are delivered), it is referred to as hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis.
Therefore, a person is not actually treated with hypnosis, but, rather, whilst in hypnosis.
Why Might A Therapy Be More Effective When Received In The Hypnotic State ?
It has been theorized that when in hypnosis the individual enters a state of altered consciousness (see below) that, temporarily, dampens down the activity of the conscious/rational parts of the brain which, in turn, allows the therapy being received greater access to the subconscious and, therefore, makes it more likely to help the individual overcome dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Hypnosis And Brain Wave Studies:
When in hypnosis, there is increasing evidence to suggest the individual has entered an altered state of consciousness. For example, there are three types of normal consciousness :
- rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (dreaming)
- non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep (non-dreaming sleep)
- being awake
By using brain scanning techniques to monitor brain activity it has been found that, when in hypnosis, the brain produces a different brain-wave pattern when compared to the brain wave patterns generated by each of the above three states of normal consciousness.
Which Therapies May Be Integrated With Hypnosis In Order To Augment Their Effects?
Hypnosis can be used as a tool to increase the effectiveness of various therapies and therapeutic techniques including the following:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- person-centered counselling
- solutions focused therapy
- cognitive analytic therapy
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- therapeutic suggestions
- exposure therapy
- free association
- physical and mental relaxation
- exposure therapy
Those trained in the use of clinical hypnosis include some doctors, some psychiatrists, some psychologists, some dentists and some practitioners of various types of psychotherapy.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc, PGDE(FAHE)