Hypnosis is super concentration of the mind upon a single idea or thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Or, hypnosis is a natural state of the mind and is induced naturally and normally in everyday living; for example when we are daydreaming, watching TV, listening to our favourite piece of music, attending a sermon at a church, mosque or synagogue or when we are engrossed in a novel! It is just an altered state of consciousness.
According to the CNHC (a Government-sponsored voluntary registration body for complementary healthcare practitioners), ‘Hypnotherapy is a skilled communication aimed at directing a person’s imagination in a way that helps elicit changes in some perceptions, sensations, feelings, thoughts and behaviours’. (The CNHC’s Register has now been approved as an Accredited Voluntary Register [AVR] by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care [PSA]. The PSA is the Independent Government-appointed Body that oversees the work of the nine statutory medical, health and care regulators. These include the General Medical Council [GMC], the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professionals Council [HCPC]. See CNHC website for further details by accessing the links button above).
Importantly, hypnosis is not mind control nor is the hypnotised person – the client – under someone else’s power. The power of change is always within the mind of the person who enters the state of hypnosis. Their mind is at all times aware of what is taking place even though they may appear to be in a deep state of relaxation or hypnosis. Similarly no one can be made to do or say anything under hypnosis unless they absolutely want to.
Indeed, there is a huge difference between what a Hypnotherapist or a Hypnoanalyst does and what a Stage Hypnotist does. Stage hypnotism is a combination of coercion, expectation on the part of the volunteer as well as external pressures from the audience and the Stage Hypnotist. Plus it is the exhibitionists who are normally the ones who volunteer in the first place!
I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist – not a Hypnotist! Hypnotism is about manipulation. Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy aimed at helping a client reach their potential / achieve their goal.
Hypnotherapy works well with Children as it does with Adults. Hypnotherapy is suitable for children and young people aged 5 to 15. Hypnotherapy or guided imagery / visualisation appeals to children as they are usually very open to hypnotherapy since they generally have fewer misconceptions – as they have not heard of hypnosis – and they tend to be very accustomed to using their imagination and visualisation a lot of the time.