What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a clinically efficient way of focusing the mind. It is the unconscious mind that holds all the knowledge that you have ever learned. Hypnosis can help you access those unconscious resources.
A Brief History of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is what we culturally call the trance-like relationship between two or more people, and even in self-hypnosis our state changes as we alter the way the different parts of ourselves interrelate. Each of us are not only bound by our personal interpretation of what hypnosis is, but also our cultural understanding. Moving from one culture or time to another changes the classification of what may or may not constitute hypnosis.
Chinese medicine recognises over 5,000 years of hypnotic relationships between healers and patients. The Egyptians experienced Temple Sleep, which was induced and identified by priests as a special healing and enlightening state. In ancient Greece, Asclepian dream healing could also contextually be identified as hypnosis.
Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Ghengis Khan, Richard the Lionheart, Napoleon, Hitler, Churchill, and Billy Graham all practised hypnosis from a socio-psychological perspective and expansionist point of view.
Tribal medicine men, witchdoctors, Hindu fakirs, Indian yogis and Persian magi have all practised their own forms of hypnosis, either consciously or unconsciously, not necessarily having identified it as hypnosis.
Generally this ability to entrance and utilise that special focused relationship has remained in the hands of spiritual leaders, priests, healers and philosophers. Hypnosis has been a tool that many civilisations have used, either to control the many or guide, cure and develop the individual. References to anything vaguely similar to stage hypnosis for entertainment before the past 200 years are hard to find. However, magicians have used hypnotic components in the way they work, throughout the ages, to perpetuate their myths of mystical powers.
The first high-profile use of hypnosis in our modern records is with the physician Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). His theory of animal magnetism included the passing of hands over parts of the subject’s body, which was supposed to effect a cure. His patients believed that he was transferring a magnetic force or invisible fluid into them that would travel around their bodies to dispel illness.
This force could be stored in many objects and receptacles to be used when needed, and could be transferred either through the hands or sometimes a metal wand. Far from being purely the result of the placebo effect, Mesmer believed that such a force actually existed. He wrote a very important scientific paper considering magnetic influences on the movements of the sun, moon and planets and on human health.
Towards the end of the first half of the 19th century, animal magnetism spread as far as Italy, Spain, Corfu, throughout the rest of Europe and Scandinavia, and even Brazil. This spread was patchy and, at times, encountered resistance from the Catholic church, which believed that the clairvoyant elements of trance work needed to be prevented.
In Rome and Naples animal magnetism was banned and in Lombardy only medical professionals were allowed to practise it. (Taken from Investigating Stage Hypnosis by Tracie O’Keefe ©1998).
Modern Clinical Hypnotherapy
There are many kinds of clinical hypnotherapy practised in the world today, based on various psychotherapeutic philosophies. What is important for you to know is that a doctor of clinical hypnotherapy has trained for many years to a very high standard of practice.
Because someone is a medical doctor or has a PhD in psychology, it does not necessarily mean that they are sufficiently qualified to practise hypnosis. I believe that hypnotherapists should be trained specifically in hypnotherapy as a clinical discipline.
Only in this way can clients going for hypnotherapy be certain that the help they get will be of the very highest standard, and that they are safe and confident in finding a way forward in their lives.
I am one of the most experienced hypnotherapists in Sydney. I am also a psychotherapist, counsellor and naturopath who has trained for many years, so can offer you the benefit of my multi-disciplinary skills.
What can hypnotherapy help with?
Hypnotherapy can help with a huge range of issues, including:
Building self esteem
Drug and alcohol recovery
Exam and test nerves
Treatment of depression
Treatment of phobias
Fear of public speaking
Impotence and erectile dysfunction disorders
Overcoming child abuse
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Weight loss and control
And much more.