Our practice is located in the beautiful and peaceful countryside of Renhold, which is 2 miles to the north of the County Town of Bedford. Ample off road parking is available at the clinic and is free of charge. Our practice holds professional insurance and we provide flexible appointments to suit our clientele.

01234 772929
Mon-Fri 9am-7pm
Hynotherapy Session

What is Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy?

There has been much written about what hypnosis is and what it is not and this can be quite confusing. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in TV programmes, movies or books, people who have been hypnotised do not lose control over their behaviour. They typically remain aware of who they are and where they are and they do not give away any information that is secret or personal to them. In fact they can terminate a session whenever they want to.

Hypnotherapy deals with problems at the subconscious level when a client is unable to solve a problem at the conscious level. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat addictions; overcome habits and phobias; relieve stress and help clients achieve positive attitudes about themselves.

Hypnotherapy is the use of an altered state of consciousness, or trance state for therapeutic changes to be made in thoughts and behaviour. These changes are made when a skilled hypnotherapist uses psychotherapeutic language and suggestion. This means that people are not treated with hypnosis but are treated while in hypnosis.

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness which is a perfectly normal and natural state of mind that everyone has in every day of their lives. This state of mind is characterised by an extraordinary state of relaxation and typically where your awareness is highly focused to the exclusion of all else.

    For example:
  • 1. When you become engrossed in a book, music or television programme.
  • 2. Meditation, daydreaming and the state of mind you are in right before you fall asleep.
  • 3. Driving and arriving at your destination without recalling all the usual landmarks.

What types of conditions can be helped by hypnotherapy?

There are many conditions that can be treated with hypnosis; here are some of the common conditions, phobias and habits:

  • Anxiety
  • Blushing
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Confidence Boosting
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Ego Strengthening
  • Exam Nerves
  • Fear of Flying
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low Self-confidence
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Obsessions and Compulsions
  • Panic Attacks
  • Phobias
  • Public Speaking
  • Quit Smoking
  • Sports Performance
  • Stress
  • Stuttering
  • Weight Reduction

The Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is our active mind and occupies the left side of the brain known as a hemisphere. This mind is logical, rational, critical, analytical and mathematical, objective and abstract. It has no emotion and is based on intentional memory. This is the thinking mind of the moment, in other words, it’s your working mind making decisions about what you do and how you go about doing it. It gives you a choice about what you do and how you do it.

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind occupies the right side of the brain also known as a hemisphere and is based on involuntary memory. It is governed by our feelings, emotions, instinct, intuition, imagery, and metaphor. Think of this mind as the powerful system which is controlling all of your bodily functions such as breathing, circulation and the management and regulation of your internal organs.

This mind is unique as it never needs sleep and records everything that the five senses has awareness of such as, what you hear, see, taste, smell and touch. It stores all memories and records all your thoughts and feelings (from which your belief systems and patterns of behaviour arise). Therefore, just like a PC tower block it holds and stores a massive amount of information.

This subconscious is the primary area where habits are formed and phobias are generated but it is also a tremendous reservoir of our unrecognised strengths and knowledge, it is also the source of many of our problems and self-images. Therefore, it is the key to unleashing our potential, changing our unwanted habits and behaviours and finding solutions to our problems and concerns.

Hypnosis enables the conscious critical and analytical part of the mind to take a backseat, allowing the subconscious mind which is highly suggestible to come to the forefront and to become open to suggestion. When the subconscious comes to the forefront of the mind during hypnosis, old belief systems and patterns of behaviour can be changed and replaced by new, more beneficial belief systems, but in order for hypnosis to be successful, a powerful desire for change must be present.
There are many different ways of achieving a trance state and once the individual has achieved that state, the hypnotherapist may use many different therapeutic methods ranging from simple suggestions to psychoanalysis. For example, the therapist may ask about past, present or future concerns to establish the reasons for the problem. Alternatively the therapist may give suggestions to the subconscious mind aimed at overcoming specific problems such as a lack of self-esteem or confidence.

