Hypnosis, by the simplest definition, is a natural, yet altered state of mind. Therefore, hypnotherapy, by the simplest definition is the therapeutic use of that altered state. While in a hypnotic state, whether using self-hypnosis, or participating in a session facilitated by a Certified Hypnotherapist, ideas held in the subconscious mind can be brought to the conscious mind, then processed and understood, leading to improved health, attitude, and overall wellness. Primarily, hypnotherapy works with the subconscious, emotional mind to affect change in our conscious, thinking mind.
Sounds simple enough, right? But how does hypnotherapy actually work? How do you change your thoughts? First, let’s consider how the mind works. Again, in the simplest of terms, the mind has a conscious, a subconscious and between the two is the critical factor. Image if your mind were a cruise ship, the conscious mind would be the upper level decks including the bridge from where the Captain issues the orders of navigation, the subconscious mind would be the levels below the public decks where the engine and boiler rooms are found, and the critical factor would be the floor of the last public deck.
Full Steam Ahead Subby!!!
When the Captain gives the order for “full steam ahead,” if the guy in the boiler room, Subby, doesn’t agree with the order, he’ll disobey by slowing down the engines or stopping them all together. How many times have you really wanted to do something, yet found yourself paralyzed to put yourself in motion toward your desire? You see, Subby, only acts on what is known to him, which are the erroneous and false beliefs that have been trapped below decks with him for years, often time since very early childhood. Subby will act according to those beliefs, even when they are seemingly self-destructive and self-sabotaging. And no amount of pleading, cajoling or demanding from the Captain will make him obey the order. If all he knows is that it is dangerous to proceed “full steam ahead,” then “full steam ahead” is just not going to happen. Conversely, if Subby knows that “full steam ahead” is safe, then he will gladly give the engines all they’ve got and willingly obeying the Captain’s orders. So while it seems that the Captain is in charge of the vessel of your mind, Subby is actually in charge.
“I didn’t even realize that was in there,”
In hypnosis, a hatchway is found in the deck of the critical factor so that Subby can be re-educated. The long held false beliefs that have been determining behavior are taken out and examined. Essentially, long held, self-sabotaging, destructive, and self-defeating beliefs are uncovered, scrutinized, then recognized as errors in thinking, or false beliefs, and corrected. Once that has occurred there is a shift in the person and their behavior changes automatically. When your beliefs change, your emotions and thoughts change and your life changes.
Most often, people do not even realize that they have such self-destructive thoughts embedded in their subconscious and are amazed to discover that they actually were holding onto such beliefs. It is quite often that someone will remark, “I didn’t even realize that was in there,” when referring to the emotions and beliefs that are uncovered in a session. This is because these false beliefs begin forming with the first realization of disapproval or rejection, even as far back in our lives as when we were infants.
To use a gross exaggeration to explain, when you are a baby you must have Mommy and Daddy’s approval, otherwise, they could abandon you and you will die. As an infant the reaction is instinctual, in reaction the most primal human fear: the fear of death. As we are seeking approval, (survival), we begin to make assumptions. Mommy says we did bad, and told often enough, we begin to believe we are bad, and that thought held long enough gets stored below decks with Subby. It is now all we know. We believe we are bad, so we feel bad. And Subby acts on that, making us act bad. “ There see,” Subby says, when we are once again told we are bad, “I was right.” But once this false belief is uncovered, scrutinized, held up to the light of day so to speak, and now known to be false, change is inevitable. Because, as stated earlier, Subby, operates only in the known and when the known is that you will be safe and supported, and that you are good and that all is well, then it has to operate within those beliefs.
From apathy to zealousness, anything that the mind affects, hypnotherapy can affect. Easily transforming unwanted behaviors, negative emotions, poor sports performance, poverty thinking or even low self-esteem into their opposites. The changes facilitated through hypnotherapy are amazing, sometimes seemingly miraculous.