» Home

  » Finding a Suitable Therapist

  » FAQs

  » About Me

  » Appointments & Fees

  » Contact Me

  » Links


What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is as old as the human race - and healing by trance (an altered state of awareness) can be found worldwide in virtually every culture. Hypnosis is essentially the induction of the naturally occurring state of trance.

What is Trance?

Hypnotic Trance is simply ‘focused attention’. It’s a naturally occurring everyday experience - any time you are so focused, so involved, so ‘entranced’ in a given object or subject that your surroundings recede, you are in a trance-like state. If you’ve ever found yourself totally wrapped up in a book, film, or piece of music; or going onto auto-pilot when driving a familiar route in a car - that’s a naturally occurring trance. The mind ‘wanders off’ and does its own thing - until something happens that requires full conscious attention - like someone calls your name, honks a horn, or the car starts making strange noises - then the trance state is immediately and spontaneously terminated. At no time during the trance state are you unconscious, unaware or asleep; you are simply paying more attention to your internal world than the external. Trance is not like being asleep - it’s very like that wonderful place somewhere between being fully awake and being soundly asleep - like the moment just before you ‘nod off’, when you are really relaxed and really comfortable. Even in the deepest trance, you remain in full control, with an awareness of what’s happening around you.

What is Hypnotherapy & How Does it Work?

Hypnosis itself is not therapy - it’s simply a ‘tool’. It produces a wonderfully deep state of relaxation that increases a sense of personal well-being. During trance, the subconscious (emotional) mind is more accessible, helping to identify the underlying reasons and root causes of unwanted habits, undesirable feelings and perceived problems. It is this insight which leads to understanding; creating a learning experience which enables positive change. It is within trance that therapy aids the client to find better alternatives and more appropriate responses to situations that may have triggered negative ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving in the past. Hypnotherapy embraces a combination of powerful techniques which can deal with symptoms, along with discovery of the originating cause and ultimately, can eradicate the negative unwanted effects. Hypnosis can help clients become more accepting of themselves and others, and can aid in promoting personal development and releasing inner potential.

Can Anyone Be Hypnotised?

As trance is a naturally occurring state, the simple answer is ‘yes’. However, you cannot hypnotise anyone that doesn’t want to be hypnotised - even the most skilled hypnotist cannot ‘make you do it’. Simply, if you don’t choose to be hypnotised you will certainly succeed in not being hypnotised! In general terms, the more open minded (and some say intelligent) a person is, the better at trance they tend to be. As stated previously, even in the deepest trance you retain full control, with an awareness of what is happening - therefore, you have to ‘choose’ to be hypnotised to allow trance to occur. So, in effect, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis - all the therapist does is help to guide you into inward focus, rather than waiting for the phenomena to occur naturally. Therefore, it’s impossible to ‘get stuck’ in trance, as you are always in control and aware at all times, and you can terminate the trance whenever you choose to. This is also the reason you cannot be ‘made’ to do anything against your will, your values, or your morals - you would simply terminate the trance.

What is the Subconscious Mind?

Simply put, the mind has two parts - the conscious and the subconscious. Most of us think we are ‘consciously’ in control or command most of the time, over most of the things we do - the conscious is the part of the mind we are most aware of. However, if this were the case, all we would have to do to change an unwanted feeling or behaviour, habit or thought, is ‘consciously’ decide not to do it anymore, or simply ‘will’ it away. However, as anyone who has tried and failed to ‘will’ themselves into change will tell you….it’s not that easy! The conscious mind is actually only able to concentrate or control a limited amount of information or knowledge - literally 7 (Plus OR Minus 2) pieces of information at any time! Luckily for us, our vital day-to-day bodily functions (such as walking, breathing, cell repair, blood circulation etc) are controlled by our subconscious mind. All these automatic activities that we take for granted are in the care and control of our subconscious - allowing our conscious mind to concentrate on the 7 or so items it can cope with. The subconscious is like an enormous storage area; like a filing cabinet, or a computer database, where every thought, feeling (both emotions and sensations), sight, sound or smell - literally everything you have ever experienced - is stored. The sum total of everything that makes you the unique, special and totally individual ‘You’ that you are. The conscious mind has no direct access or control over this storage system. As well as controlling our bodily functions, all the solutions to problems and answers to questions are held within your emotional storage system; which your subconscious manages, but your conscious mind cannot readily access. There are many reasons why certain things are stored away by the subconscious out of the immediate reach of the conscious mind. For example, emotions or events that were too painful or confusing for the conscious mind to cope with at the time they occurred can be locked away in the subconscious. These can be very important. The locked away emotions or events can dictate behaviour as the subconscious mind tries to prevent similar pain happening again. If an original need was not met (love, praise, security, etc), it becomes fixed and may be distorted, exaggerated, denied or displaced. Feelings and behaviours can become habitual, without an awareness that they are not associated with the reality of the present, the ‘now’, but with messages from the past - which are often out of conscious awareness. The subconscious does not think in the logical, rational way of the conscious mind; rather, it thinks by emotions and the association of emotions to events and perceived threats or distress. In an attempt to prevent similar pain happening again, the subconscious may produce feelings and behaviours which, once effective, are now redundant because the circumstances are different - for example, you are now an adult, with adult understandings, learning and experiences. In an attempt to protect you from a similar painful experience, (which of itself is a wonderful protection mechanism), the subconscious may produce behaviours that might have been relevant when you were 5, 15, or 25, but are unwanted, irrational and seem illogical for the adult you now are (phobias, anxieties, addictions, compulsions etc). However, these unwanted associations can last and continue throughout a lifetime unless action is taken to change the habitual way of thinking or behaving. For example, your conscious mind knows you are good at your job, knowledgeable and capable, and that you have a valuable contribution to make in meetings. However, in an attempt to protect you from an embarrassing or emotionally painful childhood experience at school - the memory of which has been stored - your subconscious causes you to stammer and blush, feeling panicked and anxious in any situation where you become the centre of attention. How often do we experience those 'why do I feel like this?' questions that seem to have no logical answer. Most people have some awareness of most of their significant memories, but what we do consciously is underestimate the emotional impact of past events. This is where therapy comes into play.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is really a term used to explain a range of 'talking therapies' (similar to counselling) where the client is guided by the therapist in the exploration and understanding of their current problems or difficulties in order to make positive changes. During this process, the client gains personal power by recognising their part in maintaining, or even creating the current status quo. By understanding how the past (childhood, previous relationships etc) relates to the present; supported by the therapist, the client can take the necessary positive action to change things for the better. There are many forms of psychotherapy, but Hypnotherapy is distinctive in that the focus is the client's subconscious mind. A good hypnotherapist will combine hypnotic procedures with other appropriate counselling and therapeutic techniques. I practice Ericksonian Permissive Hypnotherapy, and an integrated form of psychotherapy which encompasses components of Inner Child, CBT, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis and others.

