Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy blog by Octagon Wellbeing. Online and face to face therapy.

Busting hypnotherapy myths

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Hypnotherapy is a therapy still shrouded in myths and misconceptions, which is a shame as so many people could benefit from it but they're put off by many of the mistruths they hear from poor media portrayal or other people (very often people who haven't even tried hypnotherapy!) 
You'll enter a mystical trance
Hypnosis is a normal state of consciousness, the word trance suggests something magical and an element of mind control that you can't escape. The reality is quite different, when you have hypnotherapy you'll ideally be completely focused on the suggestions the therapist is giving you but this type of focused attention is incredibly absorbing. Because you're so relaxed you may find that from time to time your mind drifts and that's ok too. Also by being so relaxed and focused on just one thing (not multitasking like you're probably doing usually) it can feel almost like you're daydreaming. 
You'll be under someone else's control
You're always in control and can stop listening and end the session at any time. If you're doing online hypnotherapy you'll also never get "stuck" in hypnosis should you experience a technical issue either! 
Hypnotherapy means I won't have to do any work
Hypnotherapy can be an incredibly beneficial method to support you to make improvements in your life. Although as a therapist I'll be supporting you through the therapeutic process and guiding the hypnotherapy session itself it's a collaborative process. I need your input and feedback to know what you want from sessions and to adapt my approach to suit your needs. So we'll definitely be working as a team. Also, you'll be listening to my suggestions and using your imagination so you're doing a lot of the work too! 
If I start therapy I'll have to go for the rest of my life
One of the great things about CBH (cognitive behavioural hypnotherap) is that it can bring about positive change in your life much quicker that some other forms of therapy. Usually after you initial session I can give you an idea of how many sessions may be appreciated, however  some still clients love hypnotherapy so much they opt to continue with a regular session to support their mental health.
I need to have hit rock bottom to benefit from therapy
While many of us wait for a major life crisis to seek support for mental health you really don't have to. I use a whole range of strategies to support clients and these can be just as beneficial with smaller issues as larger ones. With smaller issues it actually makes sense to manage them as and when they crop up rather than waiting for them to get worse over time. Perhaps you're you're simply at a crossroad in life and need someone to talk to or maybe you anticipate challenging in your future, hypnotherapy can be incredibly beneficial to develop problem solving skills and build resilience.
I need a good imagination 
Hypnotherapy does require clients to use their imagination, however you can interpret this in your own way.  Even people with aphantasia (the inability to form mental images of objects that are not present) can benefit from hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is the same as the stage show hypnosis I've seen

It's confusing but hypnotherapy and stage show hypnosis are pretty different.  Essentially, one is therapy and the other is entertainment.  Stage hypnosis is a show set up for audience enjoyment whereas hypnotherapy for therapeutic purpose is all about the client’s needs and is far less dramatic.  A hypnotherapy session certainly won't have you acting like a farm animal...what would be the point in that?  Stage hypnosis uses a range of techniques and strategies to amplify dramatic effect and audience enjoyment to keep people buying tickets and generating a healthy profit.  Audiences believe they are watching a hypnosis stage show but in reality many if not most of the theatrical elements are created via deception, distraction and the illusion of stage magic themed around hypnosis.   The seemingly randomly selected volunteers are often plants or carefully selected subjects.  These people are chosen because they have a strong likelihood to ‘perform’ and act as if “under the control” of the hypnotist all in the aim of audience satisfaction, after all it is all about entertainment. 

If the outlandish performances of stage hypnosis are at one end of the scale then hypnotherapy is arguably at the other end.  A hypnotherapy session is remarkably low key, relaxing and is all about you the client and your needs.  Although the therapist may be talking you through different ideas in a hypnotherapy session you’ll never be “under their control” and you can stop at any time.  The content of the therapy session is usually mutually agreed to ensure it is working towards the client’s therapy goals which means that the process is very collaborative.  Hypnotherapy absolutely has an element of client satisfaction, however unlike stage hypnosis it would be fairly boring for audience to watch as the really purposeful work occurring will be happening in yourimagination and ongoing mindset after a session, unlikely to sell out any theaters but amazing for making changes to your mentality, mood and wellbeing.  In a hypnotherapy session the therapist will be talking you through some really valuable points and unlike stage hypnosis where subjects often can’t remember their outlandish stage antics by the end of a show, the therapist will want you to be listening and paying attention to what’s being said during the hypnotherapy in order to make positive change in your life.   


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