I suppose because I've been a hypnotherapist for over 14 years, using hypnotherapy to help thousands of people, I understand what hypnotherapy is and how it feels and what it can do.
I forget that even though I have loads of clients out there talking to their friends, colleagues and relatives who I could help, many people still only recognise hypnotherapy as something weird and magic - or maybe just weird and scary!
So what is hypnosis - what does it feel like? Hypnosis is like that feeling you go through just as you're falling asleep. You're very relaxed. You can still hear. You could still move if you wanted to - but you don't want to. You are totally in control. You are very relaxed. Not asleep but not awake. Drifting and drowsy.
When you're in this very relaxed state we can communicate with your unconscious, or subconscious mind. It's where your memories are kept, and your habits. In this relaxed state you are very open to suggestion but importantly you cannot be influenced to do anything that you don't want to do. So hypnotherapy is therapy whilst you're in that relaxed state we call hypnosis.
I spoke to a client yesterday who stopped smoking with me in 2008 and he was telling me that he talks about me and what I did for him with friends and they say they too want to stop smoking or lose weight or whatever. They find what he tells them interesting - and yet they never contact me.
He is as flumoxed as I am (just love that word flumoxed!).
So what is happening?
Have you heard the saying "I'll believe it when I see it"? Well seeing it - success - for someone else just maybe isn't enough. We have to see success for ourselves. But why should anyone try something they don't understand?
Particularly with stopping smoking everyone has been conditioned to fail. Years ago people stopped smoking with pure willpower, maybe started again, stopped again, many times. If you're over 50 like me you'll remember relatives and friends doing this - you may have done it yourself. Then the pharmaceutical industry got involved. "We'll help you stop smoking" they said "stick this patch on your arm/back/bottom!". And some people stopped. And some people didn't. And some that stopped started again. And then some tried the patches again. And they failed again. The patches failed but the smoker then saw themselves as the failure. So the pharmaceutical industry invented nicotine gum. Then a mouth spray. Then the drug Zyban. Then Champix. And people tried to stop and some stopped. And some started again. And felt like a failure. Again. But it wasn't them that failed it was the patches and gum and spray and drugs.
The best success rate of any of the "aids" I've mentioned is 25%. So no more than 25% of people who tried ever stopped.
And of course I could talk about failing at diets in the same way couldn't I?
But now you are conditioned to fail. You need to see it to believe it if someone offers you an alternative way to stop smoking (or lose weight).
Hypnotherapy is, of course, a very alternative way!
It's not weird and it's not (I'm sorry to say) magic!
If you'd like to learn more about how your unconscious mind works - and how we can use hypnosis and hypnotherapy (therapy in hypnosis) to change your habits then give me a call. I've got a really good CD for you to listen to so you can experience hypnosis at home.
Then you can decide you want to stop smoking or lose weight or get rid of a phobia or build your confidence. Let me help you understand how hypnotherapy can work for you. If you want it to.