All hypnotherapy treatments are similar, in that they use hypnosis and combine it with some form of therapy. But the similarities often end there. To be truly successful, we need to choose the right therapy ‘tools’ for the job. That is why, with all our self hypnosis recordings, we strive to find the best approaches and combine them effectively.
Our recordings are carefully scripted by our team of writers, who are all leading hypnotherapy educators. With over seventy-years’ of combined experience as practising hypnotherapists, each member of our team draws on their vast professional knowledge and understanding of what is the best therapeutic approach, for any given subject. We also make use of the very latest psychological research, to ensure our recordings are as effective and up-to-date as they can possibly be.
Hypnotherapy techniques used in our recordings
Due to the wide variety of self hypnosis recordings we have available, it is not possible to cover all the techniques that we use. But to give you an idea, here are some of the more common techniques, that we like to collectively describe as ‘Advanced Hypnotherapy Techniques’:
- Hypnotic Suggestion – direct, indirect, metaphor, embedded commands, etc.
- The very best of NLP based techniques, including Modelling and Anchoring.
- Approaches such as Mindfulness, Creative Visualization, and Mental Rehearsal.
- Effective psychology methodologies, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
We shall now briefly explain some of the more common techniques that we use.
The best-known approach used in hypnotherapy is called Suggestion. The word in this context has a similar, but not identical meaning to that in everyday use. ‘Suggestion’ in hypnotherapy means an idea given to the deeper part of your mind – the subconscious – to help change your thinking so that you are more likely to exercise regularly, eat more moderately, or whatever you are seeking to achieve.
Suggestion can work on its own (advertising is one form of this) but when combined with hypnosis it becomes even more powerful. There are many types of hypnotic suggestion, one of which is called direct suggestion:
‘You now allow yourself to appreciate your strengths.’
Obviously, this is a straightforward request that you think in a certain way. Sometimes, however, we may do better with something more subtle:
‘I wonder how many people have thought good things about you, but never said?’
This avoids a direct request, and is therefore called indirect suggestion.
Some suggestion is a powerful vehicle that drives you towards your destination. That’s right – there is also metaphorical suggestion. Note in that sentence we used the metaphors: ‘powerful vehicle’, ‘drive’, and ‘destination’. You are no doubt aware that great speakers often use metaphor, because of its potent ability to convey ideas.
Many of our recordings also use suggestions that can be difficult to notice – these are hidden (embedded) among other words. They can often by-pass any resistance from our conscious mind, and so enhance the effect of our recordings. Now, I am not saying we have the best recordings in the world, but we certainly aim for that. We have underlined the embedded suggestion here (and made it rather obvious!) but if spoken, it can be delivered subtly by a slight change in volume or tone so that the listener won’t even notice that it is there.
Repetition can also be used. When you hear a suggestion that is given repeatedly (known as a compounded suggestion) it has a stronger effect.
We use plenty of other hypnotherapy techniques that do not rely on suggestion.
Several of the following techniques come from a rapid change methodology known as Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). They are useful tools on their own, but become even more powerful when combined with hypnosis.
‘Acting as if’
When we seek to make a change in our life we are more likely to be successful if we can do this in every relevant way. For example, if you wish to be a non-smoker, it’s best that you act as if you quit a long time ago. And when you also talk, think, and feel as a non-smoker, it becomes so much easier to remain free. When used within hypnotherapy, this technique can help you ‘program’ your mind to achieve these sweeping changes.
Similar to ‘Acting as if’, Modelling involves our choosing someone we consider to be great role model – a great sportsperson, a skilled speaker, or whatever – and doing our best to be just like them. The idea of Modelling is that the more that we make ourselves like them, then the easier it is to achieve what they do.
In some situations we would like to ‘switch on’ certain feelings – calmness, confidence, or whatever. Anchoring enables us to do this by linking a simple action or event, to a time when we were in that useful state. Then, when we want to bring that resourceful state back, we can use the action to evoke it once more.
When we concentrate our minds on something that exists at this moment, and do so without judging it, then we’re using Mindfulness. The benefits of practising Mindfulness are considerable and we incorporate aspects of it within many of our self hypnosis recordings. It improves our ability to focus, study, and work. Further, our usual automatic judgements control us less, helping us change our thinking more easily. For instance, we can deal with a memory more easily when we can choose what we think about it.
When combined with the power of hypnosis, creative visualization can help to create rapid and lasting change. Which is why we use it extensively within our recordings. When we picture something in our mind, the deeper part of the brain cannot tell the difference between that image and reality. So imagining your business has become more successful, for instance, will be accepted as true by the subconscious. As a result you will have a greater belief that you can achieve this outcome.
We can use the process of visualization for another purpose – to mentally rehearse something. Again, the mind will respond as though you really were rehearsing, and so you could, for example, imagine practising your golf, thereby improving your actual performance.
Our mind sometimes learns to have unjustified feelings. Phobias are a prime example – the brain creates a link between an object (a spider, for instance) and fear. Hypnotherapy can, however, help the mind break this connection through a process called desensitisation. Frequently this involves imagining the object when calm, and allowing the mind to gradually undo that destructive learning.
The Prediction Error Shift
When you approach a situation your mind will predict what might happen next. If, for instance, you have a fear of heights, as you walk towards a bridge you will anticipate feeling anxious. But, if for some reason you get on the bridge and feel calm, the brain will have to adjust to this fact. It will moderate its expectations for future similar events only slightly, but if this surprising calmness kept happening then your mind would keep shifting to the point where you would lose your fear. This is called the Prediction Error Shift, and when used within a self hypnosis recording, your mind can make this change comfortably and quickly.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychology that is very effective in treating a wide range of issues. It is based on the premise that our thinking is not always ideal – nearly everyone creates emotional problems by this means, but having discovered our own rogue thoughts we can substitute more helpful ones. For instance, we may tell ourselves that we must do something, but we really mean we would like to. Making that change can relieve a great deal of stress in our lives.
We hope you understand that our approach to hypnotherapy includes a variety of techniques. Yes, you could use any hypnotherapy audio recording and it would use hypnosis and apply one or more techniques, but our aim is to produce great recordings that give you the most up-to-date, most effective approaches to help you make the changes you want.