The therapist will undertake an initial assessment and you will be encouraged to discuss your problems and concerns in a private and confidential setting. Goals for therapy are discussed and agreed and a full explanation of hypnosis is provided. Any questions or misconceptions about hypnosis would also be dealt with. Finally you will be asked to sign a Consent Form to enable therapy to begin.

Usually, you lie in a reclining chair or on a couch and the therapist talks to you in a slow and soothing voice. You may be asked to imagine or visualise walking down a country lane, or stare at a fixed point or just to listen to the sound of the therapist’s voice. Suggestions for relaxation may also be given and you will feel very relaxed but still aware of your surroundings. You will hear everything that is said while you are in this relaxed trance state, but most importantly, the subconscious mind which influences mental and physical functions is accessed and becomes receptive to therapy.

It is believed that hypnosis is more than 6,000 years old and some scholars claim that evidence shows it be as old as prehistory. Documents from the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, Chinese, Persians and Sumerians show extensive studies in hypnosis and its use within Ancient Sleep Temples.

  • 980 - 1037 Ibn Sina made the distinction between sleep and trance (hypnosis) in 1027. He published his findings in the Book of Healing stating the reality of what is now known to be hypnosis.
  • 1734 - 1815 Franz Anton Mesmer, a German Doctor experimented with self-guided trance.
  • 1791 - 1868 John Elliotson, was an English surgeon who reported in 1834 on numerous surgical operations being carried out using mesmerism (hypnosis).
  • 1795 - 1860 James Braid, a Scottish Surgeon used hypnosis on many patients undergoing surgery. He coined the term "hypnosis".
  • 1808 - 1859 James Esdaile, a Scottish Doctor operated on hundreds of patients using hypnosis.
  • 1825 - 1893 Jean-Martin Charcot, a Neurologist experimented with hypnosis in France, Germany and Switzerland. He reported that extraordinary improvements in sensory acuity and memory were reported under hypnosis.
  • 1842 - 1910 William James, an American Psychologist pioneered hypnosis in his Principles of Psychology.
  • 1856 - 1939 Sigmund Freud, a Neurologist and founding father of Psychoanalysis. He pioneered a theory that the mind is a complex energy-system in conflict.
  • 1857 - 1926 Emile Coué, a French Pharmacist having undertaken a study of hypnotherapy adopted the hypnotism of James Braid and created the Coué Method which centred on the promotion of conscious auto-suggestion
  • 1861 - 1865 Doctors in the American Civil War saw one of the first and most extensive use of a form of medical hypnosis being applied in surgery.
  • 1884 - 1952 Clark L Hull, an experimental Psychologist at Yale University, USA, undertook a rigorous study of the phenomenon of hypnosis and suggestibility. He was able to demonstrate, emphatically once and for all that hypnosis had no connection with sleep.
  • 1892 The British Medical Association (BMA) unanimously endorses and recognises hypnosis as a therapeutic tool.
  • 1901 - 1980 Milton Erickson, a Doctor of Psychiatry specialises in medical hypnosis and a solution-generated approach to the sub-conscious mind.
  • 1914 - 1918 WW1 saw the first use of hypnosis merged with psychiatry in the treatment of neurosis.
  • 1929 - 2006 Bob Neill was one of the UK's earliest hypnotherapists. In 1950 during his National Service years, he used hypnotherapy to help others stop smoking. He continued to practice and write several books on hypnotherapy.
  • 1950 - 1953 Korean War saw the use of hypnosis flourish again in battlefield neurosis (which is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • 1955 The British Medical Association (BMA) advises that all medical students should receive training in hypnosis.

Today: Hypnosis & clinical hypnosis are recognised and practised in both clinical and private settings. Universities, clinicians and therapists are currently reporting on research that is being undertaken into both the mind and the use of hypnosis. This research ensures that we are able to continue to study and report on this fascinating topic.

Do you have a question?

Please feel free to contact us.