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When people I’ve just met ask me what it is that I do for a living, my answer of “I work as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist” is often met with raised eyebrows and a sceptical glance. Most people’s idea of what a hypnotherapist does is usually tied into their experiences of having seen examples of stage hypnosis – swinging watches, “look into my eyes”, and being made to dance like a chicken.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy could be said to be the complete opposite.
This short 3 minute film below, narrated by Trevor Silvester (the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy), will help give you a better idea of what Cognitive Hypnotherapy is actually about:
For those who like a bit more detail, below I’ve explained more in depth each of the principles of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and how they relate to the work we’ll be doing together if you decide to come and see me.
1. Trance is an everyday occurrence
Have you ever driven home from work or the supermarket, parked your car and then realised that you can’t remember any of the journey at all because you’ve had your mind on other things? Or have you ever got so immersed in a good book that hours seem to pass and before you know it you’ve missed your stop on the train? Or daydreamed about your upcoming holiday whilst you’re supposed to be concentrating in an important meeting? Yep, me too. Those are all examples of trance. Trance is completely normal and natural, and we are all perfectly capable (and actually very good at) entering into it spontaneously. In fact, it’s estimated that we spend about 90% of our day in an unconscious state – a trance. Cognitive Hypnotherapists believe that our problem patterns are a form of trance too. When we are doing our problem it often feels like we’ve become a completely different person, incapable of rational thought and unable to control our responses in certain situations. That’s called ’emotional hijacking’. So really, if you think about it, my role is actually to help ‘de-hypnotise’ you and wake you up out of your problem trance into a more conscious state of mind so that you can decide on the most appropriate response to the situation you are in.
2. All behaviour has a purpose
All of the behaviours we do, whether we consider them to be positive or negative, have a purpose. We are either doing those behaviours in order to grow and develop as individuals, or we do them in an attempt to keep ourselves safe and protected from a situation that we perceive to be threatening or harmful in some way. It’s when we are in this ‘protection’ mode that our unconscious tends to take over – it does what it thinks is best in order to stop us from getting hurt. The trouble is, behaviours that may have seemed perfectly reasonable back when they first began may not be quite so helpful now. And sometimes those behaviours developed as a result of the unconscious making a mistake or misinterpreting a situation. Cognitive Hypnotherapy can be a way of changing those behaviours (and the unconscious beliefs that drive them) into more positive ways of dealing with situations that means that you can get on with living your life in the most positive way for you.
3. Everyone is unique
Because everyone experiences the world in a way that is completely unique to them, it means that everyone experiences their problems in a different way. So I could see three people who would describe themselves as struggling with anxiety, and each of them would have a totally different way of expressing that anxiety – one may suffer with panic attacks, one may worry about things so much that it stops them from sleeping at night, and one may not be able to leave the house because they are so anxious about what could happen to them in the outside world. Same problem, different patterns of behaviour. For this very reason, Cognitive Hypnotherapists don’t use labels. We simply work with whatever the client presents to us when they come and see us – you describe the issues that have been limiting you up until now, and we ask ourselves “What’s that about?” and “How can I use it?” in order to figure out how best to go about working with you to help you overcome your issue.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy draws on elements of CBT, Positive Psychology, NLP, Evolutionary Psychology and many, many other approaches to create a unique and modern approach to therapy and personal development. We have an ever increasing variety of tools and techniques available to us, each of which is designed to achieve the most effective change possible at the pace that feels right for you.
It’s different from other schools of hypnotherapy in that it doesn’t involve the use of standardised scripts. Instead we use Wordweaving – bespoke suggestion patterns created by the therapist, which have been tailored and personalised to each individual client in order to incorporate your language, your model of the world and your unique desired outcome from the therapy.
Wordweaving is designed to help each client consolidate (and make permanent) the changes that you’ll have made during the therapy session and helps to prime you to notice more changes in between sessions, thus helping you to take back control of your life, make the changes that you want to make and achieve the things you want to achieve.