When can hypnotherapy help my family and what are the benefits of hypnotherapy?

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a state of mind, where the body is relaxed and although the person may look asleep they are fully aware of what is happening in the room, they are still in control of themselves and can clearly hear what is being said to them.

Hypnotherapy is giving suggestions to people while they are in this hypnotised state.

There are 2 main types of hypnotherapy –

Suggestive hypnotherapy – the hypnotherapist will ask about your issues or problems prior to hypnotising you. While you are in this hypnotised state they will speak back to you about these issues, making suggestions to help you overcome your problems. During this time you will not be speaking.

Analytical hypnotherapy – This is also known as ‘regression’. The hypnotherapist will encourage you to remember past experiences or emotions in order to overcome obstacles in your present situations. This will involve a conversation between you and your therapist while you are hypnotised.

Hypnotherapy has received bad press as a natural health therapy, due to the entertainment factor that has grown around ‘on stage’ hypnotherapy. The New Zealand School of Hypnotherapy is opposed to on-stage hypnosis and puts the well being of the client as their central focus. They offer a diploma in clinical hypnotherapy, covering hypnosis, anatomy, physiology, psychology, counselling and sexual health. The organisation also stresses that hypnotherapy is meant to be practised in a way that is complementary to traditional medicine, not to replace it.

How can hypnotherapy help my children?

Hypnotherapy can be used for children who are experiencing the following problems:

  • Bedwetting
  • Fear – of sleeping, of spiders, of exams
  • Thumb sucking
  • Eating problems
  • Difficulty with family relationships
  • Travel sickness
  • Behavioural problems.

If you are in doubt about whether hypnotherapy would be right for your child then speak with a friend or family member who has used hypnotherapy, speak to your doctor or Plunket nurse, or contact a local hypnotherapist for advice.

How can hypnotherapy help me?

Hypnotherapy is used for a whole host of different problems, most commonly:

  • To help quit smoking
  • Hypnosis can be used to prepare for the pain of child birth, instilling calm and allaying fears about pain
  • To help people to overcome fears or phobias, for example of spiders, going outdoors, flying, heights, confined spaces and many more
  • For motivation to lose weight and stay slim

What should I expect during our first visit to a hypnotherapist?

Prior to your first visit to a hypnotherapist, have a chat with them in person or on the phone. It is vital that you feel relaxed with that person. At all times you should feel respected and relaxed, just like with any health professional. Ask to see their qualifications and any other information that you require.

The clinic may have a questionnaire for you to fill in, asking you about the problem that has prompted you to seek help, as well as other more general questions about your health and well being.

Occasionally the therapist will ask for permission to touch you during the hypnotherapy, but this will be on your arm or shoulder and if you feel uncomfortable about this then say so.

After your first hypnotherapy session your therapist may suggest further sessions – wait to see whether the session has benefited you or your child, before agreeing to further sessions.

How do I find a hypnotherapist?

Many people find a therapist through personal recommendation, but contact details are also available on the national websites or in the yellow pages. Ask about a hypnotherapist’s qualifications and whether or not they have completed a diploma in hypnotherapy.

How much does a hypnotherapist cost?

Hypnotherapy can vary in cost from between $60-160 per session, depending upon the area you live and the experience of the hypnotist. Some will do a reduced price for children. Some will offer a free 15 minute first appointment, so that you can see whether or not this may be beneficial. Before you start you therapy ask how much each session will cost and how many you are likely to need in total.

Useful articles

To compare hypnotherapy with other forms of therapy, visit our section on Natural Health

For great advice on Quitting Smoking visit our Kiwi Families article.

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Paula Skelton is a qualified NZ nurse and midwife, a midwifery & childbirth educator and the mum of three lovely girls.

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