Q. So what is Hypnosis and EMDR?
Hypnosis can best described as when a person’s mind enters an altered state of consciousness like daydreaming, or where your mind wanders off into an imaginative state. It does not mean that you are in a deep sleep, it is in fact quite the opposite. When in a state of hypnosis, often referred to as a trance, the mind becomes extremely active, it becomes more alert and imaginative than during a normal waking state. It is the state when your subconscious mind takes over from your conscious mind, just like in those final moments when you drift off to sleep everyday.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing is a trauma-focused psychological treatment for sufferers of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Distress Disorder). For some sufferers of PTSD it may be difficult at first and often very emotionally overwhelming to disclose or discuss details of their traumatic events. EMDR does not require any such disclosure, you don't even have to close your eyes, and with my specialist technique multiple traumas can be worked on in a single session. Where multiple chronic traumas or parts are presented more than 1 session may be required, and a 'top up' here and there in the future if required. Memories of traumatic experiences can be stored differently from other memories. Human beings possess a psychologically based information-processing system (according to the founder of EMDR - Shapiro in 1999) that under normal circumstances will naturally respond by resolving everyday minor disturbances. However when a traumatic event happens this system can become in balanced causing the information to be locked in the brain in the format of the input i.e. a trauma not a memory, and thus it remains in neurological stasis and therefore prevents the trauma from ever being resolved. If you have repressed memories of trauma then EMDR allows the information in stasis to be unlocked and reprocessed safely into a standard non-traumatic memory. Hypnosis then relaxes the mind and allows you to experience the events safely in order to evaluate the immediate effectiveness of the treatment.
When people then ask me if they can be hypnotised, or say they cannot, its actually irrelevant as everyone falls into a state of hypnosis every day when they fall asleep, and even more so when in the transition of waking up – ever had the best dreams when your just coming out of sleep? Well that’s the state of hypnosis we work with. As a hypnotherapist (not a ‘hypnotist’ as these are stage performers with little regard for the therapeutic medical benefits clinical ethical hypnotherapy can deliver) we relax you into this state and induce a deepened trance, where we then safely access your subconscious mind, and it’s to that part of your mind we talk to, using agreed suggestions or therapies we arrive at together.
The most important consideration is you are awake all the time, you are in control all the time, and you can end the therapy whenever you choose – in the same when your engrossed in a good book and you hear someone ask you a question, you can either ignore them and stay engrossed or snap out of it and answer, it’s totally up to you. So what do I do then? I drive the process, guiding you with professional techniques to achieve the results we agreed in the consultation. Your subconscious mind listens to my voice and the background sounds I may play to you in a very subliminal way, and when I talk direct to your mind in that deeply relaxed state, this is where we then make the positive suggestions that automatically sit comfortably in your mind. When you come back into full consciousness, these thoughts are naturally enacted immediately.
So you could say I must have been very open to EMDR & hypnosis, but it was my first experience (and this may be yours) and I was very sceptical (but desperate) and yet still it worked 100%, and it can for you too. It’s true some people are more susceptible to hypnosis, these people are those who are generally more creative and imaginative, and they can enter trance very quickly and deeply. For those of you who do not think that’s you - it doesn’t matter! With EMDR which can be used for a great many conditions other than PTSD you have to be fully conscious, eyes wide open. You do need to be focused so this is why we relax you into that really comfortable state of consciousness where everyone’s imagination comes alive – we can all dream lucidly and therefore we can all be hypnotised, it just means I have to work harder and there’s no one that will work harder to help you than me, as I owe mine and my families wellbeing to EMDR & hypnotherapy and I know categorically how much it can help you too - if you want it to, if you want to really make that change.
This is why when you’ve got a really good naturally talented therapist you rarely need more than 1 session. Don’t be fooled by national franchises tying you into programmes of sessions to maximise their revenues! If there’s more than 1 issue that comes up, if you have developed secondary conditions (or gains as they are often referred to) then yes we might need to review these independently, but a lasting and immediate effect can be made that easily. All you need to do is truly want to change and be committed to it, and then sit back and relax in the safety and comfort of the 1 Mind therapy suite and let me do the rest. And if you do need more help, you will be given the opportunity to make that choice at that time, often significant changes occur after the sessions so it’s impossible and unethical to plan in advance of how may sessions you’ll need. And with 1 Mind Hypnotherapy after the initial programme concludes you are free to pay as you go, we don’t tie you in or up-sell sessions, your best interests & wellbeing come first.
Now what happens if you don’t know or can’t remember what is causing you to act a certain way? What if you’ve repressed terrible memories so deeply to safe guard yourself – as they say “out of sight (consciousness) is out of mind (sub consciousness)”? Don’t worry its very common, I’ve experienced this too. So how do we deal with this, well when you’re in that deeply relaxed state of consciousness a really good therapist can then talk to your subconscious mind, with your permission, and by using advanced techniques during Hypno Analysis, we explore and investigate your true thoughts and feelings and then free your mind uncovering the repressed memories that may be the root cause of the symptoms, pain, fears and phobias or anxiety you are living with in daily life, but haven’t got a clue why! When I first went to a hypnotherapist as my fear of heights was preventing me from driving safely over bridges, I would experience debilitating panic attacks and hadn’t a clue why! During the Hypno Analysis it became apparent then when my mum left home, when I was 7, I was made to jump off the top board of the diving platform and that feeling of my stomach rising and the fear of falling integrated with the natural sense of loss of my mother was the repressed cause of my fear of heights.