Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, offers a safe, productive way to explore non-resourceful and often habitual subconscious belief systems, attitudes, and behaviors that may be impeding our highest expression of ourselves. Hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused intention to reach a heightened state of awareness that allows us to become susceptible to suggestion. The suggestion is specific to assist the re-printing or re-patterning of the unwanted belief, attitude, or behavior that over a period of time then becomes imprinted within both the subconscious and conscious mind to bring about the desired change or outcome.
As the diagram reflects, our minds are often driven by beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors that in some cases we are somewhat or completely unaware of on a conscious level and many of these beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors we inherited from our families or our cultural upbringing at a young age through social conditioning. Some of these beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors serve us well and some do not.
The conscious mind can be thought of as the ‘thinking mind’ and the subconscious mind can be thought of as the ‘past result of the thinking mind’. Hence, the subconscious is where habits are stored. That is why when we have an addictive habit like smoking or over-eating, we often reach for the cigarette or food without even noticing the conscious awareness of doing so – like being on auto-pilot.
Those of us seeking a hypnotherapist have often exhausted all other efforts. We are looking for ways to change or alter long-term habitual, and often stubborn, patterns that we feel impede our life in some way. With hypnosis, we seek to find the source or root cause and once we have a contextual starting point, we can work to essentially re-write our story and re-pattern our old habit or habits to the new desired habit or habits.
A young girl ruthlessly teased by her older brother may grow up with shame or fear of truly expressing herself or fear of what other people think of her. Her self-value and self-love may become negatively affected and she holds back from truly being in her power or expressing herself authentically. A child beaten down by a controlling parent may not have felt safe and subsequently holds unconscious ‘trust’ issues that may negatively affect the relationships with others in life. A young boy grows up being told he is “sissy” to cry or show emotion and may turn to other ‘coping’ or ‘masking’ methods or perhaps grows into an adult that is easily angered or triggered or has health issues. The scenarios are endless.
But, what is wonderful about hypnosis and healing work is we learn that we are not victims – ever. We learn that the experiences in our life, no matter how difficult, have led us to a road of self-discovery, inner exploration, and spiritual transformation. We learn to forgive ourselves and we learn to forgive others. We take full responsibility for our lives and with that comes freedom, sovereignty, and self-empowerment. We also learn that we cannot change others. We can then love others how they are and where they are. We also learn boundaries; we learn to be consciously aware of who or what sucks or depletes our energy, life-force, or happiness and we learn how to create and maintain boundaries in a loving and authentic way. This is especially important for us with family members that may be on a very different path. We essentially learn to love and value ourselves whole-heartedly and that is what we can take to the world and that is what we can leave our children.
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is not a quick fix; it is not a magic pill. Self-transformation takes effort, discipline, and self-responsibility. However, hypnosis can be a very effective tool in assisting and even accelerating us in our personal evolution. Whether it be for smoking cessation or pain management, hypnosis can offer us new ways of thinking and can essentially take us into new, unchartered territory of our minds that is both rewarding and fascinating.