When can hypnotherapy help me or my child, and what are the benefits of hypnotherapy? Find out all you need to know about this growing practice and how it can help you, or your family, achieve lasting, positive change.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapists use a tool known as hypnosis to help people overcome problems, get unstuck, achieve more wellbeing and make lasting positive changes in their lives.
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 used for clinical practice.
In suggestive hypnotherapy the hypnotherapist will ask about your issues or problems prior to hypnotising you. While you are in the 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 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.
There are 2 other types of hypnotherapy you may have heard of, self-help hypnosis and ‘on stage’ hypnosis.
Self-help hypnosis is where you use pre-recorded audio or video from a trained hypnotherapist and listen, and re-listen to the recordings in your own home (or in the car or train on the way to work!).
Self-help hypnosis has been used successfully for managing birth pain, stopping bedwetting, improving relationships and more. This type of hypnosis is more a form of self-help, or coaching or meditation practice and doesn’t work for everyone.
‘On stage’ hypnosis
Hypnotherapy has received bad press as a natural health therapy, due to the entertainment factor that has grown around ‘on stage’ hypnotherapy.
It’s important to make a really clear distinction between on stage hypnosis, which is a form of entertainment, and the clinical practice of 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 Child?
Hypnotherapy can be used for children who are experiencing the following problems:
- 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.
Where does the Hypnotherapy Take Place?
Traditionally hypnotherapy has taken place in the therapists own clinic or office, or as part of a larger wellness centre, or health facility. This is still a common option, and most major cities will have practicing hypnotherapists set up in this way.
With more people spending more time at home now, online hypnotherapy sessions have become a popular option. These offer participation from any location in the world with flexible appointment times – you just need a computer, tablet or phone, and good internet connection. Another benefit is being able to select from a number of hypnotherapists, from around the world, to find the best fit for you.
You can also practice hypnotherapy yourself, at home, which is a form of mindfulness or meditation.
How do I Find a Hypnotherapist?
Many people find a therapist through personal recommendations, or as a referral from their doctor or health provider. But most hypnotherapists will advertise their services through their website, so a quick Google search in your area should yield results.
You should 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 find out if it will work for you. Before you start your therapy, ask how much each session will cost and how many you are likely to need in total.
To compare hypnotherapy with other forms of therapy, visit our section on Natural Health