Meryl Lawrence is not only a Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist, but a great friend who I met at Swanwick a couple of years ago. She has come along today to demystify the world of hypnotherapy for us: Without further ado, over to, Meryl.
When I offer hypnotherapy to clients, a sceptical comment often follows….’hmm I’m not sure, they get you doing funny things on telly.’
Hypnotherapy has sometimes been associated with the strange and mysterious, or television shows that make people do silly things for an audience. But in truth, it isn’t in the least bit mysterious or supernatural and even more interesting, is that you’ve probably been in a hypnotic state many times, but didn’t notice because it seemed a natural state of mind.
To explain further, do you ever remember driving a familiar route and wondered how you got there? Rather unnervingly you can’t remember the journey or if you stopped at that red light. That’s because your subconscious has stored it so you don’t have to consciously think about it. It remembered you learned the skill to drive and learned that route, then kept it alongside billions of other parts of information. This information is stowed away in folders in the subconscious, ready to be used at any given time.
Everything you have ever learned is stored and when you do anything automatic your subconscious comes into play, so when you mow the lawn, take a shower, or jog your regular route, you are in automatic mode. When you are, it’s quite easy to daydream from an alert state into a different level of consciousness. This is like a first level of a hypnotic trance state.
Our subconscious files away all the stuff that isn’t useful as well. It may be that you have something holding you back in your life like a phobia of spiders or fear of flying, a limiting or negative belief or behaviour, lack of self-confidence or self-esteem. Something would have happened for your subconscious mind to store this as an unhelpful state and use this automatically when needed. This is where hypnotherapy can help to change your subconscious mind and reprogram those unhelpful folders. It’s also beneficial for other areas such as pain reduction, stress, anxiety, exam nerves, depression, sleep, motivation, weight loss and stopping smoking and many more issues or problems you may have.
Hypnotherapy works by accessing your subconscious mind to make positive suggestions. The therapist will first of all conduct an induction technique to get you into a relaxed state. A common technique is a PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) which involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups. A deepening visualisation takes you even deeper into relaxation. Once you’re in a deeply relaxed state, your subconscious is more responsive to suggestions than if you were in a fully conscious state. The suggestion then travels a direct channel to the subconscious where it effortlessly modifies behaviours or beliefs or produces an effect or action. After suggestion, the therapist gently brings you back into full consciousness. Throughout this process you remain fully in control and can awake at any time if you wish.
Wow, Meryl. What an amazing article. I think I must frequently go in that hypnotic state because so many times I don’t remember doing something or how I got from A to B.
Interesting about the unhelpful folders too. I certainly have a few of them. Phobia of spiders but also I have blocks on things such as I don’t want to get in my car and drive anymore, when I do on very short journeys I get myself tense. Is this the kind of thing that hypnotherapy could help with?
I hope you all enjoyed Meryl’s article on hypnotherapy. Before we leave, let’s find out a little more about her.
Meryl lives in the pretty north Essex countryside where a passion for helping others led her back to the classroom to study Psychotherapy. She now offers a variety of therapies to support people who need a helping hand and acts as a volunteer in bereavement support.
When she kicks off her working shoes at the end of the day, you’ll find Meryl with a mug of tea in hand, writing chapters of her novel, dabbling in water colours, or out in nature photographing the changing seasons. Being creative, she said, is a great combination to relieve stress and look after her own well being.
Meryl is based in Braintree and if you would like further information or to book a hypnotherapy session, her contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org.