What is NLP?

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a form of applied cognitive psychology based around how we process the information that comes into us from the world around us. In other words, it concerns people's preferred style for gathering information, storing it, retrieving it, and communicating about it. NLP proposes that we create much of our life experiences by how we organise our thoughts about our experiences (literally, how we see, hear and feel our experiences). It consists of various techniques which can be learned and applied - by learning how to change the way we think, we can transform our lives for improved results and achieve positive change.

What are TFT and EFT?

Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) both work on a similar principle to acupuncture; but instead of needles, use the non-invasive method of 'tapping' fingers on specified areas of the body (energy meridian points). Based on the notion that all emotional (and some physical) problems are created by a disruption in the body's energy system (a blockage or imbalance), TFT and EFT utilise various techniques to release these blockages and correct these imbalances, thereby enabling positive improvement.

Which Therapy is Right for Me?

Only you are ‘You'. You are totally unique and individual - and because of this, the question of the 'right' therapy can only be answered after a personal consultation. This is why I offer a free, no obligation, initial consultation to anyone considering undertaking therapy. You deserve a safe, supportive, confidential, non-judgemental environment in which to develop a deeper understanding of yourself; identify where you currently are in life; decide where you want to be, and tackle the blockages that have prevented you in the past from achieving your personal goals. A good hypnotherapist will combine hypnotic procedures with other appropriate counselling and therapeutic techniques. I have an eclectic approach, taking elements from various schools of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy; the utilisation of which enables me to devise a therapeutic programme best suited to helping you attain the positive change you have decided it's time to make.

What Can You Help Me With?

Hypnotherapy works by allowing you to understand what you already know you want to achieve - accepting only suggestions that your subconscious knows will be of benefit to you. I believe that everyone already has all the resources to achieve exactly what they want or need to achieve in life. Hypnotherapy allows you to know how and where to look within yourself to find those answers and access those opportunities for change. To create a comprehensive list of issues hypnotherapy can help with is a bit like going into a travel agent and saying “Where can I fly to?” (the list is endless!) - almost anybody can be helped to access their inner resources to affect beneficial change - but the list certainly includes:

  • Anxiety / Stress / Panic Attacks
  • Phobias / Fears
  • Depression / Lack of Motivation
  • Lack of Confidence / Low Self Esteem
  • Relationship / Communication Difficulties
  • Unwanted Habits (e.g. over-eating, shopping, gambling)
  • Smoking* (*Full client commitment is essential)
  • Sexual Problems
  • Survivors of Child Abuse
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Bereavement / Separation / Loss
  • Anger / Guilt / Jealousy / Shame
  • Exams / Driving Test / Audition Fears
  • Past Life Journey
  • Pain Management

Along with areas of enhancement:

  • Public Speaking
  • Sports Performance
  • Artistic Performance
  • Preparation for Interviews / Studying for Exams, Tests or Particular Events

The importance is not the ‘condition’ but the subconscious originating event associated to that condition, and the utilisation of the correct therapy(ies) for each client - a therapeutic programme best suited to helping you attain positive change. Good, effective therapy is empowering; enabling the client to take responsibility for their own choices, and respond positively to the changes and opportunities that life presents.

How Many Sessions Will it Take?

You are a unique individual and this question can only be answered after an initial consultation (which I offer free to anyone considering undertaking therapy). Many people state they can ‘cure’ anything in a one hour session. Hypnotherapy can be extraordinarily effective, but it is not magic. Your subconscious learns and understands much faster than your conscious mind; however, change is affected at the pace your subconscious is prepared and ready to accept. Therefore, one or two sessions may be successful for one client in achieving their desired results, others may require more. The importance is a thorough approach, providing you with the opportunity to experience a range of different therapies most appropriate in meeting your needs and requirements, enabling you to achieve your goals and affect the permanent change you desire. Application of a thorough therapeutic approach can best be described like 'weeding' a garden; if you merely chop of the heads at ground level, the roots remain deep in the soil and the weeds will continue to grow. However, if you dig up the roots, the weeds die and the garden flourishes and blooms, providing the permanent solution.

I hope I have been able to provide answers to most of your questions. However, if you require further information, have specific questions that haven't been covered, or wish to book a free initial consultation (I work in both London and Essex), please feel free to contact me:

Website and all contents © Copyright Karen Harding, Doors of Perception, 2006, All Rights Reserved
Steve's free web templates